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  1. #1
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    Ski Tech Catch Up since 2014 Model Year

    Mags, I was hoping for a little help. I stepped away from skiing the last couple years helping the wife with our two kids. Making the move out of the city to the RFV at the beginning of December. I am wondering about the need for new ski gear and to get a feel for how much the industry has advanced since I last was reading reviews, looking at new gear, etc.

    I purchased new model year 2014 Blizzard Bonafides and Lange RX 130s in 2014 and probably put 30 days on them before I took my sabbatical. I have the first version of the Duke that we got a maggot deal on, mounted on them.

    My question, can someone quickly catch me up on what tech has changed the last 4-5 years and should I get new skis for the season or just roll with them? New binders maybe? Also, I am now five years older and in my mid 30s and my legs are not in skiing shape. Prior to stopping, I was probably getting 35-50 days a season. Is there something that would be light, poppy and better for old man fall line skiing?

    Thanks for the help!
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  2. #2
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    2014 Bonafides are pretty close to current state of art for that class of ski. Re old man skiing, you didn't mention length.

    your boots are fine if they fit

    lose the Dukes

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeezerSteve View Post
    2014 Bonafides are close to current state of art for that class of ski

    your boots are fine if they fit

    lose the Dukes
    Good to hear on the skis. When I got those, they made skiing resort crud and chop less tiring then any ski I had ever been on. It was like a light went on and I could just ski over top of anything and stay nice and relaxed.

    Is there a better current binder that can handle some slack country skinning but 90% resort? The new Duke? At my age, a knee injury would be murder.

    I was planning on going back to my stock liners, which I have never used, from Intuitions to soften up the boot for the first half of the season. Might be total old man and get some boot warmers. Thanks for the help!
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    Is there a better current binder that can handle some slack country skinning but 90% resort?
    I can't help you there. My touring ski/bindings setups are full-on tour and my lift-served skis are not tourable (although I sometimes ski soft days on touring skis). Maybe someone else can chime re whether any current frame bindings are worth a shit. Re tech bindings that are marketed as hybrid tour/lift-served, see various threads re Marker Kingpin failures.

  5. #5
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    Pair the Bones with a wider soft snow ski. For slack country alpine tour binding— everybody is worked up on the new Shift binding from Salomon. Including myself

  6. #6
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    - Frame bindings are dead thanks to the Shift.
    - Ski manufacturers now think everything should be lightweight, from boots to skis. TGR disagrees.
    - Materials are advancing. Everyone has carbon now. HDT is a thing with Renouns. Liberty has some weird ass vertical metal tech that is actually pretty cool.
    - Carving is cool again. (It always was.)
    - WTR is going to die. Gripwalk won. Most new consumer boots will be Gripwalk. Most bindings now sold can alternate between standard alpine and girpwalk.
    - Manufacturers are afraid of making skis longer than 189.

  7. #7
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    You also have about 6 weeks before the season really starts. Get into the gym and get your legs and core ready.

  8. #8
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    Ski Tech Catch Up since 2014 Model Year

    Well, you aren't an old man, so there's that.
    While your current setup maybe not perfect or optimal, the gear you have is fine given how you've suggested you will use it if it's still on the fresh side of the spectrum. It won't get in the way of your having fun.

    The Shift binding that CascadeLuke mentions is the new hotness for inbounds/side country however it is a freshman year product and it remains to be seen if there will be teething issues or not (despite their best effort to get it right out of the gate). Having fondled these binders myself, I am stoked about the possibility but will patiently wait for my maggot brothers and sisters to beat the shit out of them for a season to provide some anecdotal baseline for making a purchase decision on subsequent production runs.

    Edited to add:
    Keep in mind that the Shift binding would require you to upgrade your boots to something with tech fittings.

    Regarding the Dukes...
    Take a close look at them for wear and play, both in ski and tour modes. If the binding has play and rocks back and forth, bail them, and replace with and alpine binding, perhaps something that has enough adjustment range at the toe to accommodate new future boots that may have a touring or Gripwalk (or whatever) type sole.
    Last edited by ACH; 10-11-2018 at 11:04 AM.
    Alpental Indigenous
    Member PNWFSC

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Your gear is fine minus the Dukes. Also the stock liner on your RX130s will pack out after about 15 days, so keep those Intiutions around.

  10. #10
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    im a old man ski tech
    reds faster
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -
    ski on in eternal peace

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    - Frame bindings are dead thanks to the Shift.
    - Ski manufacturers now think everything should be lightweight, from boots to skis. TGR disagrees.
    - Materials are advancing. Everyone has carbon now. HDT is a thing with Renouns. Liberty has some weird ass vertical metal tech that is actually pretty cool.
    - Carving is cool again. (It always was.)
    - WTR is going to die. Gripwalk won. Most new consumer boots will be Gripwalk. Most bindings now sold can alternate between standard alpine and girpwalk.
    - Manufacturers are afraid of making skis longer than 189.
    This.

