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Strada binding users


cragginshred
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After reading through the 'What binding were you using' thread it prompted a question for those who use what I do -the Strada binding (2012). I sized them pretty close to the size of my foot and heat formed them. The 1st 4-5 times out they were a bit uncomfortable but now I love them (had em just over a year).

Because they were very close to my foot size I do not even mess with the lower small bungee but the upper one I pull fairly tight, but not super aggro tight. I read Horton's comment 'over tighten them and they become unsafe' and it made me think. 99% of time when I fall I roll and the super light carbon Strada stays on and I do not come out, thus my thinking of lace it snug and keep it this way.

With me getting very comfortable at 32mph now and trying some passes at 34mph I can see how an increased intensity in the fall factor will begin to be an issue. Today I partially came out of the front binding for the first time all season (the liner tried to come up a little) and it only slightly hurt and the top of my foot. So just wondering others take on this with all I have mention in mind -do you come out, at higher speeds, how tight do you cinch ect?

Thanks,

Don

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I am/was a Strata user till my fall on June 15 this yr, that ended my season. I had a front foot partial release and had a Lisfranc Fracture, needed surgery, 15 screws and 3 metal plates in my foot for the rest of my life. 8 weeks non weight bearing. I'm walking now without the boot and doing physical therapy to regain strength in my calf muscle. I always tighten up the top laces pretty tight, and never fully released on the Strata in over a 4 yr period. My fall was at 34 mph and 38 off, which is my tough pass. I was headed to 3 ball and something wicked happened at the second wake.
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I put my ski on, back foot first. I lift my heel up and tighten the lower laces. I then put the front boot on and stand on the ball of my foot and tighten the lower laces. I then only lace the top ones on both boots with barely stretching the upper laces. I want to be able to easily get onto the balls of my feet. When I try I can pull the liners out of the boots while on the ski platform. As @JWebski stated I want the liners to come out of the shells. Sometimes the top laces are loose enough for the slider to not stay engaged. Doesn't seem to affect my poor skiing.
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Tight lower laces and fairly loose upper laces. And then a quick swim step check to make sure they want to release before I jump in.

 

The only failures I've heard of in conjunction with the Stradas have been the result of over tightening the top laces. Myself included.

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Sorry to hear this Kolb. I work in PT (10 years of out pt ortho experience), let me know if something comes up and you want some advice So by tightening pretty tight, is the goal to stay in and tuck and roll or would you want the liner to come out? I guess with out it tight you do not have the control the binding is supposed to allow?
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You only really need the lower strings tight and the upper ones snug to have good control. You DO NOT want to have them where the possibility of partial release is there, that is where you get hurt the worse with stradas it seems. You definately want the liner to come out when you stall the ski around your offside at 34/-15. Trust me my ankle hurt for about a year...
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I've been on Stradas for three seasons. I've only fully released once. All other falls were mild and didn't require a release. I have bottom laces comfortably snug. The top laces are very loose. I have had them get knocked out of the upper lace clip and had to reset while sitting in the water at then of the lake. I feel safe, in control, and comfortable in them.
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Todd, 'fully release' -meaning liner comes out right? I think I had that happen a few times last year but not once this year. Caveat that may or may not mean anything, BUT putting the inserts under the liners made me love these bindings so much more as they became 99% hassle free by using strong velcro to stick the insets to the bottom of the boot and place the liner on top. Unsure if it effects any release factor tho.
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I've used Superfeet, Soles or Zapz insoles between the liners and the shells of my RS-1 and Stradas for four years. They release just fine this way. I don't fasten the insoles into the shells with glue, zipties or Velcro and I've never had an insole come out of the binding.
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@skikolb.......not a nice injury man. Spent 10 days in a cast while the Docs decided if I had a Lisfranc after some of the old white Obrien Bio uppers tore off the soles of the binding in a crash. Now have 2013 Strada bindings and love them.......I do not pull the top lace super tight - always ensure the cord has residual stretch available for a release. So far only pulled a heel out in a tumble.
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I went to a more orthotic footbed in my Stradas, but it was "stickier" when putting the liners in so I assumed they wouldn't come out as fast either. I sprayed the bottom of my liners with silicone and they pop in just like the stock footbed. I also crank the front laces tight and just snug the top.

 

I learned that the lateral support of a binding is not as important to me as I thought, when my front Animal rubber overlay ripped about 2/3 of the way down when putting them on years ago. I didn't have a backup and wanted to ski, so I thought I would just take it easy. To my surprise, focusing on keeping my foot down on the ski, I ran 35 and mid-38, which was a pretty normal round for me at the time. When finished, I easily pulled my foot out of the boot, like an adjustable binder.

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Strada front and RTP for me. I run the Strada tight lower, light tension upper. For me, the most critical connection is between the ball of my foot and the ski, the rest is ancillary.

