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Back seat skiers

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
The topic of skiers being in the back seat is always a topic that never gets old. It’s a great fall topic. I would estimate that 90% of all skiers are to far back or to far forward over their skis. Simply telling someone they are sitting back usually solves nothing. The comments that you here when you mention to someone that they are sitting back are always something along the lines of “No I’m not” or “Yeah I know but I’m working on it” to, “So how do I correct it cause I have tried”. Being to far back or to far forward is complex and is usually a result of compounding errors.

Let’s break it down. Errors can be divided into two groups. Those errors that money will correct and those errors that lessons in technique will correct.

When we stand or walk we are ideally balanced over the soles of our feet but, when we buckle into a pair of boots and jump on a pair of skis, the game changes for 90% of all skiers. Money can be counted on to greatly improve any alignment situation. How critical is fore/aft alignment? This test should convince you. Stand still and concentrate on balance, shift your weight forwards and backwards a bit. Note how little movement we need of the upper body to make us feel uncomfortable at our feet. Now grab your skis and measure the height from the bottom of the ski to the toe rest on the front binding and do the same for the rear binding with the brake compressed. See a big difference? When you are locked in a ski boot what do you think that angle does? That difference is called binding delta and can have a major effect on your skiing. Marker bindings are the worst and Atomic has the least delta.

Fore/aft alignment is not a simple matter. Many things including the brand of boot, the flexibility of the ankles, the binding/ski combination and body build all have an affect on fore/aft alignment. Its complicated enough that very few boot fitters offer fore/aft alignment and fewer still really know what they are doing. Suffice it to say though that unless you are close to ideal alignment you will have difficulty getting out of the front or back seat and will be unable to initiate turns in an efficient manner. I cannot over emphasis the importance of fore/aft alignment.

Working on your technique will always help but is greatly mitigated by poor alignment. Many skier work years to correct sitting back with little gain in ability. Suffice it to say, spend your money on alignment, then on lessons.

Will you know the minute you get on the slopes if your alignment is correct? From what I have seen the answer is no. Your old habits to compensate are so ingrained that little difference is noted at first. In fact the corrected alignment may make some of the old habits awkward and you may feel as though you have regressed. In my own case, I was sure the alignment guys had made me worse. A trained eye from a good mentor convinced me that I was in much better stance so, I stuck with it.

Once aligned, the process of getting out of the back seat is much simplified. You will be able to find the tongue of your boots with you’re shin. Keep the shins there and guide your skis and body always into the turn. Keep you’re feet back under you, don’t get lazy and let the inside ski run ahead. Get a good mentor/instructor.

Just a note: For those of you back seater’s who may be going for a certification your chances of getting your level II will be hampered without alignment and your chances of getting a level III are seriously reduced.

post #2 of 68
In my experience a lot of "backseat driving" comes from too much inside edge(positive cant). which causes the ski to overturn. People "correct" this by sitting back and using the part of the ski that doesn't turn as much. Some very good bootfitters reccommend a "0" cant for everyone. This, while it is the choice of many WC skiers, doesn't work very well for us mere mortals. Alignment per The Athletic Skier seems to work best for the average person.
Another "light bulb" for me was when I read a paper called, The Nuts and Bolts of Skiing by Ron LeMaster. In it he said "good skiers adjust their weight for and aft by moving their feet back and forth underneath their bodies". Ron covers this in more detail in chapter 6 of The Skier's Edge.
As a race coach I see a lot of kids turning on their inside ski because their weight is too far back and the outside ski runs too straight. To avoid falling and to change direction they point the inside ski and stand on it. Most of the "technical" problems kids have stem fom being back to begin with.
post #3 of 68
Thread Starter 
SLATZ, good point about total alignment. I didn't cover that because anyone who would do fore/aft alignment will also cover lateral alignment. Lateral alignment guys are much easier to find.

Adjusting fore and aft alingment by shifting ones feet is great if you are already near neutral fore/aft alignment. If you're out of neutral fore/aft alignment, you will have a tough time adjusting anything with muscles as you are out of balance to begin with.
post #4 of 68
Thread Starter 
SLATZ your comment:
Some very good bootfitters reccommend a "0" cant for everyone. This, while it is the choice of many WC skiers, doesn't work very well for us mere mortals.
This is true. I don't recomend "0" degree cant for anyone who does not race seriously. A one degree outside allows much leeway in stance width and prevents catching inside edges. The speed penalty is never noticed by mear mortals.
post #5 of 68
Guys, much of the backseat driving habits come from initial fear, not from anything else. Humans simply tend to move back when faced with sliding/falling forwards. Add some long ski tips that have the potential to go in every direction and you have all the ingredients for a timid backseat driver.

