For many years people have been trying to get the maximum performance from their ski boots, sometimes this can be achieved with the use of a footbed and some basic fitting, often this is only the beginning….. At Solutions 4 Feet we work with Alpine McCannix to improve skier performance by improving skier balance.
The SBS [shim balance system] is a patented system from the USA developed by ski instructor and boot fitter Eric Ward of The Foot Foundation. The concept is simple if you are better balanced in your boots then you can be better balanced when you are skiing. Better balance will let you feel the way your skis work and get the very best from them.
This is different from the classic alignment assessment which has been carried out for years; the SBS assessment is a single leg balance test which simulates the position of your foot and leg throughout the turn, during the assessment we are not concerned about you looking like a cardboard cut out of a perfect skier, we are primarily interested in your balance, additional alignment elements can be combined with the SBS assessment to get you looking good and feeling great on your skis.
The balance assessment is carried out on a tilting table which allows the examiner to determine the optimum balance position for the person being assessed, this is done using a combination of watching the muscle tension and by listening to feedback form the client… most people will notice a difference of less than the thickness of a credit card especially if this difference is from correctly balanced to out of balance.
The assessment does not end there, the ski boot must be checked to see what position it puts the skier into, all boots are different and some will help you get towards your optimum position better than others. When the angle inside the boot is determined then it can be subtracted from the clients optimum balance position, this gives what is know as the balance prescription, which can be added to the boots internally using the patented angled shims supplied by SBS.
SBS is only part of the system, to get the best form this assessment you will require a well made custom footbed to give your foot the very best support in the first place. Beyond the balance assessment we can also look at and resolve other alignment issues by using under binding wedges or by planning the sole of the ski boot [please note sole planning can only be done on selected boot models]