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What if we quit teaching that strong side and weak side turns need to be as identical and symmetrical as possible?

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 

Very few of us are fully ambidextrous. Most of us spend our entire lives favoring one side of our body over the other for just about everything.  It is no wonder that as we age our anatomy adapts and changes to show the results of our life long movements, different on one side of our body than the other at many things. 

 

All ski instruction I've ever received or given was based on the principle that we should do everything as symmetrical as possible in every regard  so as the perfect right turn is a mirror image of the perfect left turn.  However, our right leg and left leg are shaped a little differently and aren't equally strong. 

 

So, why not dip one arm a tad lower when turning one direction than the other?  Ideal arm position for the right turn might be a little different than ideal arm position for the left turn because right side and left side of the body differ.  I would propose that rather than changing the gear to artificially prop up the weak side of the body we let go of the rule that right and left have to be exactly symmetrical because our bodies aren't built that way. and return to doing more drills and exercises to make the weak side of the body physically stronger and more dexterous.

 

That's right, I just doubled down on the debate about canting I'm on my own island about.:duck:

post #2 of 86
I don't view this as an either/or proposition. I think skiers should do both. I do both. Having properly fitting equipment allows me to work on the weaker side. There are occasions when equipment prohibits certain movements and you can work on something until the cows come home with limited results.
post #3 of 86

cr, most skiers have a better turning side due to body dominance. The problem is about function, not form. If you can ski down a steep bump run but only making left turns, that's not very effective!

 

The second issue is that the end of one turn sets us up for the next turn. If your mass is in the wrong spot coming out of your weaker side, or you haven't built up any pressure under the ski in the last turn, you're going to have to do some real acrobatics to get in the right spot for your next turn - and so even turns on your good side suffer. 

 

We could argue that for the recreational skier, it really doesn't matter if they're not set up for a great turn. If their goal is to have fun, and they have smiles on their faces, then it doesn't matter. But if the skier wants to unlock more of the mountain, or feel the same types of sensations as the expert skier, or get faster times in the NASTAR course, they've got to get both sides performing strongly.

post #4 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metaphor_ View Post
 

The second issue is that the end of one turn sets us up for the next turn. If your mass is in the wrong spot coming out of your weaker side, or you haven't built up any pressure under the ski in the last turn, you're going to have to do some real acrobatics to get in the right spot for your next turn - and so even turns on your good side suffer. 

Yes, but isn't it possible to remedy this through better skiing, even if a little different side to side?  I get that we want it as close as possible, but it will still be different due to many other factors.  Teach/train your weak side to work more like the dominant side rather than artificially altering it, i.e. propping it up.

 

In a perfect world shouldn't we be able to make great and effective turns both ways on perfectly symmetrical equipment?

 

Why teach skiing that limits people to totally customized gear if it is possible to teach them, more like train them to ski stronger on the weak side without altering the gear to be right and left custom?

 

I think this goes beyond teaching (standard curriculum aimed at teaching people to ski the way the ski school deems best for all) and more in to coaching were we develop our strengths and focus on turning our weaknesses around to strengths.

post #5 of 86
Thread Starter 

Your canting thread is great by the way.  Sorry for digging my heels in with the "wait and see, try everything else first" attitude over there.  Moving that debate here finally, should have earlier.

post #6 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier31 View Post

I don't view this as an either/or proposition. I think skiers should do both. I do both. Having properly fitting equipment allows me to work on the weaker side. There are occasions when equipment prohibits certain movements and you can work on something until the cows come home with limited results.


Agree with most but as for bold part., it is the anatomical difference/variation that limits the movement not the equipment right?  It can be remedied quickly and less painfully with a gear adjustment most often.  But, it can sometimes be remedied by many more hours or just doing something a little differently to compensate.  I'd prefer the results gained from training and hard work... physically strengthening that weaker side to form muscle memory that eliminates the weakness or lessens it considerably to becoming dependent on custom, non symmetrical gear, different for right and left.  The last sentence sums up what I would most like to avoid as an aggressive recreational skier. 

