View Full Version : boot stiffness and injury prevention

09-07-2012, 12:46 AM
Does anyone have any idea if stiff boots or more flexible boots make any difference in reducing the likelihood or severity of injury? I know all about the discussions of the pros and cons of stiff vs flexible in terms of riding style and personal preference. I'd like to hear if there are any good reasons to tend towards one style or another to stay healthy.

09-07-2012, 02:57 AM
My logic is not science based.

Murray swapped to a stiffer boot after a couple injuries. I think a more supportive boot without a doubt aids in injury prevention for us common riders. It doesn't allow to to flex n contort you joints as much. I noticed a difference in the way I felt after riding Shane boots for a while and then swapping to stiffer Watson. I rode the Ronix Cells for a long tone til the changed the last in 09 and the Ones just fit better. I prefer a locked in fell vs a wobbly loose feel. Just get you in some bad positions from my experience where I tweaked an ankle or two in soft bindings.

I guess also there is not too many top pros stomping tech tricks with reall soft bindings that I am aware of. Most of the softer flexing bindings come from stylie free ride guys. Got to be something to that.

09-07-2012, 07:40 AM
The additional variable that needs to be added is rider ability. Excluding the outlying freak injury your equipment should support what you need to accomplish. I can't speak to wake boarding but I can speak to slalom. This year I moved to an Animal Binding, its stiff and tight. My skiing improved with that binding as well as a better ski HO Coefficient X SL.

The variable to add is muscle strength. The worst injury situation in slaloming is the fall over the front of the ski. Muscle fatigue will cause the ride to move away from the position which might prevent the fall.

I am not an expert but just very vigilant of not getting an injury. I am 52 years old and working on improving my slalom abilities. I have seen 2 people get season ending injuries, one a hamstring rip and the other a shoulder separation. One had a root cause of fatigue and trying something new and the other was skiing way above his ability.

Lastly, I believe in coaching if your going to move pass the intermediate level and use advance level equipment you need to be taught to use it.

Sorry for the long diatribe - find out what is holding you back - get a lesson, video tape your riding.

09-07-2012, 11:06 AM
Funny you started this thread. Last night while wake boarding the board went right and I went left. Heard a ripping noise from my right ankle, ouch! Now, here I sit in the office with ice wrapped around it, popping aspirin. Got me thinking about stiff vs, flexible boots. Think I may get a stiff pair this winter.

"It's Friday, Time for a Drink" can't come soon enough.