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buying new ski boots

hello glocals, could you share some advice on buying ski boots? trying to catch a pair during off season, hopefully shops will sell them cheap! better to look for it in geneva or up at the ski resort?


 


best

The text you are quoting:

hello glocals, could you share some advice on buying ski boots? trying to catch a pair during off season, hopefully shops will sell them cheap! better to look for it in geneva or up at the ski resort?


 


best


Ted TApr 13, 2019 @ 16:56
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Re: buying new ski boots
Post 1

hello glocals, could you share some advice on buying ski boots? trying to catch a pair during off season, hopefully shops will sell them cheap! better to look for it in geneva or up at the ski resort?

 

best


Apr 13, 19 16:56

Hi Ted - you asked for advice, so from a seasoned skier with awkward feet, I would advise as follows:


If it's the first time that you've bought boots, go to a shop in a ski resort and ask to rent-before-you-buy.  This will give you the opportunity of skiing in the boots before committing to buy them.  All sports shops in ski resorts will do this for you.  If you don't buy, you pay for the rental, if you do buy, the rental's free.  


Alternatively, if you do buy in town, buy from a retailer that has a full refund-if-they-dont-fit, policy.  Not many retailers will do this, however.


It's important to remember that the boots will feel a whole lot different in a shop than they will up the mountain.  They'll be warm, for a start, so will feel a lot more comfortable.  They'll be softer, so easier to get on and off.  And you won't be in the same stance, as you will be when they're in your bindings and strapped to a pair of skis.


One last piece of advice, try on boots with the socks you intend to ski in.  Not the retailers socks, or you normal socks, but YOUR ski socks!


The rent-before-you-buy scheme is also the best way to buy skis.


Hope that helps and you find a great pair of boots.  Happy skiing (but hurry as you only have 2 weeks left!!).


 

The text you are quoting:

Hi Ted - you asked for advice, so from a seasoned skier with awkward feet, I would advise as follows:


If it's the first time that you've bought boots, go to a shop in a ski resort and ask to rent-before-you-buy.  This will give you the opportunity of skiing in the boots before committing to buy them.  All sports shops in ski resorts will do this for you.  If you don't buy, you pay for the rental, if you do buy, the rental's free.  


Alternatively, if you do buy in town, buy from a retailer that has a full refund-if-they-dont-fit, policy.  Not many retailers will do this, however.


It's important to remember that the boots will feel a whole lot different in a shop than they will up the mountain.  They'll be warm, for a start, so will feel a lot more comfortable.  They'll be softer, so easier to get on and off.  And you won't be in the same stance, as you will be when they're in your bindings and strapped to a pair of skis.


One last piece of advice, try on boots with the socks you intend to ski in.  Not the retailers socks, or you normal socks, but YOUR ski socks!


The rent-before-you-buy scheme is also the best way to buy skis.


Hope that helps and you find a great pair of boots.  Happy skiing (but hurry as you only have 2 weeks left!!).


 


Carolyn C, Apr 15, 2019 @ 13:26
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Good morning Ted,


Carolyn is absolutely right. Try before you buy, and try them in the conditions you will use them.


I would only add: ski boots will last you for a while, and they will determine how much you will enjoy your skiing, how much control you will have over your skis and how pain-free your skiing will be. Do not buy the cheapest boots you can find. Buy the best you can afford. Once you have an idea which boots those are, do shop around for the best price on that particular brand and style.


Last time I was at GO sport at Val Thoiry, they still had ski items on sale and they had great discounts. In particular, they had Rossignol all-track boots at a 60% discount.

The text you are quoting:

Good morning Ted,


Carolyn is absolutely right. Try before you buy, and try them in the conditions you will use them.


I would only add: ski boots will last you for a while, and they will determine how much you will enjoy your skiing, how much control you will have over your skis and how pain-free your skiing will be. Do not buy the cheapest boots you can find. Buy the best you can afford. Once you have an idea which boots those are, do shop around for the best price on that particular brand and style.


Last time I was at GO sport at Val Thoiry, they still had ski items on sale and they had great discounts. In particular, they had Rossignol all-track boots at a 60% discount.


JR M, Apr 16, 2019 @ 10:28
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Am I the only one taking ski boots for rent? Why do not you do the same thing? You do not ski every day. Why do you need these extra things?)

