Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

Thoughts on upgrading to hardshell release bindings

rsaputorsaputo Posts: 3 New Baller
First off I’ve been following this forum for quite some time but this is my first post! I’m currently on a Syndicate A3 with double HO Animal bindings that lace in the back. I’ve been skiing on the Purdue Ski team for the past two years and had a bad OTF crash in practice coming across the wake that tweaked both my ankles. Luckily after some ice and rest I was perfectly fine but it kinda spooked me and got me to think more as far as safety regarding my feet and knees.

Ive been researching releasable bindings for the past few months now and have looked hard at the reflex bindings and OB4’s. One thing I noticed was the difficulty of having a double hardshell set up (along with the price) as far as sometimes the bindings don’t release together resulting in front ankle injuries. Because of this I have thought about going the hardshell front and hybrid rear toe plate route.

My main concerns are having difficulty moving from being on double animal bindings my whole life to not only a hardshell binding, but also from double boot to hybrid toe plate. Any input would be super appreciated!

Thanks in advance everyone, and glad to be here!


  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,447 Mega Baller
    I went from double rubber Wiley’s to double hard shell at first, surprisingly easily. I ended up with a hard shell front and hybrid rear. I think the hybrid rear was a pretty easy adjustment for me, because I still can’t do a toe plate. Whether you go with the Reflex or Edge/Syndicate boots with the Silvretta releases you’ll really need to find the boot that fits you best. The systems are pretty much the same. I can’t use the Reflex Black/White cuff boots because the size 10 is too small and my foot starts cramping and the size 12 is too big and feels sloppy. The Supershell is perfect for me. The Edge/Syndicate boot is also super comfortable but something about the boot just didn’t work for my skiing. So, if you can, spend some time with different boots. Borrow a ski partner’s if you can. With the MOB/OB4 you can use any boot you want.
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,313 Mega Baller
    Whatever brand or set up,any change in bindings is gonna take some time to adjust to.
    How long it take is up to you.
  • 94009400 Posts: 626 Crazy Baller
    I went from Fogmans to a reflex front, R-style rear over the winter/spring and started at 30mph. It took me about a month (10 sets) to get back to 34.2. One of my hardest crashes ever (release behind the boat) led to the decision. Adam Caldwell modified both of my boots before I ever tried them. I went a few months before I ever tested the release which has worked flawlessly so far. I'm very happy with this decision and wished I would have made it sooner. It would have saved me about 10 (or more) unnecessary painful releases over the last 2 years.
  • epnaultepnault Posts: 331 Crazy Baller
    The reflex system - hard shell front and hybrid rear I think would be an easier transition versus going to a RTP. I think if you work with H20 Pro shop they will let you try double boot vs boat/hybrid.
  • AndreAndre Posts: 1,313 Mega Baller
    @9400 Pix of the modified Reflex ? Black,white cuff or supershell ?
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,447 Mega Baller
    edited July 2019
    If you consider double hard shells, go with a setup that allows independent releases. That, in itself, is reason for debate though. The reason I went away from the double hard shell is the one we were using broke my ankle and my ski partners leg. It is not designed to release when the upward pressure is on the front foot, only the rear. My front ankle broke just before there was sufficient pressure to release from the rear, and it really wasn’t a bad fall. I 100% blame the boots
  • owennibleyowennibley Posts: 30 Baller
    I made the transition from double boot to Reflex Supershell 4.0 in the front and RTP in the back because of a broken ankle last year. I still can't get comfortable with my setup. I think it is mostly the RTP because when I hopped on my buddies ski (which is the same as mine) with double boots, it felt so comfortable. I ordered a hybrid binding for the rear and hopefully that will help. The releasable bindings are pricey but I would've easily paid double not to have my ankle broken. Keep that in mind...
  • 94009400 Posts: 626 Crazy Baller
    @Andre, supershell 2, flattened/ground bottom, cut down the top, locked forward, buckles moved, shell softened (material removed), Radar liner heated in oven and molded to my foot. The best fitting/tightest boot ever. Don't have my ski with me, so can't take a picture but will try to remember. Somewhere on here there is a long discussion about the reflex boot and what Adam recommends.
  • rsaputorsaputo Posts: 3 New Baller
    Ive seen a lot of discussion on the reflex bindings but haven’t seen much on the Edge binding. I know Jon Travers backs that binding a lot and was wondering if anyone had any experience with them? I like how the plate allows the boot to sot directly on the ski for max amount of feel of the ski under you.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,129 Mega Baller
    @rsaputo - 5 years ago your options didn't include the HO syndicate hardshell nor the edge.
    Understand that all the bindings that utilize a horseshoe toeblock with a silvretta release in the heel essentially work the same, the shells are different in fit, the toe attachment/bedding of the shell to the plate does vary. As does the type of liner shipped with your shell. You may find that one is more comfortable than another.