 

Given a more significant abnormality, one that truly is an abnormal handicap I'm all for gear mods up front.  Also at the highest levels where the skier has already been through the progressions to hone the weaknesses best drills and training can but still needs more edge to compete I'm all for making the mods at that point.  After all, at that level it's about winning.  Do everything possible within the rules to win... and some not entirely within the rules if you think you can get away with it.

post #7 of 86
Thread Starter 

My end goal has always been to be able to step in to any decent fitting pair of performance boots and any well tuned pair of skis and ski all of the lift served, in bounds terrain really REALLY well.  That includes NASTAR gold and occasionally platinum which I was consistently earning.  In my prime, late 80s I was always able to earn gold (didn't have platinum back then?) sometimes able to beat the NASTAR pace setters while skiing on mostly stock gear, but with non stock insoles.  I also competed in USSA Freestyle bumps and air but never won anything there.   I'm perfectly happy with that level of skiing and not using side specific alterations to the gear.

 

Should mention that in my older, less wiser years my skills are definitely diminished.  Now I am more of a NASTAR silver, sometimes gold guy.  I accept this since I only get out 5-10 times a season now and the vast majority of the past three years has been spent on greens and blues with my kids that have even less ski time and few lessons.  But, in future retirement  and when I can ski fun stuff more as my kids improve I'd like to be able to leverage the age handicap to get back to the mostly gold, sometimes silver range.

 

Also, I prefer NOT to teach my own kids.  I do put them in lessons with current ski instructors when I can.  I'd rather they make their own gear choices too of course when they are able to.


Edited by crgildart - 1/16/15 at 7:27am
post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Very few of us are fully ambidextrous. Most of us spend our entire lives favoring one side of our body over the other for just about everything.  It is no wonder that as we age our anatomy adapts and changes to show the results of our life long movements, different on one side of our body than the other at many things. 

 

All ski instruction I've ever received or given was based on the principle that we should do everything as symmetrical as possible in every regard  so as the perfect right turn is a mirror image of the perfect left turn.  However, our right leg and left leg are shaped a little differently and aren't equally strong. 

 

So, why not dip one arm a tad lower when turning one direction than the other?  Ideal arm position for the right turn might be a little different than ideal arm position for the left turn because right side and left side of the body differ.  I would propose that rather than changing the gear to artificially prop up the weak side of the body we let go of the rule that right and left have to be exactly symmetrical because our bodies aren't built that way. and return to doing more drills and exercises to make the weak side of the body physically stronger and more dexterous.

 

That's right, I just doubled down on the debate about canting I'm on my own island about.:duck:

If you really want to explore your issues why not get rid of those pesky arms and allow focus to where the action is.  An adult male can have 30 to 40 pounds of arm weight which can sabotage the best of turns.  So try this.   Hold your poles horizontally (perpendicular to skis) with hands about 8 inches apart.  Then cross your hands and tuck the poles up under your armpits.  Now go ski. In addition to placing your arm mass in a secure, immobile position, your poles will give you a visual of shoulder positioning.

post #9 of 86
Thread Starter 

Nice!  Skiing with ONE boot unbuckled for a couple runs.. then skiing with the other boot (only) unbuckled for a couple runs also helps us explore what's happening differently when favoring our dominant side and compensating for the weaker side.  I'll probably never remember all the drills we did at the weekly instructor staff clinics back in the old days but I do remember that one, and similar arms free, or pole less drills like the one above.

post #10 of 86

Symmetry is not important to me.  Being able to turn in both directions is very important to me.  I think that should be added to the definition of a level 8 skier: Can turn either left or right on any slope.

post #11 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
 

I think that should be added to the definition of a level 8 skier: Can turn either left or right on any slope.

I'd put that more at level 7.  Being able to link turns both directions while demonstrating full control and competence is more what I think of at 8.  After all, 8 is just below full expert right?  Being able to pull off one right (or weakside) turn at the last minute edge of a run due to duress.. or left, left check, left... left check.... RIGHT...  left, left check left.. left check RIGHT..isn't what I'd consider advanced skiing even if it is a tough trail or bumped up, bullet proof whatever.. 

