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the dark side

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
After 8 years of strictly tele, i am considering going to the dark side and buying some training heels for next year.

An old othopedist told me to only use turntable heels back when i was racing due to some old knee injuries. Anyone still making them? or has technology made them obsolete?

I know i need a wide boot, and prefer a soft flexing one. I tried out a buddies TNC comps last year and they were annoyingly stiff, i think so long in tele boots has made me used to the softer boots than what i raced on as a kid. Anyone know a good wide, soft flexing, high performance boot?

As for skiis,i want something bigger and badder than my 198 G41's. The ski that has my interest the most right now is the Stockli Asteroid 201. Anyone skiied this bad boy? How are Stockli's in general, i've heard there are durability issues? Anyone make a similar ski?

So about my skiing style, I only ski bumps when they are in the way, tend to jump and straightline a bit, but not too crazy. Usually make big fast GS turns in any conditions, and tend to rely on power rather than finesse. I ski the ridge at Briger a bit, and i know a huge ski isn't the best up there, but i don't head for the really narrow stuff and will usually straighline anything i can't turn in. I will definitely stick to teles for the bc, but am getting lazy and old so i want the option of what gear to choose.

Free your heels, poke your eyes out!
post #2 of 40
Thread Starter 
i guess i should have mentioned i feel the same way about groomer as i do about moguls, only when it gets in the way! or just for something to do, run a few high speed laps on a bulletproof day.

The majority of my skiing is powder or crud, so i prefer a big fast fat ski.

But thanks for the input.

Free your heels, poke your eyes out!
post #3 of 40
You must have heard the new saying going around

Lock your heels and ski for real!!

Look, Marker and Rossignol(Geze) all put out turntable style bindings. I don't know if they share the 'anatomical pivot point' of the old ones. Many bindings, (not all, however) do feature a diagonal, or upward/twisting release from toe and heel.

Skis? Head Supercross Ti 185 (Mid-Fat Shape/AllTerrain Ski)
If you want a bigger, badder feel, the Monster Cross (Big Mountain Ski) is the baddest of them all. Go for the 180

I am 6'5"/220, skiing the Monster 190 and it is way big. I wish I would have gone for the 180. Speed and junk are a regular part of my (skiing)diet. My primary all mountain ski is a 184 and never lacks for stability. I spent some time on a 177 last year, it rocked too. If you are in doubt, demo some shorter new boards, they really are better.

Good Luck
post #4 of 40
Roto, you don't even know what you are talking about. First of all the Monstercross is made in a 193, not a 190 and I'm quite a bit smaller than you are and have no problems at all riding them. I know girls that ride the 180 and wish they would have gone longer.

Ridgehiker, the 201 is a good board but I too have heard of some durability problems. The new XXX is a 123 tip and you can get them in a 195. Of course becasue they are made by Rossi they will self destruct in about 30 days. There are still a few pairs of 200 FFL's floating around. Another ski to consider would be the Nordica FF. The only thing I can say about those is butter. Fischer already has out their new 105, which is 135-105-115 in a 190. 195 launchers might as well be made for 8 year old girls so they are automatically ruled out. The ak rocket would have been a good ski but the tail is too soft, and they are being phased out because of high production costs. The 10ex in a 198 is a sweet ski, but if you get those get last years becasue the new ones are softer. The new beta ride twin is a super fat but based somewhat on the powder ride and has durability issues right and left. BIG's are too small and Volants delam. So I guess after all of this typing my answer to your question would be to go for either the Fischer, Head or the Stockli. The 200 FFL in a 240 r.a. would be the ultimate though, if you could find one....

If you sell out and go short, you will only find yourself modeling your PSIA stretch pants with Roto in the lodge. Go big.
post #5 of 40
What's 3 cm except the size of your manliness. I don't have problems skiing them. The 180 is just better. More versatile. No less stable in any way. But you know better anyway... the 190(3) is great where there are no trees...

I bow to your radness.
post #6 of 40
"Big" and "long" have little to do with each other these days.

