IMG_0416Today was a great day of testing at Stowe for the DODGE crew.

Dave has been working with GOODE Ski Technologies to develop a new race ski (it’s going to be freaking killer). Today he was testing the first prototype compared to his regular GS skis.

We were able to get a bunch of runs on Stowe’s “coin-op” course, located under the gondola.  It’s nice, because you can run and run and run, make little (or big) changes and then see on the clock just how the changes affect your time.  Dave was able to quantify the difference between skis and gathered some really good data.  Tomorrow he’ll be testing a slightly revised ski, incorporating some tweaks in the design, so we’re looking forward to the times, `cause the clock don’t lie!

James Laughlin (captain of our Tuesday Stowe Ski Bum race team) was busy testing skis as well, going back and forth between some “old” skis and some “new” skis where the only supposed difference was in the base tune.  James (another engineer) might be accused by non-engineers as being obsessed, but I truly do appreciate his discipline in isolating and testing variables to find the optimal set-up.

After skiing today, James came to the DODGE factory to get onto our boot dyno and we gave him a couple of ideas to test next time he’s on skis.  Nothing major, but a little tweak on his forward lean and cuff angle. It’ll be great to have feedback from someone as discerning as James.

Speaking of the boot dyno (and the title of this post), I was able to do a long-awaited comparison of boots I had set up using traditional boot alignment techniques and those I set up using our boot dyno.

Long-time readers will know I drastically changed my alignment this year based on the readings we found with the boot dyno.  I am really happy with the way things are working and feel I am finally skiing well. And, even more, I am getting some really positive feedback from people who know what they are looking at, so I think the changes I have made are correct.

With all that in mind, I have to admit, I was a little nervous about stepping back into my shells from last season and, frankly, about the pressures that might be exerted on my knee from a different alignment.

You see, my dynamic alignment is pretty much opposite of the alignment prescribed by traditional methods.  With my old alignment, I exhibited a “trademark” technique of right knee dropped inside and right hip stacked over the outside ski, as well as a scissoring of my inside ski.  That all disappeared with my dynamic alignment and, as Dave says, I look like a racer!

When I got into last year’s shells, with the “old” traditional alignment, I immediately reverted to my old style. The feeling was horrible!  I felt way, way over canted (which I was compared to my dynamic alignment setup) and I could not feather the edge a bit.  The skis felt too sharp, I couldn’t drop my hip into the turn and, frankly I was scared!

A single timed run on the coin-op course confirmed my trepidations as I was over a second slower. And, damn, I felt bad.

Not wishing to push my luck, I switched back to my boot with the dynamic alignment and, voila, I was back!  My next run on the course was 1 second faster and I just plain felt like a skier!

So, with apologies to my late friend Toy Caldwell (writer of The Marshall Tucker Band hit “Can’t You See”), yes, I CAN see how effective the DODGE dynamic boot alignment system is!

We’re back at it again tomorrow at Stowe, so give us a shout if you want to take a few turns on some DODGE carbon fiber ski boots!