07Ramp (front boot)

7.     Check front boot ramp angle. 

Even though it may appear that the toe of the boot (clamped in the binding) is higher than the heel, the opposite is true.  Inside most ski boots, (integral to the shell of the average hardboot), is a chunk of foam or plastic known in the industry as a zepper.  It’s Italian for something.  I have found that one strip of tape (under the heel) on top of the stock size 8 Lange zepper is ideal for me. This provides a ramp angle on the front foot of 5 degrees. That degree of tilt may not be ideal for you, but it represents a starting point.  Bear in mind that as far as toe/heel height is concerned, the boot manufacturers may install the same ratio in almost all sizes of boots, which means that a small boot might have a steeper ramp angle than a large boot.

 The ramp angle in a typical hardboot is established by the shell mold, and not by a removable part.  The internal ramp of the average hard-boot is between 8 and 11 degrees.  For that reason, a 6-degree front disc may be a good place to start for anyone in such a boot.  If it feels like the heel is too low, characterized by a vague feeling underfoot on the heel-side turn, then it is a simple matter to raise the heel slightly with a thin piece of plastic or other suitable material taped to the liner.

You should not have to exceed 6 degrees for toe lift.  The important thing is to achieve a sensation underfoot such that you are able to bear weight along the entire length of the foot (ball to heel) without actually flexing the boot, tested in the binding, while on a flat, level surface.

 

If the resultant toe lift leaves your knee way off to one side of the midline of the board, then you will need to alter the forward lean of the boot.  If that makes walking a bit awkward, then so be it.  The boots are made for riding, not walking.

 

 

 

Again, the angle seen here is not entirely accurate, as the binding is on the board, but the point here is that the heel of my front foot is higher than the toes, despite outward appearances.  A combined internal heel height of between 3 and 4 degrees seems to be quite effective.  (When three of your associates, using different boot/binding/board combinations, arrive at almost the same measurement, it is time to take note; especially when comfort and performance improve simultaneously).

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