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Question regarding technique on old vs new skis

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
OK, I'm not sure how to ask this question so I may have to work into it.

I was skiing today in my new verse soft boots.

I bought these boots because of my foot problem, which is that the top of my foot has a humped shape from the accident/operation, and the boot will actually go on.

OK, so anyway, I have these soft boots and my shaped skis, Rossi T-powers.

One of my problems today was steering.
I couldn't seem to do the "toe-touch" thing I learned last year.

Here's the question, and like I said, i may have to work into it...

Is there a difference in how you steer straight skis and shaped skis?
(and yes, I know the old skis had shape too. you know what I mean.
post #2 of 11
Not really, Nakona, at least if you were steering the "old" skis properly and effectively. It's more a matter of degree than of real difference. It's like going from driving an old truck with manual steering to driving a modern sports car with power steering. You've still got to hold the wheel and steer it! The new skis HELP you do it, and they will make a turn of some sort even with no steering input from you at all (simply by tipping and pressuring them). But controlling the turn shape with precision and consistency requires active steering, as always.

Of course, depending on how you "used" to ski, it may well be that you need a complete technical revamping!

Because they flex and carve so effectively, modern skis respond well to being pressured consistently in the "sweet spot." Because older skis did NOT carve as easily, it was common to employ more active "leverage"--tip pressure--to get the turn started. A little forward pressure caused the tips to dig in, and allowed the tails to wash out, causing a skidded turn intitiation. It still does! Of course, finishing the turn/skid would then involve a little BACKWARD leverage to get the tails to dig in.

Is it possible that your technique relies on this forward and back leverage, and that the new soft boots are making this control more difficult? If so, you may still be able to enjoy the new boots by adapting your technique and remaining balanced over the center of your foot. As I said, the new skis don't need--or even benefit from--pronounced fore-aft leverage for most turns.

Another possibility--you mentioned a "toe-touch thing" that you are finding more difficult with your new boots. If you are referring to edging movements--tipping toward the "big-" and/or "little-toe edge" of your skis, then perhaps the new boots are not properly aligned or canted. Have you had them checked by a competent bootfitter or alignment specialist?

If not, could you be more specific about exactly what you are feeling and having trouble with?

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
yeah, footbeds, cants, etc...
all done by a good shop.

I'm working against several things:

1)out of shape from an extended recovery period following a car accident.

2) only 2nd year skiing.

3) foot that was injured in accident doesn't work "correctly" anymore. I can't lift my weight onto the ball of my right foot like I can with my left, it simply wont do it no matter how much effort I put into it.

4) New verse soft boots.
post #4 of 11

on shaped skis, you don't need the same amount of pressure at the ball of the foot. pressure is much subtler, and should be applied at the arch moving back toward the heel throughout the turn...

Bob, please correct me if I'm wrong.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I think maybe I have to start my lessons again from the beginning, as if I had never skied before.
post #6 of 11
You may try unweighting a bit on turns to the left if you can't apply edge pressure with the ball of the right foot. "Old school" technique was a pronounced down and up hopping motion accented/aided by reaching out to plant (and turn around) the pole.

Using terrain to unweight is also effective. Where there are small bumps and undulations, turn initiation is a lot easier.

A soft slalom cut/radius ski like the cobra T-Power should also make it easy but how long are they?
post #7 of 11
Nakona, when you had the shop do your alignment did they check your dynamic ankle range of motion? Normal is between 12 and 24 degrees. If you are outside this range like I am, then soft boots will not allow you to flex your ankle properly during skiing. My ankle flex is only 9 degrees due to many sprained ankles over the years. Surgery and accidents tend to decrease the useful range to a very high degree.
What I am saying is, the problem may be that the soft boots do not allow for dynamic ankle flex. Your range may be used up before you can have enough contact with the boot tongue to steer.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
yuki -

pierre -
They didn't test but I have normal to better than normal range of motion in my foot and ankle. My problem is that when i apply pressure to the ball, as during normal walking, the foot wont translate that into "pushing off"
post #9 of 11

At the risk of starting a flame war, here is something you might try. If you can stand on one foot and raise your arch and then do it on the other foot, you can translate that to your skis. In other words, can you stand on a carpet with the skis on and lift your arch on each foot? If you can, the start with a very mild slope and try it on snow.

This is the basic movement of PMTS. This is also why PMTS work well for people with disabilities. I am bone-on-bone in both knees and I had to find something other than inside leg steering. I currently have a pinched sciatic nerve and it has no effect on my skiing. The stress is simply not there.

I hope this has helped.
post #10 of 11
Those 167's should turn like weasels in a drain pipe.

Considering your passion for this stuff I'd pay a call to Green Mountain Orthodics at Stratton. A friend who has a problem foot just came back and has nothing but raves for them. He bought a pair of Lange Commerative models from them but indicated that the fit portion including on-snow analysis was $170 + his lift ticket.

I have a scrunched right foot from an incident with a tow truck when I was about ten + a (now shorter leg) from a jammed hip in an auto wreck 5 years ago. The simple footbeds worked wonders for me ..... first time without pain ...... I plan the trip to foot Mecca (GMO) sometime this year as soon as I can hide the cost from my wife .... :

Do you still have your old boots?
post #11 of 11

It's about lateral movements. With the softer boots I have been told it is harder to put forward pressure just on the front of the ski in order to initiate the turn.

Try to think of not applying pressure just to the ball of your foot, but rather the inside edge of your foot. What that means is pressure is running along your foot from the inside part of the ball of your foot, along the inside of your arch, to the inside edge of your heel. Don't rush this,just let it happen. Learn to do this on some very gradual slopes until it becomes a habit [i.e. you don't have to think about doing it.]

I also want to confirm that in your response to Bob Barnes you have been properly aligned, and if needed your skis have been shimmed under the bindings. If that has been done then remember, the right ski has to be ALWAYS the right ski.The left ski...the left ski.

So now, what are some other choices available to you.

#1. A private lesson with an instructor that understands your problem, or some group lessons, but a private one or two hour lesson should do it.

#2. Visit the websites: harbskisystems.com and: breakthroughonskis.com to gain some further insights.

#3.Using this website go to the home page and scroll down the left side and click on "ski shop." Now scroll down to amazon.com and order Lito Tejada-Flores's new book, "Breakthrough on the New Skis." About the cost of a decent bottle of wine, $18.00 including S&H. I think this book will go along way in helping you to become a better skier, and will give you specific things you will want to work on when you take some lessons. This book and lessons will further help you to use your new equipment to its fullest capabilities.

I hope the above helps.
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