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Modern alignment

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
From this presentation:

http://www.ronlemaster.com/presentat...omb-1-2004.pdf

Slides 11 appears shows an alignment with inside edge of medial compartment over the inside edge of the ski. I'm not sure what the intent is of slide 12. If I guess correctly, the LH picture of slide 12 shows that the aligment of slide 11 will yeild a strong force that attempts to supinate the foot. The RH picture appears to show that an alignment of the center of the knee over the center of the big toe/first metatarsal, yields a much smaller supination force. Slide 13 then shows NO supination force is present when aligned just inside the first metarsal. Unfortunately, it also shows a lifter, which confuses the issue. (At least for me)

Do these slides suggest then that modern alignment is not as far to the inside as Witherell's procedure would take it?

Can anyone clarify this?

Cheers!
post #2 of 18
I looked at those pictures and I don't understand what he is getting at. In general, you want to be aligned so that the loads are distributed over the entire surface of the knee joint (the way the joint is designed to work), rather than concentrated on one side or the other. I don't understand why the outside surface of the knee should have any particular relationship to the edge.

I'm pretty skeptical of anyone who says I need to align everything down to the last degree before I even put my skis on. I experiment with alignment on the snow from time to time, and sometimes I find I can improve my ability to move and balance, sometimes it gets worse, but mostly I don't feel a huge difference unless I make very large changes. I also think that different set ups might work better in different conditions, but I haven't experimented enough to prove that.
post #3 of 18
Presumably those diagrams accompanied a lecture, and unless you were at the lecture the diagrams don't tell the full story. The circular arrow possibly denotes foot pronation? And there's obviously something about the effect of lifters.
Interestingly, on the same sort of subject, Fischer claim in their catalogue that their Soma Tec boot ensures that "the skier's center of gravity is located exactly over the center axis of the ski, resulting in less centrifugal force. This ensures uniform, permanent edge grip..." They call this feature "OCF-Optimized Centrifugal Force"
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Presumably those diagrams accompanied a lecture, and unless you were at the lecture the diagrams don't tell the full story. The circular arrow possibly denotes foot pronation? And there's obviously something about the effect of lifters.
Interestingly, on the same sort of subject, Fischer claim in their catalogue that their Soma Tec boot ensures that "the skier's center of gravity is located exactly over the center axis of the ski, resulting in less centrifugal force. This ensures uniform, permanent edge grip..." They call this feature "OCF-Optimized Centrifugal Force"
In chapter Nine of LeMasters book "The Skiers Edge" he has illustrations similar to the photos you are referencing. The circular arrow indicates torque applied to the skiers’ ankle, the arrow pointing up indicates the force from the snow and the line through the skiers’ ankle up through the knee is the resultant. If the lecture accompanying the slide show is a discussion of the same chapter than I think what he is showing is how moving the knee to the inside of the turn (inclination) lines up the forces through the center of the ankle reducing the amount of torque to the ankle and I think to the ski. It would than be easier for the skier to make the ski hold.
It’s an excellent book that I think most of you techno peoples would find informative.
post #5 of 18
You asked,

Quote:
Do these slides suggest then that modern alignment is not as far to the inside as Witherell's procedure would take it?
I know that an alignment specialist in the Lake Tahoe Area (Jim Schaffner - see him under EpicSKi Master Footfitter Index) is aligning center of knee to almost dead center of the boot to slightly inside.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
So that would be closer to 0 degrees, as opposed to Witherell's 1 degree inside.

Thanks!
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE
So that would be closer to 0 degrees, as opposed to Witherell's 1 degree inside.
That's a pretty small difference. One degree equals less than 3/8 of an inch laterally at the knee. Considering that you can't precisely determine the position of the weight bearing surfaces inside the knee, and that the knee has at least a couple of inches lateral movement when the annles and knees are flexed, I'd say that difference is just about insignificant. That's why I think most coaches prefer to determine that stuff experimentally, on the snow.
post #8 of 18
Do not forget that ski shape and turn shape changed the day "The AThletic Skier " was published . Warren was preaching 1-1/2% and then up to 3 % inside or negative Q angle . These disussions on alignment always scare me. The base line is in a perfect world alignment needs are specific to terrain , skiis, snow conditions ,etc. including all of the day to day runnings around that are beyond our control. Keep an open mind and find what works for you. It may or may not be what will work for your buddy .
post #9 of 18
I had a conversation with Rob Worrell, who is now at Crested Butte Acadamy where Warren is the Head Master. Rob said Warren still advocates being "inside", that shaped skis don't make a lot of difference with it.
That has been my experience as well (again this year with my kids at camp)(I check them on the first day and make changes after I've skied with them a few days). One year PJ Dewey told one of my kids to line up with the knee centered. We tried it and it didn't work(rotation and chatter). The next day I put him inside about 1.5 deg. Worked great. PJ not happy, kid very happy.
I tried to have a conversation with Ron LeMaster about that when I met him at the coaches acadamy. He didn't have time but said it was more trial and error. In the Skiers Edge that's what he advocates. In the past he has written articles in The Professional Skier and The Nuts and Bolts of Skiing stressing the importance of being inside.
Aldo Radamus simply said "it takes a lot more strength to hold the edge if you're centered or outside". Look at the legs on the ones who are set up that way. I've put some kids that are really strong over the center. It works for them. Most I move inside. That works best for most.
There certainly is no one size fits all solution. It's a personal thing that needs to be worked out individually.
SnoWonder
Is that the Jim Schaffner that works with K2 and used to be with Salomon? He was out at Mt Hood last week. He had his daughter in our camp a few days. He used to be a coach at Wilmot over 20 years ago.(man, I'm getting old)
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLATZ
One year PJ Dewey told one of my kids to line up with the knee centered. We tried it and it didn't work(rotation and chatter). The next day I put him inside about 1.5 deg. Worked great. PJ not happy, kid very happy.
I am keenly interested in knowing more about this! How old are these "kids" you are aligning? Would you do it for 6-10 year olds or should the kids be older? Would you do it for a 4 year old? Would you recommend it for all abilities or just young racers?

