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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Loomis, CA
    Posts
    10

    90% of people buy boots that are too stiff

    TLDR: buy some medium flex boots unless you race.

    I just bought a new pair of boots and have to make this PSA.

    I worked in ski shops and on the hill from age 17 to 27, selling, as a tech, and shooting video for the advanced ski school. I'm proficient at skiing all conditions on and off piste. I enjoy all kinds of skiing (park, race, etc.) but focus on big mountain powder and cliff drops. I'm big and ski aggressively.

    For years I skied in race boots because they were the best boots (fitting and performance wise) you could buy.

    The last pair I bought a few years ago was at a shop that was going out of business and I got a great deal on a pair the fit me great. I brought them home, googled the boot and was surprised they were an "intermediate" boot. They were exactly the same as the "expert" boot but with a softer flex. I figured I'd give them a shot and I loved them. I can ski all day and my feet never hurt and they work great in most conditions.

    In race training and lessons a drill you do is to ski with your boots completely unbuckled. The people who complain that they can't do it are the ones who's weight is too far back. It teaches you to ski balanced and then you don't need your boots cranked down.

    When you ski you want your weight forward with your shins pressing against the boot tongue. If you can't bend your boot forward enough your weight won't be in the right place. About the only time I can press stiff boots far enough forward is on a race course or hard snow at high speed. I mainly try to ski powder, a stiff boot will not flex enough to stay balanced. Even on hard snow a medium flex boot will bottom out it's flex range and you can still transfer power to the front of the ski when the cuff hits the lower shell.

    I just bought another pair of boots. I went to a few stores and tried on everything in my size. Almost all of the boots were 120 or more flex. I bet I'm more proficient than 90% of the skiers who buy boots there, but 90% of the boots were too stiff for me. I found a pair that fit me great, then found the softer flexing version (everything else the same) online for less than 1/2 the cost of the "expert" boot.

    I know park / freestyle riders have known this for years, but it seem like all mountain skiers are being sold boots that are way too stiff and getting overcharged for them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    the blue ribbon of death
    Posts
    549
    Well, this is going to be a SuperFun thread
    I'm back!!!!!!!!!!! Do I French Fry before Pizza?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    11,353
    100% agree.

    They got a name for the winners in the world

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Walpole NH
    Posts
    9,271
    Paging Bushwacka
    crab in my shoe mouth

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Salzburg, Austria
    Posts
    109
    Everyone should always ski the stiffest boot they can properly/adequately flex. For some people that might mean 90, for some others that might mean 130. All that skiing a softer boot will do is cause you to work harder for every movement, park skiing included.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    1,172
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFun View Post
    When you ski you want your weight forward with your shins pressing against the boot tongue.
    Wait. Shit. I've been doing this wrong all along.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    80
    What if you like to drink beer and are fat?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    1,219
    Lol

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    9,882
    Quote Originally Posted by adrian.bee View Post
    What if you like to drink beer and are fat?
    Thatís me, plus I ski aggressively when drunk. I find that stiff boots help me do that better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    3,311
    I find the skiing inconsistent snow like in the backcountry, a soft boot makes it harder to maintain fore aft balance

    Sent from my Redmi Note 8 Pro using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    635
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFun View Post
    I mainly try to ski powder,
    #metoo
    LIVE IS NOT A CHAIRLIFT

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    12,609
    Quote Originally Posted by onenerdykid View Post
    Everyone should always ski the stiffest boot they can properly/adequately flex. For some people that might mean 90, for some others that might mean 130. All that skiing a softer boot will do is cause you to work harder for every movement, park skiing included.
    This is America son. Keep your bone shaking Audi's and 130 flex boots over there. I'll take the plush ride of 1.5-3" lift kit and a pair of Full Tilts thank you.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,388
    I guess I'm in the 10%. Sweet.

    I'm in a pair of 120 Tecnicas that I bought because the fit is perfect (Ten.2 120s). The year after they came out with the Mach 1 HVL 130, which would be perfect since the 120s are too soft.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    T.ride
    Posts
    1,787
    Well yeah but.. it depends. Ski length, ski flex, camber profile, speed.. are just a few things to take into consideration.

    But yeah, most people tail pushing around their soul 7s at 12 mph tops, could probably ditch the 130 flex

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Alta
    Posts
    1,349
    Can I Dolphin turn in soft boots?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    23,124
    IMO boots that are too big is the bigger dilemma
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Tahoe>Missoula>Fort Collins
    Posts
    1,620
    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFun View Post
    I'm proficient at skiing all conditions on and off piste.
    do you prefer being piste-off or piste-on?


