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What training exercises are useful when getting used to a pair of new boots?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

(Thread moved)

Hi

 

I’m new to the forum and need a fix of something ski related while enduring the summer. Please have patience with my English since it is not my native langue (Swedish).

 

I plan to by a pair of new much stiffer boots as priority 1 (losing weight is priority 2) for next season. My current boots are ridiculous soft (flex45) and are limiting my skiing. I’m little worried that my new boots will feel very different and this will affect my skiing negative. I’m therefore thinking of a small training program to get used to them but also go thought the basics in beginning of the season before any serious skiing is done. So I thought maybe the forum could be helpful with following:

 

What training exercises are useful when getting used to a pair of new boots? And more important why should I do that particular exercise?

 

Some more information about me as background but it is totally OK to stop read here.
Size: 176 cm, 107kg (Swedish, we use the metric system and I crappy in converting)
Age: 40
Skill level: Advanced probably, but aiming to improve. Been skiing for 25 years with a break for snowboard and telemark.
Days: 20 this season, but it was unusual good season
Gear: Dynastar Cham 97 and Ficher RC4 SL (7 years old)
Type of skiing: Groomers and off-piste within the resort boundaries.

Typical :run Ski together with my wife and kids 7 and 9 in blue or black groomers where I try to find some untracked snow in the trees to the side and then join the family when the trees becomes too dense.

 

Best regards

Emil

post #2 of 21

Welcome to the forum :)

 

I've never heard of training for boots, or a need to do so. You will adjust to the boot more on-snow when your boot no longer collapses underneath you. Or rather you probably will find that your skis are more responsive once you're able to pressure the cuff. My suggestion when you're in your new boots on the snow is to start with finding the center by hopping during the turn (maybe 10 turns or so). Just hop in the air, a few inches off the ground so that you can bring both the tip and tail off snow. Make the hop by flexing and then extending the ankle, knee and a bit of hip, rather than by throwing your arms and chest in the air. Hands are in a skiing position. 

 

Once you know center in the boots, ski 10 turns with your weight over the arch of the foot (ie centered). Stop, then ski 10 turns with your weight over the ball of the foot (so you get a feel for what forward feels like). Then stop and ski 10 turns with your weight near the heel. All you're doing is calibrating your feelings for each part of the boot and getting a feel for how the skis steer in your new boots.  

 

Of course, you'll quite possibly find the new boots feel relatively natural and you don't need much "prep". If that's the case, great! You'll probably notice a lot more responsiveness from your RC4s in particular now that your cuff transmits pressure. 

post #3 of 21

wear them in the house before hitting the slopes so that you can start breaking them in. not much else you can do, once you get on snow take a few slow runs to figure out how they respond and getting used to them.

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply.

Maybe I worry to much.

Best regards
Emil
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post

(Thread moved)

Hi

 

I’m new to the forum and need a fix of something ski related while enduring the summer. Please have patience with my English since it is not my native langue (Swedish).

 

I plan to by a pair of new much stiffer boots as priority 1 (losing weight is priority 2) for next season. My current boots are ridiculous soft (flex45) and are limiting my skiing. I’m little worried that my new boots will feel very different and this will affect my skiing negative. I’m therefore thinking of a small training program to get used to them but also go thought the basics in beginning of the season before any serious skiing is done. So I thought maybe the forum could be helpful with following:

 

What training exercises are useful when getting used to a pair of new boots? And more important why should I do that particular exercise?

 

Some more information about me as background but it is totally OK to stop read here.
Size: 176 cm, 107kg (Swedish, we use the metric system and I crappy in converting)
Age: 40
Skill level: Advanced probably, but aiming to improve. Been skiing for 25 years with a break for snowboard and telemark.
Days: 20 this season, but it was unusual good season
Gear: Dynastar Cham 97 and Ficher RC4 SL (7 years old)
Type of skiing: Groomers and off-piste within the resort boundaries.

Typical :run Ski together with my wife and kids 7 and 9 in blue or black groomers where I try to find some untracked snow in the trees to the side and then join the family when the trees becomes too dense.

 

Best regards

Emil

 

You'll want a pair of boots that fit very snug on your feet and lower legs.  Is some of the weight you plan on losing lodged in your lower legs and/or feet?  

 

If so, you might need to lose that before investing in new boots.  You could ask this question over in the "Ask the boot guys" forum.  The expert bootfitters there will tell you if you need to wait, or if boots bought first can be adjusted to fit feet and legs that get slimmer with weight loss.  

