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Foot/Knee Problem; Seeking Ski Advice

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi, everyone.  First-time poster.  I've read a good bit on the forums, but I have a frustrating situation and wanted to ask specific advice without hijacking anyone else's thread.  Anyway, here's my background:

 

Ski ability - advanced beginner to low intermediate.  I am happy on greens.  I can make it down the mountain on blues.  First ski trip was Feb 09; Breckenridge at 42 yrs old.  Took 1.5 days of private family lessons, then skied 2.5 more days. Did one day at Snowshoe in Dec 09.  Did 4 more days at Breck Feb 10 along with 1 night at Keystone (but I was really pitiful at Keystone, knee was shot and I did half my skiing on one leg).  

 

Build - decent muscles but flabby gut. 5'9" and 210.  Good endurance, strong legs.  Lousy flexibility.

 

Concerns - Right foot splays out at about a 20 degree angle from the heel (that is, if left foot is straight, right foot looks cocked toward the outside at the toes).  To straighten my right foot, I have to twist at the knee.  Holding the knee in that position is extremely uncomfortable for any length of time.  This makes parallel skiing a challenge with my limited abilities.  In general, when standing, my weight is on the outside of my right foot.  I also have a mild problem with my left knee, but that hasn't proven to be as big an issue as I feared when I first tried skiing. I tend to have very problematic feet; very difficult to find shoes that feel decent.  Took hours in Breck this past Feb to finally find some ski boots that I thought I could live with. They were heaven compared to rentals.

 

Gear - Salomon Mission RS 8 boots with some customized inserts. Still using rental skis.

 

Goals - I don't care about becoming a great skier at this age; I just want to have fun with my family.  The kids are zipping down blues very easily now and trying the occasional black with my wife or brother.  I get worn out with my knee pretty quickly and know my skill level will not handle a black.  I stay on greens and do the occasional blue.  My brother & wife, both pretty good skiers, have tried to give me tips.  I can't say I always receive them well when I'm frustrated or in pain with my knee.  I would like to get to an advanced intermediate stage, where greens take no thought at all, blues are the norm, and blacks are not out of the question.  I'm trying to parallel ski.  When I get it right, it feels wonderful.  When I don't, though, it kills my knee, and I reach my pain threshold.  Even when I get it right, I don't seem to be able to do it very long before my knee starts to hurt, especially not with real speed.

 

Anyway, all of that is there to help give context.  I know the ski technique itself can improve.  But my question are:

 

1. Could a more narrow ski better help correct my issue than a wider ski?  Or would it respond too much to my skewed foot and make it tougher?  Reading on this forum is the first I've really come to understand the strengths of the different widths.  I have not really paid attn to widths on rentals, so I have no baseline to make an intelligent comparison.

2. How about a shorter ski?  I had ridiculously short skis in Snowshoe, but it may have been my most comfortable skiing other than an hour or two here and there at Breck.  

3. Also, is it possible to set the bindings on a set of skis so that my right foot is allowed a little angle to the outside, or would that make it even worse when it comes to carving?

 

I know I have to find the right ride for me, so I don't know that I'm really looking for particular ski suggestions (although they're welcome).  I'm really just wondering if anyone has dealt with someone else with a similar problem and, if so, whether there were any gear tricks that could help minimize it.  

 

Thanks,

Mike in NC


Edited by Mikeheel - 8/2/10 at 7:19pm
post #2 of 8

#1 I had some of the same problems...........Go see a good bootfitter first....

#2 see #1

#3 See#1

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Sounds like maybe boots were the answer for you.  

 

Realized I asked about "correcting" my knee problem; I really meant "compensating for" my knee problem.  

 

Even with great, custom fit and good boots now, my leg remains slightly twisted toward the outside.  After I estimated 20 degrees last night, I tried to measure the angle with a protractor.  I think it's closer to 30 degrees that my foot naturally cocks to the outside.  The issue for me is that it's not at the ankle (meaning the boot doesn't correct it at all), the issue appears to be at the knee.  So, while skiing - as with walking or just standing - I have to work very hard to keep my foot lined up, but it goes out at an angle.  

 

I'm just wondering if there is a way to minimize the torque on my knee from constantly having to twist it line up the ski.  Maybe there's not really.  And maybe I'm overthinking it.  

post #4 of 8


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeheel View Post

Thanks. Sounds like maybe boots were the answer for you.  

 

Realized I asked about "correcting" my knee problem; I really meant "compensating for" my knee problem.  

 

Even with great, custom fit and good boots now, my leg remains slightly twisted toward the outside.  After I estimated 20 degrees last night, I tried to measure the angle with a protractor.  I think it's closer to 30 degrees that my foot naturally cocks to the outside.  The issue for me is that it's not at the ankle (meaning the boot doesn't correct it at all), the issue appears to be at the knee.  So, while skiing - as with walking or just standing - I have to work very hard to keep my foot lined up, but it goes out at an angle.  

 

I'm just wondering if there is a way to minimize the torque on my knee from constantly having to twist it line up the ski.  Maybe there's not really.  And maybe I'm overthinking it.  


Mikeheel, the previous post was not wrong.   We understand that the problem you have is not really within the area that would fit within the boot.       Nevertheless, there are  things that can be done with the boot to help you.   

 

Just to begin to give yourself an idea of what sort of things are possible with the boots, search here and in the bootfitters' forum for 'abducted' boots.     That is an example of one tool.    No matter what tools are used, all three joints (ankle,knee,hip) will be taken into consideration because what is done at the boot *will* affect all three.

 

BTW, I don't really think ski width is the quantity you're looking for.     Ski taper angle (the difference between max tip width and max tail width, reckoned over the length of the ski)  is a more likely suspect.    

post #5 of 8

I ski race with a fellow that has had his boot soles rebuilt to deal with a condition in both feet that sounds similar to your right foot. Go see a professional bootfitter.

post #6 of 8

Your biggest problem will be finding one qualified to help you, especially in your part of the country.    

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Gracias. Those explanations helped me understand better.

post #8 of 8

One suggestion that i have for you is do not rent standard rental skis as they are junk especially for someone over 200lbs,  and they are best suited for little kids or first time skiers. Usually for $10 or $12 more you can rent an easier to turn much more stable performance ski. With a standard rental the binding is worth more than the ski, with a performance ski the ski is worth 2.5 to 3 times the binding.

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