    When the Edge and HO were coming out their big sales point was that the toe bar and 3D printed bed beneath the shell transmits less motion down into the plate.

    I'm not sure if that's the most important feature, for many skiers the modifications to the shell are more about getting the foot flat on the plate and getting the shell more flexible.
  • rsaputorsaputo Posts: 3 New Baller
    @BraceMaker Thanks for the insight! Also thanks to everyone else that left their input! I’ll definitely need to do a little more research and then make a decision based on that as well as costs. For now, time to head back on the water with the double animal bindings!!
  • lkblkb Posts: 583 Baller
    edited July 2019
    @rsaputo The reflex recommended sizing can give an undesirable fit imo. What I mean is if you go by their size chart typically what you get is a shell that is a lot bigger than your foot. This excess shell volume is filled with liner thickness and you ratchet the buckles tight. In my case I went down in size one lower than recommended and my foot has a minimum of excess room in the bare shell. I use a thin liner and it works great.
    About making the transition from what you’re on now to new. I changed from from double hardshells to reflex/rtp several years ago. It took at least a dozen sets to get comfortable but I’m glad i made the switch. If you get to ski regularly I say switch and never look back. It won’t be that big a deal if you’re patient and get regular water time.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,129 Mega Baller
    I personally own FM quattro, FM Revo, an Old Reflex

    I am now skiing with an MOB G10 plate with an obrien legion hybrid shell, a Reflex HRT rear - removed from its plate and screwed to the back of an OB4 double binding plate. Its a bit of a fiasco

    If I were buying a new release set up right now it would be a single MOB front single binding plate with whatever boot and whatever low rear or rtp you felt comfortable with.
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 662 Crazy Baller
    I can't comment on which binding is right for you. As has been said already, it's a personal choice based on fit and comfort. Also remember that professionals have different priorities than you or I, they may be willing to give up a bit of safety if the result gives them a better chance at winning. On the other hand, I would rather be safe because this is what I do for fun and I have a family and work to worry about. Something to consider when selecting between the different silvretta release systems or even looking at a MOB type. Biggest thing to consider is that all the releases likely cost less than a trip to the ER or even an X-ray here in the United States. If it stops just one injury then I come out ahead financially and don't get hurt.
  • dislanddisland Posts: 1,380 Mega Baller
    Dave Island- Princeton Lakes
  • JmoskiJmoski Posts: 322 Solid Baller
    If you go with a hard shell binding keep in mind you need to be diligent about retightening the bolts as with all of the flexing that happens they can loosen up.

    In terms of the transition the biggest adjustment IMHO is the change from a full rear to a 1/2 rear (reflex r, radar HRT) or even bigger to a toe plate.

    I am very happy with my set up of a syndicate hard shell on the front and a radar HRT 1/2 rear coming off rubber double boots.

    I took a massive hit on an OTF fall last month - my ankles came away unscathed, my right ear drum, not soo much...
  • jdk99jdk99 Posts: 96 Baller
    Similar situation. Broken ankle after partial release from Strada's. Switched to OB4/MOB four years ago. Took some time to adjust and routine maintenance is imperative but now I love them. I've had multiple falls and in every case both boots released. No issues with ankles since. One sidenote: it seems the upper body impacts are harsher during a fall as compared with other bindings. Almost seems like when I release there is more of an angular momentum into the water because of the sudden release after a buildup of potential energy. If that makes sense.
  • TheBigHeadTheBigHead Posts: 59 Baller
    All binding systems have their pros and cons, none of them are perfect in regards to safety and release. Performance advantage/disadvantage is clearly debatable. Goode/MOB/Strada/reflex with every one of them you will find someone who loves them and someone who hates them.

