Advanced Topics / What bindings are you using and why?

HortonHorton Posts: 23,823 Administrator
I have some pretty specific “suspicions” about bindings and about binding stiffness but have no idea what you guys think. The question is what bindings are you using and why?

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RichdvskierBruce_Butterfield
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Comments

  • tsixamtsixam Posts: 373 Baller
    edited November 2014
    I went from modified Wileys to Radar because I wanted something stiffer and I was happy with them but when they started to fall apart I decided to try double Reflex.
    First set was a disaster, couldn´t make 28 in 8 passes. Second set I cleared 2 passes. By the fourth set it was like I had been on them my whole life. I think I have more edge control and they are very comfortable.
    Tsixam
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 3,923 Mega Baller
    I just got a fresh set of Vapors, looking forward to even better edge control (side stiffeners) if needed, hoping the miserable PNW rain goes away by this weekend so we can ski
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,529 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I'm "old school" D3 leverage up front and toe-loop rear. Achilles flexibility for me has always stunk and my rear heel rises in the so-called pre-turn. (I also have crap spine and hole shots are easier on me in a toe loop).

    I didn't like Strada's up front...I like a tight binding and to get it tight enough I knew I'm not coming out of it. Any thoughts regarding a snug front binding (other than rubber) that releases well for a toe-loop guy? I've roasted both front ankle in dorsi-flexion/eversion injury from grazing a buoy and had a crusher to rear with achilles strain in the last few years. I know I can't avoid all, open to suggestion and willing to toy around given not buying a new ski next season. THX in advance.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 889 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    What = Front Reflex and Rear HO Animal. Why = mostly because I trust the release and partly because I think I want a hardshell in the front for performance. I want more movement in my back foot and I leave the animal laces loose

    I like the leverage you get from the hardshell -> less effort to roll the ski and get side to side. This said, I skied a few times this summer in double rubber and skied really well as if I benefited from the extra freedom in motion. I didn't take the time to finish any experimentation and went back to my standard set up because it was tournament time. I would also like to try a RTP expecting to miss at least a few passes but have not gotten around to that either. I don't think it will be better for me than my rear animal, but I am just curious how it would affect me
  • skidawgskidawg Posts: 3,088 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Double hard shells-total comfort and maximum control
    Mr. Mom is Horton's favorite movie!
  • skiepskiep Posts: 252 Baller
    Double Powershell 5- comfort, and not to much edge. I don't like being to locked in, need some movement.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,823 Administrator
    edited November 2014
    I bring this up to this group because I have used 3 different bindings in the last 2 months. The more I mess with bindings the more important I think it is that bindings not be over stiff. Even with the Radar stuff I could not ski for crap in the new boots until I removed the stiffeners.

    I do not hear skiers talking about bindings being to stiff or to soft but I am sure it is important to get it right.

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  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,071 Mega Baller
    I use my own custom built double hard shells. Currently a reflex boot on the front and a much softer roller blade boot in the rear that is trimmed down significantly.

    Several things that I think are important:

    1) the rear boot needs to allow more lateral flexibility than the front or the ski just won't turn. If you stand in a normal slalom stance, you should notice that your rear leg is angled out while the front leg is straight. The rear boot needs to allow for this and then some.

    2) I prefer my feet to be as close (low) to the ski as possible. Many other setups raise your feet almost half an inch above the surface of the ski. Obviously lots of skiers use these with no issues, but IMO the lower the feet are, the better.

    I'm also in the minority where my feet are locked in with no release. Even before I went to hard shells, I used to wrap duck tape around the top of my rubber bindings for extra support, so I haven't come out of my ski in a fall in close to 20 years. Even in some real butt busters I have had zero ankle or knee injuries since the impact is even across both legs and gets absorbed at the hips. A big caveat for me is that after having more sprained ankles than I could count from years of basketball, I spent a lot of effort increasing the strength and flexibility of my ankles specifically to improve my resistance to injury.

    If you have normal or weak ankles, or if you are not 100% comfortable staying with the ski in ANY fall, you should use a releaseable system.
    If it was easy, they would call it wakeboarding.
    swerveitWish
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,417 Mega Baller
    Been on Strada front and RTP since about 2009. Will switch to Vapor when my Strada wears out. I like the comfort, control and, in the spring and fall, the warmth. Always been a RTP guy. Like the ease of getting up.
    Jim Ross
    elr
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 5,652 Mega Baller
    OB4.

