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HO EXO Hardshells / Pro Ski Coach Water Ski Forum
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#1 Mon, Feb 15, 2010 3:40 PM

skidream
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From: Colorado
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Skis At: Madison, Still Farm
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HO EXO Hardshells

So what do you guys think? Quality, reliability, design, safety, functionality, etc....?

http://www.hosports.com/dimg/13837c275798e57ce2ca80f949b71cf8.jpg


Warming up!!!

Ski Hard or Go Home!!

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#2 Mon, Feb 15, 2010 4:14 PM

Andrew1988
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

I have not used them. But I love how they have used snow ski technology and developed it further. I think after these get tried and tested that they will be leading the market because of that use of technology. Mainly in the release system is what I am referring too. Price is really high though. Defiantly a move in the right direction in my opinion.


Looking for places to ski in Metro Detroit!

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#3 Mon, Feb 15, 2010 7:38 PM

WadeWilliams
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

Release is the most advanced design in waterskiing by far. As for the boots themselves? Not sure yet. We should have some information direct for HO available soon...

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#4 Tue, Feb 16, 2010 9:44 AM

skidream
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

Yes I agree the release system is by far the most innovative and water ski specific design yet! I have to give Dave and HO props for putting this much R&D into a hardshell system! HO has always been the leaders and in the forefront of ski technology and they have done it again with these hardshells!! I am a RTP skier and I am curious to see how the rear cuff/half boot feels! Only thing I would have to say that might limit them on this system is that it is HO ski specific. But I assume other ski manufacturers will start drilling there ski's for these boots in the future.


Warming up!!!

Ski Hard or Go Home!!

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#5 Tue, Feb 16, 2010 10:23 AM

HO410
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

They do look darned expensive if you already have several hundred dollars plus hours of research and painstaking decision making tied up in a pair of bindings. I suppose if I was looking to buy my first slalom ski, the price would look outrageous, but they are not entry level bindings; at least not yet.

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#6 Tue, Feb 16, 2010 12:01 PM

WadeWilliams
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

The price is on par with other high end hardshell boot systems... I agree they are not entry-level priced, though.

Another thing to consider is that the usable life of the higher end boots (fluid motion, radar rs1, ho exo, fogman, powershells, etc) is a lot longer than your average high wrap boots... so if you distribute that cost over a few seasons it doesn't hurt so bad.

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#7 Wed, Feb 17, 2010 10:02 AM

skidream
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

I agree these boots are on par in price with other hardshells on the market.  I went from rubber boots to hardshells last season and I will never go back.  The control you get with hardshells is unreal, you always know where the ski is because of the feedback you get.  You don't see snow skiers out there with rubber boots attached to their ski do you? This is the future of water skiing and it is awesome to see a big name like HO come out with hardshells!


Warming up!!!

Ski Hard or Go Home!!

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#8 Wed, Feb 17, 2010 12:34 PM

StevenHaines
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From: Canyon Lake Ca.
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

The old saying holds true, "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR"! I've been on Fluid Motion's since the summer or 2005. I haven't had any injuries, system failures or breakage. The control you get from these things is un-paralled! I'm finally at the point of needing to replace the liners, but you can get the replacements for as low as $49.00 ea. for the basic model. I don't see how you can go wrong with that kind of quality!

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#9 Fri, Feb 19, 2010 8:08 AM

millertime
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

So what is the $100 diff between the two set ups?


"It is what it is"

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#10 Fri, Feb 19, 2010 10:11 AM

HO410
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

The prestige that comes from owning their top of the line.

Black cuffs and black trimmed liner.

Stiffer cuffs.

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#11 Wed, Mar 10, 2010 1:53 AM

DanE
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

So, anyone seen or even better tried these boots yet? Do they even exist yet other than pictures and boat show samples?big_smile

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#12 Wed, Mar 10, 2010 1:22 PM

skidream
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

Yes, these bindings are on sale now! My buddy should be getting his in a week or so....


Warming up!!!

Ski Hard or Go Home!!

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#13 Fri, Mar 12, 2010 11:28 AM

getmeto35off!
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

This (below) I pulled straight from HO's website. Thought it might be helpful for those of you who are interested and have questions about the shells.
My biggest concern with any new product is what was missed in engineering and testing. Durability is a significant issue.
How strong is that aluminum rail? Do the zippers fail over time? Is the release plate functionality well engineered or flawed? If any of these are issues they will likely be addressed in successor models, but in the mean time it's a lot of cash to plunk down if one's current system is suitable. Just my 2 cent.




