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Ski Blade Bindings?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I'm totally new to winter sports, learnt to ski years ago and recently have been messing around on blades at Xscape, going to Canada in January and have bought a nearly new pair of Salomon R6 Spaceframe Skiblades which have non-release bindings.

I've been reading up on the risk of injury from these bindings and saw that you can buy compatible release plates? Excuse my newness to all of this but I have no idea how these work and if I can buy and fit them easily?

There is a link on the ski-injury website to Ellis Brigham but they don't seem to have them.

Can anyone give me a bit of advice? Should I trade in the non-release blades and just go for a whole new set with release, or where do I buy the release plates that fit the current blades?

I feel I might have made too much of a hasty purchase so any help is greatly appreciated.

Many thanks
post #2 of 18
post #3 of 18
Unless your boards are over 110 cm, the release bindings will be too bulky and detract from the flex of the boards. I have used blades and was well aware of the issues involved with non-release bindings. However, it did not make me quit using them. Sinking in powder and getting killed in crud made me stop using them.

There is a valid arguement as to the increased potential for injury with the non-release bindings, but it is not conclusive. Skiboards are very short, and as a result, you will not exert the same amount of torque in a crash as a pair of longer skis. I would think a pair of 170 cm skis with non-release bindings would be very dangerous, much more dangerous than a pair of 99cm boards.

Another thing is that release bindings are not the cure-all to accidents. If you have ever had a binding pre-release while doing a significant speed, you know what i am talking about.

Skiing is a sport where you assume a certain amount of risk just doing it. You assume more risk by hucking cliffs, venturing into the park, carving at super-high speeds, and going backcountry. However, people are willing to accept that risk for the enjoyment involved. My advice is to do the same with the skiboards. Have fun and enjoy.
post #4 of 18
Another thing, there has been previous discussion on this board about non-release bindings. Do a search for skiboards, skiblades, or snowlerblades and you will find a few opinions.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Very funny Alpinedad :-)

Thanks Matt for the opinion. The blades I have bought are 99cm and I am 5'6". I accept the risk of injury. I just want to minimise the risk so as not to ruin the trip. The blades I used at Xscape were release, I fell a few times and they only came off once (I didn't get hurt) and that ties in with what you are saying so maybe I should just stick with what I have and go for it?

The reason I am going for the blades as opposed to skiing or boarding is that I want to progress quickly and enjoy the pistes, and not spend the whole holiday learning from scratch.

Thanks for the helpful advice, any other opinions will also be greatly appreciated.

Cheers :-)
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sndrz123 View Post
Very funny Alpinedad :-)
We aim to please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sndrz123 View Post
The reason I am going for the blades as opposed to skiing or boarding is that I want to progress quickly and enjoy the pistes, and not spend the whole holiday learning from scratch.
And how will blades help that vs. skis? Is it just that you've bladed, but not skied? (Unclear from your original post, which says you're "totally new to winter sports," but paradoxically, that you "learnt to ski years ago.")

I have never understood the appeal of blades, so I'm probably not the best guy to weigh in on this. The only possible use I can think of for them is as a teaching tool -- a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Seems to me like blades are unstable at anything approaching actual speed on groomers, and sink immediately in any ungroomed. At which point, I'd rather stay in the hot tub. But hey, what do I know.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sorry, didn't explain myself very well.

About 17 years ago, I spent a couple of months learning to ski on a dry slope. Was a young teenager at the time so I don't consider that I'd be able to just get on skis and have any sort of technique or confidence.

Only recently have I tried blading in an indoor real slope. This is why I consider myself new to winter sports. Going to Canada will be my first experience of actually skiing on a proper outdoor piste.

I liked the blades because I felt within a couple of hours I got the hang of turning etc. I also feel that the shorter length means they're less clumsy (for me) than skis, but that's just my own opinion, and like I say, I'm kinda new to all this.

Maybe I will be sick of blades after a couple of days and try something else but at the end of the day all I wanna do is go have non-serious fun and I've found the blades fit into that category for me so far. I feel that Canada will give me a taste for moving onto snowboarding in the future but for now, I just wanna go and see what it's all about and have a blast :-)
post #8 of 18
Blades are going to be kind of not very good off the groomed runs, just something for you to keep in mind.

In Europe, snowblades are now sold with non-releaseable, and releasable bindings:

Category1: Beginner through certain advanced snowbladers.

If at least one of the following applies, then the recommendation is to use release bindings:

- Skied less than 7 days on any snow riding products (skis, blades, boards)
- You do not jump or use the park features
- You do not regularly (more than 2 hours per week) exercise or regularly participate in strenous sports



Category2: certain advanced to expert snowbladers

If all the following applies to you the recommendation is to use non release bindings.

-You jump or blade on steep terrain aggressively or at high speed or use park terrain features
-You feel confident on all types of terrain
-You regularly (more than 2 hours per week) exercise or regularly participate in strenous sports and are in good phusical condition


Also:

If you are shorter than 150cm/5ft and particularly if you are a child under 150cm you must not use snowblades.

If you are under 16 or over 55 - depending on the degree of ossification (bone density) you must be in good physical condition to use snowblades.

Snowblades are designed for use on groomed trails/pistes only.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post


And how will blades help that vs. skis? Is it just that you've bladed, but not skied? (Unclear from your original post, which says you're "totally new to winter sports," but paradoxically, that you "learnt to ski years ago.")

I have never understood the appeal of blades, so I'm probably not the best guy to weigh in on this. The only possible use I can think of for them is as a teaching tool -- a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Seems to me like blades are unstable at anything approaching actual speed on groomers, and sink immediately in any ungroomed. At which point, I'd rather stay in the hot tub. But hey, what do I know.
I will tell you how blades help. I skied a couple of times in the late 80's, even taking lessons. Because I was 240lbs, they kept sticking me on 210 boats that were almost impossible to turn for a beginner. I hated skiing and soon gave it up.

