When Morgan Petitniot from France first contacted me on September 2, 2014 (CASE STUDY: MORGAN FROM FRANCE – HIS STORY (https://skimoves.me/2015/11/30/case-study-morga…france-his-story/), I had not started to look critically at boot board ramp angle and Net Ramp Angle.
When I posted SKI BOOTS – WHAT’S YOUR ANGLE? and CALCULATING RAMP ANGLE, two years ago, I knew that ramp angle could affect the function and especially the balance of a skier. But I had no idea how critical ramp angle is. Through subjective experiments back in the late’ 70s, I had identified that a ramp angle in the range of about 3 degrees made it easier to ski. But I had not made any attempt to narrow down the range or pursue the issue further. Nor did I understand back then exactly how and why ramp angle affected a skier.
After Morgan sent me the video he made in which he documented his experiments with different boots and skis, (MORGANS’ EXPERIMENTS WITH BOOT SETUP: 2013 TO APRIL 2015 https://skimoves.me/2015/12/09/morgans-experime…13-to-april-2015/), the range of effects on his skiing that he experienced from different boots and skis far exceeded what I had expected. The problem was that there was no reference against which to compare the different components against and little or no structure to Morgan’s process that would have allowed him to control variables and isolate and identify the effect of each change.
Morgan started to make progress with his skiing after he discovered The Skier’s Manifesto and began applying my principles. While he got closer to skiing at the level that he wanted to reach, it became clear to me that something was still holding him back. It was about this time that the interactions I was having with those such as Michael was helping me to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the critical nature of boot board ramp and Net Ramp Angle.
After reviewing the video clip below of Morgan skiing on January 17 of 2016 I asked him to check the ramp angles of his boots and skis. The dated comments that follow are from our email exchanges subsequent to January 17.
Morgan has improved a lot since we started working together. To the untrained eye, he looks like he is skiing quite well. But there are subtle indications that he is not able to Get Over It (get CoM over the ball of his outside foot). Morgan senses and confirms what I am seeing.
Morgan: Ok David, on my Fisher ski boot I am at 3.6 degree net ramp angle. I had to screw à 5 mm plastic matérial under the toe pièce of my ski boot you see it on the attaches photo\
Me: The biggest change for most skiers is to maintain a compact stance throughout the turn. The knee is the joint whose angle changes the most. The ankle stays fixed in the resistive angle while the knee flexes on the inside leg and extends on the outside leg to move COM over the ball of the foot. Rotating the outside leg into the body and using the inside leg to steady the pelvis enables COM to be aligned and maintained over the ball of the outside foot.
I generally do not encourage laces on liners because they can obstruct the glide path of the ankle and pollute the mechanoreceptors in the ankle that are key to balance. The liner you are using appears to be very soft. So it is unlikely it is causing significant issues. In my experience, liners can cause more problems than boot shells.
Me: In the past few months I have learned a great deal about the importance of ramp angle. It seems as by chance I chose race bindings that have zero ramp angle for my skis when I got them 2 years ago. I have since learned that very few bindings have zero ramp. I have checked many bindings last week and found that no consistency in ramp angle. They all seem to be different. Worse, it changes with boot length. This is a big problem. A few weeks ago, I reduced the ramp angle of the boot boards in my boots to 2.6 degrees from 3.0 degrees and immediately sensed a huge improvement in balance, ski control and the ability to absorb shocks.
A week ago I was asked by a relatively new skier to help her with her boots because she is taking her CSIA Level II course and experiencing difficulty trying to do the exercises. I checked her boots first. They were far too small, too tight and far too narrow in the forefoot. She has a small but wide forefoot. When I checked her bindings they had 1.9 degrees of ramp. Her total or net ramp is almost 6 degrees!
I am about to post on tests that can and should be done with the Stance Ramp. The first test is to double the 2.5 degrees of the ramp to 5.0 degrees. You will immediately feel unstable on the ramp. This is the minimal ramp that most recreational skiers have between their boots and bindings. Many skiers have far more. The problem is that most recreational bindings available today cannot be shimmed. Please check your bindings. If they have anymore than 0.2 degrees or ramp it is difficult to adjust for this in the boot board. If your bindings have ramp, I suggest you try and borrow or rent a ski similar to yours with zero ramp bindings and do a comparison test. Also, please check your boot boards and, if necessary, adjust the ramp to about 2.6 degrees. You can do tests by placing thin shims of polyethylene under the heel or fore foot between runs to fine tune the ramp.
Please let me know what you find.
The best way is to drop the heel by grinding or planing the boot board down. I use a very sharp block plane to do this.
Try and build a Stance Ramp as soon as possible. I will give you exercises that are very telling in terms of what works best. You can easily sense this. Make sure the material you use is very stiff. Reinforce it, if necessary. You can easily bend the Stance Ramp platform it with pressure on the balls of the feet unless it is very stiff.
Morgan: I answer you quickly. According to your advices about ramp angle on december 2015, I have bought my skis “ATOMIC REDSTER SL” because of the binding ramp angle = 0°
Actually my boot board ramp angle (in the Fischers) is 3.8 !!!
I will made the test with trying to lift the forefoot (i don’t know if i have sufficient space to lift up my foot about 5 mm)
I am testing 2 pair of boot (head raptor 130 RS with 2.5 boot board ramp angle AND Fischer RC4 withe 3.6 boot board ramp angle) Now the only thing I can tell you : After 2 weeks I feel better in Fischer (edging, shank angle, more balance) but my back suffer. In Head boot (edging more difficult, shank angle not sufficient, balance –) but my back is better. Perhaps there is something to explore unless you have already understand what is happen 😉
Skype meeting to discuss next steps
March 17 – A Happy Ending
Morgan: I have the pleasure to say to you that. My back don’t hurt me anymore 🙂 🙂 Total ramp angle 2.8 (ski binding 0, boot board ramp angle 2.8)
More power, more balance, more reaction of skis. Gliding with the skis straight away, more relax and stable position and the feeling of the center position.