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Ski boot canting - bogus or what?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Hilo's alter ego, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Hilo's alter ego

    Hilo's alter ego First Runs

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    So, here's the topic- is ski boot canting bogus or what?

    My personal view is it isn't bogus. I have it and it works. I don't think it's needed for everyone, or indeed for most people. But if folks biomechanics are different to the assumed norm then I reckon there's a definite place for it.

    Some folk might say (and I'm being pre-emptive) it's an intemediate crutch. They'll point to the Hard folk as if Harb invented it. But that's not to forget Harb was (as I recall) a World cup race coach where canting is commonplace. Jean Claude Killy was using it in the 60's and 70's and he's hardly a dud.

    Some people will say good coaching can get around biomechanical issues and in some cases that's possibly true. But you could also say that you could ski powder perfectly on slalom skis with enough training but that doesn't mean you should. It's all about selecting the right equipment for the job.

    I personally spent 2 weeks everyday with coaches some years ago working on technique before they recommended canting. It was a 'last resort' option in their minds. It worked instantly, and I've used it since.
     
  2. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    They're my thoughts pretty much.

    I am knock kneed, and taught myself to get around it, but since I got it looked at I much prefer skiing on flat skis.

    Canting won't fix a poor skier. It will give a lower end skier one less barrier to contend with, and it might be the icing on the cake for a top skier.
     
    #2 CarveMan, Jul 14, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  3. Little Tiger

    Little Tiger A Local

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    Re HH ummm I'm not sure he was buzzy... He WAS on the Canadian Team but FIS have no results for him... We can find folks that we know did OK in races from the same or older years... so we assume HH never did any good... HH will not post his results at all(folks have asked) so assumption still stands.... +1 knows race folks on Canadian team when HH was - they were not very good... HH was on Canadian technical team when Canada was known for speed skiers not technical skiers...
    When he says he knows all the coaches... well I skied with a national team coach(and best friend of GRocca when HH was touting Roccas technical skills) who said "harald WHO?" I think HH likes to talk up HH.... we prefer not to help him with the process of rewriting the past...
     
  4. Little Tiger

    Little Tiger A Local

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    Re canting/alignment.... there is a bit(lot) to be gained from this process... for the average person there is a LOT more to be gained from learning some technique... some folks will have some difficulty with some technical skills due to alignment... most just due to lack of technical skills...

    When you reach a certain point the alignment can hold you back and fixing it can give good gains... I'd mostly argue about exactly where the point is that it is a reasonable return - not if it can be effective...

    I find fore/aft alignment more of an issue than lateral generally...
     
  5. Hilo's alter ego

    Hilo's alter ego First Runs

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    While I'm (clearly) not across the detail of HH's career I agree he's divisive and a self promoter (in a bad way), particularly how he promotes by denigrating his competitors, which is never a good look. HH's promotion of canting as a cure all might actually be bad for its reputation.

    Having said all that Peter Stone did the canting on my current boots and I have no problem with what he did at all. Indeed, it's very good. Mind you, it doesn't seem to be much different to what was done in Canada many years earlier on my prior boots. Not a big difference on snow for either method.
     
  6. Footpro

    Footpro Hard Yards

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    Boot canting is a very interesting topic. Boot fitters will use the word canting when adjusting the upper cuff, and in some circles, canting describes an adjustment to the sole of the boot. Another form of canting involves heating the boot shell and modifying the boot flex patterns to suit special leg shapes.

    The thing to understand when considering shell modification (sole grinding and heating shells) is to address the impact of muscle tension on the leg while flexing in a ski stance - i.e someone with tight IT bands and tight gluts (bum muscles) may appear to rotate their leg outwards during flexion. After observing this pattern a bootfitter may decide that a sole grind is required, when really some regular stretching and a bit of strengthening may have an equally positive effect.

    Where there are tight muscle issues, there has to be lax muscle issues. This needs to be considered before embarking on such a major boot modification.

    In cases like being bow legged (structural; tibia and fibula are bent) canting may be a solution.
     
  7. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal Ski Pass: Gold

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    As someone who is reasonably bow legged, I have played around with the canting on my boots and certainly feel I ski better with a certain amount of "angle adjustment" of my boots.
    In reality the difference might be zero but like I said "feel I ski better" with it!
     