If you fall while snow skiing or playing basketball, you donít come out of your shoes, right? The demands of arcing a turn down youíre local mountain or cutting to the rim dictate a precise fit with a high level of foot support. Water Skiing is no different. That is why HO is proud to introduce the 2011 EXO System. The EXO System is comprised of the revolutionary Variable Retention System (VRS) Binding and EXO Shell boots, allowing skiers to remain in their boots, but release from their ski in, out the front, type falls. EXO Shell Boot Technology combines the fit of your favorite pair of running shoes with a level of support unmatched in any other water ski boot. The VRS Binding utilizes a combination of Dual Spring and Quick Cam Technology to create controlled retention and consistent release. Available in two different Flex Index models, the EXO Pro and EXO Form are designed to accommodate intermediate to advanced skiers.



EXO = external structural shell

System = interdependent components forming a unified whole

Features

Variable Retention System (VRS) Binding:


The VRS Binding utilizes a combination of Dual Spring and Quick Cam Technology to create controlled retention and consistent release. Dual Spring technology concentrically coils two differently powered springs inside one another. The outer, less powerful spring is compressed to create retention for lighter weight skiers. As skier weight increases, the inner, more tightly coiled spring begins to compress providing the required retention skiers demand. Quick Cam Technology utilizes a caming mechanism to transform the rotary motion of the heel release unit into a linear compression of the dual springs. It acts like a light switch. The system is 100% engaged while in skiing position. When the skier gets out of position, as in an out the front type fall, the resulting torque force flicks the light switch to the off position providing the skier a clean consistent release from the ski.



EXO Frame:

The EXO Frame is an extruded aluminum frame linking the toe and heel assemblies of the VRS binding as well as the connection point of the EXO Shells to the system. The EXO Frame utilizes a Free Float Design to reduce the impact the EXO Shells have on longitudinal ski flex. Unlike any other plate design on the market, the EXO Frame achieves its neutral condition while your ski is in its loaded position by implementing an over rocker shape in comparison to your skiís unloaded rocker line. Under skiing conditions, the system is complete and all components are working together to create pure ski flex.



EXO Shells:

The first of their kind, the EXO Shells are the only water ski specific injection molded boots ever created. The lower shell design has a wide platform base. This allows the skier to stand directly on the skiís surface. The skier's feel is greatly increased as power is transmitted directly from the rigid supportive shell structure directly into the ski without the added damping element of the aluminum plate. The platform base design creates a strong lateral connection between EXO Shell and ski for increased edge angle.




The EXO Shells upper cuff was designed to accommodate no restrictions in the rearward flex range, allowing the skier to let the ski move outbound off the second wake more effectively. The EXO shells forward flex range was designed to have a definite stop point where the lower shell and upper cuff mechanically interface, protecting the skierís ankle in out the front type falls.




The EXO Shells are available in two different Flex Index models, the EXO Pro and EXO Form. The EXO Pro (Flex Index 15) utilizes a stiffer shell and cuff compound for a quicker more powerful boot. The Course Fit Liner and Foot Bed are firm for instantaneous transfer of foot to ski movement. The EXO Form (Flex Index 10) is a slightly softer version of the EXO Pro. Complete with a Form Fit Liner and Foot Bed, the EXO Form offers a softer more plush feel in a high performance shell.




Both the EXO Pro and EXO Form models are offered in two different configurations, Double EXO Shells and the Front Cuff/Rear Toe Boot options. The Double EXO Shell configuration was designed to accommodate skiers who prefer the support of double boots. The EXO Shell Front Cuff/Rear Toe Boot option was specifically designed for skiers who traditionally use a rear toe plate or a soft rear boot. The Rear Toe Boot was designed extensively over the past ski season by 2009 World Champion Will Asher to provide the feel and range of motion rear toe plate skier's love, with the added benefit of keeping both feet together in out the front type falls. The Rear Toe Boot is the future! Every skier needs to try it to believe it!

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#14 Mon, Mar 29, 2010 6:48 AM

moomanoid
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

Has anyone seen what the adaptor plate will look like for non-HO (and pre 2010 Ho skis)?

A websites are offering it for a bit extra cash but no pictures. I wonder if using a plate will compromise the system?

Is it possible just to drill the correct holes?

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#15 Mon, Mar 29, 2010 7:06 AM

HO410
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Skis At: Outlaw Lake
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

moomanoid,
Give Tadd at H2osmosis an e-mail. They should me close to getting the boots in, if they have not already, and they will have the adapter plate. It will work exactly like the G10 plates for the Fogman boots: release units are screwed to the plate and the plate attaches to the ski in one manner or another. It works just fine. The Fogam skiers I know have always used adapter plates, even when they had to machine their own, and the main reasoning is that it's more cost effective to screw up a plate than to screw up the ski. The fewer holes in the ski the better. From HO's perspective, they are not going to hitch their wagon to something that will compromise the success of these boots.

Last edited by HO410 (Mon, Mar 29, 2010 7:10 AM)

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#16 Mon, Mar 29, 2010 7:30 AM

horne38
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

I am excited to see these in action.  I am really interested in the rear boot and the different system they have come up with.  The price is right with the market.  The design looks awesome.

