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post #31 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

I'm glad you agree with me that weight and power are more important than a person's height in determining ski length.

 

Unless there is something terribly off about my reading comprehesion, that isn't what he wrote.  He said that weight and power were factors, not necessarily "more important".

 

Regardless of your video (which I can't see at work, and just injects too many irrelevant issues, including exactly how fast you ski, exactly how "less than optimal" conditions were, etc.), I don't agree with your surface area theory of ski stability even now that you've attempted to flesh it out.

 

I have an imperfect counter-example to your Top Fuel vs. im82 anecdote:  I had a pair of 165cm Volkl 4-Stars a few years ago.  They were significantly less stable than the 155cm Salmon Equipe 10 SC's that I had later, despite having more length and surface area.  What this does show is that ski construction between different models is a significant factor, and you can't draw any conclusions if your points of comparisons were different models.

 

Those 4-stars were also wet noodles in torsion rigidity.  Somewhere on the web (in this forum from years back, I think) is a photo of me twisting the 4-stars to 20-30 degrees of deflection with my bare hands.  (I'll attempt to find it later.)  In contrast, the Equipe 10 SC's were significanlty firmer in torsional rigidity.  This is in-line with skier219's point about the increased torsional rigidity of newer skis, and another reason why your Top Fuel vs. im82 anecdote doesn't work in a discussion about stability as a function of length.

 

Despite being in agreement with skier219's concept in overview, I actually believe the effect is more complicated (as he may, or not).  It might be helpful to think of skis not as rigid levers, but rather internally-damped leaf springs.  If you can visualize leaf springs of different lengths partially anchored with a significant mass at each end (one end would obviously represent the skier, the other being the forward point-of-contact of the effective edge), you might see what I mean.  What is also a factor is how the manufacturer "scales up" each length to produce proportionally firmer skis.  Regardless, the general rule is that keeping skier and model of ski constant, a longer ski will be more stable.  (Of course, this is not saying that longer is necessarily better for said skier.  That is another can of worms.)

 

Edit: Now as I think about this again, the skier, being also in contact with the surface at where he/she is in the middle of the ski, albeit not entirely anchored, same as the tip...  the ski also acts as a traditional rod/mass damper a la archery.  In this case, length (and mass) directly affects the damping of forces the main mass (skier) is subjected to.

 


Edited by DtEW - 4/3/2009 at 05:46 pm


Edited by DtEW - 4/3/2009 at 06:18 pm
post #32 of 57

Wow did this thread get complicated.  Lets try to make it simpler using my own example.  I'm 5' 7.5", 170 lbs and an expert skier (level 9).  My current ski of choice is the Volkl Mantra, my previous ski was the AC4.  Based on all the "suggested lengths" I would ski the 177 or 170.  My choice is the 170 because l prefer a shorter turn and like taking the ski into the trees and moguls.  BUT, the 177 would be more stable if you like to ski fast, which I don't.  I learned in Europe where turning style is king.  In the end, DEMO!  Find a ski you like, ask yourself some hard questions, demo if you can, then choose the length.  In the end the difference from 170 to 177 isn't all that great and day to day you may never know the difference.  GOOD LUCK!

 

FYI, my AC4 is also 170 so going by the length/width math my Mantra should have been shorter...  or maybe my AC4 was to short...  See how complicated this can get!

post #33 of 57

Bob, I agree this got way too complex.

 

I'm a high level all condition all terrain 170lb skier too, and I find the 161cm iM82 very stable, and it does everything so well it's become my Go-To-Ski this season. I've got nothing to hide and put up video of me skiing this ski in less than optimal conditions. The video shows my contemporary technique and that I am efficiently using my skis.

 

I ski a lot with a buddy of mine who is an even stronger skier than me (PSIA level 3, and 40 pounds heavier than me) and he happens to be on the 171cm iM78 and loving it for the same reasons as me. He is usually one of the most competent skiers I ever see, anywhere. We both believe these skis ski longer than they measure and are very stable in the lengths we are on.

