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Delta/ramp angles & canting?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Okay bootfitting gurus, please help me out.

I am in the process of balancing new boots.  There are a couple of nagging problems in my skiing.

1.  I feel like I often crush the cuff of my boot in the middle to bottom of my turns.

2.  Even with sole planeing (1.5 deg. right .5 deg. Left), I still end up A-framed & sequential with my edge change most of the time.

My question to you guys is what you deduce from the following pics & could you make any recomendations as far as boot balancing goes?  Is my weakness merely part of an old habitual technical flaw, or is there hope?  I just wanna be able to make a well balanced parallel turn before I die!

These are 3 sequential frames of the same turn where proper alignment seems all out of whack:






Full frame of 3rd frame:



Different angle, different turn:






Classic A-frame, left footer:


I am on a Lange WC RL 11 in the photos.  My new boots are the same model just an 08'.  I was tempted to try a boot with an offset sole like the Nordica or Fischer, but I couldn't pass up the deal on these.  I have been in Lange's most of my skiing life, & find that except for making accomodations for a wide forefoot, they fit my low volume, skinny ankles & calves the best.

I plan to use the same cork footbeds that I have presently.

Thanks,
JF
post #2 of 21
 Well done, great job showing us what you are up to.  I will take a swing at this and say that from my point of view.  You probably have a custom bed but you are still pronating within the boot.  This is causing significant internal rotation of the outside leg, and lack of external rotation from the inside leg as well.  Also due to pronation.   I would start inside the boot and figure out more about how you balance dynamically.  I think if you have had the boots planed and are still this knocked in we missed some thing important along the way

as far as technical changes that might help in photo 2,and 3 we can see an obvious lack of parallel shins but not from the front but rather from the side.  the outside legs ankle is far more flexed than the inside.  This could also be aggravating the miss alignment visual symptoms.  if you were actually loading the inside ski from the tip to the middle you would certainly be able to work it better and some of the miss alignment litter may disappear.  To do this I would use some coaching cues that would encourage the slowing down of the inside ski, or drawing the inside ski rearward especially at the middle to end of the turn.  or equal tongue pressure, along those lines.  

This is a great example of someone that looks like they know what they want to do. At first glance you might jump to the alignment as the problem but it may also be made much better by some very small changes in technique.  
post #3 of 21
1. Shoe size
2. Boot size
3. age of cork footbeds
4. can't see your alignment from here---could be muscle memory or alignment

5. It could be just the shot but in the next to last pic, at the transition where you are starting to load your new downhill ski to start the next turn to skiers right, your right ski is still loaded in the tail---you may be sitting back on purpose--but at this point (IMO)I would expect to see the old down hill ski more parallel to the snow.

6. "quote---skinny calf's"---measure your calf circumference at the top of the liner please. 
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mosh.  Yes I am very pronated, more on my right foot than left.  Would posting help?  I do not want to make the footbed so rigid, so as not to allow any rotation of the foot inside the boot.  Parallel shins are what I am after, I have focused diligently on inside foot pull back & even cowboying my inside leg for years.  I can feel the positive results, yet the visual of that lacking is still there.

Quote:
At first glance you might jump to the alignment as the problem but it may also be made much better by some very small changes in technique.
 

I agree, & I'm sure technique is a big part of it.  I am also thinking that some alignment issues may be holding me back in developing my technique. 

Thanks, 
JF 
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Mike, thanks for checking it out.  Is there a better angle you may be able to see alignment from?

1. Shoe size - 10 US
2. Boot size - 26 mondo, 308mm sole
3. age of cork footbeds - 3 seasons, new with present boots.

6. "quote---skinny calf's"---measure your calf circumference at the top of the liner please. - 12.5 inches, or 32cm.

Thanks,
JF
post #6 of 21
I have a 12 in calf---by adding a second spoiler to the boot I move my knee forward to a position that a person with a 13/14 inch calf stands and find I no longer sit back.

A shot taken from directly to your side (sagital plane)would show how far back you may be. although from a dynamic point of view a still shot can tell lies.  You would need to view several turns from the side to see if this is the case.

I agree with MOSH you probably over pronate---do you bang your inside ankle bone?
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
do you bang your inside ankle bone?

Yes.  It has become a pre-requisite with new boots to grind & punch the shell at the interior ankle bone.  I also have some tongue shims, but they probably put me more upright instead of more forward?

I can't seem to find any video with a good side shot, but here's a short clip if it will help.

 


JF
 

post #8 of 21
Video=Great stuff.

In the video you seem more upright at least in the last turn(the only one viewed from the side).

