EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › HELP! Ski & Boot Question
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HELP! Ski & Boot Question

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have two discrete questions:

Boot Question: I have a very high arch -- foot shaped like a woman's high heel shoe -- and a rediculous calf-to-ankle ratio (my lower legs are shaped like an inverted carver ... super skinny ankle with giant calf). My boots are Head Heat Fit 9.5's. If I buckle them loosely, I get a lot of movement inside the boot, and it feels unsafe, like I could twist my ankle making a hard turn. If I buckle them tightly (not super tight, no real strain fastening the buckles) my toes go numb and I experience a tremendous amount of pain along my lower leg, beneath the calf but above the ankle. In fact now, 24 hours after skiing, my lower legs are still very sensitive to the touch, like a bruise that hasn't discolored. I've had my boots grinded and fitted, but I still experience enough pain that I need to remove them after 5 or so runs. What should I do?

Ski Question: I rented the Elan S10's last weekend at Sunday River. I think the term for the ski would be "grabby" ... it kept wanting to get on edge and turn, even when I didn't want it to. It may have been partially attributable to the conditions, part to the fact that I am a horrible skier, and part to the ski design. But it was clearly too much ski for me, especially after skiing the past seasons on Rossi Cobras, which had a much more narrow shovel than the Elans. My question is this: I bought the Dynastar Omecarve 9's, and they have a 4MM WIDER shovel than the Elans. Does this mean that my experience with the Elans will be more extreme with the Dynastars???


Does anyone have any suggestions whatsoever to the issues above?

RF
post #2 of 25
For the boot go to a good bootfitter and get fitted and get a good footbed.

If you don't want to go outside of Mass go to Ski Stop in Westwood.
http://www.skistopmass.com/

I have had some work done there but my wife has had extensive boot work there because she has flat feet and some other issues.

I think some others on the board like someone down on Comm Ave at Bob's Wilderness or something.

As for the skis, anything with a wide shovel and shape would not have pivoted easily in the manmade conditions at SR this weekend. This would be even worse if you tried to skid them alot in cutup conditions. If you kept them on edge the whole time they would have been happy.

The tune could also have been very sharp in the tips and tails.
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RotoFury
I have two discrete questions:

Boot Question: What should I do?

Ski Question: My question is this: I bought the Dynastar Omecarve 9's, and they have a 4MM WIDER shovel than the Elans. Does this mean that my experience with the Elans will be more extreme with the Dynastars???

I'm not up to date on boot models but is the Head you are skiing a women's boot? Try looking into a women's boot (even if you are a guy). Most of the Mfg's are now making boots for women with the calf issue in mind. Also go into a good fitter and don't be "brand loyal" Spend some time (lots if necessary) and try them ALL on. Find one that holds your ankle and doesn't crush the rest of your foot or calf. Adjustments can be made with grinding, stretching, punching, etc. but finding a boot that actually fits your foot is a better start. Then only minor adjustments need to be made. After you find a boot that fits the shape of your foot, then get shell sized instead of trying on the boot. (The boot should feel almost too tight in the store. It will pack out)

Ski question, It could be a tune issue or ski issue. If the skis are "railed" it will feel real grabby. Also a lot depends on the tip/waist/tail ratio rather than the width of the tip. You can't tell until you put them on the snow. A lesson would help too. Most modern skis feel a little squirrly unless you keep them on edge.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys. I am "stuck" with these boots, as I am not going to replace all of my equipment this year. I suppose the Dynastars will just force me to learn to get on edge.
post #5 of 25
Regarding your ski question, as someone who is a relatively new convert to shaped skis after over 25 years on straight skis my experience might be applicable. Now I don't know what your ability is, but since your Cobras are fairly straight by today's standards, it may take some time before you truly "ski" your new skis as they are designed to be skied.

My first introduction to shaped skis were my circa '97 Dynastar Max Zero's, which besides being waaay too long at 197cm were very much not shaped by today's standards. I believe I thought I was carving with these skis, but in hindsight there was very little of that, I'm sure. Two seasons ago I bought a pair of early model Salomon 2V's. More shape, and I began to feel what carving and skiing on your edges is all about.

Jump to last season, when I tried several different skis of various shapes and sizes. My first was the Rossi 9X Oversize on which I really advanced my carving ability. If you're anything like me, when you ultimately feel the sensations of a carve at high speed, you'll know it and want to repeat it. The more I skied them, the more I realized I wanted a tighter turning ski. I went on to try the Omecarve 10, Fischer RX8, and Atomic C:11. Ultimately I chose the C:11's which have a less extreme shape than the others, but still carve a nice, tight arc with their 13m radius. I would have been happy with any of them.

