SSTBetter Balance 

                   (The Story about)

  Next Level Boot Management

       On Whistler/Blackcomb

Better Balance started life in Whistler as The Structural Alignment Screen [SAS], devised as a standard dynamic balance measuring system and it has been an integral part of the SST Tech Camps modus operandi since 2012.  And now, we are proud to offer an evolved standalone version of the SAS to the general public and we call it Better Balance. 

 

The Genesis of the SAS Alignment Process is the Harb Ski System which has fitted and successfully aligned over 10,000 skiers from beginners to racers over the past 20 years; differentiating themselves from the competition by combining an in-store static, and an on-hill dynamic alignment verification; to produce the maximum performance for technical advancement.

 

We've even created a whole new web site with a new name for our service and it is called SST Better Balance and available at:

www.betterbalance.ca

 

Because the majority of skiers require some form of boot alignment adjustment in order to balance properly on their skis, the betterbalance system has been designed to offer just that, a way to ensure the skier is properly balanced on their skis, to be able to execute the movements that put the ski on edge or at the desired angle to the snow. The movements start with the feet and then affects everything up to the torso.

 

Since your feet and ankles are totally wrapped by the ski boots, they are the most important piece of your ski equipment; rarely however are they ready to ski right out of the box.  In addition none of us have equally functional feet and legs for skiing and everyone has different foot and leg structure.  Getting fitted with the correct ski boot can often be a daunting task.

 

Ski boots couldn’t possibly be ideal for all of us. There are some compromises and assumptions in boot design and for many skiers these have a dramatic effect on their skiing performance, ability to improve, and experience the ultimate enjoyment of the sport.

 

Today there are very few ski shops that understand the link between ski boots, alignment and ski performance. In addition ski instructors are not generally taught how to evaluate dynamic alignment on the hill and the movements required to ski on modern skis. And, to make the diagnosis of alignment problems even more difficult, North American ski instruction does not teach edge release to the transition using foot movements – which is what proper alignment is about.

 

The Better Balance Process has two components: 

 

1- An in-store “Static Assessment” and 

2- An on-snow “Dynamic Assessment” 

 

Without these two components, it is pure coincidence if a skier ever attains proper alignment. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT CAN I, AS A SKIER, LOOK FORWARD TO AFTER COMPLETING THE PROCESS?

 

  • Be able to balance comfortably straight running on either ski

  • Be able to balance in a straight line traverse on either the downhill or uphill edge without tail slip or rotation

  • Be able to "Buy A Turn" where you previously couldn't at any price

  • Be ready to learn to use your feet to initiate the release and engagement of your edges

 

The overall result is, your equipment is tuned to you! allowing you to use fundamental bio-mechanics that can lead to good skiing movements.   

 

Take a minute to envision the ideal image of 'the mechanical skiing robot' with all its body parts aligned up in order to ski properly.  After completing the Better Balance Process, you should be able to imagine your own body superimposed over the image of the robotic skier, and have the same picture! 

 

 

WHY Would I Do This?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT CAN I, AS A SKIER, LOOK FORWARD TO AFTER COMPLETING THE PROCESS?

 

  • Be able to balance comfortably straight running on either ski

  • Be able to balance in a straight line traverse on either the downhill or uphill edge without tail slip or rotation

  • Be able to "Buy A Turn" where you previously couldn't at any price

  • Be ready to learn to use your feet to initiate the release and engagement of your edges

 

The overall result is, your equipment is tuned to you! allowing you to use fundamental bio-mechanics that can lead to good skiing movements.   

 

Take a minute to envision the ideal image of 'the mechanical skiing robot' with all its body parts aligned up in order to ski properly.  After completing the Better Balance Process, you should be able to imagine your own body superimposed over the image of the robotic skier, and have the same picture! 

 

 

WHY Would I Do This?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has become obvious to us that skiers of all abilities need to pay attention to how their feet are aligned to their ski and boots.

 

Initially, when corrections are made, the skier gains 'bio-mechanical advantage,' which allows that skier to capture the maximum leverage afforded from their equipment.  

 

Ultimately, the process assures the skier long term optimal use of the ankle, knee and hip joints.  Misaligned joints subjected to the rigours of skiing over time will cause discomfort, pain, even injury;  joints are further compromised when a boot is too loose, or the boot shell is too high.

