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High DIN bindings for a sitski

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
So I'm a sitskier (any others around?) following a climbing accident a couple years ago and trying to race at the moment.

I spend most of my training on volkl race stock but would really like a fatter ski for those days when it dumps and training goes outta the window. I was thinking about getting a pair of volkl Gotama's but I'm not sure about bindings for them.

The thing is, with a sitski you NEVER want the ski to come out of the binding. Its attatched to a hunk of metal, not a breakable human leg, so there is no problem when crashing and if the ski does come off then Im pretty much screwed as I cant exactly walk down the hill.

Because we ski on just one ski, plus the extra weight of the sitski itself and all the other forces acting on a binding, I need a pretty high DIN to make sure I dont just pop out in an aggressive turn or on landing. Popping out of the binding, strapped into a hunk of metal halfway down a SG, or even "just" GS isnt fun, ever.

All my ski's are on either 20 or 30 DIN Marker bindings with the race plate, and I wouldnt even think about skiing on anything with a DIN lower than 18.

SO, my question is: Are there any high DIN bindings with a wide brake that would fit the Gotoma, or can I fit one of my Marker race bindings to the ski and get a wider brake arm for it. I've searched for a wide-brake binding and the highest rating I've found has been a 14, which makes me uncomfortable.

Thanks for any help or info.

Andy
post #2 of 28
If it's never going to come off, why do you need a wide-brake? I'd say just use the 30 DIN Marker.
post #3 of 28
Wide marker brakes can be fitted to your racing bindings. I have a pair of M18s to fit my sanouks (110 mm), you can get the brakes in size up to 130 mm.
post #4 of 28
Welcome to EpicSki!
Because you don't want to release the Marker high DIN bindings that you currently use will work perfectly (since those bindings are known for not releasing anyway ). You can very easily order a new set of wide brakes from any of a number of online (and probably local) shops that carry them.

Here are a few:
http://www.untracked.com/p210c82b54-...de_brakes.html
http://www.evogear.com/outlet/ski-bi...25mm-2007.aspx
http://www.spadout.com/store.php?stpr_id=5815

To my knowledge all Marker bindings from the 1100 on up have the same brake pattern slot so the 1100, 1200, 1400, 1600, 1800, 2000, and 3000 should all use the same brakes.

One question though (forgive my ignorance), if your ski never releases, why do you need brakes that are wider than the width of the ski? Just curious.

Later

GREG
post #5 of 28
I am always so amazed at those who sitski or ski with any other impairments, kudos to you!

I am curious though, why would you need a binding at all if the idea is not to let go? Why cant your seat simply be bolted to the ski?

FWIW, Tyrolia has a FF20 binding....who needs a 20 DIN is beyond me (maybe a sitskier ) but its out there. www.levelninesports.com had some.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Great info guys, thanks for the help.

I think I'll go with putting a pair of 2000's on the Gotama and fix them with a wider brake.

The reason I want to have a brake at all is because even though I dont WANT them to ever release, that doesn't mean they dont release every once in a while. I've managed to come out of the 3000 before now, and without the brake I would be left somewhere completely without a ski. Plus I'd feel pretty guilty if my unleashed ski decapitated some kid or something.
post #7 of 28
Back before we had ski brakes, we used run-away straps to fasten the ski to our boot. While there is a degree of hazard in having a detached ski windmilling around, it might actually be a decent alternative for you. Better than a ski brake, a leash would keep the ski within reach. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
post #8 of 28
Why even screw around with bindings.... just screw it directly to the ski. Problem solved.
post #9 of 28
I suspect the removable interface is needed for transport. Also at some point if there is going to be a mechanical failure in the connection, it might as well be a releasable binding as opposed to the ski or sitski.

Andy, I looked at your web site from your profile. That is some inspirational stuff you are doing.
Here is the race machine being discussed:

post #10 of 28
The mono-skiers I have skied with had a hole drilled all the way through the heel piece and a pin stuck through it to prevent any unwanted release. They still used a high-DIN binder because I don't think you'd want to come out at the toe either.

For those wondering why not just bolt on to the ski, I can think of a few reasons.

Transport
Easier ski tuning
Swapping skis

Maybe someone can think of another reason.
post #11 of 28
Selling the skis maybe.
Not breaking the ski if it does need to release for some reason.
Using a binding also gives all the advantages of a normal ski/plate/binding/boot interface.
post #12 of 28

Sitskiers rock!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SitSkiAndy View Post
So I'm a sitskier (any others around?) following a climbing accident a couple years ago and trying to race at the moment.

