The problem associated with measuring boot board (zeppa) and/or binding (delta) ramp angle as individual components is that the resulting angle may not accurately reflect the actual angle between the plane of the base of the upper surface of the boot board and the base of the ski in the boot/binding/ski system. Boot boards of the same zeppa angle may not necessarily have the same zeppa angle with the base of the boot shell due to design and/or manufacturing variances.
A level inserted into a ski boot shell with the boot board in place can be difficult to read. With the liner in place, this is not a viable option. A better option is to extend the angle of the boot board up above the top of the shaft of the boot so it can be accurately and easily read.
A simple device for this purpose can be made for about $25 with basic hand tools and a few screws using 2 – 8 in (20 cm) x 12 in (30 cm) x 1/8 in (3 mm) thick steel carpenter’s squares.
Place the long arms of the squares over each other as shown in the photo below and clamp them securely together. Two-sided tape can be used to help secure the alignment. Then drill a hole at one point on the vertical leg and screw the 2 squares together.
Check the parallelness of the 2 opposite arms on a level surface with a digital level. If good, secure the 2 levels together with a second screw. Then affix a section of 3/4 in (2 cm) x 3/4 in (2 cm) square or L-bar bar on the top of the extender to rest the level on.
To use the extender, place a boot shell on a hard, flat, level surface. If the surface is not level it should be leveled before the extender is used.
The photo below shows the extender being used to measure the zeppa angle of an old Salomon SX-90 shell. I didn’t have the electronic level for the photo. So I used a small torpedo level.
Insert the lower arm of the device into the shell as shown in the right hand image and place the lower arm firmly on the boot board. Place the level on the top arm and read the angle.
The photo below shows the same process as above. But in this example, the liner is in place. If an insole is in the liner, it should be flat with no arch form. I highlighted the square bar with pink to make it easily visible.
A check of the zeppa-delta angle of the boot-binding-ski system can be done by mounting the boot in the binding of the ski that is part of the system and clamping the ski to a flat surface with sufficient force to ensure the camber is removed and the running surface of the base is in full contact with the supporting surface. A strap wrapped over the front of the boot shell and under and around the supporting surface then tensioned will help ensure that the toe plate of the binding is loaded.
The Zeppa-Delta Angle Extender provides the user with a fast accurate way to know their total number. What’s yours?