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    the blue ribbon of death
    Posts
    549
    Quote Originally Posted by altacoup View Post
    Can I Dolphin turn in soft boots?
    Not if you want to earn any BTC
    I'm back!!!!!!!!!!! Do I French Fry before Pizza?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Gaperville, CO
    Posts
    4,615
    Quote Originally Posted by onenerdykid View Post
    Everyone should always ski the stiffest boot they can properly/adequately flex. For some people that might mean 90, for some others that might mean 130. All that skiing a softer boot will do is cause you to work harder for every movement, park skiing included.
    WTF would you know about ski boots and performance?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    12,609
    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    WTF would you know about ski boots and performance?
    I know this is tongue in cheek, but if you've ever actually had a pair of Atomic boots there would be more truth to this question than you think. The Redsters with the faux carbon cuff were among the worst boots I ever owned.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hyde Park, Vt
    Posts
    336
    Quote Originally Posted by buttahflake View Post
    Paging Bushwacka
    I think most people thinking boots are too stiff are either low skilled or the boot is vastly out of alignment.

    if you skills arent low and you actually skiing in balance with hip behind feet and shoulders ahead of toes while gliding straight then the boot/binding ramp and forward lean should be set up so its just couple degree more upright than your ideal, letting you flex slightly into a good balance position and if the boot is stiff enough it will not over flex when and outside influence on our ski happens IE small bump or pile of crud or imperfection in the snow. If the boot is too upright it will have to be soft to let the skier flex their ankle into a more "ideal" position. If a boot is set up in a nearly ideal position in the for and aft plane than it can be ran with basically no ability to be flexxed. If a boot has too much forward lean/forward ramp the flex wont matter your quads will burn no matter what.

    The correct ramp angle/forward lean assuming a skier knows proper balancing (Weight on heel, toes lifted, ankle closing, knee flexxed, tail tucked shoulder forward spine rounded) is determind by the skiers tib/fib to femur length ratio. A longer Femur to Tib/Fib ratio usually means the skier need the heels higher than average, and a longer tib/fib to femur ration means that the skier need more toe lift. both the boot and binding come into play.

    The most sophisticated way of looking at shin contact, which does and should occur is that its an outcome and not a goal. its an outcome of correct alignment and skier moving forward enough in the apex of the turn that the boot and ski push back into them, many skier who think they need to "press" their shin into the front of their boot generally ski aft while accomplishing that "goal" they think should be accomplishing but they are not in balance are going down a fools errand of what balance is.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hyde Park, Vt
    Posts
    336
    Quote Originally Posted by onenerdykid View Post
    Everyone should always ski the stiffest boot they can properly/adequately flex. For some people that might mean 90, for some others that might mean 130. All that skiing a softer boot will do is cause you to work harder for every movement, park skiing included.
    agreed although I think even stiffer than 130 is great if the alignment is correct and the skier knows that they are doing.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Emerald City
    Posts
    151
    Oh no I bought into the 130 flex hype. I'm also 200# so figured I'm on the tailend of the curve though. Any good tests or indicators that you're in the right flex boot then?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hyde Park, Vt
    Posts
    336
    Quote Originally Posted by kathleenturneroverdrive View Post
    Wait. Shit. I've been doing this wrong all along.
    actually ....you have

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    12,609
    Quote Originally Posted by buttahflake View Post
    Paging Bushwacka
    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwacka View Post
    I think most people thinking boots are too stiff are either low skilled or the boot is vastly out of alignment.

    if you skills arent low and you actually skiing in balance with hip behind feet and shoulders ahead of toes while gliding straight then the boot/binding ramp and forward lean should be set up so its just couple degree more upright than your ideal, letting you flex slightly into a good balance position and if the boot is stiff enough it will not over flex when and outside influence on our ski happens IE small bump or pile of crud or imperfection in the snow. If the boot is too upright it will have to be soft to let the skier flex their ankle into a more "ideal" position. If a boot is set up in a nearly ideal position in the for and aft plane than it can be ran with basically no ability to be flexxed. If a boot has too much forward lean/forward ramp the flex wont matter your quads will burn no matter what.

    The correct ramp angle/forward lean assuming a skier knows proper balancing (Weight on heel, toes lifted, ankle closing, knee flexxed, tail tucked shoulder forward spine rounded) is determind by the skiers tib/fib to femur length ratio. A longer Femur to Tib/Fib ratio usually means the skier need the heels higher than average, and a longer tib/fib to femur ration means that the skier need more toe lift. both the boot and binding come into play.

    The most sophisticated way of looking at shin contact, which does and should occur is that its an outcome and not a goal. its an outcome of correct alignment and skier moving forward enough in the apex of the turn that the boot and ski push back into them, many skier who think they need to "press" their shin into the front of their boot generally ski aft while accomplishing that "goal" they think should be accomplishing but they are not in balance are going down a fools errand of what balance is.
    Um. I don't think he was really asking for your opinion. It was a joke.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

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