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Which Equipment choices or adjustments REALLY matter to your skiing?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
WARNING HUGE POST.....

Does equipment make big difference to your skiing or is obsessing about gear just an excuse for poor technique and will any old planks and boots do? If it does make a difference, which things make the MOST difference and which bits are just "fine tuning".

I have been skiing for 20 years and for the first ten or so didn’t own my own equipment and never had a lesson. I was very much in the "just shut up and ski camp", and didn’t believe that magic bullets exit. Gadget men Skiers who always had the latest gear reminded me of duffers on the on the golf course incessantly upgrading their drivers and having small modifications done to their clubs in the pursuit of a lower handicap but still having a bad swing. This sort of thing always reeked to me of just blaming your tools for bad technique. But, in the last couple of years I have had lots of ski lessons, I am getting better but struggling with the same problems all the time. Have I just hit my natural plateau or can some of these issues be equipment related?

I have tried different skis, some I have loved immediately, some I hated, some were so-so, why? I have had 3 pairs of boots fit with various degrees of improvement to my skiing.

Until reading Snowheads I wouldn’t have had a clue about any of the following and to be honest was, and continue to be, deeply sceptical about "blaming my tools" for my poor skiing. In an effort to understand this topic I have over the last year made numerous changes and modifications to my equipment. Buying and modifying several sets of skis, and, have learned how to properly tune my skis.

After reviewing as much information as I could and speaking with some top skiers about this I am starting to believe that equipment can, and, does have a MAJOR impact on your skiing performance. Especially once you are at a level of being able to, at least occasionally, carve the skis.

But which elements made the biggest difference to my skiing was very surprising…

This is one mans opinion and is very much dependent on your own physiology and skiing style but my personal marks out of 5 for how much improvement to my skiing I found after doing the following. Some of this is probably old news and has been written about extensively but this is a real world review of what worked for me. For reference I am 6’4”, 99kg, wear 334mm boots, have around 80 weeks of skiing experience and a BASI L3 instructor license.

BOOTS

Everyone pretty much agrees that you should get boots as your first investment in skiing equipment but does it really make a difference? Here is my experience.

Got my first pair of Boots (at the ski show, cause I couldn’t find any big enough locally...)
1* Although I thought they were great at the time they did little to nothing in terms of improvement over rental boots. Way too wide and sloppy inside, so much so that I ended up putting several layers of cardboard in them as the liners packed out. But, I had my own boots, I was a real skier. They were Red.

Got my second pair of boots with heat moulded insoles (at a small local specialist shop)
2* The guy seemed to know what he was doing, I stood on a heat platform that custom moulded the inner soles, they were narrow which suited my feet, but way too stiff and at least a size too big. I was never shown how to fasten them correctly and I always had them cranked up too tight. They helped a bit more than the old red ones.

Got my third pair of boots with custom footbeds (profeet in london)
4* I got new boots and footbeds two years ago and the improvement to my skiing was immediate and marked, comfort was greatly improved, they were a size smaller than my shoe size and I could hardly get them on for the first week or so but they are fantastic. They were tweaked once for a rubbing heal and I had my cuff alignment done, they explained how tight they should be and how to tighten them up correctly.. I can finally "feel" the ski tips and I can feel the subtle difference between various skis.

my trusty langes have finally died and i got some full on race plug boots (solutions 4 feet)
5 stars - These are really heavy stiff boots with a 150 flex (stiffest made) and cause they have such a tight fit i need new thinner custom footbeds just to be able to get into them. from the get go they allow me to drive the skis harder and hold a better edge but my knees are really sore after each day in them which i put down to the stiffness of the boot and perhaps being slightly different to my old ones. But i start to develop bone spurs and a client who is a foot specialist looks at my feet and says i am pronating badly in the boots and that the new footbeds are collapsing during use. I put in my old trusty cork footbeds which now fit after the liners have packed out and presto knee pain gone! I get the heel pockets ground out and stretched where the new bone spur on my ankle developed and they are great. Also bought some tighter fitting cork zipfit liners and will see how they go..

BALANCE & ALIGNMENT

This year decided to have my alignment checked. This is being discussed more and more but there are very few people that are qualified to correctly balance and align your body joints when wearing ski boots.

