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Stance Question

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi I was wondering if someone might comment on a stance question. Generally I am the type that just goes out and skis without trying to make a ton of equipment adjustments. After reading some of the informative posts on this forum I have started looking at the way my skis travel on the snow. I have noticed that on flat gentle grade hills I have a lot more pressure on the inside edges of my skis. Also, performing a simple 360 spin on my skis is not possible because my inside edges grab. I do some masters level racing and while I can get my inside edges engaged quite effectively, it is very hard for me to get the uphill ski rolled over on it's edge to the point where it is making a big difference. Does this sound like a stance problem? If so - what type of fix would be required?

On another note - what is the proper way to tell if your boots are too stiff? I just lost 20 pounds over the summer (170) and my boots (Atomic Race 10) seem a little stiff, especially on cold days. Is there a simple way to tell if they are too stiff?

Thanks for any responses.

post #2 of 18
Skimore, I think that least one issue you need to address is the lateral angle that your feet naturally make with your tibia. If this angle is a perfect 90 degrees, then a perfectly vertical stance will produce a perfectly flat ski on the snow. But we are all naturally built differently on this and most of us vary from the perfect 90 degrees. The fancy term for this is pronation/supination of the foot. It sounds to me that you have pretty pronounced pronation, which means that when you are standing at rest in sneakers, more of your body weight is being supported by the insides (big toe) side of your foot. (I bet that, when you step out of the shower, your footprint looks a lot more like a duck's than a chicken's, huh?) This would lead to the phenomenon that you are experiencing, and yeah, you have stumbled on the perfect test for it: your 360s, or whirlibirds, as some call them. If your feet are not naturally delivering a laterally flat ski to the snow, it will definitely show up in nasty collisions with the planet when doing whirlbirds. That's the bad news. Here's the good news: It can all be fixed with custom footbeds. Ask around at your area or among your ski-nut friends for a good ski shop with someone who builds custom footbeds. This person will be your friend for life. Here in Mass, I spent about $140 for them and had them updated last season for half that, as I got an instructor's discount. Go to it. I guarantee that your problem will not only go away, but that you will find your skiing to be vastly improved.
post #3 of 18
might also want to look into the boots cant's. I believe the Atomics have up to a 3 degree of canting on them, and if your cants have never been adjusted properly, chances are you are not skiing on a flat ski.
post #4 of 18


Good point, Manus.
post #5 of 18
Manus I think you might be confusing lateral rotation with canting. Any boot that is canted three degrees would have very limited use for the general public. In addition which way would you suggest it is canted?

JoeB, although footbeds are certainly part of the fix, I think you will find many boot fitters who will look at additional issues.

Simply from what you have desribed I suggest you find a reputable bootfitter. That is often more difficult than it may seem. Folks will say, "oh you must go to _____". Often times Mr. "fill in the blank" doesn't have a clue.

Go talk to your local ski school director and see if he/she has a suggestion for a bootfitter. It may be the case that an instructor on staff has an interest in bootfitting and can be off help. There are inherent liabilities involved in placing temporary cants between a boot and a binding, however, that is a great way to sense whether you need to make a change.

Start as low as you can with sub binding canting or boot shaving. There are various opinions about weighted vs. non-weighted footbeds as well as posted vs non posted footbeds. Lastly, cuff canting needs to be considered as well.

Often neglected are the impact of the Delta Angle, Ramp angle and forward lean of the boot.
post #6 of 18
skimore-workless, since you live in NY, get thee to GMOLfoot (http://www.gmolfoot.com/) and ask them to take a look at your alignment. The web site shows a few of their balance perspectives (http://www.gmolfoot.com/balance.html) and performance changes (http://www.gmolfoot.com/performance.html). I don't think you will find much more accomplished experts anywhere.
post #7 of 18
This is very definatly a stance issue. There is a simple test that most people use to determine this issue. Like letting go of a steering wheel in the car on the highway, If it stays on the road things are generaly ok. The test in skiing is simply doing a one footed straight run. If the ski starts turning simply because you are trying to balance on it you have yourself an issue. The severity can be determined with a like minded test. I could recomend one of 40 ski shops around the country that would be able to help you out. I am almost certain that if you are a relativly accomplished skier you can fix the problem with the correct angle under your footbed. It does not sound like an enourmus problem if you have been ski racing. You don't have to go and grind your boots right away. If you get your feet lined up inside the boots then go ski if you still feel you need something then look outside the boot.

