Holes in race courses that create very sharp force transients along with large deflections of the ski. Really sealed the deal for me.
Potential energy in a spring is given by:
We can increase the rate, k, and still not be able to store the energy that a binding with increased displacement, x, can store. Oh, and increasing k (turning the setting screw up) couples that violent hole in the snow much more stiffly to the bones in your leg. Sounds like a good time, eh?
There are also secondary mechanical issues I've experienced. For instance, any slightly off balance situation that causes ski to camber and heel to pull, worse in softer skis, big problem for me with Markers and Salomons....I've come out of both of them just riding whoops on traverses with settings around 12...not a problem on plated skis.
This is all in relation to high end Markers. God help you if you find yourself skiing something with the Compact heel and Biotech toe. I took a really nice digger at an on-snow a couple years ago due to that crap. Skied into some frozen moonscape straightlining a runout and found myself trying to run on ski boots. The system binding paradigm has made a lot of otherwise nice lower cost skis sort of useless for aggressive skiers that aren't super graceful. Like I've said, some people can ski any binding at any setting with no problem...I don't have that superior balance and technique.
Now you have me interested... Is there actually a study of some sort out there that compares the elastic travel of different brands of binding? That would definitely be interesting to learn about.
That is the argument I've heard a bunch of times.... that Look and Salomon toe pieces have more elastic travel, and will re-center rather than release from a sudden shock. That is the theory, correct? Do you know the specific figures, ie. mm of lateral displacement before the "point of no return?" I have always wondered what the "elastic travel" claim was based on.
(edit: I think we can basically limit the discussion to toe pieces.... I don't think anyone has any problems with ANY brand of heelpiece, correct?)