or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Finding the right bindings [first season, Mammoth]
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Finding the right bindings [first season, Mammoth]

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am new to skiing, and I love it. I have basically accumulated all the gear I need (I may get a better-fitting, stiffer pair of boots next season), but something happened on my last trip that makes me wonder if I should consider different bindings.

6'7"
250
30 years old
I am still somewhat timid skiing and essentially just started this season. I am comfortable on all the blues and "blue/black" runs at mammoth. I have yet to try anything tougher than that.

I have marker griffon bindings with the DIN set at like 6.5. A little while ago, I fell in some spring bumpy/slushy conditions that I tried to take too fast. The tip of my ski caught in the snow at some point during my tumble and pulled straight "down" relative to my body. Because there was no lateral force, the toe did not release, and I got what appears to be a boot-top bone bruise (no fracture visible on the x-Ray, but very slow improvement day-to-day). Ruined my weekend.

My question is as follows. I really love this sport and want to keep improving and to ski for many years. Should I get a "safer" binding, i.e., one with upward toe or lateral heel release? Is there a way to avoid that kind of fall or ensure that there is lateral pressure so the toe pops out? (This sort of fall happened to me once before, but on a rental ski with upward toe release, and I was fine.) Should I be more worried about ACL injury anyway, and get a kneebinding?

Thanks in advance for any guidance on this. I don't mean to knock my current equipment; I will be perfectly fine to stick with it if the answer is "you're falling wrong and ACL injuries are rare; just make such-and-such adjustment and you will be fine."
post #2 of 26
It is pretty hard (not impossible) to train yourself to fall in a controlled manner ALL of the time. A binding with upward release probably would have helped... but at the end of the day, skiing has a lot of risk. It's the greatest activity in the world, but it is NOT safe, no matter what you do to try to mitigate the risk (that is not to say you shouldn't try, just that you can't control all of the risk).
post #3 of 26

Welcome New - sorry your trip got messed up, hope you're alright. 

 

I am by no means a ski tech, so I may not be the best one to answer this. I have Marker Griffons, and have never had any problems with them. It sounds like it has a bit more to do with the manner in which you fell - not necessarily the bindings (or DIN settings). Like I said, I'm not a ski tech, but it seems as if they should have released otherwise. At your height/weight, I would assume the DIN is sufficient. To put into perspective, I'm 5'4" @ 155-165, ski pretty aggressively, and mine are set at a 7 - toe and heel. 

 

In short, it sounds like you took a nasty fall. That sucks. If you are worried about the bindings themselves, have a tech check them out, and perform test.

post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypergruv View Post
If you are worried about the bindings themselves, have a tech check them out, and perform test.

 

This.  I am kind of surprised a big guy like yourself can keep a ski on with a 6.5 DIN setting.  I have skied pretty much every brand out there with no obvious issues with any of them.  So maybe it is a good idea just to have your bindings checked.  Over the last few years, I have found myself buying Salomon bindings the most, as I like how simple they are to adjust.

post #5 of 26

If the OP's boot sole is 331mm or longer, and it likely is, 6.5 is the correct DIN for a beginner.  But, since the OP is skiing blues at Mammoth, the DIN should probably be 8.

post #6 of 26

http://www.mechanicsofsport.com/skiing/equipment/bindings/din-calculator.html

type 1 6.5

type 2 8

 

re-check/re-test your binding in the store just to be safe in your mind.

post #7 of 26

Sorry, I'm not trying to hijack this thread, just broaden it and give it a bump. I have kind of a similar concern: I don't really trust my bindings any more. (Two blown save opportunities in a row, and two ski seasons shortened by leg injuries will plant the seeds of doubt.) My Elan skis have a system binding setup, so I'm replacing them with flat skis so I'm free to choose the absolute safest binding I can find. At the risk of setting off a poop storm here, I will say I'm considering Kneebindings, but willing to try others. Any suggestions? I'm 67 years old, 5'11", 190 pounds, intermediate, fairly relaxed-style skier. My first injury was a torn left calf muscle caused by a nosedive. This year I caught an edge and tweaked my right MCL, not severely but enough to keep me off skis for the season's last couple of weeks.

