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Different Bindings’ Effect on Skis; Which To Use?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
First time caller, long-time lurker through the archives. Please bear with my long-windedness.

I recently bought some virtually new 181 K2 Axis X skis mounted with Marker 1300 Piston bindings for an excellent price on craigslist.com. Having then read the anecdotal (and disputed) evidence of Marker issues in the archives, I also just got new Look P12 Pivot demos on e-bay since they’re an endangered species, and have a set of Marker M1 SC Titaniums with MRR-style turntable heels in excellent condition on my old straights. So I’m considering a binding change. Yes, the M1s are still indemnified.

My questions: 1. How will any of these bindings affect the feel of these lovely skis?

2. Which would you use if you were me?

Both Markers have the capability of a floating toe, so ski flex can be unimpeded; whereas the Looks would, of course, be mounted conventionally, but they allow forward/aft adjustment on the demo plates. The M1s are noticeably hard to enter, while Looks are known for easy entry in difficult situations, even if they don’t make the desired “snap.” My pair of 1300 pistons don’t seem to have much/any of the slop that was mentioned in this 2005 thread, “How bad are Markers” unlike the 12.0 Pistons I just put on my son’s fresh-from-the-wrapper 174 Axis X’s.

About me: I’m 6’1”, 170 lbs, 58, and have skied since I was 12, including 7 years of teaching in my 20’s at Winter Park and then-new Mary Jane. I haven’t downhill-skied much for the last 8 years (my once-ski bum wife now has a fear of heights, so we get our winter kicks together doing XC). But now that my kids are near-adults, I enjoy DH’ing with them, so I decided to find some of those K2 skis I most enjoyed as a demo several years ago.

As an instructor I was pretty good (Level 8-9) although I never embraced the then-preferred style of locked knees and feet. My ski reflexes have since eroded with age and lack of practice, but those Axis X’s make me feel more competent then I deserve. On them I really enjoy linked small-to-medium turns on groomed and crud, the rare fresh snow day here in the PNW, and once again bumps and steeps, although skied with Level 7-8 pace and style. It is very unlikely that I’ll get many deep powder days, but I hope to get back to Colorado for a few more days before I’m done. I’m strictly an in-bounds, feet near the ground kinda guy, and high speed doesn’t do much for me anymore.

I used Look Gran Prix toes and N77 heels when they were a new thing and throughout my instructor years, until they were replaced with Marker M46s and then the M1s. I ski at low DIN settings (6 or so) and have yet to experience the dreaded pre-release or any other problems with a binding. I think I’m fairly sensitive to ski feel differences - the Selective Control variations on those M1s were very obvious to me mounted on straight Volkl Explosiv RS SL’s, and I can still dredge up a few instructor tricks. I’ve liked every one of those bindings, and the 1300 Pistons seem quite nice and solid, if a bit heavier then the predecessors.

Probably WAAAY too much information, but most of it seems pertinent to my questions.
post #2 of 2
I had a pair of Axis X with Marker 1200 piston bindings, and they were one of the nicest all-around forgiving skis I have owned. Unless you have a good reason to switch the bindings, I would just leave them be. I thought the 1200 pistons were pretty solid.
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