Ski boot pain is one of the worst feelings that could happen to a skier and it can ruin the trip completely. As you make turns on your skis there is a lot of friction involved, and any type of discomfort can quickly turn into living hell. Shin bang is one of the most common and annoying problems a skier could run into, and in this article, we’ll show you how to prevent it and how to deal with it, in case it does happen.
Shin Bang Definition
Before we head to causes and solutions, it is important to understand what shin-bang is. The term shin-bang is used to describe any type of discomfort or pain in the lower tibia that is in direct contact with the ski boot’s tongue. The bigger the pressure of this contact, the bigger the level of discomfort or pain it will be. To simplify things – if something isn’t right and there is a lot of friction between your skin and your boot due to bad fitting, it will most often result in shin bang.
How Often Shin Bang Occurs
There is no general rule, but most likely at least half of skiers per season have experienced some kind of shin bang related symptoms like bruises, blisters, strains, irritated skin… How far will it develop depends on your reaction, equipment… If you take it seriously, you’ll be back on track in no-time. However, if you decide to ignore it, you may end up in complete living hell.
How Long Does It Take To Heal
Although you’ll be able to get back to the track, wounds and problems caused by shin-bang tend to last up to one week. That’s why it is important to know how to prevent it.
Main Shin Bang Causes
The first step of shin bang prevention is to know what causes it:
The main reason that leads to shin bang is bad buckling. If there is too much space between the shin and the ski boot’s tongue, any steep terrain will lead to your shin banging up against the front of the boot. To prevent it, make sure all the straps are properly tied and your boot is locked in your boot. Especially the upper part of your boots. The less space for movement, the better. Also, you could check out our article about how to break your ski boots.
A Boot Too Big
If you’re positive you’ve clipped everything right and it still isn’t snug and firm, and you feel there is a lot of free space, your boot is too big. To avoid this from happening, check our ski boot buying guide and follow it closely. Also, here you’ll find a ski boot sizing and fit guide.
Flex number is used to describe the stiffness of the boot and its ability to bend the cuff once you press it with your shin in the athletic stance. Flex number completely depends on your skiing style, but most often beginners choose to go with softer boots while more experienced skiers that love to conquer more complex tracks opt for stiffer boots as they provide better control at a higher speed.
Ski Boot Liner
The hard shell of your boot comes with the soft ski boot liner that serves as a main protective layer of your leg against friction and other related stuff that happens as you change directions using ski turns and move down the hill. Because the shin is quite sensitive and lacks significant protection outside of our skin, the lack of the liner’s protection is usually easily felt. If this is the case, look for aftermarket liners. Especially if your hard shell is in good shape.
Avoid going with wooly, cotton, or socks that are too thick. Wooly and cotton socks don’t behave well when wet and could intensify friction between the tongue of the ski boot and the shin. Also, what you should avoid is tucking the long underwear into ski boots. The boot should fit nicely against the shin, an extra layer of clothes may affect it. For proper ski boots and skis putting on, check this article.
How To Fix Shin Bang
It may take some time for problems caused by shin-bang to heal, but there is something that can be done to lower the damage and ease the situation so you can continue your adventure without much of a problem.
Using Beer Koozie
Beer koozies are becoming more and more popular around the world, and they can also be quite useful for this purpose. You can use it by simply placing it down the front side of your boot. Just be careful not to use too thick of a koozie, and it should be as soft as possible. Also, avoid using a small koozie. What makes it a great choice is the fact that you can cut it if needed to adjust it to your boot. And they are cheap. You could also go with any other soft fabric, just make sure it fits nicely.
It may sound silly, but shaving shins may help with shin banging. This way the scratch within the sock will be lowered down and there won’t be as much friction as it would otherwise.
Using A Pad Or A Sponge
The best option is the silicone pad, not thicker than a quarter of an inch. Visit any silicone shop and get silicone that thick. Slowly place it onto your shin, put on the sock to lock it firmly, and insert your leg into the boot. If you can’t find silicone that will work, you could go with anything soft and preferably sticky from one side that you should turn to your skin. The thin sponge will do the trick, or anything similar to it. This way you’ll prevent your shin from rubbing against your boot.
It may not be on the top of the list of your priorities, but a booter strap is an excellent way to lower or completely remove the chances of shin-bang. This strap comes as a replacement for the power strap and lets your boot follow your movement instead of acting like an obstacle you hit on constantly.
Globo Surf Overview
Shin-bang is one of the most spread problems skiers around the world have to deal with and it can seriously affect your adventure by making it unpleasant due to the pain it can cause. With this article, you’ll learn how to whether prevent it or how to minimize ski boot pain so you can enjoy your trip without lowering the excitement level.
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- Shin-bang, Wikipedia.org