Skier Balance & Alignment

Skier balance and alignment is a subject which has been talked about for many Solutions 4 Feet we offer a comprehensive alignment and balance service some of which is carried out in conjunction with Alpine McCannix.

The foundation of any balance and alignment service is the quality of the footbed used, at Solutions 4 Feet we use Superfeet, Sidas or Instaprint custom product as our foundation, selecting the most appropriate product for your body and your boots.

We utilize different methods of assessment and alignment implementation to offer the best all round effects for the individual....

SBS [shim balance system] this is an internal boot canting system, the assessment determine s dynamic balance points and shims are added inside the boot to create the best position for the foot, the upper cuff of the boot is then adjusted to optimum set up for the lower leg. (This service is carried out by Alpine McCannix so is only available on selected dates)

External canting: this is true canting as it is talked about, adjusting the angle of the boot sole to either bring the skiers knees in or out to gain a true stance or by allowing the skier with extreme pathologies to ride on a flat ski.

External canting can be achieved in a few ways either by boot sole planing, or installing under binding cant strips, we have to do the assessment first and we always test using 2 methods, the centre of knee mass is determined whilst the skier is in their neutral stance, using a square or a plumb bob we can track the position of the knee mass over the boot and determine if the boot needs to be canted inwards or outwards. 

Next we retest in the same stance but using an unstable device which we helped Atomic to develop; this simulates the skier being on a fluid surface as they are when skiing, from this section of the assessment we can determine if there is suitable range of motion in the knee and hip joints to allow the boot to be canted for stance or whether we should “fill the gaps” and settle for allowing the skier to stand on a flat ski...this is different for every individual and the main reason we do this second test.  After we have obtained the readings for the adjustments needed we need to look at the different ways which we can cant the boot, these depend on A) The boot and B) the ski being used.

The preferred method is boot sole planing to plane the soles of the boot to the required angles, then add a protective plate to the boot prior to routing the toe and heel back to fit into the binding correctly. This can only be done on solid soled boots. At Solutions 4 Feet we have one of only 2 ski boot sole planers in the UK, this machine has be manufactured in Austria and is capable of planing boots to within 0.25 degrees accuracy.  Our router set up is again the only one designed specifically for the job in the UK.  There are now a number of boots available where  INTRA-boot cant plates are available, (these are shims inserted between the shell of the boot and the replaceable sole pad), we can offer this service using manufacturers own parts if available,  or a third party supplier (cantology) 

The alternative is to add cant strips under the binding, simple except the majority of skis now come with system bindings on them which can make it impossible to adjust. Where neither canting option is viable, then the SBS system can offer an alternative which works very well. 

In addition to all this lateral balance adjustment we also look at fore / aft balance, this is often as, if not more important as the lateral set up. changes to ramp angle, cuff angle and binding delta can all contribute to giving you the very best equipment set up.  

At certain times of the year we may be able to arrange on-snow evaluation sessions with Andi McCann from Alpine McCannix; Andi is an ISTD ski instructor and BASI Trainer. He has several years alignment evaluation experience and can look at what changes to your kit or technique may affect your performance.