  8. Footpro

    Footpro Hard Yards

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    Having the cuff adjustment set is a must. If the cuff angle and leg angle are greatly different you will waist a lot of energy keeping your skis flat. There are a number of techniques used to set the cuff angle. Most common is standing in the shell only, supported by your custom insole and checking that the leg isn't closer to one side of the shell. Then adjust the cuff left or right to evenly match the gaps on either side. We use a different system where you stand a pressure plate in your boots, at your correct width of stance and then assess whether you are evenly balanced left to right, front to back.
     
  9. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's basically what I did with some minor tinkering while on the hill.
     
    #9 TOFF, Jul 17, 2009
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  10. TOFF

    TOFF Im kind of a big deal Ski Pass: Gold

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    Thinking back I also "clipped in" on flat floor at home and made sure the ski sat flat on the floor!
    Worked well.
     
  11. Hacski

    Hacski Guest

    They made a difference for me. But they don't make the difference. That's something else.

    [​IMG]
     
    #11 Hacski, Jul 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  12. Footguy

    Footguy Hard Yards

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    Surely canting is only necessary when there is a structural issue that needs accommodating. As mentioned above, foot in it's theoretical neutral, is the longitudinal axis of tibia aligned with the longitudinal axis of the boot....

    Can't think when else it would be required...?
     
  13. h2oskier

    h2oskier One of Us

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    yes. mostly done for tibial varum (bow legs) or valgum (knock knees).

    i will post a more detailed post on my take on 'canting' in a few days once i get some things together
     
    #13 h2oskier, Jul 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  14. Phalanx

    Phalanx Hard Yards

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    That's just lifters which are designed to raise the boot and lower snow contact in turns. However it causes problems with extra room inside the boot (as the base plate has to be lowered). This means a lot of work has to be done to "push" the top of the foot down into the boot.

    Canting is miss used and understood constantly through out the industry. Someone came to me the other day telling me how a guy had canted his boots to make them flat when he stands in them by this guy in Hotham by shaving the inside and padding. The problem with this is the boots he was using were design not to be flat with the foot. There are very few boots design to be flat, and none of them sold to public. I have the same boot created by the manufacture with different angles and they ski very differently. The reason they are created differently are for different uses.

    There is 3 main ways of achieving it, all have different results. Cuff angles changes are less recommended, cause they cause problems with alignment. When you start pushing the boot the in different directions, you achieve different results. Everyone will be a little different, but we are talking a part of a degree, not the multiple like is possible.

    The next way is the base section (the actual angle the base of the boot is made). Some brands grind it then put lifters on, others make the base with different angles to choose from. This is the main used one, however requires lots of tools as you must also regrind where the boot sits in the bindings to match this new angle. Changing this will not effect how the boot works, but how it interacts with the skis.

    Last is internal, which includes liner, grinding and tongue. This is strongly discouraged as you can change your flow of energy to destroy how a boot works. Foam liners are especially bad at this.

    Basically a flat boot is used for speed, cause it's not aggressive. Some people still rather a bit of aggressiveness still in speed events and have a bit (some in cuff and more common on the base). The most boots come at an angle, this is to create more of a turn on the ski than the person is doing. These changes in angles also normally come with changes in plastics and stiffness. There needs to be a balance between the angle and aggressiveness caused by it, and this is determined by the use of the boot.
     
    #14 Phalanx, Jul 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  15. h2oskier

    h2oskier One of Us

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    I said id get round to this..
    Hi footpro, I have a few questions for you if you don’t mind.
    1. What do you consider to be ‘correct width of stance’ and how do you determine this for someone?
    2. How is balance determined in the boot? The forces placed on the boot and lower limb are vastly different from that of a standing position (even a forward flexed position), than an average intermediate-advanced skiing position. Especially when considering center of mass positioning while skiing.
    3. I am curious regarding the use of a pressure plate in a boot. In a perfect theoretical situation, it is IMO that being in sub-talar neutral (the joint between your ankle bones and heel bone) is the ideal position for the foot in a boot, therefore allowing for a neutral calcaneal position (meaning that the heel bone is at 90 degrees to the ground). Apart from accommodating for deformities such as a plantarflexed 1st ray or forefoot supinatus/varus (this means that the long bones and forefoot don’t sit parallel with the heel when the rear foot is in a neutral position) that may change the foots positioning in the use of an orthotic device, what is the benefit of doing a pressure analysis in a boot that can’t be determined from a normal standing position (either NCSP or RCSP) and non weight bearing foot assessments?