Had my existing boots checked here in the UK, new footbeds made and my alignment/balance checked by two fellow snowheads (CEM - Colin www.solutions4feet.com and NotNormal - Andi McCann http://www.mccannix.com/alignment.htm ).

I did this mainly as a "belt and braces" exercise thinking it was a fine tuning exercise and couldn’t hurt but probably wouldn’t make much difference but the results were very, very interesting and revealing. My new insoles are more stable and seem to give me more "purchase" within the boot. I am quicker when making turns and feel as though I am standing on the skis better. Prior to the balancing process Andi asked me what problems I had with my skiing and I gave him general clues "like I struggle turning one way" but didn’t say which way... I wanted to see if this was voodoo or really made a difference.

I am now a "Believer"… Balance is hugely important in effective skiing and if you are in boots that put you out of alignment you will constantly struggle to ski well.

1* boots canting – The upper portion of my boots can be adjusted to align the upper boot shaft to your lower leg and ensure that the legs are aligned correctly. My alignment was pretty standard and I don’t have bow legs or knock knees so this didn’t impact me greatly but can do I am told.

3* Shimming - Andi inspected my boots said the shell fit was good but the factory baseboard was moulded incorrectly on my left boot and my side to side (lateral) alignment was WAY out by several mm’s on that boot. He said that during carving turns to the right I would be struggling to execute well which was exactly my case..... I could never balance on my left boot nor ski well one legged on that side and always put it down to it being my “weaker” leg. He ground the base board flat and after testing on an alignment machine added a seemingly small amount of shimming to the inside edge of both my inner boots to correct a slight “flat foot” problem. By fixing the incorrect factory supplied boot and my getting the correct lower leg alignment skiing has since improved a lot and my turns much more symmetrical.

Once you have your boots aligned you then need to check you are correctly interfaced to your skis and may need to by adjust your binding setup.
4* Delta Angle (bindings ramp angle) A little known but for myself (being quite tall) a hugely important adjustment, perhaps not a big deal to others but I give it a 4 1/2 of 5... After setting my side to side cant with shims inside of my boot and putting heal lifters inside my boot to get my ankle joint in the correct position I was able to flex up and down much more freely and in balance. Andi then checked how well I could flex up and down, staying in balance with my joints “well stacked” while varying the height of my toes and heels in relation to ground level. After lots of checking Andi prescribes that the sole of my boot should be flat to the base for ALL skis I use. As a general rule if the heel is high when attached on the skis I will sit back and squat down to compensate for being too up and forward. This is exactly what I do and it causes huge problems with my skiing.

I have now shimmed all my skis so that the bottom of my boot is level to the base of my skis. This is my individual “prescription” but will vary depending on your physiology and the boots you have and how they were fit.

Looking back the skis I really loved all had little to no binding ramp angle. The skis I couldn’t get on with had high angles with my heels being 5-7mm higher than my toes. I am now of the opinion that the skis themselves have less to do with how you get on with them with how you are set up on the skis a more important factor. Again, this is important to me given my body shape and physiology, it may not be as big a deal for everyone.

If you are sceptical try this at home…. With your ski boots on try balancing on one foot while flexing up and down, once you can do this comfortably and in balance then see if you can move up and down with your eyes shut.

Then, try sticking a cd case under the toe and then heel of the boot and repeat. This will alter your fore aft balance.

Try putting a stack of 3 or 4 credit cards under just the inside and then outside edge of the boot sole, this will alter you lateral balance.

If you are out of alignment by a few mm’s it doesn’t sound like much but if you cant flex up and down standing still on a flat surface what chance do you have hurtling down the hill on an undulating surface.?

3* - Binding fore/aft location - I have adjustable VIST bindings that can be moved fore and aft in 1cm increments. Initially I really struggled with these skis and was only until the position was fully forward that I could actually use them, but my gut feeling was this was just compensation for the very high delta angle (jury is still out as I hadn’t skied with these yet on the mountain)

I had this checked this using two methods “Ball of Foot over Centre of Running Surface” and by a machine called a Campbell Balancer at spyderjons www.jonsskituning.co.uk . Both seemed to get roughly the same result and I should be typically a few cm further forward than factory “standard” settings. Again this ties up with the skis I like which all had forward mounted bindings. When I got rental bindings set up back for “expert” or off piste skiing I don’t like them and feel out of balance.

