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My Great Binding Debate / Pro Ski Coach Water Ski Forum
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#1 Tue, Feb 2, 2010 7:02 AM

Pl0tz
Karma:   12 
Slalom Mentor
From: Virginia
Registered: Fri, Nov 13, 2009
Posts: 181
Skis At: Lake Anna's "hot side"
Foot Forward: Right

My Great Binding Debate

For all y'all who read that article a couple years ago from water ski mag you'll know what I'm talking about... and those who didn't.. well, you probably know what I'm about to ask... anyways,
So for the past years of skiing I've been tear-in up the water with my Mach 1 and double shock bindings! woo!! ... but now I've switched gears. bought a 68'' radar annex! now i just need to upgrade my bindings. I don't know how many times I've stitched up, glued, duct taped my shocks back together. but all i know is after having half a summer with tennis shoe laces holing my feet in it's probably time for an upgrade...

So, my question - What the heck should i get??  haha i know basically any binding would be better than the ones i have now. but i don't want to by a binding that's too much for me. (so hard shells are out)
recently I've been drooling over the Rs-1s. But unless i find a killer deal double Rs-1's are a bit outta reach. hmm  so I've been looking at other bindings like maybe animals, the approach, rails, source, maybe combining boots like a Rs-1 front with a rail/source rear, or an animal front with an approach rear, etc, basically any combination that would work and work good. 

Any suggestions on what i should do?  I've heard of people combing different boots, if anyone who's done it could u tell me how it worked out and what boots your on?? any suggestions would help! cool

thanks in advance!!
-plotz

also, not that i can necessarily afford them, as anyone tried out the new HO EXO  bindings?? I'm really curious to how they feel

btw. last year i was skiing comfortably around the water at 22' off and hope to go up the rope through out this season ~if that helps and any way~  smile

Last edited by Pl0tz (Tue, Feb 2, 2010 7:09 AM)


i swear this site is turning into my home...

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#2 Tue, Feb 2, 2010 8:05 AM

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

Re: My Great Binding Debate

This time of year, I love this discussion.

It doesn't need saying, there are a ton of bindings available. Every single boot is appropriate for someone, but not everyone is appropriate for every boot. They have to pass your smell test first. If they don't look right to  you, if they don't make sense, if you can't do the price, "X" it off your list.

With rubber, you have your traditional wrap and front lace. It's worth noting that Wiley's are closed toe and they have a distinctly different feel from an open toe boot like an Animal. Front lace will generally offer more lateral support, but these boots are also notorious for holding onto your foot a little to well. In either style, support is closely related to how tight the boot is.

There are several different release mechanisms for hard-shell boots. Each one has it's own release characteristics and all have their positives and negatives. There is also a wide variation in ease of set-up. Reflex just screws on to your existing inserts. Fogmans require additional plates or new inserts and pin-gap settings are critical. Stiffness of the shells can be changed to some degree by using softer or stiffer liners.

There is a third class of boots. You can call them friction release hard-shells. I just think of them as liner out of shell. This would be your RS-1/Strada, FM E-series, and Obrien Elite (release still pending). Again, each of these boots will have their own characteristic fit, feel, and performance. What they have in common is that they separate support from release tension: you can run the release quite loose without loosing the lateral support you want.


If you can get a chance to try before you buy, do it. I know this is even harder to pull off than with a ski, but lest be honest, it feels good to know you can exchange your $130 running shoes if they jack up your gait in the last mile.



Also worth adding, RS-1 boots are old equipment and should be priced accordingly. I think I payed about $120 a boot plus the plate when I bought a pair in August.

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#3 Tue, Feb 2, 2010 3:50 PM

Pl0tz
Karma:   12 
Slalom Mentor
From: Virginia
Registered: Fri, Nov 13, 2009
Posts: 181
Skis At: Lake Anna's "hot side"
Foot Forward: Right

Re: My Great Binding Debate

hmmm thanks for the background on the 3 basic styles! helps narrow my choices down a bit.. i think i'm looking into the rubber just because of price/ i really hope to find a deal on some of Radar's  old inventory :]


i swear this site is turning into my home...

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#4 Tue, Feb 2, 2010 4:51 PM

Brady
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From: Poughkeepsie, NY
Registered: Fri, Mar 27, 2009
Posts: 20
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Re: My Great Binding Debate

I've been on Animals for a couple summers & I really like them.  They offer good support and responsiveness for a rubber binding and I come out of them (usually) when I need to.

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#5 Tue, Feb 2, 2010 9:17 PM

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

Re: My Great Binding Debate

PLOtz,
I saw 2009 RS-1 bindings on a web site called gettommy for $285 free shipping with the sequence plate.
Hope this helps.
Steve

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#6 Wed, Feb 3, 2010 6:27 AM

Pl0tz
Karma:   12 
Slalom Mentor
From: Virginia
Registered: Fri, Nov 13, 2009
Posts: 181
Skis At: Lake Anna's "hot side"
Foot Forward: Right

Re: My Great Binding Debate

Steve & Brady thanks! :]

has anyone used Radar Rails or Source bindings?? how do they compare to the RS-1s


i swear this site is turning into my home...

