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canting/ski,s flat - Page 2

post #31 of 58

Last fall I attended a clinic hosted by several PSIA examiners where we were videoed every day. A professional boot fitter was also in attendance.

After watching me ski and reviewing the video it was determined that although I stand bow legged I ski knock kneed! No-one had ever told me that before. The cause is my tibia is curved. This is apparently not that uncommon of a condition.  One of the test was to glide on one ski on a gentile slope and look for a drift left or right but it was the video that confirmed the condition. The cure was cants, 1.5* on the left 1.0* on the right. The fitter used shims like the SVST shown above.

My boots had originally been fitted by a professional boot fitter who made custom insoles and I was also biostanced. These are all static procedures. It took the dynamic condition of skiing with a high level instructor and reviewing video with a boot fitter to devise a cure. I think it has help greatly.

 

One test you can do yourself is to glide down the fall line on a very gentile slope on one ski. If you drift to one side or the other you are pressuring that edge. You can then put 1/2" wide strips of duct tape on the boot sole typically the heel only like shown in your Stenmark example. A three layer strip of duct tape is about 1/2*, I wouldn't go more than 9 layers thick. You may have to try the canting on both the inside and outside of the heel to determine which provides a reduction in edge. For me, I was heavy on the inside edge, I would drift left while gliding on the right ski. But since I was skiing knock kneed the cant was applied to the inside edge of the boot to push my leg to the outside. If you are truly bow legged you should drift right when gliding on the right ski, heavy on the outside edge. Try the tape on the outside edge first. If your able to determine an improvement take that information to your boot fitter. It would also be good to have video of you making medium radius turns on a moderate groomed slope to give the fitter a good example of your dynamic stance.

I could also be very helpful to book an hour with a Level 3 instructor and get some input before visiting the boot fitter.

post #32 of 58
A great alignment Tech will solve your problems but finding a great alignment tech is another story. Best to post on here where you live in ask for one and you'll get the right people. Having said that we were placing strips of duct tape inside or boots 35 years ago before it became an art form.
post #33 of 58

I spent my first year of life in casts because my leg bones were curved too much and needed to be straightened. I've never used professional canting and skied at lower competitive levels then worked as an instructor 35 years ago.  Today's gear is more sensitive to those imperfections than old straight skis were.  In order to ski at the highest levels today instead of just fun, solid recreational skiing I'd probably need professional alignment.  There probably isn't anyone skiing at the highest levels that don't have some additional alignment and canting work done between their feet and their ski bases.  If you have very good technique and close to average anatomy you won't need it to ski pretty well.  But, to ski really REALLY well you will most likely need some.

post #34 of 58

Ideally would like to work with a fitter I could iterate through tweaking my boots - tweak/ski, tweak/ski, as needed - and also have some snow time with to check the dynamic results, but yes, that has proven hard to find. I have a local guy I'm going to connect with this week who might fit that bill - we'll see.

 

RCC55125, some good ideas to keep in mind next time I get on snow - thx for those.

 
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post

Having said that we were placing strips of duct tape inside or boots 35 years ago before it became an art form.

 

When you say "inside" was that on top of the footboard, under the footbed, or?? And were you just placing tape in the heel area, or along an entire edge?

 

CR, in addition to being bow legged I have some pretty pronounced curves/angles going on with my lower leg and ankles, high arches, etc. Not looking to blame deficiencies in my skiing on gear/alignment, but would like to optimize those things to provide the best foundation possible for it. Mainly I would like to get my left leg feeling more solid/neutral when I ski.

 

I have an old pair of hiking boots that are pretty worn out I'm close to tossing. Was looking at them yesterday and noticed something...

 

If it doesn't come across clearly the left boot heel is definitely more worn on the inside, and the right boot heel on the outside. That would seem to imply that I pronate on the left, and supinate on the right. In these boots, anyway.

 

Up until the past couple of years I played a lot of tennis. I'm right-handed, and tennis is inherently an asymmetrical endeavor. I think it's possible that contributed to me having a bias to be a bit left hip slightly forward. If you're game try this...

 

  Stand up straight with feet hip width apart

 

  Twist slightly clockwise (to the right) at the hip and lower the left knee slightly

 

That will result in the left hip being slightly forward, the left foot being on the "inside edge" (pronated), and the right foot being on the "outside edge" (supinated). It is much easier and more "natural" feeling for me to go that way than the other (twist to left, right hip forward). As I think of it now being a right handed, forehand dominant tennis player I would end up in a coiled/countered, left hip forward position a lot hitting forehands and serves. Perhaps over time that affected the development/symmetry of my leg muscles and natural stance particulars.