So it is binding delta angle and position on the ski that makes the difference to me with the skis themselves being secondary. This may not be the case for you if you dont need any canting or delta angle adjustment

SKI TUNING

2* A regular quick sharpen with a pocket edge tool to get rid of rock dings and puts a reasonable edge on the skis. Doesn’t take expert knowledge, the tool fits in your pocket and costs less than £20. Got one and it helped when skiing ice..

3* Full Ski edge tuning - I tuned my first set of skis last year and the difference was noticeable and important. I messed up my first pair of skis I worked on but am now reasonably competent and can tell a good tune from a bad one. I wax and tune my skis in resort now as a matter of course and it does make a difference.

4* Edge angles - Can make a huge difference if they are very out. I had a pair of beat up skis "tuned" at a dry slope and they basically belt sanded the bottom and side edges to zero base and 90 deg side angle. The bases looked great and sharp but they skied absolutely awful. Two days into the trip took to a good resort shop who put the edges back to the factory settings and the difference was immediate and huge. Base angle doesn’t make that much odds IMO and the edges if sharp not much in it but as a test I skied on the same skis normally set at 2 deg edge and then after changing to a 3 deg edge I could feel a significant improvement in edge grip on ice. I have set all my skis to 1 deg base and 3 deg side angle.

1* Waxing – unless you are racing not a big deal, get general purpose wax and have them done when the base starts to get white dusty looking patches on the bottom. If it is springtime have hot weather wax so you don’t “stick” to the snow, use a rub on Teflon coating like Notwax.

SKIS

3* Skis - I have agonised over ski selection, correct length, stiffness, manufacturer etc. like lots of people, but after trying lots out they are just horses for courses. Some turn a bit better than others, some are better in deep snow but in general not much impact on my skiing. Most modern skis are all pretty good, none made any major difference to my technique. If I was skiing 2 weeks a year I would rent and try out different skis every trip. I would then buy a second hand pair and with the money saved get my alignment checked and have them custom setup to me. I would then buy tuning gear and learn how to use it. Once I knew my balance “prescription” and tested lots of skis on the mountain, then I would buy new planks and have the bindings correctly setup and positioned on the ski.

Fatter skis work better in deep snow, narrow skis are quicker edge to edge on piste, longer skis more stable at speed and predictable off piste. Skis with lower sidecut radius are quicker to turn… Stiff race skis are great on piste but hard to control in bumps. They are pretty much all good these days but swapping one for another with similar geometry makes little difference IMO.

2* poles and pole length – I think that any old poles will do and as long as they are roughly the correct length. I used to use shorter poles in an effort to be more dynamic and low but all this did was put me in a squatty low position and i now have gone slightly longer on poles and feel more relaxed and upright when skiing.

SUMMARY

For me equipment choice and set up has made a big improvement to my skiing but the most expensive bit (skis) made the least difference.

I got the biggest improvement through correctly selected/fitted boots along with custom footbeds.

Only buy Boots that are fitted by a competent fitter, if you have already bought boots on the high street, have them checked for fit and alignment by a competent fitter.

Alignment and shimming can offer Major improvements to balance depending on your physiology.

Have your balance checked and determine your ideal delta angle and if your boots and skis are more than a mm or two out have your bindings shimmed.

Buy second hand skis and with the money saved have them set up at the correct delta and binding fore aft location.

Set your ski edge angles to 3 degrees side angle and 1 degree base and sharpen the edges every few days with a simple inexpensive edge tool.

If you are skiing regularly, or own several pairs of skis, buy some tuning gear and learn how to use it by first practicing on a trashed pair of old skis and then get a lesson on how to tune to make sure you are doing it right.

Lastly, demo lots of different skis in resort before buying…

Common sense I guess….


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 11-02-11 13:56; edited 2 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think we're into the 'law of diminishing returns' territory when you get into balance and alignment. I've also had my lateral balance done by Andy McCann (+3º on both feet) and spent some time on Spyderjon's Balancer (+4cm for me) and both have made a small but discernible difference. Certainly worthwhile doing, although neither adjustment transformed my skiing. More significant was getting boots which fitted correctly, including the last pair which were much stiffer than anything I've skied before (kudos to CEM and Smallzookeeper for that). More significant again has been the right ski for the job in hand: something a bit fatter for off piste, and something narrow and stiff for on-piste work (credit to the combined wisdom of the forum for getting me to try different skis). But most significant of all, and this really has changed my world, is lots of coaching from high quality instructors a number of whom are occasional posters here. I had about 150 hours of instruction last season (and another 70+ hours shadowing other instructors) and that made a huge difference to my technical ability and how much fun I have on skis - hopefully fellow snowHeads who have skied with me over the last three or four years will have noticed the difference.

