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Women's forward mount: good or bad

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I was just trying to show visually how a too far forward mount would cause someone to want to lean back all the time and result in thigh burn. I think picture on flat ground really shows that you have to be way back from vertical to be balanced on a forward mounted ski. Mounting back would make you need to learn forward and give you something to lean on like you said, so it will be good as long as you stay aggressive. If you mount back and then don't ski aggressive you end up really far back and not be able to control the long tops which can then really throw you.
This quote was from another thread not having to do with women's skis. But this issue has been on my mind. Having recently demoed a bunch of skis in search of my new skis, I found I had to sit back in order to get full power and performance out of each of the women's skis i tried.

Since women's skis have become 'good', and longer skis are in vogue, they don't seem to be making as many unisex skis in short sizes which is a pain for someone small like me who prefers the unisex ski.

Also, could the forward mounting position be encouraging women to have a back seat position? This position also makes it more tiring over the long run and could contribute to a plateau in a woman's skiing improvement or desire or stamina.

I have no particular expertise in this matter beyond my own personal observation and opinion. and it may just be me. But i'd be curious to hear from other women or ski equipment wonks.

Discussion?:
post #2 of 12
Mom, I don't think a "specific" mount point for women can be applied universally. After all, we are all individuals, not just taking into account our unique shapes, styles, skill levels etc. And then throw in that physics thing, balance, ramp/delta angle, & on on. I met one woman with a really burly stiff womens ski, & she liked it best mounted forward of the forward. Worked great for her, but probably few others.
I'm kind of finding out slowly, that I need to know a bit about the ski build, the binding, & then know what angles work best with my boot & myself, fore/aft balance eval, etc. It does get complicated. THEN, throw in something as all important as the subjective, how it FEELS for me, & I can get totally lost if I think about it all.
Does someone have any easy way of figuring & measuring this all out ?!
post #3 of 12
Not sure if this is helpful, but my wife is 5'5', 120 lbs., and is an agressive skier that skis all terrain and conditions. She has been mounting her skis 1 cm forward for the last 15 years. She does not ski women's specific skis. She is presently on 168 cm Volant Chubbs and 170 Rossi B2s, both of which are mounted forward, but are also considered long lengths for her size.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
Having recently demoed a bunch of skis in search of my new skis, I found I had to sit back in order to get full power and performance out of each of the women's skis i tried.
Has little to do with women's skis. Lots of men's skis when mounted on the factory mounting point also create this problem for me, a fat dude nothing at all like you. More likely to be an issue with the French stuff, if I'm going to make a broad generalization.

But if you are demoing, it need not be an issue. Tell the tech to move you around. Back, forward, whatever. Most systems can accommodate this.

Another comment you made was that skis are getting longer, and that unisex skis aren't available in the sizes you want. What kind of skis are we talking about, and just how short are you looking to go?
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the questions Garret. i'm not looking for myself anymore; i found the skis i want. It was just a wondering outloud if this was a trend that might limit choices for women in the long run. Yes you can change the mounting point, but aren't the skis designed around a factory designated point? If i'm the only one who has this issue, it's a moot point and there don't seem to be other women chiming in, so maybe it is.

BTW I replaced a 165 dynastar ski cross with a fischer watea 78 in 157. The Watea 84 doesn't come shorter than 167 and the 94 than 178. that's too long for me at 5/4 and 115 lbs. Mudfoot's rippin' wife not withstanding.
post #6 of 12
Hmm, my guess was that you were talking about the wider stuff. Really the one segment where 150ish and 160ish lengths aren't widely available. This is annoying not only for adult women but for younger rippers as well.

As to the factory mounting point: These points usually start off as a design point, then get refined via testing. One line does not fit all. Moving the binding may or may not help an individual skier for any number of reasons, but if you try it and like it there is no downside. In the context of wider skis, many come with more than one mounting line, some with a whole scale. And some boutique skis come with untrustworthy lines you'll want your tech to ignore and measure something clever herself/himself.

The trend that would limit the choices of women and men would be binding systems that the tech cannot easily move the midpoint of. There are some, and they are annoying to me and I'm sure many others. Hopefully the design teams behind them are paying attention to what the users think.

Hope you are enjoying those Fischers this season...very nice ski. I need to get to bed and be at Chair 1 in nine hours.
post #7 of 12
Mom,not to be flip, but its a body language thing. I prefer a unisex mount on most skis but a forward mount on a rare few that I've demoed........go figure :

The one ski I really liked the forward mount on, was the Nordica Olympia Firefox! That ski Rocks!!!
post #8 of 12
I spent quite a bit of time looking into this before buying skis for my wife and daughter and advising my mother-in-law on her ski purchase. Of course I had them all demo a lot of skis but being an engineer I tried to reconcile their feedback with the physics and mechanics of it all. Here's what I came up with.

