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  1. An open letter to David McPhail.
    Your comments in commas:
    “the actual process behind what Ligety and Shiffrin are doing will probably turn out to be relatively simple”.
    Yes, but to complete your fine analysis of the Ligeti/Shiffrin transition a mental somersault is required, and also a brave move against the current dogma:
    “internal-external rotation of legs produces arm position”
    Stenmark would be mystified by that statement. He taught upper body rotation transfer at transition to beginners!
    The advantage being that it is set up BEFORE transition. It will then result in a pivot slip only if a skier deliberately allows it.
    I find that my students need to DO it before they can SEE it, interestingly…

    1. Einstein summed up the situation nicely when he said, “Everything should be as simple as possible, but not less simple” and “If you can’t explain it in simple terms, you don’t understand it well enough”. The problem? Understanding complex issues well enough to make them simple is usually mentally demanding and labour intensive requiring persistence, commitment and dedication; something few people are willing to engage in. Making things ‘simple’ by making up impressive sounding pseudo tech terms doesn’t count. Skiing appears to embrace a culture that actually celebrates ignorance. I find it astonishing that skiers will claim that they can “just copy” world class racers such as Ligety and Shiffrin, who are known for spending years perfecting their techniques (NY Times – Ligety on GS, “Ligety spent the past 8 developing a new technique) without the need to know anything.

      As for my statement, “internal-external rotation of legs produces arm position” , it is a matter of providing simple cues to racers and skiers based on analysis of the issue. Racers and skiers usually don’t benefit from the esoteric details. One cur that has been effective to create what is perceived as a inside hip lead is to tell the racer to “punch their inside hand and arm forward as they move into the new turn”. They key is that you need to have a requisite knowledge of the issues in order to confirm that the simple cue produced the intended end result.

  2. I read your blog on the Austrian Move several times and I confess I’m somewhat confused. In the first video of Fenninger at 1:44 it shows her new outside ski tail off the ground and the tails are slightly diverging during the movement from initiation to the apex. That position demonstrates weight on the inside ski and delayed setting and pressuring of the outside ski into the fall line(pretty much the definition of the White Pass Turn). The photomontage of Hirscher, however, shows a tip divergence of the inside ski as he moves from the apex back to the gate. So are saying the AM is an adjustment of the outside ski into a tighter radius (tail divergence) off the top of the turn, or a diverging move of the tip toward a higher line from the apex back to the gate… or all of the above?

    1. At some point, I will do a post that compares the SkiMove (Get Over It) to the Austrian Move. In the Get Over It technique, there is a transition phase between turns where the racer moves to the inside ski while it is still on its inside edge. As the skier begins to shift their COM in, up and over the inside ski, the ski and racer rotate about the inside (uphill) edge into the new turn.

      There are two variations of the Austrian Turn. In the first variation (Vonn vs Fenniger), the racer gets up and over the outside ski and initiates the turn on the outside ski. Before the forces exceed the limits of what I call the Inside Edge – Load Transfer Axis that will result in a lose of edge of the outside ski, the racer makes a divergent move to the inside ski. In the first part of the turn, the inside leg is used to control the position of the pelvis and assist in the alignment of forces on the outside ski. When the racer moves to the inside ski, the process is reversed. The mechanics of edge hold on outside and inside skis is very different. What is common is that the load points at the pelvis and ankle must be stacked. This requires moving the inside aspect of the pelvis inward and forward.

      The second variation of the Austrian Turn is much more dynamic. It involves what amounts to initiating a fall onto the inside ski. The movement that set this in motion has to create a rotation of the pelvis that positions the inner aspect over the ankle so the load transfer points are stacked at impact. The challenge in explaining the Austrian Move is finding video from the right angles and also video that shows the sequence from start to finish.

