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Canting?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I noticed this year when I was schussing my right ski was slightly on it's left edge which meant I went slower than others on the piste, even though I was on 182cm skis. If I made an effort and tilted the ski flat, I speeded up (which I can understand). So, my question is, is this canting, and will it have an evil, though less evident, influence on the rest of my skiing? And what can I do about it?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
michael stocking, you'll need someone else for this...
1. Take the liners out of your boots, then get into the boots.
2. Stand in your normal stance - i.e. slightly flexed legs, neutral width.
3. Have the other person examine the gap around your legs - the distance between the sides of the boot and your leg should be the same for both the inside and outside.
4. If it's not, adjust the canting in the boot until the gap is the same. (you may have to do this for both boots)

BTW, what boots do you have?
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
michael stocking, if the required canting is beyond the cant adjustment of the boot (and the boot may not have the adjustment at all) then you need the bindings 'wedged' - i.e. the bindings need to be remounted on the skis with a wedge sandwiched between binding and ski top surface so that the ski lies flat on the snow with your leg at its natural angle.

Basically you need a ski shop where the technicians know what they're talking about. Some trial and error may be needed because although it's possible to measure leg angles with special equipment, ultimately you'll need to test the canted skis and see whether the wedging is right.

The science of all this goes back to a book published in the US over 30 years ago called 'How the Racers Ski' by Warren Witherell, where the author raised the significance of canting for competitive skiers.
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David Goldsmith wrote:
michael stocking, if the required canting is beyond the cant adjustment of the boot (and the boot may not have the adjustment at all) then you need the bindings 'wedged' - i.e. the bindings need to be remounted on the skis with a wedge sandwiched between binding and ski top surface so that the ski lies flat on the snow with your leg at its natural angle.

Basically you need a ski shop where the technicians know what they're talking about. Some trial and error may be needed because although it's possible to measure leg angles with special equipment, ultimately you'll need to test the canted skis and see whether the wedging is right.

The science of all this goes back to a book published in the US over 30 years ago called 'How the Racers Ski' by Warren Witherell, where the author raised the significance of canting for competitive skiers.


Though wedging th bindings is not often practical with integrated bindings. The ski shop here is planning on fixing some wedges to my boots and seeing if that sorts me out then planing the sole of the boot to correct the alignment (obviously they then have to build up the heel and toe to fit in the bindings correctly). A place at home dd Mrs H's alignment differently by wedging the inside of the boot block.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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In the later book by Witherell and Evrard, "The Athletic Skier" (well worth getting michael stocking if you're interested in skiing) I recall that a slight degree of bias towards being on the inside edges was considered preferable to a completely flat ski. I'll have to check that at home later though. (update - not correct, see below).

In a carved turn, if the degree of "canting" on one ski is significantly awry, you will find that that leg tends to "wander", i.e. the knee may make continual sideways adjustments (not good) in an attempt to find the "right" degree of edge. Current thinking promotes hip angulation and keeping the legs essentially the same distance apart as the feet. If the skis are doing different things, due to the difference in edging, you may not be able to achieve this and end up "A framing" or "John Wayneing" rolling eyes


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Thu 3-02-05 8:16; edited 1 time in total
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Putting canting to one side (where else?), should you not be on edges (very slightly) when schussing, for max speed and control?
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
don't know much about this either.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Speed skiers on the Flying Kilometre tracks often tilt both skis onto their inside edges for tracking stability in the schuss, though these skis can be 240cm long with little sidecut.
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I've checked with the book now and what WW actually says is that with the boots dead flat the knees will be 1 - 2 degrees "canted" to the inside in an ideal set-up, so I had it slightly wrong earlier.
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You could just try some heel wedges as well (inside the boot)? Would be alot cheaper/easier, and you could get an idea as to whether or not canting will work for you.
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If you get someone to video you it should be quite easy to pick up - severe problems with alignment will manifest as bad A framing or bandy leggedness. Also the "wobbly knee" should be evident, as the poor old leg tries to compensate for the ski being continually over- or under- edged.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
You could book an appointment at Profeet (www.profeet.co.uk) who are pretty good at alignment and fit problems. I got a new pair of boots this season with them and we spent some time on my lower leg alignment, including the use of pressure sensors to check my weight distribution and videoing me on a ski machine to check my leg position.
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Alan Craggs, I had this effect demonstrated very graphically at Profeet. Like michael stocking, I felt that I was slightly on the inside edges in a schuss, which I thought canting might eliminate. However, on the skier's edge machine, the video showed I was exactly the opposite at maximum angulation, i.e. the skis were slightly divergent. Apparently this is quite common with cyclists, and they recommended stretches that might sort it out. The moral is, if I had canted the boots to give perfectly flat skis in a schuss (I gather from the above that that may not be desirable anyway) I would have exacerbated a problem with fast carved turns.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
My understanding is that the "canting" built into higher end boots is only for fine tuning alignment of the cuff to your calf. These don't offer the precision or range of adjustment to handle out of the ordinary leg angles. If you can't easily flatten your skis when you want to (or have widely different angles left and right) then you may need wedged boots.

