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Tried xMax Direct Connect, mixed impressions


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  • Baller

Mixed - from use it as rear or get rid of it.

I can not say anything how it behaves during the ride because I could not get out from the water.

In fact normally I start 99 out of 100. Today I mounted xMax DC, did 10 fails in a row, changed boot back to Animal and all went Ok. 12 out of 12.

With vMax during start ski just slides to left (Im LFF) and woops... fail again.

Like there is no solid ground under front foot.

Not a big issue - @savaiusini warned that it is downgrading from Animal.

xMax will find it's place as rear boot - thank to direct connect it is the same both in front and rear position.

My question is what is the problem? because Im going to buy xMax 2017.

Did it happen because sole is toooo soft (if fact it is) or DC system itself has more lateral freedom comparing to standard plate?

Or it is my personal issue?

Did anyone use DC boots and what is your impression?



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@OldboyII not sure I would ever say xMax/vMax is a downgrade from an Animal boot. They are just different. I apologize, I'm having a hard time following the rest of your post... Are you saying direct connect boots make it harder to deep water start?

Sam Avaiusini - HO Sports Company - Director of Inside Sales and Business Operations

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@savaiusini sorry for giving you hard time - english is not my mother tongue. Will try to make shorter phrases.


1) I did not post about xMax/vMax. Only about xMax (open toe).

2) Yes, xMax did my water start impossible. I could not keep ski staying flat against the rope pull. I felt like ski is rocking and sliding sideways. When I changed front boot back to Animal problem vanished - 100% of success!

3) I can not determine why it happened - either because of too soft footbed or because of other reasons.

4) Animal vs xMax. Yes you said - if I ski Animal, I will feel xMax less supportive and recommended to wait new Animal, which may come in direct connect version.

In fact Im not complaining - xMax is very well made and looks great.

Im just asking - if anyone had experience with xMax direct connect boot?

(disagreement - is not an answer)


PS foot bed in x max is really soft - I never saw such soft footbed before.

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I have found my '16 dbl XMax to be comfortable, supportive and like the adjustability options. I was in dbl Animals for 15 years before them. The X's are equally if not more supportive laterally yet much more comfortable. The only quirk is removing the footbed to adjust or check tightness.
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  • Baller

Are your boots "direct connect" version or conventional plate mount?


Added 1: I used that kind of open toe boots before (OBrien's, HO) and never had this interesting effect.

All they were on the normal plate, that is why I try to figure out: is this effect of "direct connect" mount or something else?

Can easily admit that it is my personal problem (my start technique). Nevertheless I would like to find solution.


Added 2: once my second ski will be back from workshop I will make experiment.

I have adapter to convert direct connect boot to standard plate version.

Will see then where is a rabbit hides.

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Looks like the reason is not soft footbed as I suspect before.

The reason is simpler and more complex for me because I live too far away for sending merchandise back and forth to change :/

This is the boot how it came from the box


Visible cuff inclination to right makes difficult to keep the ski flat against rope pull during the water start, and ski slides sideways.


Surely I received the boot for bow-legged RFF.

Unfortunately i'm straight LFF :D


Second pic is the boot after temporary adjustments - minor wedge between bottom plate and boot body on the right side. Boot cuff is more straight now:



Now thinking about materials for 1/2 vedge horseshoe.

Any other ideas about more ways how to fix it , colleagues?



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Yes it does. I know this very well from alpine skiing: 1-2 degree of cuff inclination may destroy your skiing.

The cuff of xMax is not that soft, it is almost as hard as vMax. At least in hands.

Anyway, hard or soft does not really matter - lower leg always follows cuff axis.


When I changed the boot during the set problem disappeared.

I am 100% sure that it is a root of the problem. After I fix it I will take this boot to skiing holiday without tests.


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Just to finish the thread.

In order to make cuff perpendicular to ski I put 1/2 horseshoe shaped strip of dense 1.5mm rubber between bottom metal plate and boot on the right side.

In fact more thickness was needed, but thicker layer is not good for integrity of boot construction.

Therefore second layer was put between ski and the boot (same right side).


Cuff became exactly perpendicular to ski.

In order to enhance modification and eliminate all doubts I replaced stock footbed with modified one from animal (which is foot specific - left in my case)

Tested today.

Water start - 100%. Another funny problem popped - ski was more on the right edge, exactly opposite to what was before ))

Off side was easy and sharp, but.... ski kept on edging further and further to the right and onside was a matter of really hard work ))


Then in order to finish experiment I returned stock sole to where it belong and.... skiing was amazing, I loved it!


There are few things in dry residue:

- Boot canting does matter a lot.

- soft sole is not a problem

- in every negative situation we may find something that may enrich our knowledge.




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