      The structure and consistency of the Austrian Move as made by Fenniger and Hirscher leaves no doubt in my mind that they know exactly what they are doing. This move is most effective in high load GS turns where it is not possible to maintain control of the forces across the inside edge of the outside ski or where the offset of a gate benefits from the ability to take a higher line. The Austrian Move involves risk because it is an all or nothing move. It has to be used with discretion.

      1. I went back and reviewed Fenninger’s winning GS race at this year’s WC finals in Meribel and yes, I could see she rolled into a high percentage of her turns off of the old downhill ski. By contrast I also watched video her first GS win in Lienz in 2011 and she was much more conventional using the up-and-over move.Without looking at a lot more video I’m inferring that she’s incorporated this late weight transfer into her skiing in just the past few years. Also there’s some good video of her turning off the old downhill ski in video of this season’s World Championships GS in Beaver Creek.

      2. Great observations Georget. We get very little World Cup television coverage here in Canada. So it is hard for me to track the changes you have observed because I have limited access to older video. In the beginning of the 2014-2015 World Cup season, Fenniger was overusing her inside ski in the Austrian Move. It was as if she had learned a new trick and wanted to show it off. As the season progressed, she used a combination of the Get Over It (SkiMove) with selective use of the Austrian move. I have enough World Cup video from the 2014-2015 WC season to create a sequence that shows this evolution. I will post something on this in the future.

        Given the structure and consistency of the Austrian Move as used by Fenniger and Hirscher, I am confident someone has figured out the mechanics and physics and is teaching them how and when to use it. Some of the German racers seem to be trying to copy Fenniger and Hirscher. But to make it work requires an underlying knowledge of the mechanics and physics. As skiing evolves as a science and a winning formula is created, World Cup racing will become any countries game.

  3. Finally someone who understands and has pride and precision,

    On the run, will get back to you,,,

    I saw something in corporate settinb that K2 was designing a boot,,, maybe could benefit from your input? After all they started parabolics re Bode Miller K4s, might be open minded,,,

    Must say now that SOMA WC boots are pretty ok to me, I add a further 1,5 degrees via Salomon toe pieces

    I am living proof that a fish can cycle,,, more later

    Good day

    1. Hi Marc, K2 has designed boots before. The ski industry seems to be barricaded in an impenetrable vacuum in the non-questioning closed-mind set that Lange locked in with the first molded, rigid plastic ski boot.

      As best I can recall, it was Elan that introduced the Parabolic ski in the early 1990s. It was a radical idea back then. Although sidecut geometry eventually became a good thing, as tends to happen with most ideas the thinking was that if a little was good a lot would be really good. Hence sidecuts reaches a point a few years ago when 27 m GS skis decimated entire ski teams with the slip-catch technique that I renamed the slip-rip as in slip,catch the edge of the outside ski, invert the ski and foot and rip the knee apart.

      The stated principle behind the Soma that it is normal for people to walk duck-footed and that the knees should track straight ahead has no basis in science. From a perspective of functional anatomy, the knees do not and cannot track straight ahead in ankle dorsiflexion. But it makes a good story. The principle is flawed. But the boot seems to work for some. At the end of the day that is what really matters.

      1. I went back and reviewed Fenninger’s winning GS race at this year’s WC finals in Meribel and yes, I could see she rolled into a high percentage of her turns off of the old downhill ski. By contrast I also watched video her first GS win in Lienz in 2011 and she was much more conventional using the up-and-over move.Without looking at a lot more video I’m inferring that she’s incorporated this late weight transfer into her skiing in the past few years. Also there’s some good video of her turning off the old downhill ski in video of this season’s World Championships GS in Beaver Creek.

  4. Would you ever make a how-to post on adjusting racing boots? I have been reading your blog with great interest, but am wondering how to put your work into practice.

