Originally Posted by tdk6
I took some 5mm thick rubber and cut strips to put between boots and bindings on the inside to increase my edge angle. The rubber is elastic so it squeezed down to about 3mm but the improvement was unbelievable and HUGE! I had not much time and the hill was in crappy conditions and there was nobody there with a video camera but edge hold was something else. I could feel it just standing there on the flats as soon as I put my skis on.
Now I need to find out the best way to get my boots canted. Where can I buy all the stuff I need? I called arround to the pro shops over here but came up with nothing, everybody just considered me crazy, as usual. Any thaughts? I was thinking of tilting my bindings for a starter but I want to get my boots canted eventually.
...I think you're getting into a serious problem of missing the forest for the trees, and I see this all the time with the people I ski with. It's what I call the "2 plus 2 equals 4, and so all I have to do is figure out how to get the two 2s in my arsenal and then I'll achieve all my goals...whatever they
So let's back up one. You started all this from the idea that you had a problem with your skis diverging, etc., and now you're at the point where maybe at least part of the problem is your alignment. Great, you fix that, and now your tips don't diverge. Now what? The point I'm making is that you're a ski racer and so am I. Not everything has to be the same for everybody. You don't have to be perfect, just fast. Phil Mahre was heavily into knee angulation, which we now say is Bad News. Well, he made it work, and won a bunch of Olympic medals and WCs, too. Every time I go to one of Ron LeMaster's presentations, I get a fresh perspective, because what he essentially reminds us of is "there is, even in ski racing, more than one way to skin a cat."
A framing is bad, right? Something to be avoided at all costs, right? Absolutely parallel tracks are the only way to go, right? Even though the great Ingemar Stenmark was the greatest A-framer of all time, and now with the "new equipment", there's absolutely no reason to ever
A-frame, right? Well, at his fall presentation in Boulder, the theme of which was "New Faces on the World Cup," meaning, here are some new folks who are succeeding at the top levels of the sport and they aren't
doing it all the same way, Ron showed a young woman (I've forgotten her name) on the French team, in a WC race last year where she finished 8th, or something, doing a major league A-Frame in the transition between turns
So I think your goal of clean RRXs with no diverge is a good direction, but make sure it's not Style Points Only and it's only a step on the way to a really big major goal. Because you're too good a skier not to, as they say in the Air Force, Aim High. On my tombstone, I hope to have written "Skiracer55 won the Hahnenkamm...but he was severely
undercanted." I'll be up in Heaven, or down in Hell, it sort of doesn't matter, laughing my butt off and saying "You know what...I really don't care! I just won the greatest sporting event on the planet, and if somebody thought it wasn't real because my boots weren't set up according to the Golden Rule...well, screw them!"
So to get back to the subject at hand, you've had some very, very good advice from the other posters. Find somebody locally who is a good boot fitter who can help you out, make a reasonable change, try that out, if that doesn't work, try something else...but don't
spend the rest of your ski racing career fine tuning your canting and trying to make perfect rail road tracks. I have a teammate...a former National and International Masters champion...who will never
, in my opinion, reach that level again, because all he does is play with his boot adjustments and his bevel angles.
Not to say that get your suspension set up right isn't important. I think your last experiment showed you what it can mean. There are many schools of boot adjustment/tuning, and one of the World Cup techs wrote a really good article, some time ago, in Ski Racing
where he basically said "Here are the general parameters..but you know what? When it comes right down to it, boot fitting and adjustment is more an art than a science."
So I try to keep it simple. Some of the stuff happening on the World Cup is very exotic and idiosyncratic. A few years back...when he won the overall World Cup...Benni Raich was set up in his boots so he was severely canted out and pitched forward. Why? Because the Austrian Federation wanted an overall WC champion, and by setting up this way, Benni would have an instant, powerful edge at the top of the turn, meaning that he might have a little more edge drag, compared to Bode, but he probably wouldn't shank out...meaning he would probably finish a lot of races, not winning, but in the top ten, and thus overall win the WC. Which he did. Now he's canted much more neutrally...because it's more biomechanically efficient, and he already won the WC.
A few years back, when the World Cup racers were running some Rocky Mountain Trophy series races at Loveland in preparation for the tech events at Beaver Creek, it got warm...so the course crew threw a lot
of water at the hill, and then it got really
cold. Result: extremely cold, hard, dry snow...sort of like a skating rink in Minnesota at thirty below. Very tough snow to tune/wax for, because it's very slick, but also very aggressive...styrofoam snow with silicone spray on top. Know what the men's field was using for a ski tune? A four degree
base bevel and a seven degree
side bevel. Makes sense, right? Because if the base was flat, it would hang up before you could ever develop an edge angle, on that snow. On the other hand...once you got the feet out there...you'd want some heavy angles to help you out, right? So a great idea, for those
athletes, and that
course, but there's no way
I'd ever tune my skis that way. If the course ever demands that kind of tuning....well, I'm too old and feeble for that, so I'll take up bowling for the weekend.
So in terms of your canting, where I'd start is with trying to make as much correction as you can with messing around with your cuff canting. There are a lot of people who say you can't do anything meaningful with canting until you get down to strips under the binding or canting the boot sole, and they are probably right...but that is a pretty complicated and hard to reverse process. I'd mess around with cuff canting, then go from there...but mostly, look ahead and go all out, and do it with a smile on your face, because ski racing is the most fun you can have with your clothes on...