But, I agree with the philosophy that with turns at first it is quantity (being able to turn both ways) over quality.

 

By the way, in that ranting thread (er umm canting thread) I intentionally posted photos of my WEAK side turns on different types of terrain to see what responses that might evoke.:newkeyboard:

post #12 of 86

I am thinking of skiers who can link turns on a groomed slope but when things get tight and hairy they have a "go to" side and have trouble going the other way.  Sometimes it is even a matter of just getting started and getting into that linking turns rhythm.

post #13 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crank View Post
 

I am thinking of skiers who can link turns on a groomed slope but when things get tight and hairy they have a "go to" side and have trouble going the other way.  Sometimes it is even a matter of just getting started and getting into that linking turns rhythm.


Right, fair enough.  My bar is just a little higher.  I was thinking good quality linked turns (both sides of course) on all terrain for 8 and absolutely slaying all in bounds lift served terrain balls out as a 9.  I can see where my view if the 1-9 scale could be off.  Some would call what I see as 9 as a 9+

 

 

 

The main point is doing what we can physically and kinetically to be more solid on the weak side.  Keep the drills and suggestions coming, but lets keep the gear mod discussion over in the canting thread.

post #14 of 86
I guess there isn't a limit on thread title lengths after all. Answers that question.
post #15 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier View Post

I guess there isn't a limit on thread title lengths after all. Answers that question.


Thanks for your expert opinion :newkeyboard:  Excellent contentThumbs Up

post #16 of 86

Forget strong side/weak side for a moment.  Are we not trying to achieve symmetrical turns, right and left?  If not, you should be.  And, though muscle tone and strenghth is part of the athletic endeavor, skiing is not a strength sport, it is a balance and agility sport. 

 

Having said that, our bodies, to some extent are asymmetrical. One leg may be a bit longer than the other. Flexibility might be a bit different. One leg might be more bow legged or knock-kneed than the other. So, it would make sense to do as much as possible to even out the differences in the pursuit of symmetrical turn shapes. It is too easy to just accept defeat. It simply does not benefit the skier, except for extreme cases.   If I may use myself as an example...

 

I was in an accident as a teen, had multiple surgeries on my left leg which was left it almost 3/4" shorter than the right, a different "bow angle" than my right and limited ankle mobility. I was told I should never even attempt to ski (but that's a whole 'nother story).  To cut to the chase, not only did I have to accomodate the leg length discrepancy, but had to figure out how to maximize foot support, the ankle function, shock absorption issues and lots of other little things. When I started messing with this alignment, balance and support stuff it suggested that I had to slightly shift (laterally) how I positioned my center of mass. By correcting what was happening down below allowed me to abandon a compensation that I was doing while lacking proper alignment. And THAT led to huge improvements in my skiing. 

 

You know what else?  I was so focused on helping my left (bad leg) that I was actually able to use it to train my right and make the appropriate adjustments on my "strong" side.  In the effort to correct deficiencies in my "weak" side I learned so much about skiing, boot fitting, alignment, CORE ISSUES in ski technique.  So, to suggest we abandon trying to ski symmetrically is, IMO, not a wise option. There is so much that can be discovered in the journey. Why abandon it?

post #17 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
 

I was in an accident as a teen, had multiple surgeries on my left leg which was left it almost 3/4" shorter than the right, a different "bow angle" than my right and limited ankle mobility. I was told I should never even attempt to ski (but that's a whole 'nother story). 

That is clearly a obstacle the vast majority of the skiing public doesn't have to overcome.  Yet, pretty sure the hard work and training it took to do so made you a much better skier than most on the hill taking a more casual approach to the sport. 

 

I'm cool with shooting for symmetrical turns to the extent that our bodies are actually symmetrical (before taking gear mods as the higher priority).  That said someone with an anatomy that puts them well outside of the norm should start with a gear mod of course so as to have the same platform the majority has right?  Nothing about that seems like cheating yourself. 