Thought for the day. SKis and boots are inanimate objects. If you took a boot and clamped it into a ski and placed it on the snow, it would be flat on the snow, and I bet they would stay that way for a good long while if undesterbed. It is only becomes edged when we put the gear on our bodies. So what do you think the problem is? The gear, or how it attaches itself to your body? In this light where would you make the changes? Just becuase we have done things one way for 20 years does not mean there is not other alternatives. How much has ski design changed in this time? How much have we addapted our alignment ideas to the changes that have occured?
post #8 of 18


perhaps the guy might just be skiing in a slight wedge position

think about it

analyse the words in the post

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies. Just to clarify, I am not skiing in a wedge or anything close. It's just that I've noticed a lot more pressure on the inside of my skis. I ski with parallel tibias for the most part. It's just that I can't get a lot of edge on the uphill ski. Even standing motionless on flat ground, it is much easier to roll onto my inside edges than it is to roll onto my outside edges. I really liked what Mosh had to say. I think if I can find the time, I might go to a reputable boot fitter and have them take a look at my stance. This problem is not impeding my sking ability to a great extent and certainly not affecting my enjoyment of the sport. It's just a little peeve that's been bugging me and if I can make it go away - great. If I can't - I'll just keep hammering away. Thanks for the replies everyone !!! This forum is great.

post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
Manus I think you might be confusing lateral rotation with canting. Any boot that is canted three degrees would have very limited use for the general public. In addition which way would you suggest it is canted?
Rusty, I'm not sure if you are just using terms (lateral rotation) that I am not familiar with, but I was refering to the can adjustments on the boot where the upper joins the lower of the boot (and many of these do have up to 3 degrees of adjustment, this has been pretty standard accross the corporate lines however some offer -1.5-1.5 some offer 0-3). I am not a huge fan of canting the bindings (because it limits the skis to being defined left and right), so anything that can be done to the boots is a better choice (but typically a little more limited) in my opinion.

Now, I am no bootfooter, nor do I claim to be, but it sounds like skimore might be knock-kneed, since there seems to greater pressure on the big toe side of the boot (just out of curiosity, do your shoes wear out on the inside as well?). Personally, having a slight bow-legged build, I found (through boot fittings) that I have about a 2 and a half degree adjustment on my left and about a 4 degree adjustment on my right to flatten out my skis.
post #11 of 18
While I understand and appreciate Mosh's view, I have a slightly different view on your issues.

first the shaft adjustment misappropriatley called canting adjustments are for the purpose of aligning the shaft of the boot with the curvature of you lower leg (ie: pull the liner out and stand in the boot and try to get equal space on either side of your leg and the boot).

next, it sounds to me you are overcanted which means you are picking up an edge too much to soon. Consequently you are not getting enough edge on your outside edge of the inside ski in turns. This to me is clearly, definitively canting and needs to be addressed under the boot. the best way as you stated is not to put strips under the bindings but to plane the boots after which you can plate them with 7mm. lifts and still be race legal for boot height regulations.

You can quickly and easily experiment with duct tape. four layers of thicker mil duct tape yeilds approximately one degree. I would Start with 6 layers (1 1/2 degree) on the outside edge of your toe afd pad and the heel piece where your heel rests on a solid surface (not the brake pad). Ski it on hard snow and let me know what you think.

I'll bet ya a krispi kreme I am right!? :
post #12 of 18
Originally Posted by bud heishman
first the shaft adjustment misappropriatley called canting adjustments are for the purpose of aligning the shaft of the boot with the curvature of you lower leg (ie: pull the liner out and stand in the boot and try to get equal space on either side of your leg and the boot).

I'll bet ya a krispi kreme I am right!? :
The first time I had my boot shafts aligned, I was amazed at the difference it made. A few years later I discovered custom footbeds, I was in heaven.