I have some Dynastar Big's that at 198 may have more surface area than anything else out there. (Maybe the Atomic Powder Pluses are close, but they are not made as long). They have more surface area than my old 225 DH racing boards! I think probably the mid-fats even in around a 185 or so have as much surface area as a SG/DH ski.
post #7 of 40
>>If you sell out and go short, you will only find yourself modeling your PSIA stretch pants with Roto in the lodge. Go big.<<

That seems a bit reversed. The classic 'poser' type these days (tight pants, "sperm turner", etc) is the one more likely to think that length is a measurement of studliness (no . . . I mean SKI length you all, get your mind out of the gutter!).
post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 
MT, funny, we both ski bridger and both think short skiis still suck!

I think for skiis i will probably have to pick up another pair of G41's

I guess my main problem is finding boots. Anyone know a good high performance soft flexing boot in that runs wide??
post #9 of 40
Hey, I look good in strech pants!!

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...
post #10 of 40
Hmmm... Now there's a thought!
post #11 of 40
I think this was discussed on a different thread but....people hanging on to ski length might as well ski barrel staves. I too, raced on 223cm DH boards, 205 SL., and incrementally have moved down since '93. Most retro-hacks out there, think they are maintaining the sport's pure image by staying long...fact is, they have never probably finished a turn, parking and arcing bananas or rebounding/pivoting the steeps. What a waste of good technology in the interest of misplaced overcompensation.
Yea, Todd, my shaped quiver runs 16?(SL) to 188, and I think the latter eats more wax than the old DH's did! They don't get it...there is as much edge on a 180 shaped as a 190 (+or-).
post #12 of 40
Yeah Robin, I must not be able to finish a turn because I like long fat boards. If you read my post more carefully, you would notice that I make absolutely no mention of of 223 DH boards or 205 SL boards. What I think is one of the best big mountain skis is the Igneous FFL 200cm 125-105-115 in a 240 progressive race flex. If you think you can hang on your 180's then I invite you to come make a few runs this season.
post #13 of 40
I don't really make judgements on people based on adherence to length. Most people would just benefit from going shorter. It wasn't until this season that I went sub 190 for real myself. I feel kinda foolish it took me so *long*. The big Monsters I have are what sold me on Head gear, @ Whistler for several days with plenty of new to play in. They are great for Nobising around on Big, long, open mountains. If that is what you get to do every day, lucky you. I don't expect anyone to take advice without reasearch themselves.

Try before you buy. There is no reason not to with the demo opportunities out there. No matter how you get a hold of gear, there is an easy way to try it first.

Any good shop has a demo program that applies demo costs to purchase price for the retail dependent.

Demo days abound all around.

On-mountain reps are only too happy to get people out on gear.

Rental shops are increasingly stocking up on High performance demos (they also unload a lot if it for cheap at the end of the season).
post #14 of 40
Hey MT, can I be a pro now that you've heard of me? (heh heh)

Tell me more about the Linkens. I skied the Skyhoys for awhile but have gone back to cables for a more free foot feeling, though I miss the bomber hold/durability factor(I don't miss getting poked in the coccyx).

A friend of mine manufactures his own UTB (Ultimate Telemark Binding). It was actually the first rigid bail/ecased spring design(that I know of). The whole affair detaches from a plate under the toe and provides a decent crampon-like device when not on the ski. It's good, but I'm always up for something better.
post #15 of 40
Oh...I suppose I could probably "hang", MT! Read your bio, I think "hanging" is eminently doable! I will grant you at your size and weight, you are going to need a little more there, there...but I only take out the 188 F1's at pacesetters. I seem to get around (I am 5'10, 155lb) on 178cm Vertigos enough to make me smile!
post #16 of 40
if you want something BIGGER...try the Atomic HeliStar I think it's the biggest ski out on the market

post #17 of 40
I have listened to the intructors rave on and on about the benefits of the short carving ski and going short on all skis. I also hear you say that in order to do this alignment is critical, balance is critical....

Could it be that for the type of skiing some of us do that a long fat board is the most forgiving ski we could use? Why ski something that requires dead on balance and is critical of any misalignment? I'm sure you choose it for performance and put in many hours of practice on them. I choose the more forgiving longer ski.

