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Fore/Aft Balance issues

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Help please!

I am 7/8 level skier, 6', 195lbs, reasonable shape. I have slightly narrow feet, normal arch, small/narrow calfs which are probably on the high side.

I have skied most of my life, and enjoy skiing almost exclusively off-piste. I think my experience trumps my technical skills, meaning I can/will ski most anything, but tend to lean to much on aggressive edging or "muscling" my way through tough situations, versus good technique and letting my equipment work for me.

On a recommendation, I purchased new boots last year from a fairly well respected boot fitter in the Tahoe area, specifically Nordica SM12's, with Superfeet custom footbeds.

My problem: balance (fore/aft) and cold feet.

I spent quite a bit of time with my boot fitter last year trying to resolve the problem to no avail. Returned original SM14's went to the 12's etc.

The boots seem like a good fit, snug throughout, no pain anywhere, but I can't seem to get a solid feel in them balance wise.

When skiing I am constantly having to adjust upper buckles & strap in order to feel locked into the boot. By the time I get to the lift my feet are asleep. I Then have to open them up completely at the lift to get blood flowing to my frozen feet again. I keep the lowers open always. The combination of these issues eliminates any feel I have for whats going on beneath my feet.

Even when my boots are clamped down (typically half way on the buckle) I feel as if I am constantly fighting to stay out of the back seat which in turn causes me to lean to far forward. I tend to fall over the fronts of my skis when I fall and am worn out after a 1/2 day skiing (quads are toast).

Have read that removing the spoiler might help, have tried but didn't really find that solved the problem, felt like too much room in upper boot.

It seems that there a number of systems for addressing balance issues from a boot fitting perspective, curious if one stands out as better fit (pardon the pun) for me?

Feedback much appreciated!!!
post #2 of 9

How's the shell fit on this boot?
(include street shoe size,shell size including mm length)

Is there more going on here than just fore/aft, cold feet issues?

1) Why do you need to clamp down so much to get security?
2) Is there a lateral/medial issue hiding here?
3) Is there too much forward lean/delta in your system causing quad
4) Have you tried to remove the spoiler and cinched the power strap around
front of the liner instead around the front of the shell? (more upright
5) Do you need more bootfitting for fit/circulation issues?

You may need to visit a recommended (different) bootfitter and be fully assessed by a new pair of eyes.

It seems that there a number of systems for addressing balance issues from a boot fitting perspective, curious if one stands out as better fit (pardon the pun) for me?
Again, it all comes down to the bootfitter. The fore/aft tools are just that, tools. In the hands of a specialist, magic happens.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Street Shoe size: 11-11.5
Shell size: 27.5 (315mm)
(1.5-2cm behind heel with toes touching nose of shell) similar gap all the way around. Tried on 4-5 different boots, this was by far the tightest shell I could get into reasonably. Nordica are amazingly comfortable out of the box which did influence my decision.

The clamping down bothers me as well. I suspect I should not have to clamp the boot as much as I do to feel secure. If I don't clamp the boot down, I don't feel like I have a solid foundation under me. It is a constant struggle not be thrown fore/aft. I don't feel like I am slopping around in the boot however.

One more point, I am a pretty good golfer, I compare this to repeating a good swing. For me to play well (swing a club consistently and athletically) I need to be balanced slightly forward just behind the ball of the foot, otherwise the inertia created by my upper body swinging around my lower will throw me off balance. I don't feel like I can get to that same point of stability in my boots, nor do I feel like I can really feel what is going on.

Laterally I feel okay, though I am so focused on controlling my fore/aft issues that I may simply not recognize a smaller problem.

The forward lean issue is a good question, I have also struggled with the placement of the spoiler. Given the need to clamp the boot down so much removing it seemed counter-intuitive. I have tended to push the spoiler down more to force more forward lean, again seemed intuitive.

Circulation issues are a problem, though I am unclear what could be done about it.