Don't take that bet unless you are fully prepared to be buying some krispi kremes
post #13 of 18
I agree with all the insight given that skimore might have an alignment issue and should have this addressed if needed. But another thing that might be causing the problem of not being able to roll the inside ski over is tip lead. If the inside foot is too far forward, it makes it very hard if not impossible to roll the inside foot over. So Skimore, try pulling the inside foot back as early in the turn as possible and see if this helps get it rolled over better. Also, are you excessively countered? This also leads to excessive tip lead. You may need to square up more. I have found that this really helped me produce equal edge angles on both skis. Anyway, how about a report when you get a chance.--------Wigs
post #14 of 18
skier J

shaft alignment and footbeds are important to the overall picture I do not dispute however sometimes the grass is even greener! Don't be afraid to expect more!

I will stand solid on my Krispy Kreme bet!!

All the ski technique instruction in the world will not correct misaligned equipment! It will always show in your skiing to the trained eye from the compensatory moves required to make bad angles work. YES everybody can reach high levels of skiing without ever correcting these misalignments (thank goodness or skiing would be a dead sport and we'd all be snowboarders) but trust me....THE GRASS IS PROBABLY GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE! I have assessed well over 2,000 skiers and it is safe to say that over 90% have benefited from planing the boot soles.

Moving the knee with the shaft of the boot for the purpose of canting is less efficient and may compromise the relationship between foot, ankle, and tib/fib. foot beds are not efficient canting devices either. They have their place in the overall alignment formula but are not a substitute for canting under the sole of the boot and I can prove it to you sometime!

I like the glazed ones when they are still warm.
post #15 of 18
Cuff adjustments are not canting. Moving the cuff inward with someone who is bow legged will not correct their stance. It will in fact worsen it by preventing them from standing flat in a neutral relaxed body position. Adjustments inside the boot to correct knee to foot relationship typically rely on excessive posting angles and compromise foot and ankle function along the way. Canting must be done externally, and only after all the other aspects have been addressed. Orthotics, boot adjustments and most IMPORTANTLY fore/aft balance. Without addressing these parameters first excessive canting typically results and is less effective. Less than half of the people I see actually require canting, usually on one leg and generally less than 1.5 degrees.
While I try not to eat doughnuts i would think Bud probably has some coming his way!
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Great posts everyone. I will be trying some of Bud's suggestions as soon as we get some snow !! Actually, we have a little but I probably won't get to try it out until next week. Could you eloborate a little more on applying the duct tape? You say to put it on the outside edge of the toe afd pad and heel piece. Let's say I am doing the right ski first. I am assuming the tape should go on the left side of the toe afd pad and heel ? Is this correct? Do you have any pictures you could upload? Thanks for the advice everyone. Bud, are you gonna want the stock Krispy Kremes or jelly filled?

Thanks !
post #17 of 18
Here, here boot tech, thanks for your support.

Sorry skimore I am lucky if I can put a smiley face on the end of a sentence. But as far as the duct tape goes....If you are standing over your right ski, the duct tap goes on the outside edge of the toe and heel. This will take away from your inside edge engagement. Ski it that way, then just for kicks swap skis so the tape is on the inside to see how adding more edge would feel. It sounds like you will like it on the outside better. Once you have established your preference then try 4 layers or 1 degree instead of 6 layers.

Caution: don't keep skiing with duct tape on your afds for the season as it will smear and get sticky causing poor release.

Let us know on this post your findings. If I am right I will let skier j know he owes me some donuts. good luck
post #18 of 18
I have to say try it but the acid test is skiing.

Boot tech for you to say that any ajustment inside the boot will interfere with foot and leg function is so flatly wrong that I am shocked. Inapropriate changes can interfere with fuction but when done properly it can be the missing link between the foot and the boot. Even with the best custom foot beds you still get some amount of pronation inside the boot and all the boot shaving and cuff adjustment in the world will not fix that problem directly. Work from the bottom of the foot up and then go outside the boot. It is easy to agree with what you have heard before, I suggest people think for themselves and keep an open mind.
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