 

Another interesting thing ... my left leg generally feels inherently less stable, more wobbly, than my right, and not just in skiing. If I take a 1/2" thick paperback book, (to exaggerate things), put it under my left foot, and then stand on both feet that amplifies that unsteady feeling. But if I put the paperback under my right foot and stand on both feet things feel more steady overall. Hmm...

 

Over the years for different reasons (not related to skiing) I've seen Chiro's and Ortho's who amongst other things have measured me for leg length discrepancy - none ever said I had any.

 

Came across this a while back. Interesting, and perhaps something else to experiment with...

 

http://www.adventurecorps.com/way/leecole.html

 

The only thing that's clear to me is that there are a lot of variables in the equation, and further/ongoing experimentation will be needed.   ;-)

post #35 of 58
Quote:
 I've often been sceptical about canting and alignment.

That's like saying that a cabinet maker doesn't need to align the fence and the blade on his saw.  Like a hunter doesn't need to sight-in his rifle.  Like.... 

Anybody will do better with properly set up equipment.

 

RCC makes a good point about self-testing.  On a very gentle slope, on one foot straight down hill, just balance and see if your ski wants to go straight.  Switch feet.  Don't contort your body to hold a straight line.  On that gentle slope, ski 45° to the fall line on each foot, then 45° the other way on each foot, body easily balanced.  If you can't go straight without body english, consider alignment.

 

Note that alignment is not cuff adjustment.  Cuff adjustment is often erroneously call canting even by the boot makers.  Two separate actions, both important, as are custom footbeds for some skiers.

post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post
 

Ideally would like to work with a fitter I could iterate through tweaking my boots - tweak/ski, tweak/ski, as needed - and also have some snow time with to check the dynamic results, but yes, that has proven hard to find. I have a local guy I'm going to connect with this week who might fit that bill - we'll see.

 

Aren't you approximately close to @bud heishman?

post #37 of 58

Bud's shop is about a 90 minute drive each way, and yes, I did make the trek out to work with him once before a few years ago. Starthaus in Truckee is a little closer, but not by much given a current hiway closure. If I can't find a better/closer option I may consider one of them.

post #38 of 58

Either one of the two mentioned are well known for the art. Go with the best you can find. 

post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post
 

Bud's shop is about a 90 minute drive each way, and yes, I did make the trek out to work with him once before a few years ago. Starthaus in Truckee is a little closer, but not by much given a current hiway closure. If I can't find a better/closer option I may consider one of them.

\

Curious, have you had issues with the XC gear, esp. system type?

post #40 of 58

In the old days 3-5 strips under the footbed. Back then you could not trust or it was very hard to find someone who knew what they were doing. Now you can find really good experts at alignment but there are just as many bad ones out there. A good one can tell you everything, the right boot, canting, balance, footbed and so on.

post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
 

 A good one can tell you everything, the right boot, canting, balance, footbed and so on.

 

I think jc is looking to work with one long term, figure out what might be soluble through training or adaptation, what's really a bad body habit &c.

post #42 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

Curious, have you had issues with the XC gear, esp. system type?

 

Only got out once so far this season for a long flat session on some NNN-BC gear - classic style in a few inches of natural (ungroomed, no tracks) soft snow. Other than not having done any XC in a while that seemed to go fine.

 

Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

I think jc is looking to work with one long term, figure out what might be solvable through training or adaptation, what's really a bad body habit &c.

 

Yes - close by, all-in-one fitter, alignment, coach/instructor would be ideal. Someone who understands from all relevant perspectives. They're out there - the "close by" is the hard part.  

 

And of course that's relative.  ;-)

post #43 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 
Curious, have you had issues with the XC gear, esp. system type?

Only got out once so far this season for a long flat session on some NNN-BC gear - classic style in a few inches of natural (ungroomed, no tracks) soft snow. Other than not having done any XC in a while that seemed to go fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

I think jc is looking to work with one long term, figure out what might be solvable through training or adaptation, what's really a bad body habit

Yes - close by, all-in-one fitter, alignment, coach/instructor would be ideal. Someone who understands from all relevant perspectives. They're out there - the "close by" is the hard part.  

