The "Ultimate Cuff Stretcher" is a tool designed to precisely stretch a PAIR of ski boots at the same time. The Ultimate Cuff Stretcher is the fastest way to stretch the spine of a PAIR of ski boots. Simply place the boots in the jig, heat the back of the spine of the boot on both sides of the dies and start turning the adjustment arm and voala the boots now fit that customer that was complaining about the ski boots hurting their calves. It is also a fantastic tool to help realign a customer that is being pushed too far forward because of the forward lean built into the boot. Below is an article Mike has written about how important Fore / Aft balance is in skiing and how this tool will help you in getting balanced.
Photo Descriptions: The photo on the upper left is a front view of the Ulitmate Cuff Stretcher with a pair of ski boots mounted in it. Note the toe lugs of the ski boots are restrained. The photo on the upper right is a gross demonstration of how much you can affect the cuff of the boot with the Ultimate Cuff Stretcher. Note that the boot closest to you is not in the tool and is sitting flat on the floor as is the tool behind the first boot. Please also note the rear angle of the cuff of the boots in the tool. By heating different parts of the cuff you can either stretch the top of the boots for room, and/or affect the forward lean of the cuff of the ski boots.
Balance in Snow Skiing is Absolutely Critical!
Finding the “SWEET SPOT” over your ski center
Being off balance to the rear can occur in many skiers, caused by 2 different possibilities, the boot board angle relative to the skier’s ability to flex at the ankle and/or the forward lean angle relative to the skier’s calf circumference. The skier’s leg shape or the boot set up or a combination of both can cause this.
In this article we will deal with the effects caused by larger calf muscles.
In order to have a base dimension to start from we have settled on measuring the circumference of the skiers leg as it exits the top of the boot liner and then comparing the torso position as you increase the skiers leg dimension.
Most current model boots have a 14 degree forward lean (Entry level designs often have greater forward lean angle) with no way to move the cuff rearward, causing skiers with more than 14” in circumference calf muscles to ski the rear of the ski, out of balance. If you combine a larger calf with a longer Tibia the problem can become even more severe.
A 13” to 14”circumference calf muscle will position the skier with his center of mass over the center of the ski in many of the current crop of boots available on the market today.
Fore/Aft balance will be affected by each increase in circumference at the top of the boots cuff. Circumference, divided by Pi (3.14) indicates that for each increase of one inch in circumference, the Tibia and by extension the Knee position will be pushed forward by about a third of an inch.
13.0 inches divided by 3.14 = 4.14 inches
14.0 inches divided by 3.14 = 4.45 inches
Subtract = .32” difference (about a third of an inch)
As the knee is pushed forward the skier will be forced to sit back a little in order to center up over the ski. This will cause overuse of the quadriceps muscles and premature overall fatigue. This torso behind the knee position will cause G-loads to sink the skier’s body downward in each turn. In most cases this will cause the tail of the uphill ski to hookup at the end of each turn, this gets hairy, as the terrain gets steeper.
An easy test to check a skier’s position is to have the them push down and forward on the tongue of the boot then slowly move the knee to a more upright position until the heel starts to bear a little more weight, at that position the calf muscle should not be pushing on the back of the cuff. (You should be able to load the heel somewhat without pushing the back of the boot).
As calf circumference increases, it is necessary to bend the upper shell of the boot cuff rearward to attain the correct position. Checkout the “Dual Cuff Stretcher” shown on this web site under “Tools”.
Article By: Mike Tambling - Master Bootfitter and Owner of Southern Ski