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Binding Ramp and Skiing Bumps

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
As part of Jeff Bergeron's alignment analysis/boot fitting, he suggested that I play with a toe lift under my bindings. He said that a flat binding set-up (i.e. 0 delta) might improve my skiing.

I couldn't raise the toe piece (couldn't get long enough screws) so I removed the heel plate which made the binding Δ flat.

On groomed, I noticed an immediate difference in my turns. Carving took much less input and short swing turns were effortless. I really loved the setup. That is until I went into the bumps.

Wow I was flailing around like a beached fish. Often in the back seat. Couldn't link turns even on a moderate pitch. After a while I got a little better, but never got back to normal bump form.

I skied with this set-up for 3 days and then had the heel plate replaced. My bump skiing was much better, but I really missed the carving performance.

Does this make sense? Can anyone explain this or pose a hypothesis?

Has anyone else played with a toe lift? What were the results?
post #2 of 21
Do a search on "gas pedal".
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
Do a search on "gas pedal".
Yeah I read a really good thread on that (probably the one you are thinking of). I was hoping someone had some thoughts more specific to my situation.

I couldn't believe how much of an impact this had on my skiing (good & bad).
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Jeez guys with all the pointy headed analysis that goes on around here and I can't get a couple of your brain cells to rub together on this one?

I guess I need to get me a nice shiny PSIA pin
post #5 of 21
whenever you alter your equipment, you need to alter your style.
don't fret the back seat, esp. in bumps. jeff's advice is allowing you to use more of the ski. if you wanna call this 'occasional backseat skiing', fine.
with flatter foot angle you have more available calf muscle absorbtion and a wider range of ankle flex.
work with it, don't fight it.
You think jeff can bootfit?
you oughta see him ski, coach and instruct.
we did all three together in the 80s. he knows what's up.
he's far more knowledgeable than what he discloses, here.
post #6 of 21
TerpSKI, what happened in the bumps? What is your approach to skiing the bumps? What are you trying to do when you ski them?

Here is something to consider: without the heel lift, you were very balanced on your skis as evidenced by the skis' performance on groomed. When you got into the bumps, you were "flailing around" and "often in the back seat". What might cause that?

I have some ideas, but I'd like to hear yours first.

(Note: my pin is only silver, but I may be able to help, anyway... )
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh

(Note: my pin is only silver, but I may be able to help, anyway... )
tearin' the ass outta me, esteban.....
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
tearin' the *** outta me, esteban.....
Huh? Sorry, but I'm not clear what you're saying here. Want to help me out?
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Huh? Sorry, but I'm not clear what you're saying here. Want to help me out?
i'm saying that was funny.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
TerpSKI, what happened in the bumps? What is your approach to skiing the bumps? What are you trying to do when you ski them?

Here is something to consider: without the heel lift, you were very balanced on your skis as evidenced by the skis' performance on groomed. When you got into the bumps, you were "flailing around" and "often in the back seat". What might cause that?

I have some ideas, but I'd like to hear yours first.

(Note: my pin is only silver, but I may be able to help, anyway... )
I drift (skid) the skis in the bumps. What I think was happening was that as I was making a turn (on the back side of the bump) the tips engaged and turned more than I wanted them to (and more than I was used to). My reaction, I think, was to back off in order to return to my controlled skid which put me in a bad position for the next turn.

Maybe I just needed to practice pivot slips with the new set-up.

Thoughts?
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
whenever you alter your equipment, you need to alter your style.
don't fret the back seat, esp. in bumps. jeff's advice is allowing you to use more of the ski. if you wanna call this 'occasional backseat skiing', fine.
with flatter foot angle you have more available calf muscle absorbtion and a wider range of ankle flex.
work with it, don't fight it.
You think jeff can bootfit?
you oughta see him ski, coach and instruct.
we did all three together in the 80s. he knows what's up.
he's far more knowledgeable than what he discloses, here.
I'm not doubting his advice, though in the end if it doesn't work for me it doesn't work.