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#7 Wed, Feb 3, 2010 7:59 AM

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

Re: My Great Binding Debate

Tommy's Proshop (gettommys.com) has officially past into the realm of so cheap it's stupid.


I don't really know much about the Rails. They look kind of the RS-1 jr, with the liner sewn into the boot. I'm sure they won't be quite as stiff and that could be  a good thing. I don't have the slightest clue how the release is going to feel. The only thing I can tell you is that I know an RS-1 skier that has only release by his feet coming out of the liners, with the liners staying in the shell, and he did not find that to be overly taxing on his ankles. Of course everyone's experience is a little different: I think his shells might be a size large.

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#8 Wed, Feb 3, 2010 8:44 AM

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

Re: My Great Binding Debate

Pl0tz,

If you can plan a trip to Virginia Beach, before you make your boots decision, there is a Radar dealer in Chesapeake. At the very least you could get a chance to dry fit before you plunk down the cash.

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#9 Wed, Feb 3, 2010 11:16 AM

Pl0tz
Karma:   12 
Slalom Mentor
From: Virginia
Registered: Fri, Nov 13, 2009
Posts: 181
Skis At: Lake Anna's "hot side"
Foot Forward: Right

Re: My Great Binding Debate

whats this place called?? and/or do you know a number i could call them??


i swear this site is turning into my home...

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#10 Wed, Feb 3, 2010 11:54 AM

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

Re: My Great Binding Debate

http://radarskis.com/dealer_locator.html

Ski Boats Unlimited
757-547-2337
143 Tilden Avenue, Chesapeake, VA 23320

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#11 Mon, Feb 8, 2010 9:31 PM

BScolt
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Registered: Sat, Sep 19, 2009
Posts: 13

Re: My Great Binding Debate

My 2 cents.  If you are looking for the fine line for performance with economy.  I say Wileys you can find good deals and repairing the is easy.  I don't think you will notice much difference between Wileys and other rubber.  End of last season I switched to the RS-1s on a Obrien ss.  Very Very different than the rubber bindings.  Took me about four passes to get used to them and then I was sold.  Chances are if you are used to the rubbers you may not like them right at first.  If you want to commit and get used to them you will never go back.

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#12 Tue, Feb 9, 2010 4:55 AM

h20dawg79
Karma:   10 
Water Ski Sage
From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: My Great Binding Debate

Pl0tz wrote:

Steve & Brady thanks! :]

has anyone used Radar Rails or Source bindings?? how do they compare to the RS-1s

I have both.

There is no comparison between Rails and RS-1's. The rails are Bigger, bulkier, and open toe'd. and w/o the liners... Some people swear by their comfort and I guess compared to Hard rubbers they are cushy and a lot more comfortable. But, the RS-1's are Waaaaaay More comfortable, no soap and easier in/out as well! RS-1's are about like the feel and fit of custom shoes, while Hard shells/rubbers are about like the feel and fit of wearing your shoes on the wrong feet! (more so, the longer you are out on the water...)smile


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#13 Wed, Feb 10, 2010 7:20 PM

Pl0tz
Karma:   12 
Slalom Mentor
From: Virginia
Registered: Fri, Nov 13, 2009
Posts: 181
Skis At: Lake Anna's "hot side"
Foot Forward: Right

Re: My Great Binding Debate

hey guys! thanks for all the information!! but i have one more quick question. I've been finding some great deals on both Approach and Animal bindings. if i were to do an approach/animal set up... what would your recommend as my front boot?? does it make a big difference?  I've been used to having my back binding a little loose. I used to use an RTP couple years back and have always hated having my rear Shock binding on tight. So, would that mean i should use the animal (or any other not so tight binding) in the back?? Based on the designs, reviews, and price I'm guessing the approach has more of a firm/tighter grasp on your foot.. is that true??  okay, guess i had a FEW quick questions... thx!!

-plotz


i swear this site is turning into my home...

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#14 Wed, Feb 10, 2010 8:20 PM

tjo
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From: Draper, UT
Registered: Wed, Apr 23, 2008
Posts: 197
Foot Forward: Right

Re: My Great Binding Debate

Plotz, under that scenario I would recommend the Approach in the front and Animal in the rear.  I used to ski on double Approach bindings but have since switched to the RS-1s.  The front Approach has a nice feel and is fairly stiff with an exaggerated forward lean.  The rear has the same forward lean which really aggravated my rear ankle when I tightened up the laces.  Right before I gave them up for the RS-1s I was on a D3 rear with the Approach front and that felt MUCH better.