It is the same in skating or in-line skating. Except that on skates you have to adjust very quickly or you will always be on your butt. Skis allow you to sit on the tails and then the habit becomes ingrained.

Sure for/aft alignment is critical, but at the beginner level it makes little difference. Beginners are often scared and have no confidence in maintaining a balanced stance. This is even more obvious in kids who dread falling forwards.
post #6 of 68
Thread Starter 
TomB I would tend to differ on your view. I believe fear comes from the feeling of imbalance.
Proper alignment equals a stance that falls into place and is natural. A natural stance translates to the feeling of good balance. The feeling of good balance transfers to the feeling of much less fear. Less fear leads to more confidence and better balance. Its a chain reaction.

My belief is that alignment is just as critical if not more so for the beginner than it is for the expert. Beginners need all the advantages that they can get.

Harald Harb is one of the biggest believers of this alignment for beginners. Work with dalbello is progressing towards a system whereby rental fleets can take advantage of alignment. I'm with Harb on this one.
post #7 of 68
Pierre eh!

I agree with what you are saying. Certainly proper alignment will help in all situations. But even perfect alignment will not eliminate the initial reflex of leaning back when sliding down a hill. Being aligned and in balance on flat ground at the bootfitters office is very different from being in balance while sliding on an incline covered with snow. Until a beginner has trained his/her mind to accept the sensation, and trust those skis, they will naturally lean back.

Let me move away from skiing, because I don't want you to get the impression that I am against proper alignment. Take skating, for example. No matter how well a skate (in-line skate) fits, the first reaction to increasing speed (for a beginner) is to lean backwards and often fall (even on flat ground). This is true for almost everyone and it has nothing to do with alignment, especially in the new "soft" in-line skates that often fit like a glove.

The reason I bring this up, is because this is a normal reflex in humans. In fact, people lean back when the slope gets steeper because they try to stay imbalance. Take any steep slope and stand there. You will be in balance if you lean back, of course. But add snow and skis and your position will be completely inadequate. In other words, people have to be conditioned to get over that reflex.
post #8 of 68
I agree with TomB here. Beginners get into the backseat from fear. Stiff boots compound the problem by putting their butts further back when they try to improve their balance by getting low.
I'm skeptical of the idea that there is an optimum set up or that every skier needs to perfectly adjust the ramp and forward lean of their boots. From what I see, the practitioners of "boot-balancing" attempt to create a fore-aft stance that is comfortably balanced, but it is still STATIC. This ignores that skiing is dynamic and that we constantly adjust our stance to external conditions and to our equipment. The range of adjustment in boots is pretty small (3 or 4 degrees at most?) compared to the range of motion of our knees and hips or compared to the variation in pitch of the slopes we ski. I change the forward lean in my boots from time to time, and while I notice the change, I'm always able to adapt to it effectively.
post #9 of 68
TomB- You must type faster than me. I think skating is the best demonstration of stance and balance problems. If you look at still photos of figure skaters, you will see them in body positions (stances) that would clearly cause them to fall over if they were not moving, but dynamic forces prevent them from falling. that is what dynamic balance is, and that is the source of the fear in beginners. Our bodies resist moving into positions that would cause us to fall down, and without the experiences of dynamic balancing (which accumulate over a long period of time)we react with fear to any attempt to move to a position in which we cannot hold ourselves up statically. (Another source of fear is the possibility of accelrating to the bottom of the hill with no clue where the brake pedal is.) No amount of boot adjustments will change those elemental fears.
post #10 of 68
I might as well put my two cents worth in here.

It may be fear in beginners until they learn to balance while moving, in a traverse let's say.

But why do you see so many skiers who do parallel turns get in the back seat even though they don't start out like that?

It's the speed difference between moving across the slope and down the fall line. I venture to say that most skiers in the learning stage have that problem: they are in good fore/aft balance while starting out to make a turn but as the speed increases as the skis get near and into the fall line, their body does not compensate by moving actively forward and they get back and they have to put the brakes on the skis to slow them down at the end phase of the turn so that gravity allows their body mass to catch up to the skis.

In Bob's book I desribed the sensation that should be felt as imagining that you are standing in the bed of a pickup truck facing forward. As the truck gains speed you have to actively move your body mass forward to keep balance and as it slows down you have to decrease your forward lean until you are back to neutral.

