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Stance Alignment/Canting - knock kneed

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Last year I visited a ski shop for some alignment on my new Raichle Flexons. This shop had a contraption whereby a computer measured/determined proper stance while standing in a certain spot. The bootfitter then made adjustments to the boot to determine propert alignment.

If I remember correctly, the bootfitter told me he was adjusting the cuff of my boot. In all honesty, I didn't notice any difference. As before, when I'm all geared up, (boots/skis on) and just standing, I'm knock kneed. Shouldn't the alignment have cured this?
post #2 of 20
Cuff alignment will not always produce better knee alignment, it can help some, but the real goal of cuff alignment is mimic the curvature of the lower leg bones, i.e. tibial valgum or tiial varum. Canting is done between the boot and binding or through grinding the boot sole, so that you can ride a flat ski.
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by ski_steep:
As before, when I'm all geared up, (boots/skis on) and just standing, I'm knock kneed. Shouldn't the alignment have cured this?
Not unless there was grinding/shimming involved. The knees are moved into position by shimming/grinding the boot.
post #4 of 20
There are actually others ways of doing this and other things to check. For example, in your ski boots in a ski stance, flex forward. How do your knees track? You might want to try this in your empty shells, then in your liners in the shells with footbeds. If it doesn't change, the footbeds aren't doing much for your alignment.

When Jeff Bergeron aligned me this year, he did all of the lateral alignment with the footbeds. A little grinding to help with my splay. And a lift under my toes to lower my effective boot ramp. I was a bit of a challenge with asymetrical leg alignment. But, the difference was significant. My knees now track perfectly.
post #5 of 20
Let me see if I understand this correctly.

CUFF ADJUSTMENT is what you get with most ski boots: you turn that dial at the outside or inside near the ankle on the boot (double adjustment like this is not available on all boots)?

CANTING is something done with shims and/or footbeds? Its a different thing, right?

CUFF ADJUSTMENT: is this done to make the boots more comfortable (IE the cuff is adjusted OUT if your bow legged, and adjusted IN if your knock-kneed)? Or, is it done to try to correct your lower legs (adjust inward if your bow legged, and adjust outward if your knock kneed???!?!)

What I mean is, is boot cuff adjustment done to match your stnace or try to correct it?!
post #6 of 20
Your definitions are correct.

Boot cuff adjustment is done to have the boot cuffs follow your leg shape to the greatest extent possible so that leverage on the boot cuff will translate to tipping of the boot. However, as you'll find elsewhere on EpicSki, this isn't necessarily the only way to tip the boot and may not even be the most effective.

For a little bit of a trip down this path, check out the Great Boot Cuff Quiz.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by ssh:
For example, in your ski boots in a ski stance, flex forward. How do your knees track? When Jeff Bergeron aligned me this year, he did all of the lateral alignment with the footbeds. But, the difference was significant. My knees now track perfectly.
This aspect of alignment is ankle alignment, and has nothing to do with the cuff. I suspect that Jeff gave you custom insoles, which stopped the ankle from rolling when you flexed. Since your ankle does not roll, the knee tracks straight.

Try pulling the footbed out and just standing on it in your socks when flexing. The knee should track straight. Then try flexing again without the bed. There will be a difference.

The cuff is a different matter. It should be adjusted so that the boot becomes an exoskeleton and does not alter your natural stance.
post #8 of 20
BigE, I think that's what I was trying to say: fix the alignment first, then check the legs. I believe that fixing the alignment (what you call "ankle alignment" here, and which I would describe as foot/ankle alignment) may change the position of the legs, so until one does that, one should not adjust the cuff.
post #9 of 20
I agree, that's the best approach. Footbeds, before the rest of the work.
post #10 of 20
According to The Athleteic Skier The ideal stance is about 1 to 2 degrees "knock kneed". That is, the center of the knee mass should be 1 or 2 degrees inside the centerline of the boot. According to him (and Ron LeMaster) this allows the most efficient balance on an edged ski. This has worked very well for me and my athletes for over 20 years. The exception being when an athlete is really strong, then "neutral"(centered) works. Of course some WC athletes are canted positive(bowlegged) but look at the "tree stumps" they have for legs.
Of course the first step should be a good footbed. This, in my 20+years of experience rarely does anything for canting however. Witherall states in The Athletic Skier that moving the cuffs to bring the knees in (if there is enough adjustment) is acceptable in most cases.
post #11 of 20
Thanks SLATZ, I now understand why america's best bootfitters "who it fits" chart claims that the Rossi B2 bandit will fit parallel and knock kneed skiers -- as their cuff alignment goes way farther out than in.