Interesting to note that the common thread on all the things which have changed my skiing over the last couple of years is snowHeads...


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Thu 6-11-08 14:17; edited 2 times in total
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Great post, lots of useful information. Interesting comments on the ramp angle, my ankles are a bit stiff, and I had a 3mm lift put in my boots which seemed to help, my touring skis are dead flat and the boots way too big (chosen for comfort) and I struggle with them, time to make some adjustments I think.
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Is it just me or is snowheads getting boring?









N.B. that was a joke Smile Great post.
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Quote:

I think we're into the 'law of diminishing returns' territory when you get into balance and alignment.


Disagree, but What is your heel height setting? mine being flat and having skis with bindings which put me 6-7mm heel high made a massive difference once corrected. also discovering that one boot was several degrees mad a big difference as well.

Dont disagree about getting coaching but that is a different topic wink
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skimottaret, I've not done any work on delta angles (although I have used 6mm heel lifts for a long time). Is it necessary to have your skis with you when you work on your delta angles? Most of my skis are in France so it wouldn't be possible to take them to CEM's emporium to get them measured.
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skimottaret, Strange thing is my first two stages were similar to yours ( albeit at a lower ability level) .. my Third was a snowhead event at Leamington ( sp??) .. however since the time I found Smallzookeeper I've found that his ability to match my body and boots to the environment far outweighs the other adjustments ( which I tried last year)

I think Im suggesting that, at a certain level ( I can not comment beyond my ability) , Boots are everything .
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Equipment is critical.

An F1 car will handle better than a Renault Clio.

In order of importance:

1. Boots;
2. Skis;
3. Clothing, especially socks;
4. Poles.
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rob@rar, After setting the lateral shimming in the boots andi got me back on the balancer and we determined fore aft balance "prescription" by flexing up and down while he increased/decreased the angle compared to ground level. For me my optimum balance point was dead level, I know spyderjon was +2mm. I am surprised Andi didnt inform you of yours...

I am told, but remain slightly sceptical, that inner heel lifts only position your ankle joint correctly within the boot. As the boot has a set forward lean angle you must then check your delta angle for balance.

You can measure this at home. Once clicked into my various bindings i found my favourite skis had 0mm of delta and least favs had 5-7 mm of excess heel height. Most non racing bindings have 3-5 mm...

Put boot into binding and measure from the ski base to the bottom of the boots toe at the AFD and then at the heel.
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rob@rar, skimottaret, great posts, thanks. My OH had the Andi McCann treatment (too soon to say yet how much difference it will make, but he felt fine on his skis at Tignes last month). But rob's point is highly relevant; good tuition is the single most important factor and unless you're willing to put in the time and effort there, little point in "investing" in new skis every year.

As you get older your focus changes. I do try to keep improving and having lessons, partly to counteract the advancing years. Not necessarily to be able to ski better, but to be able to ski for a few years more yet. That means skiing more efficiently/effortlessly but having decent technique and the right equipment/adjustment/alignment is only part of that equation. Your most important piece of equipment is your body. Keeping that in good shape is harder work, but ever more important, as you get older. So money spent on a good sports physio (or just time spent on things like calf stretches) might be every bit as important as spending on your ski boots.

I'm happy to be a Renault Clio - but one which is regularly serviced. wink
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Whitegold, <<Ahem>> Depends upon the pilot ... ask the Top Gear 'rat' !
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Quote:

far outweighs the other adjustments


Agenterre, have you been balanced? have you tried shimming your boots or bindings?
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It's funny how pretty much everybody's 'first boots' experience is the same: buying some that are a size or a size and a half too big.

I think I can tell if I'm on crap skis, and often take a pair back to the rental shop, and am usually happer with the second set. Don't know whether that's a placebo thing though.

One thing's for sure, at Nevis earlier this year, I was *definitely* on crap skis. But then again they really forced good technique, because they were about as sharp as the blunt end of a bollock and had absolutely no spring left in them. So overall: good technique can compensate for crap kit, but not the other way round.
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You know it makes sense.
Quote:

But rob's point is highly relevant; good tuition is the single most important factor and unless you're willing to put in the time and effort there, little point in "investing" in new skis every year.