The text you are quoting:

Am I the only one taking ski boots for rent? Why do not you do the same thing? You do not ski every day. Why do you need these extra things?)


Archie H, Apr 23, 2019 @ 14:36
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Hello Ted,


Boots are the most important purchase you will make as a skier, and they will determine how much fun and progress you make.   SKI boots should actually be comfortable (not like your trainers), and there should certainly not be any pain (although there is a break in period).


Below please find the text of an e-mail I sent a friend on this very topic a couple of years ago, as boot technology/design has not changed in the intervening years what I wrote remains relevant:


All feet are not created equal this is particularly true of ski boot fitting. Your boots are the most critical piece of equipment you will purchase; they will not only determine performance but more critically comfort on the slopes.  


 


Given that you are likely to have the boots you purchase for the next 5 to 10 I would recommend that you do what ever it takes to get an expertly fitted boot, irrespective of brand, color or any other factor. 


 


A good boot fitter Unfortunately is a rare commodity and when you find one you will know it, since his reputation will proceed him, he will fit your foot not to the most expensive or latest fad, but to the boot that is best suited to the geometry of your particular foot and ability level (the more advanced you are as a skier the stiffer the boot). 


 


Not all boots are created equal or created for all skiers. Some brands have wider widths; others run larger or smaller in critical areas which your boot fitter will identify after looking at and sizing your feet (its best to get fitted after the late morning, by which time your feet will have expanded after a night on your back). This is why going to a good size specialized shop with experienced boot fitter is very important (no college kids on vacation please), since his evaluation of your feet and knowledge of his product range will permit him to make the best match to your feet. 


 


Be prepared to spend a couple of hours trying on ski boots while wearing the socks that you will be wearing skiing (if you do not have any already, buy one at the shop). Ski boots are designed to be snug, so you don't want to try on boots with heavier socks than you will be wearing on the slopes.  


 


When going to buy boots keep the following in mind[1]


 


THE BOOT FITTER


Ask for an experienced boot fitter. He must have an understanding of anatomy and biomechanics (movement of joints) to recognize your specific foot type and match it to the correct boot last (shape). He should ask you your height, weight, age, athletic ability, how much do you ski, and where do you ski. These questions help him evaluate your aggressiveness, ability, and approach to skiing. This information is critical for matching your interest and ability to your equipment selection Boots come generic in shape and need to be modified to your unique foot.


 


THE RIGHT BOOT



You want a boot that will be comfortable, of course, and that will help you improve your skiing, but as an inexperienced skier you do not know what is and will be comfortable in a few weeks/months time. The boot should be adequate for now, and work well as you improve. Beginners, low intermediates, and non-aggressive skiers need a fairly soft forward flexing boot. These will be more "forgiving" by not transmitting all your mistakes to your skis. An aggressive or advanced skier needs a stiffer boot that will provide "sensitivity" to movement changes. From the information you provide, your fitter will be able to choose the best performance model. 


 


THE SIZING



Your boot fitter will use a few different sizing devices to determine your approximate boot size. This will give him a place to start. The next step is important; he should remove the liner from the shell and have you place your foot into the shell. With your toes touching the front end of the shell, he will check to see how much room you have behind your heel (Shell length). There should be just less then one inch for recreational skiers, even less for more aggressive, accomplished skiers. Next he will check for side-to-side movement in the forefoot area (Shell width). If you buy your boots too big, the liner will not take a mold of your foot. Then, after a few days of skiing, your feet will begin to "rattle around", requiring you to buckle your boots tighter. But, that will not prove to be tight enough either, so you buckle them even tighter. Now you have created a new problem; a boot that is too narrow. Presto! Your feet are ice cold, and are painfully cramped. If your boots are the correct size, there is one other reason they would feel loose; collapsing arches. This is caused by excessive pronation. Usually your boot fitter will recognize this when he first inspects your foot, but sometimes it is not that obvious. 