I'm very surprised about the book claiming cuff alignment can be sufficient to fix the knee tracking end-point. Every time I've adjusted my cuffs, it's always been to try to get the ski flat to the snow....
post #12 of 20
i am totally for footbeds and bootsole grinding. footbeds are also a must. one thing that should be mentioned though is the incredible amount of lateral flexibility in the boot/binding/plate/ski marriage. i have been involved in the testing of virtually every combination on the market. some systems had as much lateral deflection as 4.5cm's and the higher you go the worse it gets. as BOOTDUDE said there is an incredible amount of grey area when it comes to this topic, everyone will give you a different answer. there is a tendency to over service things here in the states. not to say that it's all smoke and mirrors but dont get too wrapped up in a few mils here and there.
post #13 of 20
Pistonbully: What is lateral deflection-sideways play? Are you sure that isn't 4.5mm? I believe that 4.5cm is around 2 inches.. Which systems had really high play? Lew
post #14 of 20
To return to Ski_Steep's initial query (after a lot of good discourse). I wanted to re-cap for Ski_Steep.

Often bow-legs and knock-knees start at the level of the foot, and a footbed will help as SSH said, but more specifically a footbed that accommodates for any existing forefoot mis-alignment is important. For example, a rigid forefoot "varus" (big toe side up/floating) may lead to a knock-kneed stance, as the ankle and knee must roll medially to "plant" the big toe side of the forefoot during weight bearing. Appropriate accommodation for this in the footbed can help "true-up" non-neutral knee tracking.

Once the footbed helps set a foundation, then an upper cuff adjustment (the thingies located at the ankle area of the boot) can be performed, typically to "match" the angles of the lower legs (a la BootDude) in order to achieve flat running skis. Though sometimes the upper cuff can be used to "correct" knee positioning, it's not the norm--though this is a big part of Tecnica's Dual Pivot protocol.

Generally "canting" is performed when boots' upper cuff adjustment range is inadequate for a skier to find balance between a combination of flat skis (BootDude) and sound knee positioning (Slatz). Canting is done either with cant strips placed between binding and ski or by planing the cant into the sole of the boot. The protocols for assessing the need for, and degree of, cant is fodder for a whole separate discussion.
post #15 of 20
how important are these factors to an intermediate skier? im quite new to the sport and still on rentals as i have no idea what id like ... i also live a long way from the snow so typically only do one big trip per annum.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally posted by All Mtn Mark:
...Though sometimes the upper cuff can be used to "correct" knee positioning, it's not the norm--though this is a big part of Tecnica's Dual Pivot protocol.
Actually, I believe the Dual Pivot system changes the hinge angle of the boot laterally to enhance the knee tracking straight downward in the correct position. Although it probably does enhance the "cuff match" to the lateral leg angle as well.
post #17 of 20
Darb.net. These issues probably effect a lower level skier even more, as they have not developed the skills to compensate. It would be worth the money to get a copy of "The Athletic Skier." The whole process is laid out in the book and Witherall (sp?) is convinced that no one can reach their potential without good alignment.

I agree. I have been skiing for over 50 years. When I finally caught on to alignment and started canting my skis and working on my fore/aft positioning my skiing improved dramatically. Get the Book!! [img]smile.gif[/img] Lew Black
post #18 of 20
I believe angling the boot cuff outside aggravates pronation and causes the knee to track inward without increasing edge angle with forward flexion. I run my Technica Icon carbons with straight cuff alignment and a footbed to neutralize ankle position. I then run a 3 degree wedge under the skibrake ( a piece of hard nylon used in horseshoeing). The only problem is loosing the wedges if you release. I will eventually go with an underbinding cant. Canting has improved my skiing
1000%...turn initiation is so much quicker due to the edging achieved earlier on the uphill ski.
Also better edgehold on ice.
Before canting I had to ski knock kneed and tuck the downhill knee in tight behind the uphill. Even then I had too much ski seperation for effective mogul skiing. Canting has fixed all those problems
post #19 of 20
Badgerman, Is the wedge used to cant horseshoes? [img]smile.gif[/img] . I suppose orthotics help horses too. Doesn't the wedge effect the retention on your heel and aren't you misaligning your boot in the toepiece? Maybe I dont' understand the description, but it sounds like you may be messing up your binding function. Lew
post #20 of 20
Lew....actually the wedge is used to raise the heel on horses to relieve navicular pain....
I would assume there is some misalignment binding wise.....but I got the hint from a Telluride local who was ripping it up.
Since the edge pressure is coming from the brake area it might be changing the whole dynamics of the ski. All I know is that skiing wise it works great.....might not be the best for safety.
That's why I'm going to go under the binding next....then release should be the same.
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