Profeet certainly the folks to talk to.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Wow, I go away for a day and come back to a deluge of advice. First off they are Kneissl Flexon Pro boots with Superfeet footbeds fitted by Lockwoods in Leamington. They came with some wedges, but I think they are for forwards tilt rather than anything else. I hire skis so wedgeing the bindings wouldn't be an option. Looking at my trainers and walking boots, the inside of the right heel is much more worn than the left. I think I need to go to Profeet. Alan Craggs, I thought the wandering feet (especially on ice) was just poor technique...Wear The Fox Hat, I don't undertand point 3?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
michael stocking, if you stand in the boots without the liners, there should be a gap between the side of the boot and the side of your leg, so, e.g. for your right leg there may be a 1.5cm gap between the cuff and the right side of your leg, but only a 1cm gap between the cuff and the left side of your leg. That would say that the cuff should be tilted to the left, so the gap was the same on both sides.

(hope that makes it clear - if not I'll get the camera out tonight, and take some photos)
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Wear The Fox Hat, aha. Up to the attic tonight to retrive the boots.
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Is not the accurate test of the correct posture where one stands in one's boots, feet hip width apart, knees flexed and then determining whether or not equal pressure is felt on the front, back and sides of the feet?
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Mark Hunter, that tells if the feet are ok, but if your leg is not straight, and you then clamp the boot to your leg, then the boot itself won't be flat.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
At your own risk! - on snow, you can experiment with scrap plastic strips taped to the sole of the boot, (if you can't get the tapered cant strips.) I think a credit card packer at one side is around 0.75degree.
I understand that these should only be inserted under the heel only, NOT UNDER THE TOE, and use with caution cos it may interfere with the binding release.
In addition to a schuss, you could test traversing and balancing on each of the 4 ski edges (one at a time).
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RobertC, I kinda agree - cuff canting is easy to do, and can fix a lot of the problems. Putting canting under the heel (or toe - just as relevant) can help, but is best done by someone who understands the implications, and can do temporary testing (e.g. putting shims under the toe/heel), before permanently grinding/building up the base.
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Wear The Fox Hat, I am told that shims under the toe of the boot can affect the release of the binding. (The heel can accomodate more.) The overall effect is around 2/3 of the heel shim. Anyway, I agree, sole or binding canting should follow footbed and cuff adjustments. But the cuff adjustment is only to align the cuff to the leg, not correct a stance issue.
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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!
RobertC wrote:
But the cuff adjustment is only to align the cuff to the leg, not correct a stance issue.


That is true, except if there is a mis-alignment between the cuff and the leg, this can result in what people may believe is a stance issue, so, the order I would work on a boot is:

1. Footbed
2. Cuff Canting
3. Fore/Aft (heel or toe risers across the width of the boot)
4. Boot Canting (heel AND toe shims/grinding - one side or the other)

Both 3 and 4 are best accomplished by watching the person ski (3 in particular)
3 is also dependent on the binding type/brand, so if you have two pairs of skis with different bindings on them, they will have different ramp angles. In one binding you may be properly balanced, but in the other your fore/aft balance may be out. (I learned this recently from Bud Heiseman at the EpicSki Academy)

So, with heel risers in my boots, I am now perfectly centred fore/aft when on my Head skis with Tyrollia bindings (these are my piste skis, so will get the most use). When I step into my K2s with their Rossignol/Look bindings, my heel is now higher than optimum. This has had the unintended benefit of making the Pistols easier to carve on piste (and when you get those babies carving, they are FAST Very Happy ), yet, with their overall size, it has not had a major detrimental effect on their powder capabilities.

I put my footbeds in when I got the boots, and cuff canting was sorted out last year. Bud skiied with each group at the Academy this year, and where necessary did some on-mountain temporary fixes, followed by measurements when back in the lodge. (this showed that with cuff canting, my left/right stance was now spot on.
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Reading all this makes me wonder how anyone ever manages to get boots and skis aligned for optimum performance. If you think of the the different leg sizes/shapes/angle to hip, knee, ankle etc, it's a wonder anyone can ski at all in readymade boots. Why don't all boot fitters go through some of this stuff with their customers? Perhaps we all ought to read Alan Craggs, book!
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Jane, there's a few reasons I can think of...
1. Many of them don't know/understand it all (not that I'm saying I do!), or have the proper equipment to do the work.
2. It's not just about the boots, but also about the bindings.
3. The best way to see the problems is to ski with the person - standing in a gel in a shop isn't the same as skiing, then on-hill adjustments can be made

So, back to your comment - we can ski, just not as efficiently, and sometimes our muscles end up doing more work than necessary to compensate.

As far as I know, Bud will be at next year's EpicSki Academy in Snowbird, and he will ski with each group. This is included in the price of the Academy.
If he has to do major work on your boots, then he can do that overnight. He does charge for this, but it's not much.

I'll confirm that he will be there as soon as I know.
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Quote:

Bud will be at next year's EpicSki Academy in Snowbird,

Who's this?
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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.
Bud Heismann, he's an American boot specialist, and very good at his job!
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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
Ah - but rather a long way to go to ask him a question possibly!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
michael stocking, If the difference between your two feet is very small I should ignore it. If it's quite pronounced then go to a properly qualified person to get sorted. You can cant the flexon as you say, but the wedges are for forward tilt.

Be very careful with alignment stuff. If you're an adult your body is used to dealing with the inequalities of your bones etc. If you change anything drastically you can do lots of harm rather than good. Not all the publicity is true!
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