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What is the right way to do canting alignment?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I brought my boots in to get aligned last year....now I'm wondering if it was canted the correct way. 



please excuse the crude drawings.  The dimensions may be exaggerated, but I think it gets the point across.  The first picture shows how my legs look when I'm standing comfortably with my feet fairly close together and ski boots on.  The red line is a plumb bob line showing middle of my knees to the floor.  My lower leg has a weird curvature to it - it goes outside then back in.  You'll notice that in this position, my knees are directly over the center of my feet which is good, but this is too narrow of a stance for normal skiing. 


The second picture (top right) shows me trying to get a nice hip-width stance for skiing.  Keeping the cuff angle the same, you'll notice 2 things happen.  1. the outside of the boots come off the ground (if my legs were just hanging naturally with no weight on them) and 2. the center of my knees end up well inside of the middle of the foot.  The result is that during my transitions and going straight, I have a tendency to track on my inside edges and my ski tracks converge at transition.


In the 3rd picture (lower left), the blue represents the cant added to form a new bottom of boot.  The cant is put on the outside of the boot.  This resolves the 2nd issue stated above.  Now, during transition, I'm flat on my skis and my tracks don't converge like they used to.  This is the adjustment I got done on my boots.  However, it does not solve the issue of the knees being inside.  I believe this may cause me to have A-frame issues as well.


In the last picture, this would be what it would be like if I got some cant on the inside of the boot.  My knees would line up again over the middle of the foot.  However, my upper leg would then not line up properly.  Also, in a neutral position, I would be on my inside edges even more.


So what is the right way to cant?  Did I get my boots canted the wrong way?  Perhaps the last option is the right one and I just need to teach myself to keep the skis flat during transition.  I would force myself to make it feel like I have a big ball between my legs.  It would be awkward at first, but I can probably get used to it if I work on it.

post #2 of 8

 One method skis properly, but you don't align textbook.  I'd throw out the textbook and resolve yourself that you won't be a demo team skier.



post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

So you're saying the lower left picture is the one that skis properly?  I don't expect to become a sponsored athlete, but I do have a few main concerns right now:


  • I tend to A-frame.  Part of this is technique..but I think a part of it might be related to canting
  • Having my knees not stacked could possibly mean increased strain on my knees and increased risk of injury.  This is probably most important.  I'm still young and I definitely want to be able to continue skiing when I get older.
  • Efficiency - the longer I can ski without getting tired, the better.
post #4 of 8



Edited by bud heishman - 11/15/10 at 8:41pm
post #5 of 8
I would say you have analyzed yourself incredibly well. It seems you have it all worked out. If you feel you need more inside the boot you probably do.just because you have caned the boot does not mean your foot is in the best position.what ever you feel is real.get your pronation measured. It is the missing link. Just a footed may not do it.sounds like you may need both internal and external adjustments.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

I think my stance is too narrow in first picture because it would put inside of my feet about 4" apart.  This is actually pretty close to my stance for off-piste skiing, but for carving groomers, I prefer about ~9" apart.


bud, you say outside edge of boots lined up with iliac crest?  That's actually pretty close to picture one.  I feel like this is just too narrow for carving.  From a physics standpoint, it seems the most powerful would be to have the iliac crest of hips stacked directly over the center of the knees which is then directly over the center of the foot. 


In my case, my iliac crest is about 12" apart.  So when I stand (in barefoot) with center of my feet 12" apart, the center of my knees end up about 9" apart.  Perhaps this is just the way my anatomy is and this is a powerful position for me rather than trying to figure out how to get the knees directly over the feet. 


Some things I noticed too is if I pad the inside of my feet to raise the knees outward so everything lines up.

  • I feel very awkward...this is just not comfortable to me.  I can teach myself to get used to it I'm sure, but that seems counter intuitive as well.  Then again, a lot of things in skiing is counter intuitive at first.  =)
  • My muscles get tired more easily than if I'm not "stacked"


mosh, you might very well be right that I would need internal adjustments.  But if trying to imagine how external adjustments changes things is complicated, I can't even get my head wrapped around how messing with the footboard is going to change things.


One thing to note, I do have instaprint custom footbeds.  They seem to be properly made for me.

post #7 of 8

if you start with this basic premise it becomes very simple

"in skiing there is no right or wrong, just right and left"


*Start from the inside and work your way out, then from the bottom working up.  


*Once you understand what position your feet work best in, then build the boots to cary you in that position. Then once this is done, get the shell of the boots to match the shape of your leg.


When it is all done the boot will feel almost invisible, or non invasive to your kinetic chain.  It will allow you to be your unique self, and be as relaxed as you can be.  Only you can say when things are "Right" for you.  It is impossible for one formula to be correct for everyone.   I noticed in your first post that you mentioned that you felt that you might need something inside the boot.  You need to trust your instincts because you are the formula 1 race car driver here, and only you know when things are working best for you.   


If you try to take all the information you have, and try to integrate with other ideas it it is exceptionally complex.  If you try to fix all the problems just by planing soles and getting your knee to line up with the boot then you miss a very important part of the puzzle, the foot inside the boot and where it works.  Usually if you have lots of curve in the lower leg then you end up needing extra support inside the shell to give you something to stand on, to be able to fully relax.  That does not always happen magically just by making a foot bed.  If you have excessive pronation which is usual with this sort of curve in the tibia.  Also, with your curve in the tibia, you also will probably need to plane the sole of the shell to get the cuff to match the natural curve of the leg.  


In conclusion it sounds like you clearly need to explore both internal and external solutions to completely fix your problem.  If not you will most certainly make the problem less bad but probably will find that the whole problem will never be completely fixed. 


My definition of an athlete:  The best athlete, is the person that is able to create the greatest amount of power with the least amount of effort.  So if you can't relax you cant create power.

If the boot does not support the foot in its most efficient position no matter what you do to the shell you will never relax enough.  There will aways be a certain amount of muscular effort required to deal with the natural structural biases of the foot.


more later



post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the insight mosh.  you've given me a lot to think about.

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