post #8 of 26

I'm not aware of any binding that has been shown objectively to be safer--either in retention or release--than any other. There are however manufacturers' claims and lots of individual skier opinions to the contrary. All the alpine bindings on the marker (except for Kneebinding I believe) have been DIN certified, which means they pass certain tests. A binding either passes or fails; basically it needs to fit DIN standard boots and release at given torques at given release settings. Beyond that there is no independent testing of bindings or review of injury rates with various bindings. Such an evaluation would be very hard to do---cheaper bindings sold to beginners would do poorly because beginners fall a lot and fall in bad ways; top end bindings like look pivot would do badly because they are sold to people who tend to ski very fast, use high release value settings, and jump off things. (All of this applies to helmets as well.)

post #9 of 26

I was under the same impression as @oldgoat  - that no binding was objectively safer than another. I do think there might be something wrong through with OP's bindings - if he was skiing down blues at his weight and height with a 6.5 DIN, they should have been releasing a lot more frequently. I'm a lighter and a foot shorter, and ski an 8 (though I am a more advanced skier). It seems to me that OP's binding settings for a blue skier at moderate speed should be higher. I would definitely go in and get those bindings checked out at a ski shop. 

post #10 of 26

A couple of points ^^^ first kneebinding doesn't have a TUV cert, DIN is a specification for a standardized interface between boot and binding and release values. It's just fine there. Second, it absolutely does release in a way that no other binding does, whether or not that 'matters' to you or not... well, that's personal, but it can mitigate phantom foot type injuries in a way no other binding even tries. Anyone who argues against that is not paying attention to reality. Is it better? I'm not saying that. Is it different? Absolutely, in a way that can provide additional safety for the 'right' skier.

 

Third, commenting on the OP's DIN? We are missing a few MAJOR factors that would allow us to calculate the 'proper' release settings... saying "well, I'm smaller than you and ski DIN 'X' " just isn't helpful. At all.

 

He is skiing a binding with no upward release function, his fall was such that it was the only real way for the binding to release, so we can leave DIN setting out of it and look at the question: Would a different binding provide more safety? A Kneebinding also would not release in this instance, it doesn't have upward toe release. I don't like marker Royalty bindings, personally, but they aren't 'bad'. What would have made a difference? A Look binding that isn't a 15 or 18 DIN, a Salomon that isn't a 'driver' toe, a marker that isn't a 'Royal' or a Tyrolia that isn't an Aattack series. Would I replace a griffon due one 'odd' fall? No, wouldn't. Would I rely on 'learning to fall better' as a new skier?? That's a tough one. I have to say, no, bad idea. I just have to go with- sometimes sh*t happens and you get hurt. Understanding the dynamics of a phantom foot fall is good, learning to 'just go with it' is really good when it comes to falling. Both good things to try to ingrain, but as I said- sometimes bad things happen and there really is no way to avoid it.

post #11 of 26

After reading thousands of words (most on this site alone) on Kneebindings, I'm going to go ahead and get a set. I'm impressed by the happy testimonials, if a little confused by the bitterness of those who don't like them. I've seen nothing to suggest that KBs are any worse than the big brands at the usual binding functions. And I really like the idea of the lateral release at the back. I think it might have prevented my recent MCL strain. Lord knows, I don't owe any brand loyalty to the bindings I'm getting rid of.

post #12 of 26

We all seem to agree that no binding exists that can guarantee safety, even though modern ski bindings are far, far superior to the bindings of the sixties. Once they were called "safety bindings" - and now they're called "release bindings".  However, there are other considerations, such as tightness [absence of slop], and ease of entry and exit. Except for racers, I believe, modern bindings all have recreationally more than acceptable  tightness of holding the boot to the ski. However, after a mishap in two foot deep powder, what binding will be easier to remove, if removal is necessary? What binding will be easier to re-enter in that powder after it releases or is purposefully removed? My own experience has been that the Kastle/Tyrolia/Head AAAAttack is the easiest binding to enter and exit infall conditions, including in a deeper powder mishap.  I only wish they would economize on the AAA - only one is necessary!

post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

A couple of points ^^^ first kneebinding doesn't have a TUV cert, DIN is a specification for a standardized interface between boot and binding and release values. It's just fine there. Second, it absolutely does release in a way that no other binding does, whether or not that 'matters' to you or not... well, that's personal, but it can mitigate phantom foot type injuries in a way no other binding even tries. Anyone who argues against that is not paying attention to reality. Is it better? I'm not saying that. Is it different? Absolutely, in a way that can provide additional safety for the 'right' skier.

