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Do you loosen your boots in trees or powder? - Page 2

post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post

You should try a 1 strap Booster Strap.

 

The OP is talking about an Elastic after market Booster Strap not a stock static power strap.

 

I would also add if you cannot ski with the top of your boots reasonably snug, I don't mean really tight,  something is amiss! Boot too stiff? ramp angle wrong, Too much forward lean,

 

Shape of rear of boot does not let your heel seat in heel pocket correctly, or could be all of the above!

 

I actually have two very different pairs of boots, but prefer both loose for everyday skiing.
I can ski very well with my boots cranked down tight.  I just prefer them loose when casually cruising.  if I encounter something eek.gif or ski.gif I crank them down.  Then, I loosen them back up when the serious event has been conquered.  Any kind of strap is simply something else to mettle with while cranking them down or loosening them back up that I'd rather not have to mettle with.  I don't "need" my boots tight to ski anything at all, any terrain any course.  I do ski steep, icy stuff better with them tight. Bumps, I prefer them not quite as tight as racing though. 

post #32 of 46

The answer to the O. Q.... No. Boot tops are very snug all the time unless I'm specifically doing something (drill or exercise) with my boots unbuckled.

post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

It was suggested to me on a powder day, mostly skiing in the woods, to loosen my boots a little.  I did.  I usually have them as tight as possible, and have the Booster Strap as tight as possible.  In addition they have Intuition lace-up liners.  So I loosened the Booster by a very tiny amount and loosened the top two buckles a very small amount.  Still had shin/cuff pressure.

 

Do you do this?  Is it a good idea?

Perhaps I'm just in an unusually contentious mood but this confuses me. SMJ has been posting here for years. By my recollection he is, or at least has been, an instructor. He certainly has given detailed opinions on technical skiing questions. Does he really not know how to do up his boots? Or is this some sort of rhetorical question intended to start a discussion?

post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardDaysNight View Post

Perhaps I'm just in an unusually contentious mood but this confuses me. SMJ has been posting here for years. By my recollection he is, or at least has been, an instructor. He certainly has given detailed opinions on technical skiing questions. Does he really not know how to do up his boots? Or is this some sort of rhetorical question intended to start a discussion?

It's a simple question -- is there a benefit to having a more give in the leg-to-ski linkage when the snow is soft as compared to when it is not.  Could be accomplished by looser buckles, flex adjustements, or a second pair of boots.  Most of the posters in this thread say "No", but a few of us disagree.

post #35 of 46

Not mysterious, and IMO not about foot movement. I think it's about shock absorption. Trees usually have soft bumps in odd arrangements, and/or pow with lumps and bumps underneath. Which means more chance of odd angle impacts traveling from ski front to boot front. Imagine a perfectly rigid boot: That shock is transmitted directly to your legs. Which either compensate very quickly and you keep skiing or don't and you fall. In reverse, if your COM gets thrown off by the irregular surface, a perfectly rigid boot will transmit that message directly to your edges. Also not a good thing. So several solutions: Wear cabrios, where the tongue absorbs a lot of abrupt shock and/or unintended forward movement. Many pro powder or bump skiers go this route. Or loosen two piece boots, which makes them less precise and reactive, but also inefficient in all directions, including (crucially) to the side. Many recreational skiers used to go this route. Or get good enough that our legs can adjust to the increased workload. Epic goes this route. wink.gif

 

As far as I know, passing the strap under the front top of the shell will increase feel by making sure the liner stays right against the shin - old racing trick, I'm told - but don't see that it gets around the problem of mechanical inefficiency in lateral movement. It's the shell that tips the ski, not the liner. 

 

But this brings up an interesting thought: If many of you on this thread tend to ski with your boots loosened, can't help but wonder if your boots are too tight, period. Or too stiff. Or both. Could this whole deal of constantly downsizing, till an "athletic fit" means < 10 mm in the shell, and wearing 130 flex boots for recreational skiing translate to "Doesn't matter because I rarely buckle my boots down?" Surprised because in all naivety, I thought boots were meant to be fitted and worn with the same tightness no matter when or where. Which optimized their design. When I race, I switch to plugs that are a bit tighter and quite a bit stiffer all around. Take them off when I'm done. th_dunno-1[1].gif

post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 Or loosen two piece boots, which makes them less precise and reactive, but also inefficient in all directions, including (crucially) to the side. Many recreational skiers used to go this route. Or get good enough that our legs can adjust to the increased workload. Epic goes this route. wink.gif

 

As far as I know, passing the strap under the front top of the shell will increase feel by making sure the liner stays right against the shin - old racing trick, I'm told - but don't see that it gets around the problem of mechanical inefficiency in lateral movement. It's the shell that tips the ski, not the liner. 

