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Confused beginner - boots and bindings

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Hi.

 

I have only skied a few times and want to buy a used pair of downhill skis.  I already have a pair of Lange 58 Mid Anthea boots that fit me well.  However, I'm confused as to what bindings these boots will fit and can't seem to find any info online.  I originally was under the impression that boots and bindings were fairly interchangeable, but when I rented skis at the local resort last weekend I was told differently.  Now I'm worried I might not have the right kind of boot for beginner resort skiing.  If someone could clear up this issue for me I'd greatly appreciate it.  Thanks...

post #2 of 27

There are two types of ski boots -- alpine and telemark.  Alpine boots require alpine ski bindings; telemark boots require telemark ski bindings.

 

Googling your "Lange 58 Mid Anthea" boots shows that you have alpine boots, so any alpine binding could theoretically be used.  For safety reasons, you do need bindings that have a DIN range that matches your height / weight / ability level.  (The DIN rating is essentially how much force is required to release the boot from the binding).  As a beginner, you need bindings that support the lower end of the DIN scale.

 

Bindings are adjusted by the shop to match the size of your boot.  Unless you have very small feet, virtually any binding can be adjusted to accommodate any foot size.

 

So I'm not really sure what the shop you were talking to was talking about.

post #3 of 27

Hi WMGirl - All modern bindings and alpine boots are interchangeable. Also, rentals have demo bindings, which are designed to fit a seriously wide range of boots. So unable to explain that comment. Perhaps they meant that your target skis might have bindings that would have to be remounted to fit your boot sole length. That can happen, but not a problem. I was unfamiliar with your model, so Googled. Look to be modern enough, seem to be a common rental boot, probably fairly forgiving flex, so should work for a few years.

 

If you're worried, buy a good condition demo (not rental, different grade of ski) next month; it'll have a binding that allows for your boot, and demos can be great bargains. Good luck!

post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

There are two types of ski boots -- alpine and telemark.  Alpine boots require alpine ski bindings; telemark boots require telemark ski bindings.

You forgot AT boots and bindings.:D

post #5 of 27

The only time you will run in to boot ends (lugs) that aren't compatible with standard bindings is when the gear is child or junior size.  Adult boots and bindings are usually compatible.  Junior sizes, I think shoe size 5 and below, tend to be junior widths instead of adult widths with regard to boot lug and binding compatibility. 

 

Edit, Telemark, A/T, X/C gear probably shouldn't be a confounding issue for you unless you're buying from someone that doesn't know what they are selling i.e. Craigslist LOL.


Edited by crgildart - 3/18/14 at 9:39am
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the great information.  So if I buy skis on E-Bay I'll definitely need to take them to someone to check/adjust the DIN settings then.  I guess it might be best if I just buy from a shop that sells used skis then.  (Thanks for the demo tip, too.)

 

What happened was I rented gear from the resort, but the rented boots didn't fit me well at all (way too loose on the sides).  I asked if I would be able to use my own boots that were out in the car and the gal told me yes but that she'd probably have to fit me in a different ski than what she'd given me because they have some sort of system there where the boot bottoms were color-coded to the bindings to make the rental process go quickly because everything would already fit right.  She said some other stuff I didn't understand, but maybe it had something to do with the pre-set settings on the bindings?  

post #7 of 27

She's just trying to keep her shop's effort level as low as possible. Color coding means the shop doesn't want to go to the trouble of the extra step or two to fit your own gear to their bindings. If this is the same place that gave you the original bit about your boots not fitting, then the proper response is: "Thanks, I'll try another shop. Have a good day."

 

If there's no other shop, go to another mountain. 

 

And next time, bring your boots. ;)

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

She's just trying to keep her shop's effort level as low as possible. Color coding means the shop doesn't want to go to the trouble of the extra step or two to fit your own gear to their bindings.

 

 

 

Yes.

 

The employee helping you was either lazy, incompetent or both. It is true that at some high volume rental locations (day hop, non-resort) they might have a zillion pairs of a single ski in every length - so the color coding scheme cuts out half the job and arguably increases throughput. That said, they still have to adjust DIN settings (the spring tension on the binding) which is calibrated to the skier (height, weight, age, level), not the ski. And they should always check forward pressure before sending anyone out. So a minimum of a few screws must be turned to do it right.