 

When people with pretty good and average anatomy (gifted with being average instead of somehow less advantaged)  become dependent on gear modifications that augment that pretty good and average anatomy (even for the better), that is territory I'd rather avoid until I find myself not achieving goals that I am striving for in spite of the best work I can do towards those goals physically.  It's kind of like being at the gym and using a different dumbell for my left arm than I do for my right arm or putting less weight on one side of the bench press bar than the other or putting a brace on my weaker arm to help make it stronger so I can lift symmetrically easier.  Sure, my measured performance in terms of how many reps I do and how perfect those movements look will be better... But, will I be doing the best thing for my body that I can to be making my body better than it was?

 

Sure, symmetridcal skiing can still be the ultimate goal but approach it via lots of hard worn incrementally making less than symmetrical turns a little better and a little better rather than putting a block under one side to instantly fix it quicker but always being dependent on that block.. (OK for someone with a true unusual discrepancy of course though)


Edited by crgildart - 1/16/15 at 11:29am
post #18 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Excellent content icon14.gif

The irony...
post #19 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post


The irony...


There's an app for that..

 

:irony: 

 

Whoops I cheated with a gadget LOL

post #20 of 86
Thread Starter 

So I guess my answer to my own question is that it wouldn't be desirable to allow weak side turns to be too different, making weak side turns as symmetrical, strong, and close to right side turns is pretty desirable.  What are some more non gear related ways to achieve this?

Or, if you answer otherwise explain further..

post #21 of 86
Quote:

Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

...

Agree with most but as for bold part., it is the anatomical difference/variation that limits the movement not the equipment right?  It can be remedied quickly and less painfully with a gear adjustment most often.  But, it can sometimes be remedied by many more hours or just doing something a little differently to compensate.  I'd prefer the results gained from training and hard work... physically strengthening that weaker side to form muscle memory that eliminates the weakness or lessens it considerably to becoming dependent on custom, non symmetrical gear, different for right and left.  The last sentence sums up what I would most like to avoid as an aggressive recreational skier. 

 

God forbid - "customized non symmetrical gear". How are we defining "custom" here? Plug boots that haven't been ground out so they're not custom? Pick one type of boot that everyone uses?

 

You're not consistent though. It's ok to have non symmetrical turns, yet non symmetrical gear is forbidden - ok "to be avoided" if you're core. (ok, "aggressive recreational skier", aka core)

So, if you play baseball and one eye is different than the other, should you avoid customized non symmetrical glasses?

Ya know, despite basic symmetry the body is not exactly symmetric.

We should carry two wallets, one in each pocket, so as not to be customized non - symmetrical. Two phones also.

 

Just a simple question.

 

So if one side turn is worse than the other. Why not teach to the lowest common denominator and have both bad? That's a win - win. Symmetry, plus fixed the problem - one turn worse than the other. Worse as defined by student.

 

Pt 2: People in general like symmetry. 4 out of 5 people will complain about one turn worse than the other before it's mentioned. As in "I can't turn left", or " I really have trouble turning right" (Arbitrary stat to sync with Dentine but point is valid)

 

- Pt 2 a) Isn't it easier to just say, "Ok, let's make that right turn as bad as your left." ( We might use the word "match" instead of "bad" to promote learning) What will happen, as both turns become symmetrical,is they'll get better at the same rate now and won't have the crutch of customized non-symmetrical gear temptation.

 

 

Pt 3: Ski boots are arbitrary. Hopefully you get someone who picks an arbitrary boot to match your foot/leg or you throw a lucky dart and get an arbitrary boot that works. Arbitrary in the sense that they're not made for you, but an arbitrary sort of person. Based on kind of a real person. Sizes usually based on men's size 9 and then scaled for the other sizes by a guy in Italy.  Since everyone is different, you hope that their arbitrary and arbitrary then scaled matches your reality. Esp since one is not allowed to modify, and god forbid modify one boot different than the other. That would be "customized non-symmetrical gear".