For simplicity sake think of the skier as a point mass located at their center of gravity (CG). You want the CG located over the sweet spot of the ski when standing on a flat surface in a relaxed athletic stance. This is a function of binding location.

Now here's where the difference in anatomy comes in. In men the CG is located around chest high, must be all the rocks we have in our heads, while a woman's CG is located about hip height. When a man assumes an athletic stance the CG moves forward towards the balls of the feet. When a woman assumes an athletic stance the CG moves backward. Of course you can compensate by bending at the waist but that puts the body out of vertical alignment.

The ski manufacturers have come up with two corrective design changes, 1) shift the mount point forward and 2) raise the heel of the boot. Mounting the bindings forward moves a women's CG over the sweet spot of the ski while raising the heel of the boot makes sure the CG remains over the sweet spot through normal flexion and extension.

If you are a women and you don't notice the benifit of these changes there are several possible reasons. 1) You have learned to compensate for the difference in CG when riding a unisex setup and a womens ski set up will seem squirrly wanting to hook at the start of a turn, or 2) you lean way back when you ski in which case these small adjustments won't make a difference, or 3) you have more body mass above your waist resulting in a higher CG in which case a unisex set-up is right for you.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Tmoritz. That was a very nice explanation. I must have learned to compensate. Either that, or i have a big head!

Garrett, skiing Mary Jane on the new skis and the new snow and having a total blast! thanks. (oh, i misspoke, they are 159s)
post #10 of 12
Don't y'all remember that old stunt...?

Ask a guy on his knees to bend over and pick up a hanky with his teeth without falling over... can't do it.

Then ask a young gal to do it. Does it with grace. The difference in body build and center of balance.

Well, that was back when folks weren't packing so much extra weight. And gals tend to put more weight in the chest as they get older. But probably for younger folks the center of balance difference still holds. Hence the K2 Title 9 series of skis with binding moved forward.

So... if you can pass the hanky test... you might need to move the binding forward.

Seems to me that if one is skiing smooth groomers then all you need is to roll the ankles to set up a carve. However, if one is skiing steep and deep, then one must get the weight out in front starting with the pole plant, following with the head and chest. So, the type of skiing makes a difference.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMoritz View Post
I spent quite a bit of time looking into this before buying skis for my wife and daughter and advising my mother-in-law on her ski purchase. Of course I had them all demo a lot of skis but being an engineer I tried to reconcile their feedback with the physics and mechanics of it all. Here's what I came up with.

For simplicity sake think of the skier as a point mass located at their center of gravity (CG). You want the CG located over the sweet spot of the ski when standing on a flat surface in a relaxed athletic stance. This is a function of binding location.

Now here's where the difference in anatomy comes in. In men the CG is located around chest high, must be all the rocks we have in our heads, while a woman's CG is located about hip height. When a man assumes an athletic stance the CG moves forward towards the balls of the feet. When a woman assumes an athletic stance the CG moves backward. Of course you can compensate by bending at the waist but that puts the body out of vertical alignment.

The ski manufacturers have come up with two corrective design changes, 1) shift the mount point forward and 2) raise the heel of the boot. Mounting the bindings forward moves a women's CG over the sweet spot of the ski while raising the heel of the boot makes sure the CG remains over the sweet spot through normal flexion and extension.

If you are a women and you don't notice the benifit of these changes there are several possible reasons. 1) You have learned to compensate for the difference in CG when riding a unisex setup and a womens ski set up will seem squirrly wanting to hook at the start of a turn, or 2) you lean way back when you ski in which case these small adjustments won't make a difference, or 3) you have more body mass above your waist resulting in a higher CG in which case a unisex set-up is right for you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom View Post
Thanks Tmoritz. That was a very nice explanation. I must have learned to compensate. Either that, or i have a big head!

Garrett, skiing Mary Jane on the new skis and the new snow and having a total blast! thanks. (oh, i misspoke, they are 159s)
CG's will vary as much with in men or women as much as they do as men vs. woman.

Many of the skis I have tried of late have mount points that I don't like. Is that me or the ski? If its the ski, how many others feel the same way. There is so much personal preference when it comes to mount point, man or woman. And even when it comes to what conditions you are skiing the ski in.

We will be offering Vist Speedlocks on our skis for next season, just for this reason, you will be able to play with the specific mount that YOU are comfortable with on that particular ski.
post #12 of 12

If the hanky test is infra dig.

A tipping board, with a line across the top at center, turned 90 degrees from the orientation shown here:


might be able to shed some light on matters.
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