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Rotated Boots - Fischer/Dobbie Aggressor

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just got a pair of Dobbies in April. My initial impression was, WOW! great turn-in. In retrospect I wondered if there was the edge at finish (speed control in a chute) One of my coaches says he talked to some USST athletes who said "they put the knee in a bad position" and most WC skiers aren't using them. When I was at Lutsen in 06 most of the top Nordica skiers had them. Most of the skiers I've talked to, who can tell the difference, said positive things about them.
Bob Barnes mentioned that he has more external rotation than internal. I do too. I can externally rotate my feet (with heels together) past 180 degrees. They seem to work for me although I'm not sure about the finish part.
I'd like to hear some of our boot people's comments on them.
post #2 of 11
As we know, most WC skiers use their factory set and very few are on Nordica skis. Thus we find Atomic, Fischer, Rossignol, and Salomon racers in respective boots, Dynastar racers tend to use Langes and Volkl has its Tecnicas. There´s much less room left for "independent" decisions, cf. Lange.

Afaik, the most successful race boot of the last seasons - Atomic RT - is a very close copy of the Dobbie. That´s why I don´t believe the Nordicas were in some respect not OK.

Besides, the prominent bootfitters in the Alps, e.g. Leitner und Auer, sell and fit them to racers. It´s business, I know, but would they do so if the boots were not good and when they have enough of others to recommend and sell (esp. Leitner "his" Fischer Soma)?

Otoh, things might have changed and I´m not a bootfitter.
post #3 of 11
Hey, who moved this thread? While the title may suggest otherwise, I think it is much more relevant to the Technique forum, where Slatz originally posted it, than the equipment forum. It's about concepts, not brands. And it's about concepts that affect movements and technique. No big deal, but I think that this discussion will get more interested readers in the Technique forum.

Anyway, I agree with Checkracer's observations that many top racers ski on the equipment their sponsors want them to ski on. But of course, that equipment is so modified and personalized for them that, for all practical purposes, they could be skiing on any brand and still get the characteristics they want.

That many World Cup racers tend to stay with the equipment they've been successful with can be interpreted in several ways. I believe that the technology of boots these days, both in manufacturing and in setting them up (footbeds, canting, and such) has allowed many more skiers to ski well. In effect, they minimimize or eliminate what could otherwise be big handicaps. Without this technology, skiing, especially at the hypercritical World Cup level, strongly self-selected those without such handicaps, and effectively weeded out the rest. It's quite possible that, by virtue of their success already, a lot of World Cup racers do not need these boots. But like corrective lenses and surgery for vision, and state-of-the-art repairs for knee injuries, better boot technology should remove handicaps and allow skiers who never could have been competitive before to compete at higher levels.

As noted, many younger up-and-coming racers do ski on the Aggressor/Somatec rotated-type boots. I predict that some who could never have succeeded in the past will ski without handicap now, and that in the future, we'll see more and more skiers on rotated boots. Technology is the great equalizer!

In any case, there are a few exceptions on the World Cup. Austria's Nicole Hosp, for example, who was a "middle of the road" World Cup racer before switching to the Fischer Somatecs a few seasons back, almost immediately jumped to the top of the pack.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #4 of 11
I think one reason that you don't find the Aggressor on the WC is because racers are stubborn. It's hard to accept large changes when you're at the top of the game. Just look at how long it took WC athletes to adopt shaped skis. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And if you're winning races, it obviously ain't broke.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Good point Bob. I remember the year the Austrian men's B team came to Lutsen. We were sipping wine and generaly shooting the breeze when I brought up the subject of canting. They all said "we don't worry about it". Only later did I put together the fact that one thing they also said was they were all Stams grads. (Where you have to pass an orthopedic exam to get in) Probably not many physical anomalies in that group
As for movements, I felt that they turned in at the top of the turn effortlessly. Before there would be times, if I wasn't paying attention, when the ski would rail out on me. Thinking back on my one trip to Mt Hood though I felt difficulty controlling speed in a chute. I origionally blamed it on being tired and out of shape. In retrospect it could be the tail wasn't engaging as much as I was used to with the amount of movement I was using. It's possible that an earlier weight shift to the inside ski might be the answer. Also the outside edge of the downhill ski should release earlier. Again weight shift earlier might be necessary.
Lots to play with when I get back on snow.
post #6 of 11
I don't know about worldcup but the pro racing circuit guys were using shaped skis long before there were production shaped skis. Ove Nygren and Toris Burget (sp?) who skied for Salomon were using skis that had noticably more shovel taper than the production models.

post #7 of 11
It's nice having the aggressor/soma boots available as an equipment choice. I will stay away for most, though. Many who ski it will align/track outside of center, creating an overly aggressive edge and an outside knee that rattles through the turn. But, for the right skier it could be perfect.
post #8 of 11
Originally Posted by SLATZ View Post
I brought up the subject of canting. They all said "we don't worry about it".
In addition to being Stams grads, it may also be the case (at least partially) that they don't worry it about because their equipment techs do all the worrying that's necessary.

In addition to Hosp, who improved after switching to Fischer boots (whether there's a causal connection or not), Steve Nyman did as well. Just data points ....
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Is Nyman on Fischers or Aggressors?
The Austrians said they didn't do it. I asked about the tech guys. Of course Benny Raich has been known to be heavily over canted at times but these were "B" guys.
As for shaped skis, Elan made some GS skis for 91/92 that had a ton of sidecut. One of my all-time favorite skis. 210s skied like 190s.
post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by SLATZ View Post
Is Nyman on Fischers or Aggressors?...
According to Fischer he is skiing their boot, at least this last season.


The article also contains a lot of interesting information about various aspects of the Alpine ski manufacturing business.
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by sjjohnston View Post
In addition to Hosp, who improved after switching to Fischer boots (whether there's a causal connection or not)...
The Hosp-Fischer story is a simple one.
There´s a smallish Tyrolean place called Bichlbach (www.bichlabach.at) where a Mr. Hosp and a Mr. Leitner are ski friends. The former´s daughter happens to be a promising ski racer and the latter is one of the most prominent bootfitters in Europe (www.schuhsport-leitner.at).

In the 90s Johann Leitner and another bootfitting guru, Herbert Auer, came with a few patents and found the Japanese brand Rexxam who were ready to make boots according to both men´s philosophy. Some racers, among them the young Nicole Hosp, started to race in Rexxams. Unfortunately, the then small Japanese factory was not ready to put enough money, time and efforts to push the product on the European market. As a result (there may have been some other reasons), the guys (Leitner as a driving force) find the chance to develop "their" boot for Fischer: the Soma is born. And, as a result again, young Nicol, now on the Austria National Team, switches to Fischers keeping his friend and neighbor Leitner - the "father" of the Soma boot - her bootfitter. I don´t think she ever regretted.

Interesting is that no one really forced her to ski in Tecnicas. Johann says he never forced her either: she always had the choice and decided according to onsnow tests (well, I don´t know what her contracts looked like...).

Thus I don´t think she "improved" to some remarkable degree after switching to Fischer boots. I guess it was gradual improvement influenced by her age, experience and injury/recovery. It seems that she, Johann Leitner and the boots make a perfect team.
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