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Simple Canting Question...

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Going to make this short. After all is said and done in the whole alignment process (footbeds, cuff alignment, for/aft balance, and now, canting undersole....)......what should the final goal be for canting underfoot regarding the center of the Knee Mass......

1-According to The Athletic Skier ('93), 1-2.5* INSIDE of center boot (slightly knockkneed)


2-According to Harb Alignment, about 1* OUTSIDE of center boot (bowlegged)?

So, Canting the knee over OUTSIDE or INSIDE of the center of the boot?

post #2 of 24
Well, the answer is "depends". Every canting need is different, and there is a range of acceptable changes. Ultimately, customer/client satisfaction and compliance is what we're shooting for. The technician also needs to be aware of changing the angle too much because of joint spacing issues. I'd say two degrees inside to one degree outside is an acceptable range.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
I was afraid of that! So I guess it's up to experimentation and finding what works best? Just wanted to know that I'm, at least, on the right track....thanks!

post #4 of 24

Realize the Athletic skier was published pre shaped skis and since then the general concensus of the appropriate positioning of the knee has progressed to the center of the knee mass over the center of the boot sole seam (which is slightly inside of actual foot center because of slight abduction in most boots). This point will change with skiing discipline or personal preference but is generally the benchmark to start with. I rarely make adjustments from this position unless there are extreme cases. Be aware of some priorities....get symetrical (most are not), get where you feel you can easily engage the inside or outside edge, get where you can ski one footed relatively easily, again moving from inside to outside edge in balance. If we get too far to one side we negatively affect this balance between inside and outside edge engagement abilities.

My protocol recently has paid more attention to both external and internal canting and using them together, as they are completely independant of each other and changing one does not affect the assessment of the other. Most have believed that a well constructed footbed will take care of any internal canting needs but I have found this untrue in many cases. Optimizing both internal and external canting together will optimize the desired results which are skiing in balance with the least amount of effort.

good luck in your quest
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Bud, thanks for your reply!
In addition to working w/ the Harb Alignment Center, I'm experimenting w/ virtually every single variable there is in the alignment process. I just cant get my left ski/knee to track straight. (turns in slightly)

I just had custom footbeds and cant strips installed, and we're going from there, but I still feel my left boot is over canted (knee about 1* outside of center), so we're now playing w/ canting angles.

You make an excellent point about the advent of shaped skis, and the timely publication of "athletic skier", and I will take that into consideration in my own "feel" for the best canting angles. (It funny on how asymmetric the body can be!...my left leg is a nightmare... I have NO problems w/ the right leg) This problem is inhibiting my learning curve greatly!

Thanks again, appreciate it!

post #6 of 24

If you feel that your left boot is over-canted, try slightly loosening the top of the left boot and compare the symmetry with the right. At some point, you should feel more symmetrical. Also, get in front of a recommended bootfitter and get a full assessment including leg length differential. You may have a longer leg on the left side.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Cantman....amazing! I've been to about 5 bootfitters and NO ONE has addressed the length difference between legs....I've measured meticulously and found that my left leg (specifically my femur) IS INDEED 6 mm longer than my right! I applaud your keenness!!

I just discovered this last week,and have yet to experiment w/ this, but I'm in the process of building riser plates to go inside my right boot.
To confirm this, on snow, in a narrow stance, if I shift my left leg back behind my right leg about 1", my skis feel flat and I feel balanced.

Thank you for your confirmation that this could be the problem!!

(I'd also like to throw out that my left leg is longer, is more bowlegged and left foot pronates more (tracks the left knee more inward)) But my right leg is nearly straight and aligned. (throwing this problem out for others who may need this advice as well)

I'll be experimenting w/ cants, riser plates, and I've already had footbeds done. If there's anything else, please let me know, as this problem has prevented me from skiing comfortably (let alone safely!) for about 6 years!!

Thank you both!!


And Bud, I will no longer be strictly adhering to the 1-2.5* Cant inside
post #8 of 24
It is not uncommon for a bowlegged person to need to be externally canted inward while simultaneously internally canted the opposite direction to achieve the balance you are seeking.

note: you may find making up 6mm inside the boot for leg length is a bit much for comfort however plating the boot or the binding is quite easily done. Whatever you do, do not create a different ramp or delta angle with a heel lift to make up for the length difference as this does not work for skiing (walking yes, skiing no).

I think being a degree strong on both sides as suggested by Harb fits well with his skiing philosophy where as a more neutral cant as I suggest as a starting point works better for a more versatile technique. If you are skiing in a narrower stance with predominant weight on the outside ski and using the "Phantom" turn technique you will probably not be engageing the outside edge of the inside ski as much as a more PSIA technique. It all come down to preference when you get that close. I still think the best test is trying both ways while skiing a variety of tasks and seeing if it suits your personal tastes.
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
My ramp angles, heel lifts, and riser plates are going to be a challenge. Ideally I'd like to put heel lifts in my boots (I have long legs) and put the riser plate underneath the binding. However, would 5-6mm under the binding require longer binding screws? Or would the current ones still allow enough "grab."? (Not sure about this one, that's why I'd like to put the 5-6mm in the boot! )

Can you BOTH plate a boot 5-6mm (or less if some is in the boot) AND cant it while maintaining DIN requirements?

