New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Binding Position On Race Skis

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

This could have been in several different forums but since it is race specific, I picked this one. 

 

I'm new to racing NASTAR.  I guy at work said "For $50.00 you can be a ski racer."  So I paid the dues and here I am.  So after 3 weeks I'm getting silvers pretty consistently.  It helps that I'm being mentored/coached by someone that always gets platinums and happens to be the guy that took my $50.00.  I've consumed a bit of beer too.

 

Anyway, I bought cheater race skis; Atomic LT11 in 170 w/16M radius.  I'm 49, 5'7" and 170#.  I had Metron B5 and had the binding set 3 cm forward of center position which puts my bof dead center on the center of the running surface.  I went through the same steps on the LT11's and to get the bof on center, the bindings had to move 3 cm forward of center (or 2 cm forward of Forward).

 

Since I've learned that:

 

Atomics are known for having their bindings further back than other manufacturers

 

When you carve you are only on your bof to initiate the turn and then are on your entire foot.

 

In order to keep a ski bent through a turn, you need to keep pressure across the entire running surface of the ski (radiated out from the foot)

 

I believe the "sweet spot" on the ski (with regards to bending it) would be the center of the running surface.

 

I'm pretty sure the center of my downward weight isn't my bof.  Probably closer to the center/front of my arch; especially if I'm more on one foot than another.

 

So, if the statements above are true, would it make sense to adjust my bindings forwards to a point that has my bof in front of the center of the running surface?  Is there a "rule of thumb" for racing that is different from recreational?

 

Short of a rule of thumb, my plan would be to start making forward increments then make smaller forward/back adjustments.  Then go with the one that makes getting and holding a carve the easiest.

 

Looking forward to your responses.

Thanks,

Ken

post #2 of 19

You want race ski bindings relatively further back (slightly) as it makes the ski more "twitchy" and thus dynamic.  You compensate for being back on the ski by pushing hard forward with your shins.  ie next time you have your skis on, lean all the way forward until your tails start to come up off the snow.  That's about how it should feel on your shins when your skiing.  It hurts, but its really necessary to get the ski to bite on the rutted up icy courses I'm sure you've experienced by now. 

 

Now binding position is as much as anything a matter of preferance and feel, but I wouldn't overthink it.  Much more productive to work on technique and tuning I'd say.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

You're bustin' my chops right? 

 

This is 180 out of everything I've learned and read at this site and others.  Not saying it isn't true but I'm going to need somebody to break it down Barney Style so I can wrap my head around it if it is.

 

All I do is work on technique.  That is what made me think if how the ski works and why I might want to move the binding position even further forward.  Why muscle it if I can let form and set up do the work for me. 

 

I do my own tuning and my skis don't go more than two ski days without waxing and edge polishing. 


Edited by L&AirC - 3/4/2009 at 06:50 pm
post #4 of 19

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thereisnospork View Post

 

You want race ski bindings relatively further back (slightly) as it makes the ski more "twitchy" and thus dynamic.  You compensate for being back on the ski by pushing hard forward with your shins.  ie next time you have your skis on, lean all the way forward until your tails start to come up off the snow.  That's about how it should feel on your shins when your skiing.  It hurts, but its really necessary to get the ski to bite on the rutted up icy courses I'm sure you've experienced by now. 

 

Now binding position is as much as anything a matter of preferance and feel, but I wouldn't overthink it.  Much more productive to work on technique and tuning I'd say.

 

I don't know if I agree with the first paragraph but I do agree with the second that binding position is largely individual preference and feel.  There are many factors that can go into optimal position: skier weight, dynamic stance, ski length and flex, binding plate, delta angle, boot flex, and so on. Binding fore and aft is just one factor. Ultimately, you are trying to get to a neutral balance. I have some bindings where I can adjust the position and I can sense the difference it makes. I settle on a position that works for the way I ski. (Actually I should say a position that requires the least work for the way I ski). However, I usually end up something near what the manufacturer recommends.

 

If you are not struggling to achieve aggressive clean carves, I wouldn't worry too much about the binding position. I would focus on technique. If you are struggling, then maybe it would be worth doing some testing with small adjustments. Maybe talk to someone who balances skis (note all the above factors). But usually the tune is a more common issue.

post #5 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgudaitis View Post

 

 

 

I don't know if I agree with the first paragraph but I do agree with the second that binding position is largely individual preference and feel.  There are many factors that can go into optimal position: skier weight, dynamic stance, ski length and flex, binding plate, delta angle, boot flex, and so on. Binding fore and aft is just one factor. Ultimately, you are trying to get to a neutral balance. I have some bindings where I can adjust the position and I can sense the difference it makes. I settle on a position that works for the way I ski. (Actually I should say a position that requires the least work for the way I ski). However, I usually end up something near what the manufacturer recommends.