Mistakenly it is believed that you have to lean BASCKWARD as the momentum slows. Sure it is backward from the forward balanced position, but not back of neutral.

When skiing, I think of gravity pulling me, my body mass, down the hill and skis only move down the hill because they are fastened to my feet and I use them to deflect my line of decent into a turn.

Skiers often start out balanced and lose it in the downhill phase of the turn.

post #11 of 68
OK so not it is my turn. In large part I believe a lot of skiers are to the rear because they are not aligned properly (will probably never be unless boot manufactures come up with a flexible fit boot) and they ski in the wrong flex boot. It is not they can’t push the boot but as the turn builds the boot pushes back. Whoa what an ugly feeling so rather than resist they succumb and whala they are in the arrears an then make some weird move to get back over their feet (maybe). The answer is a variable flex boot that also aligns the average person in (4) directions with a decent foot bed, no more Styrofoam cups for foot beds, and I almost forgot MORE lessons and BIGGER tips for me! (It is only fear in the begining and then......it is the boot/fit/flex)
post #12 of 68
My experience is that fear continues as a factor in skiing will into he advanced stages of skll development. I may know I can ski a narrow chute, but the possibility that I may miss a turn with bloody results makes me tentative and prone to drive from the backseat. I think every time we ski something steeper than we've ever skied before, we have difficulty (fear) moving down the hill to stay ahead of our skis. And if fear is a factor only for beginners, why write a book like Mermer Blakeslee's "In the Yikes Zone"?

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you I am a ski instructor. This experience has led me to realize that all money available for skiing improvement should be spent for lessons and coaching, not for costly boot balancing.
post #13 of 68
Thread Starter 
TomB did I give you the impression that alignment was the only thing you needed to do and once done you would be able to ski perfect to your hearts content? I certainly didn't mean to give you any such impression. Learning how to ski still takes time and practice. Finding the front seat is part of that learning.

My point is that most of the people who habitually remain in the back seat, even with lessons, are usually far enough out of alignment that they couldn't find the front seat if their lives depended on it. Lessons for those people are an exercise in frustration. That happens to be a large percentage of skiers.

Give me a beginner who is properly aligned and I will get them efficiently skiing in a short period of time. Give me a beginner who is out of alignment and I will show you how to make a terminal intermediate.

Show me a level II who can't seem to progress to level III even though they practice the right stuff and I will show you a level II who is likely out of alignment.

Thats the real secret to PMTS sucess.
post #14 of 68
Good thoughts all. Balance, alignment, fear are all possible factors creating a back seat position.

Let me throw out a thought for discussion; can a back seat postion be a result of poor mechanics?
post #15 of 68
S&G, sure, just what I was talking about. The poor mechanics are more a result that an intent.

In the downhill phase of the turn when the skis take on a life of their own and start sliding out from under the skier, the mechanics employed are mostly a hurried move of throwing the skis sideways while rotating the upper body in a desperate attempt to regain balance.

And then there are the would-be hot shots who wedel down the hill, barely making turns all the while sitting on the back of their skis. That must be hard on the muscles.

Pierre, I agree that alignment will help lot of people, but boot alignment is a relative new thing and skiers did quite well for 50-60 years never knowing there was such a thing, especially with ankle high double laced leather boots and skis a lot less responsive than the ones nowadays.

post #16 of 68
Thread Starter 
Pierre, I agree that alignment will help lot of people, but boot alignment is a relative new thing and skiers did quite well for 50-60 years never knowing there was such a thing, especially with ankle high double laced leather boots and skis a lot less responsive than the ones nowadays.
Do you want to return to those days? I did fine then too cause I didn't know any better but you won't get me to return to those days nor would I ski at the level that I do without alignment. Its akin to using a slide rule instead of a calculator.

The old lace up boots and ski bindings provided lots of give negating much of the necessity of alignment. Modern skis with big side cuts, bindings with little give and laterally stiff ski boots are the reasons that alignment is becoming a big issue.

Why wouldn't a person who has gone to the expense of getting their own equipment not buy themselves a terrific advantage.

Perhaps I set the tone of this thread wrong by using back seat driving as the prime example of alignment problems instead of addressing the complex issues of all inculsive back seat driving problems.

[ August 02, 2002, 03:21 PM: Message edited by: Pierre eh! ]
post #17 of 68
Here are my thoughts. When a human walks up a hill or down a hill he remains in balance by standing vertical. Lets define vertical as parallel to the pull of gravity. One does not walk downhill and lean forward. I think that it is this innate component of being human that interferes with centered stance as much as fear or mis alignment. Man has been walking for ten thousand years, but only skiing for a few hundred. Leaning forward while skiing is very similar to moving down the hill to start a turn, it just is not natural. (what in skiing is?)

