20/21 World Cup on TV?

Re: 20/21 World Cup on TV?

Postby ErikCO » Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:03 pm

HeluvaSkier wrote:To assume that reproducing alignment from one season to the next is a foreign concept to them is probably an insult to their experience.


Agreed. I would have thought the best in the world would be able to do that. But, then again, we could say the same thing about PMTS! :)

In response to jbotti's comment, do race boots actually change that much year to year? Serious question there. I have no idea.
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Re: 20/21 World Cup on TV?

Postby HeluvaSkier » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:02 pm

ErikCO wrote:In response to jbotti's comment, do race boots actually change that much year to year? Serious question there. I have no idea.


I guess the answer is... it depends.

Keep in mind that the boots a WC skier has access to are vastly different from what you'll find in a shop, or even what you've ever seen before. Pretty much every brand has 'their boot' and then a version of 'their boot' that is a copy of a Lange, and a version of 'their boot' that is a copy of a Nordica. This is why we see Head boots with Lange buckles and not the traditional fishbone buckles. Note: I fitted and built a pair these "Lange" Heads for one of the best masters racers in the country last season so I know a bit about these boots... I've only seen a few examples of them ever, but they are special (170 flex Lange/Heads, 180 flex Dobies, etc.). So, who knows what mold and cuff MS is actually skiing in. She may have multiple molds, multiple flexes, multiple stances, multiple cuffs, etc. She may have 20+ pairs of boots every season for all we know... which one would you replicate for the opening SL? Probably only MS knows that for sure... and she may not even realize it until the 4th gate.

As for boots year over year, they tend not to change that much, but they do change (assuming we know what boot she's even in). I have 3 different versions of Fischer plug boots (some publicly available, some not): essentially every evolution between 2008 and 2020 (skipping the Pringle-like Vacuum boots). There have been meaningful changes to the molds and stance over that time. Interestingly, I tend to align statically about the same in each version with an occasional cuff difference (still have to snow-test the most recent Podium).

I also keep one or two versions of the Nordica plug in my boot stable, and it tends to align similar to the Fischer (they also fit similarly), but the cuffs tend to not have to move as far on the Dobie. The Nordica cuffs are an interesting one... over time they have changed 'standard' height by 1-2cm (keep in mind most plugs come with different cuff options... high, low, speed, etc.)... The most recent version I have is a higher cuff that I prefer... some of the older, shorter cuffs just didn't work well for my preferences. I currently have a low cuff and a normal cuff version that I ski. FWIW, the Nordica Dobie WC is my favorite 'no surprises' boot... they are pretty consistent year over year, and I can always be certain that this boot will work for me.

My quiver of boots aside, some boots change pretty meaningfully... Tecnica has had a crazy evolution from the circa-2000 Formula, only to settle on the Dobie design... Dalbello's change between the Scorpion and DRS (also a Dobie) was one of the biggest I've experienced (Scorpion was awful for me, personally, but a good lesson in fitting a boot)... Atomic has experimented with multiple designs over the years... some were good (RTi)... some garbage (carbon spine)... But I don't assume that the boots I see on club racers or in shops are the boots being skied on the WC, and certainly not by the current best skier in the world.

One thing is for sure... can't go wrong with a Nordica Dobie WC or a Lange WC (believe HSS carries both in addition to Head and Dalbello lineup).
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Re: 20/21 World Cup on TV?

Postby Marc » Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:37 am

As I understand it from listening to the pod series, Marcel, and during the last 4(?) years also Mikaela, themself experiment and determine what must be done to their boots. And the mold is the same for WC 170 that you find in the shops.

The pod series with Matt Manser, global product manager at Atomic: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5652#p56738

Read the chat for each pod episode with Matt (onenerdykid) to learn more e.g if and how the real WC boots differ from the ones you can buy.
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Re: 20/21 World Cup on TV?

Postby HeluvaSkier » Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:10 am

Marc wrote:As I understand it from listening to the pod series, Marcel, and during the last 4(?) years also Mikaela, themselves experiment and determine what must be done to their boots. And the mold is the same for WC 170 that you find in the shops.


I've listened to the podcasts. It was nice to see someone begin to lift the cover from the industry that many of us have simply become attuned to. I think it is naïve to assume the boot these athletes are/were always using is the off-the-shelf 170 or same mold (internal and external) we can buy (see any abducted Atomic boots for sale?). Atomic wants you to think that though (hence a 170 label on their best publicly-available race boot). I'm quite familiar with 170 Atomic boots. They are not much more aggressive than a Dobie 150 or a Lange ZC, and not in the same league as a Dobie 180. Compared with the real WC boots I've had the chance to see and/or work on (from guys with real WC starts and actual WC points), the Atomic off-the-shelf 170 is pedestrian... Good boot; yes, I think so... One of the 'special' unobtainium boots that "don't exist"... No.
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Re: 20/21 World Cup on TV?

Postby Marc » Fri Nov 27, 2020 12:48 am

I interpredted it as different degrees of adduction/abduction was applied with punching/grinding to the inside of the boot. Marcel's foot is 27.5 and he skis a 25.5 boot, grinded/punched to size 26.5. I'm guessing they moved the front of the foot to the little toe edge (abducted) in increments of a millimeter.

If they have the same mold they can still play with different plastics, cuff designs, hinge point location, cuff rotation and forward lean (Marcel has 18 degrees).
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Re: 20/21 World Cup on TV?

Postby thatguy_onthehill » Mon Nov 30, 2020 6:49 am

The comment about missing 300 days was a bit exaggerated. I watched her train for two weeks in August and she had been there for two already. That said, even with the best of salting, the conditions could only be described as "soft" and not nearly what she'd have likely seen at Southern hemisphere or European camps.

During my time there, the Atomic folks were dialing in GS skis and, "the boots are set." If I can figure out video posting here, you will see the same things you've observed at Levi, just not as pronounced given the softer conditions.
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