    If your only concern is how long it will take you to get used to the new bindings then make the change and suck it up. Its going to suck for a while, but you will learn some new things a long the way and be better for it.... eventually :wink:

    Once you lose confidence in a particular binding system it is hard to get that confidence back.

    Sometimes you have to make the change just for the sake of your confidence.
  • marknmarkn Posts: 286 Crazy Baller
    Continue to use old rubber binders....D3 front and either Wiley or old obrien rear. Seems to me, I hear about a lot more injuries from hard shells than rubber binders. Have been skiing a long time and never had a knee or ankle injury....lots of ribs though!
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 586 Solid Baller
    I changed from rubber to silvreta type release system.
    Broke tibia & acl (fall with rotation)
    Went back to rubber and happy again.
    Though I am only 15off skier....
  • TheBigHeadTheBigHead Posts: 59 Baller

    I bet that has more to do with the level of skiing than the bindings. Most people change to hard shells once their skiing starts getting better. They are becoming a more aggressive skier and are dealing with faster speeds and greater loads.

    On our dock we have +90% of our skiers on hardshells (about 30 skiers). I can say without a doubt we have more injuries in hardshells than rubber boots. Do you think it has anything to do with the bindings?
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,583 Mega Baller
    I went from T-factor double to reflex front, R-style reflex on rear. I had the white top at first and I had no problems transitioning to them. I then changed to Supershell for comfort and that took a few weeks to get used. I was always having sore ankles before. No ankle issue anymore.
  • marknmarkn Posts: 286 Crazy Baller
    I am a 34 mph skier running 38 and do not think my rubber binder set up is an impediment to my skiing. I may be in the minority, but have never been injured as a result of my binding set up. In addition, to me, the liners, buckles, binding set up seem like a pain. I put in some shaving cream and go.....
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 917 Crazy Baller
    Go for the MOB!!! Large selection of boots can be used, including hardshells, and release in all directions. A double boot setup does double the cost, and a lot of people are changing over to a RTP, or other type of hybrid rear.
  • mfjaegersrmfjaegersr Posts: 200 Solid Baller
    Another happy converter here - Reflex White cuff and R style - third season and so far so good. Really awkward at first, particularly during pull up, and after the first few rides the strangest soreness I’ve ever experienced from skiing: tightness in my groin, left side only, and in my right hip...say whuuut? Resolved the issue with a slight front heel shift to the left (LFF) via the adjustment screws on the Silveretta.

    Size 13 foot, so XXL thin liner is the only one that fits for me; half boot in the back. Both easily made WAY better with a couple of Superfeet Blue inserts. 👍👍
  • vtmechengvtmecheng Posts: 662 Crazy Baller
    The topic of releasable binding systems comes up a lot here, almost always after someone has a fall that causes injury. Ultimately, we are participating in a sport that has some inherent danger and injury can happen regardless of binding type. Each of us must run what is mentally comfortable. Rubber bindings, hardshells with a release, laces, MOB with your choice, etc all comes down to what you feel comfortable enough using to not create a mental block when entering the course. I had to switch after my last injury and learning of how other's in my club had broken legs simply because I was too scared to ski. I know that my current setup does not guarantee safety but it's enough to let me keep doing what I love. Do what you need to to enjoy this awesome sport and don't short change your health for a couple hundred dollars.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,129 Mega Baller
    For any crash there is basically one style of binding that would be the "safest" and one style that would be the worst.

    I can say I would not want to peg a turn ball in a high front rubber RTP combo.
  • ballsohardballsohard Posts: 269 Solid Baller
    I love my Radar front Radar HRT back binding setup
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 320 Crazy Baller
    edited July 2019
    I am with "markn" if anything I am too aggressive of a skier particularly for my age, and I find T factors the best option for me. I used hard-shells for a season, never skied any better/or worse, and never felt as safe as the T factors. One less thing to tweak and adjust, put feet in binders and go. Cheaper also!
Sign In or Register to comment.