Over the years, I have seen ski setups so insanely difficult to ride that even a professional would struggle to run short lines on them. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage before you even hit the water. Follow these tips to create a ski setup that sets you up for success.
Stick with the Tried and True
As a Connelly skier, I know that hundreds of thousands of dollars and many generations of world-class skiers have produced the factory settings for each Connelly ski that hits the market. As a result, the only foolproof method for ensuring you’re riding a ski capable of taking you to the top is to stay very close to factory settings.
Fin settings can make or break your skiing career. Connelly fin boxes don’t move, but if you bend a fin, change skis or move your fin, make sure you can put it all back exactly where it was.
Go to the Pros
Sure, there’s plenty of information out there about how to set up your ski for the first time, but nothing beats seeing firsthand how a fin is set up and bindings are measured, so make sure to consult the resident expert at your local ski shop or ski school.
With hard-shell bindings, I recommend slightly twisting the left binding to the left and the right binding to the right, which gives your knees a more natural forward flex. Also, you may want to cant your left boot to the left and your right boot to the right by jamming something under the opposite side of each boot. This will generally increase the range of motion in your front ankle. Both of these should be very minute adjustments.
When I first began fin tweaking, I would move one direction at a time. When I am on a new ski today and it’s time to move my fin, I typically move in all three directions at once. Each change you make influences everything else. So by only moving one at a time I feel like I’m just dancing around the numbers I actually want. It may seem complex, but moving all three directions at once allows me to keep the same surface area as the factory setting and helps me find the results I’m looking for faster. Typically I move either shallower, forward and longer than factory or deeper, shorter and back from factory. However, I only tweak when I’m trying a new ski.
Try and Try Again
It’s not very scientific, but good old trial and error is the best way to fine-tune your setup. If moving something works well, move it again until it begins to become a negative and then settle halfway between the too-far mark and your starting position. But as I mentioned before, staying close to factory is the only foolproof method to ensure you are riding a ski that is capable of super-short lines.