 

If you are not struggling to achieve aggressive clean carves, I wouldn't worry too much about the binding position. I would focus on technique. If you are struggling, then maybe it would be worth doing some testing with small adjustments. Maybe talk to someone who balances skis (note all the above factors). But usually the tune is a more common issue.


 

What he said.  A couple of other notes:

 

- I'm assuming you have Atomic bindings and can move them back and forth on the ski without remounting.  I'm also assuming that the bindings are mounted according to your boot sole length.  I dunno about the plates on the skis you are on, but a lot of Atomic plates have 3 sets of holes, usually for something like 280 or less, 300, and 330 or more.  So I'd check that first, then just experiment, as suggested, until you find what you like. 

 

I have all Atomic for my race stuff, and for both pairs of my 201 SGs and both pairs of my 205 SGs, I'm all the way forward (out of a possible 5 positions).  For both pairs of my 183 GSs, I'm one forward.  For my 165 SLs, I started off one forward, went to middle of the ski, but I was having problems getting my turn started quickly enough, so I went to all the way forward, and that seems to be working out for me.  But that's my setting, I don't think there is a Golden Rule, and your mileage may vary. 

 

- I also don't agree with what Thereisnospork said in the first paragraph.  I don't think moving bindings back is necessarily going to make the ski twitchy, and I also don't agree that you want to be leaning against the front of the boot all the time.  That's as bad as hanging on the backs of the boots all the time.  See an article that Ron LeMaster wrote in Ski Racing with a photo sequence of Dani Albrecht's GS win at Beaver Creek in 2007.  He uses the full range of motion in his ankle throughout the turn, and thus uses the whole length of the ski, which is how you optimize a shaped ski. 

 

- 3rd, if you wanna get faster in NASTAR, a 170 LT11 ain't really gonna cut it.  Compared to Masters courses, for example, NASTAR is usually fairly straight, with very little offset.  The only time I did any NASTAR recently was in last year's Mountain Dew race at Eldora, Colorado, and I used a 185 Head GS ski with a 25.2 sidecut, and it worked just fine, I guess.  I just got an invite to the NASTAR nationals, saying I was a platinum and in the top 3 in my age group in my region. 

 

- 4th, if your technique and tactics are good, you can win a platinum on barrel staves.  Figure out how to turn and where to turn, and you'll cut seconds, not fractions of a second, off your time....

 

 

post #6 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post

 - 3rd, if you wanna get faster in NASTAR, a 170 LT11 ain't really gonna cut it.  Compared to Masters courses, for example, NASTAR is usually fairly straight, with very little offset.  The only time I did any NASTAR recently was in last year's Mountain Dew race at Eldora, Colorado, and I used a 185 Head GS ski with a 25.2 sidecut, and it worked just fine, I guess. 

 


 

Actually, most inexperienced racers seem to carve cleaner in a NASTAR course  on skis with with more sidecut (hence faster for them).   Top racers like yourself have the skills to cleanly carve on skis with less sidecut and are faster on them.

 

post #7 of 19

For what it's worth I am 5'7" and 152lbs, I ski a 10.xx NASTAR handicap on 180c LT11's so you can take this with a grain of salt.

 

I have played with positioning the binders forward, neutral and back. I prefer them forward on the GS ski about 3mm. I feel like I get more early edge pressure and it's simply the most comfortable performance I can get from the ski.This is completely opposite on my ST11 slaloms which are about 3mm back.

 

We use NASTAR scoring for our local masters beer leagues setting both SL and GS. The set varies considerably and the setups above work for me personally- you may or may not feel the same.

 

Play around with it and use whatever is best for you, not what seems to work on paper.

 

Good Luck!

post #8 of 19

Yeah, that's a good point.  I guess I was thinking more about the length.  I think a 170 would be okay, but I think a 180 LT 12 would be more like it...I hate to bring it up, but let's also talk about other stuff that makes you fast as in:

 

- A DH or GS suit.

 

- Fast wax, which ain't necessarily fluoro, but if it's called for, fluoro can make a big difference.  Out here in the Rockies, it tends to be cold/dry until spring, so something like Toko Moly Lo Fluoro with maybe some Toko Nano Universal or, if it's warm enough, Toko Helix Warm on top works well.  Once it gets warm enough and you can actually squeeze some moisture out of a snowball, then Toko Yellow Lo (or High, if you have the $$$) with Toko Helix Warm is usually the hot setup...

