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What’s the lifespan of hard shell boots?

aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,258 Mega Baller
edited August 18 in Skis Fins Bindings
This morning I was screwing around because fedex is a week late with my new ski. I decided to high-tech redneck the Union with MOB binding plate, old fluid motion boot, Freddie Winter World Champ fin box, and a CG fin.


Well, the Boot was old, how old? Good question. For those of you who know plastics, what kind of lifespan should we expect so we don’t end up like this.
And I really really wish I had video
Also, totally not a Fluid Motion issue. These boots were OLD.

Comments

  • mmosley899mmosley899 Posts: 589 Water Ski Industry Professional
    @aupatking that is a pretty complete failure! I guess the plastic can get brittle, but I have some of those same boots(Universal Skate Design) and have not had a problem. I can send you a replacement if you wear my size, brand new one, not my old one...
    Mike's Overall Binding www.mobsystemrelease.com
    Sweet Home Alabama Skiing
    Senior Judge, Senior Driver, Tech Controller
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,258 Mega Baller
    Thanks @mmosley899. That boot seems super strong and very comfortable. What size you got?
  • mmosley899mmosley899 Posts: 589 Water Ski Industry Professional
    @aupatking I think a number 10 shell. Look for number inside the lower part.
    Mike's Overall Binding www.mobsystemrelease.com
    Sweet Home Alabama Skiing
    Senior Judge, Senior Driver, Tech Controller
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,258 Mega Baller
    That’s perfect. And just to make totally clear, ABSOLUTELY NOT an MOB issue either. The plate didn’t release, and it shouldn’t have. It performed exactly as it should have. It would not have been a fall at all, had the boot not exploded. I would think it’s obvious from the photos but I just want to make certain that’s 100% clear
    mmosley899
  • HSLHSL Posts: 3 New Baller
    I've been on FM Evolution boots for several years -- this year switching to hybrid (lower) rear boot. I ski year round in S. Florida so the boots take a beating from the sun and high humidity (even when in storage). A couple of my ski buddies are on the same boots. We've learned that in this environment with heavy usage -- the boots need to be replaced annually. They wont make it through two full seasons without cracking/tearing (usually at the point were the boots are connected to the plate). If I don't replace them annually, they will remain intact through mid-tournament season before cracking -- usually at the worst possible time. So I'm now in a routine of starting new seasons with new boots. Pricey -- but I think its worth it. The simple design of the boots make them one of the safest hardshell systems out there. Never had a problem with them other than this time limit.
    santangelo
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,708 Mega Baller
    @HSL do you remove your liners to dry?
  • mmosley899mmosley899 Posts: 589 Water Ski Industry Professional
    @aupatking shipped you some shells and cuffs to try out, including one of the new MOB prototype boots and a custom cuff. Have fun and let me know how it goes.

    @HSL is right, UV can make the plastic shells brittle in a short time. Protect them just like you protect your ski. And remove your liners to dry out.
    Mike's Overall Binding www.mobsystemrelease.com
    Sweet Home Alabama Skiing
    Senior Judge, Senior Driver, Tech Controller
    aupatkinggsm_peter
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,258 Mega Baller
    @mmosley899 I’ll definitely let you know. Let me know what I owe you for those. You gonna be down in Axis this weekend?
    @HSL and @BraceMaker thank you for the input. My ski always goes back into my bag but I’ll make sure to get the liners out
  • Alberto SoaresAlberto Soares Posts: 307 Solid Baller
    edited August 20


    10 years and still ok
    ballsohardskialexaupatkingSteven_Haines
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,708 Mega Baller
    @Alberto Soares I had a set of FM's from ~2006 no failure. Still have em.

    Why I mention the liners is that I think moisture can technically weaken plastic.s
    Alberto SoaresSteven_Haines
  • skialexskialex Posts: 885 Crazy Baller
    I use a 11 years old reflex and still going strong. I’ve seen shells breaking but not because they were old and brittle. Never seen a broken reflex though.
    ballsohardaupatking
  • HboroughsHboroughs Posts: 9 Baller
    @skialex we have had 2 club members experience Reflex failure. In both instances the failure was of the U-bolt that holds the boot to the plate. The bolt came off of the surprisingly short screw that secures it to the plate. All Reflex users should lock-tite their U-bolt. In one case the screw had been recently tightened and the failure was perplexing. It was like the screw threads failed. Reflex has not responded to multiple emails on this failure which has been very poor to day the least.
  • skialexskialex Posts: 885 Crazy Baller
    edited September 12
    @Hboroughs are you talking about the stainless steel toe bar that blocks the front of the boot? All reflex users or hardshell users in general should inspect their system visually before every set and run often screw and metal parts checks.
  • jerrymjerrym Posts: 71 Baller
    @aupatking - the answer to your question would require some additional information regarding the type of plastic used for the boot, and even then we would only end up with a wide range for the lifespan. As mentioned above, UV is especially destructive to plastics as it breaks down the plasticizer in the material, causing it to become brittle. Heat will also damage the material as it will break down the chemical bonds and reduce various properties of the material. The answer is to inspect the boot material for damage on a regular basis, including looking for stress cracks, change in hardness and discoloration. Just like we should do with the rest of our gear!
  • LOTWLOTW Posts: 120 Baller
    Definitely lock-tight the horse shoe! I find that the plate screws need tightening every 3rd. set or so, ck. your gear frequently!
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 42 Baller
    THANK YOU. I’m sure on reflex this season, and although I often check and tighten the screws into the ski, I never looked closely at the “horse shoe”. Mine was about to come off on one side. I doubt I had more than a thread or two left... Question-I’ve never used loc tight on my binding screws. I think I remember reading in the paperwork that came with me of my skis that it’s a no no. I’d never use the red stuff, but any reason for not using a little dab of the blue? I’m guessing the ski manufacturers might be afraid of the anchors coming loose from the ski before the loc tite releases?
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,708 Mega Baller
    edited October 1
    @Clydesdale - you'll be fine putting loctite in the horseshoe - I'd recommend the purple for this application - https://www.amazon.com/Loctite-22221-Purple-Strength-Thread/dp/B006GOL5CQ/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=purple+loctite&qid=1569958616&sr=8-4

    I think the idea with the skis is two fold - the loctite might be too strong and might also back out the inserts. But also the chemicals may eat the core.
    Clydesdaleski6jones
  • LOTWLOTW Posts: 120 Baller
    I used blue, end of problem. An impact driver should crack them loose no problem if ever needed.
    Clydesdale
  • skialexskialex Posts: 885 Crazy Baller
    One reason that screws are getting loose is that most of us use PH2 screwdriver where as Reflex usually uses Pozidriv screws. If you use reflex, it is good to carry a PZ2 and possibly a PZ3 screwdriver. Easier to tighten the screws more and stay tight. I even put silicone grease on the Rear aluminum bases, (not the front horse shoe, there’s no need)
    OldboyIIski6jones
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