In this post, I will describe the sequence of events required to successfully transition the SR Stance learned barefoot out of the ski boot, into the ski boot.
Learning and rehearsing the SR Stance in bare feet on the same hard, flat surface provides a kinesthetic sense or reference with which to assess the effect of external influences. By following a specific sequence of events, the effects of individual components such as boot board (zeppa) surface and ramp angle, clearances of the foot to the inner shell wall, footbeds and liners can be identified.
A preliminary step is to measure the boot board (zeppa) and binding (delta) ramp angles. Although the effect of ramp angle on stance and skier balance should be studied in a laboratory setting and in actual ski maneuvers, through subjective assessment in working with skiers and racers, I have arrived at a range of 2.5 to 2.7 degrees of total ramp angle (zeppa + delta) that supports the SR Stance. A combination of approximately 0.2 degrees of delta in combination with 2.3 to 2.5 degrees of zeppa seems to give the best results. The window of the total ramp angle that supports an SR Stance appears to be narrow and falls off rapidly on either end of the range.
Steps to Transition the SR Stance to the ski boot
- In bare feet, learn and rehearse the SR Stance as described in my posts on the subject on 2 feet until the SR Stance is familiar. Try and maintain the spacing of your feet every time you rehearse the SR Stance.
- In bare feet, learn and rehearse the SR Stance as described in the posts on the subject on 1 foot until is familiar.
- Add a ramp board with the same combined zeppa + delta ramp angle as your ski boots and skis and repeat exercises 1 and 2.
- Try the same exercises above while wearing your ski socks. You might be surprised.
- Repeat the exercises 1, 2 and 3 with the insoles or footbeds (if you are using them) from your ski boots in place under your feet.
- Repeat exercises 1, 2 and 3 while standing in the liners from your ski boots with no insoles in them. Check for areas of tightness. Are your toes crunched up? Do the liners feel too short? Can you sense significant pressure around the ankle bones or on your Achilles? If yes to any of the preceding, flag the liner as a potential problem in terms of the ability to assume the SR Stance in your ski boots.
- Repeat the above exercise while standing in the liners with the insoles or footbeds (if you are using them) in place under your feet. If you feel significant pressure under the arches of your feet, flag the liner as a potential problem in terms the ability to assume the SR Stance in your ski boots.
- With your ski boots spaced approximately the same distance apart as your feet in exercises 1. and 3., stand in the ski boot shells (no liners). Try and assume the SR Stance. Check the shell wall for interference with structures of your feet such as ankle bones, width across the balls of your feet and the alignment of your big toe. The big toe should be able to sit straight, in its natural alignment.
- If there are no issues with the shell, insert the liners and repeat the above exercise.
If you have made it this far with no significant issues, congratulations. You are among the world’s elite skiers, the top guns, the best of the best. But the odds are overwhelming that most who try the above sequence of exercises will have identified more than one issue that prevented them from conforming to the SR Stance barefoot reference.
In my next post, I will discuss the types of modifications typically needed to remove the impediments to the SR Stance identified in the above series of exercises.
See posts on the SR STANCE under the drop down menu under the heading INDEX OF POSTS on the Home page.