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Need some bindings- Dukes?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I need some new bindings for my Nomad SFT 181's (110 underfoot). This is my first pair of skis over 85mm, and I'm going to be at Kicking Horse this winter, on most everything in-bounds (no avvy training, I know what's good for me). I was originally looking at Salomon STH12 OS bindings, as I have had them or the older brother of it on my past 2/3 skis, and they have served me well. However, I will be doing a LOT more days on-snow this year and on much harder terrain (previous winters I've skiied 1-2 days a week in Ontario (inc big jumps with hard landings), and a week vacation in BC or Vermont/year). So I'm not sure they will necessarily cut the cheese this year. Regardless, the STH14's should be able to take the beating if I decide to go for a binding and nothing more.

 

Then I found out my parents are buying me a set of skis for my college graduation, and the game changes . I thought about all the issues I had in le Massif after they opened up a new glade with a couple feet of untouched snow (my first real deep powder experience), and how I was having all sorts of issues with diving from poor fore-aft balance. So I got thinking the Jester Schizo's might be useful. Then I looked at the Dukes, they seem to be a bombproof touring binding. However, I'm completely new to this touring stuff. I figured it could help me get more runs on snow further away from people having touring bindings, but again, I'm new to this whole thing.Do you need to skin up to tour? Or are you better off skating if you've got no skins? The other thing is how much distance I will actually need to travel. If anybody who has skiied Kicking Horse knows how far Feuz Bowl and Superbowl are from the lifts, that would be quite useful. Also, how are the Dukes in regular downhill use? Do they not ski quite as nicely as a regular downhill binding (other than the weight)?

 

As for me, I'm 6'4", 160 lbs, and my DIN on my old skis is 6 (although I suspect that I should've cranked that up a long time ago, as I can easily lose a ski while skating hard).

 

edit: my ski boots also say 29.5 on a sticker on the back, I assume this is cm. So therefore I should fit into the smaller dukes, right?

post #2 of 9

1) You don't need to skin to get to any of the inbounds terrain at Kicking Horse. Bootpacking will get you everywhere you need to go, including superbowl. Skinning is useful to access the vast sidecountry/backcountry, but it is not controlled and you absolutely must take an avalanche training course and venture slowly with people more experienced than you. The KH backcountry has complex terrain and the snowpack can be unstable, people die there or have near misses every single season.

 

2) Dukes perform fine as a downhill binding from my experience the past 2 years.

 

3) 29.5 is the mondopoint measurement, which means the boots should fit approx, 290-295mm feet (realistically, you go smaller for a better fit). These are probably 330-340mm BSL (boot sole length) so you would need large Dukes.

 

4) You should decide if you want to take up alpine touring. If so, maybe it makes sense to get Dukes now, but you absolutely must take an avy course and realize it will take years to hone safe backcountry travel skills. You will also need to buy skins, a transceiver, shovel, probe, first aid kit etc.

 

5) 6'4" 160? You need to eat more meat and get in the gym and start squatting smile.gif

post #3 of 9

to make use of AT bindings you need skins.they actually suck at skating with the heels detached.

 

you need not the boot size but the boot sole length. The boot sole lenght will be mm. If your under 320 you can buy the smalls. 

 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gramboh View Post

1) You don't need to skin to get to any of the inbounds terrain at Kicking Horse. Bootpacking will get you everywhere you need to go, including superbowl. Skinning is useful to access the vast sidecountry/backcountry, but it is not controlled and you absolutely must take an avalanche training course and venture slowly with people more experienced than you. The KH backcountry has complex terrain and the snowpack can be unstable, people die there or have near misses every single season.

 

2) Dukes perform fine as a downhill binding from my experience the past 2 years.

 

3) 29.5 is the mondopoint measurement, which means the boots should fit approx, 290-295mm feet (realistically, you go smaller for a better fit). These are probably 330-340mm BSL (boot sole length) so you would need large Dukes.

 

4) You should decide if you want to take up alpine touring. If so, maybe it makes sense to get Dukes now, but you absolutely must take an avy course and realize it will take years to hone safe backcountry travel skills. You will also need to buy skins, a transceiver, shovel, probe, first aid kit etc.

 

5) 6'4" 160? You need to eat more meat and get in the gym and start squatting smile.gif



1) I'm aware of the risks, but I've got a feeling I'll give in to temptation if I already have the tools for getting to some backcountry. Plus, the weight is pretty substantial for a feature I don't plan on using this season (doing BC at least).


5) I eat everything on my plate, and most of my brother's as well. Leg muscles are fine, my cardio is usually the limiting factor in moguls and challenging terrain. And actually, out of nowhere, the scale said I was 167.. I think the toilet at work might get a bunker buster dropped on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

to make use of AT bindings you need skins.they actually suck at skating with the heels detached.