 

One of the most common (and expensive) mistakes people make is buying boots too big.  Take care that you don't do that!

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well maybe some weight on the lower calfes. But I need new boots bad. If I happen to loose moore weight that is a negative sideffect of something even more positive. Then I wont have any problems arguing about replacing/buying new things since my wife has been nagging me of my weight for a long time.
post #7 of 21
Welcome to EpicSki, Emil.

Good answers to your question above, I think. Buying and adapting to new, high-performance boots is a big step toward becoming a better skier. I understand your concern!

I'll second LiquidFeet's advice to buy carefully, with the help of a good bootfitter. Boots are a big investment, and it is tempting to try to save a little money where you can. But the right boot, with the right fit and--most importantly--the right setup (adjusting all of the various fore-aft and lateral angles of the boot) is much more important when you step up to a high-performance, stiffer, snugger boot.

But there is not much I can think of that you need to do over the summer specifically to prepare yourself for new boots, short of getting yourself as fit as you can before the ski season. Getting in better shape is always a good thing. And of course--to LiquidFeet's other point--beware that increasing fitness, especially with weight loss or increasing leg strength (and muscle mass), can significantly alter the fit of your boots. If you're expecting big changes over the summer, perhaps you should wait until fall to get those boots. You will find some some good pre-season training ideas in the EpicSki "articles" section, here.

Get some good, thin socks that will not interfere with the precise fit of your boots. And buy a pair of "Cat Tracks" or other similar covers to protect the soles when you walk around in the boots (the flat, smooth sole is a critical part of the boots' performance, and it wears quickly when you walk in them on anything but soft snow). They're a bit of a nuisance, but it is good to get into the habit of using sole protectors religiously--take them off only when you put your skis on (they fit, with some bulk, into a jacket pocket, or you can strap them into the upper buckles or "power straps" of your boots).

Before the season starts, and with those Cat Tracks on, you can wear the boots a little bit around the house, as jzamp suggests. But I wouldn't bother with going too far there. Get out on a bicycle, or hiking in the mountains, or playing tennis, or whatever else you do to get fit, strong, and quick, and enjoy the summer. Winter will come soon enough.

Metaphor has offered some good suggestions for early season on-snow. The new boots will feel "different," and the most important thing to do at first is simply to get used to them. (Along with that, expect a few more visits to the bootfitter to fine-tune the fit and adjustments.)

The next thing I encourage you to do--early on, if possible--is to find a good instructor and get some coaching and feedback. Those boots will work best with good technique, so it will be good to get some new focuses to help you develop there--and to make sure you aren't just practicing and ingraining bad habits. It will make skiing with your kids more enjoyable for yourself, too, if you have something you can focus on in your own skiing at the same time. And you may be able to help them improve more quickly as well. If you can't find, or afford, a good instructor, don't hesitate to have someone shoot some video of you and ask questions here at EpicSki.

You're heading for a big breakthrough if you do this right. High-performance boots and refined technique will make a huge difference. Have a great summer, and keep us posted. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

Best regards,
Bob
post #8 of 21

New boots eh???

Well hopefully you got a good fit.

Now, breaking in a new pair of boots can be a painful task. If they are hurting in a specific spot that's O.K. a good boot fitter can punch, shave or pad. If your foot is cramping it could be do to lack of arch support. All new boots come with a stock foot bed built for the masses. Get a custom foot bed made for you. They help with comfort, alignment and performance. When the foot beds are placed in the boot it will change the over all fit and then you can deal with the pressure points. Remember, It does not matter the skill level of the boot. All the liners pack out through use. Lower end boots more than others.

 

IN THE END, I DON'T KNOW IF THE BOOT MOLDS TO THE FOOT OR THE FOOT MOLDS TO THE BOOT???

IMO a little of both happens.

In fact measurements taken of instructors feet before the ski season where larger than measurements at the end of the season. I have noticed this change in my own foot wear.

 

Exercises for you at home could include,

On carpet and new boots on.

 

-With your ski poles in hand and in a good balanced stance try hopping on one spot.

-Arms to the side take a big step forward and back again then alternate. Lunges

-Try rope skipping in your boots. That will get you going!!!!

 

Everything in moderation eh!!!!! Except the passion of skiing........

 

Best if luck in the NEW boots.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi

 

Thanks everyone for the encuragement.

 

This time I do not plan to buy the first best cheap boots avalibale. The problem is more to find a good bootfitter. I got a message and some tips from a fellow Swedish forum member and I will probably need to go to Stockholm 800km away. But that is OK since I pass through once in a while in my line of business. I will try to drop by in October or November when they have of next seasons boots and sizes in stock.