    In nearly every biomechanical article i could find in a quick 10 minutes of searching on skiing in databases and text books, this paper was referenced in nearly all of them. Its a little old in terms of some of the skiing theory, but the principles regarding the biomechanics are still very relevant IMO. Many will find it heavy going but it is worth a read. It says most things better than i probably could in regards to canting..

    Thoughts? [​IMG]
     
    #15 h2oskier, Aug 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  16. tanman

    tanman Hard Yards

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    HI Guys

    I have been fortunate enough to have ski with HH on a few occassion and been to a number of the Harb Camps. HH is a incredible skier and I don't think there is anyone that can even come close in OZ to his techinical brillance. This is not only coming from me but the guys I free ski with who are CSIA level 3 and 4 that have adopted his system of teaching.Although I agree that he like self promotion. His system is indeed so different to traditional teaching technique. But that is another topic in itself.

    In regards to boots canintg /balancing ..shimming. Harald first did my setup 10 years ago and I have had it fiddled with a few times over those years to fine tune it. Yes, I agree movement patterns are important to a skier not only alignment. that where that teaching part of HH system is vital. But what i found was that doing the alignment improved my balance a huge amount. I was not fighting the balance on the ski anymore and the legs didn't burn from lactic acid. It is interesting to find out that most people have some sort of alignment problems . So my belief is that whether you are a interemediate or advance skier wanting to improve alignment is vital for that plus the right lessons. Balance is VITAL I cannot streess that enough. Like everywhere else in the world there are good coaches and mediocre ones.

    Last week I was free skiing a couple of ski coaches in Mt Hotham who have links with HH. They introduce me to Bert Leibetseder of Skimetric ie http://www.skimetricacademy.com...at Zirky's. one of them was having his alignment fine tuned. I spent 4 days with him and he has great CV in the ski industry both in OZ and Austria. He been part of the OZ ski scene while some of us here were still in nappies. And he also mentioned his healthy respect for HH ie techinical ability and system as he has ski with him before.

    To cut a long story short. I went throught Bert's alignment program on the last day of my four day trip to Mt Hotham. It is a 3 hour process but because my foot was complex it took longer. I feel Bert has taken this alignment and canting to a different levels. He now places canting strip within the boot so that I can now remove all the shimming under my skis. He also did alot of grinding to the boot board and internals of my boots. I ski in a Head Raptor RD130 raceboot which has a 95mm last which is a extremely narrow and tight fit which I want and have suffered some degree of pain using it. He got my boots fitting so well and and balanced and I couldn't believe how good it could feel skiing after all of that was done. I can guarantee you is was a noticable difference and I already had previous work done by the HH but I think since then Bert has taken it a level higher.He addressed my forefoot valgus and and something to do with my big toe flexion and flexion in my angles. the response i get from the boot now is like totally different... and Mind you is was $595 later but worth every cent. So if you are looking for the absolutely best alignment that can be done is OZ .go to Mt Hotham or St Anton. Bert's work is more than world class. I am totally sold on his work..he is a perfectionist and quizz him about skiing ..his knowledge base endless. I learnt so much from him over the 4 days.
     
    #16 tanman, Aug 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  17. Hilo's alter ego

    Hilo's alter ego First Runs

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    Bert IS a guru and until now I had no idea he was doing boot stuff.

    Mind you, there are plenty of other people doing good boot work (including canting where necessary) including Jindy Sports and (now retired from bootfitting) Peter Stone (a Harb devotee).

    In another 3-5 years I'll need new boots and loathe as I am to pay the big bucks I'll go to the place which offers the best solutions, as hopefully I'll have them for 10 years.
     
  18. tanman

    tanman Hard Yards

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    Pete Stone AKA Stonie was actually with me there in Mt Hotham for 3 days. We freeskied and did some training over that period and he was there looking at Marty get a alignment fine tune with Skimetric too .He was very impressed by Bert's work. He was learning stuff Bert had developed and reckoned he has move Boot alignment another step further. Bert did alot more work inside my boot blowing and grinding and alot of work on the boot board too. I thought my boots was fitting ok before that but after that is was like a totally new set-up. Because of my ankle flexibility he lower me alot into the boot and change my ramp angle too. This is so important for Fore aft balance.

    Mind you Pete and Bert are good friends and go back a long way.

