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Drills for checking alignment

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I have a question for anyone who does boot work for students or has had it done:

Assuming you check your work out on the snow, what do you ask the student to do? I'm guessing you'd want to have a set of drills to do before the adjustments and then after to see how performance was affected. What is--or would be, if this is the first time you've thought about it--your set of alignment checking drills?

Alternatively, how do you decide if a person has an alignment issue; how do you determine what exactly it is; and how do you know when it has been fixed?
post #2 of 19
I'll give you my views after the 2 day masterfit u orthodic class I'm attending starting today.

Masterfit U
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
I have a question for anyone who does boot work for students or has had it done:

Assuming you check your work out on the snow, what do you ask the student to do? I'm guessing you'd want to have a set of drills to do before the adjustments and then after to see how performance was affected. What is--or would be, if this is the first time you've thought about it--your set of alignment checking drills?

Alternatively, how do you decide if a person has an alignment issue; how do you determine what exactly it is; and how do you know when it has been fixed?
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by nolo:
I have a question for anyone who does boot work for students or has had it done:

Assuming you check your work out on the snow, what do you ask the student to do? I'm guessing you'd want to have a set of drills to do before the adjustments and then after to see how performance was affected. What is--or would be, if this is the first time you've thought about it--your set of alignment checking drills?

Alternatively, how do you decide if a person has an alignment issue; how do you determine what exactly it is; and how do you know when it has been fixed?
We do not "use drills" per say ! Some people cannot perform certain tasks no matter what do to their genetic gene pool. We simply encourage slow skiing on varied terrain to watch how the skis interact with the snow, where the proverbial rubber hits the road. The slower the speed the more friction and more critical a balanced system becomes. Higher speeds are discouraged until slow mo looks good. We also do video because we, the skier, are the only ones that do not know what we look like and you cannot always bank on a persons feelings. Some folks are proprioceptively dead. Keep it simple !!!!!
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by gmolfoot:
We do not "use drills" per say ! Some people cannot perform certain tasks no matter what do to their genetic gene pool. We simply encourage slow skiing on varied terrain to watch how the skis interact with the snow, where the proverbial rubber hits the road. The slower the speed the more friction and more critical a balanced system becomes. Higher speeds are discouraged until slow mo looks good. We also do video because we, the skier, are the only ones that do not know what we look like and you cannot always bank on a persons feelings. Some folks are proprioceptively dead. Keep it simple !!!!!
Thats what my instructor did - just ha dme do stuff on flat places to watch what happened... Now we just need to fix it up.....
post #6 of 19
A straight run on gentle, even, terrain with a relaxed stance and "loose"ankles. Otherwise, because I observed something before, easy, slow skiing afterwards.
The straight run should let the skis seek their own track. Usually an overedged(most common)skier will get narrow with tips sometimes knocking together. Underedged produces a knockneed look.
post #7 of 19
Nolo,

Simple traverses will tell most of the story. What are the skis doing? What is the upper body doing? If the subject cannot hold an edge, are the skis skidding down the hill? Are just the tails skidding down the hill? Are the skis tracking properly, but the skier is really countering excessively?

These tasks and observations will tell the alignment tech if the skir is bowlegged, knockneed or neutral. It will also reveal excessive compensation for anotomical deficencies.

Without getting into the nuts and bolts of alignment, I hope that I have answered your question.

BTW, we waved as we went past your place early Monday. It was still pretty dark. We were coming back from a conference in Banff.

Rick
post #8 of 19
I'm not a boot fitter, and I don't play one on tv. But I can usually identify whether there is a problem by looking at a straight run, slow wedge christies and slow open track parallel on pretty flat terrain. As far as exacly what the alignment problem is, I can't really tell, and leave that up to people like Greg (gmolfoot) and his people. Especially since I can't see what's going on inside the boot. But I can usually tell which side has the problem and see major things such as Q angles and how straight the legs are.

As far as being able to tell, on the hill, whether someone has an issue or not, it usually comes from being asymetrical, and being able to do things from one direction, but not the other. Some things are really hard to tell. My wife has a problem of not enough dorsiflexion (bending the ankle joint) and a nasty Q angle. When she would try to move forward in her boots, her knees rolled in. So when she made a turn, and flexed forward, she could never get the inside ski up on edge. At first, I thought she was just making a weird move and pulling her knees together, and she always seemed to ski too far back. But when I asked her to make a traverse on the uphill edge of her uphill ski, and she couldn't and complained that trying it created a lot of pain in her knee, I knew it was an anatomic issue. Scott, one of the genius's at GMOL spent about an hour and a half with her one day (all indoors), and corrected the problem from inside the boots. Unfortunately, she needs new boots, so we'll have to go through the whole thing again.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the responses so far. I'm getting some great ideas.

