Binding to accommodate enlarged ankle bone?

SpeshSpesh Posts: 93 Baller
Strange one this.....I'm a UK based skier that has skied on a Reflex front boot the last couple of years, with no problems at all.

The season here last year ended for me me around late September. I was still skiing without issue on the Reflex boot. Around late October I travelled to Jodi Fishers site in Orlando for a couple of weeks to train. In this short period of time, It seems that my right inner ankle bone had noticeably enlarged to the extent that my hardshell Reflex boot was too painful to wear.

Upon my return, I saw a specialist who acknowledged that their was a discrepancy between my left and right ankles, but after Xrays and MRI's determined that there was nothing there that shouldn't be. Both he and I are relcuctant to remove bone from the ankle via an operation, so now my only option seems to be to move away from a hardshell.

I'm keen to hear recommendations for bindings that are forgiving in the ankle area. The current Radar Vapour boot looks to be a good bet, but I can't find a dealer in the UK to try one. The fact that I'm a size 14 (US) only makes matters harder....

Thank you.

Comments

  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,785 Infinite Pandas
    Try a snow ski boot fitter. They should be able to help your Reflex. Molded Intuition liners can solve lots of problems. The snow ski boot fitters do this all the time. You may need a new (larger) shell for the Intuition liner as it is a bit thicker. Or maybe they can pad your Reflex liner or punch out the shell.

    I like Radar boots. I'm using an old RS1, my son uses Stradas, and my wife uses the Lyric on slalom skis. I use a custom hardshell with an Intuition liner for tricks. I used to slalom with a softened flex custom hardshell/Intuition setup which I liked. Lots of choices.

    Eric
  • SpeshSpesh Posts: 93 Baller
    edited February 2015
    Thanks for the respone. The problem is, I'm already using the largest shell that reflex make. Plus the release mechanism has saved my ankle on a fair few occasions, which is why I'm loathing moving away from it.

    But I guess needs must. I'm back in Orlando in a couple of months so can try a broader range of boots while i'm there.
  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,329 Mega Baller
    @eleeski is right on track. ski boot fitters have various steel forms they can use in conjunction with heat to re -shape the shell at your ankle bone. i've seen them put pretty large bulges in plastic snow ski boots and your reflex shell is probably the exact same class of plastic. if your shell had a convenient bulge right where its irritating your inner ankle bone i'll bet you'd be a happy happy man.
  • SpeshSpesh Posts: 93 Baller
    @mwetskier This is indeed an avenue that we explored. But the way the Reflex boot is designed means that the crucial hinge point is right where my ankle bone lies. Being a large metal hinge system, I'm at a loss as far as determining how the boot can be modified without disrupting forward ankle flex.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,785 Infinite Pandas
    I turned a left boot into a right boot with a heat gun. A good bootfitter will certainly be able to help.

    Even if you pin the ankle joint, you can soften the boot with cutouts on the lower body of the boot (Fogmans were cut out like this and I liked the feel so much that I designed a similar feel to my custom boots). The shells are rollerblade shells - you might be able to find some rollerblades that you can play with. I've added the stopper on the back to several boots. It is harder to find shells now as rollerblades have gone away from plastic. You may have to add your own clips to a lace up style (note that the boot I converted of this style was deemed too soft for tricks - good for slalom?). (Also that boot ran large vs the posted size.)

    I normally add a 1cm thick foam pad to the cuff area of my boots (I have thin ankles). In your case, perhaps add the pad with cutouts for your ankle protrusion. I did exactly this to my snow ski boots after the liner packed out and the boots were killing my ankle bone. Worked great.

    Perhaps FM (Fluid Motion in Canada) has a boot your size with Intuitions which will fit in your Reflex release. The FM shells are a bit different from Reflex/Goode shells and some prefer them.

