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No bootfitters around: stance alignment

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi All! I live in a place with no GOOD bootfitting/ski service around. When I ask them to check and help me with my alignment they look at me as I am some kind of jerk:Is there a way to aligne myself properly (flat on the snow) without any complicated equipment by myself?
post #2 of 6

Yes, you can evaluate for yourself at least which direction you need to cant and experiment with shims or tape to find a better stance. Of course to get in an optimum position in both fore/aft and laterally it would help immensely to have the assistance of a pro but here are some things you can do yourself to find and adjust for obvious imbalances.

Fore/aft: Stand in your skis and bindings beside a mirror in a cuff neutral position. Notice where your knees plumb over your toes, notice where your hips plumb over your feet. A good static position will place your knees over your toes, not out over the toe piece or back around the buckles. Your hips or CoM should plumb over a spot just in front of your heel or just below your ankles. Again these are static positions, starting points, and to then ski dynamically you can experiment with small shims between your toe piece and boot and heel piece and boot to tilt the boot forward or aft a bit and determine how this affects your skiing balance. Which ever way feels better and more balanced is the right direction to go. Permanent adjustments would be more of a challenge without the proper tools or products but check back here with your findings and we may be able to assist you.

What I have addressed above is only one element in the fore/aft formula, you must also consider your ramp angle and it's affects, as well as the forward lean. Let's just say here that too much or too little ramp is not good. Too much ramp will pitch your hips too far forward causing you to compensate by skiing with your hips well behind your feet and too little ramp will contribute to compensatory movements including breaking at the waist to stay in balance.

Forward lean works hand in hand with ramp to create the appropriate "net forward lean" for the skier. A person with a hyper mobil ankle or a very limited range of dorsiflexion will need to adjust this net forward lean to better accommodate their personal needs. Limited dorsi flexion person would possibly need more ramp angle and less forward lean to find good heel pressure and hold, and the hypermobil ankle person would need a flatter ramp and more forward lean to tension the achillies.

Lateral canting:
On this plane the adjustable areas are boot board angle, shaft angle, and boot sole angle.

Most ski boots have a built in varus angle of a degree or so which tips the foot outward a bit. This could be good or bad depending on your particular foot and ankle. Then there is the boot shaft, if it has any adjustment this can quickly be used to match as best as possible to the curvature of your lower legs while standing in the shells sans liners in a hip width stance. Simply try to match the space evenly on both sides of your legs. Then the most important area for performance is the sole cant angle. This you want to have the center of your knee mass aligned over the center of your boot for the most part. you can experiment again on hill with big toe side traverses on one ski and little toe traverses on the same ski. Take notice how easily you can balance on these edges and where your knee is over the ski while traversing. You can then experiment with layers of duct tape on your binding until you find the optimum position. (approx. 4 layers of duct tape = 1 degree). Place the tape on the toe afd and the heel where the boot rests (not the brake). Permanent changes either need to be planed into the boot or shimmed under the binding. Do not ski for prolonged periods with duct tape as it may affect your binding function!

So you can see there are many intertwined areas that affect your alignment here and though it is difficult to assess and adjust on your own, experimenting and adjusting to some degree is possible. I hope this abbreviated education helps and check back here with your findings!

good luck.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
I moved your thread to the general gear discussions, and I see you also have asked the question in Ask the Boot Guys. Lets kick this question off by getting some specific information, and you may want to include this in the Boot Guys as well.

If you can post a picture of yourself in your boots from straight on and from the side, the pros will be able to see something of the alignment issues your are facing.

Standing in your boots, do you feel unbalanced?
Do your feet seem to rest on the outside of the foot (supination) or inside (pronation)?
Describe what issues you feel alignment is causing for you. Are you catching edges?
Do you have difficulty holding an edge? In both directions?
Are your skis in a wedge, or do you abstem?
Do you feel too far aft or forward?

I think the forums and pros can help you here, but you are going to have to provide some details to work from.

I see from a previous post you are from Latvia. Where do you ski?
Hi Cirquerider! I will take photos of myself in the boots today. How can I post it to this forum?
1. I feel a little bit leaning on the tongue/front side of my boot.
2. My feet seem to rest just a bit on the inside of the boot.
3. I have not skied in my new HEAD RS90 on my new NOMAD BLACKEYE skis yet so I cannot tell how will be edge engaging. Last year on rental skis/boots I felt like I cannot engage edges to appropriate degree especially when turning to the left.
4. I have made one experiment - put on my boots, got on my skis, stand on soft touristic pad and put levels (with liquid showing lateral level) on my skis. It showed that both skies were a fraction to the inside from zero flat.
Yes, I live in Latvia, ski here small hills and this year will be the third time i go to spend 7 days skiing in Slovakia. Next year probably Austria
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi Cirquerider! Here are my photos in the boots, hope you you will be able to tell me something. Please note that the upper cuff is adjusted to the maximum inside position, I do not know for good or for bad...

post #5 of 6
bump for a boot fitter. I copied the stance photos from another location.
post #6 of 6
Ok good start,
Not sure in static eval but looks like we have a bit of tibial angle going on here. Need to either bump cuffs out more or shave boots to do that. Still need photos of the feet outside the boots to get into it more. Also we could use a photo of you balancing on both feet one at a time. but lets play.
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