Ridgehiker, look into AT boots and bindings, then you could still bolt off for a hike if inbounds is bad and you didn't load the tele gear.

I'm planning on dumping my alpine setup for an AT setup this fall. Scarpa laser or denali, frithcis and the 10ex (190 or 198). I'm still undecided on the length. I tried the scarpa lazers last year and they were definatly softer and more comfortable than my regular boots. Took a little getting used to but they skied fine. The laser seems to be the boot of choice for serious chuting. I've also seen a few patrolman using the denali with normal bindings.

The only question is the durability of the fritchi. Some of my friends think I will blow them apart before the year is over. We'll see. I have heard rumors fritchi is going to introduce a beefier AT binding with a din up to 14 this fall. The telemark pyrennes site listed in another thread has great prices on AT gear.

I also tried the 190ish head monster and whatever the length listed is it just a tad shorter then the 10 ex 198. I found it very manueverable in and out of the trees and used it to decide the the 200ffl wouldn't be too big for me.

It seems to me that the current length peer pressure is to go short. I caught more flack on the chair for using long skis this year than I ever did when using a 180 back when real men skied 205's. My decision to go with the longer length on the FFL was purely a surface area thing. The 200 FFL gives me a similar wght/in^2 to someone skiing the XXX in a 188.

Anyway, this is turning into the same old argument - long short skid carve you cant ski work on your technique ad naseum. If only we (and I'm referring to we as the misguided skiers using long skis) would follow bobs rules and spend x% of time on the groomers, x% on terrain were comfotable with......maybe then we will have the skills to finish a turn and ski a short ski. Until then I will remain skill less in SLC.
post #18 of 40
Roto, how do you know that I ski linkens? As far as the way they ski, nothing compares. The torsional rigidity makes up for any slop in the boots. New improvements have been made on the bindings that will be avaliable to the public in the fall. During the initial production run the cloes were maufactured out of some type of alloy. This worked fine in europe because a taller stance is more common there than in the U.S. The cloes have now been replaced with brass. Also, new springs are in the works, the old ones had a travle of about 32mm or so and the new ones have a travel somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-38. They also have less coils so the preload can be set even higher. At the end of the season snow build up was common in certain conditions. This problem has been taken care of by a new polished plate and a new shim configuration. The old bindings can easily be retrofited by trimming the shim. As far as the skyhoy, throw them away. That also goes for all cable bindings, especially that damn HH. As far as the rigid cable attatchment on the UTB Kenny Atkin was actually the first person to make a pair of those over three years ago.

Robin, I gaurantee you can't hang. How's the Bogner treating you these days?
post #19 of 40
A fellow named Armand up here came out with the UTBs about that period of time as well. Thanks for the info on the Linkens. They look burly. You suggested them to someone on an old post. So they are really new, not available to the public yet? I like to ski tall, but just like alpine stance width find purpose for varied tele stances.

Do you know anything about Hammerheads? Is it just another Pit Bull? I have only seen pictures of it. From what I remember it looks like a front compression spring/yoke style binder with a sensitive looking roller system under each side of the foot. I already got rid of the Skyhoy. Maybe my tall stance is related to the heelpiece lever on those.
post #20 of 40

Comments about alignment and balance are angled toward getting the absolute most out of the equipment. In my opinion it is no less critical on any kind of ski than another.
As far as forgivingness, skis are becoming more 'niche' oriented. Vastly different lengths are appropriate in various models of different skis for the same person. I certainly wouldn't suggest a 155 slalom (like the Norwegian National Team is reputed to be training on) skis to someone who never skis groomers. If someone skis the niche the skis were built for they should work well. They will work better than well if sized appropriately.

Since ski designs are going through such an amazing revolution it is in someone's own best interest to check out what really is best rather than stick with what used to work.

I have experienced the Big Mountain niche on my Monsters and they were so good I was immediately hooked.

*Most* lift served terrain does not fall into the Big Mountain category.

*Most* mortals do not ski big mountains in the fall-line like the the biggies are built to do.

Since getting on the 193s I have skied the 180s several times and not found them lacking in any way in the Arena. I have found them significantly more user friendly in the confines of average lift served terrain.