If this is your problem, custom insoles, or sportsmedicine ski orthoses is the answer. A custom insole will keep your foot properly centered and somewhat supported in the boot. The more expensive orthoses gives full support to the foot, and also corrects abnormal foot, leg and knee alignment problems. This in turn prevents sore feet, ankles and shins, and helps to prevent excessive knee strain. Skiing biomechanics are completely different from running and walking (gait cycle) biomechanics. For this reason, never put your running or walking orthoses (if you have them) in your ski boots. They are balanced for gait cycle biomechanics.  


 


In my experience a good pair of non-generic orthotics (ideally molded to your feet) is a must to insure the comfort and performance. Given that nearly all people have some arch related deviation (very high arch, collapsed, etc.), it’s a great idea to incorporate this device from the time of purchase given that the implants that come along with boots from the manufacturer are usually 2 or 3 mm thick pads that provide no support. While a a good footbed will fully support your foot and keep everything in place, which means your foot is more comfortable in the boot, the boot performs better because there are less voids in the boot, and ultimately, you ski better because of this.


 


THE "TRY ON"


Be sure to put on a pair of light weight SKI socks. Most agree, thinner is better. Thick socks will crush the foot. A properly fitted boot will go a long way in keeping your feet warm. Now, put the boots on. At first, your toes will most likely touch the front end. If the boots are the correct size, this is to be expected! Buckle the boots and press your knees forward. You will find that your toes pull back from the end. Be patient. Your toes will have a lot more room in 10-15 minutes


 


THE "BREAK-IN"



Wear your boots for 10-15 minutes, then take them off and walk around the store for a while. Why? Because under the pressure of a new boot your circulation dwindles and your feet will tingle and swell. When you take the boots off circulation quickly returns. Do this two or three times during the fitting. (Take a minimum of an hour.) Move your knees back and forth, and side to side, to simulate skiing. If you stand still your feet will go to "sleep". Each time you put the boots back on they should feel roomier and more comfortable. During the break-in, the boots will form a deeper heel pocket, thus pulling your toes even farther away from the front of the boot. You should notice that your toes have more room, yet the rest of the boot still feels quite tight. At the end of an hour, pressure points will be obvious. Tight spots are to be expected until your foot has time to press the moldable liner away from any bony prominences. Your boot fitter can make the necessary minor adjustments, but should refrain from making major ones until you have had a chance to ski. Go to a local area to test them before heading 1000 miles away from you boot fitter. - or take him along! Remember, your boots must not feel loose when you leave the store. They will "grow" larger as they mold to your foot during skiing.


 


The last step will be for the fitter to adjust the cuff alignment. This allows the boot cuff to match your leg angle as it meets the ankle. If your fitter determines that your legs are fairly straight, you might not need this feature, but if you have a more pronounced problem, cuff alignment and canting the ski might be necessary.


CANTING



A word of caution: Canting of skis can be tricky. There has been renewed interest in canting. A recently published article suggests canting can be a "cure" for most performance problems. This is just not so, and has been causing more problems then it has solved. A very careful assessment is required in the ski shop, and sometimes also on snow.


 


Now, go skiing. It will take at least 4-6 days of skiing to break in the liner. Return to your boot fitter as necessary. He would be surprised if you did not need adjustments! Good luck!


 


Women who at some point have worn high heels, will at some point have caused some kind of damage to their feet (bunions, hammer toes, etc.), requiring modifications to their ski boots in order to minimize or eliminate pain “hot spots”. This is done at the time of purchase and perfected as you ski and problem points are identified.


 


If you were in the NYC area I would suggest that you take the time to drive 100 miles to Hunter Village NY and make a call for an appointment with 


 


Keith Holmquist


The Pro Ski and Ride


+1 518 263 5303


In Geneva, I have visited every ski shop and have found that the prices are rather stupid, so I strongly suggest that you go to Chamonix and visit:


 


 


Foot Works 


NOT SURE THAT THEY ARE IN BUSINESS AT SAME LOCATION


7 Place Edmond Desailloud 


74400 Chamonix 


Tel: +33 (0) 4 50 53 46 52 


http://www.foot-works.fr


 


I called and asked for reference prices and was told that for ski boots for a begginer that will serve you for a few years you are looking at Euro 300 to 600 depending on what type of foot you have and what you may want. Foot beds are made at the time of boot purchase and will cost Euro 90.  After purchase service is included.  You can make a appointment with them starting in early November


SOLE BOOTS Labs 


NOT SURE THAT THEY ARE IN BUSINESS AT SAME LOCATION


 14 Chemin des Pouvolles,


74400 Chamonix


+33 4 50 96 11 63


 


After speaking with them about ladies ski books, you should be looking to spend around Euro 399 + Foot beds Euro 99, after service is included. They do not sell boots without foot beds (unless you are the 1 in a million customer who has a perfect foot). You can make an appointment to see them starting in late October.


