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Boot stiffness and your ability to flex a ski..

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I have been thinking about this for a while and am just trying to collect my thoughts and seek some clarifications. It seems at the outset that you would like to have a really stiff boot so that whatever amount of force you apply to the tounge gets transferred to the ski and flexes it along its length.. That being said you dont want to be in a metal boot eithers as it probably restricts your lower leg and knee movements.. so here are a few questions

1).. What determines how one selects a boot based on its stiffness?.. Any things you can doo to see if your boots are too soft or two stiff?

2).. Do I tighten up my boots till they are really toight to my shin so that they dont flex much or should I be able to flex them a bit when I wear them?
post #2 of 35
Coug Im sure not an expert in this area or any other but heres what Ive learned in the time Ive been skiing which isnt forever but Im not a rookie either.

Youre correct that the boots stiffness will help drive the ski and that the stiffer the boot the easier to drive the ski but thats sorta general. If youre not good enough skillwise then the stiff boot will apply every one of your moves to the skis and if your moves arent on the money then the skis may misbehave and do what you didnt think they were going to do. So the real trick is to get boots that are stiff enough for you to ski them without them driving you mad by transmitting too many of your mistakes.

On how to close your boots the basics are like this. You should buckle the boots only tight enough to hold your foot still while you ski and if you over tighten them then you could have numb feet maybe even painful feet as well as a loss of feel for the ski and the snow which definitely is a bad thing even if youre not in pain or numb. The upper part of the boot should be snug against your leg so that theres no room between your shin and the front and between your calf and the rear. When you flex at the ankle and knee the boot should move with you and you shouldnt see your leg moving before the boot moves.

Anything beyond what Ive said here is beyond what I know and maybe someone else can lend a hand.
post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by coug View Post
I have been thinking about this for a while and am just trying to collect my thoughts and seek some clarifications. It seems at the outset that you would like to have a really stiff boot so that whatever amount of force you apply to the tounge gets transferred to the ski and flexes it along its length.. That being said you dont want to be in a metal boot eithers as it probably restricts your lower leg and knee movements.. so here are a few questions

1).. What determines how one selects a boot based on its stiffness?.. Any things you can doo to see if your boots are too soft or two stiff?

2).. Do I tighten up my boots till they are really toight to my shin so that they dont flex much or should I be able to flex them a bit when I wear them?
There is one factor to selecting stiffness: you must still be able to flex the boot. It should not be so stiff that your ankle will no longer move. You need all your joints to balance effectively.

Your ability, weight and style play important roles as well.

A beginner/novice/intermediate will ski far better if they are able to very easily flex their ankles, because they will be able to balance better. Once they are thinking about applying pressure to the shovels of the skis, a slightly stiffer boot is probably a good idea. The softer boot will make them move farther to acheive the same effect, which can compromise their balance.

A heavy person will more easily be able to flex a stiffer boot than a lighter person trying that same boot. That does not mean a big guy needs a full-on race boot. Remember, they do need to be able to flex it fairly easily, as they will be making balance adjustments, but not so easily that when they want to press on the shovel, they move too far. Just like everyone else.

Once the skier becomes advanced, other reasons come into play: they will want to select the flex of the boot to match the type of skiing they will most often be doing. Slalom skiers/fall-line fanatics want stiffer boots, because they want theirr intent transmitted to the ski quite quickly. Speed skiers select softer boots so that terrain imperfections are not transmitted to them. Same with the mogul masher.

And that too is very important. The terrain will push on you very intensely in a stiff boot. So, choose softer if you are into skiing variable conditions.

Hope that helps.
post #4 of 35
Would it be wrong to say that an extremely stiff boot is no longer necessary to drive even the stiffest of skis? It seems as though much of the flex we generate in a ski is a result of creating higher edge angles rather than leveraging forward onto the tip, as old straight skis would require. This is why laterally stiff yet longitudinally soft boots like the Salomon Falcon and Nordica Speedmachine are gaining popularity, no?
post #5 of 35
and all that is assuming a normal range of motion in the ankle in the first place. If someone has a small ROM, adn can't move the knee past thier big toe in the first place a stiff boot is better for them. They can't flex so the boot shouldn't either. large ROM = can use a sfoter boot.

that is after the right shell length, width, and all the other things that people already said...
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

A heavy person will more easily be able to flex a stiffer boot than a lighter person trying that same boot. That does not mean a big guy needs a full-on race boot. Remember, they do need to be able to flex it fairly easily, as they will be making balance adjustments, but not so easily that when they want to press on the shovel, they move too far. Just like everyone else.

