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With plate mounted boots screwed to inserts - does anyone intentionally leave some screws loose?

swbcaswbca Posts: 120 Baller
edited February 1 in Skis Fins Bindings
This was mentioned in the Fin Whispering book . . . I am not advocating this practice . . . just asking . .

Preventing slippage with tight screws on plates stiffens the ski and puts shear stress on the inserts. If the front pair of screws were slightly loose but secured with blue-locktite (removable), it would reduce these affects on the ski. Is that a "step to far" or is that part of the ski tuning toolbox?


  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 1,068 Mega Baller
    I have also seen it advised to NOT put locktite on the screws as that could cause you to remove the inserts when unscrewing those screws.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,550 Mega Baller
    edited February 1
    Radar is the best to look at for this.

    With the sequence plate the original instructions were to install the plate with 2 center "fixed" screws and 4 "floating plate" screws. The floating plate screws were to be installed with threaded neck spacers - basically stepped washers that caused the front and rear plate screws when properly tightened to not grip the plate at all.

    When you do this the plate can grow in relationship to the top deck of the ski but is prevented from moving fore/aft by the center fixed screws.

    In practice most people I see on sequence plates don't install these properly and they just screw them down to the ski with out those spacers.

  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 1,074 Mega Baller
    @swbca - Radar at one time used slotted front and aft holes in the front plate, as well as in the sequence plate with hat washers between the ski and plate to allow the "slide" as you perceive. It's kind of a cool concept, but likely of no value. In fact, a world renowned coach would mount the sequence plate conventionally (without the spacer hat washers); that speaks volumes about the concept (of no demonstrable benefit). Not sure if Radar even uses those any longer.

    You should make an outline of ALL your topics of slalom cognition and head to LSP in Orlando and ski with KLP. Invaluable enlightenment awaits.
  • DWDW Posts: 2,296 Mega Baller
    HO uses / used hat washers on the front and rear plate screws with slots to allow movement. Middle screws held the position. Washers made in both aluminum and plastic. The Goode Velcro attachment scheme achieved a similar flex mount scheme.
  • swbcaswbca Posts: 120 Baller
    THANKS ALL - question answered
  • ski6jonesski6jones Posts: 1,108 Mega Baller
    edited February 1
    As much rattling on about ski flex as there is I'd think the old sequence approach to binding mounting would get more love. I don't think the current sequence has the same feature. I agree leaving some screws lose with locktite is not a good idea

    A buddy of mine rode a new ski with his then current binding setup velcro attached and skied well on it. He then moved to a new double binding system with a single screwed down plate, same shells, and never had any success on the same ski. He figured it was due to change of ski flex. I tend to think he's right.

    One data point.
    Carl Addington, Lakes of Katy, Texas
  • BlueSkiBlueSki Posts: 840 Mega Baller
    I got sucked into trying the old HO EXO bindings. When I scrapped them and went to Reflex, the ski came alive. It was a very material change. Ski flex matters.
  • WayneWayne Posts: 551 Solid Baller
    I still use one of the original aluminum Sequence plates. I use the little neck washers in the slots at the front and back of the plate. There is a foam pad under the plate but the way it’s trimmed there is no material around the screw holes. So if you don’t use any spacers it actually bends the plate. The engineer in me says that’s just wrong. I’ve always used the spacers so the plate is nice and flat when the screws are properly tightened.

    The ski certainly does flex under the plate. My plate shows wear marks from the movement.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,550 Mega Baller
    @BlueSki - Lots of variables there though are testing too many parameters at once to say it's actually the flex. Remember JB is in the all time top skiers group riding a red fogman and connelly stealth both of which are materially similar to the exo's in terms of ski flex.

    Possible that with the EXO you simply couldn't get the boots to work for you or the DFT to work - or too much slack in the system might have limited your roll angle. If you flex tested the ski then added a G10 backer under your reflex till the flex was the same you'd be closer to proving it.
  • BlueSkiBlueSki Posts: 840 Mega Baller
    @BraceMaker, fair enough. Definitely an untested layman’s experience. Intuitively, the removal the aluminum bar across the middle of the ski, which made a huge difference, points to an element of flex. But to your point, fit and roll could have been in play too.
  • JBBJBB Posts: 104 Baller
    Isn't this also the concept behind the Connelly Sync Bindings?
  • adamhcaldwelladamhcaldwell Posts: 729 Open or Level 9 Skier
    edited February 9
    @AdamCord Might like to chime in here.

    With softer "composite" plates from reflex - the torque on the mounting screws will have much less influence on ski flex - no matter how tight or loose.

    With the thicker aluminum plates, it does make a difference as they are significantly stiffer.

    You are putting much more stress on the ski when ALL screws are run excessively tight. However, sometimes that is the only way you can get some of the rear plates to stay put without sliding around all over the place. Always have one pair of screws to lock the front to back location of the plate, but there's no need to go crazy tight on the others.

    Something a lot of people overlook when it comes to binding plates. It provides 'load distribution to spread the forces from the bottom of your foot over a greater surface area of the top of the ski. This helps reduce local high pressure points that can cause catastrophic issues.

    The only non-prototype skis I have ever broken skiing in the course came from cutting out the plate material directly under foot such that the shell was directly on top of the ski. (This happened prior to us starting Denali). Its one thing to have your bare foot directly on top of a skis surface - but a hard-shell or carbon bottom boot with zero padding is something totally different. A direct contact hard-shell, ie. no plate has the potential to create an extremely high localized pressure on the skis top laminate which is really NOT GOOD. The stress has the the potential to concentrate at the closest insert and cause the top skin to buckle and snap the ski in half.

    Now, for recreational skis, its probably no big deal. But for anyone attempting to run short-line in a hard shell boot- NEVER GO WITHOUT SOME KIND OF PLATE UNDER THE SHELL.

  • RGilmoreRGilmore Posts: 90 Baller
    edited February 9
    This is a close up of one of my sequence plates from a few years ago. To anyone who would suggest that the fore and aft "floating" anchor points are not significant to ski flex I would say, "A picture is worth a thousand words."

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,550 Mega Baller
    @adamhcaldwell @AdamCord so the design parameters of the skis assume the plate impacts the flex?

    I felt a huge difference between the FM split plates and the FM on one combined. On a full aluminum base
  • skialexskialex Posts: 1,164 Crazy Baller
    I used to cut my plates out of 2.5mm rigid prepreged carbon sheets, so some 9 years ago I tried a new ski with my backup reflex bindings, on the soft silver textalium plates... ski rocked... bought it.
    Put my regular plates on and was not at all as good as it was the first time, through them away, I use very soft plates after this.
    Also when Goode skis were not drilled, I moved from sheet screws to Velcro and then reflex bonds and then stud plates. All seemed to work better that tightening down the plates firmly with screws.
    Reflex bonds or stud plates, you can use self locking nuts and you leave some play without worrying that they will unscrew.
    First Denali that a friend bought and I was trying it, had a really good stud plate, same as the first hollow Maple, all I had to do was to change the nuts with self locking ones..
    I bet it’s easier for the manufacturers to use inserts but a very light weight stud plate attached with VHB tape will allow the ski to flex more freely.

  • AdamCordAdamCord Posts: 892 Open or Level 9 Skier
    edited February 10
    @Horton I use this to adjust my ski all the time. It's subtle but tighter or looser screws will definitely make a noticeable difference in the way the ski behaves.*

    @BraceMaker Yes definitely

    *DISCLAIMER: Don't adjust your ski like this. Run your screws snug but not super tight and check them often.
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