 

The work that you were asking for (set the rental track to your boot sole) literally takes less than 30 seconds total. Your boots would have fit any ski in that shop. There is no increase in liability for the shop nor any other rational reason that you had to use the shop's lousy rental boots. Your boots would have performed better, been more comfortable and the whole package would have been safer (assuming a proper adjustment of the binding).

 

As for buying used skis, any alpine binding (provided that the DIN range is appropriate) will work.  If it is not a rental track, it may need to be re-mounted, but that is not a big deal.

 

As for your wasted ski day on crappy, ill-fitting rental boots when you had a perfectly fine pair sitting in the car, I'd send a letter to the manager of the shop asking for a refund or a voucher for a new lift ticket.

 

It is a bummer that you had an early ski experience where you were given bad information and received less than optimal treatment.  Perfect example of how the industry is failing newbies.

 

Keep at it, but rather than buying your first pair of skis on eBay, at this stage of your ski life, it might be smarter to find a reputable shop where you can be confident that you will get good advice, and that you will walk out with a ski that fits your size and ability level (with your boots mounted properly).  There are tons of deals this time of year and nothing is a good deal if it is cheap but ultimately wrong.

post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WMGirl View Post
 

 if I buy skis on E-Bay I'll definitely need to take them to someone to check/adjust the DIN settings then.  

I would say that it isn't a good idea for you to buy skis on eBay.  Bindings unfortunately have a "lifespan" of a few to several years during which time shops will adjust them,  Bindings that shops will adjust are referred to as "indemnified" and there is a fairly secret list of indemnified bindings.  The average eBay seller is unlikely to know or even care.  Craigslist is even worse.  You're better off just buying a pair retired rental or demo skis.

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
 

She's just trying to keep her shop's effort level as low as possible. Color coding means the shop doesn't want to go to the trouble of the extra step or two to fit your own gear to their bindings. If this is the same place that gave you the original bit about your boots not fitting, then the proper response is: "Thanks, I'll try another shop. Have a good day."

 

If there's no other shop, go to another mountain. 

 

And next time, bring your boots. ;)

This is somewhat of a half truth.

 

If they are using color coding rental skis; then the rental shop probably is using the HEAD BYS rental ski system.   Google/search on this to see what it is about.

This is not an indication that they are cheap or lazy or not a good shop, or that the skis are bad. 

 

But it does probably mean their regular rental ski fleet won't work well with your own boots.

 

You may just need to go to their demo ski section, or perhaps it is a different demo shop at the resort for "standard" rental skis and binding, which are the normal skis which are interchangeable, and not part of the HEAD BYS rental system.

 

People who own their own boots have already invested in the sport so should be looking at demos; I am sure they have a section of "demo" skis for people with their own boots; you just need to use the right terminology.

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yes, it was Head gear.  Things are starting to become clearer to me now.  Thanks so much!  And I will definitely take the advice on staying away from eBay too.

post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

 

 

If they are using color coding rental skis; then the rental shop probably is using the HEAD BYS rental ski system.   Google/search on this to see what it is about.

This is not an indication that they are cheap or lazy or not a good shop, or that the skis are bad. 

 

Interesting.  Shows what I know about innovations in rental fleet gear (virtually nothing).  I suppose that if it improves throughput and lowers pricing that is a good thing. 

 

Seems like the BYS system involves a standard DIN binding but the efficiency is based on compressing all adult boot shells into three boot sole lengths, magically color coded.  The binding appears to be non-adjustable.  So I stand corrected, it might not have been possible to fit your boots to the skis, unless your BSL matches one of the 3 magic sizes.  Or maybe the shop has a few skis on standard rental tracks to address this scenario.

 

That said, one could buy a set of these skis and re-drill the binding to fit any size boot.  Not sure why anyone would want to, however.

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post
 

I would say that it isn't a good idea for you to buy skis on eBay.  Bindings unfortunately have a "lifespan" of a few to several years during which time shops will adjust them,  Bindings that shops will adjust are referred to as "indemnified" and there is a fairly secret list of indemnified bindings.  The average eBay seller is unlikely to know or even care.  Craigslist is even worse.  You're better off just buying a pair retired rental or demo skis.

