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Ski Alignment

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Has anyone had their skis/boots aligned?

I read an article about it in the Daily Mail Ski magazine this month and wondered if any of you had any experience in this realm.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Most good bootfitters will check your stance, although you can check it easily enough for yourself, do you wear one side of shoes more than the other. If you do use, the cant adjustment (if fitted) to ensure your boots are level on your skis. Alternatively a good set of mouldable inserts will compensate for any variance.
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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?
Snowy, this is a fascinating area of ski performance and - yes - it works if properly done.

If you're interested in the background, it can be traced back to the early years of plastic ski boots in the 1970s and the publication of the book 'How the Racers Ski' by Warren Witherell. He came to international attention for identifying the problems and solutions.

Here's the book.
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Snowy, is there an online link to the article? I haven't seen it and it would help to clarify what specific alignment is happening.

The shop near us does a regular check of the knee-midpoint to boot-midpoint as part of the fitting process, and I am as centered as can be so no canting was necessary. This is what David@traxvax is referring to.

Though they hesitate to use it, they also have a Campbell balancer (front to back centering) and I made them use it for determining my mounting point on twin tips for all-mountain use. I find that point much better for me at speed than the park & pipe mounting point actually labelled.

I expect, however, that neither of the two above are the alignment you are referring to, rather the alignment of the foot long axis in the azimuth plane to the centerline of the ski so that someone pigeon-toed or duck-footed in a static stance would have both ski tips pointed forward and parallel. The Fischer Soma line of boots was at one point advertised as having a design feature related to this. Unfortunately, that line of boots doesn't fit my foot.

I am not pigeon toed but I do have a wide foot so that the centerline of the BOOT is not necessarily the line on which I balance. Skate blades and inline skate frames are centered from the 2nd toe to the centerline of the Achilles tendon, and, because of my wide feet the right one is about 6 degrees toed-in, the left about 4.5 degrees toed in.

I am looking forward to having this option available in ski boots that fit me because I can do a Dutch-style double-push with the outside edge on skates (all day) but I have trouble centering on the outside edge of my skis.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
David Goldsmith, That post snuck in whilst I was editing, thanks for the link!
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comprex wrote:
Snowy, is there an online link to the article? I haven't seen it and it would help to clarify what specific alignment is happening.


I don't think so comprex - I think you might have to buy the magazine. However it is only a half page article so they don't go into great depth about it. In the article they mention that 70-80% of people are not perfectly centred on their feet (or have one leg slightly longer than the other).

Alignment is also a subject that comes up when people go and buy a good running shoe since bad alignment can lead to all sorts of problems.

In the article, they talk about how the alignment of your foot/feet may make one of your edges catch more than the other meaning it will be easier to turn one way than the other. I notice this when skiing along flats.

Apparently people often blame themselves for not being able to ski well or they take a long time to improve their techniques due to this lop-sidedness when this could all be improved with an adjustment to canting or adding orthotics into the boot....
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Snowy, ah, then, not what I was referring to apparently, please ignore. Smile
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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!
here is a good link

http://harbskisystems.com/alignover.htm
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
bolide just attended one of Jeannie Thoren's lectures. Apparently no further alignment work needs be done in her case, but she did appreciate the Gore-tex lip balm cozy door prize.
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Snowy wrote:
Has anyone had their skis/boots aligned?.


Personally I doubt that the majority of people need alignment or even custom footbeds or to have their boots blown. Different subjects I know but still technical solutions to not enough time spent skiing.
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davidof, from the friend of a friend who is a qualified and experienced boot fitter:

70-80% of people will gain some benefit from a custom footbed of some description

40-50% of people will get a better fitting boot by having it stretched or blown in some way

Just 10% of people would gain a benefit from having the alignment adjusted
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I agree with you D G Orf.

I have wonky legs which is not unusual - my feet roll towards the inside, rather than the outside (they over-pronate). Everyone's alignment that is some degree off centre unless you're one of the lucky few.

It doesn't stop me from playing any sport I like though. It just means that I'm more likely to do myself damage than a correctly aligned person since the direction of force (weight) in my legs may be overstressing my muscles slightly to one side.

This means, in order to ski properly my feet might have to sit a bit further apart than your stereotypical ESF instructor's feet would. Without alignment, this will make me particularly bad at things like moguls which require a fairly narrow stance, as compared to if my feet and skis were aligned.

I'm hoping alignment will make my skiing a little easier.

I suppose it's like any sport - if you're good at it, you can't understand why some people just don't 'get it'. Smile
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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
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
D G Orf wrote:
davidof, from the friend of a friend who is a qualified and experienced boot fitter:

70-80% of people will gain some benefit from a custom footbed of some description

40-50% of people will get a better fitting boot by having it stretched or blown in some way

Just 10% of people would gain a benefit from having the alignment adjusted


and davidof's rule

98% of skiers would benefit from spending more time on skis rather than fiddling around in ski shops

still whatever floats your boat (or ski) as they say. Maybe if you are only spending a week skiing each year it pays to do all this stuff?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
davidof, 3 hours fiddeling with boot settings once every 15 weeks of skiing (which is roughly what I average) isn't too bad, it's probably not worth setting up on hire boots unless your stance is really bad, but if you have your own boots it's a different matter. I've got big calf muscles, high insteps, nearly flat wide feet, with a slightly off center stance, for me those 3 hours are a godsend, but if your feet fit the boots perfectly then you're lucky.

By the way over the last 5 years I've averaged about 3 weeks per year skiing.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
davidof, take a look at Jeannie Thoren's website, above. I think you'll agree she doesn't lack for time on snow.

I actually agree with your rule, interpreted as: tweak your kit in July.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
davidof wrote:
still whatever floats your boat (or ski) as they say. Maybe if you are only spending a week skiing each year it pays to do all this stuff?


I'm going skiing for about 15 weeks this coming season so you never know but I might just get my money's worth. NehNeh

This 'tweaking' doesn't cut into skiing time since it's done outside skiing hours. Smile
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Snowy wrote:

I'm going skiing for about 15 weeks this coming season so you never know but I might just get my money's worth. NehNeh

This 'tweaking' doesn't cut into skiing time since it's done outside skiing hours. Smile


Snowy, it sounds like you're well sorted out already. Very Happy snowHead
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