I spend most of my training on volkl race stock but would really like a fatter ski for those days when it dumps and training goes outta the window. I was thinking about getting a pair of volkl Gotama's but I'm not sure about bindings for them.

The thing is, with a sitski you NEVER want the ski to come out of the binding. Its attatched to a hunk of metal, not a breakable human leg, so there is no problem when crashing and if the ski does come off then Im pretty much screwed as I cant exactly walk down the hill.

Because we ski on just one ski, plus the extra weight of the sitski itself and all the other forces acting on a binding, I need a pretty high DIN to make sure I dont just pop out in an aggressive turn or on landing. Popping out of the binding, strapped into a hunk of metal halfway down a SG, or even "just" GS isnt fun, ever.

Andy
Andy, I have been volunteering with the Adaptive program here in NZ and it has been a real eye opener and great fun.

I have been considering this problem my self, having to do the lifting when my skier crashed and replaced a ski one or two times.

I ski on VIST Speedlock plates which are designed to lock a binding onto them (idea is that one can remove the bindings for travel and tuning and also use one binding between more than one set of skis)

http://www.vist.it/prodotti.dhtml?sr=19

and there is an adapter plate, designed for teleskiers (STLOCKTMK), which I have thought would be worth looking at.

If you click the 'download catalogue to view technical features' and scroll down to page 62.

I thought that the plate mounted to the ski foot would allow the ski to be fixed (ie the plate or the screws are going to have to give way before it is going to come off) when skiing but easily removable for tuning, storage and travel. It would also have the bonus of allowing fore and aft balance adjustments on the ski.

On the more conventional route one of the skis has two tabs on the foot which sit either side of the binding ie they stop any lateral movement so the foot will not twist out. They also have a pin throught the heel piece to stop vertical release.

I am really keen to try the adapter plate idea and I am going to try it with a friend's ski when we get back to the USA (he is training up at Winter Park).

I am going to see if VIST will lend me a plate and adapter in order to try the idea.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
The mono-skiers I have skied with had a hole drilled all the way through the heel piece and a pin stuck through it to prevent any unwanted release. They still used a high-DIN binder because I don't think you'd want to come out at the toe either.

For those wondering why not just bolt on to the ski, I can think of a few reasons.

Transport
Easier ski tuning
Swapping skis

Maybe someone can think of another reason.
That's the way we do it. Pinned that way if you want to you can change skis. No brakes. There also an interface mounting plate used made out of a hard plastic. I have never seen a binding release on a sit-ski. Bolting directly to the ski is not good. Sit-ski forces need to be channeled over a large area. Sit-skis apply much higher forced to the ski than an abled body person. Here's a couple of skiers I worked with.

post #14 of 28
Looks like levelninesports.com has Tyrolia FF20s (10-20 DIN) for $150, which is a pretty darned good deal for high DIN bindings in my book.
post #15 of 28
I still dont see why you cant atach a plate to the ski, an then use a set of pins to mount the sit ski to it. It would still allow for transport, and yet, would never release.

As far as ski performance goes, I see absolutly no benifit of ussing a binding. Think about it, all that bindings do is provide a way to attach a skier to the ski with some means of release ability...... There is no binding system out there that makes an impact on the skis performance, other than the mounting area of the binding on the ski, or the amount of lift... all of the system bindings are just a gimic to sell skis. I have yet to get a good explanation of exactly how a system binding improves ski flex from a single ski engineer......
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbakerskier View Post
I still dont see why you cant cold a plate to the ski, an then use a set of pins to mount the sit ski to it. It would still allow for transport, and yet, would never release.

As far as ski performance goes, I see absolutly no benifit of ussing a binding. Think about it, all that bindings do is provide a way to attach a skier to the ski with some means of release ability...... There is no binding system out there that makes an impact on the skis performance, other than the mounting area of the binding on the ski, or the amount of lift... all of the system bindings are just a gimic to sell skis. I have yet to get a good explanation of exactly how a system binding improves ski flex from a single ski engineer......
From the info presented here and what I know (granted it is limited) I am agreeing with you.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
For those wondering why not just bolt on to the ski, I can think of a few reasons.
Yeah, its definitely handy to use an easily removable coupling of some sort.