 

OTOH, there are some folks here of unknown ability promoting these same skis in very long lengths, and trying to make this a physics discussion. I have invited them to also post video clips of them skiing on their longer skis, because frankly I think they must be doing something very wrong if they need such long lengths for stability - or maybe it's me that's doing something wrong and I should re-think the length I'm on. In any case, until we see how they move and what they do with their skis, we'll never be able to see their points as credible.

post #34 of 57

DtEW, it's definitely more complicated than I let on -- for the point of discussion here we can reduce it to simplistic relations like stability ~ L/V (L= ski length, V=velocity) which is simply related to the timescale for a disturbance to propagate across the ski length.  If anyone's interested, here's a more detailed article that models the ski with a finite-element approach with a leaf-spring like boundary condition at the ski boot:

 

Computing the mechanical properties of alpine skis
Sports Engineering
Volume 2, Issue 2, Date: May 1999, Pages: 65-84

A. A. Nordt, G. S. Springer, L. P. Kollár 

 

They use it to come up with vibration and damping characteristics.

post #35 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

 

OTOH, there are some folks here of unknown ability promoting these same skis in very long lengths, and trying to make this a physics discussion. I have invited them to also post video clips of them skiing on their longer skis, because frankly I think they must be doing something very wrong if they need such long lengths for stability - or maybe it's me that's doing something wrong and I should re-think the length I'm on. In any case, until we see how they move and what they do with their skis, we'll never be able to see their points as credible.

 

Chris, if you are referring to me, then you may need to re-read my posts.  I am not promoting any length, but rather just questioning your idea that increased surface area = increased stability.  I am voicing the commonly-accepted idea that increased ski lengths = increased stability.

 

If you are referring to skier219, then you have again missed the point.  Regardless of how well (or not) either of you ski relative to each other, the idea is that given the same ski construction and skier, a longer ski will be more stable.  Unless somebody has videos of him/herself skiing two lengths of the same ski, there is really no point to any video in the discussion at hand.

post #36 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

 

OTOH, there are some folks here of unknown ability promoting these same skis in very long lengths, and trying to make this a physics discussion. I have invited them to also post video clips of them skiing on their longer skis, because frankly I think they must be doing something very wrong if they need such long lengths for stability - or maybe it's me that's doing something wrong and I should re-think the length I'm on. In any case, until we see how they move and what they do with their skis, we'll never be able to see their points as credible.

 

We don't need to make this about you, or your skiing, or your videos, so lets drop video documentation requirements from the discussion (it didn't show anything anyhow).  I am not promoting the ski in a long length, I am following accepted conventions for this type of 70/30 mid-fat ski, which is about forehead height.  I am promoting the "appropriate" length, which is consistent with Head's recommendations.

 

At 5'10" 170lbs "high level all condition all terrain" skier, I don't think your specs justify you going for the absolute shortest length they offer in that ski.  What length are women or lighter / smaller / less aggressive skiers supposed to choose?  There's nothing shorter than 161, so are you saying that anyone from your size/skill on down gets crammed into the 161 category?  Then what are the numerous longer lengths for, overweight giants or people who use their skis as canoe paddles?  Your height/weight put you squarely in the upper-middle of the range of iM82 lengths offered, not at the bottom.  If you move into that upper-middle range, you'll see the other lengths scale appropriately for skiers on both sides of your height/weight/ability.

 

If you made the personal choice to pick the shortest length of a particular ski that's fine, but let's not confuse the OP with opinions.  I think it's better to stick to accepted conventions or simply defer to the manufacturer's recommendation.

post #37 of 57

I will agree to disagree here.

 

Head makes a women's model for women, not the length and model I'm on.

 

At 195 pounds you're using the longest size in the range, and offering that as support to innocent folks as the contention for them going longer.

 

I ski with a lot of really good skiers (most of us current or former ski professionals), and everyone I ski with in this category has been going shorter and shorter - not longer. One of the reasons is that some current skis (e.g., Monsters) are so much better designed that they are very stable shorter. Contemporary movement is about using skis efficiently, and this probably factors in too (inefficiency seems to require greater length for the same stability as efficent utilization of a shorter length). I am pointing this out so others have that viewpoint as well as yours that longer is better.