 


Here is a link of the process that a high level skier goes through when purchasing ski boots, what you will be purchasing will be less expensive but the process will be similar. http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/47170/a-bootfitting-story-long-but-detailed-and-with-pics


Here is a fun article about women ski boot (backcountry) boots. http://www.wildsnow.com/8444/ski-boot-fitting-women-backcountry/


An interesting option here, if this is of interest to you, I know an ex-World Circuit Skier and ex instructor of mine that owns a shop that carries Fischer (she raced for Fisher once-upon-a-time), whom you could visit.  Please ask me for her details if interested. http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/100755/2012-fischer-vacuum-ski-boot-a-game-changer


In regard to the above, I spoke to her about the Vacum Fit and she says that if you wish you can have this system, which is very good, but as a beginner its not really what you want, since the boots are perhaps too stiff for you.  I inquired as to how much you would be looking at spending for a good pair of boots that would serve you well for the next few years; her response was “starting at ChF 450 with foot beds costing an additional ChF 129”.  If you are interested, by the end of next week she should have her full complement of stock.  I should add that Celine is perhaps one of the best ski instructors that I have ever had, she is a kind, honest and very focused ski professional, any gear that she puts you on will be spot on.


DATWYLER SPORTS


Place de la Gare


Villars-sur-Ollon


http://www.daetwyler-sports-villars.ch/E/contact.html


The Villars ski area is easily reached by train and is quite lovely.  When Celine was still teaching, I went many times there to specifically take classes with her.


 


While the boot fitter is working on your boots ask him about how to care for them after skiing for the day and how to store them between seasons. 





[1]Much of the material below is taken and slightly modified from: HOW TO BUY SKI BOOTS by Dr. Robert Scott Steinberg




 

The text you are quoting:

Hello Ted,


Boots are the most important purchase you will make as a skier, and they will determine how much fun and progress you make.   SKI boots should actually be comfortable (not like your trainers), and there should certainly not be any pain (although there is a break in period).


Below please find the text of an e-mail I sent a friend on this very topic a couple of years ago, as boot technology/design has not changed in the intervening years what I wrote remains relevant:


All feet are not created equal this is particularly true of ski boot fitting. Your boots are the most critical piece of equipment you will purchase; they will not only determine performance but more critically comfort on the slopes.  


 


Given that you are likely to have the boots you purchase for the next 5 to 10 I would recommend that you do what ever it takes to get an expertly fitted boot, irrespective of brand, color or any other factor. 


 


A good boot fitter Unfortunately is a rare commodity and when you find one you will know it, since his reputation will proceed him, he will fit your foot not to the most expensive or latest fad, but to the boot that is best suited to the geometry of your particular foot and ability level (the more advanced you are as a skier the stiffer the boot). 


 


Not all boots are created equal or created for all skiers. Some brands have wider widths; others run larger or smaller in critical areas which your boot fitter will identify after looking at and sizing your feet (its best to get fitted after the late morning, by which time your feet will have expanded after a night on your back). This is why going to a good size specialized shop with experienced boot fitter is very important (no college kids on vacation please), since his evaluation of your feet and knowledge of his product range will permit him to make the best match to your feet. 


 


Be prepared to spend a couple of hours trying on ski boots while wearing the socks that you will be wearing skiing (if you do not have any already, buy one at the shop). Ski boots are designed to be snug, so you don't want to try on boots with heavier socks than you will be wearing on the slopes.  


 


When going to buy boots keep the following in mind[1]


 


THE BOOT FITTER


Ask for an experienced boot fitter. He must have an understanding of anatomy and biomechanics (movement of joints) to recognize your specific foot type and match it to the correct boot last (shape). He should ask you your height, weight, age, athletic ability, how much do you ski, and where do you ski. These questions help him evaluate your aggressiveness, ability, and approach to skiing. This information is critical for matching your interest and ability to your equipment selection Boots come generic in shape and need to be modified to your unique foot.