Take this advise seriously.

 

If you have to ask DON'T buy used (and in some cases new) online or at thrift shops.  Are your knees and bones worth the few extra bucks you save?

post #14 of 27

The other advantage of buying used from a shop is that they can sell you skis appropriate for your size and ability, while a private seller has one pair of skis to sell and they will sell them to you regardless of whether they are right for you. Also--if you buy used demo skis they will have demo bindings so you will likely not have to have the bindings remounted, which will save some expense, although buying from a shop will be more expensive up front.  

post #15 of 27
You should ignore that advice actually. The list of bindings that are indemnified isn't even remotely secret, and anyone with the internet can find it. Bindings don't have a limited life span either, its all based on liability. If that was true, you would have a hard time explaining why Rossignal and solomon indemnifies 15-20 year old bindings like the fks. Getting a new binding doesn't mean it will release at the proper values either.

If your buying skis from the past couple years off eBay you're fine binding wise, and if you're really worried you can look up the list.

That said, you're better off buying demos or last years gear from a shop, because they will stand behind their products.
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

I would say that it isn't a good idea for you to buy skis on eBay.  Bindings unfortunately have a "lifespan" of a few to several years during which time shops will adjust them,  Bindings that shops will adjust are referred to as "indemnified" and there is a fairly secret list of indemnified bindings.  The average eBay seller is unlikely to know or even care.  Craigslist is even worse.  You're better off just buying a pair retired rental or demo skis.

To clarify, it takes about 10 seconds of web searching to find the 2013-14 binding indemnification list from multiple sources. smile.gif
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


To clarify, it takes about 10 seconds of web searching to find the 2013-14 binding indemnification list from multiple sources. smile.gif

 

Yep.  Here's one: http://www.mi-skiswap.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2013-14-Bindings-List-9-17-13.pdf

 

And looking at the list I see a lot of ten year old models that are still indemnified, so all the scare-mongering about bindings having a short lifespan is nonsense.  Skis wear out or become obsolete much faster than bindings.

 

Anyway, buying skis (but not boots) on ebay is fine, you just have to know what you are looking for.  Lots of junk for sale, but lots of good stuff too.  If the bindings are more than five years old, the skis probably are too and hence either worn out or obsolete. Or both.

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

You should ignore that advice actually.

So wrong.  @mtcyclist is totally on-point here. 

 

It isn't about whether or not the binding is indemnified.  The issue here is that OP is a rank beginner who doesn't know a thing about ski gear (read the first post).  The likelihood she will go on eBay or Craigslist and find something that is appropriate, reasonably current and the proper size is almost zero.  A good shop is more than a simple purveyor of commodity items - a shop is also "selling" expertise and the ability to stand behind a product.  A few hours on the net shopping and reading EpicSki is no substitute for 15 minutes of good advice at a quality shop.

 

At this time of year, the motion for a beginner is simple.  Walk in the door of a shop, tell them about your ski history/ski ambitions, buy something (anything!) that they suggest is appropriate (you are trusting the shop here - probably a better play than a bunch of strangers on the internet), have the bindings mounted/adjusted to fit your boots and be done with it.

 

This is the looney fringe, folks.  And at this time of year you can't help but get a great deal through old fashioned retail.  There is no reason to for a beginner to even try to hit up eBay.  Beginners just need good advice from a friendly, trusted, local shop. 

post #19 of 27
You just repeated what I said. Youre perfectly safe buying stuff on eBay, but its not a good idea for a beginner because you get no support.
He's 100% wrong about the binding lifespan/indemnification thing. I know, I used to be a binding tech. Nothing Looney fringe about that. I'm sure the 18 year old FKJ pro bindings I ski on are about to explode on me or tear my acl, despite being indemnified still.
post #20 of 27

I guess that we are in violent agreement.  :beercheer:

 

The discussion of indemnified or not is a sideshow (I think that we agree on that).  Either the binding is on the list and can be serviced by a shop or it is not.   It is binary and Mark is right that anyone with an internet connection can know the answer in 30 seconds or less.

 

My point, which I think we agree on but I am making more strongly, is that a beginner to the sport has almost no chance of successfully searching through the litter on eBay and CL and finding something that is reasonably modern, level-appropriate and sized right.  Fleabay deals are great if you know what you are looking for - skis are durable commodities, after all.  But nothing is a good deal if you buy wrong at a great price.

 

That's what I mean about this being the looney fringe.  There was another thread earlier this week where regular contributors around here were suggesting that a beginner with 7-10 ski days total lifetime ought to demo.  Really?  To learn what exactly?

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

You should ignore that advice actually. The list of bindings that are indemnified isn't even remotely secret, and anyone with the internet can find it. Bindings don't have a limited life span either, its all based on liability. If that was true, you would have a hard time explaining why Rossignal and solomon indemnifies 15-20 year old bindings like the fks. Getting a new binding doesn't mean it will release at the proper values either.

If your buying skis from the past couple years off eBay you're fine binding wise, and if you're really worried you can look up the list.

That said, you're better off buying demos or last years gear from a shop, because they will stand behind their products.

Think of who is asking the question and how it is being asked.  There are a lot on this site that ski old bindings and enjoy it, but then again they know what they are doing and what they are in for should they make a mistake.

 

Generally comes back to a simple statement.  If you have to ask....DON'T.

 

Going to a shop that can provide support and setup is best as it now becomes their problem and not that of an inexperienced or semi-experienced skier.

post #22 of 27
Telling people outright untruths that lead to irrational fears about bindings doesn't help either. If you don't know enough about bindings to think the indemnification list is secret you shouldn't be telling begginers that. Its bad enough when shop employees don't know.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

Telling people outright untruths that lead to irrational fears about bindings doesn't help either. If you don't know enough about bindings to think the indemnification list is secret you shouldn't be telling begginers that. Its bad enough when shop employees don't know.

There was a long thread here last year or possibly the year before about how the list was not available to the general public.  Obviously that has changed, but I stand by steering a complete beginner away from eBay and Craigslist..

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

Telling people outright untruths that lead to irrational fears about bindings doesn't help either. If you don't know enough about bindings to think the indemnification list is secret you shouldn't be telling begginers that. Its bad enough when shop employees don't know.

I've worked on my own bindings/skis and boots since I was about 12 years old, because that's how it was done back then.  Now I still work on my own and really don't care about the indemnification list (even though I review it) for my own equipment (or that of my families) as I know my(our) equipment and when it is not safe out it goes on the list or not.

 

HOWEVER, this is not something I would recommend to a beginner or intermediate (and in some cases advanced or expert) skier that does not understand the risks or yet have the experience to understand the how's and why's of a particular setup and maintenance of a binding/ski/boot.

 

Don't think like the expert that you may be and assume the person asking the question is at the same level, but of the individual asking a question and guidance of what is the safest and best solution for their particular situation.

 

@ WMGirl.  Sorry, this is no slight on you as you clearly stated that you don't understand and were looking to learn and understand.  Of which both guidance and education were provided.  However being told that beginners can do this can lead to a serious injury that those that really care would want you to avoid.

post #25 of 27

Gentlemen--is there some misunderstanding here?  Clink and I posted at about the same time. The way it came out it looks like he was disagreeing with my advice about buying a demo from a shop, when I believe he was actually responding to the previous post about indemnified bindings. So now you guys are arguing past each other and getting all worked up for nothing. While you can certainly find unindemnified bindings on ebay/craigslist it's a lot easier to find wrong skis, and it is certainly possible to find unindemnified bindings on relatively new skis--people have been known to remount the same bindings on ski after ski after ski.

 

By now WMGirl has quit skiing and taken up bowling, or some other sport where people don't get so worked up about nothing. 

post #26 of 27
I don't understand the big deal, since most of the good deals on beginner/intermediate skis are demos or skis with integrated bindings, which a beginner is going to take to a shop to fit to her boot, which means they will test them. Not a big deal, and no need to worry about the bindings on those skis within reason.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clink83 View Post

I don't understand the big deal, since most of the good deals on beginner/intermediate skis are demos or skis with integrated bindings, which a beginner is going to take to a shop to fit to her boot, which means they will test them. Not a big deal, and no need to worry about the bindings on those skis within reason.

exactly

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