 

The point about the video clip is very simply establishing credibility. It also proves that I have nothing to hide. That you quickly discount it proves that you do...

post #38 of 57

 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post

 

We don't need to make this about you, or your skiing, or your videos, so lets drop video documentation requirements from the discussion (it didn't show anything anyhow).  I am not promoting the ski in a long length, I am following accepted conventions for this type of 70/30 mid-fat ski, which is about forehead height.  I am promoting the "appropriate" length, which is consistent with Head's recommendations.

 

At 5'10" 170lbs "high level all condition all terrain" skier, I don't think your specs justify you going for the absolute shortest length they offer in that ski.  What length are women or lighter / smaller / less aggressive skiers supposed to choose?  There's nothing shorter than 161, so are you saying that anyone from your size/skill on down gets crammed into the 161 category?  Then what are the numerous longer lengths for, overweight giants or people who use their skis as canoe paddles?  Your height/weight put you squarely in the upper-middle of the range of iM82 lengths offered, not at the bottom.  If you move into that upper-middle range, you'll see the other lengths scale appropriately for skiers on both sides of your height/weight/ability.

 

If you made the personal choice to pick the shortest length of a particular ski that's fine, but let's not confuse the OP with opinions.  I think it's better to stick to accepted conventions or simply defer to the manufacturer's recommendation.

 

post #39 of 57

Their is a web site I found discussing Volkl skis that says "use your head" when measuring ski length.  I believe it said, forehead to top of head for experts, chin to nose for intermediates, neck for beginners.  Of course this is only a guideline and not always true based on the ski, skier or ability. 

 

I will offer one point that although you are not promoting ski length you are stating that he longer ski is more stable.  True but when an uneducated person is buying skis and they hear a statement like that they might be lead to go longer then they should when longer can mean more stable but you can't turn them effectively.  So basically they will be more stable in a straight line! 

 

It all comes down to "what's right for you".... Be an educated consumer and don't always listen to the salesperson!

post #40 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattH View Post

  I'm wondering what is recommended, in terms of length, for an all mountain ski.

 

Ah, yes.  The old personal and touchy topic, length of your tool.

 

I currently weigh about 165 to 175 lbs, depending on the severity of my lack of exercise, amount of Christmas turkey consumed and poor calibration of the scale, and ski a quiver that ranges from 208 cm antique Super-G skis to modern 165 cm Slalom skis.  I also have demoed a great number of different length and construction skis, unfortunately not the skis your considering though (why I hadn't volunteered any info up until now).

 

As far as surface area and stability goes, I think it has more to do with the mass of the ski than the actual surface area.  It just takes more oscillating force to make a heavier mass vibrate at the same speed.

 

As far as lenght goes, yes there is a general correlation between length and stability, BUT if you have a noodle to begin with (think original Rossi Bandit ), the extra length only makes skiing the damn things at speed that much harder as your noodle is doing the wango-tango with greater gyrations farther away from you.

 

Assuming the skis you have are fairly decent in the stability department (I don't know), you shouldn't have to worry about the skis inherent stability.  I have skied very short skis on very icy conditions, including 165 cm Fischer WC SC (13-m turn radius) at over 60 mph after a few days of freezing rain.  The softer snow you usually get to play on out west is less demanding of stability than the frozen hard pack we get in the east.

 

What you will notice though is a longer ski will require you to be less on-the-ball when you are landing air or skiing fast through rough terrain.  The extra length in front of you and behind you will allow you to lever your way back into balance and a little back-seatedness will be more easily forgiven on a longer ski.  In that sense, it is easier for YOU to be more stable on the longer ski.  I really noticed this when I took my 190 cm Volants out for a tear after skiing the same terrain on the 165 cm SL.  I didn't notice the 165s as being particularly hard to stay on top of when going full blast, but when I switched to the 190s it was like I suddenly didn't have to bother trying, kinda like switching to auto-pilot.

 

The shorter skis will be easier to "cheat" on and muscle your way through mistakes.  The ski with the shorter turn radius will also,of course, be easier to make shorter turns on with good technique.

 

The longer ski will give you more lift in powder.  If you plan on skiing fast, in open spaces, and powder get the 177 or there abouts.  If you plan on picking your way through tight spots at slow speeds get the 170 cm or there abouts. 

 

I don't think it is all that much harder to ski a 177 cm ski than a 170 cm ski, but it will be a noticeable difference.