Most boot guys were internally canting me out, but failed to cant externally in. Now that I'm ext canted in, I'm really looking forward to my next ski day, to try all this out.

Not sure about the technique you describe....I really do ski w/ a narrow stance as I'm trying (and love) to make my peace w/ moguls and trees. I'm not much of a racer, or a GS carver. If that makes a difference in the whole alignment process, I'm all ears! Do you think I should let Harb know that about my skiing stance? They're having me stand boots a little farther out....

Thanks for advice!!

post #10 of 24
Would 5-6mm under the binding require longer binding screws? Or would the current ones still allow enough "grab."?
I would want a longer screw for that change in height.

Can you BOTH plate a boot 5-6mm (or less if some is in the boot) AND cant it while maintaining DIN requirements?
A boot can have a cant angle planed into it and then a lifter plate installed. The toe and heel lugs will then will be routed back to DIN standards.

I really do ski w/ a narrow stance as I'm trying (and love) to make my peace w/ moguls and trees. I'm not much of a racer, or a GS carver. If that makes a difference in the whole alignment process, I'm all ears!
My take on this alignment issue would be to assess your ability to respond to alignment changes. If you are stiffer and have limited ROM, I'd be weary of changing your knee position to a more internally rotated aspect. You may have to do more "accommodation" by canting high side inside if you are stiffer. Also, internally balancing the boot can be beneficial for "feel" and efficiency.
post #11 of 24
Originally Posted by brecken99 View Post
Do you think I should let Harb know that about my skiing stance? They're having me stand boots a little farther out....
Cantman answered your other questions so I will answer this one!

Personally, I do not care what width stance a skier uses when they ski, I always assess with a hip width stance using the pelvis as a reference for outside of one boot sole to the other being equal to the pelvis width. This is for biomechanical reasons rather than the latest technique whim. It sounds like Harb is using similar methodology.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for ALL your help. I look forward to the next few weeks when I get to use this information.
Thanks again....

post #13 of 24
Hello Brecken99,

It sounds like you have a lot going on with your stance and your balance. I have a few thoughts that may be worth looking into.

First of all what kind of skis are you using for mogul skiing? If you are using "real mogul skis", their shape is old school, narrow and straight. More from the Witherall era. I have this vision of you zipper lining the bumps with your feet squeezed together.

If you are skiing on current skis, but still tend to have a narrow stance, some of the same actions will apply.

If this is the case your alignment has got to be looked at differently.

When I worked in racing service for Salomon in the 80's and 90's, the alignment set up we used was very different for the racers then the moguls specialists.

Also in terms of skiing technique, if you are more of a tail pusher then a roll it up on edge and see how far you can get the ski away from your body, there is a marked difference in what kind of alignment set up that will work for you.

So my point is that your body, your stance, and your style and your equipment are all important factors that will effect your alignment and balance. My gut is that so far no one has put that all together for you.

The second point is that there is a much more elegant solution once you have figured out what your formula is balance.

With a leg length discrepancy and canting of both boots you can get the entire enchilada done externally on the sole of your boots. Your fitter should be able to get between 4mm and 7mm difference on the sole by using different lift plates on the right versus the left. This way you can step into any ski without having to worry about right or left as well as being able to demo any ski and still have proper balance. And it takes the hassle out of customizing each pair of bindings on your skis.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
To get the WHOLE thing done under the boots would be ideal! So far, I've got canting plates under both boots, but next week I'm going to experiment w/ raising the right/lowering the left...but I don't know if 5-6mm is going to fit in my right boot.

One problem I have is that my boot boards are not plastic, they're high density rubber (Salomon Guns), but if there's anyway to grind/shave down the left, I'm ALL EARS!! I'm not sure if a belt sander (done by a prof of course), would grind it or melt it.

At the present I'm NOT on a true mogul ski. (although zipperling w/ a true mogul ski is the ultimate goal when I get my alignment down). I'm currently choosing between the legend 4800 (114/75/102) or maybe a Rossi Bandit X (107/70/97)..I know MUCH better for moguls, but I'd like to try and use my 4800 for everything. I'm not much of a "ski quiver" person.

As far as style....to make this difficult, I'm really in between. On the groomers or crud, I just roll them on edge, but in the bumps/trees, I'm a tail pusher. But I don't favor one over the other, although I'd rather be in bumps/trees than groomers.

But overall, if you think that I could get canting and a riser plate under my right foot, I think I'll bring this up to my fitter next week! And I really don't think my right foot needs much canting at all, so JUST having a riser plate may be less of a hassle!


post #15 of 24
One of the methods used for determining if the the leg length differential is related to your skiing stance, is to experiment with different height lifts on the cant stand to see if you can effect a shift in how your hips and knees fall into alignment over your feet.

