Is Anyone Else Seeing A Trend Back To Rear Kickers?

I'm seeing a lot of younger skiers with the reflex hard shell and rear kicker setup or "some other boot" & rear kicker. One of our better younger skiers was openly talking about switching back from double boots based on his observations that the a lot of the top skiers are using kickers and that allows them greater freedom to move on the ski... I'm a double boot skier and would not personally entertain the thought of a kicker but I have to acknowledge at our last tournament the vast majority of the 60 plus skiers were using them.
'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski: KD Platinum



  • ralral Posts: 1,701 Mega Baller
    I will encourage my kids to use a rear kicker. I encourage anyone with a kicker believing that switching to a rear boot looks cooler, pro and give an advantage not to do so. Kicker is more comfy, cheaper, easier to dock start, etc... I always say that te best skier in Chile and the best skier in the world use one, so cannot be bad...

    I ski with double boots and would like to be able to switch, but cannot...
    Rodrigo Andai
  • rockdogrockdog Posts: 534 Crazy Baller
    I think you're right, though I cannot switch back either. I vividly remember the day many years ago I was going through entrance gates and had heel slip, from that day forward the RTP was binned. I have new Reflex arriving in a week or so with R-style. I am hoping this is the perfect solution as it appears in theory to be.

    So many pros use Reflex front, I wonder how many have attempted the change to R-style rear instead of a kicker? And do any of them have heel slip issues at all? Maybe it's just me...
  • Pat MPat M Posts: 637 Crazy Baller
    @rockdog I think you will like the R-style. I demoed a ski with Reflex front with R-style back and came from double Powershells. I had no issue with the R-style, it seamed to have all the heel support needed. I will be purchasing that ski I demoed and the binding setup. I think I had a harder time with the front than the back binding(Reflex seams a little funky getting up with).
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    2 years ago you couldn't talk me into ever using a rear kicker again due an injury. Last year, I gave one another shot and now don't want to go back to double boots. Go figure... Who knows, I may go back to double boots again in another year or two. I can always make up my mind but sticking with my decision is tough.
  • skier2788skier2788 Posts: 720 Crazy Baller
    I grew up with a kicker and switched to doubles about 5 years ago. End of this season went to reflex with R style. Like the R style. Can't really tell a difference between it and a boot in my skiing but I like it better.
    Travis Torley
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,322 Mega Baller
    I've had the toe plate from the start and don't think I'll be changing any time soon. I get out of the water easy, my foot stays secure in the water, and the toe plate is much cheaper than a back boot. Only thing I worry about is a bad crash where the back foot cone out but the front doesn't, makes your knee cringe just thinking about it.
  • danspencedanspence Posts: 66 Baller
    I must admit I have been giving this a fair bit of thought my self. I started skiing with a kicker and then switched to a double boot setup. I now run a reflex front and a very sloppy wiley back. I have thought about going to the reflex R style boot and the back of even a kicker, can see the reasons behind both the double boot and the kicker but have to wonder seen as most top skiers use a kicker is it something to try again?
    'Gotta Risk It, To Get The Biscuit'
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 5,999
    After 15 years on some sort of double high wraps, I switched to a rear toe plate last year with my front reflex. I won't say the transition was easy but I stuck with it and could never go back now. I actually tried an R rear this fall and hated it.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,986 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Always used a RTP, marginalized for most of my ski career as heresy. Funny it's now becoming trendy.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • RezRez Posts: 21 Baller
    if Nate Smith can run world records on a toe plate, i'll stick with mine!
  • GloersenGloersen Posts: 848 Crazy Baller
    Concur, there seems to be a continuing trend towards RTP use. Perhaps due to ski design evolving towards (as well as speed control systems) favoring greater balance upon the front foot; stomp and go skiing at each buoy passe.

    Tried it, but not patient enough to tolerate the learning curve.

    A compromise that can be used; modifying a Wiley by taking out the cross behind the Achilles of the wraps and attach them parallel to the heel. It allows very easy release and more heel freedom.
  • danspencedanspence Posts: 66 Baller
    @ShaneH thats interesting cause I know @addkerr switched to it this season and loves it. I can see the point in them but not to sure. I always find changing my back binding the most difficult however I am really thinking about a rear kicker for the season coming up.
    'Gotta Risk It, To Get The Biscuit'
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    I switched everything out over the winter. When I picked it back up in the spring, the learning curve wasn't that painful. I don't have a lot of expectations at the beginning of the season and I really just want to ski so I feel like that's the best time to change. I don't like switching major stuff mid season because it makes me feel like I'm having a bad day...only that bad day lasts for many days and it's very frustrating.

    I mainly switched for two reasons. I prefer getting up dragging a foot and I wanted to try the Reflex binding because I felt the release mechanism would be the safest for my style of skiing. I would not have changed because people said it was easier to ski on.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,986 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @waternut what did you think of the reflex? Were you prior on rubber bindings? I'm in a d3 leverage front and would consider the reflex.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • BoneHeadBoneHead Posts: 5,999
    The R rear shell did not agree with my ankle bone and lower leg angle. I trimmed the shell down so it didn't rub, but really felt that I needed to be able to cant it using a wedge spacer towards the outside.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    @6balls So far, I really like the Reflex. It gives me tweaking options and the courage to push a little harder without as much fear of injury. I originally had the Connelly Fastback bindings which were rubber bindings and then switched to the HO exo forms. The exo's were hardshells but they rocked side to side so much that I'd put them in more of a semi-hardshell category personally.

    I fully admit that I suck at securing rubber boots safely and always wanted them as tight as possible which is why I started looking at mechanical release systems.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,986 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @waternut same for a very snug rubber binding. Never felt like the strada could be snug enough w/out making it dangerous ie)not coming out of there.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • DooSPXDooSPX Posts: 328 Baller
    I had doubles on my HO System8 and when I bought my CoX SL I went with a kicker. Felt weird at first, but now I love it.
    Jason Lord- 1991 MasterCraft Prostar 190 Powerslot-OJ CNC 4 blade
    2011 Best in Show 1987-2000 class MasterCraft Reunion
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  • E_TE_T Posts: 594 extraterrestrial trouble maker
    @rez world records with a rear toe is old news. Just ask Mapple
    E.T. phone home!
    I like reese's pieces

    "Leave nothing on the dock"~AM
  • skifanskifan Posts: 63 Baller
    I am moving from double Stradas to Reflex front w/RTP. Can't wait till next season to try it out. I have the winter off so will be starting fresh with new setup and ski. Hopefully this will make the transition easier. I grew up on a RTP in the late 80's after some time off went to double bindings two seasons ago and felt limited with body movement on the ski. I was shortening the line and felt like I needed the rear binding for safety. After seeing how well the pros are skiing with the RTP I am going to give it a try, plus it's cheaper that the type R rear. I figure if I don't like the RTP I'll order a type R rear and try that.
  • LucasLucas Posts: 61 Baller
    From what I've seen not a whole lot of people in australia use double boots. I wouldnt be on them if it wasn't for the fact I personally believe the stealths/fogmans have the best release system (not so for re-attaching). Had a ski on my F1X again with RTP and didnt see much difference, just a lot less comfortable
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