 

When I last had to get bindings, I researched, and settled on Tyrolia FF17+. I  am quite happy with them.

post #41 of 57

Matt

 

The question you're asking is very important and unbelievably complex.  As you've experienced, the right skis are a huge help, and the wrong skis are a huge hinderance.

 

Ski makers reputations and their relative performance vary over a several year period.  Salomon isn't at the top of most skier's lists...they have been in the past and will likely be there some time in the future.  Salomon and Atomic have the same owner, AmerSports of Finland, so Salomon is likely to be back.

 

I'd strongly suggest that you invest US$20 in a subscription to Peter Keelty's www.realskiers.com/ for the best ski reviews I've seen...better than "Ski Canada" magazine used to have, and that's pretty good!  Using Peter's reviews you'll be able to match several skis to your skiing style and ability much better than you can by asking most non-professional ski testers about what they like.

 

Regarding ski length, some skis are made to "ski short" and some are made to "ski long."  My suggestion for your size and ability as you state is to consider skis two sizes down from the maximum length offered.  As skis are made longer, they're also made stiffer, so the wrong length ruins the skis performance for us.

post #42 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

 

Matt

 


Regarding ski length, some skis are made to "ski short" and some are made to "ski long."  My suggestion for your size and ability as you state is to consider skis two sizes down from the maximum length offered.  As skis are made longer, they're also made stiffer, so the wrong length ruins the skis performance for us.

OK. I am SO late to this party that the keg is gone, and they are passing around the hat to get more beer. Regardless, here are my two cents worth - or in the current market, 1.5 cents worth -....

 

What the *&)@ does "ski short" and "ski long" mean?!!! I am sure that each pair of skis and their length have their distinct character, but to say that some skis are made to "ski short" and some made to "ski long:" is ridiculous. One simple word "WHY"??? This type of verbal gymastics is what I like to refer to as mental masturbation.You get something but you really don't get IT!!

 

OK.....deep breath.... ;-) Please, no offense!!!

 

Anyways, I think what might be being referred to is that some skis of a given length seem to be easier to turn (less effort) than would be expected (or observed) of a  ski at the same length in other models. This is all using the same skier (weight and height) in all evaluations. Similarly, some models of skis at a given length seem to be harder to turn (take more effort) at a given length than other models of the same length. I would hazard a guess to say that the skis of the former situation might be softer in longitudinal flex (or more shaped) than skis of the latter situation. End of discussion. Please.!!!....like some ski designer would actually be thinking in the factory shop....."Hmmm...lets make this ski ski shorter than its actual length"  "Teee heee heeee..... We'll fool that customer!!!"

 

Something that a relative who works in the auto industry as a manager/engineer recently said to me         "Cars should come with expiration dates...that way people would buy cars more often..." I will let all of you interpret the relevance of this statement to the ski industry and our discussions. By the way, I also confess that I often fall into the idea that I NEED "more skis". :-) So I am NOT immune to this all; but I at least realize this....

 

As for length - skis that is - yes it is important, and as evidenced by exchanges in other threads, I believe that length is more important than width when it comes to overall stability.  I won't even try to venture into the arena of width versus length in that other area of  personal "sports" ;-) . As I and others have so frequently and eloquently said, the increased length in a ski "dampens" the effects of perturbations in the terrain on the forward motion and direction of the ski(s). In some respects I - and this is very personal - would prefer a softer flex longitudinally in a ski and make up for the inherent decreased stability with a longer length of the model. That is just me.

 

In addition, I do not believe that every model by every manufacturer automatically increases the overall and, more importantly, EFFECTIVE composite stiffness of the ski in longer lengths. I think, and this is purely conjecture, that some manufacturers might increase the rigidity of the the ski's material from a given length to a longer length in order to compensate for the increase lever arm inherent with a longer ski. But that is what I would do and is not necessarily what every manufacturer might do. I have not researched this; but I would REALLY be interested in any data that would actually show that ALL MANUFACTURERS construct skis in longer lengths that are actually stiffer overall when comparing deflection of the tip relative to the tail (NOT normalized stiffness, ie rigidity per unit length).I am willing to bet you my first born that it is NOT standard accepted practice throughout the ski industry.

