Rubber Trick Binding

I got into tricking a couple years back and started with a Wiley trick wrap (Large). My only complaint was that it was so tight that it forced me to cut my sets short. I'm still at the point where I am taking longer sets (falling a lot trying to learn new tricks) so I switched the Wiley out for an old slalom boot I had, a Connelly Sidewinder. I don't have the problem of short sets anymore, but I can tell that I am not as "in tune" with the ski as I was with the Wiley. There is a pretty significant amount of padding now between my foot and the ski with this new binding.

I've considered going to a reflex or other hardshell, but I'm not sure if it is worth it. At this point, I do not plan on learning toes. I want to eventually progress and start working on some flips and have heard that the hard shell bindings can lead to nasty bumps and bruises on falls.

Any suggestions on a non-Wiley rubber binding? Or are my hardshell concerns overblown?



  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,013 Infinite Pandas
    Hardshells rock for tricks! Comfort, performance and safety are the prime reasons that most trickers use hardshells.

    Hardshells do require more maintenance and are more expensive (worth it). A poorly maintained hardshell might pre release. You might get some minor dings when that happens. Flip bindings can be made to not release a few ways if that is your main focus.

    Why no toes? With a good release person you are not likely to be hurt. Toes are fun. And high level toes look and feel as cool as any other trick.

    Personal taste varies - I prefer a slightly softer plastic with the cuff pinned. Others like it as stiff as possible. Others like the cuff loose. Anything will be better than a loose rubber boot.

    Start with the Intuition style wrap liner. They are comfortable and durable. Talk to Reflex or FM to get a good setup. Get the snowboard strap to stay in when you want to.

    Have fun,

  • sb_dc_mbs_13sb_dc_mbs_13 Posts: 32 Baller
    Thanks for the awesome reply @eleeski

    What sort of proper maintenance is required for hardshells?

    The only reason I say no to toes is that I don't have consistent access to a boat with a release...yet.
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 2,264 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    I'll second the hard shell recommendation. Look at the trick skis at nationals - probably 90% are reflex 5% other hard shell and 5% rubber ( just a wag).

    If you ski behind a boat with a pylon, your release is literally a 36" piece of ski rope. A release doesn't get any simpler or safer than that.
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,013 Infinite Pandas
    I've broken two boots this year. OK, these are a few years old (I stocked up on a shell I really liked a while back and my attach adds extra stress with my Gatorade system). But plastic does break, clips rust, rivets corrode, straps break, plates bend, horseshoes get loose, Silveretta mechanisms fail and probably some things I haven't frequently fixed can happen.

    Note that my lake is a bit brackish, I also ski a fair amount in saltwater and I work on a lot of the college kids abused skis.

    There's not much special maintenance. Just inspect and repair as needed. But budget for some repairs. While rubber stiffens with time and tears, there are no moving parts so problems are less frequent. Also, rubber is so uncomfortable that you will ski fewer hours and wear them out slower. Whatever costs and hassles hardshells have, it's worth it.

    @Bruce_Butterfield is spot on with his observation. Personally, I like the FM toe horseshoe better than the Reflex but both systems are great. Gatorade bindings are the best - but that's my competitive advantage.

Sign In or Register to comment.