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Fore/aft alignment and adjustment

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

First thanks to the forum and those of you who take the time to answer our questions.


I'll start with observations then questions.


This season (season is now over) working at my local ski school the CSIA level 4 is observing back seat position - while I can probably explain away the issue with the reocurrance of a lingering lower back injury and while I have made some improvements one of the off season goals is back flexability and core strength improvements.


With the position observation I had descided to explore on my own if boot alignment was in the ball park (I have always wondered this). Reading SouthernSki article - Balance in Skiing is Critical and the section on boots in Ultimate Skiing (McMaster) I look at the diagram A3 (optimal forward leen @ Southern Ski) and using the self test from Ultimate Skiing

I find that with the femers level and maintaining the leg 'centered' within the boot cuff that my center of mass is more over the heel than balanced on mid foot.


The boots are Tecnica Mach 1's (120) (2014's), fitted & punched where needed, custom footbeds, heaters. While not perfect (specially when cold temps are happening) ( I have high instep and high arch, this area is always room for improvement) buckle 1, 2 are never clamped down, 3&4 are used in conjunction with a Booster Strap around the tongue.

My calf at boot top is around 12.75" and I use the 'standard' spoiler that comes with the boot. And I have good range of motion in the ankle.


I will assume for the moment that I am somewhat correct that by observing a center of mass over the heel I may find an improvement by making the effort to adjusting in a bit of forward lean.


While my ability of lower back flexabilty will influence this I am wondering the following..


I can and will experiment (off season) with redoing the test with a series of 'spoilers' of varied thickness to see how much I could/should add to bring balance to 'center'.


a concern that I have is ..

1) by adding spoilers does this not mean that the liner looses contact with the shell and the result that the heel and top where the spoiler is are the only contact points?

2) assuming that I can determine some sort of optimum spoiler - what would be suggested to a material to use? should this be tappered top to bottom so that it extends down towards the heel more that a 'standard' spoiler? Or should the spoiler be only say 3" long for example?

3) at some point, I'm assuming again, by adding spoiler you are now decreasing rangle of motion in the ankle. Is the fore/aft alignment better to be acomplished by modifing the boot sole or lifting the heel piece of the binding? (Skiis are Head iRace w freeflex pro14's)


Am I on the correct path or am I wasting my time?


Thanks for taking the time to read.



post #2 of 4

You are on a path, not necessarily the correct path but not necessarily an incorrect path either.  There are several things about equipment setup that can cause you to be in the back seat.  Bindings too far back.  Too much boot ramp or too much binding delta and perhaps not enough forward lean or also too much forward lean.  It is impossible for us to know what the problem is or perhaps there are several simultaneously.  


You are using a correct experimental technique by changing only one thing at a time. 


You are correct more forward lean will limit ankle dorsiflexion, but CSIA does not teach a technique that would ever require full ankle dorsiflexion anyway so I wouldn't worry about it.


Most boots come with removable spoilers.  I would have assumed your boot did.  If not any ski shop will have a selection laying around.  See one.



post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi Lou,


Thanks for the response.


Mike @Southern Ski had contacted me via PM and we talked by phone about a number of things but mainly pertaining to determining balance and position within the boot and then working thru the spoiler experiment.


Just to clarify, yes I have been using the spoilers that came with the boots.


You mension that there are a number of factors contributing to being in the back seat - I started with this path of exploration and figure that I'd start with the boots. You say that this isn't necessarily the correct path but not necessarily the wrong one either, do you you have a different suggestion?


BTW for what it is worth the bindings are mounted in the locations as suggested by the binding plates. I had thought once I experiment and see if the boots are 'close' I'd see if I can determine if the bindings are in the approximate fore/aft  locating the mid point (ball/heel) over the mid point of the ski (assuming that this is the desired location).


Many thanks..



post #4 of 4

The other paths are the other things I mentioned that could affect fore/aft balance.  Any or all could be out of whack.  But you need to experiment with one at a time.


The binding position marked on the ski is not necessarily the best one for you, regardless the boot centre is properly lined up with it.



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