    Pete did my last footbed and alignment, before that Scotty Burns and then it was HH himself. Pete ackonwledge this was brillant stuff. Bert also take a impression of your foot as record and if you ever loss the boots he can make one up exactly like the previous one. If you are a believer in alignment go to Bert , is costs $595 this year worth ever cent. For me the boot is not only for comfort but also importantly performance and responsiveness. And because he is actually on the snow if there are any issues in comfort or perforamance they can be fixed there on the spot....most boots needs a fair bit of tinkering to get right,as you probably know
     
  19. Footpro

    Footpro Hard Yards

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    Sorry for the delayed response. We would use the width of the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine as a measurement to align with the lateral edge of the ski boots. Sure, width of stance will vary based on so many environment factors. ASIS is a great parameter to refer back to; it is also the most efficient position to stand in for load absorption.

    Pressure plate technology is not ground breaking. There are high street retailers using PP to assess foot type based on static, motionless, sometimes walking impressions. For Footpro the true value of PP technology is much more then areas of high and low pressure. Mapping the speed and velocity of the pressure and relating it to soft tissue tension and weakness, or possible structural characteristics is our main objective. The system we use (http://www.amcube.net/en/produits/produits/footwork-pro.html) was selected for its ability to map pressure while flexing the boots in a selected ski stance. This recording of can be done over 1 second or up to 1 minute. Observing the pressure migration across the base of support is very relative. During the exercise we also we also observe left and right foot centre of force migration, and relate that information to the proprioceptive capabilities of the right and left side ie. Postural sway. We are observing that the degree of force migration, or postural sway increases once the foot is shod in a ski boot. Then carried out boot modifications and inclusion of insole device help reduce the degree of sway, improve balance and the clients on snow efficiency.

    In terms of accuracy of measurements the use of this technology and the information it provides is very helpful, when interpreted correctly. My attitude toward this system is shaped from years using so many other alignment systems in both America and Europe. The guys at HH have developed a system that works. Masterfit have another system that appears to do the job. Footpro have a fresh approach to solving the same old problem. So much of our work relies on the foot in a neutral position, being supported by a ski specific device. How you achieve that position is up to the technician. Baring weight, semi or unweighted??? Such a great topic that inspires conversations and questions.
     
  20. h2oskier

    h2oskier One of Us

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    What/who is HH everyone is speaking of??
     
  21. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Harald Harb

    Quite a controversial figure in the ski teaching world.
     
  22. Little Tiger

    Little Tiger A Local

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    Yes according to HH no-one else can teach proper skiing... and all the WC coaches ask HH for advice... [​IMG]
     
    #22 Little Tiger, Aug 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  23. h2oskier

    h2oskier One of Us

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    [​IMG]

    Ive no idea when it comes to the whos who of the snow biz...

    What could be more interesting than biomechanics?! love it. [​IMG]
     
    #23 h2oskier, Aug 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  24. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Really? I can't think of anything worse. I love talking about skiing when on snow but technique discussions on the internet bore me to tears.
     
  25. h2oskier

    h2oskier One of Us

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    [​IMG] Maybe its just because im interested in feet. [​IMG] Plus much waterskiing technique and theory is based on snow theories. This guy started a whole big thing about using centre of mass, counter-rotation etc to be able to ski better. so i got rid of the snowboard and started skiing [​IMG]
     
    #25 h2oskier, Aug 4, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  26. Little Tiger

    Little Tiger A Local

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    h2oskier... check my sig... go to Online articles... you are free to post questions... (the only articles atm are general ones written for forums plus a few answers to peoples questions in the Ask the Coach section)...

    there will be more articles once he has finished editing work on final 2 DVDs... but I'm sure he will answer you if you write a specific question...
     
  27. h2oskier

    h2oskier One of Us

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    thanks for that LT.

    came across this article today at the age
     
    #27 h2oskier, Aug 13, 2009
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  28. Hilo's alter ego

    Hilo's alter ego First Runs

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    That's the stuff that Tanman was referring to earlier with Bert L.

    Next time I need boots I'll definitely see Bert, and probably call him first before doing anything.

    Hopefully though that's another 3-5 years away.
     
  29. Phalanx

    Phalanx Hard Yards

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    Those are just Head test skis (they don't put a top sheet on them cause they don't have time). They come in many different flex, constructions and side cuts. You can ask for set ones, but it would be cause they have them already made and don't want to use them.
     
    #29 Phalanx, Aug 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013