I agree that the KB offers a release mode lacking in other bindings that offers the possibility that it might prevent certain kinds of injuries. The question is does it in fact prevent those kinds of injuries more than other bindings do, and if so, does it do so without increasing rates of other kinds of injuries. Until there is an independent study of injury rates with various bindings--a study we are unlikely to ever see--the benefit remains hypothetical.  How could the knee binding fail to reduce injuries--again hypothetically, the release setting to prevent the phantom foot injury might increase the risk of pre releases and cause injury that way. 

Safety claims by KB or any other manufacturer are just that--claims. Some bindings claim to reduce pre release by having a large elastic travel. Again, hypothetically reasonably, anecdotally accepted, but unproven. Until we have comprehensive data about injury rates with various bindings, a buyer has to judge as best they can the reasonableness of those claims. 

Maybe someone can invent a crash test dummy that can ski.

 

(What we all know often turns out to be wrong. For example, the 1973 Ford Pinto--a car I was not particularly proud to own. Malcolm Gladwell in one of his books, while the Pinto caused deaths in a particularly spectacular way--by exploding in flames when rear ended, overall death rates were no higher than for other cars in the same class. The point being that engineering always involves compromises and that fixing one particular problem sometimes causes other problems, which may or may not be anticipated.)

post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

Safety claims by KB or any other manufacturer are just that--claims. Some bindings claim to reduce pre release by having a large elastic travel. Again, hypothetically reasonably, anecdotally accepted, but unproven. 

This was all very reasonable, here is the thing- I have never, not once, seen anyone on this site use this same logic toward any other binding manufacturer's claims. When Marker made claims that the new Royal bindings had a wider mounting pattern which increased leverage over wider skis (turned out it was the EXACT same hole pattern width they always used) no one rushed in and made a big deal about it. Look claims they have 'the most elastic travel'... where are the calls for "actual proof"? There is none. Mention "Kneebinding" and it's like saying "Beetlejuice" three times... the sharks come in for the bait. 

 

Kneebinding has been selling it's product for seven years now, that is what, three times longer than the Tyrolia Aaattack? If every single time someone asked about the Tyrolia, I jumped in and said "There is absolutely NO PROOF that the Tyrolia binding will not KILL YOU!!!, no matter what the manufacturer claims. We have not had an independent study, so ski them at your own peril... because they will probably KILL YOU!!!" if I were to do that I would seem like a raving lunatic, right? This is only slightly different* from what happens whenever anyone types K-n-e-e-b-i-n-d-i-n-g.

 

*(my posts would be funny, that's the difference).

 

(( Kneebinding, Kneebinding, Kneebinding))

post #15 of 26

Well . . . the AAAAA TTTT AAA CK bindings haven't killed me . . . yet . . . but those damned AAAAAAAAA things just might!  Here's my OWN argument in favor of the Kastle/Tyrolia/Head AAAAAAAAAAAttack bindings: I like them! Them keep the skis on my feet. I haven't noticed that they're any better or any worse than others, except that getting into them and out of them [intentionally, that is] feels WAAAAAAY easier - for me - than others.  

 

But Whiteroom - I know of no particular claims being made for the AAAAAAAttack that are said to affect my life and health. However, the KNEE [get it? KNEE] Bindings DO make a very specific claim. VERY SPECIFIC. VERY SAFETY ORIENTED. I have no problem with anyone questioning THAT kind of claim. Not that I particularly care, at that price. But, hey! If someone believes that they have REASON to believe that the things protect their precious knees better than others, then I have no problem with that. No one's forcing them, or me, to buy or not to buy. That's what the marketplace does.

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe View Post  

 

But Whiteroom - I know of no particular claims being made for the AAAAAAAttack that are said to affect my life and health*. However, the KNEE [get it? KNEE] Bindings DO make a very specific claim. VERY SPECIFIC. VERY SAFETY ORIENTED. I have no problem with anyone questioning THAT kind of claim. Not that I particularly care, at that price. But, hey! If someone believes that they have REASON to believe that the things protect their precious knees better than others, then I have no problem with that. No one's forcing them, or me, to buy or not to buy. That's what the marketplace does.

