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Top 20 Boots, Skis, and Bindings

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 



My name is Dana and I work for the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum. In an attempt to perfect the top 20 boots, skis, and bindings of all time, I thought it would be worthwhile to open this discussion up to the public. What would you pick? If anyone has any comments, please feel free to provide them below. I also realize 20 is a lot...and with that even a number 1 or top 5 would be helpful. I've looked at a few previous forums on this topic, but wanted to re-open the conversation presently. I look forward to hearing your suggestions!


The Raichle Fiber Jet (aka Red Hot) ski boots of the late 1960s are definitely one of my favorites ;) haha


Thank you! :) 

post #2 of 36

Koflach Comp 911 with triple stacked VIP Custom foam liners and custom Superfeet Kork insoles alignment for DH racing by one of  The Canadian teams fitters (IIRC - my memory isn't as good as I remember it once was) best boots ever! 

post #3 of 36
Volant Spatula Ski
post #4 of 36
Volkl Mantra
post #5 of 36
1959 Toni Sailer. The first commercially successful fiberglass snow ski.
post #6 of 36

Head Standard, Kneissl White Star, Olin Mark IV, Hexcel swallowtail, Atomic Arc Red Sleds, Elan parabolic, Volant Spatula



Rosemount  boots, Hanson ski boots, Scott boots, Lange XLR, Dynafit tlt5



Dover Bindings, Cubco Bindings, Look Nevada, Salomon 444, Salomon 747, Dynafit tech

Edited by Maineac - 7/28/16 at 10:08am
post #7 of 36

Some of the equipment that I feel raised the bar in their time.  I’m sure I have left some out, but these were better that what came before.:

Skis:  Traditional- Head Standard, Head 360, Dynamic VR 17, Rossignol Strato, Rossignol ST 650, Rossignol ROC Comp, K2 Comps, K2 VO, Kastle RX 12 Super G & DH, Volkl Zebra, Kniessel White Star, Elan RC Comprex, Atomic ARC red and white sleds, Rossignol SM and 4S

Shape:  Elan SCX, Volkl Snow Ranger, Volkl Mantra, Head Race stock, Kastle MX88, Blizzard Bonafide


Bindings:  Tyrolia cable with Marker Simplex toe, Miller, Cubco, Marker Rotomat, Look Nevada, Solomon 505, Solomon 444, Marker M4 toe MRR Heel, Tyrolia 3D Diagonal

Boots:  Henke Plastic Parallel, Lange Comps with Lange Flo, Nordica Astral Slalom, Nordica Grand Prix, Caber Comps, Raichle Flexon Comps, Koflach Comps, Tecnica TNT, Humanic Comps, Solomon Rear entry (all)

post #8 of 36

Ha! This will teach you to be more specific ....;)


Boots: Merrell Super Comps, Scarpa T1/T2, Scarpa, Garmont Ener-G/Syner-G, Crispi CXR/Evo, Scarpa TX Comps


Bindings: Voile/rotefella 3-pin; Voile hardwire, Riva I/II/III, Rainy superloop/HammerHead, 22 Designs Axl/Vice, Rotefella Freeride/Freedom


Skis:  all the telemark-specific skis were weak sauce, so I'll just refer to the Alpine skis already mentioned above ...... but I'll take the Explosive over the Mantra, and toss in the Voile Mountain-Surf just for good measure. 

post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 

What a great community to be a part of! Thanks for all the helpful comments everyone! They will all be considered as I work on yet another draft! I'll be sure to post my "final" draft once it's ready. Thanks again! :D

post #10 of 36
Another vote for Volkl Mantra.
A benchmark series that was regularly used comparatively for a multitude of ski reviews over many years.
post #11 of 36
I'm thing Scott/Spademan/The Ski should be in there somewhere.

Hart skis (not sure what their early models were called), the Comp for sure.
post #12 of 36
Racing - surely one of the top contenders must be Elan RC 05 series. The ski Ingemar Stenmark (arguably the best skier of all time) dominated the world on.

Recreational - the old Volkl Mantra. Every ski to every man.
post #13 of 36
I recall seeing a pair of Salomon X-Screams in the ski museum at Banff 10 years ago.
post #14 of 36
My favourites;

Ski - K2 Recons

Boot - Lange RX120

Binding - Atomic Tracker 13

These are each the pieces which impressed me most relative to what went before, and their peers.
post #15 of 36
All equipment Franz Klammer is wearing in 1976 Olympic Downhill run in Innsbruck.


