I ski a lot, very hard, very fast. Not surprisingly, this takes its toll on equipment, and I thought I’d make a list of my kit that has met an untimely end.
- Graves slalom skis: severely bent about 30cm from the tip.
- Dynastar Vertical bump skis: tore out both rear bindings; discovered at the very highest point of Val Thorens…
- Dynastar X9 skis: delaminated base, tore out edge on a rock.
- Dynafit 3F race boots: Smashed rear shock absorber mechanism, rendering them unusable.
- Nordica 990 boots: red rear-entry monsters! Smashed the retention flange in an awkward landing; boot cuff could fold flat backwards!
- Salomon 957 composite bindings: heel piece exploded into little bits while skiing bumps.
- Volant Chubb Ti skis: broke off tip on one ski, delaminated whole of the other one.
- K2 Apache Recon skis: Broke tip, pulled out rear binding. These were terrible skis.
- Diamir Fritschi Freeride bindings: not so much a breakage as exposing a design flaw; never land a jump on a traverse: the toe retention is not good enough and the boot will twist out. A second problem is that the heel can release if a ski is flexed very hard, e.g. crossing a ditch; This flaw was fixed in later models.
- Diamir Fritschi Freeride bindings: Sheared screw holding rear binding onto the main tube.
- Rossignol Scratch BC skis: The first skis I got into “extreme carving” on. They couldn’t take it: I rotated the edges out of the ski structure on both skis.
- Fischer RC4 FIS SL skis: rotated the edges out through the base.
- Salomon 997 bindings: Barrel of toe piece split, provoking early release at higher DIN settings: cost me a broken thumb.
- Tyrolia bindings on Stöckli Rotor skis; one rear binding disintegrated.
- Volkl AC50 Unlimited skis: I loved these skis, but I rotated the edges out through the base.
- Dynastar Cham 97 skis: rotated the edges out through the base (seeing a pattern here!)
- Salomon Quest Pro 130 boots: split shell
- Elan Amphibio 78Ti skis: broke off tip protector, delaminated tail on one ski.
Any ski manufacturers that want to know how strong their kit is, do get in touch and I’ll try my best to break it for you.
Ski stuff that is still alive despite my best efforts
- ICE lightning carbon ski poles: These are awesome. Despite being carbon, they’re not light, but they are very stiff and very strong. Bought in Vail in 1998, still dead straight after hundreds of ski days.
- I never managed to kill my Salomon SX92E ski boots, but I did try very hard.
- My current skis are 176cm Nordica FireArrow 76Ti from 2015. They are doing quite well, one tip rattles, edges of top sheet are having a hard time, but no sign of rotated edges or delamination! Their turn radius (about 17m) is a little long for my style, and I don’t like them as much as the Elans I broke, but they’re still great all-rounders.