And of course that's relative.  ;-)

Agreed I drove 12 hours a few months ago to get it done by the right guy
post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post
Agreed I drove 12 hours a few months ago to get it done by the right guy

 

In the snow both ways? ;)

post #45 of 58
And barefoot, cuz he was having boot issues.

Natch! ;-)
post #46 of 58
6 each way no snow
post #47 of 58
6 each way no snow. 5 hours of work punching out and canting a RS 130 to fit my foot. Pat at Mudd Sweat and Gears in Ellicottville was so thorough I did not need a follow up visit for the first time ever. Skied perfect no problems. Recommended by Hellofaskier on this site.
post #48 of 58

Levy, glad you found what works for you, and in a single pass! Myself? I'm still on the road to Utopia!   ;-)

 

Speaking of which, I got out today for some runs and testing in my new Lange SX 120's and on Dynastar Contact 4x4's. I've read a lot of stuff here and elsewhere on the net about different alignment stuff to try, and decided the best first step would be to use some upper cuff padding. Easy to slide in and change after a run, unlike something that goes in the boot, under footbed or on footboard. Essentially this approach**. Before any real boot fitters flame me, again, this was a first step to check effect and collect impressions.

 

So I had some old alignment padding used in previous boots, and also the spoilers from my new boots, (which turns out I can't use as intended as they cut into my calf)...

 

 


First I placed a fat pad on the outside between top of liner and shell on each boot, and went for a run on a gentle green just to make some turns and do some one-footed skiing and see wassup. Wrong, most definitely wrong!  Caused me to toe in severely on both skis, heels totally washing out. Really, really hard to ski, period! Reminded me of what it felt like when I first got on skis! Was lucky to get back to the chair without incident. Ha.

 

Next I moved the fat pads to the inside...

 

 

Whoa! So this is what it feels like to really have edge engagement! I could just tip the skis lightly and scoot right across the hill, tip a little more and cut back up the hill! Too quick/twitchy, too much, but solid, no tail washout. Definitely moving in the right direction. So...

 

Next run I popped out the fat pads and slipped the slimmer spoilers into the same spot...

 

 

Less twitchy, but still could ski very relaxed and just lightly tip to start turns. Could also skate much better! Did several runs including some mild bumps. Things felt solid but very different from what I've grown accustomed to, would take some time to really adjust.

 

Lastly I moved the spoilers to the front, basically just to take up some volume. The buckle assemblies have been moved over as much as possible (without drilling new holes), and I'm still a little loose up top...

 

 

This basically returned me to my original state: Left ski tends to toe in and its tail tends to wash out. Edge engagement generally is much mushier, regardless of how I tip I can't get the solid feeling I get with the spoilers on the inside.

 

So after all that I went in and talked to a guy at a local shop who used to be a mogul skier and coach and is now doing some fitting. He's also pretty bow legged, so he gets that part in a direct way. Told him about what I did and the results and he suggested trying some varus wedges, (which work for him), so now I have some of them taped onto the bootboard of each boot. Will see how that works next time I get out.

 

To be continued...

 

** Mainly stuff on second page, don't get hung up on use of "canting" to describe upper cuff padding
post #49 of 58

When you find a good edge engagement setup that also lets you do flat ski rotation, I reckon you're on the money.

post #50 of 58
You have some great information but I don't believe you're going about it in the right way. BeING able to skate tells me you're on the right track but talking to a coach that just says try these pads is not something that an alignment person would ever do. Even if you take your time and go through all these hours spent you will always have to wonder could a good alignment tech have gotten it better or almost perfect you have a wealth of information here telling you what to do and so far you are just playing around with it yourself which is not giving you the true alignment posture that you might really need. Now that we know you're not lined up correctly it's time to find a good alignment tech.
post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by levy1 View Post

You have some great information but I don't believe you're going about it in the right way. BeING able to skate tells me you're on the right track but talking to a coach that just says try these pads is not something that an alignment person would ever do. Even if you take your time and go through all these hours spent you will always have to wonder could a good alignment tech have gotten it better or almost perfect you have a wealth of information here telling you what to do and so far you are just playing around with it yourself which is not giving you the true alignment posture that you might really need. Now that we know you're not lined up correctly it's time to find a good alignment tech.

THIS!

