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Speed wobble

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi, I would like to know whats the best way to get around this.
To give some back ground. Ive been skiing a few times now (4) I was fortunate enough to have some dry slope lessons as a child.
I went Skiing with my brother and his friends in January (Chatel France) I was able to do all the Piste stuff + a lot of the off piste things they were doing too.
These guys are pretty good at skiing and are able to charge down the mountain. However i found myself unable to go faster than a medium pace otherwise my skis would literally start wobbling.
I am 176cm weigh 76kg. I have a pair of K2 Rictors 174cm long. I also have a pair of Salomon quest boots which maybe are too stiff for me.
I have now purchased some Head boots brand new and will get them molded to my feet. They are 75 but the man said you can make them stiffer up to 90 by drilling and screwing ect so i'm thinking to go to 85.
Will these boots give me more control to go faster? I was also thinking should i purchase some shorter skis? 164/168/170?
My brother says it will mostly be technique which is true i just want help where i can get it aha. The K2 rictors are 8/9 years old now so quite heavy skis, not sure if this makes it harder to control.

Any tips/info would be much appreciated.


Thanks
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
bend ze knees. You need more weight forward to limit the chatter... or maybe the ski's are to long for your weight
But Im not a skier... so Im prob wrong! If its a snowboard, then either your not bending your knees & absorbing the terrain, or you not got enough weight on the nose
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I have a couple of thoughts:

If you are pushing a bit beyond your limits to keep up with your mates, it is quite possible you are getting in the back seat, lightening the front of the skis, allowing them to move about.

If your boots are too stiff, it will prevent you from flexing at the ankles enough (vital for decent skiing). If they are too soft, controlling the skis is more difficult.

Without seeing you ski, it's hard to form a judgement. You are on decent skis, that are about the right length for an Intermediate with your stats.

Heavier skis are not harder to control, if the technique is right.

Things you might try:

- Get a lesson to see what might be going on
- Get a decent bootfitter to check your boots are suitable
- If mostly skiing on piste, hire a piste ski for a day, as it will have minimal front rocker - to see how that works out


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 25-08-20 16:10; edited 2 times in total
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@Cazzro, sounds a bit odd to be honest. Reading the reviews on Rictors they should be good for/at speed.

If they are simply not gliding well then that could be down to servicing issues. How often, where/how, do you get them serviced?

It could be that they are just shot... what is the history on them?

Boot wise 75 stiffness seems low. You should go to a good boot fitter and let them guide you.

Usually cheaper, beginner/improver focused ski's or full on powder ski's are more likely to chatter at high speeds for the simple reason they aren't designed for that but I wouldn't have thought a pair of Rictors in good condition would have that issue.
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Rictors are rock solid at speed, but at 9 years old might be getting a bit noodley?

When you say wobbling do you meant the tips vibrating up and down making you feel uneasy or somethinig else?
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Are you on a carve when the wobble occurs or just schussing straight down a piste? It’s quite difficult to gauge your standard from your description in the OP. How fast do you think you were travelling?

IME if you’re in a carve with decent technique the skis should be rock solid.

If you’re schussing for ultimate speed on a hard piste then skis could feel skittish if you’re not delicately balancing weight between the skis.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Tue 25-08-20 16:17; edited 2 times in total
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Do your skis wobble when you are turning, or going in a straight line?
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Thanks for the replies!

Old fartbag i think you're right, current boots are too stiff they are 120s. I think i get tired by day 3 because we try to get first lift and stay out all day. I guess i start leaning back into the skis.

Layne my brother also said it was low but i think 85/90 would be ok for me and on the head website it says these boots can be tuned up to that. Apparently 90 is for advanced intermediate I would like to say i'm somewhere around that maybe just intermediate. However i will be going to a fitter to get them molded so will see what he says. The skis have been used for 5 weeks since new. 2 by the guy i bought them from and 3 by myself. I wax and do the edges after each holiday. There is a small groove in the bottom of the right ski i was going to get it fully serviced and filled but my bro and his mates said it wasn't necessary at the time/wouldn't effect skiing.

Musher what do you mean by noodley haha? They seem ok just a bit heavy compared to new skis. The wobble is the front of the ski going left and right.

Phil Im carving when i go down, not one of those guys who just nose dives down the hill lol as would most likely end up hurting myself or someone else. Its when i start going 25mph+

Rob i guess i turn then as i go across the mountain i feel some wobble. So yeah on the straight part i guess?

So my skis should be ok? Length ect?

