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Mounting Position and Backseat Driving?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone

I'm getting a new pair of mantras,184cm, (that I haven't had the chance to demo) and many people have recommended mounting these skis 1.5cm back of the mark. I don't have any experience with adjusting a binding’s mounting position and its effects on ski performance. As I sometimes have the tendency to get in the backseat I was wondering if there's any relationship between binding mounting position and a skiers propensity to get into the backseat. Would mounting back make a skier more or less likely to ride the tails? How would the skis forgiveness be affected? Would 1.5cm even be noticeable?

post #2 of 10
I know this is not a direct answer to your question but it might be helpful. As a ski instructor I deal with lots of folks who have a tendency to get in the backseat. Almost always this is due to lack of ankle flexation in the latter part of the turn. Most folks when asked to get forward will try to bend at the waist - all this accomplishes is a crouched over position. Knee flexation obviously puts you in the back. Most backseat drivers are using too much knee flexation to absorb the forces of skiing, and hence they go back.

I ask my back seat driving students to stand on flat ground and try to flex their ankles. Most start by saying they can't - their books are too stiff and they can't move them. But being a slave driver I make them keep trying and loo and behold those boots begin to flex. Once people get the sensation we try easy turns on easy terrain standing up tall and using primarily ankle flex to aborb the turns. Bingo, no more back seat driving.

Anyway the point is you might be better focusing on your technique. I doubt that the mounting position will fix your problem, it might help a little but proper ankle flex will help a lot more.

Best of luck,

post #3 of 10
I don't think he wants to mount them to fix a backseat problem; he's more likely heard that mounting them farther back helps with float in powder and is worried that this will make his back seat problem worse.

I can't help much with the powder skiing, but I did try a few old skis with a farther back binding, and yes 1.5 cm makes a difference. I noticed it took more to make the front of the skis work from back there. It might not make that big a difference on modern skis.

What about adjustable bindings?
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
thanks for the reply steve. I definitely want to fix my technique (not have the ski fix it for me), and your comments seem to explain what I'm doing wrong. Sometimes I feel that I may be a little too crouched ( not on groomers, but on more difficult terrain). So I guess I'm bending too much at the waist as opposed to bending more at the ankles as you suggest?

I'm still curious as to the influence binding position may have. Oh, and I'd rather not mount adjustable bindings.
post #5 of 10
din0saurus (great name) we have touched on mounting position in several threads. I skied the Mantra from February through June this year. While others are talking about where they will mount the skis, a few of us (Harkinbanks, Squaretail) have been on them for a lot of vertical, and have mounted in the manufacturer recommended position. Mounted in the center position you can pressure the tips to bring a lot of control into your turns, or take a more upright position to enhance planing.

A rearward mount I think would be best for a person who wants to ski the Mantra in mainly soft to deep powder all the time, and who wants the effect of longer faster turns. In the rearward mount position, you are less likely to bring pressure onto the tips causing a sharper turn or deeper running depth. This is preferable for some skiers, but is not what I was looking for. I turn in steeps for control rather than let them run. You have to decide what is right for you.

If you have been skiing on skis with less float than the 130 mm tip and 94 mm tails on the Mantra give, your backseat position is very understandable. I was in the same boat. I was able to ski powder on narrow skis, but part of the adaptation was enough backseat to overcome the tendency to dive and sudden slow-downs in deeper drifts or denser wind deposition. Even in the recommended mounting point, you will be able to keep a proper stance without feeling you will be thrown forward. That confidence is all it takes.
post #6 of 10
srbarry raises a really good point that was discussed in depth by Pierre (see post #13) in a thread last April. Limited dorsiflextion can affect your position on the ski and your choice of mounting location. Certainly worth considering.
post #7 of 10
I have seriously avoided the Skiing Technique and Instruction fourm all summer. I get to involved and don't do my work.

Binding position of the skis makes a huge difference for less athletic or lower level skiers.

Most ski manufacturers recommend mounting ski bindings to far to the rear because they know that they will have fewer returns to the shop for uncooperative skis. Since 97% of all skiers favor displacing the tails to initiate turns, a rearward mounted position will complement that technique and thus the shop will see fewer returns. The trouble is this almost guarantees staying in the back seat.

The younger you are and the more ankle flexibilty you have, the more it doesn't matter where the bindings are mounted. The key here is how much comfortable range of moving you center of mass fore and aft you have while skiing. A skier who does not have enough range will feel out of balance before they can get over the sweet spot of the ski and engage the ski tips. They will be forced to displace the ski tails or just tip and bank to initiate turns.

If you are a young agressive racer that can move forward easily and get over the sweet spot then mount the bindings as far rearward as you are comfortable with.

If you are not a racer and find it impossible to get out of the back seat, then you no doubt do not have sufficient range of forward movement to get over the sweet spot of the skis. Mount the bindings forward of manufacturers recommendation. The minute your heels become light and pressure moves towards your toes you will immediately sit back in response and no amount of lessons are going to correct that.

Fore and aft problems are usually the only problems that you can quite often buy your way out of.
post #8 of 10
I notice some interesting things about mounting position while watching skiers who are on different kinds of equipment (based on mounting position). Skier who have a center mounted binding (meaning center, not recommended position, so forward) usually ride in the back seat. Those who have a rearward mounted binding, even if they maintain a neutral stance... are still in the back seat. The forward mount while it puts you up front won't allow huge amounts of forward pressure, beacuse there is less ski in front of you. The skier will counteract this and drift back because they can rely on the tail to make the turn - especially when carving. The skier who has the rearward mounting position will start in the back seat, and unless they are good at moving forward (racer like movements) they stand little chance of pulling their mass over the sweet spot. These are obviously two extremes, but if the skier knows how to find and use the sweet spot of the ski, it should not matter where you mount the bindings. If you know that you can get forward to pilot the skis if you mount them in the back - then go for it, but it you are normally a neutral to backseat driver, I doubt you will ever find the sweet spot of the ski unless someone draws you a map... not because of skiing ability either - just because it is not your natural position to ski in.
post #9 of 10
Good post by Greg. Modern skis are mounted a little more forward than traditional or during modern ski development. As the binding is moved back, it takes more flex into the tongue of the boot to keep the tip of the ski engaged in the snow. So, easier to get in the back seat. Along with flexing at the ankles as described by srberry, look at how flexable your ski boots are. A boot that is too stiff will also keep you as a passinger and not the driver, espicially after passing the fall line.

post #10 of 10

Originally Posted by Pierre
If you are a young agressive racer that can move forward easily and get over the sweet spot then mount
damn, for a second I thought I was on epicsex.com
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