Which begs a fitness question.

Should the heavy person then specifically train up to be able to dorsiflex the stiffer boot all day, or is there an assumption that tibialis anterior strength is proportional to body weight?
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the inputs guys. Kinda clears things up from a balance and feel point of view..

Plus I am getting a pair of race stock skis GS, which I found for cheap. I am guessing that I am going to have to really pressure the shovel to make decent turns out it.. Beng 140#s doesnt help either..
post #8 of 35
Higher speeds lead to higher forces. Stiffer boots work better with higher forces.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
Higher speeds lead to higher forces. Stiffer boots work better with higher forces.
According to LeMaster, Stiffer for Slalom, Softer for Speed events. That way you don't get kicked around.
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by coug View Post
Plus I am getting a pair of race stock skis GS, which I found for cheap. I am guessing that I am going to have to really pressure the shovel to make decent turns out it.. Beng 140#s doesnt help either..
Could actually be a very expensive purchase if they end up in the corner and not on your feet. A race stock GS is built to ski at professional racer speed. Good luck with them!
post #11 of 35
Note to Comprex: When we sink into the ski and thereby flex the front, we're not dorsiflexing using muscles, but from the body weight (unless you consciously lift your forefoot as you sink). So the T. anterior doesn't much come into play.

On the larger question, seems to me that while you want a boot that flexes enough forward to allow balanced sinking and extension, the real issue is lateral stiffness under torque. Our ankle roll needs to be transmitted to the ski Right Now. Problem then is to find boots that are sufficiently flexible in one axis and sufficiently stiff in the other.
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Note to Comprex: When we sink into the ski and thereby flex the front, we're not dorsiflexing using muscles, but from the body weight (unless you consciously lift your forefoot as you sink). So the T. anterior doesn't much come into play.
Ah, but what of the inside ski, when we wish to pull the tip back without weighting that ski?
post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
According to LeMaster, Stiffer for Slalom, Softer for Speed events. That way you don't get kicked around.
Yes, I've heard that before. According to this rational Bode's (for example) slalom Boot would be stiffer than his DH Boot. I guess for most of my years, I've never really pushed it at low (slalom) speeds. Maybe when I think I want a stiff boot for higher speeds, I'm really thinking stiff boot for pushing it. I know I want a softer boot for bumps. I can't remember too well what deep powder is like, but I'm guessing softer there too.

How do you think it translates to free-skiing? Would you want a stiffer boot for small radius turns at 35 mph than long radius turns at 70 mph?
post #14 of 35
I am not expert on the subject, but it seems to me that the stiffness of your boot has nothing to do with how much your ski flexes, but rather where it flexes. The flex is determined by how much energy you put into the ski from your weight as amplified by your momentum. I think stiffer boots allow you to transfer the pressure to your tips more easily and accurately, but they don't add to the overall flexing of the ski. Newer model skis don't require so much tip pressure, so you don't need as stiff a boot as you used to in order to achieve the same result. If you are standing on the flat with your knees bent and throw yourself into the front of your boots your ski will not flex more than when you are just standing on it, unless you stand straight up and jackknife the tails off the snow
post #15 of 35
Comprex: Inside ski, hmmm? Well, I agree that we may want to unweight the tip, but I don't think we do it by firing the T. anterior as much as we do it, again, by shifts in the CM and a more passive reduction in joint angle at the ankle and knee. But I'm not a former racer or current instructor, so can't say for sure.