My point is, don't be so quick to dismiss any one ski or, for that matter, your abilities. I'm sure I would have benefitted from a lesson, but I was too much of the mind "who needs a lesson, I've been skiing 25 years". But I think once you "get it" in terms of skiing on edge, you'll enjoy skiing even more. I know I do, and I'm looking forward to progressing even further. Just be patient.

post #6 of 25

Boot fit issues

I have the same type of lower leg that you do, large arch (my footprint is 2 pieces instead of one connected print) and large calf muscles. I used to have the same pain that you are experiencing with my Technica Icons, very sore below my calf, pain in my arches, pain on the top of my foot above the arches. I resoved the problems in two steps. 1) I got custom, cork footbeds. I was truely amazed at how almost all of my pain went away after a couple days on the foot beds. The support they provide is noticeable everywhere in my lower leg, from the knee down. 2) I spent some quality time adjusting and micro-adjusting my buckles. Pretty much fiddled with them at the top and bottom of every lift ride. Took a while but now Im dialed in, no foot pain (for the first time in my life) and I can wear my boots from breakfast till dinner without having to remove them for pain. Good luck on your mission!

-Pig
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
PowderPig ... thanks SOOO much for your reply! I am going to get those footbeds ASAP!
post #8 of 25
Definitely get footbeds. I recommend them for anyone, but they're absolutely essential if you have any sort of foot irregularity. If you went to a bootfitter and they didn't do custom footbeds, it sounds to me like they're not doing a very good job. Look around for a good bootfitter in your area (or at a mountain you ski at), and have them look at your boots. I would also suggest that you don't skimp at all on the cost of having your boots properly fitted.
As a bonus, the footbeds should also give you better control over how your ski acts (better transfer of foot motion to the ski), so you may find that you won't have a big problem with the skis. As well, I've tried skis with almost identical measurements, but one was very grabby and the other was not, so you may not have the same problem with the Dynastar as with the Elan.
post #9 of 25
Footbeds are rarely a bad idea but in your case you might want to be careful. A high arch is often also rigid and will not tolerate a lot of support very well. Make sure there is a Winlass test performed to asses rigidity of the mid foot and the footbed is made accordingly.

I'm not clear if the pain in the lower leg is in the front or the back. I sort of assume the front but again I'm unclear. If it's in the front can you trace a straight line just to the side of the tibia (shin) that is the most sensitive area. It could be inflammation of the anterior tibialis and the fiix for that can be several fold.

IF you pronate significantly footbeds may be part of the fix. If the mid foot is rigid most of the support should be focused at the heel to prevent undo pressure under the arch. You should also asses ROM in the ankle joint.

If you have limited dorsiflexion this could be the main contributor to tendon inflammation of the lower leg. If the bulky calf is pushing forward straightening or lowering the cuff of the boot will help straighten the leg and get you away from what may be endpoint of ROM. You can easily test dorsiflexion by standing flat footed on the floor and bending the ankles and knees as far as possible WITHOUT your heel lifting off of the floor. You should be able to bend until your knees are a couple of centimetres in front of the toes if a staright line were drawn BEFORE the heels lift. If you can't then that is likely the bulk of the problem.

As for the skis. First thing I think of is they are railed concave or otherwise badly tuned. Do not fear the skis fear the tune. Many skis end up on the hill even for demo purposes with tunes that are a long way from helping make the sale.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by L7
I'm not clear if the pain in the lower leg is in the front or the back. I sort of assume the front but again I'm unclear. If it's in the front can you trace a straight line just to the side of the tibia (shin) that is the most sensitive area. It could be inflammation of the anterior tibialis and the fiix for that can be several fold.
L7, I don't want to hijack RotoFury's thread, but, I would really appreciate hearing more on relief for the anterior tibialis tendon. I use a solomon X-Wave boot and it fits great....except after midway through a second consecutive day of skiing, the cumulative trama to the tendon in front of the ankle to the lower shin becomes terrible. I find myself retreating off the front of the boot. It has caused me to interrupt a week of skiing for a day off! Any suggestions would be appreciated. Have tried heel wedges, pads on tounge and Inst2Print inserts. Have even considered different boots (didn't have this problem with Technica TNT Explosion) Thanks for any suggestions.