 

But this brings up an interesting thought: If many of you on this thread tend to ski with your boots loosened, can't help but wonder if your boots are too tight, period. Or too stiff. Or both. Could this whole deal of constantly downsizing, till an "athletic fit" means < 10 mm in the shell, and wearing 130 flex boots for recreational skiing translate to "Doesn't matter because I rarely buckle my boots down?" Surprised because in all naivety, I thought boots were meant to be fitted and worn with the same tightness no matter when or where. Which optimized their design. When I race, I switch to plugs that are a bit tighter and quite a bit stiffer all around. Take them off when I'm done. th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

Bingo! That one. So we were clinic'ing the other day in some very nice soft 'crud' and proto bumps and doing MA... one skier was getting very tossed around. My first comment was, what the heck is going on with their boots? I wondered if they were having to work much too hard to flex them, but wasn't sure. In the end, the TD/DCL asked the skier, "are your boots buckled snuggly at the cuff?" The skier looked up and said that they had just loosened them. Skier buckled their boots snug at the cuff, and skiing improved. It's easier to maintain functional ankle tension / contact with the front of the boot is the boot is snug in the cuff. The power strap inside the shell helps. If one has to loosen the boot to properly absorb shock (assuming there are none of the usual back, in, and bracing issues), then it might be a hint your boot is too stiff for the job at hand...  I ski a 130 for daily stuff all mountain. If I were skiing my boots pretty much exclusively on hard piste or gates, I'd add the top screw for 140. I've tried it at 120, but find I over flex the boot unless skiing very slowly in demo mode when 120 is pretty darn nice.

post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardDaysNight View Post

Perhaps I'm just in an unusually contentious mood but this confuses me. SMJ has been posting here for years. By my recollection he is, or at least has been, an instructor. He certainly has given detailed opinions on technical skiing questions. Does he really not know how to do up his boots? Or is this some sort of rhetorical question intended to start a discussion?

He's exploring the thoughts of others on this subject and has his own opinions. I see it as a sign of intelligence to consider the opinions of others to form a possible change in his set up.  It's interesting also to see what others do as practice, situationally or are also considering as experiments.

post #38 of 46

The way I understand boots is that you want the cuff snug no matter the flex.  This should prevent slop and keeps you in contact with the spine of the boot which is where the stiffness comes from (hence the screws are in the back.  The stiffness or flex tell you how immediate your movements are communicated to the ski.  If your cuff is loose (i.e. gap between your leg and boot), there is a gap in communication.  When you buckle the boots snug, you will have stiffer boots over just doing the booster or power strap.

 

I stated earlier and beyond did above that in bumps and trees you might want more absorbtion because the terrain is so irregular.  I think of it as adding a filter to my communications to the ski.  Remember, communication is a two way street when skiing.  Sometimes your skis are communicating to you and you might not want that fed right back to the ski.  Having your boots a little softer so you have more absorbtion is nice now and again.  If you do this as a constant, you should consider a softer boot.

 

Having the booster strap under the front of the shell and over the liner tongue works wonderfully at keeping the cuff snug to the leg.  It locks your leg to the spine of the boot but because the strap is elastic, softens the flex.  When you buckle your boots, the softness is minimized.  If you've read SIJ's article on how to buckle your boots, you might remember him stating that when you snug down the booster strap, it might make the top buckle loosen.  I've related this to a little bit of absorbtion.

 

You can ski with your boots however makes you feel more confident or in control, but if you are changing how the boot was designed to work, you are probably compensating for being in a boot that isn't correct for you and the conditions.  No different than when you do this with your skis (i.e. 27M GS ski in a SL course).

 

Ken

post #39 of 46
Thread Starter 

Just to reiterate what I've said a few times.  In all cases my boots are snug, quite snug.  I'm talking about that last extra pull on the Booster and twist in the micro adjustments of the top two buckles to get them in a death grip on my ankles.  Not painful, mind you, just that ever so little extra.

 

Think of a vice.  You can have it tight enough to hold something in it extremely well.  You could also than twist the tightener a bit more to where it is squeezing the object being held even more.

 

If 100% tightness is just shy of the point of pain, I'm talking about maybe 95% tight.

 

No slop.

 

All of you who keep saying "your boots have to be tight, no slop!" just haven't understood what I've been saying.

post #40 of 46

I recently started skiing my boots 'looser' in all conditions and I think it has benefited my skiing. By looser I don't mean sloppy or even loose (it's relative), I just don't crank them like I use to. As long as I have continual contact without a death grip its good. I can also wear them all day now with no unbuckling on lifts or on breaks. It seems to me that over tightening limits ankle flexion. I would never do away with the booster strap though. That is what helps keep shin contact with a looser buckle.

 

If you are getting sloppy after loosening your boots maybe you are using too much forward pressure?

post #41 of 46

It's been an interesting thread. A short trip into the human psyche. Some see it very close to a black & white thing; others see a bit more shades of gray.

'Correct', as with many things is really each's personal view - and some might be set firm in their's and other's might not be so certain and willing to experiment some.

Since humans come in many different packages and the variations of boots/skis/bindings are quite broad - the combinations could easily almost be practically infinite.

So what works for me may not be so great for someone else.

Personally, when I'm convinced I'm in the best of all possible worlds, I'll experiment (and try to be 'open' about it). Often I'm surprised that there are viable options...

 

It's sortta like the difference between doing the same run a bunch of times, even though there are a lot of options. Or looking for a new place to slide on every ride back up. OR doin a run a couple times and then looking for new terrain...

