EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Boot stiffness/ability relationship
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Boot stiffness/ability relationship

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
It seems to be the general consensus here that boots and boot fit are at the top of the list in terms of "gear importance". So I don’t want to screw up my choice. Are there general guidelines for boot flex vs. ability, in other words should beginners never get above a 70, should experts never get below a 120, etc? I realize there are no hard and fast rules but I’m looking for general guidelines. After trying on many pairs, I have found one I really like (Nordica Speedmachine 8) but it has a flex of 100. Being about a level 5 – 6 skier, is that too stiff or should the other factors I like about the boot outweigh that? (I’m assuming a stiffer boot will tire out a mid-level skier faster than one with a softer flex)? Maybe some of you more experienced guys can elaborate a bit.
post #2 of 13
I'll let others elaborate on the boot stiffness question (because I don't know and I think it's more than just skill level), but one thing that I've read is that the numbers are all relative to boots made by the same company, so you can't compare a Nordica flex 100 to a Tecnica flex 100...
post #3 of 13
Think of it this way, with a stiff boot if you have to flex your knees where does your behind go. With a softer boot you are able to flex your knees and still be centered on your skis. I'd go for a softer boot whether you are a beginner or expert.
post #4 of 13
post #5 of 13
I think it depends what you're doing and what type of snow you're on. When I was a teen racer on icey SL courses I weighed 145 and used Lange Tii's (if you remember those), now I ski 99% powder and soft snow, I weigh 180 and ski on Technica Diablo Mags on the softest setting. I don't think there's any general corelation between ability and boot stiffness.
post #6 of 13
I agree with Jer,
I think that stiffness is more of a personal preference when you reach a certain level of skiing. There is such a thing as having too stiff of a boot, but as long as the boot delivers the performance a feel that you want stiffness is usually not an issue. Fit on the other hand is very a very important factor which stiffness should not interfere with (since stiffness can often be adjusted/changed).
Later
GREG
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
Thanks to Kevin for linking this old thread, which I had not seen. Good, thoughtful discussion.

I have been searching for a much more recent thread (within last 6 months) to link for the OP, as it bounced around related issues... but no luck dredging it up. I think it involved a Bear with a foot injury, having trouble getting boots on-&-off (...and therefore perhaps not entirely relevant). But if that rings a bell with anyone, I seem to recall it contained more good points on the stiff vs. soft question.
post #8 of 13
You're going to be seeing more and more softer experts' boots since the Salomon Falcon and Nordica Speedmachines were such successes- much of modern technique requires a balanced weight distribution on the ski rather than leveraging forward on the tips like straight skis used to require.
post #9 of 13
I really like my technical diablo magmas for softer snow and bumps. They are on the softer side of the spectrum in terms of the forward flex. The rear and sideways flex is really stout. But forward it gives a reasonable amount of travel before it stops flexing. Seems to work well for me to aid terrain absorption.
post #10 of 13
One thing to remember as a general rule with boots: It is much easier to soften a boot that is too stiff than it is to try and stiffen a boot that is too soft. The Speedmachine series skis very well. If you've found the SM 8 at a shop with a good bootfitter, go for it. He can alsways cut it to soften it if you find it too stiff.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by foghorn View Post
It seems to be the general consensus here that boots and boot fit are at the top of the list in terms of "gear importance". So I don’t want to screw up my choice. Are there general guidelines for boot flex vs. ability, in other words should beginners never get above a 70, should experts never get below a 120, etc? I realize there are no hard and fast rules but I’m looking for general guidelines. After trying on many pairs, I have found one I really like (Nordica Speedmachine 8) but it has a flex of 100. Being about a level 5 – 6 skier, is that too stiff or should the other factors I like about the boot outweigh that? (I’m assuming a stiffer boot will tire out a mid-level skier faster than one with a softer flex)? Maybe some of you more experienced guys can elaborate a bit.

What does this flex rating mean to you?
post #12 of 13
My personal flex considerations in choosing a boot is based on my skeletal, muscular capability to flex a boot boot to its forward flex maximum, or in my case to what point the resistance builds up just before the maximum. Every boot, besides its industry mandated flex index, build up in resistance before reaching said maximum(where it will not flex forward anymore), in a somwhat constant manner or increases in its resistance, so to speak.

In real world boot recollection (my opinion), the mono-block Technica XT24 was constantly stiff, through its full foward flex range till it reached its maximum flex- at times for my weight, leverage/muscular capabiliy could not reach its maximum on very very cold days- the shell would stiffen up considerably.

Whereas, a Technica Diablo Race 130 AND Nordica Doberman Pro 130 felt different, in terms of stiffness but were similar is the WAY they stiffened up in the foward flex range. They both demonstrated an increase of stiffness as one flexed forward vs. a constant stiffness throughout the flex range as mentioned in the XT24.

I currently use the pre Falcon Salomon LAB boot- the Salomon LAB SX2 boot with the hexagonal holes on the outside of each boot. It is a two piece boot like the Nordica Doberman Pro 130 and the Technica Diablo Race 130 however the overall forward flex is very soft, almost intermediate advanced in CONSTANT flex, but is very rigid laterally and very rigid to theh rear. I prefer them to use for the skis I currently race on- a 3rd generation cap ski: 2006 Salomon LAB SL at 165cm.

In summary, what I am trying to express, is that besides the ski/binding/plate collaboration. Equally important is the ski and boot interface as related to boot stiffness...with the focus on a particular skier's interpretation of flex index. That interface is so delicate, I'm afraid to say- it is truly mind boggling to recall how I simply slapped on my Head 360s, Marker Simplex explodamatts and Lange Pros without thinking or testing even 10% of what I mentioned in the previous paragraphs.

Good luck foghorn.
post #13 of 13
Naw, 100 is not too stiff, unless you only weigh 120 lbs.

The basic question is how much force do you want to be transmitting to the front of you skis when you have your shin bones in that position.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Boot stiffness/ability relationship