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ramp angle/toe cheese/etc

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
This has come up a few times and I think it deserves it's own post.

This year I took the Masterfit University clinic and had the great opportunity to watch Greg at GMOL work with several customers. This and reading and trying to understand boot fit and how it affects our skiing brings me to this conclusion.

First and foremost, Every one is different. All feet are different. What works for one person does not always work for someone else..

That being said,
Here are some of my findings,

Oboe was asking about ramp angle/negative ramp angle and how it affects getting out of the back seat.

First I found that you need to stabilize the foot so it is not moving and changing shape. Support the foot using what ever footbed works best for you. I don't want to get into the which system is best.

Then check the foot for dorsiflexion/range of motion. People with less range of motion will often (not always) benefit from a little bit of heel lift (inside the boot not ramp so much ramp angle)

Sometimes people that are in the back seat will benefit from a little bit of toe lift.
The affect seems to be that when the toes are lifted the knees move back a little and the skier stands a little taller to compensate. This moves their CM up and forward. I don't quite understand all the biomechanics of it but I watched the affect as Greg put some "toe cheese" or wedges under someone's toes. Amazing..

To answer Oboe's question to me,

I think you have to try it to see what it does for you. It would be great if someone said this is the standard "DIN" for ramp angle, toe in/toe out, and binding heights and then allow for "adjustments" from "DIN" but as long as we have different manufacturers of boots, bindings and skis with integrated systems I don't think that will happen. The ramp angle "built into" boots may or may not be negated by the toe lift in the rossi binding. The only real way to find out is to ski them in that combo and then maybe make a few adjustments.

GMOLFOOT I'm hoping will be able to shed a little more light on the subject. I'll continue to tinker..


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 08, 2002 08:12 AM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #2 of 6
What an excellent topic. I am a pretty average skier, and have often felt my toes curling into a tight bunch inside the boot when I get outside my comfort zone, and of course this is when my weight goes backwards.
Could toe cheeses help in that situation? How are they constructed, and is it possible to get my hands (or even toes) on some to try them out?
post #3 of 6
The heel lifts didn't seem to be helping, so I removed them and found either no difference or positive difference. I think that technique and tactics have had a lot to do with my problem - esecially on a ski with more oomph, like the Rossi Bandit XX. Now that I'm ready for the oomph, I know enough to avoid getting sand kicked in my face.

There was a demo day two or three years ago when I kept getting knocked into the back seat and falling over backwards - not one of my usual tricks. I had Rossi boots with a flex adjuster, and I decided to change the flex, making the boots more flexible, less stiff - and that was all it took to remove the problem. I'm sure that I could have skied with stiffer boots, but it would have taken more conscious effort to maintain fore/aft balance and, perhaps, some ramp angle increase, because with the stiffer boot, there was less [if anything] I could have done to get my weight more forward without mechanical assistance.

I think if the boots allow the skier to move forward in sufficient degree, then the toe lift can definitely enourage the skier to move forward. However, if the boots are either too stiff or for some other reason physically prevent the skier from moving weight forward, then the toe lift coud tilt the skier over backwards.

One really big point of agreement, dcahn - it's a matter of trial and error with many variables and personal idiosyncrases, and what works for one may have no affect or a contrary effect for another.

The new XX's should be arriving this week. If I can have them mounted and try them before the snow goes, I'll report back.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

"Toe cheese" I think is just a term coined by Greg and his staff at GMOL to suggest some lift under the toes. It can be inserted (if there is space) under the foot bed or liner. Otherwise it can be added under the boot (lift under the sole). The 2 methods will have different outcomes.

By lifting the toe/forefoot inside the boot you will dorsiflex the ankle more relative to the shell of the boot. This can cause less range of motion for the skier as the ankle may already be close to it's limit for flexion. This would probably make the skier stand taller and straighten up thus moving the CM forward and up however with the flexion limited every time the ski tips were pushed up (bump,etc) or the skier tried to flex into the boot, they would probably get thrown into the back seat.

In the case of putting the lift under the boot (negative ramp angle or less ramp angle) the ankle still has the same amount of flexion range avail to them as before however the forward lean of the boot will be more upright and thus get them to stand taller and move their CM up and forward as well. With the range of motion still avail to them thsy may be able to compensate/flex into their boots more and allow for better balance.

A person with not enough range of motion (unable to dorsiflex) may do better with heel lift (inside the boot) to open up the ankle more and allow for better flexion range. Maybe even heel lift inside the boot and toe lift outside the boot in an extreme case.

All this is assuming of course a proper size boot and shell.

The best bet is to get to a Good fitter and work with them. Any good fitter will work with you until it is right and stand behind the fit. Your body will tell you when it's right.

As far as where to get this stuff if you want to try it on your own, Check out Tognar. They have wedges/fitting tools etc..

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 08, 2002 09:35 AM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #5 of 6
Many thanks for the help.
post #6 of 6

The "gripping" -- anthropologists and biologists call it a prehensile motion -- is an instinctive human response. It's one of those places where our dormant grey matter kicks in and reminds us that long ago, we used to grab things with our feet much in the way we do today with our hands. Think of Christy Brown (My Left Foot).

I tend to "grip" when on boilerplate ice. I have orthotics that are very well made, and have toe crests molded in so that the little arched space made between main footbody and toe pads now is filled with footbed. This has not reduced my "gripping."

The only thing that will reduce your gripping is to learn to relax. It's a muscle contraction, and not a sign of inadequate foot support.

IMHO, of course.
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