 

For the vast majority of skiers a Structural Alignment Screen is like a  journey of ski performance discovery.  You are going to be introduced to your own intimate bio-mechanics and learn a whole new language!

 

According to Harald Harb, alignment of your leg, foot and knee tracking for skiing, isn't just a passing fad. 

 

An incomplete or poor set up, could mean injury, and knee problems as severe as an ACL injury.

 

The Harb Ski System has been leading the way in measurement and study of alignment data for decades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

you look like the skier in this photo on any ski, but especially on a ski 80mm wide, under foot, or wider, you need to get aligned as this is an extremely weak position and your ACL is in danger! Plus, properly aligned, you will ski with more ease and less leg fatigue. 

 

Some off-set ski boots like certain models of the Fischer and the Nordica that were promoted, made this worse by setting the foot's first ray, (big toe) more toward the middle of the ski width.  Poor boot fitting, such as "wide lasts", also contribute greatly to this issue. Get checked by a specialist in this field, it's worth every dime. Harald Harb

 

 

WHY NOW?

 

 

 

The entire skier population is aging and the aging joints need all the leverage they can muster.  Topping that, the average skier is carrying a few extra pounds down the slopes which alone, places even more stress on the joints making alignment all the more imperative.

 

 

WHAT WOULD MOTIVATE ME TO TAKE THE SAS?

 

You may have recently purchased new equipment but recognize that something is still wrong with your setup

 

Your equipment is showing its age and you want to replace it and get it right this time

 

You suspect that there is some structural mis-alignment in your legs/feet and want it corrected

 

 

 

WHAT is the Better Balance System?

The Better Balance System has two components: the in-shop assessment of your current ski boot setup relative to your feet, to determine the misalignment issues.  Then, an on-snow session to validate that the shop analysis matches with your ability to balance optimally and slide on snow.  

 

The key is the on-snow part where a certified dynamic alignment instructor tweaks the shop fit to optimize your ability to leverage the dynamics of your leg structure and validate the static alignment corrections for a permanent fix.

 

WHAT DOES IT DO FOR ME?

 

If you are like most people who have gone through ski boot fitting, even over many seasons and many fittings,  you come to the realization that it is quite a process, one that often ends up with a series of compromises in order to assure a pain free fit.  You may have a fit but, the symptoms of mis-alignment still persist. 

 

 

HOW THE Better Balance System DIFFERENTIATES ITSELF FROM THE COMPETITION 

 

 

DURING THE DYNAMIC ALIGNMENT PROCESS, WE IDENTIFY WHETHER YOUR CENTRE OF MASS [CM] LINES UP TO THE INSIDE OR OUTSIDE OF YOUR TIBIA.  The SAS will then make sure that the fit you have gets leveraged up to accommodate the dynamics of your leg structure to give you optimal balance over the ski.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images Courtesy of SureFoot Whistler

 

This is the image of the soles of my feet as scanned by the foot pressure reader at SureFoot with the thin black centre line indicating the centre line of my foot.  The red area in the forefoot of the image indicates/suggests that I am knock kneed on the left and bowlegged on the right, simply by judging which side of the centre line my CM resides.

 

What the static analysis cannot show is that I am actually knock kneed on both sides, that is, my CM actually resides to the inside of the centre line on both feet when the dynamics of my leg structure are added to the equation.  On the right side, I have something called "tibial torque," which turns my tibia to the inside as I flex and actually twists my forefoot to the outside; the picture you see here.

 

HOW DOES THE SAS ACCOMPLISH RESULTS?

 

Once a good "fit" has been established, optimizing your balance is accomplished by having a professional build the correct cant angle into the sole of the ski boot. This is a seamless process which alters and 'levers you up' on the lateral plane. It may also be necessary to place shims under the toe or the heel of the boots to maximize the fore or aft plane in some instances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shim is the black line; it ramps from 0 on the outside to 2.5 degrees on the inside, in this application

 

THE Better Balance PROCESS IDENTIFIES AND CORRECTS SYMPTOMS

IN 4 SPECIFIC AREAS.

 

 THE KNOCK-KNEED?

