Shin Bang. The dreaded pain that all skiers fear. Whether you’re new to skiing, or you’ve been doing it for years, sooner or later, you’ll experience the feeling of shin bang. Many people tend to think it occurs from one’s shin simply ‘banging’ against the front of the boot, but there’s actually a lot more to it than that.
Causes of Shin Bang
It all comes down to the size and fit of your boot, and your typical skiing style.
- Let’s start with the obvious. Your ski boot is too big. If you have too much room to breathe in your boot, then it’s pretty obvious that your foot and shin will be moving around while skiing. Instead of having a ‘roomy’ feel, you want your ski boot to be as snug as possible. Many professional skiers will actually size down from their typical shoe size in a ski boot in order to increase control and limit the possibility of shin bang. Not saying you have to be like a professional skier, but a tight boot is the way to go.
- You’re skiing and/or landing backseat. This is where the mis-conception that shin bang relates to purely from ‘banging your shin’ stems from. Rather, when you consistently ski or land in the back-seat position, you are actually causing a great deal of stress on your shins. Instead of banging and bruising them, you are tearing little tissues and muscles within your shin, similar to that of shin splints.
- Your boot is the wrong flex. Flex, of course, relates to how stiff your boots is. In the case of Full Tilt, flex numbers can range from 4-12, with 4 being soft and 12 being stiff. While with many other companies you may see flex’s ranging from 80-130. In simple terms, if you are relatively small and lightweight, you should not be in a stiff boot as this will cause less mobility and therefore strain your shin. However, if you are a heavier, aggressive skier, you shouldn’t be in a soft boot, as too much maneuverability will onset shin bang as well. In order to find your perfect flex we suggest talking to your local skip shop and getting properly boot-fitted.
- Your liner is worn out. Overtime, your boot’s liner will become ‘packed out.’ In other words, the comfy foam that your liner once had, will dissipate overtime and there make the boot more spacious and less padded.
Preventing Shin Bang
Shin bang can make or break a day on the hill. Don’t let it stop you from getting after it. Make sure you have a boot that fits properly. Nice and snug, not loose like your shoes might be. Make sure you’re skiing in the proper stance, and if you can’t stop landing backseat then work on strengthening your legs. The stronger your legs are, the less likely you are to land backseat!
Finally, ensure you are in the proper flex for your height, weight, and skiing ability, and get new boots and/ or liners every few years to avoid old, packed out gear. With Full Tilt, you can always customize your boots with new tongues and new liners. Make sure you always have the proper gear, simple as that.