 


THE RIGHT BOOT



You want a boot that will be comfortable, of course, and that will help you improve your skiing, but as an inexperienced skier you do not know what is and will be comfortable in a few weeks/months time. The boot should be adequate for now, and work well as you improve. Beginners, low intermediates, and non-aggressive skiers need a fairly soft forward flexing boot. These will be more "forgiving" by not transmitting all your mistakes to your skis. An aggressive or advanced skier needs a stiffer boot that will provide "sensitivity" to movement changes. From the information you provide, your fitter will be able to choose the best performance model. 


 


THE SIZING



Your boot fitter will use a few different sizing devices to determine your approximate boot size. This will give him a place to start. The next step is important; he should remove the liner from the shell and have you place your foot into the shell. With your toes touching the front end of the shell, he will check to see how much room you have behind your heel (Shell length). There should be just less then one inch for recreational skiers, even less for more aggressive, accomplished skiers. Next he will check for side-to-side movement in the forefoot area (Shell width). If you buy your boots too big, the liner will not take a mold of your foot. Then, after a few days of skiing, your feet will begin to "rattle around", requiring you to buckle your boots tighter. But, that will not prove to be tight enough either, so you buckle them even tighter. Now you have created a new problem; a boot that is too narrow. Presto! Your feet are ice cold, and are painfully cramped. If your boots are the correct size, there is one other reason they would feel loose; collapsing arches. This is caused by excessive pronation. Usually your boot fitter will recognize this when he first inspects your foot, but sometimes it is not that obvious. 


If this is your problem, custom insoles, or sportsmedicine ski orthoses is the answer. A custom insole will keep your foot properly centered and somewhat supported in the boot. The more expensive orthoses gives full support to the foot, and also corrects abnormal foot, leg and knee alignment problems. This in turn prevents sore feet, ankles and shins, and helps to prevent excessive knee strain. Skiing biomechanics are completely different from running and walking (gait cycle) biomechanics. For this reason, never put your running or walking orthoses (if you have them) in your ski boots. They are balanced for gait cycle biomechanics.  


 


In my experience a good pair of non-generic orthotics (ideally molded to your feet) is a must to insure the comfort and performance. Given that nearly all people have some arch related deviation (very high arch, collapsed, etc.), it’s a great idea to incorporate this device from the time of purchase given that the implants that come along with boots from the manufacturer are usually 2 or 3 mm thick pads that provide no support. While a a good footbed will fully support your foot and keep everything in place, which means your foot is more comfortable in the boot, the boot performs better because there are less voids in the boot, and ultimately, you ski better because of this.


 


THE "TRY ON"


Be sure to put on a pair of light weight SKI socks. Most agree, thinner is better. Thick socks will crush the foot. A properly fitted boot will go a long way in keeping your feet warm. Now, put the boots on. At first, your toes will most likely touch the front end. If the boots are the correct size, this is to be expected! Buckle the boots and press your knees forward. You will find that your toes pull back from the end. Be patient. Your toes will have a lot more room in 10-15 minutes


 


THE "BREAK-IN"



Wear your boots for 10-15 minutes, then take them off and walk around the store for a while. Why? Because under the pressure of a new boot your circulation dwindles and your feet will tingle and swell. When you take the boots off circulation quickly returns. Do this two or three times during the fitting. (Take a minimum of an hour.) Move your knees back and forth, and side to side, to simulate skiing. If you stand still your feet will go to "sleep". Each time you put the boots back on they should feel roomier and more comfortable. During the break-in, the boots will form a deeper heel pocket, thus pulling your toes even farther away from the front of the boot. You should notice that your toes have more room, yet the rest of the boot still feels quite tight. At the end of an hour, pressure points will be obvious. Tight spots are to be expected until your foot has time to press the moldable liner away from any bony prominences. Your boot fitter can make the necessary minor adjustments, but should refrain from making major ones until you have had a chance to ski. Go to a local area to test them before heading 1000 miles away from you boot fitter. - or take him along! Remember, your boots must not feel loose when you leave the store. They will "grow" larger as they mold to your foot during skiing.


