Cuff alignment

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Cuff alignment

Postby Mikhail » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:40 am

Hello! I recently adjusted cuffs as written in aligment manual. Standing in "natural" stance (legs as wide as ASIS) cuffs has to be tipped all the way in. I've also noted if my skiing stance more narrow ("normal" for me) cuffs need to be ajusted neutral. If I balance on one leg cuffs have to be adjusted all the way out.

When I go to ski with cuffs adjusted to "natural" stance I got awful feelings of cuffs to much in. I got no support when tipping on BTE. It get worse adjusting cuffs to "natural "stance as compared to neutral position. So I guess why we need to a adjust cuffs standing on two legs while we usually skiinig with balance on one leg?

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Last edited by Mikhail on Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Calf alignment

Postby noobSkier » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:27 am

From what I understand this practice is just to get you to a baseline alignment, from which further adjustments are made based on your skiing/exercise performance.
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Re: Calf alignment

Postby HighAngles » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:17 pm

So the title of this thread should be "Cuff Alignment", not "Calf Alignment", right? :wink:

I have also been recently investigating this concern/challenge with cuff alignment and have come to a similar conclusion regarding the method. I know that almost everyone (including HSS) uses a process where both feet are planted on the ground (using varying "accepted" stance widths). I believe that setting this adjustment while balanced on each leg separately makes more sense from a biomechanic perspective. This should be especially true for PMTS with the emphasis on one-legged skiing. I'm interested in why having both feet on the ground is the accepted practice for this adjustment. Even the slightest change in the chosen static stance width will alter the cuff alignment setting.
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Re: Calf alignment

Postby GThomas » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:47 pm

Perhaps because i expect when straight running (yes i know that isnt a lot) you would be on both feet and likely applying inside edge pressure if the alignment were done while balancing on ine foot.
I have wondered about this myself, i do think it is a good starting point but wonder how often we are truly stood up and balancing over the one leg.
In the end Harald has given clues which make sense to me as to how the boot is balanced for each individual between the relationship of foot pronation and leg action.
If the cuff is too strong which i guess could happen if done stood balanced on one leg then the leg has to push the cuff aside rather than follow the kinetic chain started by the feet
Hooefully an expert will chime in as im intersted in all information on this point
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Re: Cuff alignment

Postby Marc » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:03 am

You might get different tibia angle when standing on one leg if you balance via leaning vs CB. With CB, lifting the inside hip, as in HighAngles avatar, your CG (near the belly button) will line up over the stance foot through the hip and knee. If you don't CB you have to lean to get your CG over your foot, and now your tibia is more angled to the outside.
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Re: Cuff alignment

Postby Max_501 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:09 am

Careful that you don't confuse balance with weight. While it is true that I want to be balanced over the outside ski that doesn't mean I have 100% of my weight on that ski or that I'm attempting to spend most of my time skiing with one foot lifted off the snow (which I only do for drills). Even if I'm intentionally using a Super Phantom to release I still place the ski back on the ground after the release. I want both of my skis to be tracking the same arc which is much easier when I have proper boot alignment and the cuff setting is only one piece of the alignment puzzle.

jbotti wrote:Here is a subtle but important distinction. In PMTS we always have the majority of weight on our outside or stance ski, even in powder. This can mean as little as 51% but never equal or more weight on the inside ski. If you look at the great off piste photos of Max and Heluva there is a large amount of counterbalance in their off piste turns even in pow (perhaps especially in pow). When we have this much CB in our skiing it is virtually impossible to be equal weighted as more weight will naturally fall on the stance ski. In pow the stance ski takes less weight than on hard snow, but it still and always has the majority of the weight.
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Re: Calf alignment

Postby Obrules15 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:25 am

HighAngles wrote:So the title of this thread should be "Cuff Alignment", not "Calf Alignment", right? :wink:

I have also been recently investigating this concern/challenge with cuff alignment and have come to a similar conclusion regarding the method. I know that almost everyone (including HSS) uses a process where both feet are planted on the ground (using varying "accepted" stance widths). I believe that setting this adjustment while balanced on each leg separately makes more sense from a biomechanic perspective. This should be especially true for PMTS with the emphasis on one-legged skiing. I'm interested in why having both feet on the ground is the accepted practice for this adjustment. Even the slightest change in the chosen static stance width will alter the cuff alignment setting.



The final portion of proper alignment is to check on snow, so while the first steps may be imperfect, the fact that it is supposed to be verified on snow makes all the difference.
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Re: Cuff alignment

Postby Erik » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:09 am

I had a look through the PMTS Alignment Manual, 3rd Edition.

I had my boots modified last year to expand the range of motion of the cuff canting (big success!). Walker at Harb Skis Systems did the adjustments, and having been through that process in the hands of a master boot fitter, I think it would be very difficult to do a cuff assessment yourself. Certainly, major cuff alignment problems could be addressed, but dialing it in requires a second set of eyes, and on-snow assessment.

