Contact us

This is not a commercial website but I welcome feedback and will respond to questions as soon as I have the time.
I discovered the elements of cant adjustment by reading the late Warren Witherell’s classic work “The Athletic Skier”. Being on the fringes of ski racing, I discussed this issue with many coaches (mostly Austrian), and eventually corrected my own boots by trial and error.
When I discovered John Gorman’s beautifully elegant analysis of lateral alignment, and his equally simple and highly functional ‘KPS Gauge’, I decided that it might benefit many skiers if I made this information public on this website.

Contact addresses:

 Peter White     (website author)      peterwhite17@hotmail.com

          John Gorman   (who developed the KPS concept and KPS Cant Gauge)      
please contact via this link on his website

www.lower-back-pain.info/contacts.html



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Comments, Feedback, Further Thoughts, & Links

Below is a hodgepodge of stuff. Extracts from emails that Peter and John have received, further thoughts of our own plucked from rough drafts or emails, and some weblinks we have discovered which should further illustrate the issues. All this material will be incorporated more neatly into the website when time allows. But for the time being I am dumping them all here so that you can enjoy the thrill of exploration and the satisfaction of discovery.

With reference to your question about over-canted skiers, my son Duncan comes out at almost 2 degrees over-canted. While I believe that reducing this to more nearly KPS would probably be an advantage (particularly in speed events) he is happy to ski like this. Obviously he finds very upright boots suit him best. Which is exactly what the boot manufacturers say about race-boots for elite skiers. I suspect that if you were to measure the canting angle of most World Cup male skiers you would find that a very high proportion would be over-canted in the average ski-boot. The same will be true for many instructors who have progressed up through the levels of whatever system they work within. Incidentally, I have set myself up at about two degrees over-canted as an experiment. Carving was enhanced, early transfer to the inside ski was easier, though it was very difficult to sideslip or brake. This made it exhilerating on easy slopes but ultimately too frightening for me to want to ski in this configuration. 

That's the whole problem I think. Top professionals undergo a natural selection because, within limits, over-canting produces higher performance than under-canting. Therefore over-canted children shine and advance quickly, sometimes all the way to elite levels. Then the manufacturers test boots on this group and conclude that little or no cuff-cant is the best configuration for good skiing. A completely circular argument as the testing has been done with a subset of skiers who are lucky enough to have this requirement.


Peter White  in email response


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I am sorry to hear that so few people are interested in your gauge. On the slopes you can see how many of them are struggling with skiing because of bad alignment. Luckily we have internet now so if you pursue certain goal you can always find an answers on the web, but generally people are too ignorant or lazy. Also lots of great things are hidden to general public because of lack of money for promotion.


email to John from purchaser


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Gauge was finished way ago. It is much easier to measure this way than Warren's method. Also it seems accurate as it confirmed things that I suspected. Now I am eagerly awaiting some decent snow on Austrian glaciers to check out things live.


email to John from purchaser


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I would like to order one of your gauges for my shop. Craigdon Mountain Sports, 78 Academy street. Inverness. IV1 1LU. I believe that the staff in our Perth shop have been using the gauge for a year and have found it very useful.


email to John from purchaser      Craigdon Mountain Sports website here:     

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Boot fitters, when they address these issues at all, tend to complicate the argument. Typically, they will say that cuff alignment does something different from using canting shims under the binding (or grinding the boot sole). In fact the effect on leg geometry is identical and stance can be returned to normal by any of these methods. However, I would argue that, so long as no more than about 6 degrees of adjustment is required, it is easier and simpler to shim the boot cuff. In addition, this method leaves the foot standing flat to the ski which may have a slight advantage in that it ties the ski directly into the skier's proprioception as to foot position. It also allows the skier to jump onto any ski and retain alignment, which under-binding canting shims do not. Particularly for racers and other elite skiers, every effort should be made to choose a boot that will require minimum shimming. The KPS gauge should be used in the ski shop to select the most suitable boot for each individual skier.

Another common misconception, promoted by some boot-fitters, is that orthotic footbeds can align a skier. While they may be valuable aids to comfort and retention of the foot within the boot, footbeds cannot alter the geometry of the boot and alignment cannot be adjusted by this means.

The final damaging nonsense sometimes promoted by boot-fitters is that few people require canting. In fact there is a huge variation in the curvature of people's lower legs. Additionally, the built-in shaft angle of the various boots on the market vary, and the degree of adjustment that can be made at the hinges is usually very small. Virtually every skier will benefit from a correct alignment of their boot to exactly match their legs. And large numbers can never hope to ski well until this adjustment is made.


Peter White, Surrey, UK ,  2011   (somewhat grumpy at the end of a long season on snow)


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Brilliant video illustrating an important issue for racers. Boot fitters (even the absolutely excellent Jules in Chamonix) simply don’t get this. Top coaches do understand and racers should get a grip on this subtle issue themselves. If this was good enough for Ingemar Stenmark it is certainly good enough for Jon. Many thanks for having the courage to show this on-slope experimentation to the world. And enjoy the races.

Top skiers will nearly always need small adjustments in or out to the cuff angle of their boots. And a huge number of recreational skiers will never be in balance without very large adjustments. Very few people will understand.


Peter White commenting on this excellent video of freeride legend and  aspiring ski-racer Jon Olsson experimenting with boot-cuff shims

(and I think he should have gone further)


























Watching that video reminds me that some racers cant their boots but don’t call it that. They use the expression “Set-up”, which is borrowed from motorsport. Over-canting would be called an “agressive set-up”. I suspect that aggressive set-ups are best applied to Slalom, non-aggressive set-ups to Downhill and Super-G, while GS will need something in between depending on the nature of the course.


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Here is an excellent illustration of a young ski racer set up with under-canting. It illustrates very clearly the type of stance that indicates this problem with the boots.

If you were to remark that quite a few World Cup level women skiers have this sort of stance I would have to agree. The $29,000 question is whether any correction should be made. My opinion is that they should be brought into alignment. You never see the likes of Vonn, Maze, or Fenninger skiing in this stance!


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And here is a slightly less useful illustration of an over-canted racer. This skier has been deliberately set up for the video with way too much cant. He is obviously having great difficulty coping with the unforgiving behaviour of the skis and is skiing mainly on the inside ski, which is why the outside ski is wobbling so violently. A skier who was accustomed to this set-up would be skiing more smoothly. The stance would be the same and there would be the same tendency to favour the inside ski, but there would be much less of this precarious instability. What this does illustrate is that over-canting someone will probably be a scary experience for them.


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A while ago I discovered a wonderful video online which started off with a discussion of Ingemar Stenmark’s system of canting the underside of his boots. If anyone has the link to that video I would be very grateful if they would send it to me as I have lost it. It is one of those hidden gems buried so deep in cyberspace that the search engines can’t find it and I certainly can’t.



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Finally (for now) a link to an outfit in the USA that certainly talks the talk when it comes to boot alignment. I hesitate a little because I rather fell out with Harald Harb when I contacted him by email. He seems to have what I might call a very ‘Austrian’ attitude with regard to the superiority of his own experience and qualifications. And his total self-belief does seem to get him into a few arguments online. A bit tetchy then, but I know how he feels! Anyway, here’s the link. I expect they will do a very good job of alignment, as Harald insists on this before starting any ski instruction. Feedback from Harald’s customers needed please.






Alignment - Harb Ski Systems





By Peter White


Virtually every skier will benefit from the correct alignment of their boot to exactly match their legs.

And large numbers can never hope to ski well until this adjustment is made.