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free vs system bindings

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just bought a pair of watea 84's. Seems like people prefer to mount a free binding on them. But I have a pair of Marker Comp 1400 Piston controls from about 2 years ago that I picked up cheap. You can turn the piston off and on, not the kind that screw to the ski in front of the binding.

Should I mount these or will I be happier buying a free binding? I bought the 84's b/c I wanteed a versatile ski. I like to hit off piste and bumps etc, but I also tend to ski a lot with family and friends who like to stay on the groomers. I figured the 84's would let me be happy enough on the groomers and give me the freedom to sneak off for some 'real' skiing.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated! thanks
post #2 of 16
My personal thoughts about Marker aside...the Comp 1400 Piston is heavy, very heavy. While weight is not a huge issue it can fatigue your legs a little quicker than a lighter binding. You will notice the weight most carrying the skis. But, then again, if you're carrying them you aren't using them. Personally, I'd look into something lighter...Salomon Z12, something that gives your better control of the ski Look PX12
post #3 of 16
Get the z12, and send the Comp 14s to me; I need a pair for some GS skis and I need more weight.
post #4 of 16
Both the bulk of that binding, and the questionable effect of the piston, make me think it's not right for the Watea 84. It's a very light, fun, energetic ski. I'd go with a simpler, lighter binding. Save the 1400s for a groomer zoomer ski.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have the 1400's on a pair of RC4's and they are definitely my groomer zoomers so I guess i will just keep that set up for when I'm staying on the groomers and get something different for my wateas.

I have a pair of MRR's with the select control feature, but based on previous responses I'm guessing those would also not be a great match...(and from what I've read around here people seem to have some strong opinions on MRR's good and bad)

I've usually bought higher DIN bindings b/c I usually set my bindings around 11. I was taught back in the day that a 12 DIN binding set on 11 would wear out the spring quicker. Any truth to that? If not I'm thinking of the LD12, otherwise I'll jump up to the X14 (I know Fischer and Tyrolias are basically the same).

Maybe I don't need the DIN so high on my wateas anyway? I'm 6 ft, 215 lbs, 327 boot and like to ski pretty fast, but I've noticed I'm less aggressive as I'm getting a little older.
post #6 of 16
Agree that the 1400's are heavy, but have found that the on/off feature on a pair of 1300's made a small but significant diff on a pair of pow skis that I needed to handle groomed once in a while. Real issue is your intent. If you want to dampen your Wateas and make them a bit happier on hardpack at speed, hard to go wrong with the price on your 1400's. But if you're getting them primarily for soft snow and powder, then suggest a flat mounted with some beef; Look, Sollie, and Head all make competitive models.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks beyond. I guess that was my original thinking with the 1400's. I still plan on using my wateas on a fair amount of hard pack, probably 50/50.
post #8 of 16
Springs wear out based on dynamic cycles. For the overwhelmingly static use they undergo in ski bindings, they should outlast all of us. I probably wouldn't run a DIN 12 binding at 12 because you're at the end of the limit (or at least be sure to have it release-tested), but 11 is probably OK.

At 6'1 195lbs with a 325mm boot, the chart puts me at DIN of 8. I can't say I have had any pre-release issues there. During the one recent release I had, the consensus is that the bindings did exactly what they were supposed to, and probably kept me from shearing off my leg at the shin!

BTW, I wouldn't expect a binding damper to really improve the character of the Wateas on hardpack. When they do become grabby/chattery on real hard snow, the issue seems to be at the tips and tails (which are soft). Damping the resultant vibrations in the binding area probably wont' be super effective. On skis with a more even flex, maybe so. I did have 1200 piston bindings on a pair of K2 Axis a few years back, and honestly couldn't tell much difference in either position. In fact, I would sometimes ski one ski off and the other on to test it. If there was a difference, it was minimal. Anyway, I wouldn't buy the Wateas (which excel as a light, snappy powder and soft snow ski) and then try to improve their hard snow performance with binding damper claptrap, it kind of misses the point of the skis.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks 219, you're exactly hitting my thinking. That had been my original thought, but I already have a groomer ski (RC4) and it's great for that but is absolutely useless off piste, and not much fun in bumps and crud.

I am going to go with a flat mount on my wateas and just enjoy going a little slower on the groomed, but not have to avoid or dislike venturing off into the bumps and bowls.

Of course, now that I've discoverd this site, perhaps I'll have some people to meet up with on my next 'family' trip and can leave the slow pokes on the front side and go hit some better terrain...
post #10 of 16
You may not have to slow down on the Wateas much at all. The only time I could get them to balk at me was when skiing a little sloppy (such as getting sideways on hardpack during a hockey stop). On a good corduroy surface though, they rip just fine. And on minor hardpack/ice they are manageable if you ski cleanly, they just sound a little more rattly than a real good stiff/damped hardpack ski. I took them down a groomed 45-50 deg slope at Alta, that had gone through a minor thaw/freeze cycle no less, and the 84s did surprisingly well. There was just a teeny bit of chatter if I held on to a turn too long, but otherwise they gripped very well and handled the speed just fine.
post #11 of 16
go free and flat i ski as fast as anyone i know at almost 200 and the Watea is just fine at speed.

why make a light ski heavy?
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for all the help. I went flat with my wateas and left my 1400's for when I know it will be hardpack all day.

Can't wait for next season!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Get the z12, and send the Comp 14s to me; I need a pair for some GS skis and I need more weight.
Hey ghost, got anything worth swapping these for? They're been skied about 5 days.
post #14 of 16
Nothing anyone would likely want.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
You may not have to slow down on the Wateas much at all. The only time I could get them to balk at me was when skiing a little sloppy (such as getting sideways on hardpack during a hockey stop). On a good corduroy surface though, they rip just fine. And on minor hardpack/ice they are manageable if you ski cleanly, they just sound a little more rattly than a real good stiff/damped hardpack ski. I took them down a groomed 45-50 deg slope at Alta, that had gone through a minor thaw/freeze cycle no less, and the 84s did surprisingly well. There was just a teeny bit of chatter if I held on to a turn too long, but otherwise they gripped very well and handled the speed just fine.
where is there any slope let alone a groomer that 45-50 degrees at alta. FYI high boy is between 40-45 degrees.
post #16 of 16
I mis-spoke, should have referred to my old thread here:

http://forums.epicski.com/showpost.p...4&postcount=13

Race course is the steepest groomed trail I skied there @ 40 deg (per topo maps, see http://3dskimaps.com/alta/). It was only groomed one day out of all the days I was there this season. I bet if you ask me next season, I will inflate it to 65 deg by then! I do think parts of Alf's hit 45-50 deg for real, but not groomed of course.
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