I plan on going to Hemel Hampstead or MK to do some skiing and have a lesson. When to MK a couple times when i was young but read a few things here of people saying they prefer hemel so may check it out.

Thanks again guys
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What Head say about the boot how to get 10-15 extra flex. On their Avant boots

A boot that is too stiff can limit a skier’s ability to progress.More powerful and heavier skiers should use a ski boot with a higher flex index.
HEAD has developed three methods to adjust the ski boot-flex.

METHOD 1
A) With a 4mm key unscrew the back mechanism. Pre-drill the plastic in the marks first with a 6 mm drill for a pre-mark and then drill with a 9 mm bit to complete the hole. Place the nuts in the internal side of the cuff and tighten the two rear screws.
B) Put on the boot and try the flex of the boot.
C) If you need a stiffer flex repeat the process with the second round hole and add the third screw.

METHOD 2
With a 5mm key unscrew the back mechanism,
turn it 180° and set it to hard or soft.

METHOD 3
With a 4mm key, turn the rivet to the left to decrease
the flex or to the right to increase it.
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@Cazzro,

There isn't a consistent standard of flex across brands. This is where a good bootfitter will advise, given your goals and stats.....but I don't think you should be going below 100 (maybe 110).

Noodley means they have lost their stiffness - but I doubt that's the problem after 9 years, if they haven't been skied that much.

Rob is, I believe, talking about schussing fast in a straight line down the hill. If the skis are wobbling from side to side on the traverse between turns, then something is going wrong with your technique. FWIW. It's better to remove the traverse, and have your turns linking together, where the end of one becomes the start of the next - whether Long or Short Turns.
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A properly fitting boot of 120 flex shouldn't be a problem for someone of 176cm/76kg. If they are then they're either too big or you have a technique issue or, most likely, both.
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Old Fartbag wrote:
Rob is, I believe, talking about schussing fast in a straight line down the hill. If the skis are wobbling from side to side on the traverse between turns, then something is going wrong with your technique. FWIW. It's better to remove the traverse, and have your turns linking together, where the end of one becomes the start of the next - whether Long or Short Turns.
Exactly right.

I'd be very surprised if it's an equipment issue.
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spyderjon wrote:
A properly fitting boot of 120 flex shouldn't be a problem for someone of 176cm/76kg. If they are then they're either too big or you have a technique issue or, most likely, both.


^^ I'd say this . And even though flex isn't a universal figure (i.e 120 Head isn't the same as 120 K2), I'd say 90 is either for someone light or fairly early skier, sounds like marketing gumpf to me.

From your description and what people have said about the skis, I'd say that technique is most likely to be the cause. Lessons seem like best option, especially if you've not really had any recently. Not really sure that modern skis are any lighter than those of 10 years ago, not in a like for like category. 174 at your height I wouldn't have thought to be an issue, maybe a teeeeenny bit long for what some people would say, but I'm around 185cm and ski on 184 (albeit twintips so they ski a little bit shorter)
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, I think there is a big drive to make skis lighter, with the likes of Graphene and Carbon strings being used.
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@Old Fartbag, Rocker tip?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm with @philhitch. Most intermediate skiers experience "wobble" as you describe it when the skis are too flat on the surface. If you can carve on a piste and transfer from edge to edge with little effort then skis will ride the edge to help you. They will feel rock solid as someone else said. As you increase the speed you need to introduce more edge to achieve the same effect. If you don't they will wobble. Here's where flex comes in. But before you change your kit I would get someone to take a close look at your technique. If you can increase the edge angle by changing your posture it might save you a few quid.
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Cazzro wrote:
I think i get tired by day 3 because we try to get first lift and stay out all day. I guess i start leaning back into the skis.

To be honest that is the nature of the beast. If after all the travelling and going to altitude you hit the slopes hard first to last lift pretty much anyway is going to get tired regardless of what is on and under your feet. And technique will always start to waver under those circumstances. There is nothing wrong with easing of the gas a little or turning in a little early under such circumstances. You don't want to crash and/or injure yourself. That said 120 flex is on the high side and may not be helping either.

Cazzro wrote:
Layne my brother also said it was low but i think 85/90 would be ok for me and on the head website it says these boots can be tuned up to that. Apparently 90 is for advanced intermediate I would like to say i'm somewhere around that maybe just intermediate.

Well, as others have said flex in boots isn't an exact science. As for boots being able to be tuned from flex 75 to 90 I feel a bit sceptical about that. And anyway going from a 120 flex boot to a 75-90 boot is a large step change.

Cazzro wrote:
However i will be going to a fitter to get them molded so will see what he says.

