Implementation of an alignment scheme is largely dependent on one’s understanding of skiing, and also the role the various body parts play in a quality outcome. Changes should be made in a distinct order, so that each new adjustment is supported by the previous.
If you accept the notion that good skiing is really nothing other than remaining in a state of fluid equilibrium on a slippery surface, it becomes clear that effective alignment must allow for the intuitive means of balance and agility that we use when on ‘dry land’.
To this end, we need to address the aspects of the boot/binding/athlete interface that could interfere with ready joint articulation.
Fluid movement on skis involves facile use of the ankle joint. The ‘ankle’ itself is simply the faceted junction of the tibia, fibula, and talus bone. It is worth noting that appearances aside, this is not a de facto hinge joint. Hinges are monoplanar, whereas the foot may swing and tilt side to side while moving up and down.
This medial/lateral movement is referred to respectively as inversion/eversion. These movements relative to the tibia distal are remarkably similar to the steering axis on a bicycle or motorcycle. In these applications, movement of the steering gear around that axis allows the operator to steer and counter-steer, an effective means of moving the contact patch without disrupting traction, the end result being a stable lean angle that permits a ‘balanced’ and controlled change of direction.
And this just might have application in skiing…
Please Pardon My Dear Aunt Sally…
A distinct order of operations for consistent alignment outcomes.
1. Foot support
2. Ramp angle
3. Forward lean
4. Cuff alignment/contour