 

you need not the boot size but the boot sole length. The boot sole lenght will be mm. If your under 320 you can buy the smalls. 

 

 

Hmm, editor won't let me out of the quote box.. Any way to disable this WYSIWYG post editor?

 

OT, I'm sure they would, skis flopping around is never a good thing when you're trying to use the edges. And skins would probably be the straw that broke the camel's back, so if AT bindings have no use without them..

Guess I'd better measure the boot to be sure before buying.

 

Any opinions on the schizo? The more I think of it, the more I think the Dukes aren't for me.

post #5 of 9

I like my Dukes.  I think they could work well for you.  As stated previously you will need to get yourself some avy training and find some more experienced mentors to ski with if you venture OB.  My feeling is that if you are a good enough skier to hang with the other locals you will find yourself out there regardless of what you are thinking now.  Take the class, buy the gear, and think carefully about who you choose to go with.  You won't learn all you need to know in one Avy 1 class, but it should give you the basic knowledge to evaluate your companions and their decision making processes.  Then you can start learning experientially and really begin to own the Avy 1 curriculum.  The Dukes will be more important once the lifts shut down and you start climbing and skinning for your turns.  Bushwacker said AT bindings without skins are useless.  This is true, but the Duke works about as well as any other alpine binding in lockdown mode and will offer versatility for touring later.  Do the math though.  You will have

 

Cost of Avy 1 class

Cost of skins

Cost of probe

Cost of pack

Cost of shovel (get a good one)

Cost of beacon

 

to contend with if you are serious about OB.  Some of this stuff can be borrowed or found used by someone living in a ski town.  I went Heli-Touring in that area about five seasons ago and it was FANTASTIC!  I think you will want to explore this option. 

post #6 of 9

If you're going to be in Golden long-term, you will most likely get into touring eventually as there is a lot of great stuff off the lifts. Just try to avoid the temptation to follow people out of bounds without the right gear and knowledge. If shit goes down, and you aren't prepared, it's going to be an awful feeling at that moment of realization, it's just not worth it.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

I like my Dukes.  I think they could work well for you.  As stated previously you will need to get yourself some avy training and find some more experienced mentors to ski with if you venture OB.  My feeling is that if you are a good enough skier to hang with the other locals you will find yourself out there regardless of what you are thinking now.  Take the class, buy the gear, and think carefully about who you choose to go with.  You won't learn all you need to know in one Avy 1 class, but it should give you the basic knowledge to evaluate your companions and their decision making processes.  Then you can start learning experientially and really begin to own the Avy 1 curriculum.  The Dukes will be more important once the lifts shut down and you start climbing and skinning for your turns.  Bushwacker said AT bindings without skins are useless.  This is true, but the Duke works about as well as any other alpine binding in lockdown mode and will offer versatility for touring later.  Do the math though.  You will have

 

Cost of Avy 1 class

Cost of skins

Cost of probe

Cost of pack

Cost of shovel (get a good one)

Cost of beacon

 

to contend with if you are serious about OB.  Some of this stuff can be borrowed or found used by someone living in a ski town.  I went Heli-Touring in that area about five seasons ago and it was FANTASTIC!  I think you will want to explore this option. 


That's the other issue, it's the first big money lump in the many lumps you have to cough out to go touring.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gramboh View Post

If you're going to be in Golden long-term, you will most likely get into touring eventually as there is a lot of great stuff off the lifts. Just try to avoid the temptation to follow people out of bounds without the right gear and knowledge. If shit goes down, and you aren't prepared, it's going to be an awful feeling at that moment of realization, it's just not worth it.



I'm going to be there for one season, how long that lasts depends on how well my wallet holds out. If I want to do the ski bum thing again next year, then I will gain a lot of insight during my experience I will get this year. So if I want to do it again next year, I'll start looking into it then. As of now, I've got a week of experience skiing BC, so getting touring feels like jumping headfirst into the unknown (and likely taking a beating for it).

post #8 of 9

Before you plunk down big $$ on the Dukes,  make sure that your ski boots are in good shape (i.e. that they are properly sized, fit well, and that you have footbeds if you need them).  Since you will eb skiing a lot more, having good well-fitting boots is paramount.  

post #9 of 9

Since it's your first season, I honestly think there is enough terrain inbounds, and that KH gets enough snow, for you to be happy without venturing into touring this year. You've got 3 huge ridgelines with tons of chutes, trees, plus Super Bowl. KH is my favourite resort after Whistler. You will be tempted if you meet and end up skiing with a crew that does it, but maybe wait it out. If you decide to stay longer, you can pick up touring stuff in the spring for cheap (everything outside the used market is at top price right now).

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