 

 

 

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Dgudaitis,

 

"Actually I should say a position that requires the least work for the way I ski"

 

This is what I'm trying to achieve.  I love a good workout but I'm against making things harder than they should be when I'm not working out.

 

"I" think I am struggling for the clean carve.  I can get it but too often I can hear my skis and I shouldn't.  This very well could be technique.  I wouldn't be surprised if I have my skis positioned perfectly for me and the problem is I don't "suck" less enough yet (at the beginning of the year I sucked a lot!).

 

As stated, I'm pretty good at keeping the skis tuned.  My settings are 1/3.

 

SkiRacer55,

"Atomic plates have 3 sets of holes"

 

Did not know this and I will look into it.  My bsl is 296 so I'll see if they are at the 300 or not.

 

"a 170 LT11 ain't really gonna cut it."

 

I'm not there yet.  Tomorrow will be my 4th week racing ever.  In a couple of years I'll get real race skis.  Until then, these skis are working perfect for my intro to racing.

 

"Figure out how to turn and where to turn"

 

Agree.  And one of the things I need to do is use the equipment correctly.  In order to do that it needs to be set up correctly.  As you stated a 180 would have been better but the 170 is good enough for where I'll be for a while.

 

Thanks all for the input.  I'll check them out tonight and play on the mountain tomorrow night.  Should be interesting.

 

post #10 of 19

Atomic bindings have three sets of mountin holes only for the "RACE" and XENTRIX series. NOT neox.

 

I always did better with my bindings mounted way the heck forward.

post #11 of 19

Well I guess i am the exception here!

 

I have never liked bindings too far forward. Always does just the opposite of what I expect and makes me feel back. We have many skis with Atomic Race 5 position bindings. You can move them at a flick of a knob.  Most folks struggle when a ski has too much tail length. Additionally too far forward can make it easier to initiate  but more difficult to keep the tails carving.  

 

Stockli laser Slaloms factory mounting point is farther forward then any other ski. I sold mine. Never felt right on them mounted that far forward.

 

As far as Atomic plates go,   generally speaking,  the 3 mounting points for Race CR & Xentrix series

are:

Less then 305mm

 

305-340MM

 

Greater then 340MM

 

At 296 the OP would be in the holes the farthest back!

 

But as stated above Neox have one mounting point and 2 official adjustment positions. BUT!!!!!!!

 

You can adjust them anywhere within reason just as long as the numbers showing in the windows add up to 2 X 295 or 590 /10 59  (You should always round down. So you would set your Neox to 29.5 in each window either Forward or Central for the factory official mount points.

 

But lets say you wanted to move farther forward (you are limited by the detente for the AFD at some point forward. )

 

if you set your toe for a 305 you would set the toe at 30.5 and the heel at 28.5  (29.5 +29.5 = 59.0) &

 

(30.5 + 28.5=59.0)

 

or if you went 310:  toe (31) heel would be 280 (28)

 

In either circumstance you must set the forward pressure for a 296mm boot sole with the screw at the base of the heel. It should be  flush with the housing when the boot is locked in the binding, But do not adjust the forward pressure with the boot in the binding!

 

Questions!  Ask away.

 

All of my Head ski are mounted at boot center at factory mounting point  They are slightly forward of Atomics mounting point but no where near the Stocklis

 

Bottom line!

 

Everyone is different and it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. yes forward may be easier to initiate the turn but is it easier to cleanly carve with no tail slide (An epidemic on the hill)

 

PS If you are using the race binding no matter which hole you mount in you must have the toe set to the all-around position when mounting to get the full range of adjustment! (5 positions on the 6.14 or 10.18) 

 

 


Edited by Atomicman - 3/5/2009 at 06:15 am
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Aman,

 

Thanks for the input.

 

So after reading all this this I decided to not change the binding position yet; I'll leave them at the +3cm from center for now.  I did change the forward lean on my boots though.  I also understand that by changing the forward lean I might actually have to move the binding position reward. 

 

I'll play around tonight before the race to see how it is working and will do the same on Saturday if need be.  My approach will be from the Matrix "There is no spoon."  Doesn't matter what you think should work, what only matters is what works.  I'll just try all the settings and see which I like best.

 

Thanks everyone,

 

Ken

post #13 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 

Aman,

 

Thanks for the input.

