I am an advanced skier who skis 4 days/week during the winter. I am having trouble with my equipment, boots in particular.
When I ski on-piste, I am able to turn/carve, you name it, and am able to stay forward on my skis. Feel pretty decent and can get down everything in good style. However, off-piste or in soft snow, particularly in lower angle powder., am unable to pressure my skis evenly fore/aft. I end up riding on the tails and turning on the tails. Attempts to stay forward on the skis just give me a very unbalanced over-the handlebars feeling, and I find it very difficult to modulate the pressure on the ski tips. I am moving my hips forward, flexing at the ankles, and attempting to pressure the boot tongues, yet I end up feeling like I am standing on my heels. This feeling is exacerbated in bindings with any amount of delta angle (Marker bindings, Dynafits, etc.) so I am gradually changing my setups over to Salomon bindings with less delta angle to lessen this feeling. I have noticed that when I stand in my boots on flat ground and flex into them, my toes lift up and press against the top of the boot instead of down onto the ball, and all the pressure then goes to my heel. What is causing this ?
In attempts to get things balanced, I tried heel lifts, this just made me ski even further backseat as I attempted to balance back. I was getting significant juddering / chattering when turning on groomers from the uneven pressuring of my edges. I also have started to experiment with spoilers behind the liner to increase lean angle and this feels as if it gets me more on the balls of my feet, but modulation of pressure on the tips is still difficult and my knees feel overly flexed and I'm unable to absorb terrain features as well off-piste. Skiing bumps and such with that configuration just seems to throw me backseat as I try to absorb them. I also tried reducing lean angle with those same spoilers in the front and felt very backseat. Lastly, I tried shimming up the toes inside my boots. This seemed to help the most, and on one occasion I shimmed them up under my custom footbeds with EVA boot fitting foam and trail maps, probably by 5mm, until my toes were numb from the pressure on top from the boot. I skied powder fantastically! I felt as though I could pressure the tips evenly and stand up more or less straight and absorb terrain with my legs.
My question is - what is going on here ? and is something else going on with my setup or my body that is making me favor this extreme toe shimming ? What is causing this ? Limited dorsiflexion ? Extreme dorsiflexion ? I wish I knew !
The toe shimming within the boot is not ideal, because to get the amount I seem to prefer, I'm dealing with numb toes. Shimming under the binding toe piece is not ideal either because I regularly use frame bindings for work such as Marker Dukes and Salomon Guardians, which you cannot toe shim (as far as I know, please let me know if you know of a way). And gas pedal modifying the toe lug of the boots is not viable for most of the boots I use due to non-DIN toes, rubber soles, and/or hollow DIN lug soles.
The different setups I use are as follows, but I notice these same traits across the board. I also have very skinny shins if that makes any difference (as I know it can affect lean angle ?).
My primary boots - Scarpa Maestrale Boots 26.5 w/Intuition Liners (well fitted, tight, 1cm shell fit)
Also Black Diamond Factor 130 Boots
Tecnica Cochise 120 Boots
My primary bindings - Salomon Z12 Bindings (very little if any delta) Also Marker Duke, Tour F12 Bindings (more delta w/AT boots - definitely feel very backseated in these)
Please excuse this for being my first post, but this forum seems to be a great source of info so I thought I would join up and quit reading quite so much and just ask my questions ! I have visited a handful of boot fitters and they all seem pretty clueless on what might be going on and just start BSing...