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Need your help: Which hard shells to go for?


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Dear fellow skiers,

I have just recently had yet another bad accident. Reason why so much of my body got damaged is that my bloody rubber bindings didn't release as they should for an otf crash. As I use a double boot set-up and won't go back to an RTP, I figured that the only option is going to hard shells if looking for a system where my foot doesn't need to come off any binding but you actually have a proper release system.

After some research, I have come down to 2 choices:

1. Goode Powershells 5

2. The new HO hard shells

Reasoning: The Fogmans looked good as well, but I don't see any advantage over the HO's (very similar idea). But they are dreadfully ugly and very expensive. The fluid motions seem too much of a brick work and seem rather heavy as well. Skitek: very popular in our club, but you can't really run a double boot set-up and the quality is absolute crap, so no way. RS 1's are excluded as you need to come off the boots in case of a fall. Pls don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this won't work, but since I had too many accidents where I didn't come out as needed, psychologically I can only deal with a proper release system at this stage to have a chance to feel comfortable on a ski again. Unless I forgot smth, that leaves me with the two above mentioned options.

Both seem to have pro's and con's, I will write of what I think so far without really knowing either one myself:


+ Like the release with one plate

+ The new 5 version seem to be better quality (also in terms of rust)

+ Very flexible for binding placement

+ Can heat mold the liners yourself

+ The plate would cover the damage done by my old bindings on top of the ski, so a neat and proper solution

+ Ne need to drill any holes to mount the system (really important point for me)

+ Look fantastic

- Quality issues?

- Crap liners?

- Warranty issues?

HO hard shells:

+ Three years of development by a company like HO probably means that this is the superior system

+ Proper release system that may set the new standard

+ Seems to be incorporating all the best aspects of all other solutions while even taking it a step further

+ Probably better pricing than Goode (mass production)

- Need to drill a lot of new holes

- Damage around the inserts of my old  bindings will be very visible

- Buying a black box: As the system is new, maybe it still has some problems that didn't show up during testing (remember when D3 launched their new bindings 3 years ago what a mess!!!)

-  They're just plain ugly (I know, arguable, but to me, they are)

Some background info for you guys: I ski 58/16 or 55/14, but will probably stop skiing at 58 due to my health. I don't participate in competitions anyways, but am addicted to the course. I am 31, so there aren't too many years left in the open category anyways... I ski on a yellow Fischer and can't wait to be back on a ski again!

Now I need your help/feedback: Are my pro's and con's correct? What system would you recommend? Especially the Powershell conaisseurs, what are your experiences?

Thanks for your help as I need to make a decision without being able to test either one.



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My -3 cents

1. If you can track down a pair to slip your feet into, I think you should consider RS-1s. The design's strength is in its simplicity: granted, it does not quite fit the criteria you have put out. The shell, and the inner chassis provide enough support and retention that you do not really need to tighten the ankle all that much. In fact I've pulled the bungees as tight as possible and I did not feel like I gained any extra support. I may also be blessed with a foot perfectly sized for the 11 shells, and that does seem to be an important factor. When they are tightened as the design intends, they do feel too loose in the water and on land, but they are rock solid one I start skiing. So long as the laces are not too tight, and it is pretty obvious when they are, I find the release to be very similar if not easier and smoother than Wiley's.

2. Dual Lock doesn't make sense to me as a release mechanism.

3. I think I like what I see from the new HO boots. I was expecting to see a pin release like Fogmans. The picutres in the other thread look more like a Dynastar PX heel. I think the shells are going to be the focal point of the system. If this is the direction you choose to go, do not drill your ski. I hope that HO will make an adapter plate available. If not you can have a G-10 plate made to attach the bidning to and then attach the G-10 plate with the existing inserts.

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If Safety is your #1 issue I say Wileys. I use the RS-1s and LOVE LOVE LOVE them and think they are very safe but nothing releases like traditional close toe rubber. Yea you have to screw around to get it to the right place on the ski but you can FEEL how tight it is.