For those who start skiing at a very young age this situation is compounded by the lack of development of fine muscle control, and the habit sets in. Has anyone every noticed how once back a preteen will tend to stay there no matter how hard they try not to until their teen years.
post #18 of 68
Tom B- That's exactly right. We don't want to move off vertical because we expect to fall down. Only frequent experience with dynamic balancing (which is not aligned parallel with gravity)gives us the confidence to get out of the backseat.
Pierre- we finally agree on something. It's the stiff modern boots which restrict movement that makes alignment a source of difficulty. But no amount of boot adjustment will give you dynamic balancing skills.
post #19 of 68

I concur with you thoughts.

My comments are designed to stimulate a bit of Bear thinking. For example, if a skier initiates a turn with upper body rotation (as most do) what is the impact on a balanced stance in the second half of the turn? As we know rotation tends to lock up the hip joint, so is there a resultant effect on stance.

Pierre, good topic.
post #20 of 68
>>>The old lace up boots and ski bindings provided lots of give negating much of the necessity of alignment. Modern skis with big side
cuts, bindings with little give and laterally stiff ski boots are the reasons that alignment is becoming a big issue<<<

I agree with you there and it is compounded by skiers often buying racing boots which they try to ski at recreational speeds. I think on the whole skiers are buying boots too stiff for them.

>>>Why wouldn't a person who has gone to the expense of getting their own equipment not buy themselves a terrific advantage.<<<

Don't ask me, I'm on your side. My guess is that the vast majority of skiers are the "good enough" types who come year after year, happy with their mish-mash of equipment and not at all in the mood for advancement.

I don't see many skier practicing on a slope compared to the ones that come down helter-skelter, having a good time...

Years ago I had a foamed boot by a tech who knew what he was doing and for years I didn't even wear a sock in them. I had the best control in them, they responded to every muscle twitch. The shell broke and after that I couldn't find a foamed boot anymore, it was FLOW, which was to do the same thing, but flow FLOWS, giving in to pressure, it doesn't stay put like foam.

post #21 of 68
Ski&Golf, when you say most skiers initiate a turn with upper body rotation you have to differentiate between the skier who rotates through the whole turn, hip turning out and loss of edges and what most skers use, which is a split rotation.

The split rotators start with a rotation to get the turn going and then counter-rotate to just past neutral from the middle to the end of the turn leaving enough room to start with another rotation, which in their case is mostly a quick swing of the outside arm to get momentum going and then counter rotate.

The interesting thing is that the turn does not start while the upper body rotates but when the torque of the counter rotation starts. In the past that was quite an acceptable way to ski.

post #22 of 68
Thread Starter 
John Dowling to quote you
Pierre- we finally agree on something. It's the stiff modern boots which restrict movement that makes alignment a source of difficulty. But no amount of boot adjustment will give you dynamic balancing skills.
I would differ with you on the second half of your statement. We don't need alignment to balance in a static position. That is easy to do. The proper skiing stance is also very uncomfortable in the static position. We align precisely for dynamic balance. We want to be in a posititon from which we can keep up with the skis in motion. Its because of the dynamic motion that an improperly aligned skier cannot keep up with the skis.
The whole point of my post was not to say lesson are useless without alignment. My point was that correcting any kind of technique problems should be a two step process. Alignment first followed by lessons. That simple formula produces better results every time its tried regardless of the level of skier.

I reject your notion that more lessons will correct for bad alignment. You can never achieve good efficiency without good alignment. Many people simply are not capable of the constant need to hold something in place using muscle power necessitated by miss alignment. You will waste a whole lot more money correcting something by lessons verses correcting something by alignment.
post #23 of 68
There was an article by the "other" Bob Barnes in The Professional Skier about the Dalebello system. One of the conclusions seemed to be that when alignment was correct many problems went away without instruction or coaching(Joubert always said "you don't need an instructor").
I'm with Ott on the boot thing. I just spent two weeks on Hood(got some turns with jyarddog) in my Nordica "coaches" boots. I never locked them in "ski" position and had little problem(if any) with "backseat". Ankle flex makes up for a lot and allows "natural" balancing.
Another thing on "ramp angle, delta". I once talked with the late George Tormey about that. His suggestion was "lower the heels to get them forward". Think about it, if you're pitched forward you'll sit back to balance. One of my kids at Hood was in Jr Langes(soft with lots of forward lean). I put him in a pair of Doberman soft(150 flex). They're stiff and upright. Surprise, surprise, no more backseat. He could pressure the tips without excessive movement that made him sit back to regain balance. Did anyone see Bodie's picture in Time before the Olympics? He had a red lifter with a black one over it on his Dobermans. (they come at 50 mm) The only way he could do that and still be legal is if he lowered the heels by about 10 mm.