I have determined for me skis are one of the least important choices for improvements.

Good lessons are critical but you will hinder progress if your equipment is not correctly setup, especially if you are knock kneed, bowlegged, or very tall and out of alignment wink

Lessons will only take you so far if your body is not aligned well to the skis....
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paulio, a well tuned pair or average skis are much better that dull "expert" ones
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
skimottaret, Yes and NO ( no 'Balancing' on a machine) .. last year in Gstaad (bindings shimmed .. left heel 'lifted' 'allegedly') . The choice was based upon 'messing around' and both what I had read on here and the 'warm hut feel-good' of an on-piste technician in Saanenmoser!

I confess I felt a 'difference' when I stood on my skis but no 'real ' difference when skiing . I only stuck with it for a day and 'felt' ( lets talk subjective!) that I was less 'balanced' in my movements.

If SZK was around then he would undoubtedly comment upon 'me' more succinctly and accurately than I can.

I would accept that I have not as yet developed enough to be at 'Stage 4' ... I just dont know!
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skimottaret, that's not a post, it's a novella!

Nah, I don't think that "obsessing about gear" is "just an excuse for poor technique", but I think people can get too hung up on it. But, hey, it's a free world.

I think a well fitted pair of boots is absolutely essential, but I've been fairly happy with all the boots that I've owned. My latest pair are the first that I've had fitted with any real level of customisation. I like them, I think they've helped to improve my skiing but it's been a pretty small thing to me. Of course the better you get the more important the "pretty small things" become.

Re: balance & alignment. Hard for me to judge - I had some work done with my last boots, but I can't say how much of the improved feeling from the boots would be down to this. I remember Warren Smith talking about this on a course a few years back and extolling the benefits it had to his skiing. All sounds very good, but then you start to think "yeah but you were pretty good before that!", which I guess chimes with rob@rar's point.

I'm not too fussy when it comes to skis.

I'm sort of the opposite to you. I've been skiing for around 20 years and for the first 15 of those I owned my own equipment. Now I rent my skis. This isn't just a decision based on skiing but has a lot to do with transporting the bl**dy things, but I'm pretty comfortable with my decision from a skiing perspective. I've found it quite interesting to swap skis and to try the odd ski that I'd never think of buying (e.g. Black Crow Navis for a week last season).

I try and use the variety as an aid to improving my technique. So sometimes I'll be on a ski that's very wide and maybe not ideally suited to short turns but I'll use that as a good opportunity to think about my short turns. A less forgiving/suited ski forces me out of comfort zone in that area.

Similarly a couple of years back I tried a short, narrow-ish, slalom-style ski - it was a revelation on the short turns (unsurprisingly), but I also used it off-piste which was pretty interesting and certainly made me appreciate the wider, stiffer skis that I had been used to.

Occasionally I get skis that I really don't get on with, but even with those I'll try and stick with them for at least a day. I quite like the challenge and the way I'm forced to think about what I'm doing.

Having said all that, I'll generally have a list of around 20 skis which I'm interested in skiing (or have already tried and liked) based on comments here or in magazines. So I guess I obsess in my own way Smile.

Obviously there's no easy answer. We all have different body shapes, learning experiences, techniques, aspirations etc. For each of us the balance of importance will differ. I do think people shouldn't worry too much tho' - just ski and have fun Smile
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skimottaret wrote:
rob@rar, After setting the lateral shimming in the boots andi got me back on the balancer and we determined fore aft balance "prescription" by flexing up and down while he increased/decreased the angle compared to ground level. For me my optimum balance point was dead level, I know spyderjon was +2mm. I am surprised Andi didnt inform you of yours...


Is that what it is! Embarassed Yes, we did that, I thought it was something more complicated involving the bindings (which I didn't have with me when Andi did me, and only my reserve pair of boots). I was most comfortable flexing when flat, although I've not checked any of my bindings to see what angle they are - something to play with when I'm next in Les arcs.

Yes, the heel lifts are for sitting my foot in the boot so it feels comfortable and secure. How would that affect delta angle? If I prefer a 0 delta angle but have 6mm internal heel lifts should I shim my toe bindings up by 6mm?
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rob@rar, your same as me then, being flat. I think it matters more to me as i am taller.

