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Struggling with forward lean and stiffness

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Just to set the playing field level here... I'm a total geek and want to adjust everything, all the time, until it's perfect. I have Dalbello Krypton Pro boots (29.5) fitted by Bud, and I love 'em. However, I think I might be able to help myself out of a skiing rut by changing some of the adjustments in the boot.

me: 6'7" 240lbs PSIA level 8 skier (most of the mountain, most of the time, with or without style, heh).

For most of last season my setup was::

Forward lean: The middle sized wedge behind the ankle.
Stiffeners (black things that click in the insde heel area): Softest setting
Tongue: Medium (as opposed to stiff, only comes with 2)

One of the comments that has been made repeatedly about my skiing is that I need to stand up taller. When I stand up taller (extend knees and ankles) I don't get the pressure I want on the boot cuff. If I extend primarily knees and less ankles, I end up with extreme, even painful, forward pressure on the boot cuff as a result of the incredibly long arm (leg in this case, but arm is the physics term) torquing the ankle/boot cuff area.

Further, when I'm carving and encounter an upslope in terrain, or when I land in the off piste, my ankle is often flexed more than I feel is comfortable. In fact it can be pretty painful.

I figured that what I wanted to do was to reduce the forward lean in my boot so that I could get good forward pressure in the boot without having to go so far forward that so much weight was 'hanging' in the cuff. I also want to increase the stiffness so I get a bit more support. As a very tall skier there seems to be a very small window that represents properly balanced rather than 'hanging in boot forwards' or 'back seat'. Sometimes it seems like the extra ankle flex I use to pressure the boot lowers my hips almost creating both problems at once, even though that doesn't make any sense.

I pulled out the forward lean shim from the heel of the boot entirely, and increased the stiffness by going to the small black tab in the lower position with a couple of ski days left in the season last year. I didn't notice a huge amount of change, but I _think_ it was helping. I was hoping I could get some boot guru advice on whether I'm moving the right direction withe what I'm doing to my boots. Also, is this just a technique issue where I'm not using the boot properly or my stance is just not right?

post #2 of 13
F lean is adjustable by removing the rear spoiler out of the back of the boot.

Flex is adjustable with both different tongues and with the flex wedge in the back
post #3 of 13
You are getting pain when dorsiflexing, but we don't know if the dorsiflexion is extreme or if maybe you have limited dorsiflexion. At your height and weight certainly the boot may not be offering enough forward stiffness to prevent excess dorsiflexion in extreme situations.

Moving the cuff to a more vertical alignment also acts to stiffen the system. You can decide if it is enough or not. MOving the cuff to a more vertical position also gives you more contact and again at your height and weight may not push you into the back seat.

Further reducing ramp angle outside the boot with a lift under the boot toe or binding toe acts to increase pressure as well.

Problem is it does nothing to eliminate excess dorsiflexion.

The experimenting is easy. I think the first step is to try and determine if you are overflexing when you have pain or if your ankle has limited ROM.

post #4 of 13
At 6-7 and 240 lbs the only way the boot could feel to stiff is if your COM is behind center, find a bootfitter and get his appraisal. What is the circumference of your calf at the top of the liner?

post #5 of 13

Your thinking is spot on with the adjustments you did! As a general rule when standing static in cuff neutral your knees should plumb about over your boot toe and as you stated you should be able to feel comfortable tongue pressure on your shin when straight running in neutral position, and feel you can easily pressure your tips at the top of your turns.

The final solution may involve changing your delta angle a bit as well. You may not be able to get it all done with the boot as mentioned above. The net forward lean in the boot should give priority to your dorsiflexion needs rather than where your knee plumbs which can be adjusted with delta changes.

It's great to see your enthusiasm for skiing! I love to share and work with people who really want to ski their best and you are certainly one I have met who does!! See you on the hill this year?!

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Lou: How can I tell if I am overflexing, or if I have limited ROM? I mean, I have as much dorsiflexion as I have. It doesn't change, and I don't really know what's normal. I can always go with the ski with Bud and ask him plan.

Bud: Thanks. I'll leave the boots the same to start the season, but probably add in a little more stiffness (the adjustments interact so I think it takes a more aggressive setting of the black stiffening tabs to keep them upright in the new setting) in the first couple weeks until I feel I've gone 'too far' and then back it out.

As far as on the hill, you bet! More often if we can find a way to ski together where neither one of us has to donate to the resort gods. This year I'm going to try for an every other weekend schedule (plus all holidays), so I hope to be available for free skiing on Friday of the weeks I teach, and Sat/Sun on the weeks I don't teach.

post #7 of 13
I would love to come to Alpine and ski with you and Doug Perinni and his wife (name?). Perhaps if there is enough interest I could bring the ski quiver and we can take a group out to test a few different alignment parameters!?

post #8 of 13
Hi Bud! I'm in.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by bud heishman View Post
I would love to come to Alpine and ski with you and Doug Perinni and his wife (name?). Perhaps if there is enough interest I could bring the ski quiver and we can take a group out to test a few different alignment parameters!?
Leigh. Leigh is awesome by the way. She and Kim Mann got us through our L1 last year for sure. Some on snow alignment/ski time would be great.

post #10 of 13
Leigh, that's right! She is a sweetheart and a great asset to our division! What energy and experience!

Let's try to make it happen once we get some more snow! Which by the way it snowed like crazy for a bit today! Few inches in the mountains.
post #11 of 13
you are correct about your dorsiflexion in that you have what you have. But if it isn't enough stretching may help. One test is can you squat without lifting your heels off the floor when barefoot.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Lou: The answer is that no, I can't. If a vertical shaft is 90 degrees, my rough estimate in the mirror is that I can close my ankle to 50 or 45 degrees before my heel lifts. Between that and the length ratio of my tib/fib vs. my femur I would fall over backwards if I kept my heels on the ground. I've never really been able to do squats for exercise without pain/injury to my knees, and I'm guessing this is why (since my hips end up back.... hmm there's a familiar complaint).

I have a feeling this is going to end up being a major issue for me to work on this season.

post #13 of 13
Not certain I agree with your assumptions. First although we are estimating angles, if your estimation is even near then I would say you have plenty of dorsiflexion.

For doing squats your hips do belong back it reduces flexion in the knee joint. So although knee pain is not uncommon during squats maybe you should have a qualified practitioner diagnose the problem

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