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A radical boot modification to try at the Academy/Gathering

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I didn't want to post this in any of the other relevant threads for fear of getting caught in the crossfire and bombardment from all the different sides. I would like to invite Steve Bagley (our bootfitting and alignment specialist for the Academy and Gathering who has a storefront, Superior Ski - both at Solitude and Snowbird, to participate in this thread. However, Steve has been hesitant to post on Epic after seeing some of responses that can occur. Can I ask people to play nice so we can get him to interact with us?

Okay, on to the topic. Steve learned about a relatively radical boot change from a racer that he has been playing with. It involves riveting the cuff in a fixed position and making cuts in the lateral sides of the boot forefoot. Since I haven't tried this yet I don't feel qualified to describe the effects (I could only do it second hand from Steve) but I wonder if people would be interested in hearing about this? He's trying to modify some old boots in a range of sizes so people can try this and I would bet he could make them available for the Academy and Gathering if we asked. I know Steve thinks it produces some relatively dramatic changes and exciting improvements.

Anyone have any experience with this approach? Anyone game for me to invite hime to post on this?
post #2 of 23

It sounds like it will sell a million "boot covers" to keep the toes from freezing.

But yes!. Novel is most nteresting.

Welcome Steve

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Don't worry Cal, I believe he uses silicone to seal the slots. Of course if you've got a problem with hot feet (how many skiers do you know with that problem!) we can just line with gortex to keep the snow out but allow for better ventilation!
post #4 of 23
Si, if the theories are communicated well, I won't be critical.

Where and how are the forefoot cuts made? Do they bisect the shell, or are they more like notches to help the boot flex?

When I was a bootfitter, we did quite a bit of shell modification to try to optimize performance. I'm always interested in modifications that can help. I'm really interested in learning the Salomon Course shell mods that Steve has mentioned, since I ski that boot and have been considering modifying the shell.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Great Gonz,

BUT, as Steve hasn't participated in a forum like this before, how about if there's some need for clarification we just simply ask for it? I can personally vouch for Steve as being sincere, straightforward, and open - so no need to search for hidden or masked agendas.

[ December 06, 2002, 09:26 AM: Message edited by: Si ]
post #6 of 23

If Steve is as clear and thoughtful as Jeff Bergeron has been, I'll give him all the support I can muster!

Could you please answer my questions about the forefoot cuts? I saw that they're sealed over with silicon gel, but beyond that...?

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was going to wait and call Steve and see if I could let him explain. I don't like doing this second hand.
post #8 of 23
Hey we don't learn, much less discover, new stuff in the "box".
Sound very interisting, without seeing it, almost like a variation on the flex method of Hansons or early Salomons.
I'd sure like to learn more about it.
I could bring an xtra set of boots to Solitude to sacrifice in the spirit of exploration if he would like someone to be a crash test dummy.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Steve, I hope you find your way here. Roger would be a great tester, especially with his own boots that fit. He is a fantastic skier and instructor who has a strong focus on alignment. As an aside, he also has as good of one footed balance and ski acrobatic skill as anyone I've ever seen. I hope that you and Roger can connect together to provide some great opportunities for our Acadamy/Gathering attendees.

Roger, I'm going to send you Steve's email in a PM as an encouragement to make direct contact with Steve.
post #10 of 23
I can bring two pair for such mods, I'm eager to see what Steve is up to.

One pair is 1980 Lange XLS, the other is 1985 San Marco EXS.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
One caution, let's not assume that he wants to work for free modifying all of these. I will let him (hopefully) speak for himself as to where he's at between experimenting with this and providing it as a service.
post #12 of 23
I do hope we can pull Steve out of the woodwork. Steve....?

I saw Steve's modified boots when he visited a few weeks ago. It's an interesting idea, and depending on the boot, I'm sure it can change the flex characteristics significantly. As I recall, he had cut several diagonal slashes, maybe 1/4" wide and 1-2" long, out of the sides of the boot at the instep, roughly parallel to the buckles. And they are filled with soft silicone. But they do LOOK like cooling intakes!