Which boot fitter are you going to? If you go to a good one they may be able to sort all this out. If you go to the wrong one it could be of no help or make things worse.

Cazzro wrote:
The skis have been used for 5 weeks since new. 2 by the guy i bought them from and 3 by myself. I wax and do the edges after each holiday. There is a small groove in the bottom of the right ski i was going to get it fully serviced and filled but my bro and his mates said it wasn't necessary at the time/wouldn't effect skiing.

On the latter your mate is correct although it's pretty easy to ptex such a groove yourself. Just need a ptex stick, a lighter and a metal scraper. Sounds like the ski's shouldn't be an issue.

Cazzro wrote:
Musher what do you mean by noodley haha? They seem ok just a bit heavy compared to new skis. The wobble is the front of the ski going left and right.

Phil Im carving when i go down, not one of those guys who just nose dives down the hill lol as would most likely end up hurting myself or someone else. Its when i start going 25mph+

Rob i guess i turn then as i go across the mountain i feel some wobble. So yeah on the straight part i guess?

Struggling to understand what this "wobble" is other than as RedandWhiteFlachau says you are simply not edging.

Cazzro wrote:
So my skis should be ok? Length ect?

Why did the previous owner sell after only using them a couple of times? Where have they been stored? Might be an idea to have them checked at a good shop in case there is something amiss - although if it was anything really significant you'd be having more general issues. My best guess would still be that they are not the issue.

Cazzro wrote:
I plan on going to Hemel Hampstead or MK to do some skiing and have a lesson. When to MK a couple times when i was young but read a few things here of people saying they prefer hemel so may check it out.

I don't ski in fridges but the consensus on here seems to be that Hemel is better managed from a grooming and slope management point of view.
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Thanks again for the replies.

I will go get lessons, makes sense that i'm not 'edging' enough.

Layne its hard when its the one week of the year got to push those leggies to the max aha. My boots are definitely an issue (Quest 12s) I purchased a brand new pair of avant 75s as someone reviewed them saying its like skiing in slippers which sounds great haha. My brother uses this guy in Gatwick who apparently is v good and knows his stuff so he will be able to guide me. I can send these back if he says they are no good. I'm going to go to Andorra with my own mates this year who are all quite new. So will be taking it a lot easier compared to going with the older crew. Also Andorra skiing is pretty chill compared to France (the Piste stuff) So will be good to focus on technique, might keep these Avants for the trip anyway if not skiing really hard, would be nice skiing with 2 sponge cakes on my feets.

What happens if you ski hard on a low flex boot? Can you hurt yourself? Loss of control?

Dont ski in a fridge Very Happy Very Happy I will enquire with hemel about a 2 hour lesson to see if i can improve this issue. Will take the skis to a service place to see if anything is bad. The guy didnt want to ski anymore due to family. Actually got a really good deal poles and a dakine bag included all only used twice.

Are the instructors good at Hemel? Young fun guys/gals? Older is fine too i guess as long as young/fun at heart aha

Thanks again
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A quote from Powderlife: "A boot needs to be stiff enough to support the skier’s neutral stance—a boot that is too soft will collapse under the weight and leverage of the skier, creating too much bend in the knee and lead to muscle fatigue. Conversely, a boot that is too stiff won’t move sufficiently when the skier applies forward pressure, restraining them and preventing them from optimal use of their skis. An overly stiff boot will also force your centre of weight position too far back on the skis, which will impact your ability to turn and control the skis and it can also result in sore shins."
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Cazzro wrote:
I purchased a brand new pair of avant 75s as someone reviewed them saying its like skiing in slippers which sounds great haha.

Buying boots off the shelf/internet is a game of chance. Sure, sometimes it can work out but the odds are stacked against you. Better off going to a good fitter straight off.

Cazzro wrote:
My brother uses this guy in Gatwick who apparently is v good and knows his stuff so he will be able to guide me. I can send these back if he says they are no good.

Sounds like a plan.

Cazzro wrote:
What happens if you ski hard on a low flex boot? Can you hurt yourself? Loss of control?

You'll simply have less drive/control. Not dangerous per se just less fun.
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Thanks guys, yh the 120s i'm on atm leave me seriously sore and feel as though they make me lean back (people have said stiff boots can do that, could also be my shitty technique)

But yeah will take them to the guy, if he tells me to drill the boots i will, if he says get new one i guess i'm doing that.