In the manual, initial cuff alignment happens after the footbed is made, and the preliminary tests with footbed alone have been completed. The footbed (without liner) is placed in the brand new boots, which have not yet been canted.
- If you do not have a footbed that meets the PMTS standards, your foot may not have the appropriate support when you change to balance on one foot, which would definitely have an impact on the cuff shell fit/alignment for your one-legged stance. Those one-legged stance balance issues are supposed to be identified previously during the tests of the footbeds (to check that the footbeds make one-legged balance easier).
- If your boots are already canted, you must compensate for the canting when doing the cuff alignment check.
- One of the advantages of showing two-footed cuff alignment in the manual is that the differences between the two legs are easier to see, and it makes it more obvious that a skier will need to have each cuff evaluated and adjusted separately.
- The manual does have an extensive discussion of two-footed and one-footed assessments. In the methodology of the manual, those assessments take place after the liner is put back in the shell, and unbuckled/buckled assessments are made two-footed and one-footed (potentially including slant board and on-snow assessments). The manual includes some additional discussion of the symptoms of strong/neutral/weak cuffs for one-footed balance and on-snow performance. In this phase, the evaluation of canting the boots takes place, but boot canting alone does not preclude further adjustments to the cuff.
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Re: Cuff alignment

Postby jbotti » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:32 pm

I think there is a lesson here for everyone. HSS posts these videos to try and help people remotely who may not be able to make it to the HSS shop. But at the end of the day boot set up which includes fit, alignment canting and cuff adjustment and more is incredibly complex and requires significant training to do well. Without the significant training most (close to all) are trying to land a jet with less that 10 hours of flight time. Luckily with boots the terrible job that you may do yourself won't kill you, but it can kill your skiing.

Don't do this stuff yourself without getting the training first. You are wasting your time and wasting ours by talking about it.

You cant analyze skiing without seeing video. You cant analyze someones cuff issues without seeing the feet in the boots and seeing the footbed etc. And lastly, many who are responding don't have the knowledge or training to get anyone the result they are after.
Balance: Essential in skiing and in life!
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Re: Cuff alignment

Postby h.harb » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:30 pm

John is right, you can go a long way in the wrong direction when you try to combine all the alignment aspects. Skiing and on snow are the final tests and you can't do that without video.
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Re: Cuff alignment

Postby h.harb » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:35 pm

Both feet on the ground works best because we have tested it thousands of times and confirmed it on snow. How many times and with how many people have you tested it? I'm amazed that people without a background, still question our methods?
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Re: Cuff alignment

Postby Mikhail » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:15 am

Thank you all for the discussion. It makes things clearer for me.
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Re: Cuff alignment

Postby GThomas » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:07 am

Some people have inquisitive minds. To Learn and grow we need new knowledge and this often comes from asking questions, I know because im one of them. To me if im interested in anything then I want to know move, and expect that is the same for many others. And as it stands living in the UK I have to make the best use of knowledge I can glean and go it alone. If this was not the case why would I have ABC 1&2 and the tech manual ?
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Re: Cuff alignment

Postby Max_501 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:16 pm

HH has been incredibly generous with his time on this forum. He has written hundreds upon hundreds of posts to give us a better understanding of how to become expert skiers. IMO, we are very lucky to have that knowledge base available at our finger tips. That said, HH doesn't have time to answer "why do you do it that way" questions on the forum. The good news is there is a way to learn more and that is by attending camps and if that isn't enough going through the process to become a certified PMTS coach. For skiers interested in the alignment topic HH offers a course for Alignment Technician Training.
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Re: Cuff alignment

Postby AnI » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:04 pm

Mikhail, seems you were adjusting cuffs in a wider stance than you need to. HSS recommends ski stance (which is narrower than hip width) stance for cuff alignment. Stance width is important when it comes to cuff alignment assessment because, obviously, the wider your feet are, the more your shins are tilted inwards, while cuffs would remain close to vertical. "Natural stance" which you used, I assume, is your street stance which is about hip width wide.

Cuff alignment has been around for a long time. HSS did not invent it, but they incorporated it into their overall alignment process flow. What is important for PMTS-ers is in which sequence footbeds, cuff alignment, and boot plating are done - and all of these steps are parts of the standard process flow. If your boots have already been plated, do not touch your cuffs unless a PMTS coach or a person with training and experience in alignment decides that an adjustment is needed and until the current settings of the eccentrics are marked. This is because cuff adjustment and under-boot plates have overlapping effects. They do not do the same thing, but they influence each other. If you find that your cuffs were set wrong and change their settings in a significant manner, your alignment could also shift and you might need to get under-boot angles re-assessed and adjusted. You may open a whole can of worms by messing up with your cuffs on plated boots. On the other hand, this overlap in effects enables one to accurately tune the balance using under-boot plates, without worrying too much about achieving perfection in setting up the cuff (as long as cuffs are in a reasonably correct position).

You did not describe your background and equipment which you have. If you do not have proper footbeds, or your alignment is off, you might feel that correctly set cuffs do not feel right while skiing on the snow. If you do not have footbeds and your boots are not plated and will not be plated because you are not anywhere close to a shop which can do it, maybe what you suggested, adjusting cuffs while balancing on one leg, could work better for you - hard to say. You should not feel a strong pressure from your cuffs on either side of your leg - unless you are trying to substitute under-sole alignment with action of the cuffs, as it was suggested in some non-PMTS books published some 10-15 years ago. That, of course, is considered wrong by HSS.
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