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Magic Bindings

HortonHorton Posts: 25,517 Administrator
edited May 2007 in Other Stuff
Magic Bindings John Taylor Horton What do we really need a slalom binding to do? It needs to hold our foot on the ski and it needs to transmit lateral movements to the ski. How much we want a binding to affect forward and backward movement is a subject of debate. Our current options all transmit our movements to the ski very well and are comfortable but leave a lot to be desired in terms of safety. Many skiers have to loosen the laces on their rubber bindings to get out at the end of a ride. What happens when they lose control at short line?



During controlled skiing the binding is stressed side to side and front to back. There is no time in normal skiing that the foot is pulled up from the ski. Gravity and pull from the boat constantly press the foot down into the ski. If your feet are not pressing down on the ski you have a problem!



The force we currently use to hold our feet on the ski is way out of proportion with that is needed. What is really needed to ski is about as much Down Forceor pressure on the top of your foot as used in a running shoe. Skiers in Rubber commonly remove slop & achieve extra control with tightness. With our current Rubber bindings loosening the bindings takes away control with a questionable improvement in safety.



Recently I was looking at some recreational bindings on a low end ski. These bindings had front laces that go over a tongue like a street shoe. What if this was redesigned so the laces were as elastic as bungee cord? Perhaps the tongue could be semi-rigid. The heel and ankle area could be stiffened up enough to handle the lateral control we all want. The bungee laces could create enough down force to keep our feet planted but is elastic enough to allow you to lift your foot out of the ski at any time.



Along the same lines, I rode my trick ski around a little last weekend without fastening the buckles of my hard shell. It was not exactly a perfect binding but it was interesting. If the plastic shell wrapped around further and was reshaped a bit it could give enough force to hold my foot in place. Since the buckles were not going across the top I could remove my foot without too much effort.



I want Magic Bindings. I want my foot held down when I am in control and I want to get out easy when I am in trouble. Magic Bindings would require some original engineering. The solution could be like the front lace rubber or be a redesigned hard shell or something altogether different.



The bottom line is that there is a physical limit to what your body can handle in a fall and I believe that the current binding systems unnecessarily exceed these limits.



John Horton

CoyoteBrothersResearch


 




ezOP

Posts: 177

6/30/05 7:41 am

146.27.122.21

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bindings boarditup We have communicated about this in the past. I have a design that will do what you want. I have contacted two companies regarding the design, but have limited interest due to the expense of something completely new. My design will release easily when necessary, but hold on tightly for control for skiing movements. Maybe sometime in the future....

 




Member

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6/30/05 9:08 am

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Mortal pcskier I reached the physical limits of my body 10 years ago - I will never again ski into 39-off. The mind is willing but the body says NO! Injury and age has caught up with me. I can see why the pros might want the performance of bolted-on hardshell bindings, but for my rec skiing the risk vs reward is just too great.



What I would like to see is lots of lateral support, limited support elsewhere, and easy release. Edge control is currently at the top of my wish list. I currently run very loose, stretchy rubber bindings with plastic side stiffeners through 35-off. So loose that I can get them on or off without soap. In rough water or 38-off I begin craving tight overlays and thicker stiffeners. Hardshells? Hmmm... I think rubber still has a little room for improvement before making the leap.



Please post when those magic bindings are ready.




 




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Posts: 6

7/1/05 9:38 pm

68.59.60.32

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Re: Bungee Laces AmiableAnalytic While recovering from an ankle injury, I modified a pair of hardshells (roller blade boots) by replacing the buckles with bungee laces. The result was very good lateral support with easy release out the front. I used an Animal wedge block to lock the elastic laces in place after I pulled them tight.



The trick was to get the elastic laces to move freely in the eyelets. I ended up using several large fishing swivels (Walmart) with one end bolted through the side of the shell and the other end as an eyelet. It worked pretty well although I was looking for a more elegant solution instead of fishing swivels.



I like the idea of bolting a cheap hardshell to the ski, adding free-flowing eyelets and bungeee cinch up. The solution is inexpensive, forgiving, and provides good lateral stiffness.



If anyone has an elegant eyelet solution, please post.

 




Member

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7/10/05 4:49 pm

24.73.25.167

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Re: Bungee Laces pcskier That's great! I've had one of my dusty roller blade boots disassembled on my workbench for the last year but haven't had much time and energy to actually get it onto the ski. Not sure I want to bolt directly to the ski and I don't have easy (cheap) access to the proper machine tools to make a nice plate. I would probably use Dual-Lok or something similar as a backup to your bungee release idea. I've used bungee with rubber boots but never thought about putting it on hardshells. Thanks for the idea, I'll save it for later.



Swivel replacement? You might get some speed lace eyelets or wire loop type eyelets from a shoe repair shop or maybe sacrifice an old pair of boots.



If you can't find eyelets, you could do it yourself. Picture a small stainless bolt through the shell from the inside, a small bushing or short piece of tubing to cover the threads on the outside, then a washer to keep bungee from slipping off, and finally a nylok nut to keep everything snug. A Pop-Rivet might work as well.




 




Member

Posts: 7

7/10/05 8:48 pm

68.59.60.32

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Re: Bungee Laces AmiableAnalytic I think you are on the right track. For what it is worth, you could take a standard HO plate and mount hardshells in about 30 minutes -- just get some "T-Nuts" from Ace Hardware and phillips head machine screws. Make sure everything is stainless.



After Nationals maybe I'll play with this again. Here are a couple of web sites with boot hardware in case anyone is motivated.



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I think the best would be either ring style or extended eylet (like a sewing bobbin) that sits proud on the shell surface so you could just loop quickly around each eylet and over to the next. I say this because these would provide a slippery surface for the bungee. You really want the cord to act as one long bungee without much binding.

 




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Posts: 3

7/11/05 3:17 pm

24.73.25.167

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magic bindings eleeski Grommets are cheap and easy and fairly reliable. I use them on my rubber overlays and they hold up well and bungee would lace nicely. But I never got a great feel with bungees and my foot cramped. So...

I have built the magic binding. Start with a soft plastic roller blade binding. Replace the crappy foam in the liner with camp mat foam (ethafoam). Replace the liner under the tongue with two layers of camp foam. Cut off the top buckle and replace it with a lightweight racing bike tube wrapped a couple of times around the ankle. Cant the binding forward by bolting some binding rubber on the heel/ankle joint. Bolt the thing to the ski.

The foam will compress when buckled down the right amount to allow a release and the ankle rubber band will let the whole foot escape. Kirk is now on this binding and is quite happy with its performance (John, it is an improvement over the binding you saw him break at Adobe). (Note that Stan's foot doesn't seem to come out without some pain so he likes the skitec). I'm still on my funky home molded boot of similar philosophy. We release once a week safely.

Eric

 




Unregistered User

10/17/05 12:31 am

207.200.116.130

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Re: magic bindings John Taylor Horton Yea Eric I applaud what you are doing but is it stout enough for 38 off?



I am so frustrated with the current solutions that I have available that I am temped to go back to rubber. My current Skitec boot is about shot and I am unsure about the new one they sent. I am again seriously considering Fogman.



The only thing I am holding out for is new stuff I know is coming from one of the ski companies. By Christmas we should have a very new and improved stock binding design. Don’t ask me who… if they wanted skiers to know about it then they would have advertised it.



Horton


 




ezOP

Posts: 252

10/17/05 8:31 am

146.27.122.18

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38 off is too short for me eleeski 38 off is short for a trick rope.

I gained slslom buoy count when I went back to rubber but I'm not stout (skilled?) enough for 38 off.

How about Spademann bindings for an all direction release? I hear that Burton snowboards holds the design.

Eric

 




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10/17/05 9:49 am

207.200.116.130

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Magic Bindings John Taylor Horton I am back on the magic binding bandwagon. Any body out there have vacuum bag gear and experience?



I am pretty sure that we can build a binding that offers the control of a hardshell but the safety of a moderately tight rubber binding.



I think the the new binidings fit more and more like this every day

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Edited by: John Taylor Horton at: 4/6/07 7:32 am



ezOP

Posts: 1047

4/6/07 7:27 am

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ezSupporter




Re: Magic Bindings DW What do you have in mind?

 




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4/7/07 5:01 am

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clarify eleeski Do you mean vacuumform for molding sheet thermoplastics or vacuum bag for prepreg composites?



Scott Petersen from Oregon molded his own thermoplastic hardshells. He might have some good ideas too.



If you have a mold and if you want to use composites, I can do a wet layup with a sweet wallboard texture finish.



Good to see you chasing the magic binding. The sport is ripe for this.

Eric

 




Unregistered User

4/7/07 8:13 am

69.19.14.38

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Re: clarify John Taylor Horton Looks like I spoke too soon. I may have one of the factories considering my idea so I think I should not be talking too much about it. The diatribe at the top of this page is what I am still working toward.



Eric,

I was wanting to bag a wet layup but am going to wait and see if I can leverage a factory on this.


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ezOP

Posts: 1048

4/7/07 8:37 am

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ezSupporter




Wiley / Coyote John Taylor Horton OK so I gave up the idea that a factory would take my idea and run with it.



Think old school style, safe and high performance. (the solution was freaking obvious)I’ll get photos out in the next week but here is the deal



I think a basic Wiley’s slalom binding holds my foot down and keeps it from moving as well or better then any binding out there. Because the Wiley is a Close-Toe design it does not have to be as tight to keep your foot from sliding forward. Because the Wiley uses rubber throughout and not EVA, it is elastic. The EVA that most of the new high tech bindings use is not elastic and is very stiff. The amount of tightness needed to keep your foot from moving in an EVA binding is also enough to really lock you in way more then necessary. The EVA bindings are so stiff that many of them are using laces to help you get in and out.



On the other hand the standard Wiley binding does not offer enough lateral stiffness as I would like for short line slalom. (For skiing though 32 off, I think the standard Wiley is near perfect.) The standard solution for getting more control is to add stiffness and or tightness. By doubling the number of wraps you get a stiffer (less elastic binding) that transmits lateral movement from the skier to the ski better then the stock binding. For an off the shelf solution I think a Wiley Slalom with a Trick-wrap overlay added is just about perfect. This is basically now a jump binding and is deep short line capable. My issue with this solution is that it is still a little hard to get out of.



What I am working on is a relatively lose feeling binding that keeps my foot from moving and transmits lateral movements as well as a hard shell. I have built a Carbon Fiber heel cup that is low at the back so it will not constrict my forward / backward movements and comes up over my ankle bone on both sides. The sides are pretty darn stiff. I had wanted the Carbon to come pretty far forward but discovered that for the overlays to do their job the carbon could not extend past the rubber of the rubber heel piece.



I have not skied in it yet but will this week.





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Edited by: John Taylor Horton at: 4/16/07 9:34 am



ezOP

Posts: 1066

4/16/07 7:12 am

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Re: Wiley / Coyote John Taylor Horton Here is a picture of the current version. I think it is too stiff . . . did not think that was going to be a problem.



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Edited by: John Taylor Horton at: 4/25/07 7:20 am



ezOP

Posts: 1086

4/24/07 9:01 pm

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ezSupporter

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