Punching a ski boot shell is the common term for stretching a ski boot shell, using heat and leverage, to accommodate for irregularities and pressure points in a ski, touring, telemark, or any plastic alpine footwear. The industry standard for the past 30+ years has been a leveraged press using a ball and cup to deform the shell, or hydraulic presses placed inside the shell.
The Pulse Workbench is an 'all in one' bootfitting tool designed to assist in all methods of shell modification. Punching, grinding, replacing hardware, and taking measurements are all made possible by fixing the boot to the workbench by its lug, or sole, which is consequently its strongest element. The Pulse Labs Bridge is an accessory tool designed for retailers currently invested in older tools.
The Pulse Workbench and Pulse Bridge address common problems associated in traditional presses, or 'punches'. Using ball and cup devices can produce a positive punch, however, a negative punch is often created which then causes further discomfort, or the technician has to continue to 'work' the problematic area to eliminate the negative punch. Because the ball is used to 'punch/press/push' the plastic into the cup, the area immediately next to the desired positive punch is pushed in as the press uses the adjoining area for its opposing force. This creates the negative punch as both areas will be affected due to the nature of thermodynamic's effect on all plastics. Two different, and most common types of expansion are pinpoint and general, where general might suggest the entire width of the boot, and pinpoint to suggest one particular area, usually a bonny protrusion, or 'bone spur'.
The Pulse Labs Bridge replaces the 'cup' element of the tool allowing for more precise modifications without the nuances and shear stress the traditional cup exerts on the plastics. It also allows for both general and pinpoint modifications as it is not limited by the size and/or shape of the cup.
As the industry trends towards lighter weight equipment, traditional leveraged presses exert an extreme amount of shear stress on the plastics. The nature of lighter boots trends towards more fragile, and thinner walled boots, again adding to their fragility as it relates to heating and stretching. The Workbench and Bridge provide an alternative which addresses industry trends. Ball and cup leveraged presses can compromise the integrity of the materials and often the compromise is not visible to the naked eye.