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Hardshell Slalom Binding Suggestions


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In the summer of '09 I had a hard fall on my HO Monza with rubber boots and broke / dislocated my heel bone coming out of the bindings. It is still not right. I want to ski again but am considering hard shells (wish I had a couple years ago). I looked at the new HO EXO's, Goode powershells, & FM's online. Last year I heard rumors of problems with the EXO's. I have also seen the Fogmans and live in upstate NY and can drive to where Terrence (the Fogman guy) has his shop to get his setup. They all seem to be expensive. So, which is the better, safer, more comfortable option? I'd like to put them on the Monza. I'm 5'11", ~210#, have a 68" Monza (~2006), and ski at 34mph. I'd be open to a new ski / binding setup but I really don't want to spend $1K plus on a ski I only use 12 weeks out of the year.

Probably not many people with 1st hand experience with all of these but give me what you got.



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I'd try posting this on ballofspray.com. You'll get a lot of feedback in a hurry. I don't run hardshells, so I'm not much help, but I know they have their own, different risks of injury. I personally run Radar RS-1 (now Strada) bindings which I think are awesome from a comfort, performance, and safety perspective. I would at least give them a look. They sit on a universal plate that will fit almost any modern ski.

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I'd try posting this on ballofspray.com.

I was going to suggest this very thing. You should also look at / consider Reflex Bindings. :thumbup:

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Dougger, I have a very similar situation to your own: comparable height and weight, 68" Monza, and I have been running a pair of older Fluid Motion Carbon Quattros (like the current Quattro CDS with Dual Logic split soles) on an FMX plate. Paul Jager of Fluid Motion has been awesome to deal with. I, too, live in NY state, and just ordered some items from Paul to give a little TLC to my old bindings. When I placed my order, he emailed me right away to double-check that I was ordering what I needed. I've talked with him on the phone, too, and he's been great.

Enough about that, though. You're interested in how they perform. I made a switch from Wiley's to the Quattros, and have loved 'em. It took a couple sets to get really used to them. The positive, immediate feel is something I love, but it's not everyone's preference. I've been fortunate enough to avoid anything too major in the fall department, mainly because I'm getting older and I want to be able to ski for a long time to come, so I've dialed back my aggressiveness a little ... Man, I hate saying that! I did have a pretty wild out-the-front fall last summer, though, and the binding release was the absolute smoothest I have ever experienced. I never felt any pressure or snap. The ski was just OFF, and there was no strain whatsoever against anything in my ankles or legs. I was impressed and will definitely buy a new set of FM Quattros to upgrade what I'm currently using. That's not happening this season because I bought a new alpine snowboard setup this past winter, and the CFO would be none too pleased with me if I dropped a lot of cash onto the water ski, too. I really don't mind skiing on the older set, though. They're still extremely solid.

Obviously, no binding can be perfect, or perfectly safe. Some have tried the hardshells and not been impressed, but based on my experience, I don't want to ski anything else. I don't know what size foot you have, but there's a single-plate set of Quattros on ski-it-again.com (the listing has it spelled as, "Quarto"). I strongly considered getting them myself. If you get 'em and don't like 'em for some reason, I'd be interested in buying them from you ... if I can get it by the CFO, that is!

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:plus1: on the Radar RS-1 / Strada bindings. I too trashed my ankle several years ago with too-tight rubber bindings (HO Animals). The ankle still bothers me and I probably wouldn't be able to ski at all if not for these better bindings.
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One of our crew busted his leg in three places late last season with th HO rubber boots. He is doing the same thing looking for a better binding for release.

I have heard the EXO's are back on the drawing board. I also have herd very good feedback on the RS1 and Frogman. I can't help much more I am still using the Wiley's. Love them.

I could not get my buds ski off after his fall. We loaded him onto the boat and took him back to the dock. I took the bindings apart to get him out of the boot.

I will be watching the feedback on Ballofspray also. Good luck and keep us posted.

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:plus1: on the RS1/Strada. Destroyed an ankle playing VolleyBall a few years back. Have not had any problems & really like the performance of the RS1.
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