I suspect my footbeds might also be a problem. The footbeds are molded to the foot with the foot elevated versus having weight on them while molding. Again this seemed counter-intuitive. The foot splays out for a reason, I wonder if the footbed is holding my foot in an unbalanced position , which is why I can't feel where I am balanced in my boot.
post #4 of 9
Talking about how footbeds are manufactured will open a can of worms here that probably won't help. Weight and non-weight bearing are both accepted methods of making footbeds each with benefits and problems to be accommodated. Either way it is unlikely this is a footbed problem.

An 11.5 foot in a 27 boot should definitely not be too loose. Is the fore/aft problem apparent when you are wearing boots only and standing on a hard floor in the house? If yes it sounds like you may be experiencing a ramp angle problem.

Binding position can sometimes also cause this problem. What skis and bindings are you using and are they new also?
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi Lou,

I agree, I think boot size is good.

The fore aft problem is less apparent when I am standing on the floor, though I do notice that I am forced into a slightly uncomfortable forward stance. I also notice that the arch of the foot beds are very high almost uncomfortable (cause of circulation issues?). The general feeling is not stable, forced forward lean, and I sense pressure on the back of the upper boot from my calf.

Binding position is also a possibility. I demo'd a pair of Head Mojo 90's with demo bindings two years ago in Banff (using current boots). Probably the best skiing I have ever done. Bought a new pair of 184's witth the Mojo15 bindings. I originally mounted them back 1.5cm with a race plate, trying to recreate the demo binding experience (why do new skis never ski like demo's???? Another good topic). Anyhow, I really struggled with that set up, so I went back to flat mount on the mark. This helped but still is not perfect. The demos skis were so fast and stable, easy to turn and very responsive. My skis are anything but stable, soft almost and a little twitchy.

FYI: I have scheduled a meet with Bud Heishman on Monday to assess the problem, I will post my feedback when done. Hope I find the solution.
post #6 of 9
I won't comment anymore about fore/aft until I hear what Bud says but am interested in why you thought the demo position was 1.5cm back. That would be unusual. Did the shop advise that was the way they were mounted. Also a race plate can dramatically stiffen a ski and the change from a demo plate will be quite noticeable. Definitely could erase the ease of use perception.

Also there is a very good (ex-national team tuner in Banff) that may have tuned the demo skis. Have you examined tune?

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
The shop stated that the Mojo 90 is technically designed as a park ski. As such the balance point/center point is forward of an all mountain mounting point. They were very hot on the ski and had mounted a number of them back of the mark for all mountain skiing.

I spent a lot of time researching the plate idea on these forums. I have purchased a number of skis after demo'ing and have never felt like I was skiing what I demo'd.

The purpose of the plate (good idea at the time...LOL) was to recreate the height the boots were on the demo ski. Similar idea to the Duke bindings actually. Problem was the race plate created an artificially stiff center point on the ski which combined with the softer tips/tails and rearward mount point made the skis very awkward.

In the end I removed the race plate and mounted the binding flush on the mark. This is clearly part of the problem with the fore/aft balance issue, particularly in deep heavy snow, but not the full extent of it. I have noticed the same problems on my Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous as well.

I am curious if you have any opinions on the mounting point and height of the mojo 15 binding on the ski. It is a shame, as the ski I demo'd was the hands down the best all mountain ski I have ever been on. Fast, stable, agile on groomers and floaty enough in the deep stuff to use all day long.

Thanks for your feedback Lou, I really appreciate it. I will have to look you up next time I am in Banff.
post #8 of 9
Lou is correct in his questioning of the tune of the demo ski. I tuned for Blizzard Ski (race and demo) in the 80's and cannot emphasize enough how much a well tuned, waxed, and balanced ski will have on perceived performance.

Just my $.02
post #9 of 9
I don't remember where the position on the Mojo is but if you found them stable on groomers and easy in pow it is unlikely they were mounted in the park position.

Try this. Find the Centre of the running surface and see where your ball of foot is in relation to that. If you want to be a little higher on the ski and I would use a simple 10mm plate of plastic that does not inhibit ski flex. There is one in the Head/Tyrolia arsenal.

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