 

Examples:

Customized and non - symmetrical. Laces don't match. Much worse though, the right is tighter than the left. Left is non standard lacing pattern also-  Excessive customizing.  Should work on walking with both tied the same. Edit: Just noticed. Look at the foot part. The right boot is narrower, has bump at big toe, the left boot is wider has bump at 5th metatarsal. The leather has self customized! Now if it were plastic....Suck it up! No non standard customizations. Solution: Get a bigger boot with enough space. Oldschoolskier will call this "Fit". It's custom and non symmetrical.

 

:

 

Exhibit B. Pointe Shoes:

Customized with lambs wool and other stuff in the toe box, between the toes and where needed. Usually non symmetrical customizations. Come on girl, suck it up. Practice more.

 


Edited by Tog - 1/16/15 at 12:46pm
post #22 of 86

The above it is fit, not customization.

post #23 of 86
Thread Starter 

^^^ agreed, that is about comfort and fit more than altering performance on a weaker side to make it stronger.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

God forbid - "customized non symmetrical gear". How are we defining "custom" here? Plug boots that haven't been ground out so they're not custom? Pick one type of boot that everyone uses?

 

You're not consistent though. It's ok to have non symmetrical turns, yet non symmetrical gear is forbidden - ok "to be avoided" if you're core. (ok, "aggressive recreational skier", aka core)

Actually I back tracked on the symmetrical turns.  Yes, we want symmetrical turns, but not at the expense of becoming dependent on customized, way beyond stock gear.

 

I don't want to be that person that freaks out after losing their gear due to theft or airline damage in a huge panic because they are afraid they won't be able to ski very well again until they can have new custom gear made specifically for them.  I want to be that guy that can shred on standard gear without a second thought about needing a shim somewhere, swap right ski for left when the edges feel a little dull, and just plain ski on ski gear wherever, whenever, however I like due to skills and practice.  If I become dependent on a little piece of plastic somewhere to ski terrain and perform where others aren't dependent on such devices then I feel I'm short changing myself on the skills front.  Once that plateau is reached and everyone else on the landscape needs those types of shims to qualify count me in on that.  However, that's more about competing than it is about skiing.  I don't need the mods to ski anything I want to ski at the speeds I like to ski it at.  I'd like to keep it that way without feeling dependent on after market mods thanks..

post #24 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

Actually I back tracked on the symmetrical turns.  Yes, we want symmetrical turns, but not at the expense of becoming dependent on customized, way beyond stock gear.

 

I don't want to be that person that freaks out after losing their gear due to theft or airline damage in a huge panic because they are afraid they won't be able to ski very well again until they can have new custom gear made specifically for them.  I want to be that guy that can shred on standard gear without a second thought about needing a shim somewhere, swap right ski for left when the edges feel a little dull, and just plain ski on ski gear wherever, whenever, however I like due to skills and practice.  If I become dependent on a little piece of plastic somewhere to ski terrain and perform where others aren't dependent on such devices then I feel I'm short changing myself on the skills front.  Once that plateau is reached and everyone else on the landscape needs those types of shims to qualify count me in on that.  However, that's more about competing than it is about skiing.  I don't need the mods to ski anything I want to ski at the speeds I like to ski it at.  I'd like to keep it that way without feeling dependent on after market mods thanks..

What is this custom "way beyond stock" gear YOU ARE TALKIN ABOUT??? . Look!!  ya get setup fore/aft balanced ... get your midline knee 1 to 2.5 degrees inside of  vertical when the skis are flat and THEN learn proper techNique. Why would you want to start handicapped.   This is not custom, this is just standard boot fitting practice! Nothing 'SPECIAL"!!!!!

post #25 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
 

What is this custom "way beyond stock" gear YOU ARE TALKIN ABOUT??? . Look!!  ya get setup fore/aft balanced ... get your midline knee 1 to 2.5 degrees inside of  vertical when the skis are flat and THEN learn proper techNique. Why would you want to start handicapped.   This is not custom, this is just standard boot fitting practice! Nothing 'SPECIAL"!!!!!


OK then what % of boots on the mountain under the skiers are set up to those requirements?  Would you consider that "normal" or "special"?  If it is so critical than why doesn't the ski school staff demand that the rental shop set everyone up that way when they rent boots? 