 

Please.....someone....prove me wrong...

 

Nick
 


Edited by BigNick - 4/4/2009 at 03:13 am
post #43 of 57
Thread Starter 

So... In case everyone is done bickering about stability vs length vs everyone has a different opinion :D.

 

I tried out the iM82's (172cm) today and I have to say I'm impressed. They really want to go fast. Sometimes it's a little hard to slow them down, and I found them a bit heavy in the slushier snow (it was pretty warm). All in all, I got a really solid feeling for them and I'm confident enough to purchase a pair.

 

Thanks to everyone for all your help, I truly appreciate it.

post #44 of 57

Hey Matt,

 

If you haven't already purchased those iM82's I would suggest the Blizzard Magnum 8.7.

 

I've been on a ton of skis this year and it is the best I've been on... by a large margin.

 

Kills it all.

post #45 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattH View Post

So... In case everyone is done bickering about stability vs length vs everyone has a different opinion :D.

 

I tried out the iM82's (172cm) today and I have to say I'm impressed. They really want to go fast. Sometimes it's a little hard to slow them down, and I found them a bit heavy in the slushier snow (it was pretty warm). All in all, I got a really solid feeling for them and I'm confident enough to purchase a pair.

 

Thanks to everyone for all your help, I truly appreciate it.


Great, it really is a good overall ski.  If you did get the impression the 172cm was outrunning you, it may be a sign to step down a size.  Unfortunately, there is no 167cm in this ski, which would be the ideal step down.  I think 161cm would be too much of a jump down for you.

 

I have run into this issue with the iM88.  The 175cm is too short for me.  The 186cm is about right, but I have to ski well to stay on top of it.  They really needed a 181cm in that particular ski.  Next year's replacement Peak 88 apparently introduces an in-between size, but is a whole different ski.  Not sure what the Monster 82 /  Peak 82 transition is doing in terms of the ski and sizes, but Head has apparently made all the Peaks a little more user-friendly than the Monsters.  Not needed for the 82 in my opinion, but perhaps a good idea for the 88.

post #46 of 57
Thread Starter 

I don't think they were outrunning me, actually. I think that earlier in the day I was overcompensating and they really didn't need it. So, it felt like they were coming out from under me. I found that later in the day, I would just ease into turns, without really pushing and they responded a lot better.

 

I think my skiing style defnitely needs to be adjusted a bit to handle these properly. One area that I was surprised with, was that they really excelled in the bumps. I've never been much of a bumper skiier, but they just snapped through the turns.

 

I'll have to wait until next year to try them on powder, but I'm hoping they respond well.

post #47 of 57

They are very good in bumps -- I have noticed that as well.  I think it's the combination of flex and swing weight that contributes.

post #48 of 57

 Quote:

Originally Posted by MattH View Post

...I think my skiing style defnitely needs to be adjusted a bit to handle these properly. One area that I was surprised with, was that they really excelled in the bumps. I've never been much of a bumper skiier, but they just snapped through the turns....


Little late to the party here (though it was fun to read the length debate...).  If you haven't already purchased the im82's and are thinking of trying some other skis to see if they are more manageable I would stick with a less-sidecut design like the im82's.  The problem with most other skis in this width category (i.e., the Sollies you mentioned, Watea 84, Magnum 8.7, Nordy AB, etc.) is that their wide tips are too hooky and make mogul skiing more difficult for those still leaning to ski bumps.  So, how did find the im82's in the bumps vs. the Fury's?  If my hunch is right try other some other skis that might be more manageable, but with sidecut similar to the im82's like the Dyna 8000, Blizzard Chronus, or even the Blackeye's (though I don't know much about that ski).  The Dyna may be the real ticket (which won't be available next year, so you'll find 'em at a great price, if you are able to still find 'em).

 

Good Luck!

post #49 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

I'm a high level all condition all terrain 170lb skier too, and I find the 161cm iM82 very stable, and it does everything so well it's become my Go-To-Ski this season.