A good instructor (i.e. Bob Barnes or equivalent) can advise what changes are required, be it boot work, technique or both.

Then you know what the issues are and can deal with them in a logical manner if you decide to go down that route yourself. Don't go this route and you could end up creating a problem that hinders long term improvement or even create bigger issues than you have.

While not a professional fitter or instructor I look at the mechanics (technique) first to determine if the issue is technique or physical. If physical a good fitter can help in correction and it worth the time and money to go this route.

IMHO 80% of issues are improper technique as most are not major physical limitations (top end skiers a different issue as they are eeking out max performance), the rest limit technique and do require serious work. Equipment is the easiest to mess with and screw up. I see this with all sports that require equipment.
post #52 of 58

The mogul coach/fitter did check my alignment after placing the wedges on my footboards in the shop. Spending some time on snow and noting the effect of this change will just add some additional data points. Easily reversible, no harm, no foul.

 

I have identified a local L3 instructor who's also a respected fitter and am reaching out to him. Perhaps he will be someone I can work with on and off the snow for both boots and skiing.

 

cant

v. cant·ed, cant·ing, cants

v.tr.

1. To set at an oblique angle; tilt.

 

I am curious about upper cuff padding as a way to help cant a ski boot. With that approach the lever is moved up and away from that which is being levered (the boot sole, ergo ski), so it isn't surprising that the effect of tipping is quicker/stronger edge engagement. My very limited, one day experience leads me to wonder if perhaps even if there are no comfort issues introduced by the padding that a lessened ability to more smoothly and gradually engage and de-enage the edges make this a sub-optimal alignment method.

 
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

When you find a good edge engagement setup that also lets you do flat ski rotation, I reckon you're on the money.

 

Smooth flat ski rotation would seem to require neutral skis, both from the fore-aft and lateral perspectives. If that is used as a starting point for boot, (and I guess, binding), alignment/setup, is it possible that for a fairly bow legged person like me good edge engagement is going to be hard to also find?

 

Perhaps there is a way to "move the lever" somewhere between the boot sole (canted plate) and upper cuff (padding) to get the benefit of easier edge engagement without losing the ability to fine tune it?

 

Just thinking out loud. That is allowed, right?  ;-)

post #53 of 58
...
post #54 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post
 
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

When you find a good edge engagement setup that also lets you do flat ski rotation, I reckon you're on the money.

 

Smooth flat ski rotation would seem to require neutral skis, both from the fore-aft and lateral perspectives. If that is used as a starting point for boot, (and I guess, binding), alignment/setup, is it possible that for a fairly bow legged person like me good edge engagement is going to be hard to also find?

 

One problem with *just*  using the boot cuff is that the effective edging feel will vary depending on your stance width :)   - so your 'optimal' edging setup would completely vanish if you're asked to do single-ski or lift-one-foot-up drills.

The priorities here, to my mind, would be: a) get the heel-ankle-knee stacked b) adapt the cuff to the leg bone using cuff tilt and upper cuff padding  c) get the skis flat in a neutral stance by boot sole planing and under binding shims  d) tweak the feel inside the boot using fine upper cuff padding.     While keeping your fore/aft alignment neutral :)

 

So, by moving from cuff padding back to varus wedges you're kinda jumping back along that chain from step d) back to step a).   I'm all for experimentation, of course - I would just organise it differently :)

 

post #55 of 58

Here is my simplistic take on boot fitting as five distinct items:

 

  • Molding boot is for comfort and assists all range of motion.
  • Insole (and boot bed) work helps in the fit and free range of motion by unlocking joints inside boot.
  • Cuff Alignment, aligns cuff to stance for full range of motion for joints inside boot.
  • Canting aligns all other physical structures outside the boot to a neutral stance for best range of motion.
  • Touch one and in most cases some of the others need work because of the solution to work correctly.

 

While simple in concept these items involve a lot more understanding than one thinks. For example Cuff alignment does affect Cant, however it is not the same as Canting. 

 

I'm sure that the Pro-boot fitters see it more detail terms (and rightly so) the simplistic form give us mere mortals a fair understanding of some difficult issues.  Which is why finding a good boot fitter is not as easy as it sounds and has been expressed on this site on more than one occasion.