Why is a performance claim different in any way? If the Kneebinding truly was a 'Pinto', a binding that added one safety element at the expense of additional safety hazards, we would be hearing about that after seven years 'in the wild'... don't you think? We know they can be a royal* pain in the ass to get into and out of (* see what I did there? The marker Royal bindings are also a pain), it also makes skis right/left. But we are not hearing about pre-release issues. Not at ALL. It might be time for folks to start to recognize that 'No Proof!!!' is past it's expiration date. Sure, there is no more proof than any other binding, but c'mon now, they should get equal treatment. As far as the additional safety claims, if you have ever seen a lab setting designed to test a binding for release during a phantom foot fall, and seen a 'normal' binding absolutely NOT release and a KB release smooth as silk, you might rethink the "NO PROOF!!!" mantra... look, I have no skin in the kneebinding game. I ski FKS /Pivot bindings because, well, because I am stupid and act like I am still 25. But I have been in the KB lab and in RH's home lab and tested them with my own two hands. Seriously, the results are shocking.

 

*Funny story, but the year the Aaattack was first introduced, I was talking with the US product manager, I asked "oh, I see you have replaced the Mojo/ Peak series, tell me what is new and cool about this that makes it better?" He looked at me and said "It ISN'T better, it is worse. It no longer has upward release at the toe and the diagonal heel release is gone... but it looks cool so we hope it will sell better." True story. It won't kill you, but they knowingly are selling a product that at least some feel is less safe.

 

  But hey, KB is the work of the devil, so whatever.

post #17 of 26

I don't care if they don't have upward or downward toe release, because they have other release that I like, and they're easy to get into and out of and back into, even in two feet of heavy "powder", so I LIKE them. They also release sometimes.

 

I don't LIKE "left/right skis", although I don't mind my Scott graphite left/right ski poles.  That's it. Do KB work as advertised? I don't know and I don't care. But some people do, and KB is no panacea and logically can't and doesn't do all it claims it can do and especially its  raison d-etere for being THE KNEE BINDING. I personally don't care.

 

But I DO care that they could spell the name of MY chosen binding "Attack" and stop wasting all this valuable As. Maybe it's lucky to be getting all the As you can, but they should be saved up and distributed to people who've gone a really long time without getting any As. It's only fair and compassionate.

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipshod View Post
 

. This year I caught an edge and tweaked my right MCL, not severely but enough to keep me off skis for the season's last couple of weeks.

 

FWIW, it's completely possible to stuff up an MCL after the ski comes off.     And I have the bills to prove it. 

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by albertanskigirl View Post
 

I was under the same impression as @oldgoat  - that no binding was objectively safer than another. I do think there might be something wrong though with OP's bindings - if he was skiing down blues at his weight and height with a 6.5 DIN, they should have been releasing a lot more frequently. I'm a lighter and a foot shorter, and ski an 8 (though I am a more advanced skier). It seems to me that OP's binding settings for a blue skier at moderate speed should be higher. I would definitely go in and get those bindings checked out at a ski shop. 

Ditto albertanskigirl's thoughts.  Sorry if I missed where you mentioned the bindings were new or used...?  If they're Used, toss em' and go new.   Check for upward release rating/popularity on your next pair.


Edited by HaveSkisWillClimb - 4/30/16 at 6:06am
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by oboe View Post
 

I don't care if they don't have upward or downward toe release, because they have other release that I like, and they're easy to get into and out of and back into, even in two feet of heavy "powder", so I LIKE them. They also release sometimes.

 

I don't LIKE "left/right skis", although I don't mind my Scott graphite left/right ski poles.  That's it. Do KB work as advertised? I don't know and I don't care. But some people do, and KB is no panacea and logically can't and doesn't do all it claims it can do and especially its  raison d-etere for being THE KNEE BINDING. I personally don't care.

 

But I DO care that they could spell the name of MY chosen binding "Attack" and stop wasting all this valuable As. Maybe it's lucky to be getting all the As you can, but they should be saved up and distributed to people who've gone a really long time without getting any As. It's only fair and compassionate.

If you want to know where the real waste/hoarding/hogging of A's is taking place, check out the first few pages of your phone book. AAAAA Towing, AAAAAA Plumbing. AAAAAAA Driving School, etc. Plus, what's up with aardvarks?

post #21 of 26

Oh, I quite agree. Aardvarks deserve at LEAST as many As as the AAAAAAAAAAAAtack bindings.

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

FWIW, it's completely possible to stuff up an MCL after the ski comes off.     And I have the bills to prove it. 