    1. It is coming. Out of necessity, the process is slow. In effective problem-solving strategies, if the opening solution is wrong, everything that follows will be wrong. When I look at the setup of a racer’s boots today so many things are wrong that what I call the ‘noise’ from all the wrong interventions drowns out any possibility of a racer’s CNS making a connection with the data it needs for effective movement and balance. There are a few critical issues I need to post on after which I will provide a list of all the posts that relate to boot setup. An issue I am writing a post on right now is what I call the ‘reference shank angle’. This is the angle that the boot shaft needs to be set to in order for a racer to transfer load from their COM to the ball of their outside foot. I will post on this after the World Championships are over.

  5. Great site blog comments!! FINALLY SOMEONE WHO ‘GETS IT’ and can back it up! How do we get US coaching down to a grass roots level to understand that movement patterns START AT THE FEET??
    Looking forward to future posts!

    1. Hi Steve, welcome to The Skier’s Manifesto. Re your question, “How do we get US coaching down to a grass roots level…….”, there is an interesting situation unfolding in World Cup skiing in the emerging shift of racers to the extension-pendulum effect technique. In conjunction with this trend, there is an interesting trend in terms of the views of my blog from different countries and the nature of the posts being viewed. Although it may seem otherwise, based on my experience, unlike auto racing, ski racing has nothing whatsoever to do with serving as a forum for the development of innovative technologies that lead to better performing and especially safer cars for the consumer. Mercedes-Benz, McLaren and others have no intention to sell their formula one cars. What they are demonstrating is a superior ability to produce cutting-edge technologies. Ski racing is about putting advertisements on the podium that support the sponsors and especially equipment makers. The racer’s body is the billboard for the advertising. As far as I can tell, there is no incentive or need to leverage the human performance potential of the racer. A steady supply of racers guarantees that at least 3 will be on the podium at any given race.

      What is starting to emerge is a not just a crack, but a huge crevasse in this game plan. I confidently predict that if any racer breaks ranks, with or without the assistance of their coach or their team, gets their boots setup so they can use their innate physiological processes and especially hyper-speed bit processing, they will quickly dominate their competition. These racers could literally come out of nowhere. Once racers begin to adopt the equipment/technique formula I am describing in this blog (and it is a formula for winning), coaches will have no choice but to follow suit. I could write a book on team politics. But rather than waste time, I prefer to help racers reach their potential and especially, reach the podium. Like a broken record, the ski industry will continue to play the music in the same groove over and over until outside influences start to move the needle.

      1. I have read most of your articles/posts dating back to 2013. I have been an avid recreational skier for 40 years, but ten years ago I suffered a serious leg injury, and had to have my right ankle fused. I also had plastic implants installed to replace the lower-half portions of my tibia and fibula. In a nutshell, my foot is stuck in a slightly forward ‘neutral’ position with approximately only 20% flexion (that actually comes from the foot itself naturally). While I can walk fine, I am unable to run because of the serious lack of flexion between the leg and the foot. Four years ago I finally got back on the skis, but it has been a struggle ever since. Iv’e been through three different boots, all of them causing my foot a great deal of pain, and balance issues. Yesterday I was skiing here in the U.S. Northeast’s icy conditions, got a little air under me on a bump, and as I came down, totally lost it, hitting the ice hard, and sending me careening another 100 feet. A little tough to take on my 55 year young body! Anyhow, the reason I am writing you is to find out what can be done to compensate for the loss of function in one leg, by way of equipment…My current boot (Dalbellos) fit my good side just fine, but on the bad foot, I’ve got pain, lack of circulation, and the tongue is cutting into the top of my foot and causing real issues. Needless to say, my bad foot is somewhat larger than my good foot, but that’s (supposedly) been compensated for with the liner fitting….It seems that no matter what I try, or where I go here in the Boston area, no one can help me. Because my foot is slightly out of neutral, I sometimes place an insert under my heel to compensate when I wear certain shoes. I’ve been thinking of trying this with my boots, as well as cutting out the padding portion of the tongue that is pressing into the top of my foot. So, my question for you is this; Should I bother attempting this, just to see where it takes me, or should I seek out the aid of a professional fitter to custom make a liner for my boot? I honestly don’t believe the boot make has anything to do with this, whereas of the three different boots Iv’e tried, my issues were all with the right (bad) foot only.
        Thank you in advance for any advice you may be able to offer.