 

Thumbs Up to the boot fitters.

post #56 of 58

Cant alignment is the single most influential aspect of equipment  modification that has made skiing a passion for me for almost 50 years; were it not for my curiosity in this regard back in the 70's, I may have given up on the sport having reached a certain technical level and "maxing out".   I began this journey with varus wedges in the footbed,  having countless custom footbeds, padding the medial or lateral upper cuff, re riveting upper cuffs, using available under the binding can't wedges (pretty successful), and finally boot sole canting by grinding and most recently integrated sole canting via Cantology. For my particular morphology, sole canting/alignment did/does the trick .  I think you could make a good argument for any of the above (or combination thereof) but the most dramatic for me is boot sole canting/alignment.  The key is the assessor (and his/her methodology); some used floating sole platforms, calibrated "wands", plumb lines....etc. etc.   In the end the trained eye with the most basic of equipment (flat platform and "carpenter's "L" square) achieved the results that worked on the hill.   The two trained eyes in my case are Jim Schaffner of the Start Haus in Truckee California or Bud Heisman of Snowind Sports in Reno Nevada........I can't not recommend these two highly enough in this regard  (I've been to many).   At the least, either one of these two boot techs will get you very close to your optimal "on hill" alignment, and you may "fine tweak" your ending adjustment with a couple of duct tape strips (1/4 or 1/2 degree can bring you to your sweet spot) before you commit to a sole grind or integrated boot sole can't (Cantology).

post #57 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhkaw View Post

Cant alignment is the single most influential aspect of equipment  modification that has made skiing a passion for me for almost 50 years; were it not for my curiosity in this regard back in the 70's, I may have given up on the sport having reached a certain technical level and "maxing out".   I began this journey with varus wedges in the footbed,  having countless custom footbeds, padding the medial or lateral upper cuff, re riveting upper cuffs, using available under the binding can't wedges (pretty successful), and finally boot sole canting by grinding and most recently integrated sole canting via Cantology. For my particular morphology, sole canting/alignment did/does the trick .  I think you could make a good argument for any of the above (or combination thereof) but the most dramatic for me is boot sole canting/alignment.  The key is the assessor (and his/her methodology); some used floating sole platforms, calibrated "wands", plumb lines....etc. etc.   In the end the trained eye with the most basic of equipment (flat platform and "carpenter's "L" square) achieved the results that worked on the hill.   The two trained eyes in my case are Jim Schaffner of the Start Haus in Truckee California or Bud Heisman of Snowind Sports in Reno Nevada........I can't not recommend these two highly enough in this regard  (I've been to many).   At the least, either one of these two boot techs will get you very close to your optimal "on hill" alignment, and you may "fine tweak" your ending adjustment with a couple of duct tape strips (1/4 or 1/2 degree can bring you to your sweet spot) before you commit to a sole grind or integrated boot sole can't (Cantology).
How did you re rivet the cuffs? Did you fill in the original hole in the plastic? What was the reason for changing rivet location?
Very curious. Was thinking if attempting. Problem is also the ankle punch already done in the boot.
post #58 of 58

Tog, it's been around 40 years ago that I had this done !   As I attempt to recall, I believe I had a leather craftsman do this for me who was familiar with riveting in his craft.   I did not have the medial rivet position changed...only the lateral/outboard side "downwards"; not so much as to risk having the original unused hole compromised with the new rivet.   My intention then was to achieve better inside edge engagement (I am one of those who is slightly bow legged AND knock kneed at the same time).   That was not a productive move for me as I was over correcting the curvature of my lower leg and magnifying a navicular and inside ankle bone condition as well:  wasted a pair of boots with that trial !   I still think that boot sole cant/alignment may be more productive for many....it is for me.  Case in point: I was able to take a pair of Solomon SX91's (if your history reaches back that far) which are relatively "upright" though the spine of the boot and ski it quite well with canting under by bindings only; heavily corrected with 4 and 5 degrees inboard as I recall (!).   I  believe it may be time/money well spent to have a very experienced boot tech do your cant/alignment assessment....the two I have mentioned are top notch in this regard.   In fact, Bud Heisman use to conduct "on the hill" clinics/evaluations for this (don't know if he still does);  Jim Schaffner's expertise in this area is also well known especially to local skiers in North Lake Tahoe as well as US ski team members.  Both of these folks can back up their assessments with real results;  I don't believe that all good boot fitters translate into good alignment specialists.  If these two are not local for you, you may want to call them to see if they can recommend someone in your neck of the woods.

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