Forward to the late 90's and I was introduced to skiboards. The first day on the hill I had a hell of a time and skiing was fun. I was able to feel in control, and learn the basics. I skied on skiboards for two years and then progressed to longer skis as I felt limited by the shorter ones, but not until then.

If you only have a few days a year on the mountian (as most people with a life do) then you want the learning curve to be a short as possible. Are you going to make the cover of Powder magazine using Skiboards? Probably not. However, 99% of us are going to make the cover of Powder, so why should we be pressured into using the same equipment.

You mention that speed is difficult. Speed is relative, and not the only focus for most skiers. When learning the basics it is better to do it at slower speeds than with a pair of GS skis. As for the learning tool aspects. I hear a lot of instructers talk about using them as a teaching tool. I hear a lot of non-instructors talking about how they are not a good tool. Who should I listen too??? I think the instructors might have a little more insight.
post #10 of 18
Alpinedad, I misread your second post and apologize. You did say that the only use you could see is as a teaching tool. What the original poster said was that he is new to snow sports so you you made my point.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
However, 99% of us are going to make the cover of Powder, so why should we be pressured into using the same equipment.
Didn't get the memo, I'm off to get an haircut pronto!
post #12 of 18
If you can afford to rent equipment, get somw 120cm skis the first day, trade up to 130s the following day, 140s the third day, etc.

You'll be off and runnung from the start, and the slight increases in length shouldn't be too hard to adjust to. Sign up for daily lessons, too. Your instructor can help you decide if you are ready to get a longer ski.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyRay View Post
Didn't get the memo, I'm off to get an haircut pronto!
Nice catch!
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
If you can afford to rent equipment, get somw 120cm skis the first day, trade up to 130s the following day, 140s the third day, etc.

You'll be off and runnung from the start, and the slight increases in length shouldn't be too hard to adjust to. Sign up for daily lessons, too. Your instructor can help you decide if you are ready to get a longer ski.
Plus, that way you won't have to be seen in public on a pair of skiboards.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post
If you can afford to rent equipment, get somw 120cm skis the first day, trade up to 130s the following day, 140s the third day, etc.

You'll be off and runnung from the start, and the slight increases in length shouldn't be too hard to adjust to. Sign up for daily lessons, too. Your instructor can help you decide if you are ready to get a longer ski.
Yea, seriously do this. I shudder when I hear people speak of using snowblades, let alone acutally witnessing someone using them.

They are worse in every possible aspect. Ok, they are easier to turn, but they are far easier to get bounced around on too, at any speed.

You complained that 210 skis sucked 17 years ago, well skis have changed comepletly. Maybe just TRY some modern skis?
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks for the great posts :-)

To be honest, I'm not bothered by any embarrassment factor in using blades.

The blades I have, cost £100 nearly new and they are in great condition etc. The only thing that makes me wanna change to release bindings is the stuff I have read about possible increased risk of injury. The blades I have seen with fitted release bindings are (Salomon) £185 new and I'm happy to sell the ones I have if the release ones are going to be better in terms of reduced risk of injury. Also, I am a girl so dunno if that changes anything?

I see the disadvantages of blades though and have been thinking about the difficulties in powder. Does anyone have experience of skiboards? I have read that because they are wider, that they are more versatile?

I agree totally with Matt about the learning curve etc, and with Veeight. I just felt to enjoy ski's properly, would mean me spending a lot of time in lessons, when the alternative could be blading straight away. Maybe I am trying to run before I can walk?
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sndrz123 View Post
Maybe I am trying to run before I can walk?
Yes.

More than spending a lot of time in lessons, you would need to spend some time on the hill; not all of it would have to be under the watchful eye.

As a point of reference, my wife never put on a pair of downhill skis until she was in her 20s. Five years ago, in her late 30s, she had a total of fewer than 10 days. (On one of those days, she accused me of trying to kill her when I told her to straightline a short blue pitch leading to an uphill; she made it down fine, sat back on the uphill, and fell.)

Five years and roughly 70-80 days (half of them last season) later, she is now competent to handle basically any in-bounds terrain, although she's still not crazy about double-blacks. The breakthrough for her really happened the season before last, when she started to decide which trails to take based not on the pitch of the slope or whether it had bumps, but the quality of the snow -- in my mind, at least, that's when she became a skier.

Which is to say, you can do this if you want to. It will take work at the outset and, like anything else learned as an adult, will be frustrating for the simple reason that you have become accustomed to your own competence at most things. But the rewards are huge. It's hard to describe the feeling of arcing perfect turns down a 30 or 40 degree face, or floating on bottomless powder, or zipping among trees, but they await. At least on skis.
post #18 of 18
I have Kniessel Big Foot, a precusor to ski blades and I've used 120cm skis for two full days in a clinic for ski instructors. I like blading, it's fun, but it's limiting. If you are coming all the way from England to a ski resort in North America, it makes sense to ski (or snowboard). Blading can be another fun thing to do on snow, but it shouldn't be the only thing. Take the opportunity to learn a real sport. You can progress a lot in a week. Take group lessons (1 or 2 hours/day), it's not like you are spending all day listening to a pro flap his lips and doing drills. A good instructor can make the lesson fun and even have you skiing more than standing and listening. The clinic I took on short skis was more fun than just going out and trying them myself.

Not to brag, but I can rail on ski boards or short skis, snowbladers that haven't got good skiing skills tend to skitter down the hill. Skiing and ski lessons will make you a better blader!
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