If we said that ski boots are generic(they didn't come to your house to measure you) then it stands to reason they must have designed them around a generic skier.  IMO that fellow had a 13--14inch calf ---as best I can tell.  (footnote---most boots have a 14--15 degree forward lean---not adjustable--this moves the hip forward over the ski/skiboot center)

For each inch of circumference you enlarge the calf muscle in the top of the boot the knee will move forward by around a third of an inch.  Conversely for each inch of circumference you reduce the calf muscle the knee will move rearward by the same amount.  If you have a 12.5 inch calf you should need to move your leg forward (probably) 1/3 to 1/2 inch. 

Being off by just a few mm can cause fore/aft balance issues.  In the past I have moved my leg 2mm from where I needed it and been off enough to cause problems---the result is I have to pick up my up hill ski to get off of the up hill edge---unneeded movement, especially on steeper slopes.

By the way get new footbeds or at least get the ones you have checked to see if you are anywhere near sub talor neutral when you stand on them outside of the boot.
post #9 of 21
 Ok I have heard enough if you pm my you address I will send you a testing kit to measure exactly how much you pronate then we will have some numbers to work with.  We wont stop anything I have a formula for allowing specific amounts of pronation based on ski geometry so don't worry about that.   
post #10 of 21
Sorry for the double post but wanted to mention that the short video looks terrific.  A lot of good things happening here.  you would not immediately look at this and say your alignment is a problem with the movement patterns.  SO it will be interesting to see how you measure up.  this will be a good one.  
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Okay thanks, I will keep you posted on how things turn out.
PM sent.
JF
post #12 of 21
I see something different.

Take a look at the still shots, look at the angle of the boot cuff relative to the angle of the the boot lower, relative to the angle of the shin guards, relative to the angle of the ski.

My take on the photos and the video is that there is trouble in sagittal plane city. Which joint is it again that controls movement in the sagittal plane? Yes, that's what I thought, it's the ankle joint. What skiing skill is related to the sagittal plane? Oh yeah it's that fore aft thing everybody is talking about.

In addition to the photos and video, there are some things that you said that lead back to the ankle. Based on three factors that you mentioned, one was; " I feel like I often crush the cuff of my boot in the middle to bottom of my turns.", the next important tell is; "Yes.  It has become a pre-requisite with new boots to grind & punch the shell at the interior ankle bone." and last; "I also have some tongue shims"  All of these things can be traced to movement in the boot. At some point you should ask the question, how can I get my lower leg so far out of my boot cuff angle in a Lange race boot? Also a good question should be how can I have signs of my ankle rubbing in a race boot with tongue shims in to hold my foot down and back? Ahh the modern ankle of homo sapiens what a unique breed of animal.

Alright enough on that, it is obvious to me from the photos provided and the video, along with your boot fitting issues that you have a hyper mobile ankle on the right side.

One other possibility is that there is some mobility in the frontal plane. Which joint is it that controls movement in the frontal plane? For the most part it is the subtalar joint, however there lies a possibility that a hyper mobile 1st ray could be messing with us here. In your case lets assume that the; "I plan to use the same cork footbeds that I have presently.", cork footbed that you have captures the heel bone and is able get the achilles tendon close to perpendicular to the heel bone. So what I see in your set up and technique is that your trouble edging could also have something to do with your movements in the frontal plane. Not necessarily pronation ( because you already have a footbed to address that), but perhaps in eversion which really is the engine that drives edging skills.  The skill related to the frontal plane is edging or edge pressure. So if it is not the subtalar joint, there is a possibility that you have a hyper mobile first ray.

Am I totally pulling this out from between my butt cheeks or what?

Lets pretend  for a moment that I may actually know what I am talking about. If that was the case what is the formula for change in 4sters skiing? The first thing would be to get a better match of boot ramp angle and shell forward lean. So lower the heel of the boot board or raise the toes of the boot board. Perhaps a boot that has less forward lean, and a boot that is stiffer so that you cannot have as much flex range to push the knee so deep into the turn. This would allow you to get much of the work done without "crushing" the boot from the middle to the finish of the turn. Maybe a booster strap and a shin plate to raise the leverage point on the shin. There also is a possibility an external toe lift or a binding toe lift may help ( although I think the internal ramp angle/forward lean should be dealt with first and separated from external ramp.) The last piece of the puzzle involves getting the hyper 1st ray to play nice with the rest of the foot. Perhaps a little fuller fill just behind the first met head in the arch to "stiffen" the transfer of the everted foot to the ski edge. After all that is done, I would double check the sole cant to make sure that it is somewhere near the "home base" target.

Sagittal plane mechanics, and Frontal plane mechanics are both in play here. Last but not least continue with your coaching and video, to get your turn shape produced way high and strong, as well as taking the body down the hill to assist that end.

