Demise of the "System Ski"

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MC2 5678F589 MC2 5678F589
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Demise of the "System Ski"

Here's the article:

http://skiingbusiness.com/8260/newswire/the-demise-of-the-system-ski/

Basically says that shops are pissed because they can't sell proprietary ski/binding systems anymore.  I say good riddance.

riverc0il riverc0il
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Re: Demise of the "System Ski"

But people that buy new skis, usually only buy them once every five years. And when they do purchase new skis, they feel it is time to upgrade the bindings too. So, they aren’t looking to switch out the bindings. They are going to sell them, with the binding to someone else.
Huh? If everyone decided to buy new bindings every five years, then there wouldn't be a used binding market.

Of course ski retailers love binding systems. They get two sales for the price of one. Nope, sorry, you can't use your existing bindings. If you want to buy the-best-greatest-latest-make-you-a-super-skier-ski-rag-highly-rated ski, you'll need to buy the system ski plus binding for $1000. Its a deal!!! Get bent. That ain't a deal for someone looking to save money and reuse bindings. 10 year old bindings are just as good as today's bindings, binding tech isn't exactly getting better. Heck, Look P12 to PX12... it is getting worse!

Systems are good for the right skier and the right ski. But for most skiers, they limit choice and also lock you into a binding. A consumer that doesn't know what they are doing is going to buy whatever they are told to buy whether it is a system or a ski/binding separately with a "free" mount. Systems limit choice, choice is good for consumers, so unless a ski truly does have exceptionally better performance with a system (read: hard pack groomer ripped), then systems are bad for consumers.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Demise of the "System Ski"

Shows how much I (don't) know.  I bought my first pair of alpine skis last year (2009-2010) for Zelda.  It was at a small ski shop known for doing custom bootfitting.  (While I have no idea if the price was fair on the boot/fitting buy she swears by the fit and comfort.)

So after the fitting was done, I started looking at skis and I was blown away at the price. $1000.  Then the guy told me he could come down on the price and it included the bindings.  The binding weren't actually on the skis? I think we paid $725.  It was a lot to spend but  like I said she really likes the setup.

The boots were about the same as a good pair of Teleboots. ~$500. In my head I figured if you divided the skis and bindings ($500 for the skis, $225 for the bindings) that seemed reasonable. The teleskis you buy (in November) are in that range and the bindings are less, but they don't release.

Zelda may well ski those for 5 years.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
tBatt tBatt
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Re: Demise of the "System Ski"

Harvey44 wrote
($500 for the skis, $225 for the bindings)
$225 is quite steep for bindings, especially ones that Zelda would be riding (assuming her bindings only have a max DIN of 10). The last 10 DIN bindings I got were $120 I think.
riverc0il riverc0il
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Re: Demise of the "System Ski"

fujative wrote
Harvey44 wrote
($500 for the skis, $225 for the bindings)
$225 is quite steep for bindings, especially ones that Zelda would be riding (assuming her bindings only have a max DIN of 10). The last 10 DIN bindings I got were $120 I think.
Evo regularly has new DIN 12 bindings in their outlet for $150 or less. I think I got my P12s a few years ago at Evo for $100 (though I needed to also buy a wider break). Shopping around online, you can almost always find good quality bindings brand new for half as much as shop prices. You have to factor in paying for your own mount, too. Still by far the way to go.

Shops are fine if you don't want to do the leg work. I know Harv is big into supporting shops. I would be too if the difference wasn't in the hundreds of dollars.

HOLY CRAP. Older PX14s for $80 at Evo. Need to buy a wider break, but still... that binding "lists" at $300....
http://www.evo.com/outlet-shop/ski/bindings.aspx#
HoliScott HoliScott
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Re: Demise of the "System Ski"

good riddance, bring back flat ski sales.
ausable skier ausable skier
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Re: Demise of the "System Ski"

The system binding that are incorporated into the Core of the ski like Elan and a few other mfr made a huge improvement in the performance of skis because the ski could flex more freely and not have a hinge point due to the binding.  You are not going to see  flat skis with reg camber under foot in non race skis less than a 82 mm waist becuase the performance difference is so large.  These system skis cost more to make because of the integration. One disadvantage is that you can not cant under the binding of a system ski which is a big issue for some folks.  My wife has to ski on a race ski for that reason.

Wider skis do not have the performance need for carving so the need for a better performing binding system that costs more won't happen.  It also adds more beef to the middle of the ski and many wider skis are quite thin for flex purposes.

The FIS forbides the system ski in race skis because of the performance advantages in provides in carving.  If the FIS had its way WC skiers would be skiing on 4 by 4's. Stupid.

Personally I'd much rather pay a little more for a better performing ski than save $100 and get something that is not as good as it could be.  We all ski at least 100+ days on a pair of skis so this is less than a $1 a day more.  Given how much we all ski you can certainly justify the expense to get the best.  System binding also raise the resale value of our used skis since they don't need to be remounted to someone elses boot soles.  They also make it much easier to try different skis out.

Also we need to support the local ski shop - they are a vital link in our sport and while yes you can spend a little less on the internet who is going to do that boot fit for you or help a first time skier buy their first skis.  If they don't survive our sport will not grow leading to higher prices and less choices down the road for everyone.
riverc0il riverc0il
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Re: Demise of the "System Ski"

A little less on the internet? How about 50% off or more. Boot fitting? I got that done by a specialist that doesn't sell equipment (no ulterior motive either, nice!). Sport will not grow and have higher prices? That is an odd suggestion considering the growth of the sport and significantly lower prices shoppers have enjoyed since having online options. Sorry, I don't buy it. I am super loyal to a shop for tunes. And they really appreciate my business. But I don't buy anything there. Shops might consolidate so that only the best ones survive, and that is okay with me.
Harvey Harvey
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Re: Demise of the "System Ski"

I did some googling and it backed up what you guys are saying: alpine bindings listed at $200 then discounted to $80.  Tele bindings are around $120 +/- and I just assumed that a more complicated releasable mechanism would be more. Maybe it's the volume of alpine bindings that brings the cost down.  

I have bought tele bindings for less online, and had a bad experience.  The heel plate wasn't in the correct spot.  I was extremely specific about the boot and size and they still got it wrong. While the ski was still usable, it bugged me big time.

I should point out that the $225 number for the binding wasn't a real number. I just took the total price (somewhere around $700) and guessed that the skis would have been $500 of that amount.  The skis were K2 (Free Luv). I have no idea what the bindings were. The set up has been ideal for Zelda. She really love the ski and the binding has absolutely released only when needed.

To tell you the truth I'm not positive that what I bought was a system binding. I assumed it was because they were priced as one, but the skis, didn't have bindings on them when they were in the rack.

Really the boot and fitting price should have been enough patronage for the local shop. It wasn't cheap. But it was the end of October and we drove most of the way to Albany to get this done, so I went for it.

What should you pay for alpine:

Boots
Fitting
Skis
Bindings

... online and at a ski shop? Scared to ask, but need to know.

One thing is for sure - when I bought my tele skis at Gear Source in North Creek the price I got was competitive with what I saw on the internet.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
CMR CMR
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Re: Demise of the "System Ski"

Harvey44 wrote
One thing is for sure - when I bought my tele skis at Gear Source in North Creek the price I got was competitive with what I saw on the internet.

We've bought some equipment from Gear Source for the kids.  They're really knowlegable and friendly people.  Great used equipment as well.  I think they also supply the mountain bikes for Garnet Hill.  We had a wonderful time mountain biking there this summer.  Hope they are still around next summer.  My wife told me that they have filed for bankruptcy.  
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