 

You're only "handicapped" if your particular anatomy is clearly abnormal compared to the general population.

 

If you can ski and ski well in proper sized performance gear off the shelf ( OK maybe custom footbeds since all stock footbeds pretty much suck hahaha) you have better natural skills than someone that feels way out of place without the custom fore aft alignment and canting... That is only my opinion though obviously. 

 

No harm in someone else being dependent on customized gear.  That is no skin off my nose.  I'd just rather pass and ski without it until necessary.

post #26 of 86

My boots didn;t make a return trip from the  Tahoe  gathering a few years ago and they were in my carry on baggage....don't ask its a long sordid story..... we went right form Albany airport to New Hampshire to join another group. 

 

I skied in as high a quality  rental boots as I could find matched to some rental RTM80's skis at loon the first day.  Granted not your specified stock high performance boots for sure.

 

It did give me an appreciation of what our students have to deal with in poorly fitted gear.  I skied, not the way I like but I still skied pretty well,  I still had fun then we went back to the hotel and the SO massaged my feet!

 

Now what about 'stock"  how about this.  My boot is an xmax 120.  I skied it two days before I had the liners molded.  Day 1 was the last day of the prior ski season and I just wanted to give them a go. 2nd day was the first of the next and it was not planned at all, just a call...we'll pick you up in 20 minutes were going to Mt Snow!.  They really hurt my feet at Mt Snow....it was of course 1st day in boots in 7 months too....

 

Then I had the liners fit properly with my current footbeds but chose to not have the shells done at the time.....partly because I held a misconception about how the shell molding process worked.

 

Anyway, my question to you is, this.   How stock does stock have to be?  the Xmax and probably the Vaccuum  Fischers are pretty darned uncomfortable before the liners are heated....My Kryptons were unbearable before the intuitions were heated....I tried....I cried....I removed them as fast as I could...well one....I never tried to get the other foot on! 

 

am I already running afoul of your idea if I have to heat things to get the boot skiable? 

 

The girlfriend last year got the Vaccuum boots and when her fitter was done with the process that comes with the boot price the boots were formed to her needs and could hardly be anymore custom.  But that is Fischers intent with that boot design. and nothing was added or subtracted except for foot beds to the boot.

post #27 of 86

Ok... So let's make this whole thing simple...

 

EVERYONE needs customization of some level at some point.  It is only a matter of deciding when it is appropriate to pursue it. 

 

Frankly, if I have an adult that shows high interest in skiing and is willing to purchase gear and get out to ski regularly I'm going to recommend having his gear looked at, for sure. Custom insoles, and basic alignment almost certainly. If he is not set up to be the best he can be he is wasting his money and both our time. He also has the potential of compensating with bad habits that will have to be unlearned down the road.  He's probably already spent more than $1000 on gear (not including the outfit, helmet and goggles)... And if he has a full day session with you, how much will it cost him?  Are you really doing your client a service if you aren't examining the equipment more closely? 

post #28 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j View Post
 

 

Anyway, my question to you is, this.   How stock does stock have to be?  the Xmax and probably the Vaccuum  Fischers are pretty darned uncomfortable before the liners are heated....My Kryptons were unbearable before the intuitions were heated....I tried....I cried....I removed them as fast as I could...well one....I never tried to get the other foot on! 

Well, full disclosure would have to reveal that I decided to toy with a little more forward lean and ramp thinking that would get me more out front on steeper terrain.  I glued the wedges from my old blown up Nordica comps to the back of my Rossi Cockpit Carve boots.  It's worked out OK but now I feel a little more up than I prefer in the park or on the flats where I ski switch fairly often.  I still revert to a different pair of boots if i know I'm going to prefer them.  So, there are pluses and minuses.  I still want stuff as generic and swappable as possible. 

post #29 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 


OK then what % of boots on the mountain under the skiers are set up to those requirements?  Would you consider that "normal" or "special"?  If it is so critical than why doesn't the ski school staff demand that the rental shop set everyone up that way when they rent boots? 