I am not a boot guy, however I did sleep in a Holiday Inn last night and hijacked Starthaus's computer.

jim
post #13 of 21
Quote:
The first thing would be to get a better match of boot ramp angle and shell forward lean. So lower the heel of the boot board or raise the toes of the boot board. Perhaps a boot that has less forward lean, and a boot that is stiffer so that you cannot have as much flex range to push the knee so deep into the turn. This would allow you to get much of the work done without "crushing" the boot from the middle to the finish of the turn. Maybe a booster strap and a shin plate to raise the leverage point on the shin. There also is a possibility an external toe lift or a binding toe lift may help ( although I think the internal ramp angle/forward lean should be dealt with first and separated from external ramp.) The last piece of the puzzle involves getting the hyper 1st ray to play nice with the rest of the foot. Perhaps a little fuller fill just behind the first met head in the arch to "stiffen" the transfer of the everted foot to the ski edge
I would have to agree with Jim.  Crushing the boot > think too soft OR excessive ankle ROM.  Knee chasing > think footbed.  My first suspicion was a possible fore foot issue i.e.  forefoot varus considering the cork bed does a good job at the ST joint.  Be nice to know to what side the cants were installed, high outside or inside.  That could shed a little more light.  At any rate a stiffer boot and some uprighteousness to reduce the tibia to ski angle and a little forefoot post could change your life.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by starthaus View Post

I see something different.

The first thing would be to get a better match of boot ramp angle and shell forward lean. So lower the heel of the boot board or raise the toes of the boot board. Perhaps a boot that has less forward lean, and a boot that is stiffer so that you cannot have as much flex range to push the knee so deep into the turn. This would allow you to get much of the work done without "crushing" the boot from the middle to the finish of the turn. Maybe a booster strap and a shin plate to raise the leverage point on the shin.

I am not a boot guy, however I did sleep in a Holiday Inn last night and hijacked Starthaus's computer.

jim


 


Jim,

Thanks for your input!  I think you are addressing a lot of the things that I am feeling, that's why I titled this originally just "Ramp/delta angles" a part of the balance system that I am not too familiar with.  Besides being "something different" that you are seeing, is it possible that we may have a combination of things going on including the pronation that Mosh sees?

I have a medium booster strap on these boots, although I'm not sure I had it when the photos were taken.  I am thinking of going with the beefier one on the new boots.  What is a shin plate?  I will be reluctant to add binding toe lifts, as I ski on a variety of skis & remounting them all for the short term could be arduous.  These boots are pretty stiff, a 150 flex according to Lange, & I am not a really big or young guy.  When not on a race course, which is a minor part of my skiing, I ski a lot of off piste soft snow.  $wise, I really need to make these boots & footbeds work for now.

I am taking all this information to my bootfitter to sort it out.  As we get along in the process I'm sure I will have some questions.

You may not be a bootfitter now, but I think you may have been one in a past life.  I think you may have done some fitting for me in the distant past.  I will send a PM.

Thanks,
JF
post #15 of 21
I have no qualifications regarding boot fitting. The video shows you are holding onto your edges too long and raising your hips a bit during neutral. Take a look at this video so see how long you need to be on your edges.



It isn't very long that you want to be pressuring your skis once you cross the H-line.

Try to initiating your turns with your inside leg. Roll the inside knee into the turn and the outside will follow. Release your outside edge sooner.

Got to go.

MR
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taoscowboy View Post


I would have to agree with Jim.  Crushing the boot > think too soft OR excessive ankle ROM.  Knee chasing > think footbed.  My first suspicion was a possible fore foot issue i.e.  forefoot varus considering the cork bed does a good job at the ST joint.  Be nice to know to what side the cants were installed, high outside or inside.  That could shed a little more light.  At any rate a stiffer boot and some uprighteousness to reduce the tibia to ski angle and a little forefoot post could change your life.
 

Taoscowboy,

You must've been posting while I was responding.  Thanks!  The canting raises the inside of the foot in my case, if I understand your question correctly.
JF
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

It isn't very long that you want to be pressuring your skis once you cross the H-line.

Try to initiating your turns with your inside leg. Roll the inside knee into the turn and the outside will follow. Release your outside edge sooner.

Got to go.

MR

Thanks MR,

Believe me, I have watched this clip may times.  I have also been working on rolling the inside knee for years.  Not to make any excuses, but I am wondering if my alignment issues are hindering me in this quest.  As far as releasing the turn earlier, that's what most high level racers & coaches tell me is what holds me back from being faster in the course.  I am too round!  I guess I am a control freak, & speed scares the sh*t out of me!  I wish there was more video of WC folks freeskiing.

I thought only Bootfitters could post on this forum?...  Just kidding.