[ August 02, 2002, 09:48 PM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
post #24 of 68
Wasn't there the same sort of lessons versus lateral alignment arguments when canting was mooted for beginners? Even now it is still perceive by some as unecessary. Maybe for the masses but we are individuals.

Would you expect the terminally bow-legged/knock-kneed to improve by lessons only? Just because they may be on the outside of the bell curve should we ignore their problems?

Fore/aft boot mechanics will have an affect on subsequent ski mechanics. What we are discussing here is to what degree, is it significant and, if so, how to identify those in need.

An interesting thread. Has anyone a lot of experience in implementing fore/aft alignment?

edited for spelling

[ August 02, 2002, 11:14 PM: Message edited by: Nettie ]
post #25 of 68
Pierre- Now I regret writiing that ALL money is better spent on coaching. I was just being cranky about how ski instructor wages don't seem to keep up with other increases in the ski business. (What's the difference between a ski instructor and a pizza? A pizza an feed a family of four.)
I also agree with you that a balanced static stance is easy to acheive, and that's one reason why I am skeptical of the need for "expert" static boot alignment. Balance is an activity, not a stance. It is critical that boots allow the skier to move properly. Skiers never need to "hold something in place." They should always be moving to a more balanced position.
As far as how WC racers set up their boots, I suspect those guys use different boots for every discipline. It makes sense to me that small forward lean or ramp adjustments on very stiff race boots would have noticable effects on race performance, but remember races are timed to 1/1000 of a second, and race course don't generaly include moguls, crud or powder. Recreational skiers need something more versatile than what a racer would use, to allow more movement for more varied conditions/situations. I believe emulating race equipment has made most recreational equipment too difficult for most skiers most of the time.
There's an article by Mark Elling on the PSIA website (in TPS Archives, Fall 97) about boots. He skied several boots and concluded that fore and aft flex was the most important factor. I doubt that he did a lot of off-the-snow-static-alignment for that article. If he did, he didn't write about it.

Nettie- I agree that lateral canting is key for bowlegged skiers, especially for skiers using laterally stiff boots. I'm the most bow-legged skier I know, and regardless of the initial in-the-shop-set-up-by-experts method of canting, I've always found I need to adjust the cant angle myself on the snow. That just (to me) supports my belief that "expert" boot alignment is best done on the snow by the expert wearing the boots.
post #26 of 68
Something I've experienced with boot cant adjustments is that they have very little range in them. Even though some say there is several degrees if you can get one degree you're lucky. I've found that how you align the tongue when you put the boot on often has more effect that the "bells and whistles". I usually mark the tongue with the shell so that kids will get it right.
I firmly agree with "on hill" adjustment. The in-shop setting only gets you close. For many though, "close" is way better than what they're used to. Witherall claims, in The Athletic Skier, something like the last 10% makes 80% of the difference.
As far as emulating WC skiers, I only used Bodie as an example because it was so obvious(to me) that something had been done. Most WC skiers use positive cant. Hence the extreme bowlegged appearance when they carve both skis.

[ August 03, 2002, 08:35 AM: Message edited by: SLATZ ]
post #27 of 68
Pierre- Now I regret writiing that ALL money is better spent on coaching. Originally posted by John Dowling:
I was just being cranky about how ski instructor wages don't seem to keep up with other increases in the ski business.

Yeah! I think I'll open a boot-fitting service. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Nettie- I agree that lateral canting is key for bowlegged skiers, especially for skiers using laterally stiff boots.
What is anyones opinion on these thoughts:

The canting of the cuff offered on boots with 'canting' is not sophisticated but useful. It is best done on snow I think by a skier with some feel for the differences. Otherwise a bootfitter can take a stab.

Mostly though, canting is best done at sole level preventing eversion/inversion muscle pain across the foot from the leg being canted and the foot not. Leg/cuff canting just seems to move the problem from the knee to the ankle. The ankle is more mobille but the foot muscles can still be overworked by operating outside their optimal/efficient range.