    Quote Originally Posted by ACH View Post
    Well, you aren't an old man, so there's that.
    While your current setup maybe not perfect or optimal, the gear you have is fine given how you've suggested you will use it if it's still on the fresh side of the spectrum. It won't get in the way of your having fun.

    The Shift binding that CascadeLuke mentions is the new hotness for inbounds/side country however it is a freshman year product and it remains to be seen if there will be teething issues or not (despite their best effort to get it right out of the gate). Having fondled these binders myself, I am stoked about the possibility but will patiently wait for my maggot brothers and sisters to beat the shit out of them for a season to provide some anecdotal baseline for making a purchase decision on subsequent production runs.
    Also this.

    Personally, I'd keep your boots and the Bones, but remount them with some cheap alpine binders. And then buy something wider and lighter*, and either
    - put the Dukes on them if you want to tour in your RX 130s or
    - sell the Dukes and go with the Shift (or maybe Tecton), if you want to get a tech-compatible boot at some point.

    (*for skis, the Moment Deathwish comes to mind here, because it's pretty light in the stock layup but there are tons of options.)

    And finally, to answer your question: the biggest advances in the past 4 years have been in tech-compatible "crossover" boots in the 1300-1900 g range: Lange XT Free, Hawx XTD, Tecnica Cochise (same name but much better boot), Dalbello Lupo Factory/C, Fischer Ranger, etc. I would still keep your Lange RX, but you might consider supplementing with something in the 1500 g range ... *IF* you decide you really want to tour.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  12. #12
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    grip walk

  13. #13
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    Awesome info. Thank you everyone. I think I am gonna ditch the Dukes and put a new alpine only binder on. Always been a Look fan.

    Get a season under my belt, and then pick up some stiffer BC boots, binders and a lighter ski, with the aim of hitting up the BC next season after making some connections in the valley.

    I am stoked to hear that we are getting better crossover boots and binders that can be a little stiffer on the way down in the BC!
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    grip walk
    If I am doing new alpine bindings, I am going to look into this. Checking for comparability on my boots.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    If I am doing new alpine bindings, I am going to look into this. Checking for comparability on my boots.
    Well....that was short lived. No Lange compatibility?
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    Well....that was short lived. No Lange compatibility?
    Grip walk binders should be compatible with any alpine boot (including your current RX 130). The real advantage is that you can stuff a grip walk touring boot into them, too.

    Personally, I'd keep it simple and just get a cheap alpine binding for the Bones and ski it with your alpine boots.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Personally, I'd keep it simple and just get a cheap alpine binding for the Bones and ski it with your alpine boots.
    With the cost difference only being about $100, I will probably get good alpine binders. Knee surgery cost more then that. What is the hot alpine binding right now? Thanks
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    With the cost difference only being about $100, I will probably get good alpine binders. Knee surgery cost more then that. What is the hot alpine binding right now? Thanks
    Most decent alpine binders have approximately the same release characteristics and design hasn't really changed in 20-30 years. You pay extra for metal with the idea that it's more durable. Personally, I bet the STH 13/16 WTR would work great for you. Pivot/FKS 18s have always been hot with their metal goodness, but lack vertical release at the toe. STH steels are sexy, but heavy, expensive, and hard to find.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    With the cost difference only being about $100, I will probably get good alpine binders. Knee surgery cost more then that. What is the hot alpine binding right now? Thanks
    Any top of the line binding will be fine. Not sure if you have relocated yet but the annual ski swap is this weekend at Aspen High.

  20. #20
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    Boots and boards are just fine.

    Do you have skins for the bones?

  21. #21
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    5 years, in your 30's? You've changed more than the gear has. sorry.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    5 years, in your 30's? You've changed more than the gear has. sorry.
    EXACTLY! That was a huge part of my post.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shredhead View Post
    Boots and boards are just fine.

    Do you have skins for the bones?
    Unfortunately, I do not. Some jackhole stole my skins and pack with my shovel, probe and beacon. I am going to be in need of replacing all that stuff as well. Which was part of why I was thinking I would turn the bones into dedicated in resort and then look for a touring setup in the spring. Maybe even early spring for a couple days out before melt out.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  24. #24
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    mid 30s = old man... hilarious. dude dont give up on yourself already hahaha.

  25. #25
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    Sounds like you have a solution.. keep the Bones. Add the Look or Solly alpine binding of your choice, (preferrably by mounting your own fucking skis) and ski the resort this year. Buy a pass.

    Check the dukes for slop. If they are solid you could put them on a cheap used pow ski for deep days and some slaclcountry this year. In the spring reassess your touring needs and update gear as appropriate.

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