Living and working in Whistler, I quite often work with pro riders to get their boots and skis dialed. Sometimes the work they need is simple and other times complex and time consuming. Considering most of them are doing similar riding to the majority of the community here, I thought it may be interesting to some of you, to see what the riders are using.
This week Jarred Martin of Inflik media came in to have boot work done. For those of you who don't Jarred check out the Doorstep Project below.
Jarred is sponsored by Salomon and this season he's riding in the Ghost 110. In the past he has worn the X-Max 100. I asked him why he had chosen the 110 over the Ghost FS 90, to which he said he prefers the slightly stiffer flex of the 110 along with the slightly narrower fit. Luckily he had already had minor shell work done, so I only needed to make some new footbeds and fit his new Intuition liners.
I started by making the footbeds. Sidas were kind enough to provide me with the product, so I made Jared a full custom Sidas footbed. For those unaware of what a footbed does, think of it like the foundations of your house. Without the foundations you cant build a stable and level house. Footbeds do the same thing for your feet in ski boots.
Once the footbed has been shaped in the mold created from the foot, the footbed is stabilized to add stiffness, helping control the foot. Different feet require different levels of support, and the Sidas system allows for the footbed to be custom stabilized to meet the skiers needs. The photo above shows 3 different stiffness of footbed (the left being the softest and the right being the stiffest).
While I was finishing the footbeds, I had been heating up the Intuition liners in the boot oven. As you can see from the image above, when the liners are heated correctly they swell up which helps create the snug fit once in the shell. Home methods like the rice technique can give a similar result but if you have a quality liner it really is worth getting it done in a shop.
This is not how I tell most customs to mold their boots but it seemed to work for Jared.
With the footbeds in the liner and liner in the shell we padded up Jarred's foot slightly. I added some thin boot foam to the instep , outside of his foot behind the little toe, along with a medium volume toe cap. The foam was to give a little more space to problem zones. The toe cap gives room in the toe box and helps bed the heel back into the heel pocket.
Jared has pretty skinny legs so using the wrap liner helped take up some space in the cuff. He may find changing the power strap to something a little more supportive like a booster will help him even more. One other modification I might make is to slightly convert the boot board to give some more cushioning in the heel, but at this point it is just the standard boot board in the boot.
So overall Jared's boot setup is not that different to what most of you could have. Footbeds really do help and should be an upgrade for any skier not yet using them. Replacement liners are not always needed but in some cases can help with certain fit problems.
Although Jared did not have his skis with him at the time, he is riding the Salomon Rocker 100 with STH2 16 bindings. His reasoning for using the Rocker over the NFX is his preference for slightly softer, jib friendly flex, like that of the Rocker. When the snow is falling he switches to the Rocker 122 a fairly standard powder ski choice of many of the Salomon team.
Check out Jared in the Doorstep Project and thanks to Jared for posing for the photos.