I am also game to give it some more time, though I had 3 full days. I wonder if putting the heel plate back and lifting the toe would yield different results? I would think this would be a better setup for carving.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerpSKI
I drift (skid) the skis in the bumps. What I think was happening was that as I was making a turn (on the back side of the bump) the tips engaged and turned more than I wanted them to (and more than I was used to). My reaction, I think, was to back off in order to return to my controlled skid which put me in a bad position for the next turn.

Maybe I just needed to practice pivot slips with the new set-up.

Thoughts?
I think you're on to something! Pivot slips or their relatives (linked hockey slides, waltzes (Nolo taught me that one), telemark turns on alpine gear, garlands) will all give you an idea of how well your handling your soft-edging skills. I suspect that the change in fore/aft balance is getting your entire edge engaged instead of just the shovel as it was before. When just the shovel was engaging, the tail easily broke loose and skidded out. Now, it's not doing that, since the entire edge is engaged.

So, if you work on your edging skills to get them to the point that you can soften the angle so that the entire ski is free to drift, you'll actually get more control as a result.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerpSKI
I am also game to give it some more time, though I had 3 full days. I wonder if putting the heel plate back and lifting the toe would yield different results? I would think this would be a better setup for carving.
This would stack you more, which of course will aid carving. This is what he did with me when I was on flat RX8s with Markers. He also put a gas pedal on the toes of my boots (3mm? 4mm?). The Railflex and Neox bindings are flatter, so the gas pedal is sufficient.

However, it won't change the challenge that you're having. I think that's a technique adjustment. I wouldn't advise going back, given your experience. I would suggest skill adjustment, instead.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh

I think that's a technique adjustment. I wouldn't advise going back, given your experience. I would suggest skill adjustment, instead.
of course, nothing new here. read my first post on this thread.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
of course, nothing new here. read my first post on this thread.
Just stated differently. May re-enforce, may communicate more effectively. That's what it's all about, isn't it?
post #16 of 21
Fear the Turtle!!!

I've also gone through this. I used to have very flat bindings, but then I went to bindings that had a lot of delta. At first, I was able to get thicker lifters for the toe bindings, but then went to a different toe piece on the front of the boot that had more lift. Now, I'm going to try removing it and putting the old one back on. The toe tabs of Langes are removeable/replaceable, and they make a couple different thicknesses.

Here's what I think may have happened with you. By raising the toe of the boot, you made the cuff more upright. This makes it a lot easier to get to the front of the boot and lever the tips of the skis, making them engage a lot more quickly. This will make carving a lot easier. I would guess that if you watched yourself ski, you'd notice you are in a more upright stance. This is also easier on the body, since your skeleton is stacked more. If you have limited dorsi flexion, this may be a requirement for you. But I don't think this is an issue for you, based on your comments.

However, when you get in the bumps, and the front of the ski rides up the front of a bump, you have very limited ankle flex because you hit the front of the boot sooner, and get pushed to the back seat easily. In the bumps, you don't want that tall, stacked stance as much, because it offers less range of motion.

An experiment to try would be to keep the delta flat (toes up), but when you go in the bumps, loosen or completely unbuckle the top buckles on your boots, and loosen the power strap considerably. Maybe loosen the 2nd buckle just a little. If that doesn't help, you may need to find a happy medium between upright for carving and forward for bumps. If it doesn't help, it may also mean a limited range of dorsi flexion.

In my situation, I recently saw myself on video for the first time in a couple of years, and immediately noticed that I am too upright. That's why I'm going to try my boots with the stock toe pieces again (lower the toes). My guess is that it will have the added benefit of making bump skiing easier. It will also allow me to be more dynamic and have a larger range of motion in normal skiing / carving, but I suspect it will feel odd that it will require more movement forward to get to the front of the boots to pressure the ski tips. I'm also hoping it may have another benefit of keeping me from breaking my boots due to over flexing them, but since I'll be able to leverage them more, I think this won't be the case.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerpSKI
I drift (skid) the skis in the bumps. What I think was happening was that as I was making a turn (on the back side of the bump) the tips engaged and turned more than I wanted them to (and more than I was used to). My reaction, I think, was to back off in order to return to my controlled skid which put me in a bad position for the next turn.

