Soft shell to hard shell worth it? trickski rope worth it?


I got a couple of questions regarding tricking, got into it around a year ago. Can do some basic tricks like back, wake to wake, 360, 180, side slides etc. Would it be worth it investing in a trick rope, is there a difference between trick specific and a normal rope? At the moment i'm on a HO Freemax, but im looking into upgrading to a reflex hardshell. Would the difference be worth it?

Thanks in advance and kind regards,



  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 849 Crazy Baller
    @eleeski ??

    I am just a beginner.. .
    A trick handle is great for wrapped tricks.
    A hardshell provides great comfort.
    It seems like you are ready for toe hold...
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • GusGus Posts: 66 Baller
    edited September 2017
    I bought a piece of 5mm dyneema rope ( and made a trickski line of that. That rope (3300kg) can lift the entire boat and as such a bit scary - I added a small piece of normal ski rope, just in case. Dynema floats, which is a useful property for ski ropes. Careful with dyneema with polyester coating, that sinks.
    The almost complete lack of stretching has pro's and con's. It's 'more precision' against being treated a bit rougher. Some like it some don't. I like it.
    I'm focussed completely on tricks, didn't do slalom for months, and I was in for a surprise when I tried out an old slalom ski this year. The slalom rope, which I was familiar with from previous year, felt like a piece of elastic after all the tricking with the dynema, at least during the start.

    But a trick rope is not that long, and a thick 'normal' slalom rope will be pretty ok stretchwise.

    The hardshell binding is a much bigger gain, pretty much a must. The wiley trick binding for instance, is an attempt at creating something that sticks very solidly, with rubber. And it squeezes out the blood from your foot, trying to do that. Hardshell solves that problem.
  • SanderwoutersSanderwouters Posts: 10 Baller
    @gsm_peter , not really interested in toe hold. I would rather learn how to flip etc. Thanks for the input though, wrapped tricks is impossible with a normal one but im on the lookout.

    @Gus I bought a cheap rope and stretched it out between cars, shorted it to around 13,5 meters. Will invest in a reflex hardshell then, what does difference in liners make?
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 6,065 Mega Baller
    I would spring for a trick line also. Right now you don't need Spectra and a regular Masterline trick rope isn't that expensive.
    Mark Shaffer
  • GusGus Posts: 66 Baller
    i only know the thin liner (reflex) - that's supposed to be the one for tricks - and its fine.
  • dropskidropski Posts: 58 Baller
    I improved the first set after I got a reflex. Trick rope and handle are nice to have. I have and recommend ML spectra rope and hands only handle personally
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,009 Infinite Pandas
    Hardshell with an Intuition liner will give you the comfort and performance you need to progress. Most skiers (including myself) are using some version of a hardshell - because they work.

    With that said, if you are going to focus on flips, a Wileys binding might be better. No pre releases and fantastic durability. But they are uncomfortable, heavy and not as good for the rest of the tricks. A snowboard strap over a hardshell might be a good compromise for flips. Releases on flips are not good. Wear a shin guard if you are learning flips on a Reflex. I know a lot of people doing lots of flips on Wiley's.

    Two skis - one for flips and one for the other tricks?

    The college kids are getting good results with Radar Vise bindings. Decent performance, good safety, good durability, reasonable comfort and suitable for lots of different feet. Another option. I'm not familiar with the Freemax but if it is similar to the Vice you might be OK. Especially if you spend some time getting a custom fit.

    Regarding ropes, I don't know any good skiers who prefer a stretchy rope. I can absolutely feel the difference in ropes. I hate tricking with a slalom rope. Spectra, Dyneema, Kevlar or some other non stretch rope are much better. Do use an end of larger diameter slalom rope so the release works properly with it (especially the Robbins release which doesn't release easily with the shoestring ropes).

    On this line of thought, C3 is the best trick setting. We paid a lot for stiff non stretch ropes. The boat should be stiff too.

    Toe tricks are fun. Definitely worth learning. You get in the game with your hand tricks, you win with your toes.

    The webbing that comes with a trick handle is a huge advantage for wrapped tricks. WOs, W5s and a bunch of other tricks are much easier with a good grip on the rope with the off hand. Wakeboard mini handles aren't as good for tricks as they are in just one spot and tricks don't need as much load on the off hand.

    Another thought, the toe harness is quite effective at preventing your hand or other body parts from going through the bridle. Use some sort of handle guard for tricks. You will fall a lot in weird positions. Easy and useful safety from a handle guard - or toe harness.

    Keep picking away at tricks. The more you learn, the more fun they get.

  • HortonHorton Posts: 32,665 Administrator
    edited September 2017
    @Sanderwouters Yes and yes

    A hard shell binding will dramatically increase your control and you will advance much faster.

    A regular rope has some stretch in it. That is terrible for trick skiing. A trick rope does not stretch and the difference is night and day

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  • gsm_petergsm_peter Posts: 849 Crazy Baller
    Is a kevlar rope really needed for basic level hand tricks?
    I use a standard slalom rope with ML handle.
    Life is too short not to enjoy every day!
  • SanderwoutersSanderwouters Posts: 10 Baller
    Massive thanks to everyone for all the reply's! Will order a reflex hardshell tomorrow, trick rope maybe something for next season after some progression.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 4,009 Infinite Pandas
    @gsm_peter You will notice a difference. Your pulls will be more efficient with the stiff rope. Obviously, it won't give you the trick. But it might give you those sketchy ones that are close. Spend the money.

    And make sure you have an arm guard on that handle!

  • GusGus Posts: 66 Baller
    I compared the dyneema rope I normally use to a slalom rope today.
    Results: dyneema definitely wins indeed.
    The slalom rope didn't actually mess up any tricks in my run (pb 2120, only hands), but the 30-40 cms of stretch feels bad, like another undesirable factor to deal with.
    Still, I know one 5000-6000 skier who said he prefers a bit of stretch. Guess he's an exception.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 3,914 Mega Baller
    Would have to disagree with the statement hard shells will advance the learning curve.
    Wiley Trick wraps are the most prevalent binding system in the world of trick skiing.
    Skiing at the famed Pickos ski school I don't see a lot of hard shell release type accept for toe tricks where it seems to be bit more widely used. Most anyone that does more then one flip or ski line tricks will not use a hard shell for their hand passes due to the higher probability of pre release the ( i took Stephen off the reflex when it released in the middle of his toe run at nationals one year). For tricks the Wiley trick wrap is stupid proof. As for a trick rope I use a wide braided masterline wakeboard handle and whats left of one of Stephen's spectra jump ropes.
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

  • GusGus Posts: 66 Baller
    Regarding C3.. I changed to requesting A1 in competitions. I realized that our boat doesn't have a speed control so I'm trained on something less harsch. I'm not sure if I can actually feel the difference, but it felt good last time.
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