Hardshell Binding Rotation or Canting - Why do we do this?

Binding setup is a very custom and personal thing because there are variations throughout the body both in measurement and alignment. Because slalom water-skiing is a bit like balancing on a knife edge at times, "grooving" into a certain setup is another factor. 

The groove-factor is so strong that some skiers may not be able to shift their binding setups they've used since childhood.Yet the same skier is able to ski multiple skis (sizes, brands) over the course of a season.  

When factory team support decided to apply some wholesale binding tweaks including heel lifts, that worked for one skier onto her ski, pro skier Karina Nowlan was perplexed. "I've skied with space between my boots, rotation on both hardshells and my Intuition liners flat into the shells with no added heel pads or soles. That is the way I ski!"  Who could argue with her sentiment?

If you do want to make some changes though, know the reasons for it and take some advice from guru Jon Travers. "Start off the season on the new setup. Take things back to the beginning and give yourself a bunch of sets over a period of weeks to adjust."

Rotating binding alignment is a common tweak. A toe out stance is factory setup for hockey and inline skates because most people are naturally aligned this way. It also improves balance and reduces joint stress right through to the hips.

However, a slalom ski is a bit unique in that depending on which foot is  dominant through the slalom course, that foot will drive the ski in the direction the foot is pointed.   For example a front boot rotated outward will tend to close off or lower the tip into the offside turn and raise or open the tip onside.

A rear boot that is rotated toes out will raise the tip at the finish of the offside and close or lower the tip at the finish of the onside. And that's just for ski direction.

Rotation also helps to pressure the ski edges. The rear boot rotated outward will help to build more edging pressure through the offside pull. The heels moved over from center will create more edge pressure in the onside pull. Let the madness begin!

The best advice for rotation I can give is listen to your body. Having boots straight in-line but with enough space for the toes to move side-side like a rubber boot might be the best of both worlds.  Boots inline is the neutral start position that should eliminate any bias on either side of the course. 

From there let comfort rule. You'll probably find that some slight outward rotation of the front (e.g 1/8") will allow the front knee to track properly and give a more natural forward stance. And you may find that doubling that rotation of the rear boot will improve your overall balance on the ski.

What you can do on top of the boots is up to you, your flexibility, core strength, and athleticism. Whatever you decide, all Fluid Motion boots offer rotational adjustments with our Jam Plate retention system.  Rear attachments have multiple hole locations to afford even more rotational adjust.

Fluid Motion also engineered the very first "Micro Adjust" plate system, so that plates may be adjusted forward or backward in very small amounts. Neoprene-backed SS "grip" washers ensure the plates are secure while preventing screws from backing off - a typical problem in conventional binding systems.

Since Fluid Motion systems are fully customizable and durable, you have a great binding base on which to develop your long-term, reliable and high performance setup. 




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