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Contrary to popular belief.....

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Last fall I mounted some Duke bindings on my old Gotomas(black with the big Buddha on the tails). The stack height as quite a bit taller than the bindings I took off. I noticed that the Goats held an edge much better on groomers. So, I mounted my Rossi FKS bindings with a tall lifter plate on my new Goats(190cm). Well let me tell you these skis are a completely different animal. These will now carve big GS turns easily on hard groomed snow. And there is no drawback to soft snow performance that I can notice. I've pretty much stopped using my skinny skis. I ski pretty much Mammoth and Kirkwood exclusively, although I took them to Sun Valley where they did better than I thought they would on the hard man made snow. I'm sure it's not the set up for east coasters, but something to try for western conditions. Now my skis work first thing in the morning to late in the afternoon. I like not having to go back to tha car to switch skis when the snow turns soft. I've had the lifters in 2+ feet of powder. I really liked the feel much better over flat.
post #2 of 13
Yeah lifters on fats makes them much easier to get up on edge and makes the ski a lot more versatile.
post #3 of 13
Well, this is heartening. I went out on a limb and got a set of Dukes a week ago or so for my new Seths. I plan on using them 95% on lift-served and I was hoping they'd help the overall performance of the Seths on both groomers and some of the steeper off-piste terrain around here.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by el-cid View Post
I went out on a limb and got a set of Dukes a week ago or so for my new Seths. I plan on using them 95% on lift-served
:

the death of the alpine trekker.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
:

the death of the alpine trekker.
Well, a little background may put this back into perspective. I learned how to ski around 1983 or so and was exclusively on skis until I saw the first snowboards in my area around 1987. I started snowboarding in '87 and ditched the skis until about 1999(ish) when I picked up some Dynamic skis and dabbled with skiing a little again. I set them back aside the next year and stuck with the snowboard (off and on) until this year. I got a deal on a used set of modern skis and really enjoyed them this year and decided to get back into skiing.

Up to speed, I plan on snowboarding plenty next year and spending quite a bit more time on the skis too. I'm lucky enough to have some friends that are really good skiers and hope to get plenty of impromptu lessons and (re-)progress quickly next season. Asking them about gear choices they suggested I look at AT bindings because they do a lot of backcountry skiing and I'll probably get talked into that after next season. I found a pair of dukes for under $300 in a local shop, free mounting, so it was sort of a no-brainer for me.

So, punchline, not so much the death of the alpine trekker here as much as potentially the birth of an alpine trekker.
post #6 of 13
Although Phil went all e.e. cummings on us, I think he's referring to Alpine Trekkers by Backcountry Access, not a generic person who treks in alpine environments. Sometimes called "tour wreckers."

post #7 of 13
After much deliberation, I ended up with Dukes on my Bros. Thought Backcountry is not something I currently do, I'll be expanding into that because of the Dukes. I'm really looking forward to broadening my horizons!

As for ski performance, I really like what the position and height of the Duke has done on my skis.
post #8 of 13
I think it comes down to personal taste -- I had the opposite sort of epiphany when I went from lifted bindings to flat ones on a set of 87mm skis, and have always gone flat mount on wide skis ever since then. To me, they just feel a lot more nimble and stable underfoot in powder, bumps, and crud (which is usually the focus of wide skis for me). If you have a wider ski with a decent sidecut (not typical, but a few are out there), the groomer performance won't be that bad mounted flat to begin with.

The interesting thing about lift is that it helps you change edge angles when the skis are already up on edge, but does nothing to help you initially edge the ski off the flats, which is also the point at which ski width has the greatest adverse effect. So lift can only do so much to offset width, and its relative effect on wider skis is not as big as it is on narrower skis. Lift can make a wide ski easier to roll at moderate to high edge angles, but if somebody tells you lift makes their wide skis easy to put on edge, or as good as a narrow waisted carver, that's a major stretch.

Side note: I think one of the biggest and most overlooked benefits of the Dukes is their wide mounting footprint on the ski, which really improves the transfer of loads to/from the edge. That is a huge deal, and is likely part of the benefit people notice from that binding. The Jester also has a wide footprint but is lighter. It gives up about 12mm lift to the Duke, but is still on the upper end of alpine bindings with 23mm lift. It would be cool if other binding makers started marketing models with a wider mounting base specifically for wider skis. If I could buy a wide, low-lift binding, that would be the best of everything to me.
post #9 of 13
Have the Dukes mounted on a newer pair of Goats too - also love it, great and versatile setup.
post #10 of 13
have a pair of duke mounted on 192cm thugs great in soft snow, torques my knees to much on hard snow.

FYI the gotama duke setup I skied seemed to be alot easier on the leg than my set up this year
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
have a pair of duke mounted on 192cm thugs great in soft snow, torques my knees to much on hard snow.

FYI the gotama duke setup I skied seemed to be alot easier on the leg than my set up this year
Bush, having trouble parsing those two sentences. Are you saying that the Dukes were easier on your legs than when mounted on Goats but harder on Thugs? Width issue?
post #12 of 13
Goats/Duke's.. Like slipping on an old pair of shoes that you just can't give up...

One of the best set-up's I've ever skied....
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Bush, having trouble parsing those two sentences. Are you saying that the Dukes were easier on your legs than when mounted on Goats but harder on Thugs? Width issue?
yeah on snow that has firmness to it the combination of lift/width of the thugs/dukes hurts my knees. On the gotama/duke there was no pain issues and only more power.

The I dont take the thugs out unless I know i can be skiing mostly soft snow all day, whether it be powder, crud, or slush. with the returns at the hardest being soft groomers. Icey bumps are downright painkiller med territory or that setup.
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