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Rick H, a question about fore/aft alignment

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

This is a pet subject of mine and I was wondering if PMTS, with its focus on lateral alignment, is also addressing fore/aft alignment in as rigerous a way. I don't remember reading anything about this subject in "Expert" or in the teaching manual.

Thanks for your time,
post #2 of 9

I am having a real problem remembering if there has been some talk about it. When I encounter it, I ask the student to stand normally on the skis and pretend hugging a beachball. This usually gets them in the correct stance. If it anatomical, like too much forward lean in the boots, with the resultant backseat stance, I'll suggest trying a pair of rental boots to see if that is the problem.

I have to fly to LA this weekend. While hanging around SLC and LAX, I'll try to do some reading. I'll be back Wednesday.
post #3 of 9
I pay attention to forward angle (of boot shaft) and commonly pull wedges out of the back of people's boots during lessons. If they will let me, I throw them away. My most recent bootfitter put in heel lifts for me, and I am so much better aligned fore-aft. It makes a lot of difference. Last season one guy I was skiing with was having some problems. I ended up finding a bench at the top of a chair and took his boots apart(to take out forward lean wedges. I found he had a heel lift in one boot, but not the other. This guy had never had work done to his boots at all!!) I happened to have one of equal size with me and put it in... problem solved! The more time I spend with equipment the more I realize its importance.

Tell me more about your pet subject, if you please.
post #4 of 9

You should contact HH. They're doing some really interesting things with alignment that Diana "invented".

SnoKarver knows about it, maybe you could send him an email.

HH is in the Midwest right now doing alignment clinics. They'll be back on 10-9.
post #5 of 9
Check out: "The Athletic Skier" by Warren Witherell & David Evrard. This book addresses alignment in detail, including fore/aft. It's approach is the "alignment cycle" assesment, footbeds, fore/aft, lateral cuff adj, canting, re-asessment, etc.

p.s. a delightful book as well
post #6 of 9
Hi Ydnar where have you been, you haven't posted for some time. welcome back.
post #7 of 9
For-aft alignment is interesting, and tricky, as it is affected by skiers ability and build more than lateral alignment is...

For instance, some people have long legs, shorter torso, and others haved short legs, and long torso.

Diana has not really "invented" anything, but has done a very good job with designing methods of measurement and data collection that helps the alignment tech (consultant) "get it right".

SCSA, for instance, is something of a long legged stork, while I have short legs, and a long torso. So does HH. Thogh I have a bigger gut than HH... LOL!

Fore aft alignment is also affected quite a bit by the relationship between dorsal flexion range, and ramp angle. Ony of my long time students skied in a Dolomites for a few years, with little ramp angle, and a fairly vertical cuff.

She switched to Technicas last year, with a huge ramp angle, and more forward lean. It put her in the back seat, and she struggled with it all year. The Technicas fit her foot better, but she skied... worse...

She has very little dorsal flexion...

So it's a combination of many things... this is why all alignment issues must be backed up with on-snow analysis.

I ground the hell out if the zeppa (bootboard under the liner) and got her into a heel lift and raised her forefoot slightly, as wel as forcing the boot cuff a bit more upright... It helped, but she still has a better stance in the Dolomites...

Which anniys the hell out of ther, because the Technicas fit her foot more comfortably. However, her SKIING REGRESSED. Sigh.

I didn't ger her into the Technicas, she did that herself.... oooops!

Gonna get her into som Heads. With a 22.0 foot, she has few choices. The Dolomites were her first "real" ski boot, and 23.0 is the smallest available, and of course the 23.0's felt better to her, till she started skiing better... the usual...
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Here's some more about my pet subject

First, as Snokarver pointed out any static or indoor evaluation should be followed up by a on snow evaluation at various speeds and differing conditions. Everyones stance is different for a veriety of reasons and whatever we do to change their stance will have an affect unique to that individual.

With the above in mind here is what I do. In skiboots buckled the way the individual skis in them I have them do a full squat, all the way down untill both knee and hip joints are fully flexed. Some people will lose their balance and fall backward trying to do this so be ready to give them a hand to prevent this. Others will be able to get into the full squat by holding their arms out in front of their bodies. Some will be able to reach this position and bring their hands into their chests. For those who can't reach the full squat position and bring their hands into their chests use some kind of a spacer under the heel of their boots untill they can achieve this position. What I want from this group of people is to get them balanced so that they can maintain this position without straining but I can easily push them over backwards. I then measure the height of the spacers (using one and two mm thick plastic for the spacers makes this quite easy) and put a heel wedge of that height into the boot under the liner. Then its off the the snow for further evaluation and feedback on how it feels and looks. For those who can reach the full squat with their hands on their chests it is very important to do the "pushover test". If they fall backward when I lightly tap their chests then I do nothing. If they can resist being pushed over backwards then I use spacers under their boot toes untill they can be easily pushed backwards. Once I've determined how much "toe lift" they need the "fix" is more complicated. It is often difficult to raise the fore part of the foot inside the ski boot so I will try to lower the heel of the foot by grinding the boot board or the boot itself (or going to a boot with less built in ramp angle). Another way to address this is to put a spacer under the toe piece of the binding but here you have to be carefull not to take the binding setup out of Din. Once the "fix" is in place its time for further evaluation on snow. Obviously in this second scenerio it is more difficult to make the "fix" but luckily people in the first group who need their heels raised seem to be much more common.

I beleave the above procedure is very similar to the one used in the Whitherall book Arcmiester mentioned although I learned it from a different source.

As well as degree of dorsal flexion and the relationship of leg length to torso length fore/aft alignment is affected by the relationship of length of femer to length of tibia, the stiffness of the boot being used, the shaft angle of the boot cuff, the shape of the persons foot and probably other things I haven't found out about yet.

Truth be known this subject is such a can of worms that I wouldn't bother with it if it wasn't for the profound effect that this fore/aft aligning has on my students skiing.

Its getting late and this is getting long so I'll sign off now and see if there are any more replies before I go on.

So Roto, are you sorry you asked.

PS. Pierre, I spent the end of last season and the summer deciding if I wanted to keep skiing and teaching. I do but its a long story. If you're really interested let me know and I'll send you an E-mail.
post #9 of 9
Not sorry at all Ydnar,

Good info. I like the squat test. these kinds of non-subjective tests are great. I'm eager to see if I'm aligned as well as I think I am. I too have seen attention to equipment have EXTREMELY positive effects upon people's skiing, my own included. It makes such a huge difference for people in the beginner and intermediate levels too. So many people ski around being so hard on themselves for being hard-headed or slow-learners when that is not the case at all!

Thanks for the reply
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