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How to determine binding position

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
You suggested this but I'll start quickly. I use a Campbell Balancer and as you know have published research along with Steve Bagley and Alan Schoenberger supported by Nordica. I have been using the balancer for four years with excellent results. Can think of only three skiers that have asked to be shifted back. Results for some people have been dramatic and although I do substantial work with fit and balance I really think binding positon often has the most dramatic effect.

For those naysayers that may soon chime in and say the balancer doesn't allow for affects of flex and waist position, I'll agree. It isn't perfect, I just don't know nor have seen in print how to use ski characteristics in the equation.

post #2 of 6
Lou, great to see you posting here, especially with your extensive experience with the Balancer...

I have been thinking a lot about ski dimensions and flex characteristics and working those into the equation. For example, it seems that a rear-waisted ski would imply moving the balance point back on the ski. It may be possible, for example, to use the balancer, and then to look at the waist location and move the bindings a proportional distance in the direction of the waist offset...

Have you done any experiments along those lines?
post #3 of 6
I see that the thread was already started. Great.

Lou - can you address why some people have commented that the Campbell Dynamic Balancer (CDB) only made sense with traditional skis and that it is no longer relevant for modern shaped skis?

Why at this point in the retail industry, where service is such a differentiator, would a product like the CDB fade off into history? I would think that a service to "fit" you to your skis properly and determine your best fore/aft positioning would be worth money to shops. I can't find any shops in Colorado with a CDB - does anyone know if there are any?

Lou - I did read the Nordica paper published at Keelty's site. I'm trying to remember if the position determined by the CDB was compared to the position from a simple BoF calculation. How often is a BoF mount fairly close to the CDB?
post #4 of 6
Originally Posted by Noodler
Lou - I did read the Nordica paper published at Keelty's site. I'm trying to remember if the position determined by the CDB was compared to the position from a simple BoF calculation. How often is a BoF mount fairly close to the CDB?
I think Peter says that mounting the ball of the foot (BoF) over the midpoint of the ski running surface is a very good approximation of the Campbell balancer position (my opinion would probably place emphasis on the word approximation).

What I really wanted to say is that on the Head Railflex skis that I have, the +15 position on the binding is within 3mm of where Peter's approach of BoF/Center of ski would have put me. That says that the "default" mounting position (boot mid point over the corresponding mark on the ski) would have me 15-20mm farther back.

I also believe that is the reason for the love/hate evaluations of the iM75 from past years. If your style didn't really lever the boot cuff, then the default location had you too far back on the ski.
post #5 of 6
I'm another one for the BoF over the midpoint of the ski. I've played with several ski/binding combos on different skis that I've had and found that in all cases I much preferred the BoF center position over the recommended mark on the ski. This is based on doing on the hill adjustments of the bindings on the same runs/snow conditions. A couple cm's one way or another can make a ski feel quite completely different.

I was skeptical at first, but a convert now. I just wish that more manufacturers offered bindings with easy adjustable positioning so that we can fine tune the settings.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Lots of questions. I'll try to answer best I can. Oh and Steve good to see you are still around.

You would have seen the paper on Peter's site as I passed it to him after completed. It is also published in the 3rd Congress on Skiing and Science held spring 2004 in Aspen. Peter was also present as an interested on-looker during the testing at Snowbird.

I cannot answer definitively why people think shape skis are different from straight in terms of mounting position. Typically it seems that supposed experts in any field need to supply answers when asked and sometimes rationalization is the only way. Shape skis are different, therefore everything about them is different. But personally I've had people argue strongly against moving binding position even on straight skis.

Somewhere many of us, I think through rationalization came to accept that engineers design in the binding position. I was vehemently attacked at Snowbird by a very senior woman instructor and demo team member when discussing my ideas for the balancer research. She told me in very specific terms that binding position was designed in and shouldn't be messed with. This of course followed a conversation I'd had with director of design for Atomic who told me they used ski testers to determine position. And they used ball-of-foot/center of running surface as first mounting position for their world cup racers. Then individually tested from there. This was only 6 years ago, in the days of shape skis.

The balancer died because the inventor got tired of beating his head against the industry wall. There are still some in use, but the only one I know of for certain is with Steve Bagley in Snowbird.

I think it is reasonable that the balancer cannot be 100% and that flex characteristics and position of sidecut have some effect on binding position. At this time I haven't had time to do more research so I still don't know how to use the additional information to fine tune the balanced position. But I also haven't found it terribly necessary. In skis that are typically mounted rearward, the balanced position (typically within 1cm or so of BOF/CRS) is such as improvement that it has been unnecessary to go looking for more.

I have been using a balancer now for 4 years and have come to this opinion. When a skier is mounted more than approximately 1cm away from their individual balanced position it affects their ability to balance and makes skiing a constant struggle. Often they find themselves stuck in the back seat. Within one cm of balanced seems to alter ski performance characteristics but within a skiers ability to maintain balance. So in a shop environment if I can get someone to a binding position where skiing becomes easier and maybe safer, I'm happy and don't spend time looking for that last cm to alter ski feel, which is individual anyway. However, the experience in the shop usually leaves customers feeling comfortable with a little experimentation of their own.
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