or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

equipment questions

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
These are inspired by Comments in another thread about rental equipment.
1. Does alignment become more critical as the snow gets harder?
2. When teaching beginners with poor fitting boots, is it preferable to make the movements start with the knees instead of the feet?
3. Is it a good idea to have instructors teach in rental gear?
4. If beginning skiers knew how difficult and expensive it is to get equipment to fit them (for example, finding a good bootfitter, getting aligned, getting footbeds made, all without getting ripped off because the tech didn't know what he was doing.....), would they just try snowboarding instead?
post #2 of 7
1. Sort of, for safety considerations, yes(IMHO)
2. Not necessarily, but sometimes.
3. No. Instructors often have to spend all day in their boots without taking them off, and they need to be receptive to communication throughout that period. Severe pain often shuts receptiveness and awareness outside of oneself off completely.
4. Yes.
(QUALIFIER) Most specialty ski shops offer free boot fitting services along with a sale. While standards of service are variable, most of these services are good enough to suit beginners who make the decision to buy. The trick is to buy from a reputable specialty ski shop.

P.S. I read a post in the PSIA forum months ago from a guy who swears he has a five minute, universal alignment product he is trying to market to rental shops and ski schools. I will try to find it and post a link here.
post #3 of 7
4. interesting comment but to take boarding to it's next level,

good fitting equipment with "custom foot beds" make a huge difference on boards as well as skis. Alignment may not be as big of an issue but fit sure does. I'm not a boarder but one of my cousins and several of his friends in Telluride decided to get fitted for footbeds. The change from one day to the next was nothing short of remarkable.
post #4 of 7
as a knuckle dragger, I will say that dchan is correct. Alignment is not really an issue unless it is so bad that there is pain. But a tight fit is incredibly importiant. As much as it is in skiing, sometimes more. If your snowboard boots are loose, and you try to get up on your toe edge, your heel will lift, and the board will not go up (sometimes at all) on edge. I've actually had kids learning to board, before we had rental equipment for kids, and would get in the smallest boots we had, and actually fall out of the boots while trying to get up on their toe edge.

On snowboards with soft bindings (straps), you need to make sure the binding fits the boot. It is possible (and common) for people with small feet to be in bindings that are too big and won't hold their feet down.

You also have to deal with stance angles on snowboards. It's VERY difficult to teach a beginner snowboarder on a board that is set up duck footed. I know. I've tried. Luckily, our new rental boards have toolless angle adjustments, and we are allowed to mess with them on the hill since they are not releaseable bindings.

Another issue with boards and feet is the width of the board vs the length of the foot. A person with big feet on a board that isn't wide enough will drag their toes and heels in the snow, and it's VERY easy to "boot out". On the other hand, a person with small feet on a wide board (or angles that are too far forward) will not be able to get the board up on edge easily because the width of the platform will try to push the board flat on the snow.
post #5 of 7
I start each lesson with a quick talk on boots and how they should fit. I tell them to go back to the lodge after the lesson and spend a few minutes learning the adjustments and if they can't get a snug fit, to return to the rental shop..... I also suggest shorter skis too.

The first thing I have them do before the boot drills is to get all that "junk" out of their boots...... meaning tucked in pants etc. and even tell them to cuff those long johns above the boot (after the lesson).... I even show them that the only thing in my boot is a single sock.

If I can at least get them flailing away without the pain..... I think I have done them a bit of a favor.

A quick demo and a quick talk.... then I try to make the (obvious) quick adjustments with those who are too loose or are screaming tight.

There is no way to tell just who is/is not in pain and you can't teach on two levels like that. Knee action would take them to places that..... it would not be a pretty sight and only start them down the wrong road.

I think that getting them to spend time on foot prep even with rental gear is a do-able deal...... <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by yuki (edited July 25, 2001).]</FONT>
post #6 of 7
>>>There is no way to tell just who is/is not in pain...<<<

I just ask.

Actually I do. At the beginning of the lesson, I ask if anyone's feet hurt. During the lesson I'll ask again and ask if anyone's knees hurt. I also ask if people can move their feet around in their boots and try to get all of the "extras" out, and the boots tight, before we start the lesson.
post #7 of 7
>>There is no way to tell just who is/is not in pain.<<

Continual monitoring of body language, facial expressions and voice inflections also reveal much to a teacher...as well as asking questions with aswers that seem apparent to you(the instructor).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching