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Slalom injury

RVVRVV Posts: 2 New Baller
My 14 year old son broke his lower leg (tibia) in a fall this weekend at 32mph. He had a D3 leverage binding on with and RTP. All three my kids ski and are just busy settling into the sport, but such an injury is quite discouraging. I want to do what I can to avoid a repeat and are considering that he changes to a t-factor binding with rtp or a t-factor double binding set-up. Some advice and opinions will be great, as there are very little to no proper research available on different binding set-ups and injury rates.


  • smalorsmalor Posts: 69 Baller
    edited October 2015
    Many will chime in here with opinions and suggestions....prob directing to you to release bindings. I wear rubber bindings (t factor front, Wiley's rear).....I do not go crazy cinching down the laces on the t factor. I think this is key on any binding.....if you have to undue the laces to get your foot out it's too tight and won't release when you need it too.
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,583 Mega Baller
    Sorry to hear about your son. I've been on T-factors since they came out. You don't have to tighten them much as smalor said. They are easier to come out of than leverage. You might be able to convert the leverage to T-factor. Check with D3, they use a lot of the same parts. I use double t-factors. I'm getting ready to try reflex with r-style tomorrow. OB4 is probably one of the safest sytems out there.
  • Ed_ObermeierEd_Obermeier Posts: 1,339 Crazy Baller
    Was the leg broken in the front binding or was it in the RTP? Many will argue against but IMO you're safer in double boots, less likely to have a one in-one out type crash. The one that stays in is generally more likely to get the damage.
    Ed Obermeier - owner, EZ-Slalom Course Systems
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,339 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Sorry about that...hope it heals well and he's not too discouraged. No completely safe set-up...but early on may be the time to get used to something else and a change to something that at least in your kids minds may be "safer". I've been on a leverage with RTP forever and thankfully no big injuries to speak of and no release issues for me despite liking my binding pretty snug.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • skihardskihard Posts: 560 Crazy Baller
    Man injuries suck but are also a part of any sport no matter what we play? I ski in Radar Strada's and love them. After suffering a torn ankle a few years back and missing 6 weeks of a short Canadian ski season I made the change after talking to TFin.
    The liner in the bindings and the stretch laces are snug yet they allow me to release in a tough crash. As an improving skier who still makes mistakes I'm confident that when I do have a bad crash my feet and liners will release. Worst case scenario I need to get back up on the platform to get back into my ski.
    Life's about working hard and then having fun on the water!
    I am - are you?
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,607 Mega Baller
    I've spent a ton of time thinking about binding safety, but unfortunately it's mostly thinking -- there isn't much data available and frankly I'm not sure how we could ever collect meaningful data even if we put our collective effort toward it. The most useful "binding" advice I can give is: Don't be a hero. That extra 1/4 or 1/2 ball is not worth it. That said, I still want a backup plan.

    RTP vs. double-boot: The big advantage of RTP is that you know that foot is getting out of there when it needs to. The danger, as already noted above, is that it releases far more easily than the front, which can result in having the entire ski acting on just one leg. So like everything else, it's a tradeoff.

    I know many people who skied MANY years without any problem related to an unwanted RTP release, but I personally had some pretty dangerous situations years ago so I switched to double.

    If I were to use an RTP today, I would insist on a front boot that can release in rotation-around-z ("twist out") -- otherwise that big lever arm (ski) acting on your ankle, knee, or hip can do a lot of damage. Surprisingly, there are very few one-boot systems that can release in that rotation. The OB4 can, and is what I would use if I went to RTP.

    For double boots, I personally would consider the following, ranked in order of safety (according to me and with no data to back it up):

    1) OB4. The tension MUST be set correctly and the maintenance done properly. But if so, this system offers more release directions than any other, while also offering the performance of hard shells. However, this system is bulky and heavy, and some people find it negatively affects their performance. (I use it, and although it did take a long time to get accustomed to, I don't think it affects my performance.)

    2) Releasable single plate system with a Gatormod. (I can put you in touch with Mr. Gator if you want.) If your biggest concern is a crushing OTF, then this is by far the #1 option -- the only system that potentially can prevent injury when the skier is driven directly down into the ski. This handles other falls well, too, but for the kind of ankle-benders that I seem to get myself into, I like OB4 better.

    3) T-factors. My favorite rubber boot and reasonably safe. However, I have had partial releases when using these, resulting in (thankfully!) minor ankle injuries. I also know someone who had a fairly horrific injury with detached muscles and everything, but of course there is no way to know if any binding system could have prevented that.

    also 3) Dual Reflex. A ton of people use Reflex bindings, and everyone seems to love the performance. The releasability is "good," but it concerns me that they cannot release in "twist out" or from the front (which is especially valuable if the ski somehow gets into the rope or handle).

    In closing, don't be a hero. :)
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    Pat M
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,356 Mega Baller
    Whatever binding you use DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE BINDING! Particularly at the ankle, you want to come out when it hits the fan. I've used a toe plate my whole life no problems, started with HO Animal front, good binding, hard to over tighten. I'm on a Strada front now but kids may have a tendency to over tighten them because you can so it may not be the best option. The other piece is making sure you still good position on the ski so there are fewer "oh shit" moments as they cross the wakes and while scrapping is a skill worth having the wisdom to let go when it just isn't going to happen and its practice is something you should have your kids consider.
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,093 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Shame to get injured like that, I would imagine it could have been the type of fall, where any type of binding may have cause a injury, I have skied on D3 Leverage bindings for a very long time, personally I would not look at just the Binding situation, but ask yourself why he took such a hard knock, skiing solid with good technique before increasing speed is more important, the best way to reduce the chance of injury for any of your kids is to have them taught how to ski correctly, the other problem kids have they,just do not know how to give it up, they are fearless.
    I hope he heals quickly and still wants to continue with the sport, if anything maybe a binding change will help his confidence.

    If Only I Was Perfect

  • JohnNJohnN Posts: 126 Baller
    Some kids never learn to let go :) ... I'm recovering from a broken tibia mid-summer (M4, double Animals, broke forward past the wakes), the good news is, at least in my opinion, a clean break is relatively easy to come back from. Thinking about going hardshell myself, but more from a performance standpoint than a safety standpoint as I had 15 years of no injuries in the Animals. The only systems I'd really hesitate on are the some of the single plate dual-hardshell systems where I've seen *really ugly* injuries. In the end, @RazorRoss3 has it right, the better you can keep your body position, the fewer chances you have to rely on the bindings to keep you from hurting yourself.
  • mopowpowmopowpow Posts: 318 Baller
    I broke my fibula about 10 years ago on a snowboard with 1 foot out. It was a twisting fall just like can happen on a waterski after the rear foot comes out of the toe piece. I was nervous waterskiing, hoping I didn't have a repeat. I switched to double Radar RS1s (new Vapors are ordered) and love them! I feel like they will release when needed, if not over tightened.
  • RVVRVV Posts: 2 New Baller
    Thanks a lot for all the comments and advice. For completeness, he lost is composure as he crossed the wak, back foot came out of the RTP and he spun over his front leg, twisting it off. My gut feel just says to me that the biomechanics around a 80 pound child running at high speed must be completely different to that of a 180 pound adult, and that that could also play a eole with release systems. Their limbs given their size and density are also much more vulnerable..
    We. Live and ski in Namibia in Southern Africa with limited access to regular coaching and servicing and adjusting of tension mechanisms on release systems, so I am looking for a simple but safer solution, from their the consideration of t-factor front or t-factor double bindings. It is also not that easy to tell kids not to go for that last ball! Other tthan the one example cited above, I would be interested to know whether anyone knows examples of bad injuries (I can live with ankle sprains, but want to avoid ligaments and breaks) with t-factors, as I use a t-factor front and am of the opinion that it will easily release my foot in a bad fall, including a twist out.
    We must look at encouraging someone in the biomechanics industry to do a proper study as part of a disertation into boots and injuries, ideally focused around kids given their higher vulnerability.
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,093 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @RVV it,s a lottery, I have seen horrendous crashes, with people getting in the boat smiling, I have seen what appears to be a fairly harmless fall, resulting in teeth missing, nose peeled back and even a broken ankle, there is and probably will never be a completely injury free binding system for water skiing, we take it for granted but it is a dangerous sport, if you look at the speeds and forces as well as a brute of a boat pulling you around on a bit of rope swinging behind it, but the Challenge is to Tame and Control it.

    If Only I Was Perfect

  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,607 Mega Baller
    @RVV That sounds pretty sensible given your situation.

    As far as injuries on the T-factor, I definitely had a few sprained ankles. It seemed to me the writing on the wall was that I was eventually going to seriously injure my ankle -- or just wear out the tendons from repeated "minor" injuries. That was why I bit the bullet and spent almost an entire season getting used to the combination of hardshells and the OB4 system.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
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