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What flex are women worldcuppers skiing?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am curious if anyone knows what flex ski boots people like Schiffrin or other WC Women ski in. Are they skiing a men's plug 170 flex (I know it varies brand to brand so using Atomic as an example). Are their boots an off the shelf plug customised for flex or do they actually have boots made around their foot shape from the ground up which would need special shell moulds and so on.

 

My assumption is their awesome technique enables them to flex a boot much stiffer than your average advanced of the same weight.

post #2 of 7

I think the women use a 150 for the Slalom and a 130 for downhill racing... some of them at least. ran in to them on the Hinterttux Glacier last June and the US womens' Slalom team at Sölden last fall (Mikaele almost skied me over...)

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks Cheizz, now does anyone know whether these are custom shells specifically moulded for them or if it's a stock boot customised.

 

What with 3d printing evolving quickly I can't help wonder how long until we can print off a pair of boots perfectly tailored to our own foot/leg shape with a choice of plastics to create different flexes.

 

I probably should have posted this in Ask the boot guys to be fair

post #4 of 7
The shells come out of the same molds and are customized from there. There are instances where an athlete does not mesh well with a new boot chassis and the brand will produce the previous shell in the new color.

I also expect that at some point 3D printing will be the next big thing. The possibilities are quite intriguing.

jl
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOTech,Inc. View Post

The shells come out of the same molds and are customized from there. There are instances where an athlete does not mesh well with a new boot chassis and the brand will produce the previous shell in the new color.

Yes, like Shiffrin reportedly having difficulties in the Redster at the beginning of the 14-15 season, and thus switching back to the old STI.  

 

Or, alternately, as you know, when an athlete does not mesh well with either the brand's current or older boot, he or she will switch to another brand, which will then be cosmetically altered to look like his/her sponsor's current boot.  Same with skis.   Though I don't know how high up the food chain an athlete needs to be to be able to insist on this -- whether it's routine among all WC skiers, or whether you need to be one of the stars.  They generally can't do this with bindings, because they're the one product that can't be readily disguised (hence why Hirscher's use of Marker bindings made news).  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOOTech,Inc. View Post

I also expect that at some point 3D printing will be the next big thing. The possibilities are quite intriguing.

 

Any idea how close they are to being able to get the mechanical properties they need in a ski boot from a 3D printer?  I'm guessing that might be far off, but I'm not that familiar with the technology.

post #6 of 7

3D printing something the size of 1 ski boot would cost roughly $3000 per boot with an SLA process.  This is for quantity 1 'built' by a company that specializes in rapid prototyping.  SLA yields a pretty good part that could withstand some damage.  I am not sure how durable it is compared to a typical ski boot.  My guess is that it may have similar initial strength and flex, but the fatigue and temperature tolerance for the SLA part would be substantially inferior.  In other words, you could ski it for 10 days, then it would probably begin to crack or fail in some manner.

 

To make 3D printed boots a reality, you would also need to automate the engineering process - including optimization of each custom design for strength, flex, and mass (material thickness).

post #7 of 7

one boot company i know of will 3d print a plug (from a laser scan of their foot/lower leg) for the very best male and female athletes in their stable then use various lower and upper molds with plug inserted  to make the athlete a boot 

we're talking top 10 or 15 in the world or a special case

otherwise the top 30 will get a boot built using the stock plug but different uppers and lowers depending on discipline and/or athlete then when the boots are finished they get the current graphic screened on

some national teams will also have a company boot guy show up at summer camps with bags of lowers, uppers, liners and buckles and the boots will be built there 

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