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I purchased a pair of Atomic Hawx H-80 boots as I prepared to get back into skiing. I skied only twice in college and that was 14 years ago, so I'm basically starting over.

I skied Windham Mountain NY for 3 days last week in conjunction with a conference I had in NYC. I did that to get ready for my big trip to Snowmass coming up in a week.

My plan was to take my new boots to Keith Holmquist at the Pro Ski and Ride in Hunter, NY, to have custom footbeds made and the boots aligned as soon as I arrived Saturday before skiing my first day on Sunday. He had a conflict and wasn't going to be in the shop, so we made an appointment for late Sunday afternoon (after my first day of skiing).

My first day back skiing was tougher than I thought, and overall, I definitely took a slow approach - never built up much speed and stayed strictly on greens. Despite that, I fell 3 or 4 times. I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to enjoy skiing again.

One of my biggest challenges was that I could not engage my left ski very easily to make a right turn. I felt much more comfortable standing on the right ski to make a left turn. I just couldn't seem to reliably and consistently get my weight over to the left ski. I had read about skiers having a stronger side than the other, so I just chalked it up to that and thought I've got a long way to go to get comfortable on that side.

So I go see Keith Sunday afternoon. He is a C.Ped and a MasterFit U trained guy. He uses instaprint customform insoles (semi-weight bearing). I step up on the deal, and he immediately pronounces my feet as being pretty pronated. Upon closer examination, he says my left foot is especially severely pronated (I had not told him anything about my left foot engagement problems). He makes the footbeds, does some alignment, works on a trouble spot, and sends me on my way.

The next morning, day 2, with my very first turns of the day, I have no problem whatsoever engaging the left foot and ski to make right turns. I'm talking, problem solved completely just by the footbed and alignment work. I was skiing no better first thing the next morning than when I finished up the previous afternoon. Started skiing blues, got comfortable with more speed, and am now hooked. (On day 3, we got 10" of fresh and I had a lesson on powder skiing, hitting almost knee deep stashes just off trail - hooked ++ - can hardly wait for Snowmass in a week).

Sorry for the rambling post, but I've read quite a few posts here on epic by some who question the value of custom footbeds. I'm a huge believer and am so glad I didn't have to struggle any longer than I did thinking it was just something wrong with my skiing technique.

I appreciate all you boot fitters here. And if someone is looking for a boot fitter and custom orthotics in the central NY region, I highly recommend Keith. I asked him about joining epic, and he said he's just not a computer guy.

Take care,