    Release for safety. In my opinion all other commercial products are a distant second place for safety.

    Soft shells for (lack of) control. I move around a fair amount and don't try to use my feet to steer or control, so anything too stiff is very bad for me. This also applies at the shin, where I run the buckle rather loose because I (apparently) allow the ski to roll up a little behind the boat. Some lateral control allows me to leverage harder. But extreme lateral control prevents me from being to leverage well, presumably because the position I want my body in for best resistance to the rope tension results in too much edge.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    JJVDMZN
  • skidawgskidawg Posts: 3,088 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @Bruce_Butterfield‌ - I thought the same way, but all it takes is 1 bad fall
    Mr. Mom is Horton's favorite movie!
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,673 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Bruce's system works fine... until it doesn't. Then the results can be devastating. Don't take the chance.

    I am in a Reflex front with R style rear. I want a hard shell on the front that will release independently. I don't want to go back to rubber, hence the R style rear. 3 years on this set up and could not be more pleased.
    Chuck_Dickey
  • MSMS Posts: 4,303 Mega Baller
    Moved from Wiley Trick Wrap to Approach front/Wiley rear in 2005 with first Monza. Loved the forward pitch of the Approach and probably one of the few who loved them. Knowing they were discontinued I was trying everything I could get my hands on the last 4 years. Reflex was too stiff and did not work. Power shells were too stiff and felt high on the foot (I hate Dual lock also). The D3 drivers were cheap and not comfortable at all. Tried double Stradas in 2011 but I had no control keeping the tip of the ski down. This summer I put a Vapor on the front and kept my rear Wiley instead of a double Vapor set up. This is the best set up for me since the Approach/wiley combo.
    Shut up and ski
  • DUSkierDUSkier Posts: 134 Baller
    FM e series, basically my ankles are toast and it hurts to put a rubber binding on. Had seen a couple of nasty pre release's from some hard shells and that was my major reason for the FM's i.e. cannot pre release. Typically I am a VERY still skier so the stiffness issue is not a huge concern for me,, although it did seem to take about 10 sets for them to "Soften up" and loose that super responsivness
    Nigel Sparrow
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,823 Administrator
    edited November 2014
    I bring this up because after 6-8 years using nothing but Radar bindings I am trying the OB4 system. (The system itself is about release and is a subject for another thread.) What has me thinking is the boots. I was not surprised at how different the boots were but it highlighted for me how little I know about how boots affect my skiing.

    On the OB4 I am using the below boots


    Sitting at my workbench these boots feel pretty stiff laterally. To my surprise once I got my feet in them they feel roughly as laterally stiff as the Radar's. To me the Radars are sort of middle of the range in terms of lateral stiffness and about right.

    The thing I did not expect in the OB4 was how restrained my feet are. This is hard to describe - In the Radar boots or any rubber boot my feet do not move perceivably but in the semi-soft shells sold by OB4 there is ZERO play side to side. Any movement from my feet will be transferred to the ski. I am unsure if this is better or worse for my skiing.

    Along the same train of thought => in rubber or the Radars the amount you angle your back boot is not mega critical. With these OB4 boots I guess the angle is more critical but because my foot is not moving at all.

    If I am going to ski in this style boot long term I might have to go to the next size up shell and use a thicker liner for my front foot. The damage I did to this ankle 10 years ago makes it pretty unhappy without some more cushen or dampening at the wakes.

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  • bishop8950bishop8950 Posts: 889 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    @Horton I find that how I buckle my Relfex has a big impact on comfort and also skiing. I run it pretty snug but not as tight as I can get. If its to tight its hard on my damaged ankle as well both while skiing and sore after. I also have a pretty thick Intuition liner to give me the comfort I need.

    While I try to ski consistent/quiet/stable I end up moving around a decent amount. If I have double hardshells or even my Reflex/Animal too tight I find ski worse. I need a little wiggle room. I am sure this is skier specific and what works for me wont work for all.
    jayski
  • MSMS Posts: 4,303 Mega Baller
    They look like a softer version of the Powershells
    Shut up and ski
    bishop8950
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,823 Administrator
    edited November 2014
    @MS this whole experiment makes me want to try PowerShells again. I do not think they are really much softer but I would like to try. I have only tried them once or twice. Never actually owned a pair.

