Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor


What are those?

This letter is in response to Mr. Otto Wiest’s letter “A Safer Ski.” Wiest talks about how many locals, racers and guests blow their ACLs. I’ve skied the skis he is recommending (skis with virtually no tail, at least a shorter tail than most skis) and I agree, it probably is a safer ski. But there is something out there that makes you even safer than these skis.

“Hey! What are those?” That’s the question I hear dozens of times every day from other skiers when I ski with CADS. What are they? “Constant-force-articulated-dynamic struts.” What? Why should skiers know this? Because no other technical breakthrough in the history of ski equipment does so much. The most important reasons are that they make skiing easier, much safer, and much more fun! How much safer?

ACLs are blown at the rate of about one out of every 2,000 skier days. Based on approximately 2,000-plus CADS users, there should be about 14 blown ACL grade 3 ruptures per year for the last 13 years among these CAD users. There are none to date that Walter Dandy (the inventor) is aware of!

CADS are a system where a rubber power unit is attached to the back of your ski boot on each leg. The skier wears a harness attached to each upper thigh, over your long johns and under your ski pants. A special high strength fiberglass rod fits into a socket on each rubber power unit. These rods reach up to about two inches below your true waist. Each rod has a small pulley on top. Woven dacron cords are attached to the back of the harness and go up through grommets just about the seat of the skier’s pants, then over the pulleys and down to the power units. This produces a lift up on the seat of the skier which unloads all the joints in the leg.

If you have leg joint pain, this lift eliminates the pain. The more one bends the legs the more the power unit is stretched producing more and more lift. Since the skier is pulling down on one side of the rod and the rubber power unit is resisting on the other side, all of the force is down through the rod to the boot and then to the ski. This dampens the ski more than any ski manufacturer can possibly build into the ski. CADS are the “super sports car” of shock absorber systems!

What do CADS really do? 1. CADS dampen the skis by putting downward pressure on the skis, which: a) makes the skis faster like a well-waxed ski which makes them easier to turn; b) holds the skis on the snow for better edging, stability and ski control; c) cuts down on chatter by helping to eliminate the forces trying to flatten the ski, especially when angulating, and d) stabilizes the skis as well as the knees. It makes skiing crud almost like skiing untracked powder.

CADS take the pressure off the feet, ankles, knees, and thighs by lifting up on your seat, which: a) reinforces what your quad muscles do; b) eliminates pain in all leg joints; c) even helps reduce lower back pain; d) instantly increases leg strength by about 30 percent; e) helps you to ski with the proper stance; f) reduces fatigue so your quads never burn and you never have to stop if you don’t want to.

Put this all together and you have a much better skier, a much safer skier, and a skier having a lot more fun! The ski patrol confirms that they get very busy around 2 p.m. and later on most days because that is when most people are tired. With CADS you don’t feel tired until after skiing – and you should, since you’ve skied an average 34 percent more hours per day (Gallup ski industry “leisure trends”).

Mr. Wiest says he blew out his ACL without even falling down, just sitting back too far. Racers do this all the time because they are fighting so hard not to hit the snow and that is when the knee goes. Because a rubber band is a progressive force (the more you stretch it the tighter it gets), CADS totally prevents that kind of blown ACL. Bend your knee more and more is how you get more and more support. I’ll challenge the Hermann Maier anytime to a full race tuck contest. I can stay in a tuck all day if I want to – with CADS.

With CADS, the more runs you get the better they get. You have to ski them to trust them. The more you trust them, the more you can relax. And the more you relax, the more CADS will do for you. They will save you time and again. About six years ago I hit a jump with a bigger kicker than I wanted. I got about eight feet higher than I had planned and I out-jumped the steep landing spot and I was coming down onto a flat from about 15 feet in the air. I thought to myself that I was going to break both legs. But CADS saved me. I didn’t even feel the impact. I went back and measured the length of my jump – 96 feet!