I do know anatomy, though, and I know that the T. anterior supinates as it dorsiflexes, because of its point of attachment. The main effect of firing it consciously will be to mildly supinate the boot, eg, weight the outside, and thus the edge of the inside ski closest to the center of the turn radius. But it's a small muscle, and I don't see how building it up will make much of an impact, compared to the force generated by rolling the ankles. Which involves different muscles.
post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Could actually be a very expensive purchase if they end up in the corner and not on your feet. A race stock GS is built to ski at professional racer speed. Good luck with them!
Yeah well I figured at least its not too expensive and I like speed ( dont we all). I am curious to see how it feels..


Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
I am not expert on the subject, but it seems to me that the stiffness of your boot has nothing to do with how much your ski flexes, but rather where it flexes. The flex is determined by how much energy you put into the ski from your weight as amplified by your momentum. I think stiffer boots allow you to transfer the pressure to your tips more easily and accurately, but they don't add to the overall flexing of the ski. Newer model skis don't require so much tip pressure, so you don't need as stiff a boot as you used to in order to achieve the same result. If you are standing on the flat with your knees bent and throw yourself into the front of your boots your ski will not flex more than when you are just standing on it, unless you stand straight up and jackknife the tails off the snow
Hmm.. Here was my reasoning as to why boot flex would reduce ski flex..Lets assume a really laterally stiff ski..Say you are in a turn, on an edge, in a neutral position.

If you have a flexible boot and you apply pressure, through dorsiflexion or weight shift, and your boots flexes, then some amount of energy is absorbed by the boot. Lets say x% of the total energy is stored in the boot. Once its stops flexing then any extra pressure you apply through the boot, gets transferred to the ski, bending it longitudanally..

If you had a rigid boot, it wouldnt absorb that x% of energy and assuming that you can exert the same amount of overall force, you will bend your ski more..
post #17 of 35
I like the instant response of a stiff boot. When I want to put X pounds of force to the ski tip NOW, I push the boot, the boot pushes the ski. With a softer boot, I push the boot, it does not deliver X pounds of force to the boot until it has flexed and I have moved it a sufficient amount to be resisting the movement with X pounds of force. This results in a delay.
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by coug View Post
Hmm.. Here was my reasoning as to why boot flex would reduce ski flex..Lets assume a really laterally stiff ski..Say you are in a turn, on an edge, in a neutral position.

If you have a flexible boot and you apply pressure, through dorsiflexion or weight shift, and your boots flexes, then some amount of energy is absorbed by the boot. Lets say x% of the total energy is stored in the boot. Once its stops flexing then any extra pressure you apply through the boot, gets transferred to the ski, bending it longitudanally..

If you had a rigid boot, it wouldnt absorb that x% of energy and assuming that you can exert the same amount of overall force, you will bend your ski more..
I am no physics major, but I thought energy is never lost. A soft boot does not absorb energy, it just fails to transfer it from the middle of the ski to the tip as fast as a stiffer boot. You flex your ankle just a little in a soft boot but is does not move the energy your weight/momentum is putting into the ski to the front of the ski, so you do not feel an effect, but it does not dissapate that total amount of energy.

I agree that boot flex reduces ski flex in the front of the ski where most of the steering occurs, but I think in any given situation you only have so much energy (flex) to work with. In your example: "a really laterally stiff ski..Say you are in a turn, on an edge, in a neutral position" the ski is flexing evenly. Doesn't the stiffness of your boot just determine how effectively you can move some or all of that flex (engery) to the tip?

If my thinking is correct, you do not create ski flex by the force of moving your ankle and flexing the boot, that motion simply changes the vectors to move all of the engery going into the ski to the tip where is does some steering by flexing it.

We may just be talking about the same thing from different perspectives.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
How do you think it translates to free-skiing? Would you want a stiffer boot for small radius turns at 35 mph than long radius turns at 70 mph?
Definately. After all: who da man? You or the hill? You are when you dictate just how wildly tight those 35 mph turns are gonna be. The hill is when you hit a series of 6" rollers at 70 mph.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
I like the instant response of a stiff boot. When I want to put X pounds of force to the ski tip NOW, I push the boot, the boot pushes the ski. With a softer boot, I push the boot, it does not deliver X pounds of force to the boot until it has flexed and I have moved it a sufficient amount to be resisting the movement with X pounds of force. This results in a delay.
Well clearly you need to ski WAY faster.....
post #21 of 35
I know one thing my gotamas are way to big to be skied on the soft tongue with me kyrptons. Also off trai lskiing is nearly impossiable with soft boots...
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
There is one factor to selecting stiffness: you must still be able to flex the boot. It should not be so stiff that your ankle will no longer move. You need all your joints to balance effectively.