Last edited by tjo (Wed, Feb 10, 2010 9:09 PM)


Travis Ogden

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#15 Sun, May 16, 2010 7:44 PM

WWKAIN
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Rookie
Registered: Tue, May 11, 2010
Posts: 3

Re: My Great Binding Debate

I have used double O'Brien Contact high wraps (rear lace up rubber) for the last 5 years. They are starting to show small cracks and rips so I know the end is near. They have always been comfortable for me and will release if I really screw up even though I probably tighten them more than I should. I am using this as a chance to try something new. I am only on a course ~ 10 times a year but I ski agressively for a 50 year old. It needs to be simple with few moving pieces.  I should mention that I ski in saltwater 3 days a week so I need a boot system that can take the abuse. The fear of a premature release on a hard boot set-up will keep me away from hard boots. I am considering HO Animal and Radar Strada or RS-1. Any others I should look at? Any suggestions?

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#16 Sun, May 16, 2010 9:22 PM

BudMan
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Slalom Mentor
From: Sandy Run, SC (Near Columbia)
Registered: Tue, Nov 24, 2009
Posts: 126
Skis At: Bud Lake
Foot Forward: Left

Re: My Great Binding Debate

I thought I was unique to cramping feet in Animals. But now with access to water ski forums it appears that a lot of people get cramps from Animals. They feel cozy for a few passes then the pain becomes excruciating. Iíve hear that the RS-1 and Stradas are comfortable after they are molded.


Life is great! Enjoy every minute!

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#17 Mon, May 17, 2010 5:19 AM

h20dawg79
Karma:   10 
Water Ski Sage
From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: My Great Binding Debate

You owe it to your feet, to atleast try the Strada/Rs-1's. -Seriously, they fit and feel like custom made shoes! Wish I could wear mine to work! Hmmmmmmmmmmm, maybe I should just make a career change!big_smile


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#18 Mon, May 17, 2010 5:20 AM

tzorn
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Regular
Registered: Wed, Jul 22, 2009
Posts: 25

Re: My Great Binding Debate

Last summer was my summer for triying out hardshells.  I typically ski 22 to 28 off at 34 MPH, and have an Annex and A1.  I tried Fluid Motion, Fogman, and RS1s.  I picked up the FMs and Fogmans lightly used on ski-it-again.com, so it was fairly cheap to try them.  Of the three I liked the RS1s the most for comfort and performance, finding the FMs and Fogmans just too bulk for my tastes.  In the end, I preferred my Wiley's the most, switched back to them at the end of the season, and sold all the hardshells.  It was like finding an old friend.  Foot cramping on the rear boot was a problem with the Wiley's but I sent it in for a wider plate and bigger wraps, and that's made a good improvement fo rme.  I also like the Wiley simplicity.  I did see the HO EXO last fall, and that looks like a well designed binding / release system, so if you're looking to go hardshell and make that kind of investment, I thiink you'd want to take a look at those too.  I'd try as many out as possible if you can find a way to do it.  Good luck!

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#19 Mon, May 17, 2010 8:30 AM

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

Re: My Great Binding Debate

Wow Bud, it really sounds like you're having trouble finding the right set of boots for you. I think you'd be happy with RS-1's. But there is still no perfect boot for every skier. One of the attractions to the RS-1 style is that you do not use compression to hold your foot in and create support. In fact, if you feel like you need to compress the shell to be still and secure in the shell, then the boots do not fit properly. Of all the slalom boots I have tried (Animals, Wiley's, Draft, and Approach) these are easily the most benign feeling even before molding.

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#20 Mon, May 17, 2010 1:48 PM

h20dawg79
Karma:   10 
Water Ski Sage
From: nashville,tn.
Registered: Fri, Oct 17, 2008
Posts: 562
Skis At: Old Hickory Lake, TN.
Foot Forward: left

Re: My Great Binding Debate

H0410, -Exactly! Not to mention, never having to "MESS" around with slimey, soapy, bottles of Gook!
I've even gotten comments of envy because I can put them on SO Fast and Effortlessly.cool

Last edited by h20dawg79 (Mon, May 17, 2010 1:50 PM)


"Warning" -the Surgeon General has determined; That the preceding statements accurately reflect the views and opinions consistent with "DSS" (Delusional Slalomitis Syndrome) a highly contagious life altering condition... (Handle with Extreme care & Patience)

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#21 Mon, May 17, 2010 2:14 PM

StevenHaines
Karma:   11 
Slalom Mentor
From: Canyon Lake Ca.
Registered: Mon, Jun 9, 2008
Posts: 152
Skis At: Canyon Lake, Ca.
Foot Forward: right
Website

Re: My Great Binding Debate

That new Obrien Prodigy Binding looks pretty nice! I'd be interested in seeing some demo/release video of it

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#22 Mon, May 17, 2010 3:25 PM

rgdinsda
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Local
Registered: Sun, Aug 16, 2009
Posts: 5

Re: My Great Binding Debate

StevenHaines wrote:

That new Obrien Prodigy Binding looks pretty nice! I'd be interested in seeing some demo/release video of it

Cale Burdick posted a video or someone posted a video of Cale showing the release on the Prodigy bindings.  I saw it through twitter.  Looks very similar to how the RS-1/Strada boots release.

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