Thanks for all the info/tips/replies guys, appreciate it. Have been in contact with snow centre (HH) sadly dont have a car atm but they can give free rental with a lesson so will take the train up and do that. Hopefully corona dies off a little when the new year comes so we can all go ski!
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any adult male human who is skiing in a boot less than 100 flex is in a boot too soft!

75 flex they are way too soft for A you, and B the ski you are using

the 120 flex should be fine for your body weight, BUT they need to be the correct size, the correct fit AND most importantly match your biomechanics, not sure how much i can stress the importance of this, if your ankle joint doesn't bend as much as it needs to or if your calf muscle is bigger or smaller than average you will be in the wrong place in the boot and it will affect balance
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Cazzro wrote:
What Head say about the boot how to get 10-15 extra flex. On their Avant boots

A boot that is too stiff can limit a skier’s ability to progress.More powerful and heavier skiers should use a ski boot with a higher flex index.
HEAD has developed three methods to adjust the ski boot-flex.

METHOD 1
A) With a 4mm key unscrew the back mechanism. Pre-drill the plastic in the marks first with a 6 mm drill for a pre-mark and then drill with a 9 mm bit to complete the hole. Place the nuts in the internal side of the cuff and tighten the two rear screws.
B) Put on the boot and try the flex of the boot.
C) If you need a stiffer flex repeat the process with the second round hole and add the third screw.

METHOD 2
With a 5mm key unscrew the back mechanism,
turn it 180° and set it to hard or soft.

METHOD 3
With a 4mm key, turn the rivet to the left to decrease
the flex or to the right to increase it.


method 1 applies to their raptor race boots/ old Vector boots
method 2 pplies to the Nexo / vectror RS boots
Method 3 applies to edge/ Edge LYT boots

none of these methods will take a 75 flex up to where it needs to be for s 76Kg skier, please ignonre boot manufacturer BS that tells you a certain flex is for a certain level of skier.... just think a 18 stone beginner will probably need a stiffer boot than a 10 stone advanced skier, it is again back to balancing the correct boot shape and flex to the individual


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Thu 27-08-20 12:34; edited 1 time in total
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RedandWhiteFlachau wrote:
I'm with @philhitch. Most intermediate skiers experience "wobble" as you describe it when the skis are too flat on the surface. If you can carve on a piste and transfer from edge to edge with little effort then skis will ride the edge to help you. They will feel rock solid as someone else said. As you increase the speed you need to introduce more edge to achieve the same effect. If you don't they will wobble. Here's where flex comes in. But before you change your kit I would get someone to take a close look at your technique. If you can increase the edge angle by changing your posture it might save you a few quid.


One of my early intermediate ski instructors said "You're only in control of the skis when you're making a turn, so you should always be making a turn, no matter how small.". My skiing has improved a lot since then but even today, sliding down the dullest, flattest cat track traversing the resort I'll be comitted to one ski or the other, just with very little forward pressure to make really long, lazy turns that end up with very little actual side-to-side movement across the track. No wobble and, more importantly, no really embarrasing falls on the flat from getting lazy, not paying attention and catching an edge Smile
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@Mjit, Exactly. Skis with a curved edge (Parabolics) are not designed to run flat. Those flat Cat tracks are ideal for practicing balance though. Try just standing on one ski and edging just that ski in both directions. Switch to your less dominant leg when you can.
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@Mjit, while - at a level - I can see that point, and to the extent you will be talking about skis with considerable sidecut, my SuperGs go very well and in very good control in a straight line.

TBH my SLs also were very happy in a straight line.

Workman. Tools. Blame.
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@CEM, Ok so i will send these avants back then. If im getting a stiff boot i think i would like a touring boot. I wont be doing much back country stuff but i like the idea of having an easier walk back to the chalet/hotel. 75 flex too low but maybe 100 flex? QST pro 100 Is what i'm looking at. After skiing all day its getting home that i really struggle with too.
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I firmly believe that with my current boots (120 flex) I'm unable to 'bend ze knees' as much as required therefore not being able to ski as well.
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@Cazzro, I think you are missing the point.

The problem is not the equipment ...
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Cazzro wrote:
I firmly believe that with my current boots (120 flex) I'm unable to 'bend ze knees' as much as required therefore not being able to ski as well.

I know I'm being pedantic, but "Bend ze knees" is actually very misleading, as it can put you in the back seat. Skiing is about "Bend ze ankles".

As CEM has said, your current boots need correctly assessed as to why they are too stiff ie. with regard to their fit and your specific physiology/flexibility.