Your ability, weight and style play important roles as well.

A beginner/novice/intermediate will ski far better if they are able to very easily flex their ankles, because they will be able to balance better. Once they are thinking about applying pressure to the shovels of the skis, a slightly stiffer boot is probably a good idea. The softer boot will make them move farther to acheive the same effect, which can compromise their balance.

A heavy person will more easily be able to flex a stiffer boot than a lighter person trying that same boot. That does not mean a big guy needs a full-on race boot. Remember, they do need to be able to flex it fairly easily, as they will be making balance adjustments, but not so easily that when they want to press on the shovel, they move too far. Just like everyone else.

Once the skier becomes advanced, other reasons come into play: they will want to select the flex of the boot to match the type of skiing they will most often be doing. Slalom skiers/fall-line fanatics want stiffer boots, because they want theirr intent transmitted to the ski quite quickly. Speed skiers select softer boots so that terrain imperfections are not transmitted to them. Same with the mogul masher.

And that too is very important. The terrain will push on you very intensely in a stiff boot. So, choose softer if you are into skiing variable conditions.

Hope that helps.
Just popped in here, I do not claim to be a know it all about boots, but I would like to share what I think I know here.

Big E, I agree with pretty much everything you said here except the first paragraph. I do not agree that you need to be able to use the whole range of your ankle flexion to ski in balance. I believe as your balancing skills improve the time it takes you to detect and adjust for imbalances decreases and a stiffer boot allows more accuracy. I believe that a stiffer boot for a skilled skier also allows them to recover from imbalances quicker because they have something more substantial to push against to recover. Elite skiers are able to compensate in their balancing movements for the limited ankle flexion available in a stiffer boot using their other joints and arms. These movements are not the same movements they would make sans boots.

I do believe what you said in the first paragraph applies to a beginner or less skilled skier as their balancing movements are larger and less accurate and a stiffer boot would penalize these gross movements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
and all that is assuming a normal range of motion in the ankle in the first place. If someone has a small ROM, adn can't move the knee past thier big toe in the first place a stiff boot is better for them. They can't flex so the boot shouldn't either. large ROM = can use a sfoter boot.

that is after the right shell length, width, and all the other things that people already said...
I concur!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takecontrol618 View Post
Would it be wrong to say that an extremely stiff boot is no longer necessary to drive even the stiffest of skis? It seems as though much of the flex we generate in a ski is a result of creating higher edge angles rather than leveraging forward onto the tip, as old straight skis would require. This is why laterally stiff yet longitudinally soft boots like the Salomon Falcon and Nordica Speedmachine are gaining popularity, no?
I think you have a valid point for the average recreational skier, though a higer level skier who has very accurate balancing skills will still prefer a stiffer boot.

A very important note about boot stiffness!! Using a stiffer boot that is properly balanced on both the lateral and fore/aft planes is very rewarding to a skilled skier BUT a stiffer boot that is misaligned or places a skier in an unbalance neutral position will cause more difficulty than a much softer boot that is misaligned. This, I believe is a very important distinction to make because softer flexing boots help mask improper alignment issues. This being said, It makes sense that many who prefer a softer boot would probably appreciate a slightly stiffer boot if that boot was properly aligned to eliminate the need for any compensatory movements that a softer boot allows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coug View Post
Thanks for the inputs guys. Kinda clears things up from a balance and feel point of view..

