Is one or the other quicker?
Which one is more popular these days?
I'm hoping it doesn't make much difference, since I haven't gone to the trouble of getting them for my new skis. I like risers a lot on skinny skis. When I demo'ed my Coombas they had Naxo's on them, which were equivalent to an insane amount of lift (maybe an inch?). I'm putting "normal" bindings on the ones I bought. Here's hoping the lift wasn't why I loved them.
I've had some old two piece riser's with Salomon bindings (the kind you might have had on a pair of slalom ski's in the early or mid 90's) on a pair of Coombas. Probably didn't make any difference in deep fresh snow, but for crud and windpacked I think I've benefited from the added leverage. If I really load the skis they can feel a bit snappy and tend to hook and throw but if I'm rolling my edge instead of driving it the leverage provided by the riser allows me to maintain a lot of feel and power even when my weight is over the center of the ski as opposed to having my hips and weight pushing forward as I would if I were driving on hardpack. I think it has a lot to do with taste and how you want the ski to feel and perform but I have been very happy with the way the riser feels on my Coombas. I'm happy to risk a bit of hookyness in exchange for the leverage and snap added by a riser. But then again I like airplane turns.
My experience is that if you have a ski that is 90mm or more in the waist, it is noticeably worse at carving if you do not have either a system binding, or risers to elevate your boots above the ski. It's the old: nail your boots to a 4' X 8' sheet of plywood and try to get it on edge, then nail a step ladder to the middle of the plywood with your boots on top, and try to get it on edge. The angulation and leverage give you a huge advantage. Flat mount a 105 mm waisted ski and you might as well forget about high performance on hard snow.
The other advantage of lifter plates is that they move the ankle closer to the force vector that the snow is exerting on the ski. All things being equal, you will hold better because the force you can apply to the ski with your ankle is more in line with the force of the snow pushing back.
LIfters can also dampen vibration and allow the ski to flex more independently, so they can change the feel of the ski (for good or for bad--depending on the driver's preferences). This effect on ski feel can translate to soft snow as well, and some may discern enough difference between different setups of the same ski to have a strong preference.
Whiteroom has it right. Lifters, while making a ski easier to tip, actually make it slower from edge to edge because the lever means your ankle has to travel farther to achieve the same degree of edge angle.
This fact has alignment implications. If you are undercanted (knock-kneed), your alignment is already putting you in a position where you are going to have difficulty moving edge to edge and where you will already need larger movements than normal to make this happen. Lifters actually compound the problems of knock-kneed skiers, so if you are aligned soft, you are better off without them. Well, OK, you are better off fixing your alignment, but if you can't (or won't) then lifters are best avoided.
For neutral or overcanted (bowlegged) alignments, the effect of the lifter plate is less critical (and in the case of strong alignment perhaps even neutralized). For those skiers, the advantage of improved edge hold often outweighs whatever minimal loss of quickness (if any) that will be incurred.
I've skied K2 Public Enemies and Fujatives with and without lifters. (Salomon S914 PowerAxe??? vs. Tyrolia Mojo 15 Flat) Contrary to my fellow parkrats beliefs, I liked them better with lifters. I'll be recycling the S914 and using it again on my new 87mm Twins. (Of Note: I liked teh retention and solid feel of the Tyrolia better)
I'm also still torn on my other new ski setup. I bought a GS ski and a Head/Tyrolia FreeFlex 17. There were available 9mm and 13mm lifters for it. I bought both. Still unsure which I want. The ski will primarily be raced GS and skied fast on hardpack groomer days. After reading this thread, I'm leaning towards the 13mm. Maybe save the 9mm for a Slalom ski next year?
If you want to make it even more interesting, I've still got a pair of 23mm Tyrolia risers...
Unclear which sort of racing you're talking about (Master's, Beer League, Club, Nastar, other?), but usually for a GS you'd want a real racing plate that is stiffer and doesn't move. The two you have are carving plates, flexier, movable heels. I'd pick the 13 mm for your purposes, assuming you're not having to meet stack spec. It's heavier and more metal than the 9 mm, which is mostly plastic, and just for lift. The 13 works decently for casual racing, groomer zooming. By contrast I use the 9mm even on fatter skis, because it's super light, my knees like lift, and I like the ability to change binding position. YMMV.
Well Beyond, I couldn't find such plates anywhere. The 13 and 9 were the only ones that seem to exist. And they are both plastic. Not sure of this metal you are talking about. And I wanted to be higher off the ski. I don't care if it makes it stiffer. I'm pretty sure that being a GS ski, it was designed stiff in the first place.
http://www.vist.it/Home.html?Lang=en <- one example
Not hard to come by at all; new 07-09 versions easy to find on fleabay. Thing about budget is that you want something (all metal, higher rise, stiff is good) that is a WC style racing plate. Most race skis now come with their own plate built in. You can get stand alones that are partly/all metal from Vist, Marker, Tyrolia, unclear about others. For instanz: http://www.tyrolia.com/index.php?id=296&L= Notice that current race plates do not go much over 18 mm, so if you want higher, you'll need to do some improvising. You could also buy an older pair of race skis and rip out the plate. Again, improvising
More to the point, racing plates are not cheap. You can get new older versions for $140-160 range if you search, recreational VIST risers down to $80-90. Otherwise, you're stuck with what's been suggested. FWIW, I'm far from my bindings so have to operate from memory, but I recall some metal framing (plastic and rubber outside) on the Tyrolia 13. I know that the Tyrolia 13 mm weighs close to the Vist WC Air, cuz I own both, and have weighed them. Since the VIST is all-aluminum with rubber shock pads underneath, I'd be surprised if the Tyrolia 13 is all plastic, like the far lighter 9 mm. In any case, I've used Tyrolia plates extensively, have never had one fail, so not sure why you want the extra weight of all metal unless you're looking to actually race, or for purely ice and hardpack. Which gets us back to the $$ issue.
Maybe you should just go buy/beg some scrap aluminum blank from a local shop, and shape it with a hacksaw, file. Might not be as shiny and cool as the above, but hell of a lot cheaper and will do the same job...