 

Running the top laces tight seems to make the system less safe and the bottom laces seem to have less influence on how easily the boot releases. Even with all the laces loose my liner comes out with my foot. With everything secured I can step out of the ski on the platform with less effort than it took to get out of my old Wiley's with a better connection to the ski.

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End of my 6th season with RS-1's. There set up where I can take the ski off in the water without undoing the laces with the same amount of effort as with my old rubber set-up. Front laces as tight as can be, top snug. Fortunately I've only had a couple of crashes that required coming out of the boots and I did without and problems. A few wear I going came out part way, but without any real injury.

Larry -----<|

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I have the lower laces as tight as I can get them and the upper as loose as I can. (there should be more elasticity in the cords) I can easily get out on the dock. Still I sprained (I thought) my front ankle in a yard sale going to 2 ball at 38 off. I turned 1-ball way to hard, tried to hold on and got to the edge change in pretty decent form. But the line tension pulled me over the edge/tip of the ski and I buried the tip at the second wake. The foot still hurts and is swollen so I had it x-rayed 3 month after it happened. A piece of bone is loose and is floating around and I probably need surgery. I believe it had been worse in any other system ( I believe Strada is among the safest) and waterskiing at high speeds is dangerous. Some systems might be safer than others but accidents will happen in any system. I have been lucky this is the first real accident in about 15 years.

Tsixam

 

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First season with Strada boots after injury with rubber. Like most who have posted, I run lower laces tight and upper laces just snug. Can easily pull out of them in the water after a set without unhooking the laces.

And, this evening I had my first yard sale with the Stradas. A couple rollers at 5 ball, skip, skip, slam - both liners came out, one stayed on my foot - the other came off and was floating near the ski. Great bindings.

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Last year Sept.30 second pass in first set of day hit shore backwash immediately after ball 3 and went OTF. 34 MPH and 32 OFF. Came out of rear boot and partially out of front. Lower laces were snug (bungee not stretched) and I had heard about over tightening problems on upper so I pulled keeper all the way to end and put a knot about 3" down from keeper, they were loose. I always soaped my feet. My mistake was having a toe lift under the intuition liner, between the liner and the shell. It was there so I would load the front of my ski quicker and also level my foot position because I had superfeet in the front boot. In my opinion never put anything under the intuition liner. It took a plate and 13 screws to put my tibia and ankle back together, on crutches four months.

Never put anything under the liner. They always released until they didn't.

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I am not totally sure I bought super feet, but pretty sure it is what I bought at a running shop, because it is a better arch support. The surface of it is stickier than the stock footbed and it is raised a little more, so the boots fit snugger. I just spray my boot bottoms with silicone trying to get them to slide in and out as easy as the stock footbed. Seems to have lasted a while, as it's been a month or so ago when I had the idea to spray them. It was more of a response to the fact they were harder to stuff the liners in, but I also wondered if they would not allow the liner to come out as easy as the stock setup. I recommend using silicone spray on the boot if you have concern about coming out, as it seems to work pretty well.
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I love my strada front. I started having a bit of trouble when leaving the top laces loose where the tongue of the liner would pop to the outside instead of being tucked in. This would cause the liner to press against the laces as if they were fully tightened. For now I rigged some Velcro straps I had to wrap the tongue tight in the liner (going to order some fluid motion liner cinch straps). It works great at releasing again and I find having the straps gives a bit more support to the liner.
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@PurdueSkier, I out mine under the liners. I thought the screws on the bottom would tear the liners up faster and the liners would be too tight on my foot.

 

Sometimes the plastic support pieces fold under when I stuff the liners in, so now I check before I put my feet in. Skied with one rolled over and really bothersome.

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@randy meny has the hot set-up. I too use nylon socks (the kind old ladies use for support) they let your foot slide in and out much easier. I still run the lower laces snug and the top laces fairly loose. My liners stay in - my feet come out. I leave the liners in at all times that way I never have the problem @AB had with the support tabs folding in. (which is a huge PIA). Real bad dirt bike injury in 2005 - almost lost my left foot. This strada set-up is the only thing that works fairly comfortably and that I feel fairly safe in.
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When I heated molded my liners, I did not tighten the laces. When I ski I do not tighten the laces. Only cinch them enough so they don't flop around in the wind. They have plenty of support when skiing but can step right out of the shells with the liners on my feet and the end of my set.
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@AB I find that curl of the plastic a real nuisance. I've used Strada for 3 years. They wore out and got a set of 2013. The 2013 model curl bad, every time I insert the liner. Radar told me know one complains. Glad I am not alone.
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I have two sets of Strada bindings on Sequence plates. One set the plastic side are curling. PITA for sure. The other set is still OK. I have to carefully ensure that they are pulled up along side and not curled every time I insert the liners. It would be easy to improve... Just put a rib on the outer edge of those side supports so that they resist curling and hug the inside sides of the binding outer layer.
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I have found that it is important to be careful with these plastic tabs as I put the liners in. Screw up once, and that piece of plastic will be permanently curled making it more of a PITA from then on. I was wondering if a small patch of thin velcro (not dual lock) would be OK to hold the little plastic tabs up against the inside of the outer liner.
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I have released a good number of times in four seasons on both RS-1's and Stradas. Love the system but as we all know this can be a high impact sport and complete protection is difficult if not impossible. I never take the liners out unless I'm released in a fall in which case the liners eject and usually end up in a floating yard sale on top of the water. You have to be careful putting them back in to ensure you don't bend the plastic tabs inside the shell of the boot. Furthermore you want to ensure the correct liner goes in the correct boot otherwise you may not notice until you feel like you have two left feet during your next pass. Top laces just tight enough not to come undone from the hooks (this is fairly snug particularly on the back foot). Bottom laces tight. I e never had a problem releasing when necessary
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@Texas6 - I was having issues where the top lace would come undone while skiing (water pushing the loose bungie cord out of the top hooks during a deep turn or something...).

