- Problem with your binding
prereleasing? The problem may be your boots not your bindings!
Reader Kaj, from Finland, sent in this tip and I will let him
explain: "Before you complain about the binding malfunctions,
please check your boot soles; My absolute best pair of teleboots
(Scarpa T-2, modelyear 1995, green, still in use) had only one
fault: The left boot was 4 mm wider than the right one at the
point where the boot touches the rear end of the toe plate. This
gave me two problems: 1) The heel of the left boot was several
millimeters towards the inner edge of the left ski. If I had
my feet parallel, the left ski tip pointed inwards. 2) Binding
adjustment had to be different, ie the left binding was much
tighter, because the boot was not sitting properly in the binding.
So, by using a file and sanding paper I grinded some material
away from the left side of the left boot. (Because you cannot
add material to the boot that is narrower you have to grind off
the excess material from the boot with extra width). Be careful
when grinding, compare the boots so that they will be identical.
The materials, Pebax and the rubber sole are quite hard to work
with, so you need time and enough beer to complete the job. But
it is worth it, you have less to complain about your bindings."
- A good way to repair a
stripped out binding screw hole is to mix some steel wool into
some epoxy and stuff it into the hole. The steel wool is said
to reinforce the epoxy like rebar reinfores concrete. Thanks
to Greg Letts for this one!
- A lot of people have been
saying that if you have bought wider, sidecut skis that you now
need to buy wide skins and trim them to fit, that if too much
base is exposed you will be dogged and the skins will not grip
enough. I have not found this to be the case and I think this
is mere speculation rather than actual reporting of real world
experience. I encourage you to try your new skis with your old
skins before shelling out another hundred or more on wider skins!
Try the old skins first and if you are not happy with the climbing
performance THEN buy wider skins.
- A ski partner beefed up
his Scarpa T-3's by adding a rear "spoiler" to the
cuff. He did this by using milk carton plastic that he cut into
pieces that extend about 3 inches above the rear of the standard
cuff. He riveted this plastic to the boot and has reported that
it has resulted in improved rear support with almost zero weight
- One way to check to see
if you may need custom insoles to help balance your stance is
to remove the liner from the shell, then remove the stock insole
and place it in the shell. Put your foot in the boot and try
to balance on that one leg, if you have trouble doing it, you
may need a custom insole. One way to check if your legs are bowed
or to determine if you need special adjustments with your sports
shoes or boots is to stand straight and bring your legs together
by gradually sliding your feet until both ankles OR knees touch.
If your ankles and knees touch at the same time your legs are
aligned. If your ankles touch first, you're probably bow legged.
Conversely, if your knees touch first, you're probably know-kneed.
In both cases, you may need canting your equipment. For more
on this, check out our article on Canting For Telemark Skiers.
- In my research for an
upcoming article on emergency kits and contents, I was given
a great tip I had to get out right away: carry golf tees and
a bit of epoxy to repair a pulled out binding screw. If the hole
is stripped out, you put in some epoxy and pound in the tee.
Re-install the screw and you are good to go!
- A boot fitting tip: If
your boots are a bit short and you have a low enough volume foot
for this to work, try putting a small inser about a quarter in
thick under the heel of your inner sole. A reader ( Bob Yotko)
tells me that as the heel rises up it pulls the toe back a bit.
He has stressed to me that it only works with low volume feet
where there is enough room in the boot, but for some folks it
has to be worth a try.
- Do your boots (or worse, your
partner's boots) squeak while touring? Many of us have tried
and used quick(short term) fixes such as wax or a little silicone.
Now there is an explanation and a real fix provided by a skier
identified on the newsgroup as "Payt". His explanation
is that the radius formed by the bending of the inside walls
of the binding plate is different enough from the hard edge of
the boots to cause the problem. His solution: use a sharp knife
or blade to remove around 1/16th to 1/4 of an inch of boot sole
material from the edge of the boots where the sole contacts the
sides of the binding plate. The idea is to get the edge of the
boot radius to more closely match the binding, this is said to
cure the problem. The sounds of silence never sounded so good!
Thanks to "Payt" for one of the best tips I have ever
- Do you have an old pair
of Scarpa telemark boots that still have life left in them but
are thrashed from years of trail hiking, spring time scree scrambles
and just general wear and tear? Last season a ski partner of
mine sent his old T-1's in to Black Diamond and for around $80
they replaced all the straps and buckles and generally refurbished
the boots. They came back looking ready for a second life and
with the price of new T-1's at more then $500 it seems like a
- Looking for tips on mounting telemark bindings
? Check out. Dr
Telemark's short feature on the subject.
- Near the beginning of
last season Neil's skis delaminated at the tip. The top sheet
pulled away about 5 inches back. I repaired the ski by first
drilling a small hole about 21/2 inches back from the tip on
both skis, I then worked a generous amount of slow cure epoxy
between the layers and followed this with a nut and bolt through
the hole. The bolt held it together while the epoxy set and on
the other ski the bolt served as a preventative measure. I used
slow cure epoxy because it is more water-resistant then the 5
minute type. This repair lasted all season and that included
a lot of time Neil spent jumping in the terrain park at the resort.
