New Skier with Ski and Binding Questions.

90kacoupe90kacoupe Posts: 12 Baller
I'm looking to buy my first ski. I'm 6ft and around 260lbs and dropping weight (shooting for 230lb realistically). I have plenty of wakeboard, and wakeskate experience. I'm looking to get into slalom. Despite my weight, I'm in pretty good shape. I play hockey in adult leagues roughly 3 nights a week, and have no problem completing a National Enduro or long Harescrambles on my dirt bike (if your not familiar, those are 3-5hr races.)

I'm currently looking at the HO Freeride 69" and a HO Omni 69". The first question is regarding the ski.

How big is the difference between deep water starts on the Freeride and the Omni? I don't want to get a Freeride and within a season which I had gotten the Omni.

The next question is binding size. I tried on the 7-11 FreeMAX and the 10-15. The 7-11 is snug, and my toes were right at the end of the base. The 10-15 felt huge. I could still lift my heel maybe 1/4" after tightening it as much as I could in the store. How snug do I want a slalom ski binding? If I decide on the Omni I could get it with an Animal binding as well, but I liked the idea of the size variance in case any of my friends want to try it.

My goals: I would love to eventually end up course skiing, but having a family of 5 most of what I will likely be doing is open water skiing at Center Hill Lake in TN. I can normally find glass water as long as go deep enough into the coves to get past the tubers and surfers. I know there is a course on the lake, and I would love to get to that point but I'm kinda clueless on what it will take to get to that point.


  • SkiphreakSkiphreak Posts: 23 Baller
    I started slaloming about 3 years ago and ski mostly openwater. Speaking from experience owning both the Freeride and a Carbon Omni, the Omni is a superior ski all around. Very stable, very forgiving at any speed and easy getting up on. You won’t notice a major difference on deep water starts.

    In your position and having to do it over again, I would start w the Omni (carbon if it’s in your price range).
  • DockoelbotoDockoelboto Posts: 164 Baller
    Omni, unless you have the cash to keep upgrading to new skis. Carbon omni over regular omni. Great ski
  • SkiBeKausSkiBeKaus Posts: 10 New Baller
    edited March 15
    Can’t help you too much on binding size. Go with what feels best to you since you have wakeboard experience and you should be good. Don’t want to be too tight, but too big is much worse (my opinion, not fact) since it limits your control over the ski.

    As for tightening the laces, I’m assuming you did that in the store just to see if you could make it work, but just in case: don’t overdo it (practically fact, not my opinion). Binding should be snug at most. For the most part, gravity pulling you down into the ski and water forcing it into your foot during a cut will keep it secure on your feet and sliding around, so no need to overtighten for that reason.
    When you crash, you may end up in a position where that ski is dragging in the water in the opposite way that your body wants to. Good way to sprain an ankle or do even worse to your leg. You should always be able to come out of the binding in a crash. If you put your ski on and can’t remove your foot on the platform without loosening it, it’s too tight.

    I know a few who advocate for wanting both feet to stay in or no feet to stay in. If both are in, your body stays more together and supported and the force is shared by both legs. If neither is in, then no force from the ski is transferred to your feet.
    Maybe not a shared opinion by everybody, but good rule of thumb in my book, and impacts the way I view binding safety for those who use double bindings vs a rear kicker.

    Plenty of threads on this site about binding tightness and injuries from not coming out in crashes.

    Good luck!
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 299 Solid Baller
    Ditto Omni-easy now, and will get you pretty deep into the course.
  • RednucleusRednucleus Posts: 700 Mega Baller
    HO has a good demo program for both skis & binders; check it out!
  • 90kacoupe90kacoupe Posts: 12 Baller
    Skiphreak- thank you for confirming what I was thinking!

    SkiBeKaus- that is some good insight. In wakeboarding I have always tried to be extra tight because one foot coming out is very dangerous on your knees. I'll have to try them on again and make sure I can come out of the 7-11 with out too much issues. I'm pretty sure I can.

    Rednucleus- I looked at their program but they only demo the higher end skies. No dealers near me offer demos, but Sun and Ski Sports offers a 90day swapping program. Where you can swap models if you are not happy with it. But they don't stock the 69" with 7-11 binding. I know the manager of the store so I'm going to try to see if he can get it.

    Is there a good online store to order from that is actually a supporter of the sport?
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,713 Mega Baller
    If my choices were FreeMax or Animal, I’d go Animal all day. There’s a reason they’ve been making that boot for 30 years. I tried one of the “max” boots that felt like it fit pretty good, but when I skied, it felt like my foot slid an inch forward. I felt totally out of control. I hated it and that kept me from buying the ski. The Animal is a proven classic product. When there are no more maxes, there will still be Animals
  • KRoundyKRoundy Posts: 554 Crazy Baller
    As someone who has skied at 260lbs - does that ski come in a 71”? A 69” would be great when you reach your weight loss goals, but I skied on a 71” Senate and it was what I needed. Just saying what I experienced.
  • alancalanc Posts: 16 New Baller
    i ski a 71senate and weigh about 250 i don t want a smaller ski 69 sounds a bit small
    get what ho recommend for your weight
  • ALPJrALPJr Posts: 2,650 Mega Baller
    Check with @perfski . Excellent knowledge and lots of options. They can get you set up.
  • 90kacoupe90kacoupe Posts: 12 Baller
    Thank you everybody for your insight. I'll look at the 71" Omni and the different boot options.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,974 Mega Baller
    What binding is on your current ski? With the FreeMax and similar bindings you dont want the boot tight. You want to adjust the laces over your foot with the elastic ankle cords fully loose so you can slip in and out with just a small bit of force. Then you can snug up the elastic ankle cords a bit. But if you go past that you're in ankle breaker territory.

    If after skiing you cannot grab the tip and pull your foot out with out touching laces the thing is way too tight.
  • 90kacoupe90kacoupe Posts: 12 Baller
    BraceMaker- This is my first ski, and have only rode old skis with rubber adjustable bindings, similar to what combos have, they were all very loose and I came out pretty easy. I have very little experience with it but it was very different than a wakeboard binding fit.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,974 Mega Baller
    Gotcha. Think of any of the laced up adjustable as a modern version of that not a wakeboard or hockey boot. You want snug but releasing.
  • The_HecklerThe_Heckler Posts: 3 New Baller
    am a somewhat heavy fella myself. bought a used 72" lg. kidder pro-graphite ski last summer-dirt cheap. love it. see myself graduating to a shorther quicker ski this season but the long ski made a huge difference for me. deepwater starts much easier and I rail it like I did in drained swimming pools on my skateboard back in the day... as for bindings - comfort rules. not sold on this lace up stuff ect. just yet as I need to evacuate before I batter my body now-a-days...
  • SlalomSteveSlalomSteve Posts: 124 Baller
    Being able to easily lift your heel that much within the boot is definitely too loose, though. You want to feel connected to the ski. Just make sure when you're sitting in the water that you can use your back foot to push on the back of the ski and get your front foot to pop out. Not with no effort, but not a struggle either.
  • 90kacoupe90kacoupe Posts: 12 Baller
    Thank you everybody for the insight on the binding fit. I definitely feel a little less lost on this purchase. I'm hoping to finish the tune up and rudder port seal repair on my old Sunsport very soon. I'll be ordering a ski soon. The kids are ready to try their new trainer skis, and I'm excited to see how slalom goes for me this year.
  • GarnGarn Posts: 586 Crazy Baller
    At 260, even if you are shooting for 230, I agree with person who said to got with the 71" Omni. For your size, a 69" would be small. Definitely go with the Omni. But definitely get the 71". You'll thank yourself when you are getting up on it.
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