Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
Yeah. I ski them when we have really, really hard snow. It makes the skis very reactive, but the margin for error goes out the window. I'd rate them as fun to experience, but impractical.
Yup! that is exactly the issue Heluva. While the 160/170 is an extreme example it highlights the problem. When the boot is too stiff you lose the ability to get good fore/aft balance on the ski to absorb as necessary. With a too stiff boot it acts like an on/off switch (or hitting a brick wall) and it becomes difficult to be more subtle with the pressure on the ski.
One of the biggest issues I come across with Masters racers is trying to use too stiff a boot. I have seen significant improvements with several of our athletes when we have cut the boot down to a more manageable flex where they can actually get properly to the front of the ski, particularly critical with a modern GS ski.
I bumbled along for several years in a 150 Dobie plug, with booster strap, with pretty mediocre (and in hindsight, predictable) results till I ventured into a 130 Atomic RT TI. At first i thought I was going to be picking my nose with the tip of the ski but i soon realized it was translating through to significantly improved performance in gates and consistent podiums. I have since also cut the boot down slightly more which, contrary to popular thinking, actually helped my slalom skiing! But, in my continuous quest to stay ahead of the pack I piked up some 150 redster plugs at the end of last season to try. In late spring they were just about useable but at the start of this season I quickly found that they were too one dimensional - off/on - to work well for me so they have now been cut down to circa 130 equivalent as well. And for reference I am 5'8', 165#
NOTE! i am talking about forward flex stiffness here NOT soft in lateral stiffness. As all my boots are plugs the lateral stiffness is an essential given. And yes, the (real) booster strap (I use the WC version) is also an essential part of the set-up. The elasticity supports the progressive flex I like to be able to properly pressure the cuff. My last action before countdown in the gate is a final tug on the booster, with the top clip relatively loose.
I suspect that many people are using a too-stiff boot with a relatively short ski to basically "point and squirt" rather than drive the ski..... But, whatever floats your boat.
and as to the previous poster who referred to increasing pressure after the fall line .... really???? all you are doing then is applying the brakes......