If nothing changes in your alignment on the cant stand, you need to look at some other parameter for the solution. (It is possible that even if your femur is 6mm longer, that it is not having an effect on your skiing. The human body has an incredible ability to adapt.)

You can use this same evaluation to determine at what point added height stops making a difference. This will confirm how large a differential that you require.

It depends on what model boot you have, however I have had success with 6mm lift differential by using a 3mm on the long leg and an 9mm on the short leg.
post #16 of 24
Jim, do you still aim for a level pelvis as a priority for leg length adjustments?
post #17 of 24
Bud, in a perfect world yes, I would like to see symetry from the feet to the shoulders. Or vice versa from the shoulders to the feet.

We get into splitting some hairs because you can have the pelvis level in the frontal plane, but twisted in the transverse plane.

Which can sometimes help you identify a limb length discrepancy. I think you might agree that the length discrepancy can take on exact opposite apperances on snow depending on the way a persons body has learned to compensate for the difference.

For example sometimes the pelvis is level in appearance because the the body has the femur twisted in, the knee twisted in, and a greater degree of pronation at the subtalar joint. All this helps to level the hip, perhaps saving the lower spine from looking like a question mark, not necessarily improving alignment for skiing.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Bud, I realize (now) that you're the author of this informative and awesome article/website: http://www.snowind.com/pages/ramp.htm

I've tried 6 mm in my boot...way too much. I may get away w/ 2-3mm in the boot but 6 was too much. My question to you is: when I put 2-2.5mm plexiglass under the binding (mentioned on the website) is 6-5.5 mm of SCREW penetration ok to safely hold the binding to the ski (I'm measuring 8mm of total SCREW penetration in a standard Look/Rossi screw)? Could I experiment w/ this set up for a couple of runs, and then take these results and have my boots re-plated?

I guess re-plating would be the BEST option so far

(as I read from a previous satisfied BEAR from your work w/ plating boots!)

and that gives me more room in the boots to increase my ramp angle (I have very long legs and feel a lot better w/ a larger ramp angle).

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Also...do you any of you have experience w/ fitting your clients w/ leg braces to help their knees track straight...IF their legs are twisted? (rare cases I'm sure)......
post #20 of 24
Perhaps your screw depth would suffice to experiment or if the ski has a metal top sheet that would offer good screw grip, but it is always best to try to get the same penetration with the screws as before plating to insure appropriate grip. A mm or two shorter would probably be fine but I would get as close as possible. Any shop should have ample screws lying around you could rumage through to find the proper lengths needed?

On the topic of liking more ramp....I am wondering, since you said you have long legs and you are in Look/Rossi bindings, what your fore/aft angles look like? These bindings stock, tend to have the highest stand height differential on the market pitching the skier forward. If you have a longer boot sole this may be a good thing but with many, it tends to be too much?? Why is it you feel you prefer more ramp angle? Do you have limited ankle flexion? I ask this because increasing ramp inside the boot combined with the binding you are using will tend to put you toward one end of the spectrum. You may find that more ramp inside the boot coupled with gas pedaling the boot sole (thicker plates on toes than heels) may actually work quite well for you?
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
I actually have smaller boots 25.5, and the ramp angle in the boot is about 4.5*. I'm going to experiment this Wed with new look bindings (P-10), but I also have Rossi scratch 110 that I may have mounted. More ramp angle makes me feel more balanced. I'm still experimenting w/ it though. I'm going to find out my Max ramp angle, then back off to something that works.

Bump on my above question about leg braces? Any experience w/ people using them?
post #22 of 24
could you be more specific about leg braces?

do you mean knee braces?

and if so, off the shelf? custom fitted, custom moulded?

also much of knee tracking is and can be found in the boot set up including and not limited to:

ankle rom, arch flexibility, ramp angle, footbed, forefoot varus or valgus, cuff alignment, sole canting, abducted shell, etc, etc, etc....

why the interest in knee tracking?
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
More specific on leg braces? (Knee braces, but...)Really, I don't much about them, but I was talking w/ a friend and her husband (after surgery) uses them
to help his keens straight. He can't ski w/out them, so I was wondering if my left leg was so twisted, that boot alignment is futile. However, I'm still experimenting!

I feel like the guy Bud describes in this recent thread: (however, I'm not hunky dory as of yet....


Starthaus, in that thread, i've gone down the list of alignment and now am fine tuning, but I was just wondering (esp after talking w/ the friend) if the brace would be a quick fix it!

I'll be able to get on the hill Wed to experiment more...got my riser plates on my right leg, my custom foot beds, and cants on both feet...can't wait to see what happens!
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 

end of the road...canting/footbeds not working.

I've done some experimenting and I've come to the conclusion that my left leg is just rotated inward, and no canting/footbeds help. (left foot is duck, right is normal).

So I was wondering if anyone has ever had or any experience with:

1-bindings rotated off-center (outward) just a few degrees ---or---

2-using a patella tracking knee brace to help the knee track straight.

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