I often ski with 2 guys, one who loves doin repeats, the other always HAS to go somewhere different. Watching how this all develops during the day is a lot of entertainment. I can be good either way for a little bit, but then the scenery has to change...

 

This thread is a 'state your case' and then sit back and read and consider - being adament doesn;t really convince. But, then, people are all very different,

Obviously.  beercheer.gif

 

Good thing, because youz guyz are all screwed up, so there's hope that someone new might have it CORRECT!

post #42 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

Just to reiterate what I've said a few times.  In all cases my boots are snug, quite snug.  I'm talking about that last extra pull on the Booster and twist in the micro adjustments of the top two buckles to get them in a death grip on my ankles.  Not painful, mind you, just that ever so little extra.

 

Think of a vice.  You can have it tight enough to hold something in it extremely well.  You could also than twist the tightener a bit more to where it is squeezing the object being held even more.

 

If 100% tightness is just shy of the point of pain, I'm talking about maybe 95% tight.

 

No slop.

 

All of you who keep saying "your boots have to be tight, no slop!" just haven't understood what I've been saying.

 

Steve,

I think we have but some of us, me in particular, have been addressing the larger audience too and not just you (the thread has grown).  People have posted here how they wear their boots as you requested.  My comments about "slop" was geared towards the folks that stated the have top buckles undone or lose and same with there booster/power strap.  I know an L3 that skis wonderfully but has his 130 flex boots with loose top buckles and the power strap loose because he has a hard time flexing them and skis lots of bumps.  I say he's in the wrong boots.

 

I like your analogy about the vice.  I think of the booster strap as keeping the cuff hand tight or taut and the tautness is to the back of the boot (spine).   The cuff has no slop but if the buckles are loose, the flex might.  This allows the absorbtion that people are talking about.  Conversly, cranking the buckles or booster strap tighter would do the opposite; reduce the allowable absorbtion.

 

What I'm not sure about is the flex itself.  Since the flex comes from the back of the boot and with the booster strap you are connected to it, when you get to the end of the stretch on the booster strap, are you at the max flex of the boot as if it were buckled?  Blood flow aside, doesn't tightening up the buckles only reduce the amount of time between leg movement and impcact to ski?  Said differently, shortens the travel time of the leg to get a reaction out of the ski.Looser buckles for slower communication.  Tighter buckles for faster communication.

 

When I'm racing and it is on a course that I either have a concern with or want quicker response, I too not only crank the booster strap, but also make sure the top buckle is "SNUG" and the gap that SIJ talks about is gone.  If I'm going over 45 mph on a cranky course, I want immediate response.

 

Also, if you do this (crank the top buckle tight), haven't you defeated the purpose of the booster strap?  How can it stretch if the top buckle is so tight it doesn't have room to.  The top shell doesn't stretch since it is hard plastic.  Maybe that's why so many WC racers wear their booster strap on the outside of their boots; its there just for the endorsement and they aren't using it.

 

Enjoying this,

Ken

post #43 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post

I would never do away with the booster strap though. That is what helps keep shin contact with a looser buckle.

 

If you are getting sloppy after loosening your boots maybe you are using too much forward pressure?

Fore/aft is easier to fine tune with loose boot tops.  I suspect one reason I dislike the straps is because boots didn't come with them at all for the vast majority of my skiing career.  People have skied just fine without them for eons.  If I wasn't fine tuning my boot buckles throughout the day loose, tight, then loose again  depending on how I am feeling in general and what I am skiing I would definitely like the straps while skiing.  However, the time they really bug me is when I want to walk through the parking lot with my boots completely unbuckled at the end of a long day.  That one more thing doesn't really bring me the utility skiing that matches the aggravation of the straps flopping around loose or having  to be readjusted loose enough to feel like they aren't there at the beginning and end of the day when the skiing is done but the boots are worn to the car.  No, I don't like to schlep extra gear to the lodge from the lot every trip.  Having a locker at the resort changes a lot of things like this for me.  I prefer "easy" to "best" most of the time.

post #44 of 46

I never buckle the toes on my left boot.  On my right boot I buckle them for the first one or two groomer warmup runs.  Then when I'm ready to hit steeper natural terrain I unbuckle the toes.  If I don't, then my feet start to hurt...it's almost like they swell under load.  The boots don't feel any less responsive after I unbuckle them, I just notice that my feet feel better during the run.

post #45 of 46

Loosen the boots intentionally for loose snow/trees; might have value?

 

Remembering to re-buckle boots after riding the lift; priceless.

 

No doubt your boots fit; you pay attention to your gear. Why alter the response from what is known going into challenging conditions?  

Do like to loosen the upper buckles and ski on the power strap on milder terrain though.  Personally like to drill with the equipment not at its optimum at times, relying  on the technique more and the gear less.

 

Do I do this in the crud / trees / ice / steeps?  Not intentionally any more. 

post #46 of 46

I am surprise to hear many people say they tighten the lower buckles and leave the upper buckles loose.  I used to do that and struggled with comfort issues.  A boot fitter told me to do the opposite.  Tighten the top two buck tight and leave the lower ones loose.  It worked very well.

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