Again. DON'T take my word for it without first trying it yourself.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...
post #21 of 40
The Linknes are avaliable to the public right now. All of the mods won't be major production until the fall though. If you want a pair, or want to place an order for the newest version send this guy an email keatkin@aol.com. He is in charge of the whole U.S. show and can ship the bindings directly instead of ordering them from Narvik.

As far as the HH goes it is basically just another pitbull with dual cables and a longer spring. Some people like them, but all of the test pairs have been broken. If you have followed any developments in the Rainey camp you will know that they still have not figured out how to make a superloop that does not break. They have been trying to fix these since the early 90's and still don't have the answer.

The best part about the Linken has to be the step in though. Makes for incredible convineance. I broke a few cloes early on, but nothing since the brass has been out. I did bend one of the bars that the preload spring rides on, however it's noteworthy that the same accident also did in a boeri storm and a pair of poles.....

I am familiar with the UTB, but it's still a cable binder, and will have all of the same problems that they have. Until a new attatchment system and/or the duckbill is eliminated I think that a plate binding is the way to go. The Voile plates bindings have been out for some time, but don't seem to work correctly, 7TM and Julius Silvenius also make plate bindings, but are in pre- productions stages mostly, and only had a few euro testers on them. Bomber is making a new binding but weight issues are holding it back. It has some potential though. Peak Rigs makes a new binder but it utilizes drop in pins and the old school screw in cable of the Voile classic. Doesn't look too sturdy. The G3 boys have out some new cartridges called the world cup that are suposidely 25-35% stiffer than the old race cartridge. Rotefella and voile both are using the new solid cable attatchment similar to the UTB. And of course BD is still making wimpy products ate the Rotefella factory.

So when it really comes down to it you need some Linkens. The neutral feel takes a few runs to get used to because it takes no apparent forward pressure to initiate a turn. With the plate though, you don't feel the need to change your rear foot weighting with different snow conditions. The only condition the binder does not excell in is breakable crust, but of course your main options here are traverse turns or going straight. If you spend much time making P-turns you will also see a big differance. With cables there is a micro second of unweighting inbetween turns where the heel is lifted airborne from the heel piece. With the Linken there is virtually no heel drop in the first place. Also, the shim has small fins in it, and the heel pice that slides on the plate has a small cut out area that the fins fit into. This increases control on P-turns tremendously. One more thing, the plate is notched so that the heel pice can be moved back at 1/2 cm incriments. They are labeled, and this makes adjusting the bindings for different boot sizes about a 3 second affair. They also come off easily so that the skis are unusable, makes for a good theft deturrent at lunch...
post #22 of 40
Hey Coffee Shop (Roto is from Seattle),

I ski on those SuperCross Ti's too! Love 'em! I take 'em everywhere! Had a 180 last year, but by the end of the year my skills got so much better...the 180 was too short for SCSA - I'm 6'2", 200 (getting to 195). Getting the same exact ski in the 190 for this year. Have you seen the new ones? The new graphics are really neato. Much better than the burnt orange...

later -
post #23 of 40

"So young, so angry. Damn that rap music".

You remind me of me a while back. Give it up pal, nice people here. Don't be coming round with your "you can't hang" crap. Or, SCSA will come looking for you...

ha ha ha.
post #24 of 40
MT - How many days have you spent skiing the Hammerheads? I'd be interested to hear what your hands on skiing experience was with these bindings.

How could you possibly know that all the Hammerhead test binders have broken? I can assure you that isn't the case!

And the people who I know who have actually skied both the Pitbull and HH don't see any similarities in how those bindings ski. In fact, they have also skied the Linkens and prefer the Hammerhead to the Linkens. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by mary (edited June 30, 2001).]</FONT>
post #25 of 40
SCSA, I'm going to come looking for your ass next time I come to CO.

