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Weak inside half - alignment/physical problem?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks to Epicski for this knowledgebase and the time donated by the participants!

I am a level 7-8ish skier, L2 cert, instructor for 7 seasons. I've been seeking advice on this problem: Difficulty in engaging and pressuring the inside ski. In both skidded and carved turns to the right, my inside ski diverges. The problem worsens with speed, aggressiveness, and in a wider stance. In turns to the left, my inside ski converges slightly. In short, I can't lay RR tracks!

I'm posting this in the bootfitting forum because I am convinced the root cause of the problem is physiological and can be cured (or not) through bootfitting.

I have worked with trainers, taken clinics with examiners, and experimented with technique without result. The response from the clinician is either "hmmmm..." or "you have an alignment problem."

Two seasons ago I worked one on one with a PSIA board member who put me on shorter and shorter skis, finally snowblades, to examine the problem. What happened is that the closer I came to achieving the angles required to engage and pressure the little toe edge of the inside ski, the more painful it became. More pain on the right foot, across the instep and along the outside. My feet simply did not want to move in that direction.

The boots I was using at this time were XT-17's which had been balanced by Bud Heishman in Reno. Prior to balancing, it was extremely difficult to make one ski turns on the right foot but relatively easy to do so on the left foot. After balancing, it was possible to make one ski turns on the right, but I still preferred the left foot.

Now here is where it gets interesting:

I demoed the Fischer soma boot with its duckfooted stance and tried it out. Result: Presto! instant RR tracks to the right without any pain. However, initiating a skidded left turn became very difficult, and felt "really weird", for lack of a better description. In the soma boots, I did not feel confident to go beyond blue groomers. One problem solved, but more created.

Next, I tried mounting bindings at various angles:

With the right binding at a 3 degree rail angle, again RR tracks to the right became automatic. At 1.5 degrees, the inside ski still washed out. In left turns, the inside ski still wanted to converge slightly at either 1.5 or 0 degrees rail angle. Initiating a skidded left turn became difficult.

Last season I bought a pair of Atomic CS 100's which were aligned by Pat Medau in South Shore. He discovered that my right leg was 4mm shorter than the left and raised the right boot along with canting and footbeds. The result of this was that one ski right leg turns became easier than one ski left leg turns. However, the diverging right ski/right turn, converging left ski/left turn problems remain.

And the last bit of information: I'm told that at around 3 years old I spent 18 months with a podiatrist having my "foot turned out" (I don't know which one) which involved wearing a brace of some kind.

I have compenstated for the above by adopting a narrow stance and tend to ski very much one leg dominant.

Appreciate any thoughts......
post #2 of 6
Didn't read all your post, sorry, read CEM's core stability, then see alignment.
Sorry, Saturday, soccer and red wine.
post #3 of 6
well done taking bits of info, from many people, and many ideas, and making it work for you.
No one has all the answers, or one magic solution.

keep experimenting and trying stuff out. and let us know what the results are
post #4 of 6
the post which SMALLZOOKEEPER was refering to is in the bootfitters private forum, so you will not be able to access it, so...

good core stability and strengthening of key muslces can change [not remove] the need for canting/ alignment whilst skiing, this is not the answer for everyone but if you are commited and there is a muscluar imbalance then with work you can change the way which you body functions. without seeing you and carrying out both a static and dynamic evaluation it is near impossible to say exactly which muscles specifically you need to work on.... my first thoughts would be to look at the control muscles of the pelvis and the upper leg, the gluteus medius and the piriformis are both involved with the rotational control of the pelvis and how the legs come from this area, next the ABductors on the outer side of the leg need to be strengthened and the ADductors of the inner thigh need to be stretched. I would also be doing a bit of work on the vastus medialis obliqueous as this muscle has a baring on traking of the knee and ABduction of the foot.

I hope this helps a little, when i finally get some time and someone to do it i will get some photos of the piriformis /glute med exercise we use and post them
post #5 of 6
This is very interesting and shadows my comments in off set boots in the boot forum. It all makes perfect sense. Understand how the foot position affects your skiing and you will have one more link in the chain to work with.
post #6 of 6
Sounds like a tibial rotation problem!

Thank you for your post! You have taken a very systematic approach and some good common sense thoughts to finding a solution! That is level III thinking right there!

Your situation is a perfect example of the value of having a shop at the ski slope so experimentation can happen on snow and in the shop. I am getting closer to this ideal solution.....

If we can ever get the opportunity to ski together, I would love to take some runs with you. I will be at Northstar Sundays, Mondays this season and can be reached at 775 323 9463.

Let's get you dialed!
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