My personal experience is a little different to most. I have restricted eversion/inversion of my ankle where the toe area moves normally but the ankle range of movement is limited and my new maximum range (after injury) involves pain. Canting at the sole of my boot allowed me to engage the inward edge more easily with less muscle pain. Trouble is the amount varies from ski to ski and boot to boot and my currency.

I couldn't cant by shims on my bindings initially because they were integrated bindings. Now I can't get hold of shims. :

According to the bootfitter, my other leg needs traditional canting more than the one we canted but that one is within my personal ability to adjust.

Fore/aft canting is not as simple as lateral canting. Many more factors have to be taken into account and eliminated first.

I think the S&B skill which affects dynamic fore/aft movement of stance by muscle control, forward lean of boots, personal lower body geometry (bones and muscles) and position of bindings (often manipulated by manufacturers) and the delta? of various bindings (as mentioned by Pierre Eh?) would need to be eliminated/minimised as major factors before we mess with a students insoles.

Pierre eh? could you explain delta please and the mechanical affect.

[ August 03, 2002, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: Nettie ]
post #28 of 68
Help me out here. There is an exercise as part of a package, I can’t remember now the author (also a set of cards & tapes), where you run downhill with your chest forward and then ski down hill with your chest/head forward as a “gravity pull” exercise. Now keeping that in mind a little body mechanics. The reason why you walk downhill on your heals is to feel balance and of course if you were in a skiing position you probably would tumble recover etc. The balance you are gaining is similar to watching a bubble in a level except the bubble is in your inner ear. Whether the author realized it or not he created exercises to train the body to feel “natural” to walking/skiing downhill “flat footed” (aligned directly over your feet with your hips) rather than leaning back on your heels. This leads me to believe we might be able to correct some of our students “backseat” problems by developing and or using exercises to retrain the “natural” feel of the body/mind while sliding downhill. Being over your skis rather than on your heels. Just a thought. :

However this will not substitute for poor alignment and boots that are to stiff, too tall, too tight, and poorly fitted. It may however help them to become better skiers and have more fun than they might have and keep them coming back. I also might add purchasing the correct ski including FLEX of the ski & length, which we seldom mention.
post #29 of 68
OK, folks, first let me get my jollies by flashing the "seniority card", as nolo has called it - observe: Pierre, eh! is member number 44 and oboe is member number 45. Waaaaay back then, Pierre, eh! and oboe locked horns on this very issue. He told me that the way to get out of the back seat was to put a lift under the toe binding. I said, and I quote, "Are you crazy?! That's just the OPPOSITE of what you should do!" Like, uh, I actually know anything about this! Well, eventually, I bought into the idea that less delta is more help, just as Kurt said. Now, though, I'm confused. I've been thinking [always dangerous]: I broke my wrist when my roller blades went right out front from under me and I fell backwards hard. That same day, I'd fallen a number of times, always backward, but falling on my butt rather than my wrist. In fact, just standing there, and while skating, I felt insecure in that I was always losing my balance to the rear. Now I'm thinking: What if I'd had a fair amount of "high heels" effect, in other words, had a device lifting my heels up in relation to my toes? Not sky high, just enough to notice the difference. If I were wearing boots with really high heels, I would not feel like I was falling over backward. So, again, and as demonstrated in Ron LeMasters's book, doesn't delta greater than zero do something to get the skier forward? I'm looking for a discussion of both the static and dynamic biomechanics here.
post #30 of 68
P.S. One more thing: I distinctly recall a demo day at Stowe. I had these new Rossi boots that fit like a glove. They had a flex setting - very simple, really - there's a "V" cut in the rear of the cuff. There's a horizontal brace across it that keeps it from flexing on the "stiff" setting. When the brace is twisted so that it's vertical, it does not hold the sides of the "V" apart, and in that state, the boots are more flexible. On the "stiff" setting, I had been having a miserable time falling backward. Then I changed the setting to "flex" - voila! Problem solved! The stiffness of the boots was not allowing me to be forward - couldn't so it. Once I coyld flex the boots, I was able to get more forward. So, like many posting here, I would definitely concur that "too stiff boots" are sometimes responsible for "back seat driving". BUT: ENTER BOB BARNES! Bob says it doesn't MATTER how flexible the boot - the skier should be able to ski in "concrete boots". So if the boots are "concrete", and the skier is physically unable to get out of the back seat, do we need some delta, or WHAT?!

OK, I'm outa here. Gonna sit in the bleachers and watch you guys work this one out [which I fervently hope that you DO!]
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