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A different way to think about binding placement.


Horton
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One of my ski partners @renz said something so smart about binding placement yesterday. It is sort of “Capt. Obvious” once you think about it, but I think it deserves conversation.

For any one ski, the usable binding placement range is very likely less than 1”. For simplicity let's say it is actually 1”. That means that a move of ¼” is 25% of the usable range and 1/8th is 12.5% of the usable range. 

In reality 1/4" is much more than a 25% move because the useful range without major fin moves is likely closer to 1/2”

Ignoring the above idea one might think of a ¼” move from 30” inches as a 00.833% move and insignificant. 

I generally explore an 1/8" or less at a time.

Many stock binding plates only adjust 3/8" at time. That is ridiculous. Here would be a good place for a shameless plug for Miko-Just. https://www.mikro-just.com/ I do not make a penny off Miko-Just but it is my invention might the thing I am most proud of in water skiing.  

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@Cooper_Trelawney

I didn't want another ski business so I shopped around for somebody to take it on and gave the design away.

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5 minutes ago, Horton said:

@cruznski loose screw or inserts are not that common. It happens but not exactly an epidemic 

 

I have a couple screws that I have to tighten a touch before every set. I’ve tried new screws and no difference. Others I ski with find the same. Luckily we all check screws before each set.

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@vtmecheng I must have deleted my comment right just as you were posting yours. I should not try to post & edit while in line at the grocery store.

I have skis that never have loose screws and some that are sometimes loose. It is an irritation but far from an epidemic.  Also I have only seen one insert problem this year and it was not my ski. It happens but a lot less than 10 years ago. I think maybe that is more common for skiers who stay one one ski for multiple season ( normal skiers ). 

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I've found the flat black screws that come with Radar bindings to stay put much better than the silver countersunk+washer screws that come with D3 bindings. Unfortunately the Radar ones are too wide for the front or middle holes on my T-Factor, but I use them on the rear (of the front binding) holes.

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When looking at a new ski I always look at the location of the rocker break is on the bottom of the ski is. I will mark with a felt tip marker on the top side where it is. If it falls between the recommended boot placement, the designer has done their job. If its a little forward, then for me it means my front boot forward. My 2 cents.

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Ernie Schlager

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15 hours ago, cruznski said:

And another thing that is ridiculous is that the standard screw/inserts we use you actually have to check them daily. And inserts come out a lot.  This is on a product that now costs $2000. Sheeesh. 

They're just screws being run far looser than they would be if it was a stainless screw into a stainless nut.  That amount of torque will rip the inserts out of the ski.  But you do have options.  

 

Loc-tite "hardens" when it doesn't have air.  There is a purple version which is perfect for our application but you don't want it down in the core of the ski.  Get dialed in and then one screw at a time at the end of the day put a tiny drop of purple loc-tite about half way up the screw and install it.  Its low strength but they won't back out.

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I'm always surprised how large a difference small movements make.  I recently switched from a Reflex size 8 to a 10, which kept my heel in the same place but apparently allowed my toes to spread out a little- huge difference.  This reinforces my old opinion that binding placement should be measured by ankle bone position, but that's harder than simply measuring to the heel. I've also found that a thin pad under the binding plate (I use foam sheets from a craft store [$0.99 each] and cut them to fit the plate) keeps the screws from loosening (still gotta check 'em).

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@BraceMaker Ok yes I get the stainless screws into the inserts. I have the stock Reflex (large which is better as there are more screws) plate Plus the thin rubber layer that they provided when I went Reflex.  My advice from better skiers than I were yes that is good. SO now you have an elastomeric material under the plate (as a lot of plates do) and then the back is a Wiley- different Aluminum plate.... but same screws and inserts. 

I think this is an opportunity for the industry-- make larger way more robust binding attach to ski  in metric with micro- just included. And it should include a mid balance point on the top of the ski like snow skis do. So any ski shop tech could mount it up. 


I actually tried lock nut washers years ago. But if I have to consider  blue or red loctite I am out on this discussion as a solution. 

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Please don’t use red loctite, red loctite needs to get hot to loosen. I wouldn’t like to use my heat gun on the ski to loosen the screws.

boot hinges that I never want to get loose, I use red and can use some heat without damaging the shell if needed to unscrew. I use it on my motorcycle disc brakes or anywhere that a secured mount is needed and I can apply heat to loosen the screws afterwards. 

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Is loctite really necessary? I guess if you know what you're doing I don't object but I'm sort of afraid of people reading this and running right out to buy some, using the wrong stuff and next thing you know they can't get their screws out of their ski.

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I use radar screws,  they still come loose.  typically the 2 rear most screws on the front binding and the 2 forward most screws on the rear.  I ski 2 sets in a morning session.  I check them before I leave the house every time.  Not a big deal.  On the plus side it's an opportunity to check over your equipment before every set.  I think that's good practice.

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I have stainless inserts mounted in all of my snow skis to allow binding swaps and to be able to travel with multiple skis.  To keep screws from loosening, we use a drop of Vibra-tite VC3 on the screws.  You let it dry on the screw before installing and it just adds a little bit of friction to the threads and is really effective.  There are some binding plastics in the alpine world that Loctite doesn't play nice with, so I keep that stuff away from my skis (water and downhill).  That being said, checking/tightening the screws on a waterski takes about 2 seconds pre-ride....

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@Slalom.Steve yup you are right, radar screws seem to stay torqued better than most. That's why I use them.  My point was simply that no matter what screws you use it is good practice to check your gear before you ski.  I wonder if the threads of the inserts are somehow stretched during the installation process and that is what is causing the screws to back out from time to time? 

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I always assumed that they loosen mainly from vibration.  Over the years, I've noticed that different skis that have different specific screws that loosen.  My current one is predictable as to which ones might be a bit loose after a few rides.

If anyone doesn't have a screwdriver in their boat or ski bag, they certainly should get one.  I'd no sooner put loctite on by binding screws that I would use construction adhesive under the binding.  😊   I haven't gotten the Miko-Just system yet, but planning on it!

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Front binding… rear right screw. Rear binding (rtp)… rear left screw. I’m LFF.  And any other screw, but usually these are the first to get loose, on any ski. I carry a loaded tool bag, but don’t carry it around, mostly sits in the car. I always have a ph2 around to check screws before skiing.

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