California Ski Ranch ★ Denali ★ DryRobe ★ Goode ★ KD Skis★ 

MasterCraft ★ MasterLine ★ PerfSki ★ Radar ★ Reflex★ S Lines ★ Stokes


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Evolution Z's -> Debuted these baby's at the worlds.  I wanted to lower cost to compete with rubbers so we deleted the detachable cuff and buckle and replaced with speed hooks for 100% lace up. I rode them first set ran 28's, 32's they were great!!  Releases super easy too- even with laces tight. An inboard cinch strap (taken from our skate format) gives secure feeling and fine control.  I run one now on my back boot, sticking with the twin buckle E on the front for now. To get them on you put the liner on first, slide in, cinch up. Full hardboot support too - these are sick!


Having said that we are selling lots of Quattro systems - 100% from testimonials of fellow skiers. My ski buds are still on their releaseable plate Q systems 4-5 years now. I should do a worlds report it was an exciting event and talked to almost every pro skier/coach.

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  • Baller

got to admit, I never understood how someone could use Velcro to attach bindings to a ski... never will...

the HO system is EXACTLY what this sport needs, Alpine ski binding technology geared down for watersports is what I've been saying & hearing for decades. will be interesting to see how it works/does.

I went from Wiley's to a full RadaR Rail setup this year, honestly you have to look at these binders before you buy anything else.  they are leaps and bounds better than any rubber binding I've ever used, including the legendary Animals.

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Sharkster - I know you said that FM was off your list, but I would chime in that the Quattro-6 2-plate system is really good for me. It certainly has saved my front ankle and after molding liner w/ custom insoles, they are the most comfortable things I put on my feet. Coincidentally, I just saw a orthopedic this morning about fixing up a longitudinal tear in my posterior tibial tendon (front foot) from when I didn't come out of my Wiley last spring - surgery coming in November. I needed my front foot heel to release any time I overload my ankle goind forward - a single plate system will not help here. Had two pre-releases in my first 5 sets before I got the release preload adjusted up to normal setting, but none since in 83 sets. I have release 4 times that I know would have busted me up and am very thankful for that. A sore front ankle with a low forward range of motion is a real challenge to ski around.

When I pick up my ski, I wish the boots were lighter considering how light my ski is, but you already have the mass of your feet & legs in the same location on the ski. If you factor in the added weight including what's already there w/ lower leg & feet and the location, the weight might not be as big of a factor. It's not like the mass it at the tip and tail of the ski, so it doesn't contribute much to pitch/yaw inertia and how fast the ski rotates.

I ski w/ guys in several types of other hard boots, and know there are cracks and tears here or there in some of the boots. The FM shells seem like they are very durable in terms of material type and thickness.

 (all true - but would be happy for a discount on parts/liners when I need them Paul!)

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  • Baller
I have been on the Reflex with rear high wrap for 3 seasons with no issues.  As far as quality control goes, I have not had anything break in 3 years of hard skiing.  The set up is very light, but not weak.  The only wear that I have experienced is the top of the boot where it slides under the horseshoe.  It created a little slop that was easily remidied by moving the horseshoe back on the plate.  I assume that I will have to replace some parts at some point, but 3 years with no problems makes me a happy camper.  I would have to work on my rubber bindings more often than that.
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Hands Down!!! Fluid Motion!!! I've had the Powershells and I really liked them except I usually broke 2 shells per season. I've been on the 2 plate Quatro's since 2005 and have had NO breakage. The quality is outstanding! The release is smooth and painless. You owe it to yourself to try Paul's demo program. Just my opinion!
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I debated between the Radar bindings and FM.  I have never been a fan of the mechanical release due to its inconsistency.  I got the FM E's earlier this year at Seth Stisher's recommendation for being safe - as my ankles are also toast.  I had an OTF fall yesterday when I put in too much tip in a turn and both released as they should.  I'm positive that I would have had a sprained ankle in my D3 Leverage or HO Animal bindings due to the directional torque of the fall.  I think the hardshell puts me more in touch with the ski and I feel much more comfortable and confident on the ski as a result.   I'm definitely a fan and would recommend them - and would suggest you reconsider adding them to your list.

I also struggled with the cost but figured it was way cheaper than a doctors visit and the opportunity cost of not skiing for a week or three.  Summer is too short as it is.

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