To be honest, things happen so fast in a fall, I usually can't recall the sequence of events afterward. I am pretty sure, though, that having giant levers attached to your feet isn't a good thing if you crash. I'm disappointed if I feel a pull, look down and see the ski on that leg is still attached.

post #23 of 26

No question about it - binding release at the right time is meaningful. I had an experience in the early season in which my right ski became firmly impaled in a snow bank while I was moving at appreciable speed. I jackknifed, the bindings failing to release, and my right calf was not insignificantly injured.  Later in the season in poor visibility conditions at Alta, I was unaware of snow change in my path - and [showing how clever I am to have done this twice], this time my left ski speared the deeper, heavy snow. While the left calf was injured, it was a much less severe injury - because this time, the left binding released. After the first mishap, I had the bindings reset. Being over 50 [I'm 74], I knew the bindings would be insufficiently retentive, so I claimed to be a Type III + and please note the +.  When I claimed to be only Type III without adding the +, the bindings went down a full DIN setting - and that's where they'll be in the future, as long as I'm physically able to ski. Any lower and they fall off when the slightest bump is hit. Any higher, and, as we can see, they failed to release when I would have wanted them to release.

 

As far as upward toe release is concerned, it's no doubt nice to have, but since it's not on my favorite  AAAAAAAAttack binding, I'm choosing to accept the risk of skiing without it.  I do appreciate modern release bindings while remembering a higher level of skier than I'll ever be skiing with bear traps and long thongs that had NO AND I MEAN ABSOLUTELY NO release.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipshod View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

 

FWIW, it's completely possible to stuff up an MCL after the ski comes off.     And I have the bills to prove it. 

To be honest, things happen so fast in a fall, I usually can't recall the sequence of events afterward. I am pretty sure, though, that having giant levers attached to your feet isn't a good thing if you crash. I'm disappointed if I feel a pull, look down and see the ski on that leg is still attached.


 I understand your meaning but I am very definitely not of your degree of surety.        In this instance the 113mm wide ski would not have postholed into the snow (and wishboned my knee) like the naked boot did.   

 

 

I guess we all fight our last war here?     I have no loyalty to Salomon 3-hole toes :rolleyes

post #25 of 26

Oh, I disagree. In fact, the wide ski CAN post hole, and the lever would do wonders for the wallets of the orthopedists.  It can happen! I'm in favor of release in that instance, and no naked boot can have the leverage of a ski impaled in the snow.

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

Safety claims by KB or any other manufacturer are just that--claims. Some bindings claim to reduce pre release by having a large elastic travel. Again, hypothetically reasonably, anecdotally accepted, but unproven. 

This was all very reasonable, here is the thing- I have never, not once, seen anyone on this site use this same logic toward any other binding manufacturer's claims. When Marker made claims that the new Royal bindings had a wider mounting pattern which increased leverage over wider skis (turned out it was the EXACT same hole pattern width they always used) no one rushed in and made a big deal about it. Look claims they have 'the most elastic travel'... where are the calls for "actual proof"? There is none. Mention "Kneebinding" and it's like saying "Beetlejuice" three times... the sharks come in for the bait. 

 

Kneebinding has been selling it's product for seven years now, that is what, three times longer than the Tyrolia Aaattack? If every single time someone asked about the Tyrolia, I jumped in and said "There is absolutely NO PROOF that the Tyrolia binding will not KILL YOU!!!, no matter what the manufacturer claims. We have not had an independent study, so ski them at your own peril... because they will probably KILL YOU!!!" if I were to do that I would seem like a raving lunatic, right? This is only slightly different* from what happens whenever anyone types K-n-e-e-b-i-n-d-i-n-g.

 

*(my posts would be funny, that's the difference).

 

(( Kneebinding, Kneebinding, Kneebinding))

I have posted several times that the Royal binding's greater width was of absolutely no significance from a physics standpoint. Others have as well. 

 

I did a quick glance through several binding makers' web sites, which confirms what i thought--other than kneebinding no other maker makes safety claims for it's bindings, and for the most part, they describe all the features and use a lot of general and meaningless verbiage and are very careful not to make claims. In any case the OP was asking for the safest binding, and the answer is still, no one knows. And I certainly would not try to dissuade the OP from buying kneebindings. 

 

What riles a lot of us is not that kneebindings are bad bindings--afaik they're not--but that the company makes extravagant claims--for example that no one has reported an ACL injury with kneebinding (although at least one has been reported on this forum). (And BTW Kneebinding does boast about a wider mounting platform, which is just as meaningless for kneebinding as it is for marker.)

 

Your sarcasm doesn't make your argument more convincing, nor do all the caps, boldface, and italics.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Finding the right bindings [first season, Mammoth]