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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Boot stiffness as related to ski stiffness?

    A lot of winters the hill behind my house gets enough snow for a handful of mellow tours. Yesterday I did a couple of laps on my MTN explore 95s in my TLT6s. I was skiing without tongues, but buckled the boots pretty tight. Conditions were about 8-10" of powder with little base. The combo felt like it typically does - light, flexy, and it bucks a little. It was thin and I was sinking quite a bit, so I decided to take a wider ski the next time for better float.

    Today I took out a really old pair of lotus 120s with the same boots and they (the boots) felt way better. Unlike the explores, I didn't get bucked around not did the boots fold under me. I was reminded that I would sometimes ski my RPCs with those boots and feel that they did just fine. It's on the softer skis that I feel that they struggle a bit.

    Anybody else notice the same thing? I would expect that a bigger, stiffer ski would be harder for that boot to handle, and have been pairing my softer, narrower skis with these softer boots. But it actually seemed to do better with a burlier ski.

    Anybody else come to this conclusion and ski light boots with bigger skis?

    Last edited by sethschmautz; 02-12-2019 at 12:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    I definitely think it’s the opposite as a ski has to bend to drive a turn so a stiffer boot allows more force to be put into the ski.

    Maybe you had more smooth conditions with more float and thats why it felt better?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Roadtrippin': At Whistler
    I think of it in terms of transmission via leverage.

    For example, if I want to dictate to a faraway non-tapered tip of a long charger ski mounted way back, then I want maximum transmission with stiff boots buckled tight, including a tightened high powerstrap. But if the surface becomes hard and bumpy enough towards the end of a ski day, then I can begin to lose that battle of transmission---and then the hard bumpy surface can use all that tight transmission to dictate to my shin (ouch!). And when that happens, then I accept defeat and decrease the transmission by loosening the upper buckles and/or power strap.

    Ski Lending Library: BORROW my skis at Whistler

    - TRADE your heavy BILLYGOATS or PROTESTS for my lightweight versions at this thread

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    A different take:
    How (where) you ski.,. A more centered stance opposed to a forward one.
    The Stiffer the ski, the stiffer a boot needed. Not necessarily. Ever more ski shape dependent

    If you’re more of a driver of the ski and heavily rely on tongue pressure to do the work – a stiffer setup required

    Add in more demanding terrain or conditions – more boot

    A more centered posture and vis-à-vis more reliant on body mass angle of attack to generate power to a ski the less (stiff) boot required. The more spot on the (boot) fit the better. Sloppy tourer no bueno.

    I suspect yawl that make a touring rig work have decent lateral stiffness
    "knowledgeable in escapades of the flesh"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    I've found in my experience that a softer boot is definitely capable enough to drive a relatively stiff ski, but this is entirely dependent on two things. First, your technique as a skier, because if you have good technique, and are a strong capable skier, you can ski pretty much any kind of boot/ski setup, and the gear at that point just makes it easier to do certain things that you want to do, and more fun. And second the conditions. However, my most interesting finding, which was contrary to my initial school of thought, was that, when skiing a lighter more playful or squirrely ski, especially in variable to poor conditions I prefer a stiffer boot. I found that the stiffer boot helped to keep the ski under control and gave me a better feel from the ski. This is all just my own experience and opinion so YMMV

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    I've had similar experiences and, although I am no sagely skier with thousands of days and dozens of pairs of boots under my belt, I think it depends on snow quality and the type of ski. I think my Praxis Concepts 177s ski extremely easily with a light boot (black diamond prime and Atomic Backland Carbon), more so than my 173 Stokes. I've skied 165 karhu guides in mediocre snow with Primes and thought skiing my 191 Billy Goats with Dukes was easier. Personally, I find "new school" skis with funky rocker and sidecut to ski really easily in soft snow with light boots, even if they're long and/or heavy. Once you get into harder snow or crud, I think that changes. Perhaps it comes down to this - if you can drive the ski from a centered position, it's easy enough in light boots. As soon as you have to put real force into the tips or tails (which you do when skiing narrower, usually more traditionally shaped skis in deep snow), it feels more difficult. Another thing is sometimes floating means you can surf more from the center instead of having to push through the tails? Idk, it's an interesting phenomenon, and I was just thinking about it skiing earlier today. Need to mount my 177 concepts back up, because they are phenomenally easy to ski with any boot you choose, especially since they're a little short for me.

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