Delta and internal ramp angle are different things which i havent explained well... I am told that the heel lifts dont impact the "external" delta angle, but as i mentioned i am sceptical of this. So no, your 6mm heel lifts wont impact your toe binding height.

If you are a 0degree for aft "prescription" click your boots into a pair of bindings and measure toe and heel height as per my previous post. Most integrated bindings have at least a few mm of heel height so you may want to try shimming the toe piece

Delta angle is dependent both on the binding themselves, AND, where the bindings are located on the ski as the ski varies in thickness along its length..
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skimottaret, this was an excellent post. I don't know why you hesitated to write it up. It would be interesting to hear from others in the same fashion, giving account of what things improved their skiing. I agree about tuition, I'm less certain about equipment as I expect that my skiing isn't fine tuned enough to feel the differences.

As you get better at anything there comes a point where you recognise the quality of a good set up. I used to play the guitar and as I got better I realised how much better I could play on a better set up guitar. That said, I think as you get to a certain level the equipment will matter less and less. There is a story about (I think) Jimmy Page (or some other well known *brilliant* guitarist) and he's recording a session and the studio call him up the day before to ask what equipment he needed and how he'd like everything set up to which he replied "Any Fender guitar, any Marshall amp." Apparently the recording was fantastic. It may be an urban myth but it illustrates another point that at a certain level of performance it's the man not the machine. (AsAgenterre, says, the top gear test drives prove that).

I also think the fitness point made is so very true. No reason to get all the kit sorted only to find you're out of breath before you've clipped your boots up.
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Agenterre wrote:
skimottaret, Strange thing is my first two stages were similar to yours ( albeit at a lower ability level) .. my Third was a snowhead event at Leamington ( sp??) .. however since the time I found Smallzookeeper I've found that his ability to match my body and boots to the environment far outweighs the other adjustments ( which I tried last year)

I think Im suggesting that, at a certain level ( I can not comment beyond my ability) , Boots are everything .
Yup I totally agree. This is no surprise as our sking and bodies are simailar in many ways. Having some great fitted boots was the thing (apart from instruction) that enabled me to improve hugely. With the right shell. mouled liners and footbeds, it enables one to understand what the actions of the whole lower leg should be. Without such a boot it is difficult for one to learn through feel as the lower leg slops around in the boot.

I can't comment on plates, shims, risers, delta angles etc, but SZK did fit some heel wedges in the boot tat protected my damaged achilles. The overall cost was about £230. If I was ever interviewd for the Sunday Times mag about my financial life then I would put this down as my best investment.

Boots definitely no1.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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Very interesting question. I am sure Boots are no 1.

Can I ask another? Is perfect alignment and equipment more important for on-piste/through the gates skiing than off-piste/freeride skiing?

I don't have a view other than on-piste sometimes seems more amenable to technical perfection and off-piste more about pragmatism and being ready for stuff to happen unexpectedly.


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Thu 6-11-08 15:26; edited 1 time in total
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johnnyh, try the flex extend test at home in your boots with various shims under points of your boots and then tell me alignment is only a minor issue

I am not trying to compare good tuition vs. equipment but if you are way out of alignment all the instruction in the world wont make you a better skier.

Think about trying to balance on a balance beam on one foot while flexing up and down whilst wearing ski boots THis is what you are doing when carving your skis.

Now think how much harder that exercise would be if you have a cd case under the outside edge of your boot.... Toofy Grin
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stoatsbrother, I would say lateral alignment is less an issue but fore aft alignment a big issue in deep snow.

Off piste skiing on my skis with +7mm heel height the tips dive, i feel squatty and in the back seat. I hated them and put it down to them being too short for me. I have yet to try them in deep snow post adjustment but i would say yes it would make a difference, (at least to me as i am sensitive to for/aft alignment due to my height)
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
skimottaret wrote:
paulio, a well tuned pair or average skis are much better that dull "expert" ones


Really? I never tune my skis, maybe once per season. I very rarely wax, sometimes I wax the skis though. Laughing
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
skimottaret,
Quote:
I am not trying to compare good tuition vs. equipment but if you are way out of alignment all the instruction in the world wont make you a better skier.