 

Using vice grip style pliers, I set them just barely tighter than those top hooks and clamped them just a tiny bit. This closed them a MM or less. That was enough to help them retain the loose top bungie cords while skiing.

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the good news is you will recover from a lisfranc joint fracture the bad news is unless you can strengthen you ankle enough if you stuff you ski at all you will feel it in my experience after a lisfranc fracture if i use to soft of bindings it will hurt from not enough ankle support and if i stuff the tip with my bindings to tight it gets a little sore but i ride my radars as tight as i can get them i personally dont like heel lift or my foot to move at all but that is part of the reason i got hurt in the first place at the 2004 nationals i broke trick ski and since carbonworx was there i gave them my ski after my trick ride since it broke first flip of first pass i was not happy and sent my binding with the ski so when i got home i realized i needed a binding so i took and old wileys slalom binding and put a velcro strap around the ankle so it would be tighter and stiffer more like a trick binding the problem was i had no release that was fine for my normal trick runs but i used to like to throw flips off that first big wake when you get up from inside to out but the third one i was tired and rotated to early and almost did half twist but caught my toe edge and ripped the binding off another ski and pulled my foot halfway out of the binding leaving the strap that was around my leg now around my arch and tore every ligament and tendon and a lisfranc joint fracture it will heal and time on your ski is the only thing i felt i lost from it I feel it a whole lot more snowboarding than waterskiing
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@Horton. Is what you wrote above correct? Put the insole between the shell and the liner?The boot was designed to have The liner directly in the shell with nothing under it correct? And the thin strada insole goes in the liner? So how would replacing The insole with a slightly thicker one impact the release?
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@PurdueSkier

If the insole is inside the liner it will not release as freely. I always put the insole under the liner. The insole stiffens the bottom of the liner. It makes a bigger difference than you would expect.

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Keep in mind that the bungee laces are actually not the primary release engineered into Stradas/RS-1s/Vapors like they are in FMs. The stretchy rubber back of Stradas is actually what releases your heel, much like a rubber high-wrap. Leaving the laces too loose gives up a lot of the hard-shell-like control you are paying for.

 

Radar publishes how much tension you can safely put on the laces as being 35 pounds. Radar has lawyers, has been through law suits, and fully understands liability, and it's highly unlikely that the range of tension they recommend errs on the side of meaningfully increased risk. You can easily measure how hard you are pulling on your laces by pulling on them with a luggage scale, again, recommended by Radar.

 

To put this into perspective, ALL of the stretch is pulled out of the top laces at about 15 pounds; that's less than half of Radar's recommended safe range. If you are going to ski with the laces much looser than this, you might as well be using Vectors which are cheaper, more comfortable and offer at least as much support as a set of loose Stradas, possibly even more.

 

If tightening to less than half the recommended lace tension range still leaves you nervous, try this. Tighten the laces to the point where all of the stretch is barely pulled out or measure 15 pounds of tension. Then get in the water and remove your ski without undoing the laces. The liners will pull out of the shells easier than your foot will be released by a set of rubber high-wraps like Wiley's, D3 Leverages or HO Animals.

 

Of course no binding is safe for all falls in all directions, but when used properly, the Strada releases at least as well as high-wraps, but offers superior ski control. I've tried skiing in them with stretch left in the laces, and while they will release super-easily, I feel more at risk of falling due to the sloppier connection I have with the ski.

 

Don't get me wrong. I'm definitely a safety comes first guy. For me personally, half way through the safety range recommended by a liability-conscious company is the perfect balance between ease-of-release and control. Tighter laces make my feet cramp in warm water, and looser laces actually feel riskier.

 

That said, to each their own. Learning what to let go of will increase safety more than any binding can.

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I replaced the lower lace w a bungee I robbed from a d3 boot. I leave the liners in all the time and they have worked well for the past 3 years. I use power step orthotics inside the liner so it can slide against the bottom and come out for an OTF.
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