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Are Booster Straps My Only Option?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My boots are fine in all respects, except the cuff above the boot plastic is way too soft. So, my foot steering is fine but I'm not getting enough leverage during high angulation and rearward support is lacking. I'm looking to fix this and from some other threads it looks like my best option is to get elastic Booster Straps to replace (or add to?) my power straps. Besides new boots (not an option I want to consider now), are there any other choices? Thanks for the help. Further info:
-Me: 5'6", 150 pounds, 51 YO, declining skills due to lack of ski time (9 --> 8 --> 7?)
-Boots: Tecnica Rival X7 with Hot Form liners
-Skis: Volkl 6 stars and K2 Recons
post #2 of 10
A Booster strap won't stiffen anything, it will keep the boot cuff tighter to your leg and improve response. Riveting the lower and upper cuff will provide a stiffer flex. I hate to say it but it sounds like a different boot would be your best bet, riveting would be second.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Whiteroom: The forward flex is already stiff--more so than a Salomon Impact 10 (flex index = 110). I tried the Salomon on one foot with the Tecnica on the other foot yesterday at the shop just to be sure. The boot shaft is also stiff enough laterally. It's just that the top 2 inches where the liner is not encased in the shell is downright squishy. I figure that booster straps would be a relatively stiff nylon web material, so would provide some rigidity around the liner. Is that incorrect?

Otherwise, what I'm thinking of doing is getting a thin sheet of polyethylene and cutting it so I can insert it an inch or two down into the boot shaft between the shell and liner, wrapped around the cuff all the way to the top of the cuff.
post #4 of 10
I have booster straps, and they do draw the liner closer to the leg and make any flexing more progressive feeling. I wouldn't say they are stiffer, in fact, the rigid power straps are stiff because they have no give. I'm trying to imagine what it is about the fit you have that makes you rely on the upper part of the inner boot for lateral support. :

What I come up with as a guess is that you don't have a good fit at the ankle or need alignment and canting adjustment, and you are using the shaft of your leg (tib/fib) to lever the edge of your skis...support and force that should be distributed through the boot to your foot. Since this is hard to visualize, do you have the sense you are A-framing in order to exert the pressure on your edges you seek?

This might actually be a good question for the Ask the Boot Guys.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Cirquerider--thoughtful reply. I want the feeling of a precise lift of the ski edges when I angulate. There seems to be a few degrees of 'slop' between my leg's and the ski's angle. I'd like to lower that difference. Beyond that, what I'm trying to articulate is that there's something inherently right about having the feeling that the boot is solid up to the bottom of my calf. ***STOP PRESSES*** I was just experimenting and found a solution: I strapped the power strap around the cuff ABOVE the top of the shell. That DOES stiffen up the top of the boot and gives me the feeling I'm looking for. Now, I can't wait to get out and ski to see how it affects things.

BTW, what is A-framing?
post #6 of 10
An A frame is just what it sounds like, and many good skiers exhibit the problem. Ideally in a high angle turn, the legs are parallel shafts perpendicular to the skis. Knee angulation to increase the edge angle brings the downhill knee into the hill forming an A shape in the lower legs. MTT is an excellent and strong skier that can dust me on the hill any day. With that said, he is showing some A-frame in this photo from our Gallery I took:

Dookey giving us a fine example of the parallel shafts

The following "classic" airborne compound a-frame courtesy of phil

post #7 of 10
After poking a little fun above, I think I owe you the serious response. This is Bob Barnes take from a post in 2004. You can read the whole thread started by a member "dipstick" by clicking on the arrow in the quote :

Originally Posted by Bob Barnes/Colorado View Post
Hi Dipstick--

It's always a good idea to have your boot setup checked. You may well have an alignment issue, that could be solved by a corrective footbed, a cuff alignment, a different boot (i.e. the new Fischer, which is great for the commonly over-pronated, underedged skier), and/or a canting solution.

An a-frame often does indicate an "underedged" skier, but it can as well result from a movement issue. In your case, we can't rule out the alignment possibility, but I think there are probably some movements you could focus on either way.

If it's an underedged alignment issue, the a-frame results from the need to create excessive knee angles in the outside leg, in order to get the ski to hold. You may well be doing that, but even if you are, you are clearly NOT doing much with your inside leg--which is the other common cause of a-frames.

My suggestion is a) have your boot setup checked, and b) focus on more actively tipping your inside foot and leg, and driving your whole body forward through the turn.

From these pictures, it looks like you tend to settle down, inside, and back as the turn progresses, creating excessive hip counter (hips facing the outside of the turn too much) and hip angulation. Your inside thigh points strongly to the outside of the turn, rather than into the direction you're trying to go, as it would if you were running through a turn. If you would drive that inside thigh into the turn, it would activate the inside leg, and pull your whole body a bit more square to your direction of travel (don't overdo this, or opposite problems can arise). Your thighs and shins would become more parallel, and the a-frame would, at least, diminish. Think of the movements you would make if you were skating, or doing "1000 Steps" through the turn. (These are not simple things to describe--if you aren't absolutely clear on what I'm suggesting, there is no substitute for a competent, high-level certified pro.)

My guess is that your turns begin with a pronounced "up and over" move to get you out of the back seat and into the next turn. Am I right?

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #8 of 10
Power straps absolutely will stiffen up your boots over all flex. Put them on the outside of the boot. Will it fix a boot that's way too soft for you? I don't know, but it will fix a boot that's a bit too soft for you.
post #9 of 10
Another issue is your skis are pretty stiff and your boots are on the softer side of the spectrum. Unfortunately stiff skis are more difficult to control with soft boots. You said you weigh 150 and are 5'6". How long are your 6 stars? This could be a factor too.

The Boosters will offer the ability to snug the top of your boot up more and make energy transfer to the ski more quickly and progressive but as others have stated will not substantially stiffen your boot (provided that you were buckling and strapping them snugly before the Boosters.

As suggested above, riveting the cuff to the lower will help stiffen the boot and you may want to rivet some extra pieces of plastic inside the shell too.

good luck! Great ski by the way! (Tune'm .7 base and 3 side bevels for optimum performance IMO)
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Bud: You're spot on that a stiff ski deserves a stiffer boot. I demo'd the 6 stars with Tecnica TNS's that extended high up my leg. When I changed skis I changed boots too. The Rivals are fine with K2 Recons, but MAYBE not up to the task with the 6 stars. BUT, as I noted a few posts up, I tried wrapping the power strap above the top of the boot shell, which noticeably improves stiffness up top and thereby control over angulation standing here in my living room. The Rival shells are NOT soft; only the liners/cuffs are soft and the shell is low. The forward lean is actually quite stiff (I'd guess 125 compared with the X-Wave 10's being a 110.).

I've got 161 6 stars. They're beasts to turn unlike the pair I demo'd. I'm confident part of the problem is a poor tune (the bases are clearly concave). I've got them in a shop to do a 1.0 base and 1.0 side bevel since it's all they can do on their machine. I'll modify from there but doubt I'll go beyond 1.5 or 2 on the sides.

Thanks for the help!
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