Still waiting for summer!!

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#17 Tue, Apr 13, 2010 11:26 PM

longhornskier
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: Sat, May 10, 2008
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Skis At: Frameswitch
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

I just received my setup this week. I've had an incredibly hard time assembling the rear release mechanism for the set, otherwise i am impressed! I've been impressed with my RS1's since March 08, but I have never been able to make a radar binding last more that 18 mos (which is still much better than any rubber binding I've tried), but it feels like the construction on these are great. The mounting bar also feels much more flexible than my A1, so i don't expect the attitude of a ski to change with it. Has anyone else had any trouble mounting the system? I'll try and provide a good review by the end of the weekend if i get them set up and ski a few sets.

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#18 Wed, Apr 14, 2010 5:49 AM

BudMan
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From: Sandy Run, SC (Near Columbia)
Registered: Tue, Nov 24, 2009
Posts: 126
Skis At: Bud Lake
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

I ordered mine a while back and heard yesterday that I should get them this week. I was told that the set-up was important. Could I ask you longhornskier, what length is you A1, your weight and is your speed 55 or 58? I will be eager to hear your review and I will also submit a review. It sounds like you are switching from the RS1 boot. I am switching from the old white rubber Animals. I have been cinching my laces very tight in preparation for the transition to the EXO PRO. However, my back foot starts cramping to the point of extreme pain in only a few passes to the point that I cannot ski.


Life is great! Enjoy every minute!

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#19 Wed, Apr 14, 2010 10:00 AM

HO410
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

I don't think you need to cramp your feet in anticipation of getting new boots. The Exo shell is going to hold onto your foot much differently than Animals do. Cinching down your rubber boots isn't going to mimic the feel off your foot in the shell or approximate the range of motion that the Exo will allow.

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#20 Wed, Apr 14, 2010 2:56 PM

longhornskier
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

I'm 5'11 160lbs on 66.25 A1. I ski into 35/38 at 58 kph.  I completed assembly this morning so i should have an opinion formed by Sunday. The switch from animals will be a big change for you, so make sure and keep your mind open for the first several sets.

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#21 Wed, Apr 14, 2010 7:32 PM

BudMan
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

Do you think I should start with the EXO PROs loose, then slowly snug them a little more after each pass?


Life is great! Enjoy every minute!

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#22 Wed, Apr 14, 2010 10:08 PM

longhornskier
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

I don't think that will have any positive effect on the transition, maybe even make it harder since the bindings weren't designed to work that way. I would say make sure and focus on not letting the bindings change your body's stance over your ski, making them work with your current form, then only change should ideally be a significant increase in the ski's responsiveness to your input.

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#23 Tue, Apr 20, 2010 10:19 PM

longhornskier
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

I had a really hard time getting the rear release together, and after that struggle kind of just tossed the boots onto the mounting bar with the correct dtf's, but their rotations were just by eye. This was a big mistake and I will be taking my calipers to my RS1s tomorrow to get the rest of the settings to match up. After 3 sets on the bindings I'm skiing as good as i was on my RS1s. My first set was spent mostly getting used to the crappy positioning job i had done, but since then I have just been adjusting to the increased responsiveness to input and seeing how far i can push the bindings. There was a drastic increase in responsiveness even from the RS1s, and I feel like i can make a solid edge change quicker than ever if I'm running late into a turn. Flexing my ankle forward and back is more constricted than with the radars or rubber bindings, however less flex is needed for input with the stiffer shells. They are also a little less comfortable than the RS1s IMO, but still no cramping like rubber bindings. I haven't had a crash where they released and I've gotten way over the tip of the ski on some hard turns when scrapping with no pre-release at the recommended VRS setting. I'm thinking I'll stick with these because i don't think they're a downgrade in any way and safety reasons (I've never released from my radars because i over-tighten the laces, but i just can't ski comfortably with the safely loose laces). Hopefully they'll perform good in the ULM tourney over the weekend!

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#24 Wed, Apr 21, 2010 4:46 AM

2gofaster
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From: Cypress, Tx
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

Good luck this weekend at ULM! I skied with Andreas a couple of weekends ago out at Aquaplex. I hear he tried out a Strada the other day and ripped on it.

I wish there was a way to quantify "little less comfortable". The thing I love about my RS1 and Stradas has been the comfort.  I think I like the stiffer RS1 shell, though, over the Strada's.  May have to try these.


Shane Hill

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#25 Wed, Apr 21, 2010 6:47 AM

BudMan
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Skis At: Bud Lake
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Re: HO EXO Hardshells

A thought about combining the two. I just get my EXOs and new A1 late yesterday. I know it would not be simple to do but possibly possible; mount your RS1 boots to the EXO rail system and use solid laces instead of the bungee laces if the comfort is more important to you than the extra control.


Life is great! Enjoy every minute!

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