Formthotics™ increase Paralympian skier’s speed

11 March 2012 - posted by Formthotics HQ

Adam Hall, NZ’s Order of Merit recipient, continues to dominate in slalom after winning both World Cup slalom races last week at his Northern Hemisphere home mountain, Winter Park CO.

“I am absolutely amazed at how this week has gone,” said Hall. “First with winning my first ever World Cup Super G, and then winning the World Cup Slalom. Everyone dreams of having their national anthem played and to hear that twice this week has been incredible”

After one day’s rest, Hall travels to Canada on Sunday for the World Cup Finals where he is in contention for the overall titles in Super G and Slalom.

2011 was a very busy year for Team Adam Hall. While in NZ during his off season, the team focused on how to go faster and be more efficient without subjecting Adam’s body to too much physical strain.

Adam relies on AFO’s (ankle foot orthoses) to walks, and has done all his life. His original AFO’s were designed by orthotists to support his natural stance and to keep his foot/ankle elevated enough to be able to walk.

Until last year Adam was skiing with the same AFO’s he used for walking, however, he was having a lot of problems with injuries. During 2008 in a Super G race he fully ruptured his Anterior Cruciate Ligament, and back in 1998 he had surgery to part of his ankle joint to try and reduce his ankles caving in so much.

To try and help get a better stance in his ski boots they adjusted his original AFO’s by using some pretty thick aggressive hard foam underneath the AFO’s. “At least they made me taller, but I still couldn’t get very close to a flat ski position. With the benefit of hindsight it seems quite ridiculous, and probably the only real surprise is that I didn’t do more damage to myself than I did” says Hall.

Then during the 2011 New Zealand Winter, as a part of a complete review of his equipment, Adam tried Formthotics™ for the very first time. The team designed new AFO’s specifically for skiing that helped him stand in a more vertical position and they custom fitted Formthotics to support his feet and ankles from inside the AFO’s.

“I was amazed at what a difference it made but even more delighted by the results on the race course”. The new enhanced position means that Adam’s movement is now much more efficient and effective. Better knee and better hip angles mean much less stress through the main joints that you rely on as a world class athlete.

“It has been awesome to see and feel the difference the Formthotics™ make” says Hall. “My body has felt better. It has felt stronger and better balanced and the results are showing on the snow. I am running a much flatter ski which for me means more speed, especially on the flats, and speed is what it’s all about!”