Radar Binding Quality & Customer Service

I have been skiing on Radar ski's for 6-7 years and have been a huge fan of their ski's. Recently, I went out for a post-work run and blew out the heels of both of my vector boots. I have probably only skied on this ski 30 times. The ski has always been dried/stored indoors and taken care of very well. I can understand that sometimes product fail, but the response I received from Radar customer service really turned me off. It seems that the manufacturer doesn't want to offer any support other than their response below.

"I would highly recommend our new Vectors. As we have changed the construction along the sides to strengthen both the inside and outside of the boot along with the rear end, where you have had troubles...."

I then sent in images to show the unusual break down of the boots explaining that I felt it was a true defect.

Has anyone had blow outs like this and received support from Radar? I can't believe that this is a standard response in the industry. I guess I will have to start looking towards other manufacturers.


  • wtrskiorwtrskior Posts: 704 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2016
    I've found they are among the best in the industry.

    Pics? What is the model year of bindings? Products carry a 1 year warranty typically.

    I have 2 pairs of the second run of RS1 bindings. 2009 I believe and they are far from worn out. Probably the best single waterski product I've ever bought and they were a game changer to boot
  • storm34storm34 Posts: 44 Baller
    Sorry to hear about your mis fortune, hopefully they work with you on a replacement.

    I put a lot of passes on my Radar bindings before they gave out.... lasted much longer than my previous HO bindings. Ended up patching them together with an old turn buoy and some zip ties to get through regionals and have replaced the front with a new Profile binding. If you end up having to buy new go for the Profile boots....you'll love them!

  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 1,959 Crazy Baller
    I seems by their own comments that they recognize a problem in construction. Hopefully @brooks can help you.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • cragginshredcragginshred Posts: 663 Crazy Baller
    My 2011 Vapors lasted 5 years before the front boot (rear portion blew out) and the back boot is still going strong.

    My only request is every year they should be all black to go with every ski!
    Vapor pro 2017
  • H20_2_SkiH20_2_Ski Posts: 6 Baller
    Thank you for all the responses!!! I have sent an email to Brooks and look forward to working with them!
  • WaterSkier12WaterSkier12 Posts: 148 Baller
    The Radar crew is all top notch! Sully, ERJr, my man Roscoe, Brooks, KC and all the others we don't know!
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 644 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    They took 100% excellent care of me. I have no doubt they will do the same for you!
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • ZmanZman Posts: 985 Crazy Baller
    Nothing but the best customer service, the few times I have needed it.
    Blood type IPA
  • freeski41freeski41 Posts: 19 Baller
    edited September 2016
    @storm34 , I bought the same Radar Vapor boots in 2012, broke my leg in 2014 (Not ski related). I had about 10 ski rides on the 2012 ski setup with Radar bindings. I skied once in 2015, barely, as the broken ankle was still not 100%. In 2016, I bought an all new Radar Vapor Lithium setup, with new Vapor bindings. The new 2016 ski has not been working for me, so I tried to go back to my 2012 setup, Radar Vapor bindings and HO S2 ski. While trying to install the boots, one of the bindings ripped out. I couldn't believe how poor quality the bindings were? Warranty is one year, some people live in the north and that could mean limited ski rides per year. I called and spoke to Trevor in warranty and I was told I had to buy new boots for $250 bucks, to replace my rarely used 2012 bindings. I think I paid about $550+ for those bindings that I used 10 times? I'm not sure I can afford to keep buying Radar products?

  • cragginshredcragginshred Posts: 663 Crazy Baller
    Green 2014 Vapor boots are currently $100 ea from Perfski. I had those same boots and they lasted 4 full seasons skiing 3 days a week for 8 months out of the year (Cali season) before the rear rubber ripped.
    Vapor pro 2017
  • freeski41freeski41 Posts: 19 Baller
    edited September 2016
    @cragginshred , thanks for the tip...but I think the best route would be to buy the new bindings for $250....
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 680 Crazy Baller
    edited September 2016
    I've had really good luck with the RS1/Strada/Vapor bindings. I had the same trouble with a lightly used set of Strada's I bought on ski-it-again. Buyer beware on used gear I guess. I've never had any trouble buying last years models on clearance. Been on the RS1, Strada and now Blue Vapors, Great setup. The only problem with them is once something integral to the boot fails you need a new boot. No replacing parts. On the other hand mine usually last a few years before a major failure so durability is decent.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 593 Crazy Baller
    I can say with certainty that their warranty response has a customer for life in me...
  • Steven HainesSteven Haines Posts: 914 Solid Baller
    Nothing lasts forever! If you're in warranty or even a ways out, Radar usually takes care of their customers! They get it!
    Radar Rules!
  • freeski41freeski41 Posts: 19 Baller
    edited September 2016
    Warranting a seasonal waterski product for one year is not standing behind your product. IMHO. There are many people who only ski 5 - 8 times a year. Due to circumstances such as geographic location, or simply not getting the opportunity to ski much because of work, boat availability, weekend skiers etc. With that said, a new product, purchased in the winter at a boat show, and gets a handful of uses, goes out of warranty by the next boat show, then fails apart the next year? That should not be acceptable in this industry.