Mary, I don't have that many days on the HH, but enought to form a pretty solid opinion. The spring is longer than the old pitbull, so anyone except a super low rider won't be able to bottom them out. The rollers have three positions, and each one has a different level of heel tension. The first two are too loose for any skiing at moderate to high speeds. The third position is just right. The bindings do have great heel return, but the positive attributes stop there. The durability is terrible. The way the cables bend underfoot in an "S" shape tends to break them all of the time. Some people say that they have great torsional stability and they enable you to manipulate the edges of the ski quite well. This statement might be true compared to other cable bindings, but they do not hold a candle to a plate binding. If you ever have the two side by side, do a simple experiment. Take the plate and move it right to left. The whole ski moves from edge to edge. Now take the cable and do that. The only thing that happens is the cables bend in your hands. That would sure lead a rational thinking person to come to the conclusion that the plate (read linken) has more torsional rigidity. This feature is something that has been lacking in tele bindings since day one. This combined with the easy of adjustment and step in leave the HH as mearly being a competent cable binding and the Linken as the king of the hill.
post #26 of 40
As far as the HH and the pitbull not skiing similar, those people need to get back on their medication. Take a look at the two and you will see that they are the exact same principle. The whole concept of both of them is simply heel return. It did not work a few years ago, and it doesn't seem to be working all that well right now.

All of the original test bindings broke. This was something like 20 pair. There was a second beta run of 300 hundred that was released mid-season. These too had quite a high rate of cable failure, and many were sent back because of other durability issues. I said this before, but you still see all types of complaints about the SL's breaking and Rainey has been working on that binding for years. This does not do much for instilling confidence in their ability to manufacture a technically sound and durable binding.

The only person I know of who has skied the HH and the Linken, and prefers the HH is JL over at ttips.
post #27 of 40
Is MT going to drag us all back into the "I can ski better than you can . . .nah nah nah" Stuff?! Take it to RSA, we are trying to have a little more brotherly love around there these days!

There is somebody better than ALL of us! And interestingly enough, the better they are - the less you tend you hear them bragging about it!

Lets just have fun!
post #28 of 40
In Seattle as opposed to from...
I don't have the supercross, but have skied the 180 and 5.
I didn't spend enough time on either to judge them against each other. I had already skied the Monster Cross for multiple days. I hooked up with a guy who I knew in college who has been on the free ski comp tour. He showed me around the Whistler he knows. Puckered me up real good a couple times. The Monsters never let up. Came shining through. One thing I really like about the Monster Cross is they are not just powder boards. They are significantly stiffer than the other biggies I have skied. The Supercross never had a chance.

I have found 190s a bit long for groomed carving applications though I like them for charging around. With the exception of Big Mtn boards I have found shaped 180s come up a tad short for me(some more than others) when I charge around the hill like I like to do. Though they excel at groomed carving, teaching situations and demos.

Keep in mind these are just thoughts because these thoughts are possible today. I cut my teeth doing it on what I had.

A 185ish midfat or all mountain board seems ideal for me as an all-around decent ride. I like having three pairs.

I skied several of the new Heads in the latter part of the season. They ski as much better as they look different. I don't know if you saw my physical stats in another post, so if you want them for comparison:

6'5".220. I hesitate to categorize my skills, as many people who do exaggerate slightly at least. I don't know If I am exempt fom this generalization or not. It is easy to mistake the feelings skiing dishes out as performance. I'll just tell you what I like.
All Terrain All Conditions. I like to go fast. I like air too, but generally don't go huge.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Roto (edited June 30, 2001).]</FONT>
post #29 of 40
MT - thanks for the clarification of the "test run" thing. I thought you were refering to the "beta" ones. Sorry!

FWIW, Mitch also prefers the Hammerhead. As for me, I'd love to try the Linken. And I only have 4 days on the Hammerheads and they were all soft snow days at a resort, and no tours on them. It is by far the best binding I've skied but there is so much going on with bindings these days that I might change my mind tomorrow.

You do know that Russ is trying out different cables on the Hammerhead, right? Cable fray is no surprise to him. I assume he is trying to pinpoint which cable will actually work the best but still keep the binding costs (and weight?) down. I'm grateful that he is bothering to do that and won't fault him for that, it is part of the beta research process.

I'm glad Linken has been able to figure out their various problems too. It's cool to see some energy going into different binding ideas.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts/opinions.

Ridgehiker, I hope someone can actually answer your original question!
post #30 of 40
MT...do a little research on the people you challenge.
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