I finished my season the other day in the undignified position of passenger on a patrol toboggan. I suffered a significant tear of my left gastrocnemius, the big, meaty calf muscle, just as I completed my first, warmup run of the day: One minute I'm cruising in for a landing, the next I'm flat on my face with goggles full of snow and a really nasty pain in my lower leg. All I can think is that I zoned out a bit, caught an edge and went over the handlebars. Both bindings released, but not soon enough for save my left calf.
Here's my question: Could a stiffer boot have limited the stretching of that muscle and lessened or prevented the injury? I'm 64, but still at the advanced-beginner stage, so I was quite happy with my beginner-level boots. I was more into comfort than high performance, but now I wonder if I should upgrade from a 60 flex to 80 or 90. Or would that just turn the injury into a boot-top fracture or a blown-out knee? Or would it make no difference at all?
I plan to go into next season lighter and stronger, but I'm willing to upgrade my boots if that would help keep me on the slopes and off the couch.