 


The last step will be for the fitter to adjust the cuff alignment. This allows the boot cuff to match your leg angle as it meets the ankle. If your fitter determines that your legs are fairly straight, you might not need this feature, but if you have a more pronounced problem, cuff alignment and canting the ski might be necessary.


CANTING



A word of caution: Canting of skis can be tricky. There has been renewed interest in canting. A recently published article suggests canting can be a "cure" for most performance problems. This is just not so, and has been causing more problems then it has solved. A very careful assessment is required in the ski shop, and sometimes also on snow.


 


Now, go skiing. It will take at least 4-6 days of skiing to break in the liner. Return to your boot fitter as necessary. He would be surprised if you did not need adjustments! Good luck!


 


Women who at some point have worn high heels, will at some point have caused some kind of damage to their feet (bunions, hammer toes, etc.), requiring modifications to their ski boots in order to minimize or eliminate pain “hot spots”. This is done at the time of purchase and perfected as you ski and problem points are identified.


 


If you were in the NYC area I would suggest that you take the time to drive 100 miles to Hunter Village NY and make a call for an appointment with 


 


Keith Holmquist


The Pro Ski and Ride


+1 518 263 5303


In Geneva, I have visited every ski shop and have found that the prices are rather stupid, so I strongly suggest that you go to Chamonix and visit:


 


 


Foot Works 


NOT SURE THAT THEY ARE IN BUSINESS AT SAME LOCATION


7 Place Edmond Desailloud 


74400 Chamonix 


Tel: +33 (0) 4 50 53 46 52 


http://www.foot-works.fr


 


I called and asked for reference prices and was told that for ski boots for a begginer that will serve you for a few years you are looking at Euro 300 to 600 depending on what type of foot you have and what you may want. Foot beds are made at the time of boot purchase and will cost Euro 90.  After purchase service is included.  You can make a appointment with them starting in early November


SOLE BOOTS Labs 


NOT SURE THAT THEY ARE IN BUSINESS AT SAME LOCATION


 14 Chemin des Pouvolles,


74400 Chamonix


+33 4 50 96 11 63


 


After speaking with them about ladies ski books, you should be looking to spend around Euro 399 + Foot beds Euro 99, after service is included. They do not sell boots without foot beds (unless you are the 1 in a million customer who has a perfect foot). You can make an appointment to see them starting in late October.


 


Here is a link of the process that a high level skier goes through when purchasing ski boots, what you will be purchasing will be less expensive but the process will be similar. http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/47170/a-bootfitting-story-long-but-detailed-and-with-pics


Here is a fun article about women ski boot (backcountry) boots. http://www.wildsnow.com/8444/ski-boot-fitting-women-backcountry/


An interesting option here, if this is of interest to you, I know an ex-World Circuit Skier and ex instructor of mine that owns a shop that carries Fischer (she raced for Fisher once-upon-a-time), whom you could visit.  Please ask me for her details if interested. http://epicski.onthesnow.com/t/100755/2012-fischer-vacuum-ski-boot-a-game-changer


In regard to the above, I spoke to her about the Vacum Fit and she says that if you wish you can have this system, which is very good, but as a beginner its not really what you want, since the boots are perhaps too stiff for you.  I inquired as to how much you would be looking at spending for a good pair of boots that would serve you well for the next few years; her response was “starting at ChF 450 with foot beds costing an additional ChF 129”.  If you are interested, by the end of next week she should have her full complement of stock.  I should add that Celine is perhaps one of the best ski instructors that I have ever had, she is a kind, honest and very focused ski professional, any gear that she puts you on will be spot on.


DATWYLER SPORTS


Place de la Gare


Villars-sur-Ollon


http://www.daetwyler-sports-villars.ch/E/contact.html


The Villars ski area is easily reached by train and is quite lovely.  When Celine was still teaching, I went many times there to specifically take classes with her.


 


While the boot fitter is working on your boots ask him about how to care for them after skiing for the day and how to store them between seasons. 





[1]Much of the material below is taken and slightly modified from: HOW TO BUY SKI BOOTS by Dr. Robert Scott Steinberg




 


Skirod333, Apr 28, 2019 @ 19:49
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