I am getting back into skiing after several years absence raising two young boys (who are ready to hit the mountain themselves). Here's my problem/dilemma. In 1983 I had a total left knee recontruction (ACL and Cartilage), and I have always since worn a brace for soccer, basketball, and water and snow skiiing. I'd say I'm a strong level 7 skier maybe low level 8 (can ski everything comfortably except the steep bowls with those mongo tear drop moguls--of which Oregon west side has lots--although I can get down them--I'm probably in your way when I do so). I love bumps, and am most comfortable on challenging blue runs and easier black diamonds, and can ski both types of runs aggressively. I turn a lot, but I don't tend to ski fast (I turn a lot to control speed). I'm 43 years old, 6'2", and 225 pounds (fatherhood and a wife who loves to cook did that--coupled with a lack of self-control). Because of my knee, I've always set my bindings really light to guarantee release. Having confidence in knowing I'll release mentally allows me to ski more aggressively and push the envelope a little more. However, I tend to hop out of my bindings quite a bit, especially in the moguls or if I catch an edge in the steeps and try to power out of and recover from an impending fall. I just purchased some Dynastar 178 skicross 9 skis which came with Look NX-11 bindings. I purchased Nordica Beast 10 (80 flex) boots which fit like a glove--kind of flexy, but my thought was that little extra flex could possibly absorb some knee torque in a forward twisting fall (I've read the threads here about boot flex and note most of you are in favor of 100-110 flex index boots). Anyway, when I went to get the bindings mounted at a local ski shop, I was told that they were required to set my bindings in light of my weight and ski ability and could not deviate for liability reasons. So after this long introduction, here're my questions: (1) Should I invest in a better/different binding or is the Look NX-11 a good safe and appropriate binding for me--if you recommend a different binding, what do you recommend?? I want a binding I know will release when needed; (2) How should I set the bindings in terms of settings? It's hard to find a technician willing to accomodate my knee recontruction needs and desire to have my bindings set on the lower end of the scale. Any comments would be most appreciated. Michael Smith, Salem, Oregon. P.S. That stand against the wall in a squat exercise that someone recommended on this site is awesome for quadracep endurance--it'll do wonders for endurance while descending a mountain in the summer, too. Thank you. P.P.S. we're off to some good deep snow fall this year on the west coast. Mt. Bachelor should be stunning in 2007.
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12/8/06 at 10:44am