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Boot fitter_Chatel_stretch cuffs for 20 inch calfs

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi. Hoping somebody might be able to help me out.

I'm looking to have the cuffs stretched on my Salomon xpro 130 boots. I'm having real trouble with cramp in my quads as my knees are so far forward due to the size of my calf's. I've had no end of bother with ski boots before this pair. But these are pretty good other than the quad issue. I've got custom insole and grinding the shells by Alain Baxter sports. World cup Booster straps and zipfit liner. And none of it can stop my quads cramping up!!!

I'm a pretty big guy, 6'2" used to row quite competitively, I cycle a lot and lift weights so fitness isn't the issue.

As with anything I'm sure my technique could be better. But even going up a drag lift I can feel my quads starting to go, so this isn't a technique issue of sitting back on my skis.

Currently in Chatel and hoping somebody may be able to recommend a shop that could stretch the cuffs here

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
1. Have you taken the spoilers out?
2. Do you have a vehicle?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hi. Yes the spoilers were the first thing to go.

We don't unfortunately, but the chalet picks us up and drops us at slopes. Depending on location they may be willing to help or I could look at public transport options.
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Just going off of google, vertical horizons looks like a good bet. Either Sole or Sanglard in Chamonix would be able to do the work but that would be a half day round trip on the train (Monthey to Martigny and then on to Chamonix)
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Don't know about the specifics of stretching cuffs, but I've hired skis etc from Vincent Sports opposite the Church for many years (Over 20, ouch), they've always been very helpful and knowledgable with any gear issues, if they can't do it I'm sure they will know who can.
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Forgot to say, as all the buses run to in front of the Church, the shop is convenient for the bus routes if you need to get there by public transport (assuming you are staying near a bus route)
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Many thanks for the replies.

Will try and check out vertical horizons tomorrow and see what they can suggest. I think half a day might be a bit much of a travel. If I can't sort locally, I think solutions for feet might be able to offer it from looking on their website, be worth a trip from Scotland to try and get comfortable boots.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Willquest, under a new name on this site is the resident pds expert. Worth asking him
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@Willquest,

Quote:

even going up a drag lift I can feel my quads starting to go,


This makes me wonder if the problem might be something other than just the forward lean on your boots. I'm not saying that the forward lean isn't a problem, just that going up a drag lift is one of the situations where a bit of extra forward lean should help put you into a naturally athletic stance.

What's your flexibility like? Do you do plenty of ankle, hamstring and hip flexor stretches?
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If you can't get them stretched while you are out there maybe try a heel lift as an experiment. I have similar issues and it has helped me. But definitely worthwhile getting them properly sorted when you are back Keith Yeoman who works out of Silksworth ski centre in Sunderland can do it, as well as Solutions for Feet and would be surprised if Alain Baxter can't.
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I have similar sized calf muscles and am a similar height, heel lifts can make a big difference I have a few mm of heel lift in my boots, you can only stretch the calf area on boots by so much, but you can get clip extenders which add up to an inch of extra space, I've had ski shops in the past give me these eve when I had not bought the boots from them
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I can see why you think it's the fwd angle, what's your stance like, honestly. Can you do a couple of drills to see if you are centred (usual traverse lift uphill ski but keep tip on snow firmly). That will answer your question on that. I've dealt with massive calves (cows?) a few times and then taught and in all cases the skiier was trying to autocorrect the perceived forward shift by squatting - video shows it clearly but they don't feel it. Some stance reprogramming and the pressure went away.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Many thanks for taking the time to try and help me out.

Heel lifts exacerbate the problem, I have tried. The custom footbeds when first installed I could feel my quads really tensing in the shop. I tried them at snowfactor and it was awful, so they were ground down to the absolute minimum which did help.

I think my stance is ok. No delusions of skill but I'm really concious of keeping forward and maintaining the pressure in the front of my boot.

I've been pottering about today trying to work on technique and don't have too much difficulty lifting one leg with the tip in the snow and alternating legs for the turn and getting the new inside leg up by the time I get to the fall line.

Flexibility wise I'm probably like most and should be better, but i do stretch daily, no problems touching the floor and doing decent ankle stretches. My fiance is a doctor and thinks my flexibility is pretty good. I have no problems with my heels lifting just dropping and flexing way past what a ski boot would do bare footed.