Skis: Head Standard, VR17, Elan RC series, Rossignol Strato and ST Comp, Atoimic Red Sleds, Fischer C4 '76

Boots: Lange XLR, Raichle Flexon Comp, Franz's Dynafit, (can't bring myself to include any rear entry boots)

Bindings: Salomon 555 Equipe and 747 Equipe, Look Nevada, Marker turn tables - full progression from Franz to last MRR
Edited by Moose32 - 8/2/16 at 7:16am
post #16 of 36

Hawk 56 hit the nail pretty well on the head, of his ski nominations I would second the Volkl Zebra and add a 1976 model Dynastar Omeglass, for bindings I would second his Salomon 505 and add a Salomon 555, and finally for boots I would second his Nordica Grand Prix and Astral (Banana Boot) and add a Raichle Bump Sucker (fiberglass clam shell).

post #17 of 36
Originally Posted by near nyquist View Post

Volant Spatula Ski


post #18 of 36



This really is turning into a worthy list, lot of people here @ Epic Ski really know their ski gear.


I read through the preceding list and didn't see these, maybe somebody did mention 'em but at any rate:


Skis    Miller Softs

           Salomon S9000


Boots  Salomon SX90

            Raichle Flexon

post #19 of 36
Geze G?
Elan MBX R3
post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 

Epic Ski Community - Thank you again for this excellent and worthwhile feedback! After looking over the responses, it looks like, so far, the most recognized ski, boot, and binding are as follows:


Ski: Volkl Mantra (second place a 4 way tie with Volant Spatula, Head Standard, Atomic Arc RS, and Elan RC) 

Boot: Raichle Flexon Comps (second place a 3 way tie with Kolfach Comp, Lange XLR, and Nordica Grand Prix)

Binding: Look Nevada (second place a 4 way tie with Cubco, Salomon 444, Salomon 505, and Salomon 555) 


Comments are still welcome. Thank you!! 

post #21 of 36

I have been skiing for about 60 years .

I cant speak up for the latest equipment .

But , the stuff in the 50`s through the 80`s I sure can .


I was never a racer , but Strolz made a fantastic boot (it had a lot of hardware on it for adjustments )

 much like the green machine.


For comfort how can you beat the Raichle stuff......




The USA was really behind as far as great skis with the exception of introducing the metal skis .

Durability was there strong suit for that they were great . But for speed and turning , not so much.




Bindings early on everyone wanted Cubco .

They were nicknamed beartraps, because they had no release .


But we were not thinking of falling anyway, so who cared about release ?


Lift cable bindings were good .

Better bindings came along from Marker , Look and Solomon.


But as I look back I see the countries that had a great history in ski racing really made the best skis.


I thing it boils down to the feel that the skier has while skiing that particular ski.

I personally always preferred a French ski

(Rossignol and Dynamic were my favorites).

I still ski then today.


Although today I skied a Head ski and it was just ....Ok


That's my opinion for what its worth . Thanks for listening.



post #22 of 36
Head Standard
Rossignol 4SK
K2 Four

Lange Flo
Tecnica TNT

Look Nevada
Marker piston race plate/comp bindings
post #23 of 36
Boots: Lange XLR, Raichle Flexon Comp
Bindings: Tyrolia 360R
Ski: Olin Mark IV, K2 four, Rossi ST and SM comp
post #24 of 36
Originally Posted by hrstrat57 View Post

Head Standard
Rossignol 4SK
K2 Four

Lange Flo
Tecnica TNT

Look Nevada
Marker piston race plate/comp bindings

Henke what?  Henke was the first ski boot with buckles, so if you mean that boot, then yes it belongs on the list.  But Henke had made boots for years before that.  The Henke buckle boot was acutually a failure becuase the designers didn't consider what happens to relatively narrow strips of leather that get wet while under tension.  I remember hearing of some people being unable to buckle their boots after just a couple of season because the leather had stretched so much.

post #25 of 36

I have a mint pair, my first boots.

Lange Flo were my first plastic boot

post #26 of 36

Yup that's the one.  they came out while I was enjoying my Molitor double laceup boots.

post #27 of 36

Boots Salomon SX 90 Equipes  So comfortable yet with good control for a big guy on 215s


Skis Authier GS 215s  Absolutely rock solid at speed


No opinion on bindings.

post #28 of 36

For sure, the K2 Four changed modern skiing.....shaped skis, which the Euro's called a "FAD" became the standard in a couple of years after the SCX and the K2 were introduced. As for boots, the early Lange  and the Nordica Grand Prix set the standard for modern boot design. Take a look at a 1975 Nordica GP...not all that much different from 2017 high end boots. 

post #29 of 36
Solomon Xtreme Series1 - the first modern all mountain ski. Had one of the first 6 pairs in Europe and there was nothing else like them. The later versions were dumbed down for the mass market but the Serie 1 were wood cored and a proper serious ski.
post #30 of 36

Boots: Fischer RC 110, fully heat moldable

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