There are many beautifully designed sitskis that use bindings...given the investment of time/money these projects represent its hard to believe the designer would choose an off the shelf binding unless it made good sense.

I've actually had this wide brake problem before trying to mount a binder for a sitski customer...high DIN something or other can't remember which binding at the moment, but I remember brakes weren't available. Actually there was another one that had a ski so wide no brakes are available period. I think Greg is right about the Marker brakes being available (but stupidly expensive last I checked) and I think Cirquerider makes a good point about the leash. The leash would seem to have some benefits...other than being one more thing to take care of what is the disadvantage?
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Lots of input on this topic, thanks again guys.

At the moment I do prefer using a binding rather than bolting onto the ski directly, for a couple of reasons:

- Sheer convenience. Getting to the hill, unloading all my gear and then trying to make it close enough to the lift (negotiating snow in a wheelchair can be...............interesting) whilst carrying the sitski and a couple ski's on my lap. The added complication of then having to play about with pins and plates in the cold before I can get into the ski and try to make it to the lift in time for first chair makes it fairly unappealing. Maybe I'm just being lazy.

- Ease of Changing Ski's. Again it's a time and convenience thing, but at the moment I can get to the bottom, clip out of a binding and jump into another ski, without having to get out of the ski into my wheelchair to do so. With a plate I would have to get out of the sitski, turn it upside down so I could reach the plate and ski, play about with the pins again and get back in. I know that doesnt sound like much, but considering I cant move or control half of my body, we are probably talking about 30-40mins. Thats at least 2 runs. This is especially true on race days when I like to inspect and practice on my training ski before jumping into my race ready ski for the race itself and might only have a couple minutes to do so.

- The sitski 'boot'. The sitski I ski on, a Praschberger, has a larger aluminium boot for locking into to the binding if I wanted to go with the plate and pin method then I would need to get a new boot made. I see a couple problems with this, other than sourcing the material and expertise to make one:
- The boot also acts as the base stopper for my suspension and as the lock/unlock catch for the hinge that allows me to extend the sitski so I can get on and off chairs unaided. Going to just a plate and pin method probably means some kind of change to these systems too.
- The boot is also fairly high and gives me a nice amount of added height for increased angulation. I'm thinking that to fit pins I would have to loose some of that height in the boot and so loose the benefits of it.

All that being said, I am pretty interested in the concept and am definitely looking into things to try and work out a solution. I dont think it is something I'm going to really try out while I'm racing, but as a rec skier with just one ski then it is definitely a viable and sensible solution.

As it is with regard to my original post, I've just ordered my new Gotama's and a wide brake for my marker 20.0's. I had thought about using no brake and just tying a leash from the ski to the sitski, but really dont fancy the idea of a loose ski flapping around my head during a wipe out if it does come free.
post #19 of 28
I clueless about sit ski (I only know it's awesome !), so bear with me :
Why not use a monoski non releasable binding, like this one ?



Or a snowboard binding ?
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
[quote=philippeR;769250]I clueless about sit ski (I only know it's awesome !), so bear with me :
Why not use a monoski non releasable binding, like this one ?
QUOTE]

THAT, is an excellent question! To be completely honest, I just dont know.

I've only been in a sitski for 2 seasons (this will be my third) and in a wheelchair for just over 3 years now following a climbing accident. I wasnt really a skier before the accident so knew almost nothing about equipment. All I know is from what I have seen others doing and advice I have got from the fellow racers I train with (British and Canadian Disabled Ski Team Members), so I guess I have just followed the norm and accepted it as the way things have to be done.

I have no idea if these particular type of bindings would be strong enough for racing (anyone have any thoughts on that? problems with FIS?) but for rec skiing and everything else they seem like a great idea.

I really think I might order a pair and try them out, at the moment I have a pair of last seasons SL racetigers without bindings and I can use those on training runs to see how they hold up.
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Back before we had ski brakes, we used run-away straps to fasten the ski to our boot. While there is a degree of hazard in having a detached ski windmilling around, it might actually be a decent alternative for you. Better than a ski brake, a leash would keep the ski within reach. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
I was just about to say the same thing. They used to make a thing they nicknamed the bear trap binding. I think it was a Salomon 555.

