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Can't control my left ski - Page 2

post #31 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thank you all, this is great information. Would someone be able to explain what exactly is an alignment issue?

post #32 of 40

Ask this in the boot forum for a bootfitter's response.


It's a personal anatomy thing.


"an alignment issue" means one foot tilts more to the left/right than the other.

Or both tilt inward too much (knock-kneed), or both tilt outward too much (bowlegged).
This tilting might happen when you flex your knees, or it may be evident when you are standing straight up.


Alignment issues mean you will have difficulty keeping one or both skis flat when you're going straight,

and you'll have difficulty tipping both skis the same amount as you are turning.

In other words, unaddressed alignment issues can screw up your balance and your control of your skis.


Some bootfitters can adjust the boot to compensate for misaligned anatomy, but not all.  

The more experienced your bootfitter is in dealing with this issue, the more likely it will be that the fix will work.


Very important:  the boots need to fit well before diagnosing and compensating for an alignment issue.

post #33 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thank you again. Thanks to these forums I have a few recommended boot fitters. The trouble now will be choosing which one to go with (;


I'm so looking forward to getting this resolved. 

post #34 of 40
Good luck - you are on the right track and I'll give you my narrative in case it helps further.

I have an alignment issue on my right side that I am working to address. Boot fit helps a ton and I have custom orthotics, but as LF points out not a full cure.

In a standing straight position in bare feet, I will point my right foot out to keep my right knee straight and foot flat. The left knee and foot are straight together. If I pull the right foot back in, my right knee points inwards and the foot supinates (rolls up to the outside). Like in this picture, and I can feel that walking in my ski boots as well. Left feels perfect and flat, right feels like I am walking on the outer edge of the boot sole.

Now when I start to squat, the right knee comes back into alignment and the supination resolves. So as long as I am flexed, I have relatively good alignment, balance, etc. and this is what my fitter saw for doing my orthotics - I was too green to recognize additional issues. In any case, if I stand more upright as we like to do on flats to save the quads, keeping the right ski straight puts it on the outer edge and then turns it in slightly. Not good, because I am fighting it and the tendency to want to stand more upright creeps in with fatigue, plus turns on that side lack the natural flow of turns on the other side and bump rhythm is hosed. I find it difficult to ski in a wedge as well. My right side is my stronger side, but I ski stronger on my left because of all of this.

Anyway, this will be my fifth season skiing and even though I did boots and orthotics in season 2, I can tell I have hit the alignment wall so good to ask and get a full evaluation. My only caution is to consider one thing at a time so you know what problem each solution addressed.

I had decent shell fit when I started, and so I started with foot mechanics first (stabilizing the arches, etc). My fitter is as much of an orthotics guy as anything, and he could diagnose issues I was having just by looking at my foot mechanics. So I put custom orthotics in my existing boots first. Big difference, including pain elimination (probably Morton's neuroma in my left foot that only shows up skiing). Then I did a new shell / custom injectable liner. Huge difference along with the custom insole and I was able to really advance my skiing.

But I am not getting past my alignment issue and my stubbornness to work through things on my own is not helping. Time to make that appointment....
Edited by NayBreak - 9/10/14 at 2:15pm
post #35 of 40

If you are still having a problem after working with a reputable boot fitter then you need to learn how to tinker with the alignment on your own.  I have about 20 years tinkering with these issues and if you were close you could stop by for a visit.  Because I have a problem that I sensed at age 10, over 50 years ago but didn't begin to solve until 20 years ago, I have some sensitivity for the subject.  Also have medical background and know the anatomy and function of the lower extremity.   YM
post #36 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thank you all again, I enjoy reading through these and learning from your advice and experiences. A couple more questions, if that's alright:


Is there a way to test alignment issues/any other issues at home before going to a boot fitter? Just to perhaps confirm all of these suspicions.


And is it safe to assume that when I get to one of these reputable boot fitters, they will be able to set me up with a boot that will counter/fix all of these issues? If not, or even if so, what can I do to come prepared to a boot fitter?

post #37 of 40



Well it depends on how reputable the boot fitter is. There are no boot fitters that get every client right the first time. There are some great boot fitters that have some not so successful results are on their records, but still rate great. Because there are a huge variety of problems and many different highly successful boot fitting approaches for dealing with those problems, it's impossible to guarantee your success.  To better your odds:


1) Educate yourself

Start with reading threads in the boot fitter forum


2) Be prepared to have to buy new boots.

Be especially prepared to buy new footbeds. Bring real ski socks to your fitting session.


3) Get recommendations

From Epic members, from trusted friends, from ski instructors, from ski bums just get them. You will probably need to decide the tradeoff between far away great talent and closer good enough talent. Some fits require several visit cycles between the fitter and the slopes to get things dialed in.


4) Talk to your potential bootfitter

Check out their boot fitting philosophy (does it match with what you learned in step 1? e.g. do they like cork or plastic footbeds and why) and their personality (do you click?). Ask him what time of day he prefers to do your fitting (do your feet change throughout the day?). During the fitting process you will inevitably have to describe to your fitter where things are uncomfortable/tight/loose/etc. Some people (no names mentioned Rusty) have a difficult time describing where things hurt and some pains manifest themselves in places different from where the cause is. Effective communication between you and your fitter is a must.


5) Take a lesson after you get your boots fit

(caveat emptor - I am an instructor)

You may have to unlearn movements you've developed to compensate for misalignment. You will probably need some minor tweaking. Even if all your worries are gone and you're skiing great, an instructor can help speed your transition into your new world to help you get the most out of your fit.

post #38 of 40

@ginnysababe, have you read this yet?

If you go see a bootfitter and he/she does not take the liner out and check the shell fit, as described in this article, get up and leave.  Just leave.


Also, sitting down for an hour or so and reading posts the "Ask the Boot Guys" forum will teach you some stuff, as has just been suggested.

post #39 of 40

One thing that is missing is technique and strength.  The OP has not identified that ability other than that hey ski groomers from green to black (and a lot of beginners start shortly after starting skiing doing that).  They only say that technique is not the issue and generally better skiers don't eliminate that first off.  The second issue is that it happens at different resorts with different equipment (yes I know rental).


I would suggest a good one on one with an instructor like Liquidfeet, Bob Barnes, Kneale Brownson, JSP, Bud Heishman just to mention a few (or some one similar)


It would let you address several issues at once such as:


  • Boot Setup and possibly fit issues.
  • Canting which is different from cuff alignment.
  • Technique
  • Strength
  • Stance
  • Balance
  • Confidence


Good fitting boots are very important, however what is described sounds like there are more than just boot fit that is causing the issues.

post #40 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys again, all this information is so helpful. I now have a better understanding of what to expect come December.

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