I would get a private lesson. But currently able to do about 20 minutes of skiing before I have to pull up and sit at side of slope for about half an hour to rest my quads, which is far from ideal.

I think what makes it worse is when I can ski, I'm probably skiing the best I ever have.

Sorry for the ramble!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Willquest, the calf muscle size will be pushing you forward in the boot which will put you into a tensed stance, you being too far forward causes your hips to drop back a bit to compensate and try to get you in balance, the result is massive quad burn

afraid the only solution is stretch the cuff of the boot, the zipfit has a pretty aggressive cuff too so it make be giving a great fit but exacerbating the issue,we use a specific machine to pull the cuff back but not many places have one, as an alternative an american football can be deflated and wedged into the cuff of the boot which has been heated then the ball pumped up again, this can make a massive difference

one other thing, could be the binding delta... what ski are you using,? if the binding is very ramped it will add to the problem
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Hi. Many thanks for the reply.

This made me think. My old skis are fischer amc 76. With these boots I skied them 2 times at snowfactor and had no quad problems but my feet were agony!

I had the work and footbeds done but bought some Head titans and skied them and had the quad pain. After the first time I had footbeds ground right down (but did feel quads starting in shop as soon as done). The next time was a bit better but still had issues with the footbeds. The last time before holiday I skied my old fischer and didn't have any quad issues.

I guess looking back i should have thought about skis, but never even crossed my mind about binding angles.

With this in mind and my last day in tomorrow ,are there any skis with a small ramp angle that I could hire?

I just looked at my skis and looks like the heel is 8-10mm higher than toe. So this certainly might be contributing.

Also, with regards to the zipfit. Tried them on one boot and stock on the other and although not huge difference, I think the zipfit is actually a smidgen more upright.

Many thanks
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Willquest, @CEM is one of the best people to listen to here about boots and boot fitting (In my experience at least). And before I get shot down, yes there are plenty of other equally good boot fitters and people who understanding the dynamics of feet/skiing etc, and there are plenty of people who are happy with off the shelf/shop boots or chain boot fitters (and I'm sure many of those folks are really good at their job). My experience is that @CEM offers advice here because he is willing, knowledgeable and just a good all round chap, as well as Skiing he also understands feet and bio-mechanics, and anything he doesn't know then he sure as hell knows someone who does know.

I'm sure he'll be back with some advice if he has time but he is a busy man/shop.
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Oh absolutely. I'm hugely appreciative to all for taking the time to try and help me out.

I'm already trying to work out when I'm able to get down from Scotland. Once I'm back from holiday, I will be contacting him to try and find out if he has any availability to fit me in.

Really just want to get it sorted so I can start enjoying skiing again. Really demoralising doing one green run and having to sit at side of the piste for half an hour to give legs a break and repeating this throughout the day. But hopefully, from the sounds of it there is a cure!

It's snowed today so with some luck resting the legs today I should have some fun tomorrow. Very Happy
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@Willquest, silly question, could you pop in and hire/try a pair of planks that perhaps have less of a difference between rear and front binding just to see if it helps?
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The Head skis have a massive delta on the newer models, it won’t be helping

Right now we are not working on boots that we have not supplied as we are so short staffed and booked up a few weeks ahead just selling boots making adjustments to boots we have sold. We will open this up again in the summer

An American football a heat gun and a temp pistol would be a good start, hey look I am even recommending diy boot stretching, or nip back and see Alain and have him stretch the cuffs out, it is possible to get quite a lot of space in there
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@CEM, there is a joke without a punch line there.

What's more difficult?

Finding a good boot fitter in chatel or finding someone with an american football and a heat gun?
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After finding out that the skis might be contributing, hiring a set was going to be my first port of call tomorrow! I'm feeling really stupid for not putting 2 and 2 together. But it never even crossed my mind!

Not sure I'm brave enough to start tinkering when it involves heat and an American football! I'd rather wait and have somebody who knows what they are doing do it.

In all other respect these boots are great, if I can sort the forward lean I will have my first stiff and comfortable boot.

