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J Biomech. 1988;21(4):299-318.

A second generation microcomputer controlled binding system for alpine skiing research.

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  • 1Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis 95616.


In the study of sports biomechanics, alpine skiing injuries have always demanded significant attention. In order to aid in understanding the loading phenomena associated with alpine skiing, a new research binding system has been designed which enables both the recording of boot loading data and actively controlled release of the skier's boot from the ski. The new research binding system consists of three hardware components, a dynamometer which senses all six load components at the boot/ski interface, an electromechanical device capable of releasing the boot from the ski, and a new general purpose microprocessor-based data acquisition and release control module. Constructed integrally with the dynamometer, the release mechanism is activated by electrical command from the control module. The mechanical and electrical design features of the dynamometer/release mechanism as well as important features of the hardware and software of the data acquisition and control module are briefly discussed. The system has been tested both in the laboratory and on the ski slopes. The emphasis of this paper is on the boot loading data acquired through field testing and observations on the loading environment during common recreational skiing maneuvers. Through analysis of the data, insight into both the style and safety aspects of alpine skiing is gained.

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