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Boot flex...the more I read the more confused I get

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I would not call myself an expert skier but I'm very athletic and pick up new concepts very quickly. My favorite slopes are moderate to steep inclines with hardpacked ice or groomers. I love going fast! I enjoy jumping but typically don't spend much time in terrain parks. I can do moguls pretty well without stopping but I'm not that fast and start struggling and/or stopping between turns when they start getting excessively large. Chop isn't a big deal for me but I honestly don't really care for powder skiing.

 

I've skied on 2 boots recently. One was just a rental boot with a flex of 60 as I wasn't expecting to ski on that trip and was size 27.5. I was comfortable skiing it but it made my quads burn like crazy halfway down every run. I own a size 26.5, 100 flex boot with intuition power wrap liners and am comfortable with it as well but even that boot may be a little too big. I find that I have to be in the backseat more than I think is ideal to make that boot work for me at higher speeds. I also feel more comfortable with the powerstrap at the top of the boot fairly loose. With the powerstrap tight, I'm off balanced.

 

I'm sure some of my issue is less than ideal technique...no video to prove it but I'm sure I'm guilty of this. Does this sound like an incorrect flex related issue, poor boot fitting, or just a combination of everything?

post #2 of 8

Would help to know what region you skied in last season.  Have you pretty much just figured how to slide down hills fast on your own?  How did you buy the boots?

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Sorry. I live in GA but I take 2-3 trips a year to the Vail resorts in Colorado. I do know there are plenty of boot fitters in that region. I'm not a big fan of wasting a ski day while I'm out there but maybe I just need to suck it up and deal with it.

 

Yes, the last set of boots was an internet order. Yes, I've pretty much just taught myself to get down the mountain with the exception of maybe beginner lessons 20 years ago.

post #4 of 8

I'd say you really need to get to a real bootfitter, near a real slope, and figure out what size you are and if the boots you have are realistic. With luck you can keep the liners you have, and perhaps the boots too. Either way, you can do all the fitting in the evening, before dinner, say. And tweak them the next evening. So no skiing time lost. Win-win. 

 

But beyond that, a 60 is likely silly soft for you, unless you weigh 90 lbs. I bet you liked it because it absorbed a lot of input, both from you and from the snow, so you didn't have to adjust while skiing. The 100 flex boots, which may or may not be firm enough, work better when you have the tops loose because you're still backseating in them (burning quads), and again, by dulling the ability of the boot to transmit your movements to the ski, or vice versa, you're covering up technique problems. The Intuition PW's, which are fairly firm, also speed up the boot's responsiveness, which is off-putting to you. Have a hunch you're not backseating to make the skis work at speed, you're backseating as a natural response to not feeling in control at speed. Ironically, sitting back will actually make your skis less manageable, not more. 

 

So IMO the solution is, after you've gotten the right boots, to take a few lessons. It's not wasted time; you'll ski to the front of the line, and instructors usually know where the best snow and terrain is for your level. Soon enough you'll begin to expand your enjoyment of the entire mountain. Win-win. Again. 

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfw432 View Post
 

Sorry. I live in GA but I take 2-3 trips a year to the Vail resorts in Colorado. I do know there are plenty of boot fitters in that region. I'm not a big fan of wasting a ski day while I'm out there but maybe I just need to suck it up and deal with it.

 

Yes, the last set of boots was an internet order. Yes, I've pretty much just taught myself to get down the mountain with the exception of maybe beginner lessons 20 years ago.


Sounds like you are hooked.  :)

 

Consider reading these two Beginner Zone threads.  You'll see a theme about two things . . . 1) it's worth investing time and money working with an experience boot fitter, and 2) investing a little time and money with experienced instructors is the way to maximize your enjoyment during future trips out west.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/116467/buying-boots-what-does-that-boot-flex-mean-a-beginner-zone-thread

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/137287/how-does-an-intermediate-adult-skier-in-the-flatlands-get-to-the-next-level-a-beginner-zone-thread

 

I learned in middle school long ago.  Was a intermediate as a working adult doing a ski week every 2-3 years.  Became an adventurous advanced older skier after retirement.  Could I have kept enjoying ski trips without lessons or a boot fitter?  Probably.  But I'm very glad that I paid attention to threads in online ski forums and learned how to buy boots even though I live in the southeast.  I also learned how to set up lessons that give me the most benefit for my time.  Lessons are not just for beginners.

