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OB4 setup question


Greg Banish
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I posted this hidden at the end of the Carbon V setup thread, but I'll repost a clean one to keep the conversation focused...

 

I've been riding my Carbon V for three seasons now and was feeling fairly confident on it at -22 and even had some complete -28 passes under my belt with the dual Enzo boots on the stock settings. Early this season, I pushed the front boot forward 1/4" from 29 1/4" up to 29 1/2" and it felt great. I owned -22 with lots of space and time to spare.

 

I recently got a set of OB4 bindings, mostly for the safety aspect. I set them up with the same front boot position (29 1/2"). Unfortunately, my season was interrupted by work stuff for the better part of two weeks before I got a chance to ski the new rig. The good news is that they release very clean in an OTF, as I knew in the air I was already free of the ski. Relatively painless, honestly.

 

More to the point, things feel really different. I expected that, but it's not how I expected. The lateral control isn't much different that I had with my Enzo's since I always ran them tight. The big difference is that the ski feels MUCH stiffer underfoot from the addition of the plate and rigid boots. I'm having trouble finding my stack position and leverage now, as the trip from the ball to the first wake feels completely different. What am I missing? Is there really a big stiffness change" If so, how does one adjust? (If I get another ski for next season, is this a factor?)

 

In the mean time, I've dropped back to -15/-22 to work on the basics and my form. But 4 sessions later, I'm not feeling like it's coming back like it did after a 7 month winter. Summer is short here in MI, so I'm open to suggestions.

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I would say you need to set up your bindings in relation to your ankle bone position on the ski rather than measuring to the back of the binding at this will change from binding to binding. Then make adjustments from there.
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IMG_20150617_105939285

 

Black (stiffer) bindings, size 10. Ski is 67", I am 6'2", 200# if it helps. It's currently mounted into the factory inserts with the provided double sided tape under the front and rear releases since I haven't added inserts there yet for the slits at the extreme ends of the plate. My plan was to add those soon and remove the tape.

 

I immediately felt a "rougher" ride with more transmitted vibration under foot, so I ASSumed the reinforcement of the aluminum plate was reducing flex. I still feel like I can turn it OK.

 

Maybe we're on to something with the measurement to the ankle bone. I tried setting it up like @Horton did with the line drawn on my leg, but that seemed to result in the plate being almost completely forward relative to the slots. I redid it based on the typical rear of boot measurement and it looked more reasonable. (See above pic)

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I see in the picture that the toe is not cut. Have you verified that the spacing is the same as you had? A big increase in spacing could exaggerate balance and maybe match your symptoms.

 

Otherwise follow Matt's advice.

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@Greg Banish Typically I run my boots 1/2-1/4" back from rubber boot settings. As Than said check your spacing from ankle to ankle. I am using the same boots you have and I cut 3/4" off the toe so I could move the rear boot closer to the front foot. There is plenty of room in the toe of the shell so your liner will still not stick out. The rear boot is already marked wear to cut. The stiffness of the system is similar to many other water ski bindings and all skis are designed around having those binding attached. It may take a few more rides to get used to the system after you get everything properly set up. Let me know if you need anything.

Mike's Overall Binding

USA Water Ski  Senior Judge   Senior Driver   Senior Tech Controller

 

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I'm going through the same thing at the moment - for me I've only managed two sets on them and it was a rocky ride to say the least coming from rubber. I went for a open water blast with it just to get some time on the ski without having to worry about balls - I felt much better by the end of that ski - It gave me time to try a few different things technique wise - got my stack better which helped.

 

Keep going with them - my advise is to forget the course for a few rides and get use to the feeling of them.

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I originally had ten screws and mounting tape on mine. Stisher suggested to me that I only use six screws (plus tape) to avoid limiting the skis flex. This was right as I got them, so I do not have a good before comparison, other than my first set on them felt very "off," but after about five to seven sets things were normal. My son went through the same experience of at least five sets to get things going. He is already up to a new PB.
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I should have mentioned first: Changing bindings is tough -- much more so than changing skis. Even going between two different D3 rubber boots it probably took me 10 sets to really feel comfortable. Changing type of boots takes much longer.

 

But you also don't want to be TOO patient. You may need to change some things about your setup or the boots themselves in order to get a new type of bindings to work best for you. I am learning this right now, and recently had a bit of a breakthrough about the response to ball/toe movements, which is one area where rubber may actually be more responsive by default. That said, do NOT send a strap all the way around the boot and plate. Turns out that compromises the release system and can cause pre-release.

 

One last thing to consider: Top buckle tightness. In a full boot style binding, a tight top buckle can be MUCH more responsive to shin movements than other binding types. This can have some weird symptoms, at least one of which is counter-intuitive: it can make it really hard to get enough leverage behind the boat. I don't actually know exactly why that is, although I hypothesize it has something to do with how the ski finishes the turn. What I do know is that as I loosened up the top buckle I got better and better leverage until finally reaching a point where it felt a little loose in the turn, so I went one notch tighter than that.

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Frequently when going to hardshells you need to move the bindings back a little because they can create more tip pressure. I would definitely try moving the bindings back. I also agree with Than's comment on spacing between the feet. If you feet were close to touching with the Enzos they are farther apart now and that will definitely have an impact.

 

As a last resort Do the Enzos have bungee cord on the front. If so and you replace the bungees with cord that doesn't stretch you won't release from the Enzos and you could put them on the OB4 mounting hardware and eliminate the flex of the plate from the equation.

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My daughter has been skiing on double OB4's (soft shells) since Easter. She skis on a 65 inch D3 quest and used double radar vector boots before.

I'd say it took her about a week of skiing 2 sets a day to get used to them. She didn't need to move them back but they were set up with the same distance ankle bone to ankle bone as her vectors and we rotated both boots open about halfway. She likes to have the rear boot top buckle quite loose so that she can lift her heel a bit.

I decided to get her OB4's because as a 14 year old getting into short line I was concerned about safety and I'm happy to say that she absolutely loves them and is skiing better than ever, setting new pb's in her last 3 tournaments. She has not noticed any performance or flex difference to her ski and loves the greater control that the bindings give her.

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