I think it would be very convincing to a customer if they could do something post-fitting that they could not do pre-fitting. Something that has worked to this advantage for me is traversing on the uphill ski and one-ski skiing. A student bought new boots, said she was fighting them, I asked her to show me these maneuvers, which she and I both knew she could do, and clearly saw that she was underedged in the new boots. After making some adjustments with the boots, she could do the maneuvers again, which reassured us both that we had corrected the problem.

I suppose any exercise or drill that asks for tipping/untipping the skis would be useful in this respect.

Which leads to another question: can boots be properly fitted in the shop (without doing a road test)?

(I'm sorry you didn't stop, Rick. Next time?)
post #10 of 19
Nolo,

As you can see from my post above, Scott did a great job on my wife's alignment without ever seeing her ski. However, she skis with a bunch of instructors all the time, who can relate what we see on the hill to the bootfitter.
post #11 of 19
I have them do a couple things related to balancing, while watching their body for a relaxed, unaffected stance, or tension along with compensating movements.

First on nearly flat terrain, aiming directly down falline, straight run a few feet then lift a foot slightly. First just allowing whatever happens to happen, then again while attempting to go straight. (Repeat with other foot).

I like to watch a couple times, them going away, and coming at me.

The 'just allow' will reveal when a ski that is not 'flat' under the stance leg, indicated by the ski rolling first 'to get flat' then continuing to roll toward the under-edged side producing a turn in that direction with a slight skid as foot rolls and femur rotates.

The 'attempt to go straight' will show compensating movements (leaning, arm or leg held out, rotation, etc) to try and keep ski from rolling past flat, possibly over compensating enough to get a railed arc on the over-edged side.

An aligned skier will stand relaxed and just go straight, with a minor Cm shift over stance ski.

Another test is to do one ski traverses, first on each big toe, then on each little toe side.

Again, the aligned skier will stand relaxed and balance equally easily on either toe edge.

The out of alignment skier will edge easily, but may be tippy on their over-edged toe side and struggle to hold a clean edge traverse at all on the under-edged toe side.

These are worth experimenting with. I carry some 1" x 2-1/2" strips of 1, 1-1/2, 2 degree cant stock with a duct tape tab on them that can be slipped under boot heel to do a temporary 'what if' canting for repeating the above tests to confirm suspicions about over/under edged alignment.

These are worth experimenting with to train both one's eye and understanding of alignment issue cause and effect.

:

[ October 02, 2003, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: Arcmeister ]
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by Arcmeister:
An aligned skier will stand relaxed and just go straight, with a minor Cm shift over stance ski.
nup - I just skip the cm shift... had to learn that bit ...getting better at it slowly... VERY slowly...

So I just keep putting the lifted foot down...
post #13 of 19
Another exercise that would work, would be to have them do a straight run on a gentile slope, and ask them to roll from both inside to both outside edges, while keeping both skis equally weighted, and (obviously) only do each one for a short amount of time, to keep the skis from touching or moving too far apart. If you check their tracks, they should be able to get some (and the same amount of) edge angle from both skis. If they can't stay equally weighted when they do this, then that would be a clue that something wasn't right. This could probably be done just as easily in the boots on a floor, as opposed to the snow. However, I still believe that you can't diagnose a problem solely on the hill, because you can't see in the boot and know what's going on there. If they can't get on an edge, is it because of their anatomy, or because they are sloppy in their boots, or something else?
post #14 of 19
Just came back from 2 wonderful days at MasterFit U...gmolfoot was there.

Quite a lot to learn, and well worth it.

Nolo, I read your original question wrong the first time. I would recommend footbeds if I saw an unbalanced skier....A-frame, Mr. natural, engaging one ski before the other, catching an edge (sorry disski), uncomfort in the boot....

Afterward, there should be an improvement.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
"Mr. Natural" -- is that a term they taught at M.U., KeeTov?
post #16 of 19
As the saying goes, if you need to ask,....

For all of you youngsters out there....in my day, Mr.Natural was the cool man walking with his feet waaaay in front of his hips and body. Not in the back seat...in the trunk!
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
KeeTov, I know my Zap Comix, but maybe not everyone does.

Tell us about Masterfit U., if you would.
post #18 of 19
Truckin...
post #19 of 19
Wrong wrong wrong. This is
Mr. Natural .

You are thinking about This Guy .
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