Tom
post #11 of 25
Heel wedges can be a good start and heel lifts can also open up the ankle and get you away from endpoint in ROM if that is the problem. Also do whatever you can to stand up staighter in the boot. If you haven't yet you should remove the little spoiler in the back of the boot as that likely isn't helping. If you pronate footbeds are usually a huge help and maybe you should take your instaprint footbeds back in to make sure they were built with enough support. If you pronate badly and collapse in the midfoot it could be posting under the arch of the footbed can help offer more support. Standing up as straight as possible in the boot will probably be the most immediate improvent though.

Sometimes straining to stay on the front of the boot or curling the toes to hold still in a boot that is too big can be part of the problem. As well a boot that is too big, too stiff or whose flex zone does not line up with your ankle can cause undo strain as you struggle to bend a boot that does not line up for you. Heel lifts can offer some benefit for some of these problems but a new boot is the real answer there.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
The pain is along the sides and toward the back of my leg. I also have plantar fascitis in one foot, which doesn't help.
post #13 of 25
Thanks L7, the boots are larger than my last ones. Something about curling my toes to fit, endangered toenails and cold feet. I do notice that my center of gravity is farther back in these boots and in the new boots I don't have the pressure over the balls of my feet I was accustomed to. To move forward, I think I am flexing my feet upward at the ankle increasing the exposure of the anterior tibalis tendon and forcing pressure to the front of the boot. Too much comfort = poor fit in this case. I will back off the spoiler and focus on upright stance, then decide if these boots are workable. Comfort and performance in the same boot is elusive.

Thanks RotoFury for tolerating the interruption. Hope you find your cure! Maybe we should exchange boots, my pressure in the front, yours on the sides and back. What length were you skiing the Elan S10? Were conditions chaulky or icey? I have experienced tip grab on improperly tuned skis in these condiitons. It feels like the tip is being grabbed and turned up the hill. This can be caused by uniformly sharpened edges all along the ski, including tip and tail. Chances are a rental ski does not have the professional tune (de-tuned tip) you can achieve on your own pair.
post #14 of 25
[quote=RotoFury]I have two discrete questions:

Ski Question: I rented the Elan S10's last weekend at Sunday River. I think the term for the ski would be "grabby" ... it kept wanting to get on edge and turn, even when I didn't want it to. It may have been partially attributable to the conditions, part to the fact that I am a horrible skier, and part to the ski design. But it was clearly too much ski for me, especially after skiing the past seasons on Rossi Cobras, which had a much more narrow shovel than the Elans. My question is this: I bought the Dynastar Omecarve 9's, and they have a 4MM WIDER shovel than the Elans. Does this mean that my experience with the Elans will be more extreme with the Dynastars???

Does anyone have any suggestions whatsoever to the issues above? :quote

It may not be the ski so much as the tune.
This will be heresy for some, but I have had similar problems with grabby skis over the years and have solved it by putting more of a base bevel on the skis. 5 or 6 years ago I bought a pair of Volkl Vectris carving skis. I initially tried a 1.5 degree bottom bevel and side bevel. I almost gave up on them when I got to 2.5 degree bottom and side and I could not make a smooth turn on them. I finally tried 3 and 3 and absolutely loved them-had a banner day 24 hrs. after almost giving up on them. I still enjoy those skis for high speed arcing on hard or soft snow. SkiDoc, a very experienced ski tech, feels that this much bevel is way too much..... For me it works on some skis.

I do have a lot of curvature of my lower leg and have cants under my bindings. I have wondered if my tendency to overedge has something to do with this problem, which I first experieinced on some Rossi 3G GS skiis in the 80's. I would think that the canting would solve it, but it doesn't on some models. Also I have no such problem with my Volants, which are torsionally stiff and have good edge grip.

Anyway, my point is, I have been able to tame grabby skis by changing the bottom and side bevel. I have turned hated skis into loved ones!! I also have the tools to do the edge beveling and sharpening, which makes it relatively easy to experiment as long as I do it in small increments. So don't worry about your new skis. If they are grabby you or a good shop can work on the tune. LewBob
post #15 of 25
LewBob, consider, as a thought experiment, that there might be compounding of problems here.

Consider a ski designed for fairly immediate response to minor input, with a possible edge burr (Elan S10 in this case). Consider a skier that may have front-to-back alignment and balance issues yet to resolve.

Would this combination yield the experience cited?
post #16 of 25
Don't know, but it might. Certainly alignment is critical here. If Roto is overedged due to an outward curving lower leg or foot alignment problem, it would make any precise ski grabby. Burrs could have an effect too. The experience I described occurred after a fair amount of alignment work. Nothing worked on the skis in question until I beveled them heavily. I blamed my technique until an extreme bottom bevel made me feel completely at home on the skis. I would love the input of a really good alignment person as well as a tuner like SkiDoc.