I think thru-bolting the tip is the key to making the repair
- When fitting plastic tele
boots the shell size is extremely important. The boot size with
the liner in it is a completely different thing then the shell
size. The mold that the shell is cast from is a very expensive
part of the tele boot manufacturing process. Consequently shells
usually run in two size increments, ie: 5/6, 7/8, 8/9 etc. and
the liner is made to fit the traditional sizes (7,71/2,8,81/2,9,
etc.). Check the shell size, usually found under the tongue.
How your foot fits the shell is THE critical fit criteria. Liners
pack-out, plastic shells don't. To check the shell fit, remove
the liner and slide your bare foot in. Move your foot forward
until your toes are just touching the front of the toe box. For
proper fit you should have one and a half to two fingers room
from the back of the heel to the inside rear of the shell. Measure
this as you would a shot of good tequila: two fingers together.
You should be looking at something a little less then two fingers,
if it is two it should be a snug two. If you follow this guideline
you will end up with a boot that flex's in the right place and
does not pinch your toes. One other note, with the liner in and
your foot in and the boot buckled up, to avoid cold feet, you
should be able to wiggle your toes. If you can't wiggle your
toes your circulation will suffer and misery will be the word.
- To make a core shot repair
without the time and expense of taking your skis to a shop for
a base weld ( a core shot is a deep gouge in the base that goes
all the way through the p-tex to the core) use slow-cure epoxy
and fill up the gouge, come back every once in a while and check
the curing process and the hardness. As the epoxy hardens it
will shrink a little, when this has happened but it is still
slightly soft, use a razor blade or an x-acto knife to score
a cross-hatch pattern in the epoxy. Don't just scratch it, score
it well. Now let the epoxy set up completely (overnight) and
then use a p-tex candle to fill up the hole. The epoxy, while
drying, shrinks a bit to make a perfect well to fill with p-tex.
The scoring in the epoxy gives the p-tex something to hold on
to. Use your base scraper to level out the patch, wax your skis
and you are good to go. Oh, the reason you want to use slow-cure
epoxy, and not the five minute type, is that it is more waterproof.
I have had this kind of patch job outlast an expensive base weld.
A shop tech showed me how to do it!
- A reader suggests that grip tape used
on skateboard decks (the anti-slip sandpaper like stuff) works
well on adustable ski poles in the manner I suggested (below)
using duct tape. I'll have to try that!
- Goggle Care and Feeding: It a great day,
snowing, a little warm though, high twenties maybe, it would
be even better if you could see! Here are a few tips: dirty goggles
seem to fog up faster than clean ones, clean them thourghly inside
and out, use anti-fog cloth or solution if you have it, use only
a CLEAN dry cloth for wiping (do not use McDonald's napkins,Matt!),
have a designated cloth for this purpose, some goggles come with
a bag that doubles as a wiping cloth, make sure you throw it
in the washing machine regularly. Try not to take your goggles
off, try really hard, they get wet inside and then you are really
dogged, you might as well go back to the car and get your spare
pair, not always an option. Finally, a ski partner has had a
most handy device for years, it is a little squeegee type thing
you wear on a finger over your glove like a ring, a quick swipe
across the lens is like turning on the windshield wiper on a
car, on a wet snow day it will be your best non-gortex friend.
I had trouble finding one of these gizmos, so when I did I bought
a bunch, and so should you.
- One of the most aggravating
things that can occur when skinning is when your skins get wet
and ice up, snow sticks to 'em and they start to weigh about
twenty extra pounds each (let's see, 8 lbs. for Terminators,
7-10 lbs. for skis and bindings, a couple of lbs. for the skins,
and twenty lbs. of snow, OUCH). Now, I know of at least
one commercial preparation you can get (Glop-Stopper) to put
on the skins, but it seems I never have the stuff along when
I need it. But I always have my wax bag. Try rubbing a
little hard wax on the bottom of the skins,a little green or
blue should do the trick. Put more on the area directly under
the boot. I have done this many times and it wears off, usually
by the end of the day, with no ill effect.
- Having trouble getting
a good grip on those twist to lock and un-lock adjustable poles?
Wrap several turns of duct-tape in the appropriate spots and
you will have something to hold onto, also you will always have
a supply of the all important repair material right there on
- This is such an obvious
one but it took me way too many years to figure out: when
putting on your skis, open the binding front throw and pull the
cable back before putting the skis on the snow. This cuts
down the critical "bend over time", perhaps with Black
Diamond's (or others) new step-in bindings, this tip will become
obsolete, though I have a feeling we are going to be in cables
for some time yet to come!
- This tip is more of a
warning: if you put a coat of Zardoz Not-Wax on the base of your
skis, be warned, you will not be able to rub on harder kick waxes
(green, blue, etc.), the wax just skips along the base no matter
how hard you press. I learned this the hard way, at the trail
head on an epic powder morning, trying to wax up, skins back
in the drawer at home, everybody waiting and muttering the old
saw about no friends on a pow day....the stuff isn't worth
a damn in fresh anyway, save it for late spring, wet snow conditions.
- Take an Avalanche course
and learn all you can on the subject so that you can make
your risk-management decisions based on information and
knowledge. This is a critical "hot tip" that will
always be on this page!