Quote:
The next thing I encourage you to do--early on, if possible--is to find a good instructor and get some coaching and feedback. Those boots will work best with good technique, so it will be good to get some new focuses to help you develop there--and to make sure you aren't just practicing and ingraining bad habits. It will make skiing with your kids more enjoyable for yourself, too, if you have something you can focus on in your own skiing at the same time. And you may be able to help them improve more quickly as well. If you can't find, or afford, a good instructor, don't hesitate to have someone shoot some video of you and ask questions here at EpicSki.

I totaly agree. In our office some of the collegagues go for a extended skiing weekend in early January. This season one of the guys (who is ski instructor) mensioned that I had a upper body stance issue. At first I got anoyed since "I 'm a good skier" but at second though he was right. I have been working on this stance issue among other things this season and it has improved my skiing alot. You can in sometimes read in a book how to do something new but it is realy hard to spot your bad habits by your self. Next seasons trip I will ask him to watch me some more. I will also probably get some other lessons together with my wife. She has plenty of really bad habits but refuces to listen to her husband. But that is a whole new thread "How to improve your wifes skiing"smile.gif If I posted a video of her here she would kill me.

post #10 of 21

If you posted a thread on how to improve your wife's skiing, how she refuses to listen to you, and whether taking a lesson along with her would be a good way to do that, you would get some worthy advice. rolleyes.gif

post #11 of 21
If I posted a thread on how to improve my wife's anything, that would get me a worthy divorce. You can't improve on perfection anyway, right?
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

, and whether taking a lesson along with her would be a good way to do that, you would get some worthy advice. rolleyes.gif

I guess the wife improvementsmile.gif Is quite simple. A 6 step training program

 

1) Bring up the skiing lesson topic carefully.

2) Give her the lessons as a gift. Christmas whatever.

3) Arrange everything

4) Stay away, Take care of the kids, fix the food while she have the lessons

5) After the lessons. Answer any question about how it looks now. "It is much better than before" without going into details and defenitive not what is left to improve.

6) Repeat

post #13 of 21

Are you getting her lessons for her benefit, or for yours? It almost sounds like buying her a vacuum cleaner. People need to want to take a lesson for themselves. By extension, I find people try to get more out of a lesson when they've paid for it themselves. 


Edited by Metaphor_ - 5/31/13 at 3:51am
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Are you getting her lessons for her benefit, or for yours?

For her mostly but honestly some for my peace of mind. She regularly ask "How does it look?" and I reply honestly "Well..." and then there is an argument or silence. The problem is that she is a confident skiier and is acually quite good handling almost any terrain and is a decent carver. However some really bad habits makes it looks like a beginner and it limits her. Some lessons and she will  be on her way to an advance intermediate skier. But I guess it also have to to in our difference in aproach to skiing. She really enjoy skiing but with a more of recreational aspect. I usually bring "exercise of the day" with me and try harder to improve.


Edited by emil - 5/31/13 at 5:10am
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post

Are you getting her lessons for her benefit, or for yours? It almost sounds like buying her a vacuum cleaner. People need to want to take a lesson for themselves. By extension, I find people try to get more out of a lesson when they've paid for it themselves. 

Doesn't sound like you are a parent or have been married for 10+ years. rolleyes.gif

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post

I guess the wife improvementsmile.gif Is quite simple. A 6 step training program

 

1) Bring up the skiing lesson topic carefully.

2) Give her the lessons as a gift. Christmas whatever.

3) Arrange everything

4) Stay away, Take care of the kids, fix the food while she have the lessons

5) After the lessons. Answer any question about how it looks now. "It is much better than before" without going into details and defenitive not what is left to improve.

6) Repeat

You sound like a very sensible husband and father!  If the lessons can be a multi-week program or a multi-day clinic, that might be one way to simplify the Repeat aspect.

 

How much do your kids ski?

 

Some women who are not that interested in lessons have more fun if the instructor is a woman.  Can be true for a private lesson or a group lesson.

post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post

For her mostly but honestly some for my peace of mind. She regularly ask "How does it look?" and I reply honestly "Well..." and then there is an argument or silence. The problem is that she is a confident skiier and is acually quite good handling almost any terrain and is a decent carver. However some really bad habits makes it looks like a beginner and it limits her. Some lessons and she will  be on her way to an advance intermediate skier. But I guess it also have to to in our difference in aproach to skiing. She really enjoy skiing but with a more of recreational aspect. I usually bring "exercise of the day" with me and try harder to improve.

