Why can’t I flex forward in my ski boots? Have I bought the wrong ski boots? -

Another question that we are often asked in the Profeet Ski Lab is ‘why can’t I flex forward in my ski boots?’ Some people worry if they have bought the wrong ski boots.

However, there are often ways we can adapt a ski boot to soften the flex and help you get the flexion you need.

What does ‘flex’ mean?
The flex is the number on a ski boot that indicates how easy it is to flex forwards.  It is important to remember that when we talk about the flex rating of a ski boot, that there is no generic way of testing the flex, so it should be used only as a guide.

Manufacturers assign a (flex) number to each ski boot. As plastics vary greatly between different brands, what one brand calls a ‘120’ flex can feel very different to what another brand says is a ‘120’.

More aggressive skiers require a higher flex
Typically the more aggressive the skier is, the higher the flex required.  An advanced, aggressive skier puts much more power and force through the boot so they need a stiffer plastic to offer resistance and give them rebound back from it.

A less aggressive, beginner skier will be skiing at much slower speeds and so needs the plastic to be much softer to allow them to flex forwards.

Ankle flexion is important
When you buy a ski boot it is important to remember that the flex shouldn’t only be determined by the level of your skiing but also your ankle flexion, your height and weight.

Someone with limited ankle flexion will benefit from being in a slightly stiffer boot: you will never be able to flex forwards into an optimum ski position, so a heel lift added to your boots will enable you to do this.

A skier that is very tall will have much more leverage to flex a boot than someone that is shorter, so often a taller skier will need a higher flex to compensate for this. Also the heavier the skier is, the more weight and stress they are putting on the plastics so a stiffer boot may be required to offer resistance.

Flex can be changed
Many ski boots allow you to change the flex of the boot. Some boots have two screws in the spine (back) of the boot. Removing a bolt allows the boot to flex more. Other boots have a flex adjustment when a cam can be turned or plate altered. Adjustment like these are found on the spine of the boot and are usually labelled soft/hard or sport/performance.

Ski boot modifications
For more extreme cases it is worth visiting a professional ski boot modification service such as the Profeet Ski Lab.

They will be able to cut ‘V’ shapes into the plastic shell, remove plastic that offers resistance and significantly increase the flex.

Professional Ski Boot Fitting
The way to ensure you have the best fit possible is to go to a professional ski boot fitter such as the qualified ski technicians at Profeet.

The video below gives you more information about what you can expect from a ski boot fitting at Profeet. To book an appointment, please call us on 020 7736 0046.

A version of this article first appeared in Fall Line Magazine

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