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Making sense of ski boot design

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am curious as to why boot manufacturers put the canting capability in the boot board? If you had a boot board that is fabricated to be taller so it could be ground to whatever angle the end user needed, or ground down flat if canting is not required, wouldn’t it be cheaper and easier than grinding soles, adding lifts, and grinding toe and heal interfaces to match binding DIN configuration? Wouldn’t it make more sense to put the adjustment closer to the foot and ankle and not grind rigid plastic? Am I missing something here?
post #2 of 4
So called 'internal canting', i.e. under the foot has very little effect on knee mass position compared to under the boot adjustments. Why? Under boot corrections involve inner 'throat' and cuff as a lever, while in-boot under foot corrections don't.

The foot is very capable of adapting to corrections in the bootboard and absorbing angles - hence often resulting in sub-optimal biomechanics for the foot. IMO, this is a misguided approach to boot balancing unless there is a valid foot deformity that requires posting.
post #3 of 4

Yes and No to "am I missing something"? Yes the bootboard is the engine that drives the train, it is an important piece of the puzzle. But No in terms of messing around with it. The bootboard is so important that you do not want to constantly be making changes to it. If it made sense the ski industry would have adopted this idea years ago. So far (meaning the last 40 year) any attempt to make bootboards that move in multiple directions has been rejected by the consumer, the racer, and retail establishment

IMO: Just for clarity, the manufacturers do not put canting capability in the bootboard. Any bootboard can be raised or lowered to adapt to the skiers needs, by adding or removing material. Important to understand is that this act of changing the ramp angle or tipping the bootboard inside or outside is not canting.

To Matt's point, changing either rearfoot or forefoot angle(or both) of the bootboard, is not a common practice with the most "connected to the performance world" boot guru's. IMO This whole internal canting theory only exists on Epicski, which in case you had not noticed is a virtual ski reality. There are a handful of kooks swimming in a pool that they recently pissed in. The guys that are prescibing this kind of alignment are either new age shaman or rip-off artists trying to sell you swamp land in Florida.

So IMO unfortunately all of the necessary adjustments for balanced skiing cannot be made internally with the bootboard. Yes the bootboard is an important element in balance, but so is sole canting, and to some degree cuff alignment. The manufacturers know how important sole canting is to racing. Case in point, many of the pure race boots have oversized toe and heel lugs that have to be routered down to DIN before the boots can fit into bindings.

In that same context all of the raceboots have a hard and relatively even bootboards, that from brand to brand are within a few mm from the highest to the lowest. This is not a coincidence, it is what has been proven time and time again to work.

IMO As always there are special needs and exceptions to the sweet spot of the ski world, however that is typical of discussions here on Epic where we spend a disproportionate amount of time on the esoteric and exceptions to the rules versus what is best practice for the largest chunk of the skiing universe. That must be because it is so much fun to play stump the gurus.

Tongue 'n cheek as always,

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks Matt and Jim. I appreciate your intelligent and concise responses. I have a better understanding of the impact of the bootboard, and ankle dynamics within the boot. Jim, I appreciate your wit, I guess that’s why I keep coming back to your shop (it's really about the humor, not the hardware).

Again, thanks
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