    In my case, I don't think Radar warranty is doing me any favors. I paid lots of money for a brand new binding system that lasted a ridiculously short amount of time. Kudos to those who had their Radar bindings last multiple seasons. Mine didn't. Heck, even the warranty dept. told me the bindings I bought were substandard build quality and the new ones were much better... Great!! Did they tell me that when they took my $500+ bucks?

    I had an O'brien Sixam ski, I skied the crap out of that ski, sold it to a guy and and it broke in half on him the first time he skied. The ski was out of warranty. I called O'brien and they replaced the ski without question, dropped shipped the guy a new ski. I was actually quite shocked, I didn't expect that. But in hind site, they stood behind their product regardless of warranty time tables.

    Like I said earlier, I have also recently purchased the 2016 Radar slalom package, but going forward, this product/expense experience will effect my future purchases for sure.

  • wtrskiorwtrskior Posts: 704 Crazy Baller
    @freeski41 wahhhhh
  • freeski41freeski41 Posts: 19 Baller
    @eddie, considering the boots were rarely used, I don't see that as a good deal, sorry. I'll consider the offer, but by admittance of your own warranty dept, the binding quality was poor.

  • TallSkinnyGuyTallSkinnyGuy Posts: 520 Solid Baller
    @freeski41 The 2016 Vapor ski didn't work for you? I think that is the first time I've heard that on this forum. Maybe because it has been praised so much that people who didn't click with it are too afraid to state that, or maybe you are the only one on the planet who doesn't like the ski. Anyway, bummer about your bindings, but it seems like Radar is being pretty generous with their offer, and it seems a lot to expect a one-year warranty to be extended so far beyond the warranty period regardless of actual use.
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,424
    Currently I'm on Vapor front Vector open toe rear and although the back rubber is a bit of an issue with the older vector its dead easy to do a repair when it starts to fail. I've had mine for a few seasons now and I'm impressed with the amount of abuse they handle. Thinking back to the days of rubber boots that would tear apart in no time by comparison modern boots are generally really good. As far as putting a warranty on a product that is likely to get a lot of UV exposure I think 1 year is very fair. Consumers will try to take the piss as they say and I think its in everyone's interest that Radar stays in business. Having said all of that my skiing partner who does run into -39 @36 did not enjoy his time on the 2016 Vapor so that makes 2. :)
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski: KD Platinum

  • BroussardBroussard Posts: 289 Baller
    I have met a couple of people that didn't like the Vapor, but overall the response has been overwhelmingly good. You'll never please everyone, keep making great products Radar.
    Andre Broussard - Louisiana
  • bajabaja Posts: 225 Baller
    The rubber parts of a 4 or 5 year old ski boot failed after sitting with little use. Just like rubber windshield wiper blades generally don't last forever even when not used. I have 2012 Strada boots that get about 100 days of skiing per year... They are still in great shape. I leave the liners in when I get out of the boots, I think it saves wear and tear. I will happily take the offer of $175 each for the new 2017 Vapor boots. Seems like a more than fair offer to me for 5 year old boots.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,703 Mega Baller
    If only that heal rubber was some how designed like old school overlays... Then, it would just involve replacing the overlay.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 878 Mega Baller
    The Radar guys have always stood behind everything I've bought from them. I love my Radar gear.
    My ski partner is on the last year Strada boot, which is the same as the first year Vapor boot. For a 3 year old boot, and a guy who puts some abuse on his gear, on an almost daily basis, those boots are top notch.
  • scotchipmanscotchipman Posts: 3,708
    edited September 2016
    I have and still use the original Radar RS-1's boots from 2009 which are basically the same as the current Radar Strada/Vapor boots. My boot shells are still holding up great (have bought several new liners), I may have to finally break down and buy the 2017 Vapor boots which look sweet. The Radar boys @eddie_roberts_jr @Chris Rossi have always taken care of me and have been more than fair.
    - President of the Utah Water Ski Club
    - Owner at Still Water Lake Estates
  • cragginshredcragginshred Posts: 663 Crazy Baller
    My new 2014 green closeout boots rocked last night. Been a month since I ran a -28 pass and nailed it last night with no slack at 1 ball as a bonus. The Green boots are officially broke in and kicking butt in the course!
    Vapor pro 2017
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,703 Mega Baller
    edited September 2016
    I think there are variables at play... Too many users have reported similar year products with extreme lifespan while others report early failure.

    The backs of the Strada/Vapor binding shell is a thin rubber product. Rubber is one of those materials which can last forever or become brittle and crumble. Often factors like products which come into contact with the rubber, storage at various extreme temperatures (cold or hot), sun exposure, leaving in the trunk of a car, usage vs. sitting static - all can impact lifespan. Something as simple as using shaving cream as a binding lubricant or not washing sunscreen off hands before handling the bindings could be a factor. I don't know any specifics, and I am not suggesting that those products are themselves risks. However, I am suggesting that the owner of the binding and the products which come into contact, the process used, and usage context all may be more of a factor in lifespan than the material quality or manufacturing.

    Those backs are key to the safety and functionality of the binding system. They allow an appropriate amount of "give" in harmony with the bungie laces to allow for the liner to release in a significant fall. Without that give, the binding can become non-releasable. With that give compromised by cracks or small tears, the binding can become too lose or release too easily.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
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