Maybe I just needed to practice pivot slips with the new set-up.

Thoughts?
Terpski, try thinking of it this way. Changing your boot/binding stup has changed your lower body geometry, yet your networks and muscle recruitment patterns have remained the same. This will just require a little time for retraining these recruitment patterns. I think you are right on in trying some exercises that isloate the various movement patterns. Play wiht this and give your body time to adapt. I think this is a small version of what our body goes through in rapid growth spurts. Our geometry changes but the networks and recruitment patterns stay the same until we reprogram.

In ski boots, the more upright we make our stance the more our hips will move back when we really flex deeply in the knee and hips. In the bumps this could be good when used in response to terrain and pressure needs, but it is not where we want to live. When you find your self deeply flexed for these reasons then simply move up out of this posture as the terrain allows and requires as the terrain changes. This is effective pressure control in my thinking.

I think the technique changes will happen more naturally as the body aquaintes itself wiht your new geometry. Later, RicB.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Fear the Turtle!!!
The Turtle is taking it hard on the chin this year

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH

In my situation, I recently saw myself on video for the first time in a couple of years, and immediately noticed that I am too upright. That's why I'm going to try my boots with the stock toe pieces again (lower the toes). My guess is that it will have the added benefit of making bump skiing easier. It will also allow me to be more dynamic and have a larger range of motion in normal skiing / carving, but I suspect it will feel odd that it will require more movement forward to get to the front of the boots to pressure the ski tips. I'm also hoping it may have another benefit of keeping me from breaking my boots due to over flexing them, but since I'll be able to leverage them more, I think this won't be the case.
Glad to see I'm not crazy (or just suck in the bumps). A happy medium might be the ticket. I'll probably put in a 2mm under the toe this time and see how it goes.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by TerpSKI
Glad to see I'm not crazy (or just suck in the bumps). A happy medium might be the ticket. I'll probably put in a 2mm under the toe this time and see how it goes.
I went out sunday with the stock toe pieces on my boots, and generally skied a lower stance. We also had some fairly deep bumps at Whitetail. I found I liked the setup quite a bit for both carving and bumps. In the bumps, I was able to keep my knees further in front, which helped the balance in the bumps, but it wasn't all that drastic. I kept the top buckle very loose in the bumps. On the grromers and in the race course, I did feel like I needed to / could get the knees further forward, and more easily ski in a lower stance. I noticed this actually helped me because I was able to get more pressure from the skis to the snow earlier in the turn. It took longer to get to the front of the boot, but it didn't seem to be an issue, and was outweighed by the fact that when I changed edges I had more room for movement to get the ski's edges planted firmly in the snow. With the more upright stance, my vertical movement was limited because I would have moved back if I tried to flex any more because the ankles couldn't bend any further.

I think I'll leave the boots set up like this.
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Glad it worked out for you. Do you have more than one pair of skis? If so, how does your boot set-up affect different binding ramps?

There is nearly twice the delta on my Rossi turntables as my Tyrolia LD12s.
post #21 of 21
Your Rossi bindings are identical to my Look bindings. Yes, they have a ton of ramp. That's why I originally started lifting the toe pieces, then the toe of the boots.

I do have other skis that I ski regularly. I have a pair of 150cm skis that have Look ZR demo bindings on them. They are my wife's primary skis, but I use them for teaching and skiing with my daughter. They have almost no ramp to them, but it's hard to tell the effect of the ramp from one pair to the other, because the skis are so different.

I still have to deal with the difference in ramp angles because I made the change at the boot, not the binding, so the skis are still just as different as they always were.

If you make the adjustment to your Rossis, they will change character, but the skis with the Tyrollias will stay the same.
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