 

So after reading all this this I decided to not change the binding position yet; I'll leave them at the +3cm from center for now.  I did change the forward lean on my boots though.  I also understand that by changing the forward lean I might actually have to move the binding position reward. 

 

I'll play around tonight before the race to see how it is working and will do the same on Saturday if need be.  My approach will be from the Matrix "There is no spoon."  Doesn't matter what you think should work, what only matters is what works.  I'll just try all the settings and see which I like best.

 

Thanks everyone,

 

Ken

...sounds good, there is at least one other setup item you ought to consider.  Atomic bindings have a natural 3 mil plus height difference on the heel vs. the toe.  There are lots of racers who go with different ramp angles for different feel/different events.  Some of my teammates actually have the toe ramped up higher than the heel, especially for slalom. Why mess with the ramp angle?  Well, it turns out that it isn't necessarily a great idea to be ramped heel high.  It turns out that if you're ramped neutral, you may be able to get better forward pressure on the shovel at the beginning of the turn without hanging forward in your boots. 

 

Atomic actually makes shims that you can put between the plate and the binding, and they come with longer screws, but they cost a lot of money, and my rep couldn't get any this year.  So I made my own out of a 1/8" thick high density plastic plate that I bought at Colorado Plastics for about $8 and had enough material for all 8 pairs of my race skis (1/8" equals 1.5 mils, two sheets equals 3 mils).   I experimented with different rampings and came out with 3 mil at the toe for all events (I also use a 1/3 bevel for all events).  It turns out that the stock screws have enough length for a 3 mil ramp. 
 

 

I know it sounds weird, but it's just another data point...

 

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

SR55,

 

I'll keep that in mind.  For now though, I'm real happy with the set up.  I left my bindings at +3cm from center but moved the forward lean on my boots all the way forward (Dalbello Krypton Pros w/#8 shims).  It was great!  Took me a few runs to get used to it but it was amazing how much faster and cleaner I skied.  Couldn hardly hear my skis!

 

I sucked on the course because they moved the start up to the top and I hadn't raced steep or long before.  Next week I'll be fine.  I lost most of my time on the chair lift ride up looking at the course and thinking I was gonna do a high speed (for me) digger.  The proof will be in the pudding when I do the regular NASTAR Saturday.  It's a sprint course that I'm very comfortable with and the only way to make time is to ride the ski.

post #15 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 

SR55,

 

The proof will be in the pudding when I do the regular NASTAR Saturday.  It's a sprint course that I'm very comfortable with and the only way to make time is to ride the ski.


 

Not exactly.  We may have different definitions of "ride the ski", but "ride the ski" sounds like "park and ride to me."  On a sprint Nastar course, with very little offset, yes, you have to ride the ski in the sense that you have to make clean arcs, try to cut off the line, and try to stay in the fall line. 

 

What you also need, however, is:

 

- A really good start.  You can win or lose a NASTAR race in the start alone. 

 

- The ability to put energy into the ski by bending it...edge and pressure...and then take that energy down the hill and into the next turn when you release from the previous turn.  If you want to go fast in Nastar, you have to be extremely active and athletic.  You can make perfect turns, but they can be perfectly slow...

 

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

SkiRacer55,

 

Yup.  I get the whole thing on bending the ski and transferring the energy.  I should say I understand it.  Delivery is something different   The "ride the ski" comment was about not skidding the tail on this particular course.

 

In referring to the "proof"; I picked that course because I've run it about 40 times in the past couple of weeks and I know what "I" am able to do on it.  The course I ran last night wasn't an apple to apple comparison.  The beer league had been doing a course with the fast guys getting mid to upper 20's.  Last night's course added about 10 seconds and was through terrain I haven't raced on; steep and crusty at the top.  When I got past that, I flew (for me) and pulled away from the guy I was racing.  We were neck and neck and I beat him by 2.5 seconds at the finish.  Probably close to 1.5 seconds as he was on the longer course.

 

My starts are pretty good.  I launch myself down the ramp and skate to the first turn and try to pick up as much speed as I can before turning into the fall line (have to go across the course before down).  I still have lots to learn but so far my learning curve has been pretty good.

 

I'll know more tomorrow.  I'm expecting good results because everything felt so good last night.  That of course means "Dooooooommmmm!"

post #17 of 19


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post

 

SkiRacer55,

 

Yup.  I get the whole thing on bending the ski and transferring the energy.  I should say I understand it.  Delivery is something different   The "ride the ski" comment was about not skidding the tail on this particular course.