Yes windmilling, sorry. Maybe use 2 straps fore and aft?
post #22 of 28
My feeling is that one more reason for having a real ski binding is to have a little bit of fore-aft play via the forward pressure tracks on the binding. It seem sthat if you just bolted or clamped everything in there with no rooom for movement at all, something would eventually break.
post #23 of 28
Just going to throw my 2 cents in, this is going to be only my second year volunteering at the sit ski program at Winter Park. They also use a normal binding with a hole drilled through the back with a pin in to keep the ski from coming off. I can't rememeber if they have brakes on the skis but the reason to keep the brake on would probably be to stay within ski area guidelines for a ski retention device. Also using a normal ski binding makes it much easier to swap out skis because you don't have to mount any special equipment on a new ski to get it to work, you can pick up just about any ski with a binding on it and use it on the monoski. There doesn't seem much of a reason for me to buy a really high DIN binding when a 30 second fix can lock just about any binding down.
post #24 of 28
Andy, I was looking for more info. on becoming involved with handicapped skiing. I'm a PT. Someone here sent a PM to T-square to give me more info. T-square is involved with Handicapped skiing. Perhaps send him a PM?
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure how to advise you best on getting involved, I guess it depends on what it is that you want to offer.

At the basic level, I'm pretty sure that your local or favorite hill/resort has a disabled ski program that offers lessons and will be grateful of any volunteers.

Disabled skiers come in so many shapes and sizes, and so their needs vary too. Helping could be as little as helping carry sitski equipment for the instructors or accompanying them for a run or two to help pick up the student if they fall etc.

Some disabled skiers may have graduated from needing full time instruction but still be in need of a helper on the slopes for whatever reason. Blind skiers may need a guide, some sitskiers may be able to ski well enough but are unable to get up after a fall or get on the chair-lift by themselves etc.
This is where I think volunteers are most valuable, when someone is able and wants to ski, but needs just a little help on the hill, but cant afford to have an instructor everytime they go skiing.
Touch base with your local ski school and see how you can help.

Another great way to help out in the USA is with the wounded warriors program which helps war veterans get back into sports again after injury. Programs like this are always in need of volunteers. I dont have much details on this, but it's fairly easy to find out more with the power of google.

Going a stage further is disabled racing and paralympic athletes. With skills as a PT maybe the USDST would be interested in any help. But there are so many ways anyone else can help too. The team will always need help, carrying kit, setting courses/fencing etc and especially when they are away from home on the race circuit.

Disabled skiing just doesnt garner the same interest, audience and sponsorship that able bodied skiing does, and many athletes are self funded. Trying to fund a ski seasons worth of coaching, travel to races and everything else can be a nightmare and so there is no chance of being able to hire someone to help out. Especially at some of the less than perfectly accessible hills, just having someone to carry a set of ski's can be a huge benefit.

I think the biggest way for people/clubs/hills to help the USDST would be to have a fundraising race or event, nothing huge just kinda adopt one of the athletes maybe and raise enough to get them a pair of ski's or a plane ticket to that race in austria that they wouldn't be able to afford otherwise.

I think you can also keep this at the local level and raise money to pay for a few hours of instruction for someone who has never been on snow before.

Obviously if you do get someone on the USDST some ski's can you really mess up the edges on them so I might have a chance of beating them, that would be great, thanks.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SitSkiAndy View Post
Obviously if you do get someone on the USDST some ski's can you really mess up the edges on them so I might have a chance of beating them, that would be great, thanks.
You'll need to speak to Alpinord in our Ski Tuning and Maintenance Department. He has been known to intentionally etch grooves into ski bases, so, he's your man. Ask him about Klister wax for your competitor's glide.
post #27 of 28
Andy, I have already e-mailed both the wounded warriors and the skiing program at Silver Creek, WV (next to Snowshoe, WV). I haven't heard anything from either of them. I am indeed willing to volunteer some time, (hopefully get a free lift ticket or something). I do have quite a lot to learn. I was hoping that by being a PT and a good skier, and MTBer, (I guess you'll just have to take my word for it at this point) these groups would jump at the chance of getting me involved. I sent you an e-mail at your web-site by the way. I guess I'll contact them again. By the way some of the equipment looks awesome, do they let the volunteers try it out?
post #28 of 28
noneed for releaseable binding, jsut attach the sled directly to a ski or lock out a high din all metal binding.

both methods will be your best option and its what every serious sit skier does that I have skied with.

curious what level spinal injury? My dad's a C7.....
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