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Reflex Heel Lift?


DefectiveDave
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  • Baller

Since an ankle injury earlier in the year I've been forced to run the top strap of my reflex tighter in order to allow faster release in falls. This locks my ankle in and prevents too much dorsiflexion. However, in doing so I've found it much more difficult to load my front foot going into the turns. This slows my turn rate by keeping the tip out of the water, holds my COM back, and results in a significantly worse stack and reduced cross-course velocity out of the turn. However, recently diving into the archives I've come across discussions such as this:

 

http://www.ballofspray.com/forum#/discussion/1246/rear-heel-lift

 

Which seem to indicate some people believe the heel of the reflex boot sits a bit low. Also, I've found that some pros lift the heel of the reflex boot such as KC Wilson:

 

http://www.nautique.com/teamblog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/KC-Wilson.jpg

 

I'm running a 750 reflex and it does appear as though my heel is about 1/8" lower than the ball of my foot. This doesn't seem like much, but a 1/8" heel lift could potentially give a skier about 1/2" of COM movement forward if used correctly. I'm thinking this approach might help address my current problem, but I thought I would throw it out there to the community before I tried another band-aid. So I have 5 quick questions for whomever may be willing/able to answer them:

 

1) Are normal binders flat at the foot plate or is there a slight heel lift?

2) How many people with a reflex boot are running some form of heel lift and how much?

3) How are you accomplishing the heel lift if you are?

4) How tightly do you strap down the reflex?

5) Might fin adjustments help with such a problem? I'm currently running Matt Brown's settings on a 2013 67" HO A3:

http://ballofspray.com/forum#/discussion/7129/a3-2013/p2

 

Thanks!

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  • Baller

Watch out a bit here. The reflex isn't tolerent of "raising" the heel.

 

What you are seeing is the same thign that Andy Mapple discusses, which is to put wet epoxy/puddy on the plate, cover the boot shell with some release agent, clamp it down in the release and let the epoxy harden - it would be squished almost completely flat under the shell.

 

What this does is "keys" the boot to the plate so it doesn't rock/shift/slide. Reflexs version of this are those plastic screws that hold the heel in place.

 

 

There is another thread you might find that discusses the heel over the ball, that being the shell is molded with that look like it is leaning back because it is designed to be sitting on something more like roller blade wheel trucks.

 

If you wanted to lift the heel, it'd be a bigger question if you have room inside the shell to do so, instead of outside of the shell.

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  • Baller

You can use a spacer under both the boot heel and the Silvretta release so the lift would not change the fit between them.

You can use a 3mm spacer and longer screws, if you want a higher lift you might also need to put something under the middle of the boot to fill the space between the bottom of the shell and the plate but I think that a 3-4 mm lift might be enough.

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At least in the case of the image of KC I think @BraceMaker is correct. KLP has been doing this for a long time. I believe (not 100% sure) this is about stabilizing the boot and not raising it.

 Goode HO Syndicate   KD Skis ★ MasterCraft ★ PerfSki  

Radar ★ Reflex ★ S Lines ★ Stokes

Drop a dime in the can

 

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  • Baller

Thanks everyone. What I've done is layered up some gorilla tape in the rear of the boot and placed some washers under the rear of the plate to raise my heal a total of about 2.0-2.5 mm. This appears to be very near level to me. If I notice any difference on the water tomorrow I will probably move to a more permanent solution by ordering the 3mm lift from reflex.

 

The part that is most annoying is that I can't get the top buckle to stay in place, which forces me to really tighten it down. If I don't ratchet it down then there is a chance it is going to come loose while skiing (the buckle pops out and the top strap provides no support in case of a fall). This isn't a problem with the bottom buckles and I think it's just due to the geometry of the top cuff and my skinny shins. Anyhoo, I will probably end up doing something like the GOAT did in this video:

 

 

That should allow me to run it looser while still being secure, allowing a greater range of motion over the ski. In that same video he also mentions the use of bondo to help stabilize the boot on the base plate, so I think @Bracemaker and Syndrome (@Horton) are on the money. Thanks for keeping me out of the rabbit hole guys!

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  • Baller

Intuition liners heat molded to the shell? Totally changed the balance and performance of my snow ski boots for the better. You should be able to get the heel in the right place.

 

I've tried heel lifts and toe lifts. Subtle differences. Boot fit is a first order issue. Alignment matters - sort of...

 

Stress over important things like good balance, solid attachment to the ski and a proper setup of the ski. Accept trivial stuff like .001 and boot angles within 1 degree.

 

Eric

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