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Burke Mountain Academy’s Mikaela Shiffrin has burst onto World Cup scene with slalom

drjeff

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I was talking with one of my kids coaches this past weekend who has STRONG ties to Burke Mountain Academy and also a couple of the coaches on the US Women's tech team about Michaela's amazing rise to the top of the slalom rankings. One of the things where I think that she's going to change the way the elite level racers look at their equipment choices, is in her boot flex. Apparently she isn't on the "standard" uber stiff flexing pair of boots like most elite level racers are taught that they need to be on to get maximum performance and ski response, but a pair of 100 flex Atomic race boots! A much softer flexing boot than i'd imagine that just about every other woman on the world cup circuit is skiing in! Certainly can't argue with how it's letting her control her Atomics around the sticks and across the finishline and on to the podium!

My kids coach was going to try and get Doug Lewis during some of his post race interviews to ask Michaela about her boot flex at some point. I'm interested to hear the answer!
 

BenedictGomez

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A very nice story! It's good to have a US woman tearing it up on slalom, that was the team's weakest link so maybe there will be events where the US women sweep (dominate) everything soon. Didnt realize she was born in Vail, I had hought she was born/raised in Vermont.
 

from_the_NEK

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She is so smooth through the tight gates. I'm pretty sure she would be the youngest ever to win a World Cup discipline title if she can stay at the top of the slalom points.
Hopefully she keeps climbing the ladder in GS as well (tied for 17th in points with Julia right now). She should be back on the snow next Tuesday for a slalom event in Flachau, Austria.
 
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Masskier

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I was talking with one of my kids coaches this past weekend who has STRONG ties to Burke Mountain Academy and also a couple of the coaches on the US Women's tech team about Michaela's amazing rise to the top of the slalom rankings. One of the things where I think that she's going to change the way the elite level racers look at their equipment choices, is in her boot flex. Apparently she isn't on the "standard" uber stiff flexing pair of boots like most elite level racers are taught that they need to be on to get maximum performance and ski response, but a pair of 100 flex Atomic race boots! A much softer flexing boot than i'd imagine that just about every other woman on the world cup circuit is skiing in! Certainly can't argue with how it's letting her control her Atomics around the sticks and across the finishline and on to the podium!

My kids coach was going to try and get Doug Lewis during some of his post race interviews to ask Michaela about her boot flex at some point. I'm interested to hear the answer!


what race program are your kids in?
 

Hawkshot99

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I was talking with one of my kids coaches this past weekend who has STRONG ties to Burke Mountain Academy and also a couple of the coaches on the US Women's tech team about Michaela's amazing rise to the top of the slalom rankings. One of the things where I think that she's going to change the way the elite level racers look at their equipment choices, is in her boot flex. Apparently she isn't on the "standard" uber stiff flexing pair of boots like most elite level racers are taught that they need to be on to get maximum performance and ski response, but a pair of 100 flex Atomic race boots! A much softer flexing boot than i'd imagine that just about every other woman on the world cup circuit is skiing in! Certainly can't argue with how it's letting her control her Atomics around the sticks and across the finishline and on to the podium!

My kids coach was going to try and get Doug Lewis during some of his post race interviews to ask Michaela about her boot flex at some point. I'm interested to hear the answer!

I am not exactly what I would consider world cup level. I have owned race boots in the past, and currently wear a 120 flex Dalbello consumer boot. I feel I have more control in this setup then I did before. I can tell the skis and boots what to do, rather than the boots telling me what to do.
 

drjeff

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I am not exactly what I would consider world cup level. I have owned race boots in the past, and currently wear a 120 flex Dalbello consumer boot. I feel I have more control in this setup then I did before. I can tell the skis and boots what to do, rather than the boots telling me what to do.

That's a great point, and one that so many *cough* seasoned *cough* skiers have a tough time dealing with from being brought up in the era where if you can actually flex it (your skis, your boots, etc ;) ) they must be too soft and obviously not high enough performance wise ;) :lol: Kind of like when you see a "seasoned" skier on a pair of say 15-18m radius modern skis trying to ski them with old school, knees fused together, stand as tall as possible, counter rotate his/her butt against the turn direction technique, the vast advantages of the modern equipment so outweigh the accepted "norms" of the past that if one hasn't already embraced the often subtle changes that they need to make to their thought process about equipment and how they use it, they should!!
 

Puck it

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That's a great point, and one that so many *cough* seasoned *cough* skiers have a tough time dealing with from being brought up in the era where if you can actually flex it (your skis, your boots, etc ;) ) they must be too soft and obviously not high enough performance wise ;) :lol: Kind of like when you see a "seasoned" skier on a pair of say 15-18m radius modern skis trying to ski them with old school, knees fused together, stand as tall as possible, counter rotate his/her butt against the turn direction technique, the vast advantages of the modern equipment so outweigh the accepted "norms" of the past that if one hasn't already embraced the often subtle changes that they need to make to their thought process about equipment and how they use it, they should!!


How much does she weigh? This could be the reason if she small for a 100 flex boot. Lindsey is on a softer flexing boot then say Alberto Tomba would be.
 

drjeff

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How much does she weigh? This could be the reason if she small for a 100 flex boot. Lindsey is on a softer flexing boot then say Alberto Tomba would be.

Her US Ski Team Bio has her at 5-7 and 145lbs (by comparison, Lindsey Vonn is listed at 5-10 160 and Julia Mancuso at 5-6 140), with those stats, she's never going to be mistaken for any of the smaller racers on the women's WC circuit. The 100 flex or so that she's on is softer than the flex that most of the women on the WC circuit use, which is typically in the 120-130 range - Lindsey I read somewhere last season atleast was on the equivalent of a 140 flex boot.

Michaela's boot flex is something different from the "usual" WC equipment standards, and it sure is working for her!!
 
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