I ask because some claim young kids need no such adjustments whatsoever, yet for others, it may make a huge difference. eg. last year, I put a heel lift in my daugthers boots. When I asked if she wanted to try skiing without it, she reacted like the world was ending! Can alignment of kids produce similar results?

Cheers!
post #11 of 18
I guess the youngest kids I've aligned are about 10. The kids I get at camp are usually 12 to 14. I do recall one instance where an eight or nine year old, who was quite uneven side to side, showed a big improvement.
If I find a youngster who is just starting out to be way off then I change them. Oterwise, if they're close, I watch them and try some tape if I see something.
Whenever I want to try a change I put 1" squares of duc-tape one the sole(half on the bottom, half on the side) at the heel and toe. Six layers is about one degree. It's easy to do and easy to change. Yes it does compromise the binding some but I've had some falls with nine layers on my boots and they worked OK.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks SLATZ! I am glad to hear that the kids you've aligned are older. IIRC, Witherell claims that it's not all that important for the littler ones.

I can imagine the problems that would arise if the industry started to promote alignment for little kids -- as if the sport is not expensive enough already!

Cheers!
post #13 of 18
Expense is a problem. I do the boot work myself and usually only charge for materials(lifters to make up for shaving or cant strips under existing sole plates) if I use some. (I do accept "tips" however)
While at Lutsen I had a conversation with the Austrian coach and a couple athletes about alignment. They said they don't do much with it and talked about the importance of "adaptability". I was surprised until I thought about it. They were all from Stams (Austrian National Acadamy). To get in one has to pass an orthopedic exam. These guys are "genetically aligned".
Certainly adaptability is important and most good skiers can arc good turns no matter how they're aligned(within reason) but first you have to figure out what you're trying to adapt to. It's much easier if you're properly aligned while you're learning it.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLATZ
While at Lutsen I had a conversation with the Austrian coach and a couple athletes about alignment. They said they don't do much with it and talked about the importance of "adaptability". I was surprised until I thought about it. They were all from Stams (Austrian National Acadamy). To get in one has to pass an orthopedic exam. These guys are "genetically aligned".
: I'm speechless! Imagine being told that you shall not be admitted to the school as you are genetically inferior.

Any of these specially selected genetically superior beings make it to their National team?
post #15 of 18
They were the "B" team. Martin Krosenrieter(not sure of the spelling) will be on the World Cup next year.
The Austrians only invest in kids they think have a chance of making it. Their pyramid is upside down. The kids are tested when they're pretty young on motor skills, orthopedics and skiing skills. They have to be above average in all to get in. My friend tried to get his step daughter in back in 1992. She passed most of it but didn't pass the skiing even though, my friend said, she did better than some of the Austrian kids who got in. One of the locals told him she didn't make it because she was an "auslander". She had been living in Switzerland for the previous two years and was in the top ten in slalom at Topolino that year.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
They are a bit Nationalist. Their current gov't consists of a coalition of a far right-wing party and conservatives. They also have a Socialist member of gov't. That would make them a bit Socialist too..... hmmmm... a little bit nationalist, and a little bit Socialist..... add a bit of genetic selection..... : Yiikes!!!

But enough fooling around, , I wonder if the kids in those programs really like skiing for the sake of skiing, or if it's done out of some kind of "duty"? Us Canadians are supposed to emphasize FUN first, then training to train and then training to win.

FYI: It's all laid out here:

http://www.alpineontario.ca/aim.htm

The page describes the problems that face the Canadian Development system. Follow the link at the end of the page to the AIM pdf. It's very interesting reading.

Cheers!
post #17 of 18

I'm still Happy.

"One year PJ Dewey told one of my kids to line up with the knee centered. We tried it and it didn't work(rotation and chatter). The next day I put him inside about 1.5 deg. Worked great. PJ not happy, kid very happy."



Not true. I'm still happy that you gave it a try and know that it didn't work. Knee mass on the seam of the boot does not always work but it is a very strong position. Those skiers who learn to stand in this position will be able to utilize the up hill edge effectively. It takes a more than just a few runs to learn this aggressive position. Skiing set up inside the seam is easy; you’re also over edged on the uphill ski in this position and will be unable to put much pressure on it.



"Aldo Radamus simply said "it takes a lot more strength to hold the edge if you're centered or outside". Look at the legs on the ones who are set up that way. I've put some kids that are really strong over the center. It works for them. Most I move inside. That works best for most."



That’s true. I bet the kids on the seam are faster.



"There certainly is no one size fits all solution. It's a personal thing that needs to be worked out individually."



NO DOUBT. Nice theme. If it was only easier to work out and athletes spent just a little bit of time trying to work it out we would see a lot more skiers coming out of the back to score.



I often set people (athletic/competitive ones) up just inside the seam of the boot (no more than 5mm) and have had great success with this position. Most important is that the legs match so that the trasitions are smooth. I never set someone up outside the seam. Determining center of knee mass is the magic.

post #18 of 18
If the shins are parallel and the knees are inside the seam then the inside ski has more edge angle and can make the smaller radius to carve two concentric arcs. This can also be done if the inside foot is back more and the inside ski is engaged more at the tip.
More than 20 years of working with this seems to prove the principals in The Athletic Skier work for most kids. I talked with Rob Worrel this summer at Hood, he's working at Crested Butte Acadamy with Warren Witherall. He says "Warren still advocates knee inside". 11/2 to 2 degrees works for most all except the really strong ones.
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