I will update tomorrow how I get on. But again, thanks all for the advice, it's been really appreciated greatly. Really nice to come on a forum for first time and for people to take the time and effort to help me out.
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Willquest,

Welcome to Snowheads & good luck with your quest for comfort!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After trying a few hire shops, one said they had some skis with flat bindings so I have them a go. The bindings were marker I believe on a pair of dynstar skis.

Binding angle clearly makes a difference! Could get legs straight on drag lift and nowhere near the amount of quad burn! Unfortunately, the skis were pants, so after a couple of runs I took them back and skied my heads for the rest of the afternoon.

So although big calves clearly play a role, my new skis only exacerbated the problem (but I love how well they ski and carve!). I will have to see if I can get a different binding or some kind of shim on them.

Now my next problem is that I've noticed a small tear to the leather on my zipfit at the junior between the tongue and the neoprene of the toe box. Pretty gutted as looks like will only get worse with use, if it's not one thing it's another.
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It sounds like you're making progress in identifying the problem which is great.

One thing that strikes me is that you could check your ankle flexibility using the Ankle Flex Drop Test described here http://www.warrensmith-skiacademy.com/tutorial/ski-biomechanics-range-tests/ (the test in detail is a little bit down the page)

What I'm wondering about is whether the lower legs being pushed forward is possibly exposing limited ankle flex which would lead to tightness in the calves and hamstrings and prevent you being able to stand up straight. It's a quick and simple test and only takes 2 minutes.

PS. Sorry to hear about the tear in the zipfit. It's quite new right?
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in snowboarding, there are womens boots because the calf cuff is bigger.
Is womens boots an option here?
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@olderscot, a ski boot is built to accept a calf muscle of approx 13-14” in circumference, for every 3” over that the leg is pushed forward by 1” so with a calf of 20” circumference at the top of the boot you are pushed forward by around 2” irrespective of any tightness in the calf muscle the body is out of balance and the quads are going to burn while you try to recenter, the binding delta then tips you further forward ( more out of balance) which exasperates the situation.

Not saying the OP doesn’t have a tight calf ( it is very possible) but the simple size of the calf muscle is the first part of the equation to be fixed
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@CEM, Absolutely. I hope it doesn't sound as if I'm saying he doesn't need his boots sorted as it sounds like it's essential. It's just that his symptoms sound so severe that I can't help wondering if he might be suffering from a combination of problems.
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@olderscot, it sounds like it, but the change of delta angle on the skis seem to help so i think the calf size is more of the issue
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Hi all, thanks for the continuation of great advice!!

I tried the drop test that was linked above, I managed ~27cm, not sure if that has any bearing on some of the troubles? The stretches linked sound great, I shall certainly be incorporating some of them.

I measured my old Fischer skis, the rear binding is 1.8mm higher than the front. My Head's Titans I measured as being 8mm!! So straight from the off, I haven't been doing myself any favours. I think whats worse is I used my old skis at Snowfactor a couple of days before holiday and thought after a service how well they were skiing, but I wanted to take my new Heads, silly on hindsight, but had no idea of delta angles and alike.

Ah, the Zipfit were an absolute ebay bargain so no warranty as they were used. I've been so impressed with them, it's not what I payed why I'm irritated, it's that they are so good, i just bought them on the off chance they might help. Even though had boots heated and ground my feet still felt like they were in a vice in the stock liner, could only manage about 30 minutes before taking them off! With the zipfit, I was able to keep the boots on all day, just loosening up at lunch etc. I tried emailing Zipfit while away, too see if any repair possibilities, but I haven't heard back. I will try a couple of cobblers in Glasgow see if they can do anything, if not, I will try and find a flexible adhesive and duct tape. Its only a small bit, so if I can stop it getting any worse that will be great. I also think I could do with getting couple of tubes of the cork stuff, amazing how it has moved around and filled the gaps.

My next task is to try and organise getting the cuffs stretched, hopefully then, I will be back to enjoying skiing. The skiing is looking great up here in Scotland at the moment, so the sooner I can get it done, sooner I can get back up to Glenshee.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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27cm in the drop test is really good so it doesn't sound like there's a problem there. 15-20 cm is OK, 25-30 cm is really good.

Warren runs through the test here.


http://youtube.com/v/wd9GwbudvOs

(watch from 17mins when they start testing each other)
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Willquest, message me with a picture of the zipfit i will see what is possible
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