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Moving the binding position forward

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Along the same line of my last posting the instructor recommended that my wife have her bindings moved forward 1cm. The reasoning was that moving the binding position forward on the skis puts the woman on the proper balance point of the ski. A woman "on top of her skis" can make smoother, quicker, and more controlled turns.

In 35 years of skiing I have never heard of this and was wondering what the other instructors thought of this principle.

post #2 of 21
OK, I'll let some of the more vociferous members of the forum add their opinions/facts, but...
What sort of skis is she on?

Several (if not all) of the womens skis on the market already have the mounting position marked further forward than the equivalent mens version. There are physiological differences between the male & female anatomy that mean the bindings should be mounted in a different position.

From a technical point of view, I don't like moving bindings, but that's probably just me.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
<qb>What sort of skis is she on?</qb>

She is on Rossi Bandit XL's
post #4 of 21

I am shocked that you have not heard of this person:


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 14, 2002 10:54 AM: Message edited 1 time, by PowDigger ]</font>
post #5 of 21
I disagree with the movement of the ibnding away from the true center of the ski. Having just completed 2 days with 4 certified/qualified boot fitters, all of them say the center of the ski is the pivot point, and that it is the boot that needs to be fitted properly. The center of the boot should match the center of the ski.

Seeing demos for 2 days makes me think this is correct. By the way, one of the boot fitters is also a PSIA Examiner.
post #6 of 21
I think the real issue is that the "true" center of the ski (measured by cord length) is not matched by the sidecut center - or therefore the binding mounting center. I think that if we are generally having fun making round turns, accomplished by standing in the center of our skis - skis should be manufactured to take advantage of this. The Elan X-Tech Stealths are this way (I skied them today in fact) but were too specialized because of their width to catch on. And most twin-tips are starting to be manufactured this way (for a different reason of course, since folks go backwards on them a lot). When on such skis there is a very clear feeling of being more equally in control of both the tip and tail.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 14, 2002 03:45 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Todd Murchison ]</font>
post #7 of 21
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by coldfeet:
...the instructor recommended that my wife have her bindings moved forward 1cm. The reasoning was that moving the binding position forward on the skis puts the woman on the proper balance point of the ski...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I certainly *have* heard of this recommendation, but am not sure I agree with it. The usual reason given is that because of simple anatomical differences, an average woman's CG is around 1 cm in back of that of the average man's. For this to have any meaning at all, this 1 cm difference must be relative to the boot center (ie, the center of their foot).

If this 1 cm difference were true, I would expect that even while in non-skiing footware, women would be weighting their heels (ie, leaning on their heels) more than men. Since this would put them somewhat off balance, I strongly suspect that any woman of reasonable athletic ability and sense of balance would adjust their ankle, knee and hip angles to adjust for ANY distribution of weight they may be carrying, and get themselves centered as quickly as possible.

My no-rocket-science-involved conclusion:
Adjust to the individual, not by gender.

Just my $0.02,

Tom / PM
post #8 of 21
OK, while we're on the subject of moving bindings...
Has anyone tried the Head Mad Trix?

A very interesting ski, according to some English skiers I know who've tested it.

post #9 of 21
Walking around and skiing just are not the same thing . . . and have you noticed [I sure have!] that women DO walk differently than men?! K2, by the way, does NOT use the center point, but rather they use the toe at a fixed place for all size boot soles. Seems to work ok . . .and that's the point: If it works, it works, and if the Kim Riechelms and Jeannie Thorens of the world say it's a good idea to mount women's bindings forward a cm, I'll accept that. As to making a difference, it sure does, but not always at the pleasure quotient one might expect. When I had the Atomic bindings which could be moved front, middle and back, the front really did turn more quickly but felt much less secure, while the back really felt smooth and secure and made me feel I'd prefer it if I had to choose.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 14, 2002 05:07 PM: Message edited 1 time, by oboe ]</font>
post #10 of 21
I have several brands with binding marks indicating something to the effect ... "normal and race" .... race was a bit forward.
post #11 of 21
I tried my new atomic bindings yesteday for the first time and experimented with the ability to move the binding forward or backward. The difference is not earth-shattering but there was a difference. After a couple runs you just modify your technique and you dont notice it. When forward the skis felt a bit more turny and agressive and when backward they felt longer...
post #12 of 21
oboe, yuki and NWJohngalt -

I got to agree with you guys - a cm or so doesn't produce earth shattering differences, but is noticeable.

I first started playing around with fore-aft changes in the early '80's on old Moog plate bindings that had several slots you could put the toe bail in.

oboe - Are you sure they walk differently? Its so hard to remember ...

Seriously, tho, I never mentioned walking. I was thinking of situations like the difference in toe-heel weighting between a man and a woman ice skating or receiving a tennis serve, etc. etc. For example, does anyone know if the blades on mens figure skates are mounted more aft than womens' (say relative to the center of the foot)?