    Finally, Radar boots rock! I liked the safety and switched because I was stressing my ankle. I don't run them tight (that might take a bit of getting used to if you are cranking down your Reflex). I had a few nasty yard sales with proper releases on my sore ankle and no injury. A buddy of mine who pulled his laces really tight broke his ankle on them. But he is skiing again with properly tensioned laces and loves the boots now (confident after a few nasty falls and needed releases with the same boots). It took him only a couple of runs to adapt to looser bungee laces. Now he thinks he prefers it loose.

    Good luck,
    Eric
  • epyscsepyscs Posts: 73 Baller
    I have seen 2 Reflex shells modded by a boot fitter. Was amazing what they could do and I have no doubt they can adjust if for you. I saw one with probably a 8-10mm deflection / lump added in the shell!!

    Might not work for warranty purposes, but they can certainly be moulded well!
  • skialexskialex Posts: 830 Crazy Baller
    What @eleeski says, you can heat mold the shell with a heat gun by yourself even where the hinge point is.
    My ankle did not like the thickness of the metal on the inside so I cut the rivet, driiled it and used an anti rivet nut and a screw and it works great for many years now and it is much thinner on the inside. If you do that you would need to use a thread locking glue and you can also adjust the stiffness of the back and forth movement of the cuff!
    Use a high strength clue so you would not have to often check the screws.
    Good luck,
    Alex,
  • DeanoskiDeanoski Posts: 779 Crazy Baller
    edited February 2015
    As eleeski said see a boot fitter just a ankle punch no problem.

    you can pad the ankle put your foot in the liner and shell then use a heat gun to heat up the shell. let cool. you can put the boot in water to cool faster.

    I have punched many reflex shells for my self and others. most common is the ankle and the 6 toe area.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 1,774 Mega Baller
    OB Systems maybe?
  • mmosley899mmosley899 Posts: 566 Water Ski Industry Professional
    @Spesh Reflex dose not necessarily offer the largest shell available from Roxa, which makes larger shells for their inline and ice skates. The skate part just bolts on. You can re-shape the shell to deal with pressure points.
    Mike's Overall Binding www.mobsystemrelease.com
    Sweet Home Alabama Skiing
    Senior Judge, Senior Driver, Tech Controller
  • SpeshSpesh Posts: 93 Baller
    Thanks for all the responses. On second inspection, it seems that my ankle bone is above the hinge point. I do have a heat gun, so it looks like I will attempt going down the re-shaping route. Failing that, i think I could actually just cut some of the plastic away to accommodate the bone. I'll report back with my findings in the week, when I have a had some time to play around with it.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,785 Infinite Pandas
    Spesh, @skialex has a good idea. The rivets holding the cuff on often fail. Before they completely break they often loosen first. This changes the feel of the boot and might account for the sudden difference to you.

    In the salt and brackish water that I ski, my rivet failure rate is 100%. Check the rivets before you heat mold. I replace with a stainless 8/32 flathead screw with a washer inside, a short length of rubber vacuum hose, another washer on the outside tightened with a stainless nylock nut. Tightening the nut squishes the hose to fill the large hole and tighten the cuff nicely.

    Eric
  • seangiseangi Posts: 1 New Baller
    I shattered my ankle in 2012 using Radar Strada Binding and was disabled as a result. The bindings had that extra Velcro strap and did not release. I still ski but with a modified setup as my right ankle is very swollen and doesn't bend much. I use an older Strada binding and do not tie the laces very tightly. I also ski with ladies nylon compression socks which are very slippery and allow release easier as a result. I've looked at many bindings but none are as comfortable as the Strada that are well worn in. I'd suggest these bindings for a swollen ankle as you can heat mold the liners. The old liners pre 2012 are the best for this application as they are thinner than those in the current bindings. Try some ski shops for an older Radar binding. Swissskischool Proshop. Shuswap in Canada. Perfski in Orlando.
  • SpeshSpesh Posts: 93 Baller
    Thanks again for the responses.

    I have taken the advice of using a heat gun on my Reflex boot which has worked excellently. I have been able to create a larger space for the bone without sacrificing any of the structure of the rest of the boot.

    Hopefully I'll get a chance to try it on the water this weekend, if the sun stays out.
    skialex
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