Mr. Wiest mentions Dave Gorsuch (ex-U.S. Ski Team). He uses CADS. He didn’t mention Adam Aron and how he understands the importance of “improving skiing wherever possible”? He could improve skiing immensely if he would really get behind CADS and set up sort of real program through TV, ski school, and other promotions.

If ski racers would train and race with CADS, they could probably cut their surgeries at least in half. But no, the FIS and Olympic committee banned CADS, saying that they were an unfair advantage. Funny, they did recognize that CADS really were faster! Because less chatter makes it easier to hold a better line, thus faster, etc. BUT they would not be an unfair advantage if all racers used them. Hmm, funny that they would ban CADS and subject their racers to be at more risk when there is a proven product available. All they have to do is use it!

How do you feel when you hold up your group? Do they bitch at you to hurry up? I know of many skiers caught up in this situation. But now they have CADS! Their buddies are now on the opposite side – slower than the one who used to hold them up! So now they need CADS. How about that?

This brings me to a very interesting point. Why aren’t more skiers rushing to get CADS? Well, they look pretty odd. SO WHAT? It’s what they do that counts! Since women are more concerned about speed than men, skiing with CADS gives them a lot more control, more stability, and even makes them look a lot better and gives them a lot more confidence.

The most skeptical skiers are ski instructors. If they would open their closed minds and try CADS out by skiing them enough to be able to really find out what they will do for them, they would change their tune, and some have! Instructors have a moral duty to help students learn to be better and safer skiers. If that means equipment, then CADS should be on top of the list. What other equipment can do so much? How long do you have to work out at the gym to increase your leg strength 30 percent? Where does it say that skiers have to get tired and risk a $20,000 knee reconstruction before they can have fun skiing? All the ski instructors should be on CADS – the amount of money that could be saved by Vail Resorts from instructors knee injuries through workmen’s comp will boggle your mind. It’s probably over $1 million per year!

Dr. Richard Steadman, an orthopedic surgeon in Vail (also the U.S. Ski Team surgeon), recommends CADS for some of his patients. If the cost of just HALF of the 20,000-plus skiers who severely injure their knees each year is $20,000 per knee, it adds up to a whopping $200,000,000! This is an increase of knee injuries three times what it was in 1970 (Forbes, 14 Feb. 1994). Why? Especially because of ski boot improvement. Boots support the ankle better than ever, so injuries move up the leg. This results in more knee as well as arm and shoulder injuries. Why chance it when CADS can help cut the odds of injury?

Now to the “nitty gritty.” What is the most exciting subject to talk about?

New information! What? Powder skiing, fireworks, and sex are exciting.

But discovering new information makes these subjects seem trivial by comparison. Examples are everywhere. TV, cars, lasers, phones, computers, space travel, and (you guessed it) the new super sidecut skis wouldn’t exist except for new information. The point is that without new information coming to us on a regular basis, life would be boring and an unbearable ordeal. There would be no scientists without it and no new products.

Why then do we meet new information with negativity, hostility and many times with violent reactions?

We insist on improvements, then persecute those who bring them to us. The reason new information is attacked, more often than not, is because it is different.

It really boggles the mind that the group that would benefit the most from new and fresh information also fights the hardest against it. New information is routinely attacked, it seems, because it rarely originates from the group that is fighting it the most!

I’ve been trying to help Walter and Jenny Dandy with CADS for over 15 years. I’m tired of the lack of support. CADS could be a huge part of getting skiing back and growing instead of staying flat. Do the math. If thousands of skiers keep skiing another 20 years, do you realize the amount of money that would be in your pockets? It’s huge. Don’t throw it away because you think you’d look funny. I challenge anyone to a day of skiing with me, and I’m 72. It’s what you can do with CADS that counts, not how you think you look. Contact CADS at: CADS.COM or 949-4533.

Just thought I might have a little credibility if you knew some of my credentials. Former U.S. Nationals and World Pro Tour Competitor, Colorado Masters Champion (twice), winner of three Super 40 World Cup races. PSIA fully certified ski instructor, No. 301, since 1963. Of the 98 masters races entered, I won 62.

Murray V. Heminger

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