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfw432 View Post
 

I would not call myself an expert skier but I'm very athletic and pick up new concepts very quickly. My favorite slopes are moderate to steep inclines with hardpacked ice or groomers. I love going fast! I enjoy jumping but typically don't spend much time in terrain parks. I can do moguls pretty well without stopping but I'm not that fast and start struggling and/or stopping between turns when they start getting excessively large. Chop isn't a big deal for me but I honestly don't really care for powder skiing.

 

I've skied on 2 boots recently. One was just a rental boot with a flex of 60 as I wasn't expecting to ski on that trip and was size 27.5. I was comfortable skiing it but it made my quads burn like crazy halfway down every run. I own a size 26.5, 100 flex boot with intuition power wrap liners and am comfortable with it as well but even that boot may be a little too big. I find that I have to be in the backseat more than I think is ideal to make that boot work for me at higher speeds. I also feel more comfortable with the powerstrap at the top of the boot fairly loose. With the powerstrap tight, I'm off balanced.

 

I'm sure some of my issue is less than ideal technique...no video to prove it but I'm sure I'm guilty of this. Does this sound like an incorrect flex related issue, poor boot fitting, or just a combination of everything?

 

You likely don't have the right boots and the rental boots were worse.  If you travel to Colorado several times a year, it is worth getting your boots near where you are skiing.

Once you get the right boots, take some lessons as others suggested.

post #7 of 8

I have to agree with beyond and skier31. It's what us old guys who have been around a while have all learned. Do what they say.

 

Its amazing what great fitting boots can do. I keep my Booster Strap fairly snug, my boot feels like it is part of my leg not something that is attached to it. It takes a while to really ski in the proper position, its a big jump to really being forward. But once your there you can feel what the bones in your foot are doing and how it effects the ski. During a high speed carve I can increase or decrease the big toe pressure and feel the arch of the ski change.

 

Can stress how important a great boot fitter is.

post #8 of 8
Hunt around your house for a ruler that shows mm or cm and "zero" is right on the edge, not indented. Back your heel up to the baseboard of your wall and make a pencil mark on the floor at the end of your longest toe on each foot. Compare that length to your boot size. The boot shouldn't be sized in most cases longer than that, it might even need to be smaller. That'll tell you whether it's close to correct. My longest foot is 25.5. The boot size I have is marked 25.0, but that's still a 25.5 shell. No matter what liner comes in it (many will tell you there's no difference at all, including liners, insoles, foot beds, but let's leave that for now) eventually it'll compress. (Heat can help with that compression.) Now let's say my foot measured 26.0. It could be that I'd still want the 25.5 shell. Because the boot shell can be blown out a bit to accommodate some preternaturally long toe, for instance. The key thing to remember is the boot has to hold the foot snuggly to prevent it from sliding around, back to front, side to side. And you don't want to be accomplishing this by tightening buckles. I've many times unbuckled my boots as I rode the chair on a sub zero day and arrived back at the bottom of the hill and found I'd forgotten to rebuckle and never noticed a thing. (I get cold feet sitting still in the summer before someone chimes in here..). If you feel like you've got the right length, elsewhere on the site there is an article about shell fitting. You'll also want to do that. It means removing the liner from the boot (oh, joy) and sticking your foot in the shell to get a better idea of the fit.

If you do all that, you'll know whether the online purchase was a major error (since you can't shrink the boot) or whether any fit problems are probably correctable by a fitter.

Having said all that, if the boots do fit, start concentrating on mostly keeping your shin against the boot tongue (this isn't hard and fast and of course it won't always be right) to try and correct your balance. I'm no instructor, but working on that on increasingly steep groomers might help with that quad problem. I'm a sedentary old lady who sits around the house all summer and I never have quad problems even day one. Overall exhaustion maybe, but no leg pains. And I'm 100% sure I've got more "back seat". 😁
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