One caveat, however. If I remember correctly, Warren Witherell claims that skiers like me who are inherently overedged never make it as racers as they have too much to overcome. They find other sports that come easier. A tuner who has worked with successful racers may not have experience with tuning for the inherently overedged, bowlegged skier. It is simply a problem that is not found at high levels of racing.

With Roto having boot problems, the whole issue may be solved by fixing fit and aligment on the boots. And the ski problem may be a non problem when he gets on his Dynastars. I just doubt that the Elan was too much ski for Roto-Fury. I am all ears for more insight on these issues!! LewBob
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LewBob
I just doubt that the Elan was too much ski for Roto-Fury. LewBob
LewBob is my new favorite member!!!
post #18 of 25
And who was my predecessor? LewBob
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RotoFury
The pain is along the sides and toward the back of my leg. I also have plantar fascitis in one foot, which doesn't help.
Well apparently a lack of ingratiating compiments has made me chopped liver compared to LewBob. Regardless I'll still contribute. You definitely have some serious stuff going on and the plantar facitis both compicates it but is likely caused by the same things.

A footbed could help a lot with the ankle pain and facitis but as I say care must be taken if your mid foot is rigid. You also never told me how your ankle flexion was.

It doesn't really matter though because you absolutely need to track down a very good bootfitter with lots of foot dysfunction experience or a medical professional and get things sorted. It will get worse not better if you continue to ski with your current set up. Someone needs to get up close and personal with your foot and it's not going to be over the internet. Geography also suggests it's not going to be me.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by L7
It doesn't really matter though because you absolutely need to track down a very good bootfitter with lots of foot dysfunction experience or a medical professional and get things sorted. It will get worse not better if you continue to ski with your current set up. Someone needs to get up close and personal with your foot and it's not going to be over the internet. Geography also suggests it's not going to be me.
A suggestion for RotoFury would be Greg Hoffmann & team (Green Mountain Orthotic Lab-Stratton) or Paul Richelson (Feet First- Plymouth, NH). Both are some of the best in the business and will cost money... but they'll solve the problem(s). And there are many others in New England. The forum is a great place to jaw about it, but only one way to take care of "bidness".
post #21 of 25
Ski Question:

Almost 100% sure form your descriptionthat it was the tune-up to me. Also could be your cuff alignment or stance alignment. As mentioned above a burred edge or an under beveled base will make the skis grabby, particularly on the type of snow you were skiing on.

The first time I skied on shaped skis (190cm Volkl Carver Plus) I hopped on 'em & skied fine immediately and I was coming off a 207cm Volkl P10 RS Super. They were tuned well.

Lew Bob: if you are comfortable with a 3 degree base bevel something is terribly wrong with your alignment or you don't ski on hard snow or you skid your turns.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
L7, Medmarko, and everyone else who has weighed in on this topic: Thanks!

I will try to track down a good bootfitter. I do not think there are any in the Boston area (Phil had posted a question on this topic recently, and he was referred to Bob Smith's Wilderness, so I will check them out, but they are more of a big all-purpose outdoor store, not a ski-crazy place).

I am going to Killington the first weekend in December. I could try to find a bootfitter there. I would like to get this done before the ETU.

Does anyone know generally how long this process should take and roughly what it would cost?

THANKS!
Joe
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Update: Based on the recommendation found on this board I am going tomorrow to see Linda and Phil Burgess at Ski Stop. I'll report on the experience after.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
Ski Question:

Lew Bob: if you are comfortable with a 3 degree base bevel something is terribly wrong with your alignment or you don't ski on hard snow or you skid your turns.
You would think so. But in fact I do ski on hard snow and carve plenty of my turns. I think I described the process I went through pretty thoroughly. I have had the Volkls for 5 or 6 years now and still enjoy them. Went through a similar experience with some 207 Rossi 3G's. I was ready to get rid of them when I read Seth Masia's book on ski tuning. He suggested a 2 degree bevel on the Rossi's shovel. Solved the problem and I started enjoying the skis, especially on hardpack.

I have gotten new boots and am working on aligment with them. I canted my old equipment using Witherell's methodology and didn't need to do any special beveling on my 193 PowerKarves or 190 T-3 Powers. I sure wish I understood what is going on, but suspect it has to do with the overedged stance I start with before canting. LewBob
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RotoFury
Update: Based on the recommendation found on this board I am going tomorrow to see Linda and Phil Burgess at Ski Stop. I'll report on the experience after.
Good luck RotoFury! They should do a very good job for you.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › HELP! Ski & Boot Question