|Originally posted by David M:
Back to the conducive environment issue.
Keep in mind that I did research with an instrumented device back in 1991 that allowed our team to acquire 3 D data on foot and leg pressures while skiing and compare this data with video and subjective skier input. Sofar as I know this has not been done by anyone else even today.
In some instances good skiers learned for the first what they were doing when they saw the data and video. It was often very different from what they thought they were doing. In addition, when they studied the data they always agreed with it. Keep this in mind. If I were to do the same thing with any one of you out there I would expect to get the same disconnect with reality. This is the main reason good skiers can't tell others what they are doing. Any explanation they try to give is usually miles from reality. It is also why they believe skiing is easy. For them it is. For the same reason such skiers ‘don’t get’ discussion threads such as this.
Otto: When Gleason in Taos asked me to come in and let him excavate my boots the other bootfitters stood around and marveled at what I did with an Exacto knife, heat gun, duct tape, pieces from my previous boots and chewing gum. After he got through with fitting my boots they fit just as before, only with a lot fewer pieces. I don't unbuckle or take them off all day either, why should I?
DM: Sounds like me at work. Most of the crap in ski boots does nothing but cause problems. I used to horrify boot fitters at my technical seminars with what I did to brand new boots. They just could not bring themselves to do the same thing for their customers. They tended to believe it was merely a matter of finding the right boot. Yeah right! I used to log 15 to 30 hours prepping a good pair of boots for a WC racer. And yes, you should not have to unbuckle them. In fact it is better not to.
Otto: One of the first things I do with all my boots is modify the forward flexibility to give me a range of mobility without putting tongue pressure on right away, that allows me to be in variable forward/aft positions, as in bump absorption, etc. without affecting the skis, unless I want to.
DM: If you are saying you want free space in the cuff to allow for ankle/shin movement before you begin to compress the tongue then I agree. This is absolutely essential. The worst thing you can do is to cinch the cuff around your leg to as the saying goes “transfer energy”. You will certainly do this -- right to your knee, hip and back.
If you are also saying that you take some forward lean out of the cuff then we may be related. In the majority of cases boots have way too much forward lean for the angles of the joints essential for postural responses driven by the stretch reflex. If this is indeed the case you don’t have less stretch reflex you have none. The best way to tell if a skier is using the stretch reflex is to watch them ski through crappy rough snow, the kind the usually tosses skiers all over the place. If they look like they are skiing groomed hardpack they are probably using the SR.
Liners can and often do cause more problems than boot shells. The Lange World Cup liners with flow packs I can rip out in 2 seconds are my favorites. My wife’s boots are Head shells with lots of modification with Lange liners and a Dachstein tongue. What is the best way to fit most liners?? In the garbage can.