Sorry, but you have made the comparison wink Could you substantiate as I do not understand what you mean ?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
parlor, i guess sharp edges dont matter much when you are in 2 foot powder on tele skis, which seems to be where you mainly ski you lucky £*$£ er Toofy Grin
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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
skimottaret wrote:
stoatsbrother, I would say lateral alignment is less an issue but fore aft alignment a big issue in deep snow.

I think lateral alignment makes a big difference in deep snow too. You have less feedback from the snow as to what each ski is doing.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
skimottaret wrote:

BOOTS

I got new boots and footbeds two years ago and the improvement to my skiing was immediate and marked, comfort was greatly improved, they were a size smaller than my shoe size and I could hardly get them on for the first week or so but they are fantastic. ….



I have read this before about buying boots in a smaller size. Perhaps my limited experience means I shouldn't comment but it sounds a bit mad.

You say the improvement was immediate yet "I could hardly get them on for the first week or so". In practical terms that can translate into a couple of years for some of us! In which case maybe it really doesn't matter for someone like me.

If on the other hand if it has to do with the inner liner packing down after a week or so of usage, how come manufacturers can't produce an inner liner that is pre-packed down or doesn't pack down at all. Surely it can't be that difficult? It would save a lot of hassle. Even if the liner does pack down, the buckles can at least be set tigther to compensate? But can it affect the length that much? Are your toes curled up for that first week or so?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Jeraff, Manufacturers do produce liners that don't pack down, they go into race boots.

One thing that can help is if the liner has an adjustable tongue and neoprene around the toes. If you can get the tongue flush against your shin then the front of the liner isn't pulled back against your toes.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
rjs, can't we normal people have liners that don't pack down or is it that seriously expensive?

Sorry if I misunderstand but I'm not sure what the adjustable tongue and neoprene (mine do have that) have to do with getting boots a size smaller and enduring a week or so of hardly being able to get them on.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Boots should be tight but not so tight as to force the wax out of your ears. You have to start with them firm because in the shop your foot will be a size larger than it will on the snow simply because it's warmer in the shop. Shells get harder in the cold too so remember, a hard shell gets harder on the hill. Fear and anxiety play a part too. Many boot fitting experts have too much facial jewelry. These people are not to be trusted. This can flip you into fight or flight anxiety dilemma syndrome and you feet swell up in preparation for legging it out the shop to safety at the first sight of a foam bottle.

What to do when the boot slackens of after a season or two? The answer is the Axminster boot fitting system. I can't believe you guys don't know about this. Jeez! After two seasons in a pair of boots your feet will be flopping around inside them like a pea in a coconut so you go and get a bit of your mum's old carpet, cut it into pieces and shove them down between the inner and outer boot. Bosh!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
A small prize for guessing who this is.
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
Jeraff wrote:
rjs, can't we normal people have liners that don't pack down or is it that seriously expensive?

Race liners are similar to Zipfit replacement ones. They would add a fair bit to the cost of cheap boots.
Quote:
Sorry if I misunderstand but I'm not sure what the adjustable tongue and neoprene (mine do have that) have to do with getting boots a size smaller and enduring a week or so of hardly being able to get them on.

New boots that are the correct size can feel small if the liner is tight around the toes.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
jbob, Confused I have no idea .. could be Admin as hes old enough to remember Axminster .. and his boot-fitting is 'legend-stuff' Toofy Grin
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If your feet are body temperature in the shop and you wear clothing that keeps them body temperature on the slope, how much warmer/colder/bigger/smaller are we really talking?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
jbob wrote:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
A small prize for guessing who this is.


"On the Farm", is there an animal link?
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
skimottaret, nice post. I hope my ski buddy, Michele, doesn't read it. He outskis me and everyone else I know, in any conditions, anywhere on the mountain, in his 25 year old (Star Wars) boots and 15 year old skis. I'm already risking my neck trying to keep up. If he upgraded his equipment, I'd be in real trouble.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Jeraff, your feet can vary in volume by as much as half a size. They won't get longer but they do change in volume. Buying boots is something you should set aside a couple of hours to do. You need to keep new boots on your feet for a fair old time in the shop to get the real feel.

DB, looks like you know a bit about farms then.

Agenterre, this is an age-ist remark and unworthy of a snowhead. Besides, I was talking about parental Axminster.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

shop your foot will be a size larger than it will on the snow simply because it's warmer in the shop



Laughing Laughing Laughing sure they will...
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