After trying new PUDZ shin and ankle protectors at Sydney’s awesome Off-Piste ski & board simulator centre in June we were already sold. Three months later after a solid season of road testing we can report they work, and work really well, to solve a lot of ski boot problems.
Sometimes simple solutions are best, and Aussie designer Dave Conway has come up with a winner here that will save you a lot of grief for just $AUD 30 a pack of two.
Building up the ski time, ski legs and pain thresholds – as you inevitably do skiing seasons anywhere, we got to work out just how to get the most out of our pair of PUDZ to deal with a nasty bone spur on the right foot and even nastier crater on the ankle bone on the left foot. The trick is to make sure you seat the PUDZ properly in your ski socks first as you put the socks on, then again putting your boots on – and locking in your boots properly in ski position with already tight settings to avoid movement. Then a little tightening of the boots as you get into top gear depending on the runs/conditions and you should be set for a pain free day – from sketchy hardpack to (sob only 2 so far !) powder days to spring slush busting at speed, the PUDZ just give me more and more confidence and less and less pain.
Skiing is meant to be fun, and a set of PUDZ is a cheap way to keep it that way.
Dave can talk about foams like the normal guy talks about footy teams, analysing their strengths and weaknesses and what they are best suited for – he has been running an industrial foam business for over 30 years.
But he is also a long time keen skier, who like most of us has had his share of boot pain problems. So he set to work to make the ideal easy to use insert pads, and after going through a few prototypes he found the perfect blend of useability, comfort and durability. Made from polyurethane dense foam, PUDZ consistently cushion and protect your shins and ankles.
Of course there are manner of gel packs, foam injections, rubber donuts and many more “solutions” offered by amateurs and professionals alike.
But PUDZ are different, you just pop them on soft side down over your ankle against the skin and then slip your sock on over so they work in any ski boot.
I gave originally gave them a workout at Off-Piste, Sydney’s awesome new Simulator centre in Moore Park, and found they made an instant difference; I have suffered from a nasty bone spur on one instep and a crater on the ball of the ankle on the other foot that have a knack of causing grief however much I get my boots blown out/adjusted etc. Slipping on the PUDZ I was super comfortable, and they also served to make a snugger fit in Off-Piste’s rental boots I was using.
The big Avalanche Simulator really works your legs and a double session here with 30 minutes on the machine equates to a fair whack of skiing – maybe 4 top-to-bottoms on Crackenback Chair at Thredbo for example – and was enough to sell me on the idea. I’m looking forward to using them daily this season.
PUDZ only launched a couple of months ago but already they are available at 30 leading ski shops (see list below) – an indication of how well professionals regard them. Smart bootfitters know a good thing when they see one.
If you rent boots they also work well as noted by improving the fit and eliminating shin bang.
We love them, and they are a shoo-in for a Snow Action Smart Stuff medal. Get them at the shops listed or direct from PUDZ on the link here.
Retailers as at June opening weekend
BELCONNEN SKI N BOARD
ESS BOARD STORES
THE SKI Co.