My question is regarding a piece of equipment I am using, and weather or not I should continue or not. I have a set of Atomic 920's about 5 years old. I like the skis and although they are heavy they seem to be doing OK. I am an intermediate skier, (can survive most black diamonds)and the skis have a "riser" on the binding. This puts me a good inch or more above the surface of the ski. Problem is I have difficulty finding the edge the way I would like. I severely broke by left ankle (almost torn off) many years ago, and it is very weak. Therefore turning right takes more effort. Should I drop the risers from these bindings, and if so will I get more response from the ski if I do so?
With your ankle issues, I'd be very reluctant to be on risers
regardless of the ski. You may just want to look around for a ski with a wider shovel/tail to waist ratio which would give you the "cranking" power you carve (crave). You didn't mention the boot you ski. Boots also have an effect on how the ski works for you. A softer flex with the boot may equate to a better carve. Just a suggestion.
Good to here that perhaps the risers are part of the issue. The boots I have are Soloman, and have been adjusted stiff to put me forward on the ski. Sounds like I have at least two things going wrong here.
Lifters actually give you more authority/leverage over the edges, so I would *not* remove them if you think you need any help you can get. The skis will require more effort to put on edge when mounted flat. The thing is, that type of edging input does not really involve the ankles in a big muscular way, so there may be a different issue at hand. Ankles are generally immobilized laterally in ski boots, and only allowed to flex fore/aft (and if that's not the case you may have ill-fitting boots). Lateral edging motions should be driven by the hips and knees, transferring through the boot to the edges, with little to no ankle involvement.
Perhaps the ankle injury has affected your fore/aft flex, and that is feeding into the issue more so than the lateral motions you'd use to set an edge. You do need to be able to flex the ankles and drive your knees forward when carving. Or -- more likely -- maybe the ankle injury has resulted in a lateral alignment issue that needs to be corrected by canting, or a transverse alignment issue that needs to be corrected by tweaking the boot/binding mount axis (ie, duck-footed stance, etc). You should probably consult a good boot fitter, who can analyze your particular situation and correct any alignment issues you have. Generally, when people have a hard time turning one way, it comes down to an alignment issue. I think the lifters are simply not a major factor here.
Thanks killg6 & Skier219. I seem to remember when I got the risers the idea was to give me an advantage on the ski. Therefore your comment to that end strikes me as on target. Now to my boots. They hurt my feet, and when I got them new...10 years ago they seemed to fit fine. But what did I know, that was the first pair of boots I ever bought. My son age 16 has a new set of boots: Atomic a little larger than mine. The other day at Hidden Valley I tried them on, and I never realized how comfortable a ski boot could be. I have just reserved my-self to the fact that I would need to suffer with the boot. I have now learned that my feet have gotten wider at the very least. So for now, Im on a mission to keep the risers, get a new boot that fits, and look for a softer flex in the boot. Probable a lesson or two might not be a bad idea.
Ahhh it sounds as though it's the boot. I don't know how many days you've been in those boots, but I use 100 days as the boot bladder barometer. Usually, it's after that number of days that issues may begin to surface with the fit of the boots as the bladder compresses. For a racer, it may even be sooner. The shell, if proberly fit should be ok a lot longer until the components begin to break and deterriorate. I agree with skier219 that a visit to a good bootfitter would be a very wise investment indeed. Although the purpose for risers is to enhance getting the ski on edge so skier doesn't "boot out," very few intermediate or even advanced skiers use them to extent for which their designed while free sking. We elected to not put my son who has severe ankle issues and was a racer on risers after advice from a bootfitter. Guess it depends on which advice we listen to or who is giving it. Then again, what do I
OK I am now on a mision to find a new boot, and boot fitter. ...Where does on find a "boot fitter". Does anyone who sells the ski boot at a ski shop qualify as a boot fitter? If anyone knows who or where to go to get a qualified recommendation of boot fit, and related issues please let me know. I am in the SW PA. Ski mostly at HV and 7 Springs, But Laurel Mountain is my favorite for its rare beauty, narrow trails, and ........well skiing as it were ment to be........at least in PA.
If you were in the DC area, I coulf guide you to several excellent bootfitters. However, I haven't frequented the SW PA area for years since I don't live there any more. Can anybody help?
I am not familiar with boot fitters in that area, but it would be important to seek out a good one; ie, somebody trained to fit and adjust boots, not just the teenage punk who happens to work at the ski shop (no offense to all you punks out there).
I am lucky that I am a good match for Salomon X-wave boots, and will keep buying them as long as they are available and continue to fit. But I think I am in a minority of skiers who can buy off-the-shelf boots that fit right. Many people invest a significant amount of time and money getting boots properly tweaked to fit right. A good boot fitter helps by understanding your needs, recommending the right boot to start, then adapting the boot for the best fit and performance. It really is a pretty complicated process, but can make a big difference in skiing comfort and performance. This is especially true if you have previous injuries, medical conditions, foot problems, etc. I bet you will see a night and day difference in your skiing, and your comfort, once you get some good boots.
This is really good information. I have always heard that the boot is the most important piece of equipment, However that issue is resolved by purchasing a good reputable boot, "as you say off the shelf". Put your foot in it... if it fits you it...sorta Cinderella like. Learning there is much more to this....and probably at some additional cost (will be worth it) as well.
Does the ski shop at Hidden Valley have someone there who can fit the boot. I just bought a 3 pairs there for three of my children ages 16, 13, and 9. I was not there when they got their boots.......but I assume there was more going on than "try this on",,,,,,,how's it feel....that will be $300.
Although it was originally published on DCSKi in 1998, Otto Matheke wrote an excellent article about buying boots, which you can read here: Having a Fit: Buying Boots that Work for You
There have been changes to boot design since then, so keep that in mind, but some of the tips from 1998 are still valid today.
I haven't bought an alpine boot for a decade and never intend to buy another one, but that's a different story. All new telemark and backcountry boots now come with a thermomoldable liner. The shop tech cooks them in an oven to the right temperature, slips them into the boots with your footbeds, you slip your feet in, then close the buckles to to a firm, not tight, mid range setting. In ten minutes or so it cools and sets and you have a custom fit. When these liners first started to appear I bought them aftermarket and had them fitted to boots I already had but now they come standard with the boots. I imagine that alpine boots now come the same way.
Ah, not quite. It is an upgrade option on such alpine boots as the Dalbello Krypton series and Daleboots.
The other liners on alpine boots tend to be of a slightly different type, they can be heat moulded, but heat moulding those effectively does the same thing as wearing them for weeks. The foam does not get reset by moulding a second time.
Not many boots have the type of lining you describe. However, I once owned the Reichle Flexon Comp which had at that time a ceramic liner which after several days use, had molded to the shape of the foot and ankle. Right now, the Dalbello Krypton, which is what I ski, may have that feature/option this year, but the pair I bought didn't.