        Wayne

      2. Wayne you have my empathy. Your note is deja vu. It reads a lot like a letter I got in 1977 from a skier in eastern Canada about your age. This poor fellow had been an avid heli skier for decades. He almost lived at CMH in the winter. He was financially well off. Like you, he had a terrible accident and both ankles ended up being fused. He was devastated because he could not ski and he lived to ski. He heard about my work and wrote to ask if I could help. When I said I would try he flew out to Whistler the next day. When I saw the state of his ankles (they were huge) I was reluctant to even attempt anything. I didn’t see how I could help him. He pleaded with me to try. So I did the best I could. But I was not hopeful I had helped him. A few weeks after he left Whistler he called to tell me he had had a great week heli skiing. He was overjoyed. This taught me that if we don’t try we can never succeed. If we don’t gamble, we can never win. Playing safe is not playing at all. What you propose sounds reasonable. If you are at all handy and resourceful, you probably have a greater chance of success through your own efforts. Try what you are thinking and keep me posted. Never give up. Best wishes.

    1. Some old paradigms don’t die hard because it appears as if some choose not to recognize them in the first place. The immutable laws of the universe? Newton’s Laws? Established principles of mechanics and physics? All ancient history. Old stuff. No longer even worth considering. In the new world, opinion trumps everything. Facts no longer matter.

      “(2) These skis are easier to ski because they are easier to control, and improved control means safer skiing.

      “In hardpack conditions, skinny will generally work better than fat. But these things are relative, and ski manufacturers have been increasingly dialing the hardpack performance of many fat skis.”

      Ellsworth does not present a single defendable position on his assertion. “…… ski manufacturers have been increasingly dialing the hardpack performance of many fat skis.” With what? Have the manufacturers incorporated some sort levitation technology into the structures of their skis? Or perhaps they have come up with an anti-gravity, anti-centrigal force technology that allows skis to reverse the external forces and neutralize inversion moments. I think the answer is, “None of the above”. The ski industry appears to be where the auto industry was in the pre Ralph Nader era. This is one paradigm that really does seem to die hard.

      1. First time on this blog. Very interesting stuff. You seem to know a thing or 2 about boots. Perhaps a bit less about skis. I designed some the first early rise skis, some of the first early taper tips and tails, I made 100mm wide skis hold an edge better than some 68mm skis. (once the skier understood he was not going to boot out at the new possible angles). Many of the concept that work on modern skis did not make any sense for the old school physics guys ruling the ski design of the 70’s and 80’s and even the 90’s. I did not use levitation or electronic devices. Just like you do with boots, You looks at the interface between the skier and the snow, and then you start looking at how you align him and how you distribute pressure to make the human on top of those 2 sliding boards think he is in control. You do that with lots of variables. From curvature distribution to structure to mechanical properties in all axis. Probably as much as the variables you look at when you fit or design boots. Problem with the ski industry is that the boot guy think he is the man, so is the binding guru, and finally, we the poor ski designers have to deal with the mess. Just kidding…Great stuff keep on keeping on. And most importantly, remember one thing: it’s only skiing