FWIW. I'm 65kg and ski in a boot with a stated flex of 110.
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@under a new name, Chill out mate i know my technique needs improving but if my boots are uncomfortable it doesn't help.

@Old Fartbag, So you think i should take my 120s to the boot guy to see what he says? You ski on 110 but i presume your quite good haha
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under a new name wrote:
.. my SLs also were very happy in a straight line.
Workman. Tools. Blame. ... The problem is not the equipment
This.
Until you've gained the experience to know what to buy, it's better to rent, or buy middle-of-the-road stuff.

Stance is not a function of boot design, it requires practice to get right.

You want a boot which you can set so you flex it through its entire movement range at the sort of speeds you ride.
The easiest way to find that is to try a few, or if you don't have the skills to know what's right, take a lesson and ask your
instructor for advice. Which will probably be "practice more".
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Cazzro wrote:


@Old Fartbag, So you think i should take my 120s to the boot guy to see what he says? You ski on 110 but i presume your quite good haha

Yes, take your boots to him - and if he knows his stuff, should identify the problem (which may, or may not be sortable). It is worth noting, that the solution may involve flexibility training and work with a foam roller.

Yup, I've been skiing for quite a while - but now only ski one week per year and told the Boofitter that I didn't want an overly performance oriented boot...while still having a reasonably close fit. If I was there for the season, I'd probably look at a 120. You are 2 Stone heavier than me - and if CEM says that a correctly fitted 120 boot should work for you, he is most likely correct.
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@Old Fartbag, Thanks man, will see what he says.

@philwig, Will be going for a lesson next week so will see what the instructor says too.
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Sounds good. I should have said: it's good to want to improve ~ that's pretty much all that really matters: if you want to do it, you will.
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@Cazzro, I am super chilled, thank you. And I would say, 1. Your kit could be wrong, and therefore, holding you back. And fixing that is definitely a good thing to do. Also, 2. If you’ve only skied 4 weeks? You need instruction and hours. I’ve done something like 1,600 days and still have loads to learn.
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Cazzro wrote:
Ok so i will send these avants back then.

I think that would be the right thing to do as the chances of them working for you are slim. By the way CEM is an excellent bootfitter. Link to his place at the bottom of his post. Highly recommended and it would be a good time to go as he'll be fully stocked. Perhaps if you don't feel happy with the guy you are already planning to see.

Cazzro wrote:
If im getting a stiff boot i think i would like a touring boot. I wont be doing much back country stuff but i like the idea of having an easier walk back to the chalet/hotel.

Sorry to be harsh but this is not smart thinking. Touring boots are a compromise for people who do as much climbing as skiing. If you don't like the walk back find a ski locker/shop storage option at the lift or take some shoes/grippers with you. Or make sure you get somewhere ski in/ski out. Or live with it. But don't buy touring boots for an easier walk back to your accommodation.

Cazzro wrote:
75 flex too low but maybe 100 flex? QST pro 100 Is what i'm looking at.

You need to find the right boot - that's all. That means going to a good boot fitter, telling them everything about yourself and when asked to try them on concerning yourself only with how they feel not how they look or what flex rating the manufacturer as come up with. Flex is just one factor in the comfort and suitability of boot for you.
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Cazzro wrote:
So you think i should take my 120s to the boot guy to see what he says?

For sure. If they are any good they will assess if the boot is suitable and/or what modifications can be made to optimise their use.
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I'm 100kg, advanced skier and ski 110 flex boots but doing a straw poll of what other people have isn't the answer. Going to a good boot fitter and finding the right boot for you is.
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Ok thanks, may i ask why the touring boot is a compromise? I looked at @CEM, website all looks very professional but its a long way to go for me.

I know i could get a locker ect but none of my mates/my brothers mates or anyone I know whos been skiing seems to really struggle with the walk home. This has happened to me when i've rented boots and when i purchased my own. That was why i wanted the so called 'feels like wearing slippers' boots as I haven't really got on with any boot i've used. When i go skiing i want to make the most of each day, i know someone earlier said it wasn't the best idea but if you have 5 days that year to ski, then you want to be out all day. If you have a lie in / go home early feels like a waste of your time and money aha.
I should really be going to the gym to strengthen up my legs before going but the idea of going to a public gym atm freaks me out a bit so i've cancelled my membership.

On a side note fully custom boots from CEM or similar would cost me how much? Can you choose different price ranges? Would all the boots in store be current season? This is why i wanted to buy boots from last season then go get them fitted as currently i'm unable to spend 500 or whatever it is on new boots.

Sorry loads of questions, skiing noob here Laughing
snow conditions



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