2019 BRINGS NEW DIRECTION TO THE SKIER’S MANIFESTO


Best wishes for 2019 to the followers of The Skier’s Manifesto with a special welcome to new followers.

As a result of comments and suggestions made by some of my followers I have decided to rethink and reboot The Skier’s Manifesto and focus my efforts on providing information in a hierarchal, logical, sequential manner designed to build a knowledge base to assist skiers and racers in maximizing their potential.

For those who are unfamiliar with my background and objectives in skiing I default to the comments of the gifted scientist, Alex Sochaniwskyj, who I had the distinct privilege and pleasure of working with on my 1991 research project. In his letter in support of my nomination for a 1995 Science Award, Alex said:

During 1991 and 1992, I had the opportunity of working with David MacPhail in the realization and testing of conceptually innovative sports footwear. Design of this type requires, knowledge, understanding and experience in a combination of disciplines including anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, sports dynamics, physical mechanics and design. David MacPhail exhibited this unique combination throughout all aspects of the project, and continues to research and explore developments in: influences of footwear on the kinematics and kinetics of human movement; the design of athletic footwear; and the etiology, occurence, frequency and prevention of athletic injuries.

My relationship with David MacPhail began in 1991. As member of the Industrial Design team hired to refine, build and test prototype ski boots based on David’s original ideas, I was responsible for the development of an “on-hill” testing program. The objective of this program was to record and evaluate the biomechanical impact of the new boot design in a real dynamic environment, and then compare the results to the theoretical model. Unlike other (ski boot) designs, David’s theoretical described skiers’ biomechanics in a realistic, uncompromising, dynamic situation. 

The design and development strategies used by David MacPhail are very holistic in nature, placing the human system as the central and most critical component in the biomechanical system.

His intent is to maximize human performance and efficiency, while foremost preserving the well-being and safety of users and minimizing biomechanical processes.

I started this blog in May of 2013 for the purpose of renewing my dedication and commitment to the evolution of skiing as a science, one that maximizes the human performance and efficiency of skiers and racers, while foremost preserving their well-being and safety.

In the following months I will be reviewing, deleting, editing and reorganizing existing posts and writing new posts for the purpose of creating a set of guiding principles that will assist the reader in understanding issues related to human performance. As always, I stress the need for unbiased, objective research and studies designed to clarify and evolve the knowledge base in skiing.

Comments and suggestions from my followers are welcome and appreciated. I called my blog the Skier’s Manifesto because it is for skiers to contribute so all can learn. My role is to facilitate and encourage meaningful dialogue. Input from the readers of my blog helps guide my efforts.

2 comments

  1. Hi David, I’d like to thank you for all your hard work and wish you all the best for 2019 !!! Personnaly if you could develop further the assesment methodology to better determine optimal ramp angle i’d be very interested to know more on this … (FYI, i am currently at 2.5° and i have seen the benefits going down from 4° but i am wondering how i would check if a lower angle would be beneficial without grinding my boot boards again) Again thank you so much.

    1. The effects of ramp angle (Zeppa + Delta) is an issue that would benefit from unbiased, objective studies that control variables and arrive at conclusions based on metrics produced by meaningful data. What I have learned over many years is that small changes in the angle of the ramp under are feet can result in significant adjustments of the human system. Please read the reference material in my last post for information on this.

      My experience of many years has been that an improvement in the right direction will usually be quickly felt sometimes within a few turns. If a change is in the wrong direction it may not sensed as bad or even different. In a case like this I increase the change in the wrong direction. This usually confirms that it is wrong.

      As a general rule I like to go in stages. After a period of time I try reducing the Zeppa further by placing a 1 to 1.5 mm hard plastic shim under the forefoot in one boot, ski for a few days and see what happens then I remove it. I am very methodical and like to do a lot of one-on-one testing so I can arrive at my own conclusions and not be influenced by others. What works well for me may not work well for others.

      I hope this helps. Please keep the questions coming.

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