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Questions on Stance Correction Options

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just had my stance assessed and learned that I'm 1 degree "out". I've always found it a bit difficult to pressure my inside edge so I'm keen to get corrrected if this will have an impact. The bootfitter doesn't do sole planning, so I have to decide on next steps.

My questions:

* How perceptable will correcting a 1 degree alignment problem be?

* Can shims be used with the Elan Fusion integrated binding?

* Can the boots be planed one degree without screwing up the boot-binding interface?

* GMOL has a good reputation ... has anyone sent their boots there for planing?

Thanks!
post #2 of 16
I feel a noticable difference from 1 degree of shim....

Boot planing is PERMANENT.... be VERY sure it is 1 degree you need before planing....

A few hints why it may not be (although the assessment can be spot on at the time)....
Muscles being tight etc can give you a twist in the hips (common).... this will make you appear not even in hips & hence standing as though you need alignment when you may just need a good massage & some stretches done regularly.... (don't laugh it's true! physios and I had big talk about that while they played at checking hip alignment... twice... long story there...)

Foot problems will lead to poor alignment in lower legs often.... Fix feet & no shims required...
By looking at me with no orthotics you would get to either
a)2+ degrees shim out needed on 1 foot & 1 degreeshim in on other- from on snow... OR
b) NO shim out but lots of weird cuff adjustment needed if you look only at my lower leg when boot fitting...
In reality I have 1 leg >1cm shorter than the other & trashed feet from that and multiple ankle sprains(no ligaments in one by physios quick guess playing with it).... Put my orthotics in and I suddenly have VERY different alignment needs (about 0.5degree shim if any needed... maybe I just need to work harder on strengthening my dodgy leg/foot)
Luckily my instructor had me not plane boots until he was really happy with alignment - which did not hhappen which is how I ended up playing with the physios & podiatrist to sort out the whole damn mess.....(work in progress)
post #3 of 16
Curtis, boot planing is, IMO, your best alternative. However, as disski notes, you want to be certain that you're measurement is correct! I'm assuming you're thinking of mailing the boots to GMOL instead of going yourself, but if you can go, that's your best bet: they'll do what you need right there and you can try it and see and then have it adjusted.

I would also want to know, were I in your boots (), whether or not your fore/aft balance and/or your dorsiflexion imply that you need additional adjustments. Again, a good reason to find a fine boot balancing/alignment specialist.
post #4 of 16
How old are your boots? If they are old you should look for a new boot that can have shims installed under the toe and heal pieces. Like some Lange's.

Can't your boot fitter adjust your foot bed and re-align the cuff to help you?

How far are you from northern VT. There are some great boot fitters up there.
post #5 of 16
BTW, you cannot shim integrated bindings, including the Elan Fusion system.

Plus, well-constructed footbeds can go a long way towards correcting this (for me, it corrected virtually all of it).

Also, you can ski with a few layers of duct tape under the inside of your boots to get a feel for if and how cants would help.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh

Plus, well-constructed footbeds can go a long way towards correcting this (for me, it corrected virtually all of it).

Also, you can ski with a few layers of duct tape under the inside of your boots to get a feel for if and how cants would help.
One degree is noticeable to an expert skier if they pay attention and look for it, it may bother a really good skier. A good footbed will help a lot and something as simple as moving the tongue of the boot to one side may also help...or a little duct tape and padding around the top of the boot to push your leg in the desired direction.

If you do correct the 1 degree difference don't automatically assume you are done....a correction can then effect the other side so check your alignment again, and correct the other side to finish the deal.

I'd go footbeds first and if you are within 1/2 degree...forget about it.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great responses.

A little more detail to address some comments and questions:

The alignment assessment was done by a former Masterfit U faculty member who specializes in foot orthotics. So the assessment was done after the orthotics were in place. But he really doesn't do much boot work. The boots are new.

The assessment confirmed by own suspicions regarding my alignment, I'm noticably bow legged, so I'm reasonably confident in the assessment.

And yes, my thought was to ship the boots to GMOL. Unfortunately, a trip in person isn't feasible right now. I'm in western Ontario, which is quite a distance.

SSH, I have confirmed Copper in March, but I'm hoping to have my boots in shape for local skiing prior to then.

Thanks again for the help. Any additional comments are welcome!
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Also, the bootfitter (really a pedorthist) adjusted the cuffs prior to doing the assessment. And I'm symetrically mis-aligned: 1 degree on each side.
post #9 of 16
Send a pm to Bud Heishman on this board. He is an expert (maybe THE expert) in this area and will give you excellent advice as to how to proceed. 1 degree can make a huge difference. I was off more (1 1/2 on one side and 2 on the other) and after he balanced my boots I noticed -and Eric DesLauriers, who was my coach at last year's ESA noticed even more so!- a huge difference in my ability to control the skis edge to edge.
post #10 of 16
Curtis, so your fitter is pretty confident in this?

I would suggest, then, that you use a couple of sections of duct tape under toe and heel on the sides of your boots (6 layers is about 1 degree, IIRC). Make them about an inch and a half long and about a quarter inch wide and place them along the edge of your boot in a location where they will contact the binding. Ski. Adjust the number of layers and feel the difference.

This would be a good test prior to having them planed.

BTW, there is no issue with binding performance; the boot doc will grind the lugs back to DIN.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks, SSH. I'll try the duct tape trick before doing anything that I may regret!
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I bit the bullet and got the boots planed, after trying the "duct tape" trick and perceiving a definite improvement.

The improved alignment, combined with the more responsive, properly fitting Dolomite Pro Z boots have totally altered my skiing experience! I only wish I'd made the move sooner.

Thanks, Bears, for the great help and advice!
post #13 of 16
I just had my boots aligned by Bud this week. I was 0 on the left, but 1 degree on the right. I noticed the difference on my first turn. I could even feel the difference when walking in the boots. I can't wait to get them out on the groomed to see how they contribute to better arcs. Last week we didn't ski much (ok, any!) groomed...

Terry was out even more (2 and 3.5 degrees). She didn't feel the difference, but I could see it in her first turns on a mostly groomed Chickadee run from the Cliff to the Tram. Very significant. I look forward to her first opportunity to really feel the difference.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
When I'm at Copper in March I'm going to take advantage of your instructor recommendations SSH , but I'm amazed at how much I must have been compensating for poor alignment and ill-fitting boots.

I can control my turns now with much more subtle movements.
post #15 of 16
Skiing is all about balance. If you're not in balance to start with, your skiing is forced to start with compensatory movements.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Skiing is all about balance. If you're not in balance to start with, your skiing is forced to start with compensatory movements.
And it is aggravated when skiing harder terrain relative to a given skier's ability.

For years (+30), I've skied with a standard setup despite a knockneed stance and I've learned to overcome that stance (by forcing boots out) for most skiing situations. However, when I'm pushing my ability on a given difficult slope, I tend to lapse back into the most natural stance which overweights the inside edges.

Recently corrected with a quick/dirty solution (Lange canted lugs) which made a substantial difference / improvement. This improvement was noted immediately. I did not have to "unlearn" my old habits of attempting to correct my stance.
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