Thanks,
JF
post #18 of 21
4ster,

Pronation could be at play here. I am giving your cork footbed the benefit of the doubt. For me the footbed just needs to get the the heel bone captured and in the ballpark of the neutrally oriented heel cord. Typically that is the best feature of a Superfeet Kork. The occasional weak link to the kork ( especially if not well built) is that the material can come up a little short on the front half of the arch into the big toe.

This goes back to my reccommendation that you look to fill that area at the front of the arch to just behind the 1st. met head. Especially if there is some forefoot issue at play, like a hyper mobile 1st ray, or some other functional forefoot issue like Charlie mentioned that is not allowing you to grind out a cigarette with the inside half of your foot.

I cannot speak to what Mosh is currently doing, however the stuff that I have seen in the past involves full length posting of the entire foot, mostly varus posting using shims or building a footbed that takes the rearfoot and forefoot out at the same angle. Very interestng stuff, not sure if this would be helpful for you.

The shin plate can be used to hold the shin up taller and straighter when used with the booster strap. The net effect would give you more pressure higher up the leg at the shin. This could help you to get more of the work done higher in the turn so that you can use that accelleration to help you through the bottom instead of gritting your teeth and trying to hold on to the edge with all your might. This is not just a move for racing, but will give you an incredible thrill ripping up any snow condition with greater control and greater speed.

You do not have to add toe lifts to the boot. You can adjust the ramp angle by raising either toe or heel component of the binding with shims. Cheap and elegant solution. The only exception where this does not work will be on sytem bindings.

Much of this can be done on the cheap. It can also be done systematically. For example first just tweak your existing footbed then go out and ski without making any other changes to the boot. Next slide in a 1 or 2 mm shim on top of the boot board under the ball of foot and toes. Ski that and see if that works. If you get a positive result try slidng a shin plate in at differing heights to the shin, see what that does. If it works, rivet it in. Next play with binding delta using 3mm bontex shims on top of the toe AFD, then reverse and put the shims on the heel piece as you step in. See which direction gives you a better feel. Maybe all or maybe none of this will work. Low cost with potential high impact.

You could also just throw down for new straighter/stiffer boots, new footbeds(well built), and alignment from a pro, and a week training course with NASTC at some exotic location or a trip to a masters camp at Hood.

And as long as you have the checkbook out lets book you in with a plastic surgeon for calf implants, or maybe a calf reduction? Depends on which new boot you buy.

jim
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post


Thanks MR,

Believe me, I have watched this clip may times.  I have also been working on rolling the inside knee for years.  Not to make any excuses, but I am wondering if my alignment issues are hindering me in this quest.  As far as releasing the turn earlier, that's what most high level racers & coaches tell me is what holds me back from being faster in the course.  I am too round!  I guess I am a control freak, & speed scares the sh*t out of me!  I wish there was more video of WC folks freeskiing.

I thought only Bootfitters could post on this forum?...  Just kidding.

Thanks,
JF
 

Rules? I don't read no stikin' rules!

I realize I was stating the obvious. I definetely appreciate that boot/cant/ramp adjustments are an important part of acheiving the desired results. By all means consult the pro fitters.

That video shows a fair amount of up down between turns as well as demonstrates that even WCers don't always have parallel shafts. What they do have is minimal time pressuring the edges.

If you think about how much faster you might go if you were to release your edges sooner, you might be surprised. Improving 1 second on a 60 second DH course with an average speed of 60mph is only a speed increase of about 1 mph. Think of it more as loosing drag than gaining speed. You will also cover less terrain, slightly, thus improving your time without necessitating that much more actual speed.

MR
Edited by MastersRacer - 10/22/09 at 10:33am
post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Just to update my progress:

I had a 2 hour session with my bootfitter today & wanted everyone who posted on this thread to know that their input is appreciated & your observations seem to be playing out in the real world.  We did some thorough evaluations. My boot guy who is very open to all your input, has generously offered to mold some new footbeds & we will definitely have some improvements from the previous set-up. 

It will be at least a week before we move on, but the groundwork has been laid.  The requisite first stage of grinding & punching is done, & the boots are actually comfortable already.
That is the short story for now.

Thanks,
JF
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Another Update:

I have been on my new boots for almost a month now & have to say that I am liking the results.  Here is what we did in a nutshell: 
We made new not so rigid footbeds.
Planed the Zeppa board & spoiler ridges on the liner for a more upright position.
Thicker tounge shim.
Sole/cant planing was similar.
2 degree height adjustment for leg length descrepency.
The ususal grinding & stretching for foot accomodation & comfort.

The break in period was much less on these boots than the last ones.  I guess I'll attribute that to the softer footbeds.  Here are a few pictures from the first day on the new boots.








It did take some adjustments in my skiing & some time to get comfortable on steeper pitches, but I feel fully assimilated at this time.
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