      2. My blog isn’t about ski boots per se. Ski boots are only one component in the skier/ski equipment system, albeit a critical one. My blog is about the mechanics, biomechanics and physics of World Cup Ski Technique. The primary focus is the application of the principles of mechanics and physics, especially Newton’s Laws as they pertain to the balancing of opposing forces across the inside edge of the outside ski. The balance and support processes of the human as they pertain to weight-bearing states, utilizes ground reaction force or in the case of skiing, snow reaction force to erect a structural column on which to support the weight of the superincumbent body. In terms of the minimum profile widths of skis, there are limits under which the external forces acting across the inside edge can be balanced by internal forces. If this were not the case, the FIS would not restrict minimum profile widths to 65 mm or less as current regulations do. The problem with ignoring the ancient laws of physics is that a ski of 100 mm in minimum profile width will prevent the load of the body from being aligned in opposition to SRF resulting a consistent torque load (read: inversion stress) of around 30 N-m with the potential for transient spikes of 170 N-m or greater, enough to severely stress the knee. The problem is that torques about the long axis of the ski are translated in the subtalar joint of the ankle to vertical axial of the leg. These torques ascend the leg where they manifest their effects in the knee or in structures higher up, or both. When the Birdcage tests were done back in 1991 (ancient history) we could measure torques in multiple planes using ancient technology. Today, it is possible to determine what a skier ate for lunch three weeks previous and whether they burped after. There is probably an app for detecting and measuring torques transferred to the knee by skis.

  6. Fantasic blog Dave,

    Your tongue surgery info was very helpful. I was experiencing pain when riding the chair due to the raised plastic button on the tongue of my salomon boots pressuring the top of my foot near the ankle. The fix was to cut out the plastic button and modify the tongue as you did. Thank you for the post, I would have hesitated to do the surgery without it.

    I have been experimenting with setting my boots up to allow unrestricted forward and back movement of the shin. My issue is that I get bruised shins when I do not tighten the boot to my leg. What about tightening only the liner to the leg? Any ideas?

    I have poor skiers feet (wide, loose, etc) and have tried custom insoles, shells, etc. with the best results from heel wedges placed under the heel and also the first metatarsal head. Looking forward to your posts on strengthening weak feet and correcting poor body alignment

    Mike

    1. Hi Mike, glad you found the tongue surgery post helpful. Shin bang. There are a number of things that have to work together to not have shin bang; net ramp angle under foot (about 3 degrees), the right forward lean angle, the right side cant, the right cuff shape (oval and reasonably well defined), about 12-14 degrees of free ankle flexion within the cuff shape and (really important), the right end of shin travel deceleration curve. Getting these things right depends on getting a boot you can work with.

      I’m not sure if it was clear, but I tried to emphasize the importance of having extra padding in front of the shin bone only and padding on either side of the tongue in the liner. What this does is create a wedge that narrows as the shin drives forward. The wedge shape starts to decelerate the shin early by squeezing the soft tissue on the sides of the shank. As the shin progressively moves into the wedge the deceleration curve becomes more aggressive. If you get everything right, the muscles in the back of your leg will absorb the energy and keep COM within the limits of your foot.

      From what you said it is probable that your foot is very wide across the balls. If you trace the outline of your foot weighted on a flat surface the tracing will probably be much wider than any shoes you have. What most people don’t know is that shoe lasts are arbitrary and based on mythical average widths with no provision for the anomaly (bump) on the side of your little toe. There are 2 reasons for this; 1) aesthetics and, 2) machines can’t sew these details easily. I will post on the issues of wide feet in the future. But the short answer is that shoes that are too narrow prevent the foot from developing the tension and shear forces required for the muscles that provide postural responses to develop maximal force in eccentric contraction. Going barefoot as much as possible really helped my feet and skiing. But until you can get your ski boot wide enough so it doesn’t constrict the width of your foot the issues you are having will probably continue. Pardon the pun but width is the first step.

      1. Thanks for the reply Dave,

        You are correct, my foot is very wide. One of the reasons I ended up in the Salomon is the custom shell feature which gives more width when heated. I also padded my feet to ensure enough width when heat molding the boots. I recently purchased a new Atomic boot to deal with some issues I didn’t like with the Salomon (cuff adjustment and ramp angle modifications). The Atomic has a red button of foam over the instep and slices cut out of the tongue at the ankle, and a hard foam boot board – maybe someone is paying attention at Atomic. I missed the importance of the extra padding on the tongue and the benefit of deceleration. Any ideas about adding something external to the tongue instead on surgery to accomplish the same result?