 

In referring to the "proof"; I picked that course because I've run it about 40 times in the past couple of weeks and I know what "I" am able to do on it.  The course I ran last night wasn't an apple to apple comparison.  The beer league had been doing a course with the fast guys getting mid to upper 20's.  Last night's course added about 10 seconds and was through terrain I haven't raced on; steep and crusty at the top.  When I got past that, I flew (for me) and pulled away from the guy I was racing.  We were neck and neck and I beat him by 2.5 seconds at the finish.  Probably close to 1.5 seconds as he was on the longer course.

 

My starts are pretty good.  I launch myself down the ramp and skate to the first turn and try to pick up as much speed as I can before turning into the fall line (have to go across the course before down).  I still have lots to learn but so far my learning curve has been pretty good.

 

I'll know more tomorrow.  I'm expecting good results because everything felt so good last night.  That of course means "Dooooooommmmm!"


 

A couple of notes:

 

- Don't expect anything, ever.  Focus on the performance and the results will take care of themselves.  Tamara McKinney, America's first and only WC overall champion until Lindsey Vonn last year, was once asked "How do you know when you're going to win a race?" and what she said was "You never know, and there are no guarantees.  You do your best and you hope, that's all."  Or, to put it another way, as Dave Chappelet's coach said in Downhill Racer, "It's a really fragile sport." 

 

- Your starts are okay, they can be a lot better. I'm not going to get into the specifics, because developing a good start is an art, and takes a lot of time.  It's basically taken me about 10 years to develop a good (not a great) start.   To start with, however, lose the skating.  The best racers in the world can occasionally gain a few tenths out of the start by skating.  The rest of us basically dissipate our energy and our direction because we skate side to to side, not down the hill, and we inevitably end up off line and off balance when it's time to start turning.  Hammer out of the start, push really hard with your poles two or three times, straight to where you're going to make your first turn, and make a great first turn.  That's it...but I didn't say it was easy. 

 

- Having said all that, you're definitely on track to make a NASTAR platinum in fairly short order.  Okay...then what?  I'm not going to tell you that NASTAR and Beer League racing is doo doo.  It's just a specific subset of the overall set of skills you need to be a ski racer.  Basically, it's drag racing, and it doesn't interest me.  Masters Racing, on the other hand, is LeMans racing, where you get up to 240 mph in the Mulsanne Straight...but you still have to make cranky turns at 50 mph, and you have to do it over and over again, in the rain, in the dark, for 24 hours.  The last Masters GS I raced, at Vail, 2 weeks ago, was about 1:02 in length, had tucking and gliding on the top, tough, round turns on bullet proof snow on the steep, and increasing speed over the bumps and rolls all the way to the bottom. That's ski racing, IMHO, and that's where you ought to be headed...IMHO.  So...wuddia say?

 

 

 

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

I guess it's like the old addage Q - "What did God do when you told him your plan?"  A-Laughed.

 

I'm not making a plan yet, but I definitely wouldn't rule that out.  I spent 20 years in the Marine Corps and now have a desk job.  I need something to let me know I'm alive and this seems to do the trick.

 

The guy that's coaching me (well nudging me actually).  He's great.  Helps me sort out what to do.  Anyway, at work he's on the "A" team for racing.  I'm on the D team.  People are assigned to the A team and the rest don't really matter (B team members and D team might have same skill set).  I told him I want to be good enough to be on the A team in two years.  The A team is pretty much made up of Platinums.  He thinks I can do it.  We'll see what happens. 

 

My Nudge does Masters also.  When I asked him about it he said "I found out I still suck."

 

The hill is also talking about aving more long races for the beer league next year; maybe 50-50.  And next year I'll get out more and get to more hills.

 

Thanks for the tip on poling vs. skating.  I'll compare it tomorrow.

post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

So the course wasn't what I was expecting but one I've done before and comfortable with.  My time was better and the snow was slushy.  I didn't start on it unitl 1:30 or 2 and they'd been racing on it all morning so it was soft and rutted up quickly.

 

Anyway, my feelings on the binding setting is to leave them at the +3 cm from center and have the forward lean at +15 (#8 shim on Kryptons).  It really felt good and any issues I had were from technique (lack of) or lack of experience.

 

I did have a blast and the best part was my 11 y/o daughter raced for the first time and was hooked immediately!  Her first time out and did four runs.  First run was to see what it was like and the next two runs she took 2 seconds off her previous time.  Last run was slightly slower than the 3rd run so she ended the day with 3 bronze runs.

 

Can't wait to see how much this is going to cost me next year!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home