 

Know now and forever that you will not turn her into a skier who shows up with an "exercise of the day" with improvement in mind.  That's not her.  Nor will you relax and start "just skiing for fun" without a goal.  You're not that person.

 

Enjoy and relish the differences.  It's all good.

post #18 of 21

not sure if someone already said this, but mow your lawn with them on,  walking pushing turning backing up,    or go to the park and play frisbee with them on in the grass, but yes you will look like a dork.   

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdiddy View Post

not sure if someone already said this, but mow your lawn with them on,  walking pushing turning backing up,    or go to the park and play frisbee with them on in the grass, but yes you will look like a dork.   

biggrin.gif

 

 

The thread has wandered a bit but I dont mind

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

 

Know now and forever that you will not turn her into a skier who shows up with an "exercise of the day" with improvement in mind.  That's not her.  Nor will you relax and start "just skiing for fun" without a goal.  You're not that person.

 

Enjoy and relish the differences.  It's all good.

 

I know. Me and my wife feel privileged that we have a common interest to share with the whole family. Most of the time we ski together all 4 of us. This improvement business is just me but it secondary compare to the rest.

 

 

One of my favorite moments from this season. Me and my oldest enjoing some offpist together.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

How much do your kids ski?

 

We usually start when the lifts open. An early lunch and later a hot chocolate break. We quit around 3pm or 3:30. The kids has been skiing since 3.5 years old and are now 7 and 9 and we do everything except for double diamonds. My oldest has started to follow me into the offpist and in the trees. I guess that the kids had around 15 skiing days this season.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Some women who are not that interested in lessons have more fun if the instructor is a woman.  Can be true for a private lesson or a group lesson.

Haven't thought about that. Will look into this possibility.

 

 

It is 26 degrees (Celsius) outside and I need to mow the lawn. I must stop thinking of skiing. Maybe I'll put the sailing dingey into the sea this weekend at our summer cabin.


Edited by emil - 5/31/13 at 11:41am
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

Doesn't sound like you are a parent or have been married for 10+ years. rolleyes.gif

 

That's correct. Nonetheless, I do know how bad it is for a partner to buy a bowling ball for Marge. For kids it would be OK as you can get them jazzed about it. Most partners usually have a few things they'd like to get for a gift, and it's often not the same thing the partner wants! We've talked on epicski before about why people don't take lessons of their own volition, and I imagine a lot of those factors can flare up when presented with a "gift" of a lesson.

 

Bowling ball for Marge (Click to show)

From episode Life on the Fast Lane wikipedia entry:

Homer forgets Marge's birthday, and rushes out to buy her something at the last minute. He finds a bowling ball and decides to buy it for her. That night at her birthday dinner, Marge is happy with the kids' presents of "French" perfume from Bart and a macaroni and glue card from Lisa. However, she is offended by Homer's gift, which does not surprise Patty and Selma because they knew he was being thoughtless as usual. Marge is outraged and reminds him that not only has she never gone bowling in her life, but the ball is also inscribed with his name on it.

 

Not saying a lesson's not a good gift idea. Personally, I would love a gift of a clinic whether towards my level 3 or on inline skates/kiteboard. But I'd also be willing to spend my own money on a lesson. That's the difference. 

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by emil View Post

I know. Me and my wife feel privileged that we have a common interest to share with the whole family. Most of the time we ski together all 4 of us. This improvement business is just me but it secondary compare to the rest.

 

 

One of my favorite moments from this season. Me and my oldest enjoing some offpist together.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post

How much do your kids ski?

 

We usually start when the lifts open. An early lunch and later a hot chocolate break. We quit around 3pm or 3:30. The kids has been skiing since 3.5 years old and are now 7 and 9 and we do everything except for double diamonds. My oldest has started to follow me into the offpist and in the trees. I guess that the kids had around 15 skiing days this season.

Thanks for the picture.  Looks like someone who loves to ski!

 

Given that your kids are into skiing, does your wife want to be able to continue to ski with them most of the time?  If so, having lessons to improve will make it much easier to keep up with them as they get more adventurous.  More importantly, in the long run she will have more fun.

 

Even though I was actively improving my skiing with lessons and getting in more ski days than my daughter, this season she passed me in ability.  She is a tween (tweens are 8-12).  She has been skiing 10-15 days on our little local hill since age 4, plus a spring break week at Alta since age 7 that included a few days of ski school.  My husband of 20 years is a non-skier for a variety of reasons.  He stays home and takes care of the dog and cat when I take my daughter on ski trips. smile.gif

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