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Odd Foot/Leg Soreness

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So I've been skiing on some new 184cm skis I bought and found that my calves and shin muscles got really sore after a day of skiing.  Also it seems like I kept getting into the back seat when normally that doesn't seem to be a huge problem.  Earlier in the season I skied Mammoth for 3 days on the same model in 176's and didn't have an issue with leg pain.  I've been skiing at Snow Valley here in CA and it gets very slushy very quickly but it didn't seem remarkably worse than Mammoth was when I went there.


Would any of the following be a big cause of this?


1. Top boot strap on too tight?  I was cranking everything down because of the sloppy snow.

2. Ski not waxed since I bought them and are catching in the soft snow?

3. I just suck


Does this make any sense?



post #2 of 4

Contracting the calf muscle points the toes, aka "opens the ankle," (plantarflexion).  This move shifts your skis ahead and (by default) your weight aft.


Contracting the shin muscle (probably anterior tibialis) does the opposite, pulls the foot up, "closes the ankle,"  (dorsiflexion).  This move shifts your skis back and (by default) your weight forward.


If you were on unfamiliar skis in slushy spring snow, and you were continuously moving your skis aft and forward by opening and closing your ankles, the calf and shin muscles that are not used to doing so much work will get sore.  If the snow changed from fast to slow/sticky and back to fast again, you may have been maintaining your balance with these muscles.  


If you were often aft and your quads are already used to supporting you in an aft position, the quads might not get sore.  That doesn't mean you weren't aft.  If you think you were, then you probably were.  Your aft-ness may have been a result of contracting those calf muscles to point the toes.  I think when people are struck with a need to be cautious fast (as in "sloppy snow"), they point their toes due to some natural defense mechanism.  It has to be unlearned.  


Next time you ski spring slop, try keeping your ankles closed so that you are maintaining continuous tongue-shin pressure, and keep the bottom of your entire foot contacting the bottom of the boot.  Stay off the back of the boot cuffs.  See if that helps.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 



Sorry for the late reply.  I will try doing what you are saying about keeping my feet in contact with the entire bottom of the boot.  That was something I was unsure if I should be doing.  Should the tongue-shin pressure be like I'm actually using it for support or just "some" pressure?




post #4 of 4


There is no absolute answer to your question.


The degree of shin-tongue pressure/contact is a matter of "discussion."  

Let's just say it will vary from skier to skier, turn to turn, part of turn to part of turn.  What you need in sloppy spring snow depends on your anatomy, your boots' forward lean, your binding's ramp angle, and who knows what else including the specifics of different turns you are making.


Try leaning on and bending the cuffs (a skill that takes some time to acquire), and also try just maintaining shin-tongue contact (also an acquired taste).  Assume that discovering how each works for you will take some time.


Best of luck!

Edited by LiquidFeet - 4/7/13 at 4:31pm
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