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Newbie with q's


Morg
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Okay so I skied hard in my 20's & went on to racing bikes & boats. Now just racing Karts & this is allowing time & budget to ski again. It is all so different now. I am trying to catch up.

 

So I have a few questions I am trying to get answered.

 

I was skiing on a 65" HO extreme that I got back in 89'. Could barely get out of the water with this tank. A friend found me a deal on a HO S2 & some attack bindings. OMG after getting in decent shape I was able to pull harder through the wakes with so much more confidence that I ever had. LOVE THE SKI!!!. Still struggle to get out of the water, but that is a completely different subject.

 

So hear is the first question. I have always like to ski fast. I am strictly recreational. Always skied @ 36. Now I am @ 35-36 when free skiing. Any effect of skiing a 34 mph ski faster??

 

Second Q, & more important. I am happy with the attack bindings, but time is limited when the front foot is in. I can only get a few sets in before my front foot is cramping. So, I am looking into hard shells for comfort & control. Been looking & trying to find information on the internet. Like the HO EXO system, but heard of some injury's when the system came out. Any kind of an update on injury's.

 

Really like the fluid motion evolution E-series. Any input on these?

 

 

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Strada does look like a very nice system. Any updates on the HO EXO. Threads about the injury's all seem to be a bit older.

 

Fluid motion seems to also be a nice system. Anybody riding these?

 

Thanks for the info. on the speed.

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What @SkiJay said!

I know from first hand experience the early system (pre 2012) cannot be trusted regarding releasability. First, and I know this for a fact is that the EXO bar is a tad shorter with the current system (probably to prevent the bar from pinching between the toe piece and release unit in a situation with ski under load).

Second, the early EXO bars were easily bent and thus created an upward load on the release unit effectively lowering the trigger point for release making it prone to pre release (been there done that) I cannot believe HO designed it this way, it would surely have shown up during prototype testing.

I personally suspect the Chinese manufacturer changed the spec for the alloy the bar is made out of at some point, it was that obvious it would not work the way it was.

Haven´t had a single issue with the 2012 system.

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I greatly appreciate the input guys. Most impressed with the fluid motion e-series, a bit costly but looks to be be well worth the price. Strada Radar boots appeal to me with the simplicity. HO EXO are now more of a consideration reading that they have improved.

 

I wear a size 13 to 13-1/2. One of my concerns with hard shells is the spacing between the boots. Thinking I will just have to adjust boot placement to get myself comfortable with the larger spacing the hard shell will require?

 

Main thing I keep getting back to is, does a recreational skier with aspirations of getting more ski time & being able get into a course now & then, really need to have this level of equipment?

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@Morg. "does a recreational skier with aspirations of getting more ski time & being able get into a course now & then, really need to have this level of equipment?"

 

In my humble opinion, the answer is no! I am an relatively new to short-line skiing but before skiing I was a professional Golf Long Driver. I was ranked in the top 20 in the Country and my friends and I used to get a chuckle at newbies having the latest equipment not knowing at all how to use it. Golf is similar to skiing in that in that golf, if you are at a higher level, you can tell subtle differences between shafts, kick points, torque, flex, etc, and you could even tell the difference if a club was frequency matched or not. With that said, you could give me the cheapest club made at Kmart and I could still hit is 300 plus yards. The reason is technique! The differences in equipment only help at the top levels and if your technique is sound.

 

Therefore, if you are new to short-line skiing, like I am, I would concentrate on learning the proper technique and skills so that as you develop, you will progress the right way and leave the bad habits behind. I think at the beginner skill level, you will not even notice the nuances between this system and that, or this ski or that. My two cents.

 

As a final thought, hitting a golf ball 390 yards in front of a large crowd and a tv crew in Mesquite Nevada or catching a touchdown pass in front of 60,000 fans pales in comparison to having a good set with my buddy on the lake with no one to see except for me!! Skiing is by far the best addiction I have ever had and I am looking forward to being able to be one of the guys talking about my 35 off set!!!

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@Morg - I would respectfully disagree with @douglaslbrady - Skiers of all levels need all the help we can get. You already have one of the most forgiving skis on the market, one that is super stable and won't punish us too much for the mistakes we make. Now it's time to find a binding system that's comfortable. I use a Reflex with RTP, I have friends that have Stradas and others that use the FM that you've mentioned. All these bindings are so comfortable we could wear them for hours. If I ski from the boat with friends I'll leave my binding on between sets. Your performance may or may not improve but you'll never go back to rubber. Be prepared for it to take quite a few sets to get used to skiing on any of these, particularly the hardshells.
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Doug, could not agree more. Last season while karting, I had all the newest stuff & was lost most of the race season. Tough to know when you are helping yourself or hurting. Also, not that I was @ that level, but the best times I have had racing bikes, boats & karts has been when you are tearing it up with your good friends. Never mind who is watching.

 

When I free ski I usually do 10-12 turn sets. By the third my front foot is done. Me too usually, but I am working on that. I am hoping to get to the point where my ability will progress by using the hard shells. Now it is for comfort & safety. I am going to start leaving my rubber bindings looser when skiing. Takes everything I have to get out of them after a ski. And that is with the strings & straps loosened.