      2. I am posting a series of what I call DOTS that need to be connected in order to allow the human lower limbs and balance system to function as they are designed to do. One DOT that I will post on soon is the importance of adequate width for the foot to elongate and spread across the heads of the metatarsals under maximal load. It is also important that there is adequate space for the big toe to align properly. The latter is a big problem because the DIN standard toe box shape does not usually accommodate proper alignment of the big toe. Once the new line of ski boots are in the stores I will check them out and identify what the issues are. Although it may be better than nothing, I am skeptical that cutouts in the tongue will allow proper function of the ankle. What model Atomic boot do you have?

      3. Hi Dave,

        The model is 2015 Hawx 2.0 135, below is a link to an image of last years liner (2nd liner from the left), it is similar with the cuts in the tongue, but without the foam button over the instep this year. It should be easy to cut out the remaining plastic if needed, though foam may still need to be removed.

        Would a Booster Strap attached loosely around the liner and tongue provide any additional benefit to deceleration since it has elastic in the strap or is adding an additional foam block to the tongue sufficient?

      4. A few considerations. Back about 1978 I started removing tongues from liners and letting the tongue float on top of the foot. This wasn’t my idea. There were several good skiers whose boots I worked on who did this. They were putting on their boots and either inserting the tongue after or placing on their foot when they inserted it in the liner. I learned from these skiers and eventually discovered how the tongue was obstructing the movement of the shin. A big problem with all the liners in the photo is the flap that joins the sides of the liners. The purpose of the flap seems to be to keep the tongue inside the liner when the foot is inserted in the boot. But these flaps can severely restrict the ability of the sides of the liner to spread. In a post a few months ago I described how putting a new soft Lange liner in my wife’s 10 year old Atomic boots completely destroyed her balance until I cut away the sides of the liner. While I had removed all the padding from the soft fabric liner and cut away the toe box, it turned out there was enough interference with the spreading of her metatarsals to disrupt her balance. This took me by surprise. What I have found is that the effect of interference with the function of the foot does not become apparent until you cross a fine line where the boot is close to perfect. Then something as benign as a small lump under the arch or on the side of the foot will cause huge balance problems. A booster strap may help if it is loose enough and has the right kind of elastic response. I eventually removed mine because they only time it wasn’t a problem was when it was so loose it didn’t do anything.

  7. Many thanks for sharing the knowledge you’ve gotten from stringent research and experience, Dave. Keep it up – give ’em hell!!
    One practical issue puzzles me though. With the major surgery you’ve done to your/your wife’s liners (ie leaving the tootsies exposed), how do you deal with cold foot issues?

    1. Thanks for the compliments Kirk. The reason I called my blog The Skier’s Manifesto is that it is a manifesto for change that is intended to empower skier like you to advance the sport with knowledge. That the foot could actually not just be warm in a ski boot without a liner, but actually warmer than a foot in a boot with a liner is counterintuitive. It took me some time to get my head into this concept. When I first started aggressively taking a knife to boot liners my expectation was that skiers would tell me that their feet were cold. But I was surprised when I started getting reports from skiers that their feet were warmer. When I came out with my new tongue system in 1980 even a minimal liner made getting the boot on difficult with the tongue system. So I eliminated all but the cuff portion of the liner with the expectation that I could replace the liner if necessary. It never was. I have skied in brutally cold conditions with the entire front of my liner gone and never experienced cold feet. I suspect what happens is that when the foot has room to spread and elongate as it is intended to, the outside foot acquires tension when loaded in a turn. The tension creates shear forces that allow the muscles associated with postural response to become fully engaged. When these muscles change contractive force and especially when they relax in the transition phase between turns they act as what is called ‘the second heart’ by helping to circulate the blood in the feet and legs to and from the heart. Far from being cold, the norm for my wife when she unbuckles her boots is for steam to come out of them. Seriously. This doesn’t happen to me. But I have never had to deal with cold feet because I have never had them since I modified my boots sufficiently to allow my feet and legs to function as they were intended to. I wear the thinnest sock I can find and make sure there are no wrinkles in them.

