Alignment: Technique vs Canting

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Alignment: Technique vs Canting

Postby jbotti » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:25 am

This topic has been discussed often by Harald, Diana and other PMTS coaches. It is often hard to tell what is poor technique (under developed/insufficient PMTS movements) vs what is structural in one's body. All those that have had their alignment done by HSS know the large number of measurements that go into an alignment assessment and HSS is the first to remind everyone that what measures so in the shop is not always the correct answer once out on the hill. And refinements are made in camps and in private lessons once they can see one's skiing.

I am a great case study for the difference between measurements in the shop and the correct canting once out on the hill. I broke my right ankle many years ago and it was set wrong and it is set 12degrees or so turned out. This makes me quite knocked kneed on my right side. I measure for 4 degrees of shimming (out) to correct my alignment issue. And I skied at 3.5-4 degrees out (depending on which boot) for years. But several years ago I started skiing regularly with the appropriate level of CA in all my turns. When we get hip CA, we are externally rotating the hip (as much as it will go) and this prevents the stance foot knee from dropping inside (into that A frame position). Harald talks about great skiers from yesteryears on straight skis before anyone was doing any alignment work, and all the good ones that were knock kneed use extreme levels of CA to prevent the knee from dropping in. So quite interestingly I am now skiing with 1.75 degrees of canting (out) and I still measure for 4 degrees. This is a great example of how good movements are improving a structural alignment issue. And btw, If I had any more canting out, I would start to be over-canted and all the issues that come with that, with big difficulty in rolling over to the new edge.

At a visit years ago to a non HSS boot shop, they did some grinding work on my boots and then measured me in shop using a plum-bob. They got my right foot correct (at 4 degrees out) but they were also convinced that my left boot needed 4 degrees out which would have been horrific because I ski at .5 out on that side.

I think this a great case study and why on snow assessment matters especially as one improves with the PMTS movement patterns.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Re: Alignment: Technique vs Canting

Postby HighAngles » Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:15 am

I am finding this season that you must be careful with your on-slope testing of your fore/aft alignment to ensure that you take into account all the typical slope angles (steepness) you tend to ski. Last season I had determined that 2.0-2.5mm of binding delta worked best for me in combination with 16* of forward lean on my boots. This season we dealt with a low snow fall which meant the steeper slopes did not open for a long while. I started moving more toward 1.5mm and even had one set of skis at 1.0mm. Once the steeper slopes opened up, I realized I had gone far too flat in my setups and I'm now returning to 2.0-2.5mm and have started testing 3.0mm.

What still surprises me is how obvious 1.0mm of binding delta change is. My BSL is 295mm and 1.0mm of binding delta has a significant impact on my skiing.

BTW - For those that may not be aware, if you ski Fischer skis that have either the Curv Booster plates or the Race Track rail (similar to the PowerRail), note that both of these setups have negative delta at the plate/rail (of about 2.0mm). These setups subtract from the delta of the bindings you're putting on them. I knew about the Curv Booster, but was recently surprised to find this same situation in the Race Track rails.
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Re: Alignment: Technique vs Canting

Postby noobSkier » Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:18 am

To add my own experience to this, I was over-canting for years to compensate for what appeared to be knocked-knees. It solved the problem but also brought with it a bunch of undesirable effects. When I switched to a neutral setup, the knocked-knees came back but it was temporary. When I learned how to wield my tipping in the new setup my stance went back to fully parallel, and without all the crappy effects from being over-canted.
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Re: Alignment: Technique vs Canting

Postby Max_501 » Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:33 am

HighAngles wrote:I am finding this season that you must be careful with your on-slope testing of your fore/aft alignment to ensure that you take into account all the typical slope angles (steepness) you tend to ski. Last season I had determined that 2.0-2.5mm of binding delta worked best for me in combination with 16* of forward lean on my boots. This season we dealt with a low snow fall which meant the steeper slopes did not open for a long while. I started moving more toward 1.5mm and even had one set of skis at 1.0mm. Once the steeper slopes opened up, I realized I had gone far too flat in my setups and I'm now returning to 2.0-2.5mm and have started testing 3.0mm.


What method are you using to compare the results of the different setups?
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Re: Alignment: Technique vs Canting

Postby HighAngles » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:11 pm

Max_501 wrote:
HighAngles wrote:I am finding this season that you must be careful with your on-slope testing of your fore/aft alignment to ensure that you take into account all the typical slope angles (steepness) you tend to ski. Last season I had determined that 2.0-2.5mm of binding delta worked best for me in combination with 16* of forward lean on my boots. This season we dealt with a low snow fall which meant the steeper slopes did not open for a long while. I started moving more toward 1.5mm and even had one set of skis at 1.0mm. Once the steeper slopes opened up, I realized I had gone far too flat in my setups and I'm now returning to 2.0-2.5mm and have started testing 3.0mm.


What method are you using to compare the results of the different setups?


Mostly the resulting ski performance (due to lack of video). I know the mantra, but getting video isn't always available. So I have to live with what I can for now and wait to get video validation later. I carry multiple shim sizes in my pocket and have been continually testing throughout the season. Hopefully I will be able to get some video before the end of the season.
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Re: Alignment: Technique vs Canting

Postby Max_501 » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:14 pm

For other readers it's important to note that HSS leverages the experience of their highly trained coaches and video to confirm the results of this type of change.
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