Hmm, makes me (130lb, 5'5") wish I had tried these ski's vs. the 167cm W84 which is now my daily driver.  The W84's only downside is a lack of stability (and sometimes it's wide tip gets a bit hooky).  I really wanted to demo the 161 im82 if only to continue proving that I don't like like real short skis (though it might have proved the opposite).  However, the 161 im82 ain't a ski you readily find available to demo (or even purchase) because it seems to fit an odd niche (a very short and fairly beefy expert ski in a category where longer lengths are preferred due to the added float and stability).  Out of curiosity CHRISfromRI, did you demo these and how easy were they to find for purchase?

 


Edited by ski-ra - 4/9/2009 at 05:43 am GMT
post #50 of 57
Thread Starter 

Ski-ra, thanks for the input :). I actually found the iM82's really smooth in the bumps. They could be a little more graceful, but they certainly didn't cause any trouble.

 

I actually preferred the 82's over the Fury's. I found the Fury's to be powerful, but less stable at speed and overall, a bit clunky. They felt good in turns, but it took quite a bit of effort to really get them going. The 82's were just that bit smoother and to push me towards them.

 

I managed to get a great deal on the 82's from Dawgcatching (haven't received yet, but looking forward to it) in the 171cm.

 

Some pics on the 82's I tried (this was pretty soft snow as it was 14 degrees, celcius and sunny).

 

 

 

 

 

post #51 of 57

Glad you bought from Dawg, he's a good guy. 

post #52 of 57

Glad you like the iM82 as I agree it's truly a great ski. That's some gorgeous snow you found to play with them on too. Enjoy!

 

PS: PM me if you're interested in a little MA tip.

post #53 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ski-ra View Post

 

I really wanted to demo the 161 im82 if only to continue proving that I don't like reall short skis (though it might have proved the opposite).
 

 

You don't and it wouldn't. My prediction, anyway. ;-)  Just had this conversation with a skiing friend at work today. To paraphrase some very perceptive comments from Ghost a few posts up in this same thread, it gets really tiring after a while when you're afraid to take even one hand off the wheel.

post #54 of 57

I wouldn't say that as I ski the 161cm length of the iM82 and am EXTREMELY relaxed on it - often taking both hands entirely off the wheel. However, maybe it has to do with my moving efficiently on my skis, with contemporary movement(s). Any doubt? Just check my video clips on this thread or on my user profile. Let me know if you don't think I'm smooth and relaxed while skiing this ski/length on an inconsistent surface.

post #55 of 57

Quote:

Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

I wouldn't say that as I ski the 161cm length of the iM82 and am EXTREMELY relaxed on it - often taking both hands entirely off the wheel. However, maybe it has to do with my moving efficiently on my skis, with contemporary movement(s)....


qcaonoe was just trying to help me out of the black hole of a "coulda-woulda-shoulda" funk (thanks!).  Anyway, enjoy your im82's and I have no reason to believe that you don't ski them efficiently.... 

post #56 of 57

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattH View Post

...I managed to get a great deal on the 82's from Dawgcatching (haven't received yet, but looking forward to it) in the 171cm....

Sweeeet!  Demo'ing is a wonderful thing and thanks for supporting a fellow Epicskier.

post #57 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post
 

Matt,

 

Thanks my ACL is all set - as you can see in the video, it's been 13 months since surgery and I've skied on it 51 days so far since surgery, so it's standing the test of time. I was using Looks when I tore it last year, but I happen to still like Looks better than Markers or Salomons which both pre-released on me a number of times while using them over many years. The Looks never pre-released on me but I was using them when I got surprised by a grooming mistake and got launched in the air, and just landed on my tails when it tore. This is unfortunately a pretty common injury and most of the serious skiers I ski with that ski over 50 days a year have been through it. It was just my turn in the tumbler as they put it when I was laid up. Anyway, I've been trying to break the chain by skiing on these new bindings but they have some minor kinks which I have been helping the company to sort out. It's all quite self-serving to me 'cuz I don't want to go back to see the surgeon, and I DO want to ski a lot.

 

IMHO, a shorter ski is quicker to turn and in this case still stable since it still has a pretty wide footprint. These skis are plenty fast enough in the length I'm using. - Chris

For this reason I had Knee bindings installed since a partial ACL tear a few years ago. The Knee has a lateral release in the heal that is supposed to prevent these types of injuries. I got them after I heard that Vail employees are using them.

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