      1. That makes perfect sense. In fact putting a foot into a reasonably well sealed impermeable container (the shell) is exactly the same as putting it into a vapour barrier layer (used by climbers & adventurers in cold climates). The principle behind vapour barriers is well established – preventing the loss of vapour at the skin surface means there is no exothermic loss heat from the feet. Add that to the improved venous return plus vigorous exercise, and you’ve got toasty tootsies!
        My other question is how to deal with boots that have Intuition Power Wrap liners – no tongue, but a double overlap of foam over the shin & instep/forefoot. I suspect they mightn’t cause the same restriction of the ankle’s glide path as a conventinal tongue, but am intererested to hear your thoughts on this design of liner with regard to freedom of foot movements & muscle activity.

      2. When I first started modifying ski boots other than my own I noticed that as I removed padding and made room for the foot problems that had been vague before modifications came into focus and, in some cases, actually got worse. In my own case, it wasn’t until I got the boot 99% right in terms of providing a functional environment for my feet did things that were affecting foot function really jump out at me. Last season, I experimented with different (flat) textures and densities of insoles and socks. I found that this made a huge difference in the function of my legs and especially my balance; more than I could have imagined. There are lots of studies on what is called ‘tactile attenuation’ (insulation) that affects the mechanoreceptors that send information on balance to the CNS. I do not like form fit liners in general because they provide 3-dimensional neural attenuation and affect the physiologic function of the ankle. A big issue I have with the Intuition is that the liner structure wraps under the sole of the foot. Try walking barefoot on the floor. Pay careful attention to the sensations in the soles of your feet. Now put on a thin sock and do the same. Replace the thin sock with a really thick sock and repeat. Put on a pair of shoes and repeat. Now imagine what is happening in your ski boots.

  8. Great blog, I have read all your posts.
    It would be very interesting to hear you view about the role of boot sole planing/shimming.

  9. Great blog. I have read all your posts.
    It would be really interesting to hear your view on the role of boot sole planing.

    1. When plastic boots were first introduced they didn’t have cant adjustment provision for the cuff. My recollection is that a few boots may have had some sort of forward lean adjustment. But not only was side cant fixed, it seemed to be arbitrary in terms of the actual cant angle which ranged from zero to about three degrees. The problem was that with most boots there was no way to fix it. In most cases, the only option was to change to a different boot or install cants, usually under the binding. Today sole planing is often done so skiers don’t have to cant all their skis. In my view, cants were better than no cants when cuffs could not be adjusted. But cants can also cause problems. I used cants for a short period of time until Crazy Canuck, Dave Murray, connected me with Lange USA and I was able to get a supply of raw boot parts including cuffs with no rivet holes. Using these parts and a fair amount of ingenuity I was able to set up forward lean and cuff cant to the racer’s specification. I will do a post at some point showing the extreme measures I had to to through to get forward lean and cuff cant right for some females. When I did this for female racers, especially downhillers, they could glide like crazy and literally crush their competitors who were running on their inside edges. One racer who used cants to advantage was Stenmark. From what I can tell he was a very smart racer who knew exactly what he was doing and probably found the ineptness of his competition laughable. Kathy Kreiner, who lived close to me for a few years, trained with Stenmark. He had cants on the soles of his boots, high side out. If my recollection serves me correctly, at one point Warren Witherall (If You Can’t Ski Cant) was reported to have told Stenmark that he had his cants the wrong way. This was at a time when Stenmark was winning races by seconds. I tried this cant arrangement with some technical skiers with great success. But I am not a big fan of cants except in unique situations.

  10. I have a Twitter account. But I am not using it right now. Glad you are enjoying my blog. I will be posting new material in a few days. I will start to get to the really interesting material in a few weeks.

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