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HO bindings / Pro Ski Coach Water Ski Forum
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#1 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 8:47 AM

WIskier
Karma:   
Local
Registered: Wed, Aug 11, 2010
Posts: 9

HO bindings

Anyone skied on an animal or approach binding, if so how did you like it.   

                                          Thanks,
                                            Kyle

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#2 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 10:07 AM

Oxmach
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Local
Registered: Fri, Mar 20, 2009
Posts: 6

Re: HO bindings

I had double approaches for a couple of years.  Comfortable, but the strap tends to keep your foot in the binding.  I had a number of crashes where my foot came up partially, but was trapped by the strap.  Painful for a day or so.  Finally had a good one that did significant damage (break, tears...) so decided to go with Reflex set up.

If you go with the approach, I would take the strap off for the above reason, also easier to get off in the water without fumbling around.

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#3 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 10:19 AM

HO410
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sat, Sep 29, 2007
Posts: 345
Skis At: Outlaw Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: HO bindings

Boots like the Obrien Prodigy, Radar Strada, and FM E-Series have made front-lace rubber boots obsolete. That's my opinion, some still swear by them, I can't.

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#4 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 10:50 AM

danbirch
Karma:   11 
Slasher
From: Canyon Lake, CA
Registered: Mon, Nov 24, 2008
Posts: 75
Skis At: Canyon Lake, CA
Foot Forward: Left

Re: HO bindings

WIskier wrote:

Anyone skied on an animal or approach binding, if so how did you like it.   

                                          Thanks,
                                            Kyle

You may want to check out the results of a survey taken.  The Animals were significantly higher in skiing injuries than any other brand (by a 2:1 margin), Approaches were very high on the list as well.  It appears that the lack of release in bad falls causes sprains or breaks.  The results can be seen at http://www.danbirch.com/2010_water_ski_ … urvey.html

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#5 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 10:51 AM

jamisonsbrodie
Karma:   
Slasher
From: Minneapolis, MN
Registered: Sun, Mar 1, 2009
Posts: 72
Skis At: Lotus Lake
Foot Forward: Left

Re: HO bindings

I skied on animals for years, then went to the approaches.  the Animals were more comfortable, but I like the way the approach bindings make you bend your knee slightly due to the built in forward cant.  As mentioned above, you will not come out of the binding if it is cinched tight and the strap is tight.  If you just snug it up, you should come out in a hard fall.  My feet cramp up after 5 or six passes in the approach and I plan to switch to the Strada/RS-1 boot next year for comfort reasons.

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#6 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 10:54 AM

jamisonsbrodie
Karma:   
Slasher
From: Minneapolis, MN
Registered: Sun, Mar 1, 2009
Posts: 72
Skis At: Lotus Lake
Foot Forward: Left

Re: HO bindings

danbirch wrote:

You may want to check out the results of a survey taken.  The Animals were significantly higher in skiing injuries than any other brand (by a 2:1 margin), Approaches were very high on the list as well.  It appears that the lack of release in bad falls causes sprains or breaks.  The results can be seen at http://www.danbirch.com/2010_water_ski_ … urvey.html

I would be willing to bet that animals/approaches outsold everthing else out there by at least 2-1 as well.

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#7 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 11:49 AM

Thomas Wayne
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Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: HO bindings

danbirch wrote:

[...]
You may want to check out the results of a survey taken.  The Animals were significantly higher in skiing injuries than any other brand (by a 2:1 margin), Approaches were very high on the list as well.  It appears that the lack of release in bad falls causes sprains or breaks.  The results can be seen at http://www.danbirch.com/2010_water_ski_ … urvey.html

Bearing in mind that this "survey" was an opt-in format offered to a small target audience bearing all the inherent flaws associated with such internet attempts.  Universally, statistical analysts consider the results from such efforts to be just about worthless.  For many reasons the results should be considered advisory (at best).

That said, the only binding injury (minor) I ever had was in a pair of HO approaches - a non-release issue.

TW

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#8 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 12:17 PM

HO410
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sat, Sep 29, 2007
Posts: 345
Skis At: Outlaw Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: HO bindings

What you can find is that, in a block of skiers where close to 80% ski -22' and shorter, the most used boot is the HO Animal. That these skiers were injured in the boot is incidental, as the survey was not designed to find the rate of injury.

