Binding footbed height

Fam-manFam-man Posts: 220 Solid Baller
edited May 5 in Skis Fins Bindings
Does anyone give consideration to the height of the footbed with your binding setup?
I’ve run a radar vapor carbitex front for a few years. For a back I’ve gone from a Vector feather frame to a stock adjustable rtp to a modified rtp. The modification. Was removing the footbed padding and moving the rubber strap back on the mounting plate.

Skied with the modified rtp for the first time last night and seemed to have a hard time getting front foot pressure during the glide.

Was dry testing the various setups in the garage and noticed the different footbed height between front and back foot (back lower) seemed to prevent me from getting over my front foot.

Anyone else notice something similar, or would it just not matter on the water?

Early season here in Canada so just free skiing, no real performance gauge for setup difference yet.


  • 2tracmind2tracmind Posts: 58 Baller
    Assuming your ski was well dialed in before the change you could notice a loss in performance. The foot bed thickness of the front and rear boot should match unless you have one leg that is noticeably different.
  • PatMPatM Posts: 891 Crazy Baller
    Not that any of use will ever feel what he felt, but Andy Mapple use to take out the foot beds all together so his foot was as close to the ski as possible.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 32,941 Administrator
    @PatM that story about Mapple is legendary and I believe it is true but at the end of his career he was using a reflex so it could not have been that important.

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  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,338 Mega Baller
    Then there are also quite a few on RTP that remove the foam pad and apply thin grip tape - that's thinner and lower than any front boot combo.
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,412 Mega Baller
    Clearly @twhisper is level with double Reflex. I am curious as to what @adamhcaldwell and the other optimal slalom boot RTP guys have to say. I recall Adam saying he found himself falling back with a padded RTP and that didn't happen when replaced with grip tape. It seems the Supershell sole is about 1/4" thick. The surface of my carbon front plate is the same height as the grip tape surface on my RTP, so my front foot is higher by that thickness. Personally, I count on toe tricks to keep my back leg 1/4" longer than the front to balance things out ;) .
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • twhispertwhisper Posts: 148 Open or Level 9 Skier
    @dchristman I actually skied all of last season on RTP except I skied Worlds in double Reflex.

    I have tested a LOT of binding configurations.
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,412 Mega Baller
    @twhisper so did you shim up the RTP to account for the sole thickness of the front boot?
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • Fam-manFam-man Posts: 220 Solid Baller
    Good feedback everyone, thanks.
    I started down the path of RTP and modified RTP based on forum discussions. Seeing how many high level skiers use a hardshell/rtp combination I didn't even consider if foot bed height would be a factor. As with other things individual body mechanics and technique may allow some skiers to compensate for the different foot heights. Something for me to play with as I get into the season.
  • twhispertwhisper Posts: 148 Open or Level 9 Skier
    @dchristman I've found that the thicker pad on the D3 RTP has a nice height. I added some grip tape to help me feel more secure.
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,881 Mega Baller
    D3 plates also have nice fore and aft micro just holes built in.
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,362 Mega Baller
    For awhile I skied with the opposite setup. Front foot was noticably lower than the rear Radar Vector boot. My skiing wasn't at a level I could tell the difference, but Andy Mapply suggested changing to to be more level.

    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas

  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 2,259 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    IMO, as a rule, the closer you can get your feet to the ski, the better (and barring something really unusual, they should both be the same height). Andy cutting out the footbed is obviously the extreme example, but shows how important he thought it was. The basic idea is that less material between your foot and the ski improves your "connection" and ability to control the ski.

    With any binding setup, there are trade-offs, so Andy moving to a Reflex was an improvement at the expense of raising the foot. Many skiers have done well with the old HO Animals that raised the foot considerably, and the Goode Powershells, that raise the foot approx 3/8" over a similar Reflex setup.

    If someone got creative and designed a realistic way to reduce the material thickness of a hardshell setup, I will wager the performance improvement will be quite noticeable.
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  • DeanoskiDeanoski Posts: 1,169 Crazy Baller
    Nates is on a T factor it has a thick foot bed. IMO both feet being level is more important than height.
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,414 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    Body Mechanics, try this one if you are right handed, hold your left arm/hand out level with your shoulders ask somebody to push down on your hand/arm and you should be able to resist, can't remember which foot but try both, two or three dimes, under,say your left heel, hold your arm out and ask somebody to push down, your arm will collapse you will not be able to resist.
    For left handed it is the opposite way round.

    Does front and rear binding foot bed height matter, yes it does.

    Looking Forward To Getting On The Water, It Has Been A Bleak Winter

  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,412 Mega Baller
    I drilled a couple holes in the sole of my Supershell to verify the thickness. It is indeed 1/4". I considered the @twhisper solution, but that would be more work peeling off and replacing grip tape and getting a new flat pad. It would also require a bigger toe rubber to get my foot in to the same position. I measured the pad on my D3 trick RTP (assuming it's the same material) and it is a little less than 1/4" and although it is firm, it is still a bit compressible. One of the reasons for replacing the foam with grip tape was to have a firmer connection to the ski.

    I cut out a couple pads for under the plate from 1/8" rubber I had laying around. The rubber is flexible so as not to affect flex but not significantly compressible. Standing on the floor with my boot on and bare rear foot in position, I can feel that without the 1/4" added in the back shoulders come forward to balance and hips go back. With the pads under the rear foot I don't have to try as hard to straighten my back leg or bend my front knee to balance.

    Leveling the binding has certainly been talked about before, but I always thought "close enough". @Fam-man Thanks for bringing this up. I'm kind of excited about trying this out, I think it's going to make a difference for me. Course goes in Thursday.

    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • DeanoskiDeanoski Posts: 1,169 Crazy Baller
    I run a T factor front and a 3/4 willey rear with a D3 foot bed so both feet are on the same height and feel.
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,412 Mega Baller
    @adamhcaldwell what are your thoughts on this?

    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,412 Mega Baller
    @Fam-man I knew I had seen this discussed before. Here's an interesting thread
    Is it time to ski, yet?
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