Tom / PM
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PowDigger:

I am shocked that you have not heard of this person:


The instructor that she had is a protege of Jeannie Thorens. I had just never heard of moving the binding forward for women.
post #14 of 21
Coldfeet, Jeannie Thorens is a well known expert on women's equipment, and it is a valid suggestion.

If a woman is in an athleticly fit,trim woman, this may not apply. Most women are wider in the hip than men, and carry more of their body weight [as a perentage] below their waist than do men.

So in essence a women's center of mass is different than a mans. Also because of her wider hips, anatomically her femur rotates somewhat differently on her socket joint than does a man's.

To compensate for this, it has been discoverd that moving the binding placement forward, would help to countact this difference,keeping the female out of the backseat [ not a car, but more on the balls of her feet ] and make it easier for a women to be truly balanced on her skis.

Speaking of balanced, did your wife also get an alignment ?

Viva La Difference !!
post #15 of 21
As far as the alignments and moving bindings forward...I would have to recommend that it be at least explored especially for a woman. I myself have skied this was for the last 10 years (straight and shaped skis) and it does make a difference in the ability to initate turns with greater ease. Also, having boots that fit WELL make very big difference and that might mean heel lifts, footbeds, etc. but those should be explored with someone who is really good at fitting boots.

Well, that's my two cents.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Well, Bowing to my wife's wishes I had the local shop bring her bindings 1.5 cm forward. We will be skiing this weekend and I will let everyone know the results.

As usual the knowledge and expertise in the this form is phenomenal. Thank you for all the help!!
post #17 of 21
I think the binding moving forward thing got started with wider hip women because these same women have larger calf muscles. The larger calf muscle put the forward lean of the boot farther forward. To compensate these same women drop their hips back in an attempt to balance and thus, pressure the back of the ski more. Moving the binding forward is a bandaid for poor alignment.
If a women is properly aligned fore and aft no matter what her shape, the binding does not need to be moved forward. In the absence of good alignment, moving the binding forward will allow for easier turn entry.
post #18 of 21
My wife skis on some Xscream 8's with demo bindings. She has played with the bindings setting them 1cm forward and leaving them dead center. She can definitely notice a distinct difference between the 2 settings. As to which one she prefers, she's still not sure. The more forward setting makes the ski quicker/easier carving. The centered setting feels more stable. We've left it in the forward setting for now.
post #19 of 21
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PowDigger:

I am shocked that you have not heard of this person:


while she has some good ideas, Jeannie Thorens writes some of the most condescending towards women sports stuff I hvae ever read. Read it sometime: something to the tune of "now women can ski after lunch with out being too tired. Puh-leeze...

NOw on the subject of moving bindings, I was able to demo skis with binding in various positions, and with what I bought, a mon female specific ski, I had them mounted 1 cm forward. Works for me.

post #20 of 21
I'm with Mej (welcome to EpicSki, mej, by-the-way)--no harm, and potentially much to be gained, in experimenting. This is as true for men as for women. But it isn't easy, of course, except with "rental bindings" or the Atomic binding that has fore-aft adjustability.

But I am NOT in favor of a universal adjustment of the bindings forward for women. The ski doesn't care what sex the person on top of it is--it just responds to where it feels the pressure. Ideally, bindings should be mounted in a location where the skier's natural stance centers the pressure over the "sweet spot"--wherever that may be for any given ski.

If a woman can balance over the middle of her foot, and adjust that balance at will over the toe or the heel, then there is NO reason to move her bindings! If she cannot, then there are other adjustments that are in order--boot cuff alignment or fore-aft adjustment, internal heel lifts to "open" the ankle and allow it to flex forward more, ramp angle adjustment (elevating the heel or toe of the binding), and so on. Any or all of these could be called for, and a good bootfitter or alignment-knowledgeable instructor could help immensely.

Simply moving the binding forward does not help a women adjust HER balance forward. If she couldn't balance over, say, the balls of her feet before, then moving her bindings won't change that. If she truly could not balance anywhere forward of her heel, for some reason, then perhaps this adjustment could be a last resort. But much better would be to make sure she CAN control her fore-aft balance.

This all stems from the fact that every skier has unique fore-aft movement issues, based on different bone lengths, joint configuration and flexibility, boot setup, and mass distribution. Almost NEVER is the problem an inability to balance over any given part of the foot. The issue is what movements/compensations the skier must make in order to accomplish balance and fore-aft adjustment. And this issue is resolved with boot/binding setup--not binding placement!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #21 of 21
This weekend I did play with moving the binding forward. The ski is a Stockli AXC in 170 and could be described as a bit radical in design, wide shovel and narrow waist while being a very stiff ski.

These have never been my favorites but serve as "road skis" ...... they stay in my truck for duty on race days ..... hauling the kids packs and gear.

I moved the binding (Tyrolia select) forward one notch. This is the first time I have ever enjoyed this ski. Turn initiation is much easier. The only thing that has suffered is that "lazy" slide to a stop.

Next week I'm gonna walk on the wild side and move them just one more notch.
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