Neoprene vs Other? Are new bindings REALLY helping?

MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 859 Crazy Baller
Admittedly I'm an old school skier and have always used neoprene bindings. Still running older HO animals. Been flirting with the idea of trying others but you can easily spend a lot on bindings that could end up not making any noticeable difference in performance. I don't have a comfort problem with neoprene. Feels fine and I don't feel any lack of control or comnnection, so I'm wondering what do you REALLY get out of new bindings other than they're newer. Granted I'm not a serious skier pushing 35 or greater in the course. At age 60 I'm thrilled to ski 28-32. If I got to 35 I'd likely die of excitement. I did notice a set of HO Approach bindings on SIA for $100 that looked intersting


  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,001 Infinite Pandas
    New bindings are better. Rubber bindings cramp your foot when fitted for maximum performance. The new bindings don't.

    Safety and performance might not be an improvement - I think so but it's a minor difference. The comfort factor is real and significant.

    The new bindings are lighter as well. We pay big bucks for light responsive skis. Why load a bunch of weight on a carefully engineered lightweight product?

  • keithh2oskierkeithh2oskier Posts: 831 Crazy Baller
    I had an animal on the front for a long time and switched to the Reflex two seasons ago. I had serious discomfort with my front animal from the time I got it and I finally thought enough was enough. I am very happy with the reflex. I did notice that I had to loosen the back boot a little to offer more freedom so i no longer synch my rear Animal which has helped.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,066 Mega Baller
    A switch to a Radar Vapor would be a fairly easy migration from the animals and is more comfortable.
    Mark Shaffer
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 1,036 Mega Baller
    Vapor bindings are more comfortable and more convenient getting in and out of them than older high wraps. I love them. But I don't think there is a big performance advantage to them, other than I can take more passes during practice without my feet cramping.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,874 Mega Baller
    I like the snug fit of rubber high wraps...but I'm tired of my foot going to sleep. Will take some getting used to but I'm switching upon my return from injury. I have a large, unused D3 leverage if anyone is interested.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • UWSkierUWSkier Posts: 1,825 Mega Baller
    Properly sized Animals always made my feet cramp between passes. In cold water it'd get to the point it was so painful I'd be able to think of nothing else when I got back up. Made the switch to Vapor Boas and will never even consider going back to a rubber boot unless I'm just goofing around on my old Monza or A1, both of which have Animals attached.
    boats are like girlfriends you love them however there is another one around the corner - bananaron, July 21, 2020
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,001 Infinite Pandas
    One other consideration is that rubber stiffens as it ages. EVA is even worse. The release characteristics (safety), comfort and performance change as well.

    I loved my old Animals - at first. Then the comfort totally went away. I drilled a bunch of holes in the EVA to make them usable. The changes forced me into hardshells.

  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,311 ★★★★Quad Panda Award Recipient ★★★★
    So, I disagree with the above, reasons being, for your age and the level you are skiing at is fantastic, why would you want to change a winning combination, I take it you have no ankle/knee issues and you are comfortable with the Rubber Bindings, if you were younger it may be worth experimenting with different bindings,
    But you ski well, it sounds like you are content with what you are doing and so you should be.
    Remember all bindings have their Pro's & Con's

    Addicted To Carbon Fibre

  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,890 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Ok, I'll ask @eleeski - why would weight matter at all? The ski is in the water not being lifted or swung. Snow race skis boots and bindings are some of the heaviest skis available and I couldn't tell you anything about the weight of a ski by skiing on it - only carrying them to the truck.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 365 Crazy Baller
    I am on my second season with Relfex and love it. Just switched to the intuition liners. In heaven
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 459 Open or Level 9 Skier
    You may want to consider D3 T-factors. Until 4-5 years ago I used animals, when I tried a new pair (made in china), I knew I had to move to something else. My feet used to cramp up after 5 passes in the Animals, with the T-factors I can run 10-12 passes (my limit physically) and my feet are never uncomfortable. Additionally they are stiffer laterally and give some of the attributes desired in hard shell binders. D3 offers all replacement parts on their webpage which is a great service, getting replacement parts for the HO was frequently a challenge.

    I am admittedly old school (and old), I tried hardshell binders for a season, had no improvement in performance and never felt "safe" in them. I am in the minority but I much prefer the T-factors; comfortable, less to fiddle with, I "feel" safer as there is give in the binders before release. They do not seem to limit my performance as I am able to regularly run 38 in practice and tournaments, and do not believe binders are my limiting factor.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,001 Infinite Pandas
    @oldjeep A ski or binding will not work well because it is light. But skiing is a dynamic sport with lots of movement and accelerations on the ski. A light setup will give the skier more input. It becomes more important as we age and our strength declines.

    I've built differing weight versions of the same slalom ski. The heavier ski was more consistent but my top scores were lower.

    Trick skis ski better for me the lighter they are.

    I love my ultralight Goode snow skis - especially in the bumps. But I'm a crappy racer. Still, "I'm the best skier on the mountain!"

    There's a pretty good consensus that losing excess body weight improves your skiing. While skiing isn't rock climbing, strength to weight still matters more than pure strength.

    Weight is just one factor. And certainly not the most important. But worthy of consideration. And the rules require that the ski floats.

    @Stevie Boy is right. Go with what you like and what works for you.

  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,335 Mega Baller
    Pass on the Approach bindings... they are non-releasable.
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,712 Mega Baller
    edited June 2017
    We call them '' the ankles breakers'' in our skiers group... :|
    My ski finish in 16.95 ...but my ass is out of tolerance!
  • dchristmandchristman Posts: 1,335 Mega Baller
    @andre yeah, I loved the way they worked, but had that "experience".
    Is it time to ski, yet?
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,986 Mega Baller
    Nate Smith still uses T-Factors, I believe? Performance seems adequate...

    Nothing wrong with rubber if it works for you. Safety-wise, there are many factors. But one thing going for rubber is that it will essentially never pre-release (barring catastrophic failure).
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    AndreStevie Boy
Sign In or Register to comment.