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    Connelly / DBSkis /   Denali / Eden Ski Lake  / Goode / HO Syndicate / MasterCraft / Masterline

    O'Brien / Performance Ski and Surf / PTM Edge / Stokes / Reflex / Radar / Wakeye

  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 3,923 Mega Baller
    I can't wait to see @horton do a huge OTF as his velcro pre-releases, so please have the video going from the boat on your maiden voyage....
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,823 Administrator
    @richarddoane‌ I used tape most of last summer. No OTF. You just have to be smarter than the binding system.

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    Connelly / DBSkis /   Denali / Eden Ski Lake  / Goode / HO Syndicate / MasterCraft / Masterline

    O'Brien / Performance Ski and Surf / PTM Edge / Stokes / Reflex / Radar / Wakeye

    RichardDoane
  • ColeGiacopuzziColeGiacopuzzi Posts: 347 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    Front foot reflex, very stiff binding that completely changes the reaction of the ski, with a wiley rear for some heel movement, moved to the wiley this year so glad I did great change!!
    Cole Giacopuzzi • Radar Skis
  • MattPMattP Posts: 5,893 Moderator
    @Horton if you move up a size in the binding and use a thicker liner won't the control you feel now diminish and have more "slop" in them?

    I think that one of the main reasons so many people are drawn to the Reflex/Roxa style of hard shells is because of the control and connection they feel to the ski through the bottom of the boot. While these kind of shells may be too stiff around the ankle and up the shin which can be somewhat detrimental in their own way to the skiers performance. Though many people have had great success in them. In my mind the shell needs to be stiff and secure from the bottom of the foot up the foot and just above the ankle. I believe there is such thing as too stiff and too soft of a hardshell. We need to find the right combination of the two as well as cuff height and stiffness. The hard part is every skier is different which leads to personal customization of bindings.

    I think that there is something to be said for the kind of "soft shell" that OB4 is offering. Though I have not tired it yet I will hopefully be able to in the near future.

    @richarddoane‌ I'm thinking he would mount them to the OB4 plate.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,529 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    As a rubber front and toe loop guy...anyone feel the reflex front and rear toe are safer than my set-up? Wasn't able to ski this summer, but in the last 2 ski season did front ankle and rear ankle both in buoy grazing falls with ski hop n stop. I won't go double binding, so looking for opinion on best options for RTP guys.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 5,652 Mega Baller
    Best option for rtp guys is OB4. If you ski anything like me being able to release rotationally is HUGE with rtp. Also sudden stops can release from heel OR toe, whichever one is needed. If I still skied rtp it's the only option I'd consider.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    SkiJayJJVDMZNMattP
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,823 Administrator
    I have told this story before but ...

    I was able to test different versions of the Radar bindings a few years ago. I thought I wanted stiffer boots. Radar sent me a few sets of boots with different stiffnesses. To my surprise I skied worse and worse as the boots got stiffer. I found that I skied substantially smoother in the stock boots. As the boot got stiffer my edge changes got more and more abrupt. There is clearly a sweet spot in terms of stiffness.

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    Connelly / DBSkis /   Denali / Eden Ski Lake  / Goode / HO Syndicate / MasterCraft / Masterline

    O'Brien / Performance Ski and Surf / PTM Edge / Stokes / Reflex / Radar / Wakeye

    Drago
  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 3,923 Mega Baller
    it snowed in Seattle this weekend, so I didn't get to try my new Vapors - ice and snow doesn't Rock !
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • HortonHorton Posts: 23,823 Administrator
    @richarddoane‌ Gallagher I was asking me tonight how such good skiers can come from such cold places. I told her they are all nut jobs.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Connelly / DBSkis /   Denali / Eden Ski Lake  / Goode / HO Syndicate / MasterCraft / Masterline

    O'Brien / Performance Ski and Surf / PTM Edge / Stokes / Reflex / Radar / Wakeye

  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 5,652 Mega Baller
    Hard to argue with facts.

    However, sanity is overrated.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    RichardDoane
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,529 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @than_bogan from the OB4 website:

    Whatever boot is used, your foot must not be able to come out of the boot in order for the release to work properly.

    I had not considered OB4 for this reason. The rear foot certainly comes out of the RTP.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 5,652 Mega Baller
    edited December 2014
    @6balls No no, they have a half-length plate option for the RTPers. The only thing meant by the website info is that any boot that is connected into the OB4 release needs to stay on. It's just like the Reflex/RTP combo in that regard, except the OB4 releases in twisting falls and some other directions that the Reflex doesn't. MattP has been running the OB4/RTP combo all year and seems to love it.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    6ballsMattPmmosley899Horton
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