 

If you can ski and ski well in proper sized performance gear off the shelf ( OK maybe custom footbeds since all stock footbeds pretty much suck hahaha) you have better natural skills than someone that feels way out of place without the custom fore aft alignment and canting... That is only my opinion though obviously. 

 

No harm in someone else being dependent on customized gear.  That is no skin off my nose.  I'd just rather pass and ski without it until necessary.

Who made the ski school and the rental shop the arbiter of ski boot stance??? (now this is really dumb, the rental shop barely takes the time to put you in the correct size boot, and they don't have the time or expertise to assess stance  and why would they care? And they are certainly NOT going to modify RENTAL BOOTS!!! DUH!

 

You are digging yourself a deeper and deeper hole!

 

 

As far as ski school goes, any instructor worth their pay is going to be checking out his student's gear. I am assuming here you are predominately not talking a casual lesson, but a series of lessons where you are with the same instructor for say 10 sessions! But even for a casual lesson, the instructor should be looking at the student's gear. Skiing is a very gear oriented sport. And gear,  particularly boots DO make a big difference

  

Most "PROFESSIONAL" bootfitters are going to do this!  This IS STANDARD BOOTFITTING FARE! If someone goes into to buy new boots and they don't do this.................find a new shop!   

 

there are equipment issues that can seriously hamper a skiers ability to execute technique.  this is indisputable fact! Why would one NOT address these issues upfront. 

give the skier every possible advantage to success. if you stand on your skis and they are not flat to the snow in your normal relaxed stance , you ARE going to have issues executing technique. 

 

You have now taken this ridiculous theory to the point of being just ludicrous!

 

Simply set up your boots so that the midline of the knee is 1 to 2.5 degrees inside of vertical with the skis flat!   I think you would be surprised how many folks fall in this parameter on the hill!


Edited by Atomicman - 1/16/15 at 12:48pm
post #30 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
 

Ok... So let's make this whole thing simple...

 

EVERYONE needs customization of some level at some point.  It is only a matter of deciding when it is appropriate to pursue it. 

 

Frankly, if I have an adult that shows high interest in skiing and is willing to purchase gear and get out to ski regularly I'm going to recommend having his gear looked at, for sure. Custom insoles, and basic alignment almost certainly. If he is not set up to be the best he can be he is wasting his money and both our time. He also has the potential of compensating with bad habits that will have to be unlearned down the road.  He's probably already spent more than $1000 on gear (not including the outfit, helmet and goggles)... And if he has a full day session with you, how much will it cost him?  Are you really doing your client a service if you aren't examining the equipment more closely? 


Let's see, my main boots cost $30 delivered and had no marks on the soles, still had stickers on them. I baked ny own liners.   I don't own a pair of skis that cost me more than $250 delivered, with bindings, some in still in the plastic.  BTW, I mount my own bindings:eek  Poles are some won in a Dynstar Duals race back in 1982 and a pair of Goode Carbons that came from a thrift store.

 

It took me years and years to reach the level of skiing I achieved by the end of high school. I did have top of the line stock gear back then though.  I don't doubt that lots of people I competed against had those types of boot mods done and some of the people in the ski school I worked with tool but the director and nobody else ever suggested that it was something that I needed.

 

Brings us back to buying a turn or trying to.  yes, those modifications can shorten the learning curve and get someone skiing the toughest terrain faster than doing it the old school ways.  But, it also makes people dependent on gear beyond what I'd call "standard". 

 

What some call "bad habits" I'd call being more versatile.   especially of you work through them to better skiing without having to resort to gear mods.

 

 

Even if I did (might someday who knows) decide to pony up and spend quality time with the best bootfitter I can I'd still prefer to start making the major mods AFTER the liner is fully broken in and not before.  Call me crazy but I believe my foot will be sitting differently at that point. Many will let you keep coming back and shifting on the fly.  That is good.  Definitely OK to start with the custom footbed day one though because we want the liners to pack out around based on how your foot sits on that platform. Same may be true of the cant and fore/aft but I still think there will be some shifting as the liners pack out.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › What if we quit teaching that strong side and weak side turns need to be as identical and symmetrical as possible?