 

As a knock-kneed skier, misaligned to the inside, you will be plagued with tail wash, which usually makes you want to avoid skiing on icy days.  You tend to use rotary movements in the upper body and ski with static ankles that tire easily while the torso leans excessively over the stance ski.  

 

 THE BOW-LEGGED?

 

As a bowlegged skier, mis-aligned to the outside, you struggle to get off your little toe edges and release from a turn.   Your tail pushes out suddenly and then your ski crabs sideways down the hill and the body ends up leaned over the free side [inside ski] often resulting in a pronounced arch in the back.

 

THE OVERLY UPRIGHT OR AFT?

 

As a skier who leans backwards, mis-aligned to the aft,  your shins aim straight up or almost rearward relative to the skis, hips behind the feet and the legs fairly straight.  The torso is also fairly upright so you will try to lift the inside ski at the end of the turn, the free foot moves ahead of the stance foot and the ski tip rises higher than the tail making it difficult to complete a carved turn.

 

THE OVERLY SQUATTED OR BENT FORWARD?

 

As a skier who is leaned excessively forward,  mis-aligned to the fore, your shins aim much too far forward relative to the skis, the knees end up way ahead of the toe of the boot sole.  You are somewhat squatted with the thighs aimed aft and the hips behind the feet.  You often complain of knee pain and thigh burn.  

HOW CAN I SIGN UP FOR FOR A SCREENING?

 

Screenings are done by appointment only.  

 

Simply Click Here to complete and submit your Skier Profile to set yours up. 

 

You can also get referred directly from any of the SST Coaches who have gone through the screening themselves and can verify first hand that you would benefit from the process and have provided you with a referral.  

 

As well, you can go directly to Can Ski at Blackcomb Ski Shop or Surefoot in Whistler Village and obtain a referral from one of the boot fitters.

 

You can go to our new site at www.betterbalance.ca and sign up there as well.

 

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST FOR THE SCREENING AND BOOT ALTERATIONS?

 

The screening is a flat fee of $299.00 plus tax 

 

The additional cost for the sole adjustments vary because of the multitude of boot soles in the marketplace but the average cost per boot to be plated is $75- $100.00 plus tax and payable directly to the ski shop performing the alteration. If new boots, shells, liners or footbeds are purchased at the same time, this cost may be discounted as part of the package.

 

The additional cost for the sole adjustments vary because of the multitude of boot soles in the marketplace but the average cost per boot to be plated is $75- $100.00 plus tax and payable directly to the ski shop performing the alteration. If new boots, shells, liners or footbeds are purchased at the same time, this cost may be discounted as part of the package. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW CAN I SIGN UP FOR FOR A SCREENING?

 

Screenings are done by appointment only.  

 

Simply Click Here to complete and submit your Personal Info to set yours up. 

 

You can also get referred directly from any of the SST Coaches who have gone through the screening themselves and can verify first hand that you would benefit from the process and have provided you with a referral.  

 

As well, you can go directly to Can Ski at Blackcomb Ski Shop or Surefoot in Whistler Village and obtain a referral from one of the boot fitters.

 

You can go to our new site at www.betterbalance.ca and sign up there as well.

 

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST FOR THE SCREENING AND BOOT ALTERATIONS?

 

The screening is a flat fee of $249.00 plus tax 

 

Special $79.00 + Tax Sign Up Now!

 

The additional cost for the sole adjustments vary because of the multitude of boot soles in the marketplace but the average cost per boot to be plated is $75- $100.00 plus tax and payable directly to the ski shop performing the alteration. If new boots, shells, liners or footbeds are purchased at the same time, this cost may be discounted as part of the package.

 

The additional cost for the sole adjustments vary because of the multitude of boot soles in the marketplace but the average cost per boot to be plated is $75- $100.00 plus tax and payable directly to the ski shop performing the alteration. If new boots, shells, liners or footbeds are purchased at the same time, this cost may be discounted as part of the package. 

 

 

 

 

OPENING HOURS

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DAWN-9.00PM

 

​SATURDAY-SUNDAY

​DAWN-8.00PM

 

CONTACT​ US

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2013A Nordic Drive

Whistler BC, Canada V0N-1B2

 

sstskiprograms@gmail.com

Tel: 604-902-8643

 

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