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#9 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 12:39 PM

danbirch
Karma:   11 
Slasher
From: Canyon Lake, CA
Registered: Mon, Nov 24, 2008
Posts: 75
Skis At: Canyon Lake, CA
Foot Forward: Left

Re: HO bindings

Thomas Wayne wrote:

danbirch wrote:

[...]
You may want to check out the results of a survey taken.  The Animals were significantly higher in skiing injuries than any other brand (by a 2:1 margin), Approaches were very high on the list as well.  It appears that the lack of release in bad falls causes sprains or breaks.  The results can be seen at http://www.danbirch.com/2010_water_ski_ … urvey.html

Bearing in mind that this "survey" was an opt-in format offered to a small target audience bearing all the inherent flaws associated with such internet attempts.  Universally, statistical analysts consider the results from such efforts to be just about worthless.  For many reasons the results should be considered advisory (at best).

That said, the only binding injury (minor) I ever had was in a pair of HO approaches - a non-release issue.

TW

That's interesting, Thomas, that your own experience was consistant with the "worthless" survey.  Maybe bindings that RELEASE are safer than those that don't release.

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#10 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 1:12 PM

HO410
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sat, Sep 29, 2007
Posts: 345
Skis At: Outlaw Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: HO bindings

Dan,
I deleted that last post. That was not the place. My educational background
is descriptive research, and felt reasonable in giving counterpoint to the survey.
If you would like to discuss the statistics in your survey, PM me.


I apologize for striking a nerve.

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#11 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 2:22 PM

whatup33
Karma:   
Regular
From: Utah
Registered: Sun, Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 25
Skis At: cutler
Foot Forward: Right

Re: HO bindings

jamisonsbrodie wrote:

I skied on animals for years, then went to the approaches.  the Animals were more comfortable, but I like the way the approach bindings make you bend your knee slightly due to the built in forward cant.  As mentioned above, you will not come out of the binding if it is cinched tight and the strap is tight.  If you just snug it up, you should come out in a hard fall.  My feet cramp up after 5 or six passes in the approach and I plan to switch to the Strada/RS-1 boot next year for comfort reasons.

Jamisonsbrodie - fyi   both me and my ski partner have approach bindings and when i first got them they were killing my front foot to the point of getting numb.  so we both relaced them and left the first like three loops unlaced completely.  this helped my comfort a ton and now i ski as many passes as i want without foot discomfort


Chris

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#12 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 2:47 PM

Thomas Wayne
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: HO bindings

danbirch wrote:

[...]
That's interesting, Thomas, that your own experience was consistant with the "worthless" survey.  Maybe bindings that RELEASE are safer than those that don't release.

You miss my point.  In a sport that has millions of participants you conducted a survey of a very small sample (less than 100) that was not random, and not controlled to prevent intentional or incidental bias.  To draw any conclusions whatsoever from the resulting "data", such that those conclusion might affect the marketplace, can only be seen as irresponsible.

By way of example, I took an equally valid survey at my lake.  Three skiers participated.  One skier had never experienced any binding-related injuries.  A second skier - me - had his HO Approaches fail to release, causing a strained calf muscle.  A third skier, using FM double boots, suffered injuries from both non-release issues and from pre-release issues (the non-release injury seems permanent).

If I drew any conclusions from my survey they would have to be:

1) two-thirds of all skiers surveyed have suffered binding-related injuries,

2) HO Approaches cause 1/3 of all minor binding-related injuries, and

3) FM bindings cause 1/3 of all serious binding-related injuries.

Can you see how unreliable and unfair those conclusions would be?  Your sampling of 85+ skiers cannot be any more valid, for the same reasons, and to draw any public conclusion from such surveys is (in my opinion) doing the waterskiing community (and industry) a genuine disservice.

TW

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#13 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 2:56 PM

danbirch
Karma:   11 
Slasher
From: Canyon Lake, CA
Registered: Mon, Nov 24, 2008
Posts: 75
Skis At: Canyon Lake, CA
Foot Forward: Left

Re: HO bindings

Thomas, of course it's not going to be a perfect survey.  If you have a better way to conduct one, do it.  You would be doing a great thing for the sport.  Your survey consisted of 3, this one surveyed many, of which, about 90 reported injuries.  Feel free to gather anything you want from it, or, nothing from it.  That is ok.