Plus I am getting a pair of race stock skis GS, which I found for cheap. I am guessing that I am going to have to really pressure the shovel to make decent turns out it.. Beng 140#s doesnt help either..
I have always found that race stock skis are actually easier, not more difficult, to ski than production skis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
According to LeMaster, Stiffer for Slalom, Softer for Speed events. That way you don't get kicked around.
This still makes sense to me. Since most of us only have one pair of boots to work with it makes sense to adjust the buckle tension for the task. In general I tend to buckle tighter as the snow gets firmer or I am skiing groomers or even terrain and looser as the snow is softer or I am skiing more uneven terrain.

Again these are only my opinions.

b
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Comprex: Inside ski, hmmm? Well, I agree that we may want to unweight the tip, but I don't think we do it by firing the T. anterior as much as we do it, again, by shifts in the CM and a more passive reduction in joint angle at the ankle and knee. But I'm not a former racer or current instructor, so can't say for sure.

I do know anatomy, though, and I know that the T. anterior supinates as it dorsiflexes, because of its point of attachment. The main effect of firing it consciously will be to mildly supinate the boot, eg, weight the outside, and thus the edge of the inside ski closest to the center of the turn radius. But it's a small muscle, and I don't see how building it up will make much of an impact, compared to the force generated by rolling the ankles. Which involves different muscles.
beyond, agreed with the above, my confusion arises when the CM is already lined up to pressure the outside ski.



Agreed that, if we pull back the white ski, that ankle needs to close?

So, to pull the white ski back we have a bit of a problem: the forward displacement of CM that flexes the black ski boot is not available to flex the white ski boot unless we attempt
a) early weight shift to the inside (which messes up the black ski edge set and all the angulation/banking we've done so far).
b) wedging the ski backwards from the hip so that the ankle is passively closed by white ski tip pressure against the snow (which may be a braking move)
c) dorsiflexion (and correction for over-supination by -reverse- ankle roll).

You see my confusion?
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
Also off trai lskiing is nearly impossiable with soft boots...
I strongly disagree. Off-trail skiing with long, stiff skis with limited sidecut might be more difficult (because it's tough to force the skis where you want them to go, which I noted when attempting to turn my 188cm 9S's), but I've had a lot of fun in the past couple of years with a pair of Rossignol soft boots and short, reasonably soft skis (Rossi T-Power Vipers in a 167cm). Overall, I found that I could ski better in the soft boots than I could in any previous pair of boots; going from race boots to soft boots allowed me to actually flex my ankles and ski through the bottom of my foot rather than the shin. This year, I've upgraded to the Garmont Adrenalin (a moderately stiff boot, still nothing like my Langes), and I'm pretty confident that I could drive any of my skis, long or short, with it; I never tried the soft boots on my downhill boards, as I suspect that would not have gone well.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbroderick View Post
I strongly disagree. Off-trail skiing with long, stiff skis with limited sidecut might be more difficult (because it's tough to force the skis where you want them to go, which I noted when attempting to turn my 188cm 9S's), but I've had a lot of fun in the past couple of years with a pair of Rossignol soft boots and short, reasonably soft skis (Rossi T-Power Vipers in a 167cm). Overall, I found that I could ski better in the soft boots than I could in any previous pair of boots; going from race boots to soft boots allowed me to actually flex my ankles and ski through the bottom of my foot rather than the shin. This year, I've upgraded to the Garmont Adrenalin (a moderately stiff boot, still nothing like my Langes), and I'm pretty confident that I could drive any of my skis, long or short, with it; I never tried the soft boots on my downhill boards, as I suspect that would not have gone well.
let me flat out tell you. Off trail you are not going as fast as me. You may think you are but your not. I need a stiff boot so I can dont get bounced around by the uneveningness of the snow. When my kryptons were set up soft skiing my goats off trail was impossiable. they arent even that stiff....

the main thing is if your skiing 167s Viper off trail your not going as fast as me. A soft boot may help you out there more but it aint for me.
post #26 of 35

Oi! BiP!