 

Hoping to be @ Sunset ski ranch next weekend & get my first official lesson. I will evaluate after that.

 

Dave, Reflex look like an awesome deal. If I was planning on skiing as much as I will be karting next year, I would look real hard @ those.

 

Can't tell you guys how much I appreciate the input. THANK YOU!!

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I wear 13s and this was my first season in the course. I have the 13-14 strada's and am totally happy with them. I can sit in them all day, and they're easy on/easy off. I was lucky and never really had to test the release, but I tested them on land and they seemed fine. I run them pretty lose and they were easy to transition to coming from some rubbers (which cramped me like yours do). With the 13-14 shells I think there are some limitations in setup spacing but I haven't felt like it's been a problem (or maybe just don't know what I'm missing). I got them on closeout last year; there's a guy selling 2012's for $156 on ski-it-again which is pretty good.
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I think stradas are a good choice if you are just skiing open water. I am debating on switching to stradas from my reflex bindings. I trust my reflex bindings 100% when I'm in the course. But whenever I free ski in open water, I get a touch nervous not being in a controlled enviroment while in the hardshell bindings.
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@Morg, is your struggle to get out of the water because the ski is so buoyant? I have an S1 and it was very difficult at first. (But worth it because I love the ski!) And then when I transition to my drysuit, I feel like a bobber in the water and sometimes struggle. I do release all the air possible from the drysuit and stay tucked like a ball and somehow make it work, but was completely self taught regarding my starts. Any advice you learn during your lesson, or from the experts on this site to make things easier is appreciated. Thanks!
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Ski Girl, Don't think it is the buoyancy. My old HO weighed a ton & All I can figure is it taught me some real bad habits, used to think it was because the old ski sank. But with the new HO at first it was better. but now I am struggling again. I am also self taught. When I am getting up I absolutely sink. First hit I am under. Ski turns sideways, Takes every bit of strength I have & the boat has to work to get me up. Been watching a lot of video's. May be as simple as letting my arms go straight, relaxing & letting the ski come to me. The first time I ever skied was on a single. Got up my very first time. Been getting worse since then, LOL.... Running joke with the guys I ski with is, "yeah you ski better then us, if you can get out of the water".
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Thanks @ShaneH! I like it and will remember that. Think one of my other issues was moving to starting with both feet in, versus dragging one. My RTP on the new ski was tighter and harder to jam the foot in far enough when I dragged a foot. So I decided to make the change after 20+ years the other way. Every now and then I struggle, mostly when in the drysuit. Funny though, that when I used my ski partners double boot setup, I had no problem.
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@Morg. My two cents on getting up. I am 6'7" and 250 plus, so I feel qualified on how to get up easier, especially since I am doing it six times each set.

 

Getting up with one foot dragging is extremely easy but I have both feet in the boots so I have to start the conventional way. Where i ski is extremely shallow--sometimes only 2 feet deep at the end of the course. Here is how is do it, and I can get up this way numerous times in a day.

 

First off I have my arms completely straight and extended. As soon as I say in gear, I roll my ski completely over on the side, almost like a wake board, so when I say go, I have the majority of the ski's surface area pushing against the water. Please note, my driver doesn't push the hammer all the way down, but rather only hits is about half way at first. After about one second, he jams it down. I have a reduced gear 4 blade prop so my boat is super torquey.

 

The second I feel alot of tension I throw the ski back up to vertical and crunch as hard as I can. Sometimes my tip even goes under but I pop right up becauae i feel that getting the ski on plane ia the most difficut thing. My buddies laugh cause it looks like I am on a wakeboard at first, but I just smile and ski.

 

I am probably going to get blasted because I am sure my technique isn't right, but out of necessity because of the shallow water and being a big dude I have learned to adapt and it really works great for me.

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I've always found there to be two acceptable deep water techniques, the first is the one utilized by the foot dragger crowd, it is essentially keeping the ski tip pointed forwards, the tail shallow under the butt, and trying to keep the shoulders up over the front boot right away. This system seems to work, but I think is less tolerant if your drivers vary, I see this with some of my relatives who get pulled out the front if the driver is aggressive, and tend to sink under if the pull comes on slowly. This group tends to look down and take the wave over their heads during the pull.

 

The other group is the stand proud technique which is how I get up, which is a both feet in maneuver. I've found that if I flex my front knee too much my hands get pulled towards the binding, so I keep my front knee more extended, and the back more flexed. On pull I keep my head up and hold my hips in place so the pull very early on pops my head and shoulders clear and then I just wait for the boat to finish the work. To me this is the better way, but I have found that persons who break position mid-pull are less likely to succeed, and prefer to do more of a balled up position like the first.

 

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Be aware he is sitting way high in the water, I suspect from the combination of vest/drysuit/insulation layers. If you are in a suit and a comp vest, you start way lower in. But the move is very similar. He's in the second group. His knees are flexed between his arms but he's not balled up, and he has his ski out in front of him, not below him.
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