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#14 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 4:42 PM

HO410
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sat, Sep 29, 2007
Posts: 345
Skis At: Outlaw Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: HO bindings

Dan, it looks like you PM inbox is full.
If you haven't run any statistical analysis on your data, you can e-mail a spreadsheet
of the raw data and I'll run it through my statistics software to find what the data will support.

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#15 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 5:11 PM

Thomas Wayne
Karma:   
Slalom Mentor
Registered: Sun, Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 228

Re: HO bindings

danbirch wrote:

Thomas, of course it's not going to be a perfect survey.  If you have a better way to conduct one, do it.  You would be doing a great thing for the sport.  Your survey consisted of 3, this one surveyed many, of which, about 90 reported injuries.  Feel free to gather anything you want from it, or, nothing from it.  That is ok.

The mathematical difference between a targeted sample of 3 and a targeted sample of 86 is irrelevant when the group being sampled has millions of total participants.  At some point the sample is simply too small to draw ANY reasonable conclusions, and in waterskiing that validity point is way, way greater than ~90.

Is there a better way to conduct such an injury-related survey?  I don't know, but what I DO know is that boating and skiing injuries are tracked annually by a number of government agencies, both state and federal.  Granted, it's a lot more work to do some of that kind of research (than just set up something on Survey Monkey)...

TW

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#16 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 6:42 PM

jamisonsbrodie
Karma:   
Slasher
From: Minneapolis, MN
Registered: Sun, Mar 1, 2009
Posts: 72
Skis At: Lotus Lake
Foot Forward: Left

Re: HO bindings

whatup33 wrote:

Jamisonsbrodie - fyi   both me and my ski partner have approach bindings and when i first got them they were killing my front foot to the point of getting numb.  so we both relaced them and left the first like three loops unlaced completely.  this helped my comfort a ton and now i ski as many passes as i want without foot discomfort

Thanks for the tip, that is a good idea.  I will try that.  Do you still get good control?

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#17 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 6:52 PM

Digger
Karma:   
Regular
From: Lakewood WA
Registered: Mon, Mar 23, 2009
Posts: 29
Skis At: Steilacoom Lake
Foot Forward: Right

Re: HO bindings

Kyle - to get back to your question, I have skied both. Could not get comfortable with the forward cant of the approach bindings so have gone back to animals. Have tried, at one time or another, most out there from Stradas to FM and still prefer my animals. I don't tighten the laces at all, I prefer the lose feeling. I come out just fine this way when I do have a yard sale which thankfully, is not too often. Boots are nothing more than a personal preference, to each their own but I have not had an injury with animals in 8+ yrs.


Ski hard or save the gas

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#18 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 9:03 PM

SteveDoc
Karma:   
Regular
From: Redwood City CA
Registered: Sun, Dec 7, 2008
Posts: 21
Skis At: Sacramento Delta
Foot Forward: right
Website

Re: HO bindings

Picked up a new ski last November and it came with Animal bindings I had such a hard time getting into them I hurt my back, felt way to tight. Part of the problem may have been the cold water.
I switched to Strada boots and loved them from the start. Easy to get into and they are very comfortable like wearing tennis shoes. Have fallen OTF and come out of the boots every time.

Hope this helps,
Steve

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#19 Thu, Aug 12, 2010 10:48 PM

Shark
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Slasher
From: the shores of Sproat Lake
Registered: Wed, Jul 18, 2007
Posts: 78
Website

Re: HO bindings

We (FM) take safety very seriously. We introduced the Quattro step-in/split plate release system;  heat moldable EVA liners; self-test methods to ensure safe release from the ski; and the E-Series release cuff and cord system.  Our boots are more robust and can handle higher forces all aimed at protecting the skier. We also improved the stability of the Silvretta-based system with a new toe connection and more stable heel. All these developments were done with safety in mind while maintaining pro-level performance!

Temperature, newness and foot size have a lot to do with how the expansion type bindings perform.  We get many emails and calls with respect to skier injuries - hundreds over the years. When I tested cinch-up rubber bindings my ankles were toast just getting into them. They really scared me skiing them. I know there have been quite a few skiers hurt on the stiffer/higher cinch boots - especially for colder conditions. In fact the Approaches aren't offered anymore.

one more thing - When I skied rubber boots I used a Seal Saver silicone as a lube. This made it easier for my feet to exit as well. I found that using soap just grabbed my foot way too much.