Help out with confusion above?
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
let me flat out tell you. Off trail you are not going as fast as me. You may think you are but your not. I need a stiff boot so I can dont get bounced around by the uneveningness of the snow. When my kryptons were set up soft skiing my goats off trail was impossiable. they arent even that stiff....

the main thing is if your skiing 167s Viper off trail your not going as fast as me. A soft boot may help you out there more but it aint for me.
If your home mountain is Snowbird, I don't doubt it. I think that your earlier statement (that off-trail skiing is "impossible" in soft boots) is a overly broad statement, but I'd agree that ripping high-speed, big-mountain runs on big-mountain skis is going to be a lot easier with boots that can effectively drive big-mountain skis. On smaller skis, it is quite possible (and in my experience, even pleasant), but it is a different style of skiing.

Now, given that my home mountain doesn't quite have Snowbird-esque terrain, I find a shorter ski and softer boot to be a pretty darn good combo. But skiing in Vermont is a little different than skiing in Utah.
post #28 of 35
Bud, I concur with your comments, though I believe a boot can be too stiff for anyone to manage.

Even when racing slalom, I believe that the boot must give a little bit during the times higher forces are present to allow the skier to balance. It think it is wrong for a boot to be so stiff that the ankles will never flex. I believe that you need all six leg joints working to maintain balance. You may be good enough to use only 4, but that's more of a parlour trick.

Here's a quick scale that might work out:

1) Soft for beginners, and slow skiers to enhance learning and managing balance at slow speeds. eg. Very forgiving of errors -- IMO, best suited to the majority of the skiing public (under 15 days/year casual resort skiing).

2) Hard for advanced skiers that demand performance. Forces generated by the skier need to be transmitted instantly to the ski. The boot must be supportive and not collapse against turn forces yet still allow some ankle flexion for balance purposes when high forces are present. eg. Instant transmission of internal (skier generated forces) in Slalom and SR turns.

3) Softer than (2) but much stiffer than (1) for advanced skiers when speeds and terrain are such that the boot cuff needs to flex to provide some shock absorption against the high external forces. eg. Managing small terrain defects at DH + SG speeds. The body just can't react to the forces from the terrain defects fast enough -- the boot has to help smooth them out.
post #29 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
I am no physics major, but I thought energy is never lost. A soft boot does not absorb energy, it just fails to transfer it from the middle of the ski to the tip as fast as a stiffer boot. You flex your ankle just a little in a soft boot but is does not move the energy your weight/momentum is putting into the ski to the front of the ski, so you do not feel an effect, but it does not dissapate that total amount of energy.
Ahh that is why I said energy is stored in the boot (potential energy more specifically through the actual flexion)..

[/quote] Doesn't the stiffness of your boot just determine how effectively you can move some or all of that flex (engery) to the tip?[/quote]
Preciselly.. If you defined your efficiency as ski flex/force applied, then you see that you actually lose a bit if efficiency when you have a softer boot..

Quote:
If my thinking is correct, you do not create ski flex by the force of moving your ankle and flexing the boot, that motion simply changes the vectors to move all of the engery going into the ski to the tip where is does some steering by flexing it.
In that case I am very likely completely off base here ..
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Bud, I concur with your comments, though I believe a boot can be too stiff for anyone to manage.

Even when racing slalom, I believe that the boot must give a little bit during the times higher forces are present to allow the skier to balance. It think it is wrong for a boot to be so stiff that the ankles will never flex. I believe that you need all six leg joints working to maintain balance. You may be good enough to use only 4, but that's more of a parlour trick.

Here's a quick scale that might work out:

1) Soft for beginners, and slow skiers to enhance learning and managing balance at slow speeds. eg. Very forgiving of errors -- IMO, best suited to the majority of the skiing public (under 15 days/year casual resort skiing).

2) Hard for advanced skiers that demand performance. Forces generated by the skier need to be transmitted instantly to the ski. The boot must be supportive and not collapse against turn forces yet still allow some ankle flexion for balance purposes when high forces are present. eg. Instant transmission of internal (skier generated forces) in Slalom and SR turns.

3) Softer than (2) but much stiffer than (1) for advanced skiers when speeds and terrain are such that the boot cuff needs to flex to provide some shock absorption against the high external forces. eg. Managing small terrain defects at DH + SG speeds. The body just can't react to the forces from the terrain defects fast enough -- the boot has to help smooth them out.
I agree, these are good generalities.

b
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