On December 9, 2016, Simon Zachhuber from Austria posted the following comment on my blog.
Dear David! While researching for a university-project (FH-Salzburg, Austria) I discovered your blog! Clearly you are an expert on ski boots, and I thought maybe you can provide some feedback! At least it’s worth a try
I’m a product designer and our task is to analyze a specific ski boot and try to figure out ways to improve it! The ski boot we work on has a new concept of dealing with the occuring forces. Instead of providing stability and flex with plastic shells, the forces are applied to a metal spring. So the area of the tong and the shin doesn’t have to be covered with hard plastic, but with leather or fabric. You can see the concept on their website http://www.freemotion.cc
I am currently working on a project as a student for the FH Salzburg, Austria! We have the task of analyzing a specific ski boot and implementing improvements! Since this is a short project and we are not experts on ski boots, I wanted to ask you for profound feedback on this boot! It can be seen on the website http://www.freemotion.cc
The boot’s concept is that instead of having a hardplastic-shell to deal with the forces, it uses a metal spring that starts at the forefoot and goes through the ankle-axis all the way back over the heel! We already tested it and were quite surprised, how well it worked, but maybe you can add a few thoughts that come to your mind when you check the boot?
I know, it’s very hard to give feedback without having the boot to test, but maybe you can still give some feedback? Thank you very much!!!
With greetings from Austria
I replied to Simon by email
Greetings from Whistler, BC Canada.
I would be glad to assist you in any way I can with your project.
Do you know of the work of Dr. Martin Pfeiffer of the University of Salzburg? He was committed to the development of a ski boot designed along anatomical principles. Two Canadian radiologists of Austrian descent made me aware of Dr. Pfeiffer’s work in 1988 when they gave me a copy of Der Schu Im Sport. Part 6, The Ski Boot, features a chapter by Dr. Pfeiffer called Kinematics of the Foot in the Ski Boot. Dr. Martin Pfeiffer was a source of valuable knowledge that influenced my work. I had personal communication with him in the early ‘90s.
Dr Pfeiffer concluded his chapter by stating, “This goal (a ski boot designed along anatomical principles) has not yet been achieved”. I do not know whether he is still with us. But I would appreciate you recognizing his contribution to skiing by making his vision a reality and by recognizing his work.
Due to the urgency of Simon’s deadline (which was fortunately later extended to January 17, 2017), I made providing my assistance a priority with the following series of posts.
NEW AUSTRIAN SKI BOOT: THE FREEMOTION – http://wp.me/p3vZhu-1CB
SIMON RESPONDS TO MY PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON THE FREEMOTION SKI BOOT – http://wp.me/p3vZhu-1D9
POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS FOR THE FREEMOTION SKI BOOT – http://wp.me/p3vZhu-1Dt
THE FREEMOTION SKI BOOT: FLEXURAL BEHAVIOUR – http://wp.me/p3vZhu-1FB
FREEMOTION FLEX CURVE OPTIONS – PART 1 – http://wp.me/p3vZhu-1Gj
FREEMOTION FLEX CURVE OPTIONS – PART 2 – http://wp.me/p3vZhu-1Gy
FREEMOTION FLEX CURVE OPTIONS – PART 3 – http://wp.me/p3vZhu-1GI
On January 18, 2017, the following video was posted on YouTube on the FreeMotion site with the text below translated from German.
Kooperation Freemotion mit der FH Kuchl
The results of our successful cooperation with FH Kuchl are here! We are delighted about the great input of the students and professors. We are already working on the implementation of the ideas. Once again a big thank you to the students #Feelgoodskiboot
I sincerely hope that my efforts have assisted the students of FH Kuchl. The design of the ski boot needs fresh young thinking and a new direction with design based on the functional requirements of the human system. The most satisfying aspect of the design exercise at FH Kuchl was to see the large female component with students Marlene Arabjan and Evelyn Obermuller taking an active role.
Gut gemacht Simon Zachhuber und die anderen studenten von FH Kuchl!
Viel Gluck und Best Wunsche