It reminded me of the old Hanson boots of over 20 years ago. I believe the model was the "Spider" or something. They had no hinged cuffs, and their flex pattern was atrocious (so I was told--never skied them myself). The cutting edge modification was to cut a large horizontal slash in front, right at the bend of the ankle, and fill it with silicone. They called it the "mustache." The following year, Hanson adopted the modification at the factory, and the boots came with the new "feature."

I too will vouch for Steve Bagley's genuine nice-guy-ness. He's very knowledgeable, and he is very interested in the cutting edge of boot design and technology. Steve--join us?

Best regards,
Bob Barnes

[ December 06, 2002, 11:30 AM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]
post #13 of 23
Do you think this modification will work on my Rosemount boots?


CalG :
post #14 of 23
Well, it's worth a try, Cal. You'd probably need a band saw, though--werent't those things made out of steel or something? Beware the red stuff doesn't leak out....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #15 of 23
Sure Bob You've got it.

Solid "fiberglass" shells with "suicide door" side entry. And fit packs for that custom glove-like fit of the all leather interior.

Oh! that steel plate? That is the door by which you get into them .

The Red stuff in the fit pillows is made of the same material that is in the center of golf balls. VERY DANGEROUS!

I believe the PC police picked all these boots (but mine, hehe) up and secreted them away to an abandoned mine in Minnesota.

post #16 of 23
The Rosemonts had a hard Fiberglass shell surrounding the foot except on the inside, where there was a stainless steel door to provide access. The separate plastic cuff was hinged with part of the door mechanism on one side and something similar on the other. The gap between the hard plastic pieces was covered with a leather piece fastened with cables tightened with buckles.

The red stuff actually was tiny balls of something (can't remember the material) that came in various-sized bags you could pack into pockets in the leather lining. Want a tighter boot? Just put in more bags.

The fun part was playing with the rubber bands that adjusted the amount of spring back the cuff provided against being levered forward. Oh, yeah, there also was wringing out your socks when the seal around the steel door started to deteriorate.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Okay, I only skied a few years in college before taking a 20 year hiatus. BUT, I got me a pair of Rosemonts and still have them! I got the rd, white, and blue version - can anyone match me there? Hey, this was (and still is) definitely a lateral boot. I also had jet sticks for mine. Anyone want to try and ski them at the Academy/Gathering. I bet if I looked I could still find the different forward lean tensioners (rubber bands twisted together) and some extra fitting pads. I just used my 30 year old Vasque Whitney backpacking boots for climbing the Dachstein mountain (got them resoled and was able to use crampons on them) in Austria so I see no reason I couldn't do the same for my old ski boots on the Solitude slopes (not!!!).
post #18 of 23
How about the Dale Boot? That beauty had an aluminum bottom half!
Or the (my favorite, since I had the pleasure of learning the term "shin bang" with them) Raichle fiberglass split clam-shell body(hinge along the sole) with a bit of neoprene glued to the interior and a woefully under padded leather lace up inner boot? I had those with Jet Stix. Zero forward flex, the hard edge of the fiberglass impacting your shin was the only bending! There has been SOME progress over the years!


[ December 10, 2002, 10:17 AM: Message edited by: joel ]
post #19 of 23
How about the Raichle Redhots? They had a hinge in the sole, fore-aft,I think, that allowed the boots to spli apart in order to get them on, and off. I never did get to try them. Those who did were heard to nutter something about leakage..
I wonder how you seal these ersatz modifications?
post #20 of 23
Those old Raichles remind me of a story I heard from the Jackson Hole Pole, Pedal, Paddle(the origional one)about 1975 or 6.
Seems the guy skied down the mountain with his biking shoes inside them and lost 0 time changing at the bottom. [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]
post #21 of 23
I would be interested in hearing more about the mods. I skied in the factory modified Hanson Spyders for years.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
If we can hold on for just a bit I think I will be able to help Steve work his way into this thread and Epic Ski in the near future. I think the biggest problem is that he is just too busy with his shop services and bootfitting work!
post #23 of 23
This thread is beginning to resemble "Waiting for Godot."
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