Last edited by Shark (Thu, Aug 12, 2010 10:50 PM)

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#20 Fri, Aug 13, 2010 5:52 AM

Andrew1988
Karma:   
Slasher
From: White Lake, MI
Registered: Mon, Feb 8, 2010
Posts: 84
Skis At: Where ever I can
Foot Forward: Left

Re: HO bindings

I have skied on double HO Animals on a HO System 8 from spring 2006 until now. I have never had any problems with the bindings and I have taken some very hard crashes. They have released and they have not released, it just depends on the fall. I believe that you can't really judge how good a pair of bindings are from opinions on here or any forum because for one equipment is all personal preference so I highly advise that you try the bindings if you can. Also injuries can happen with the best equipment in the world. If people don't warm up and stretch correctly before a set, you have a greater chance for injury. Who knows maybe everyone who hurt themselves with the bindings didn't warm up at all and they weren't in the best shape to begin with. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone because for one I would have to point a finger at myself haha! I am just trying to say be weary of what you believe in terms of injuries do to equipment because I have heard of people getting hurt on pretty much every set up out there. Not trying to start any arguments here though smile


Looking for places to ski in Metro Detroit!

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#21 Fri, Aug 13, 2010 7:33 AM

jerrysnow
Karma:   
Slasher
From: Quebec Canada
Registered: Thu, Jun 21, 2007
Posts: 62
Skis At: Lac rouge
Foot Forward: Left

Re: HO bindings

Wow,

hey guys don't forget the animal bindings are probably the most skied bindings on the water....so there will be more accidents with them. No bindings are safe period ! Shit happens!. Exo have failure, reflex have failure etc...I have skied for 6 years in animal and never got the slight injury to my ankles ( plenty off otf and yard sales) but i did 2 things: make sure you are in the right size, don't overtight the laces. I also kept the rubber overlap even with the newer boots ( i think the faux leather overlap did not have enough elasticity to release properly and was very uncorfortable) HO made a mistake to change that in my opinion.

That binding poll was a good intention but was bound to be unreliable by its design. You have to do a lot of stats analysis on the results and properly weight everything taking into account all variables to come to any fair conclusion. Like i said the intention was good but the results cannot be taken for any ranking for safety.

To answer the original post, i made the switch to radar strada and i think those kind of boots are safe, reliable and a step foward in skiing equipment. The animal bindings are good bindings... my son skies with my old animal and love them....but next year i am bying strada for him too. Again you have to follow the rules, get the right size, follow the instruction on lace tension to make sure the y will release in case of a fall.

The biggest reason people get injured is poor technique and bad equipment set up. Get coaching ( i did and i haven't got injured since). The video coaching from this site is very good ( i had a session with Wade that made me even more solid on my ski) it is a smart investment !!! Build a strong position and basic fondation to grow on....there is no shortcut it takes time and patience....i talk with experience 2 rib fractures in 2 years and a lot of lost time on the water because i wanted to go to fast to quickly !! I started back from stratch 4 years ago and now i ski in control and safely !!! I still have all the thrills but i have a drink after my runs not advil ! smile

Last edited by jerrysnow (Fri, Aug 13, 2010 7:34 AM)


Share your passion with others and it will keep yours alive!

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#22 Fri, Aug 13, 2010 8:36 PM

Shark
Karma:   
Slasher
From: the shores of Sproat Lake
Registered: Wed, Jul 18, 2007
Posts: 78
Website

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#23 Thu, Sep 23, 2010 12:54 AM

GregM
Karma:   
Rookie
Registered: Thu, Sep 23, 2010
Posts: 1

Re: HO bindings

I just bought a brand new 2008 Monza which had been sitting in a shop for awhile.  Such a great price with binding and toe plate, so didn't really care about what binding it has. 

It has a Rekless binding for Wake ski's on it.  The shop won't do a swap for another boot due to the price, like 2/3 off retail!!!

Is it worth changing the binding to an Animal, or will the Rekless be ok?

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#24 Thu, Sep 23, 2010 3:09 AM

azza308
Karma:   
Regular
From: Lithgow NSW Australia
Registered: Thu, Nov 19, 2009
Posts: 12
Skis At: not short enough
Foot Forward: Right

Re: HO bindings

skied on an animal front for 2 years, very comfortable, only ever had 1 ankle sprain out of it but it was from a massive off. any other binding would have resulted in the same outcome, love the animals, awesome feel from them


SLOW IS SMOOTH
SMOOTH IS FAST

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