Southern Ski's mission is to provide the best custom bootfitting service available in the Carolina's and the South East.
Georg Lippard and his wife came into our shop three years ago looking for help. Here is their story.
My wife and I were fit for boots 3 years ago and our skiing immediately took a "Quantum Leap" and has continued to improve each season thereafter. I have preached to my friends the fact that the proper boot fit and stance balance are the two biggest single factors in allowing a skier to fully enjoy the sport. We both went from making intermediate skidding turns to fully carved "S" turns within days of wearing our new boots. People who have never been custom fit are simply not skiing to their fullest potential or enjoyment. These are the only boots I have ever owned that I didn't immediately rip offwhen I went up for lunch. I wish all my dress shoes were as comfortable!
Dennis Slagle is an Assistant Division Director - Southern Division NSP. Mike made him a pair of custom orthotics and installed a lifter under the toe of his binding (called toe cheese) to get him in a more upright stance. These are his comments from an e-mail.
The boots are doing great after the fitting. After 20 some years of skiing I now know how ski boots are supposed to fit. The toe cheese helped a lot. I think I could use a little more. Let me know when you get the new equipment to set the toe height on ski boots.
I would like to do an article for our divisional news letter on boot fitting. It is to let everyone know how boots are supposed to fit and what can be done to help them ski better. I think it would be a big plug for your shop also, as it goes out to about 1300 members in the Southern Division. With your consent, I will do an article and let you approve/edit it before I submit it to the news letter. Let me know what you think.
Below is the Article that appeared in the NSP divisional news letter.
A Fitting Experience
OK, I have to admit that I am definitely embarrassed. I have skied for 23 years and just now discovering how ski boots are supposed to fit. I knew boots were supposed to be snug and tight around your foot and give you the right flex to suit your skiing style and ability. I found out that those items are just scratching the surface. For those who came to the fall officers meeting this past year, you would have gotten to meet Mike Tambling of Southern Ski. He is a Master Boot fitter (and the only one in the south east besides his son in the same shop).
I used to try on boots and walk around a little in them to make sure they did not have any bad pressure points. I got the smallest size that would keep my toes from being jammed against the front and hurting my toes. I would also make sure the boots had good heel hold down. My street shoe size is 12 and I could never get any size smaller ski boot that would not kill my toes, so I always skied size 12.
The initial part of my visit with mike was disheartening. He looked over my boots and told me there was nothing he could do for me. My boots were too large for my feet - BUT THEY FEEL SNUG, TIGHT, AND MY TOES JUST TOUCH THE FRONT! After much discussion, I agreed to try on a size 11. Man, did they hurt! Mike reassured me, and we began the fitting.
The first thing he had to do was make an orthotic to replace the original foot bed. My arch was flattening out causing my foot to elongate when I put weight on it. When he finished with the orthotic, we placed them in the boot and I tried them on again. WOW, I couldn't believe it, what a fit! They did not hurt and they fit everywhere around my foot. A SIZE 11! We proceeded with the rest of the fitting procedure and what each was designed to do.
I got out that week and it made a tremendous difference in my skiing. I had more control than I had ever had and did not get as tired. One of my major problems, besides having boots too large, was that I was out of balance in my boots. I can ski a whole lot further now befor my legs get tired.
There is not enough space to go over all the aspects of boot fitting here in the SOUTHERN CROSS. You will have to go to Mike's web site and read all about boot fitting and all the ills it can cure. It is www.southernski.com . There are pages and pages of information about how to get the correct boot fit.
Yes, this does seem an advertisement for Mike's shop, but I would just like everyone to have the chance to improve their boot fit and thusly their skiing as I have.
Clark Bell is a Snowboard Patroller who came in from Asheville,NC to have Mike make a pair of custom orthotics and adjust the settings on his Hard snowboard Boots. These are his comments from a post card.
The orthotics for my snowboard boots are great! They Started to get really comfortable after about 3 days. When I put them on for the first time in the morning, they feel really right. The edge response is the one thing that really impresses me. Even on the long (175cm) boards that require being very forceful to get them to cooperate, the response is instant. I'm spreading the word to my other hard boot buds. Fit is the key!
Steve Cline is a Columbia Ski Club member who had Mike make custom orthotics and custom fit his ski boots and add canting strips to his bindings. This is his testimonial sent to us by e-mail and also published in the Columbia Ski Club flyer.
Master Boot fitting Works Wonders
By Steve Cline,
Yo! Fellow club members! Have I got a story to tell! I have always had a problem of 'catching an edge' when I ski. I have tried ski instruction several times and they were never able to get me out of this rut. Obviously, this has always been something that has undermined my confidence on the slope, and thus kept me skiing very conservatively. After hearing Mike Tambling's(Southern Ski, (800)675-4261) presentation at the club meeting several month's ago, I went to his shop and had him add the wedges and adjustments needed to bring my knees in to proper alignment. While there, I also had him install custom footbeds, which also helped adjust my stance as well as the fit of the boot exactly to the bottom of my foot and removed any slippage. I did this right before my trip to Steamboat Springs with the Cresent group. The results? Absolutely fantastic! My first day on the slopes I noticed I wasn't 'catching an edge'. I was still skiing conservatively, but that was vanishing rapidly. By the end of the the first day, I was attacking some of the slopes that had given me trouble last year much more confidently and aggressively. By the end of the week, I was skiing terrain that had always intimidated me. And doing so with confidence! Sure, I still took some falls, but they were on slopes that I wouldn't have even tried before this trip. The slopes I was conservatively skiing on last year were a piece of cake. I will mention however, that the footbeds take awhile to get used to. The extra arch support they provide felt uncomfortable at first. It took about two days before I didn't feel like I had a golf ball under my foot. By the third day of skiing, they were feeling comfortable, and I was enjoying the best skiing control in my life.
If you are having similar problems, I highly recommend you consider these adjustments. These adjustments have made more improvements to my skiing than any other piece of equipment I've bought(and I've bought a lot).