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The goals of the study were to quantify how well weight, the product of weight and leg length, and measures of leg strength predict the minimum ski binding retention requirements (MRR) and assess how skier ability, the skiing maneuver, ankle and knee flexions, weight bearing, mean rectified electromyography (MREMG) in the thigh, and concomitant force/moment (F/M) components affect the MRR. Joint flexions at the ankle and knee, MREMG, and F/M components between the binding and the ski were measured in 36 subjects during aggressive skiing. Distributions of the maximum F/M components from run-to-run were used to conclude the MRR for each skier.
Skier weight (W) and weight multiplied by leg length (W x lk) predicted the forward bending moment at the boot top MRR with higher correlation than the varus/valgus and internal/external twisting moment at the knee MRR. The MRRs were essentially independent of skiing ability and the skiing maneuver employed. The maximum F/M components typically occurred during moderate ankle and knee flexion and weight bearing and reduced substantially during conditions of low or high ankle flexion, knee flexion, and weight bearing. The maximum internal/external twisting moments measured during skiing were a strong function of the forward/backward bending and varus/valgus moments. These results offer a basis for the design of ski bindings and binding adjustment standards that may help to reduce the incidence and severity of injuries related to binding function.
alpine skis, injury, sports equipment, ski bindings, binding standards, skiing injuries
Senior engineer, Failure Analysis Associates, Menlo Park, CA
Vice chancellor and professor, University of California, Berkeley, CA