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Reply with quote  #1 
Have you guys seen the latest round of bindings r us??

Aluminum CNC seems to be the rage. They are extravagant contraptions of the first order.

Waterski bindings are a difficult puzzle for sure. To blend safety, performance, fit, weight, looks and useability - all at a "low" cost is pretty demanding.

old timer
Reply with quote  #2 
show us a picture
I'd be scared
Reply with quote  #3 
Lots of sharp corners! Is this what you are talking about?

Attached Images
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Reply with quote  #4 
Yep that is one of them.

The actual cost to build-up a setup like that is huge. Two release units, custom parts, thick plates, etc. they cannot compete cost wise, with the added penalty of weight. So not sustainable operation imo. Can't see them surviving in current form sorry.
You'd be un-informed
Reply with quote  #5 
Yikes, You did not tell the whole story. Those photos are specifically labeled as prototype parts. And yes building them is an expensive process, but they will sell for about the same price as other systems. But if they save one knee or ankle surgery, they pay for themselves pretty quick! The weight difference over traditional rubber bindings is not significant in terms of performance. The production version has eliminated the the sharp corners and further reduced the weight. More information and photos will be available the week of March 17th on the website. Until you have actually seen them and tried them, negative comments may make you look un-informed. I have had no problem running into 39off on this system. You will be able to see them at the Atlanta ProAm, Big Dawg, Nationals and other events this summer. Then I would welcome any constructive evaluation.

Mike Mosley
OB4 Systems
Reply with quote  #6 
I don't think any of the posts about that system were too aggressive ,just pointing out some of the things that need to be worked out before they go to market. You may at one point get some uncalled for posts but please keep us in the loop on how you are coming along. The more options we have the better!
Reply with quote  #7 
I'd say "yikes" was pretty negative....I'm sure that's what he's referring to...I'm sure some reviews will hit before too long! Good luck and keep inovating!
Reply with quote  #8 
Notice that the website suggests they can be used for jumping.  That will make the event real interesting!  I'd prefer a blown ACL to a broke neck.
Reply with quote  #9 
If I'm not mistaken that same Mike Mosley jumped pretty successfully in those same hard shells and releases.  Interesting concept. I'm looking forward to seeing the production models. Bring it on Mike....gotta love innovation. I HATE dual lock !!  
Reply with quote  #10 
Back in the back-back-when in the late 1960's, I experimented with snow ski boots
on jump skis.  Would have been Lange Standards with Look Nevada bindings.

As a snowskier, that seemed like a good idea at the time.  Wicked good edge control.  Also
wicked crashes when I went to Saucier G12's, which had rounded rubber edges.  And,
since water wants to follow a curve, your weighted/cutting ski could get stripped off
in milliseconds.  Enough to make me gunshy-wary for years.

Anyway, when things were working right, maybe G10's then, I was 3rd in Mens Jumping at
the 1969 Eastern Regionals in Petersburg, VA.  Chief Judge made me add some padding to
the bindings, which I did with some Ensolite and good old duct tape.

Someday, water ski boot/binding systems are going to catch up with the snow ski systems,
but nowadays, they are maybe 30 years behind, IMHO.
Reply with quote  #11 
A safe release system already exists. Reflex has steadily improved their system over a lot of years, and now literally thousands of skiers all over the globe rely on them. Light, strong, extremely reliable, and most importantly they are safe to use. I have used Reflex since the early days and today's product is absolutely bullet proof from my experience.

I do like the idea of progress, and perhaps over time, and many years of R&D, they will prove to be viable.
Reply with quote  #12 
Looked online at the Reflex system, and it reminds me a lot of the "beartrap" toe pieces
on snow ski bindings back in the 1950's.

Where there is no release capability in a twisting fall.  Maybe not needed all that much for
water skiing...maybe.
Reply with quote  #13 
That reflex system is by far the best system on the market. nothing comes close. you say it doesn't release in a twisting fall? Yeah they won't release if your twisting perfectly perpendicular to the ski but in reality that doesn't happen at all. I think there is a problem with them not releasing sometimes but this is not due to the system, this is due to the system not being set up properly. 

OB4, you say none of you have had problems with this release system, how many people use it? Im sure 100% of 10 people that use it might not have a problem but if reflex have 5% of 5000 people that use them isn't really comparable...

(figures as example)
doubble boot
Reply with quote  #14 
OB4 doubble boot only?
Reply with quote  #15 
Lange Standards. Blue liner. There is a blast from the past. Ed, don't make me tell you about my Henkes!
looks like
Reply with quote  #16 
Looks a lot like Fogmans.  How is the release system different?
Reply with quote  #17 
all of them can fail and hurt you in particular falls. Buyer better beware. This is a dangerous sport when you get to shortline. Just as soon as you feel safe and start pushing the limits, you can do the one manuever that your boot won't do. Try to find the one that will release in the most common fall for you.
Reply with quote  #18 
Allflawed makes some good points, considerations that must be made when purchasing any equipment. As compared to Fogmans, in double boot slalom there are two boot plates and two release mechanisms, that allow for release of each foot at the moment you exceed the preset force. This makes a difference in out the front falls. Which has been a problem in many of the injuries reported. Same thing with the double boot interlock system. OB4 works the same for a slalom single boot with rear toe plate, and also for tricking. You do have to evaluate each system and decide what works for you. You should never change equipment and go all out without proper testing and proper setup. In reality, s**t happens and any kind of fall can lead to injury.
Reply with quote  #19 
One could say we are "behind" snow ski, or whatever, but if you took $1M and gave it to and engineering co. to design a revolutionary new boot system you'll get squat.

It's already happened -the majors all made large investments in binding developments, returning results that work but are yes flawed in some way.

First off to be safe in an tip digger OTF,  each heel has to be able to come up and out under reasonable force. So boots that do that are: Low rubbers, eg Wiley,  and yes Reflex, FM's do as well. Radars are debatable because there have been lots of injury and "laces" gotta be loose recommendation. Sure if you keep the top loose you are back to a low boot like a Wiley, and your heel will pop out.

MM OB4's are individual heel release, so that is OK. It's the parts, complexity and costs to achieve that. Applying industry norms pricing should be at the $1500-2000 level for that type of system, at water-ski market qty. Anything less - not sustainable operation. Take it to an MBA, or startup consultant and ask for an analysis!!

Anyway boot systems that don't have separate heel release are the fogmans, goode, Exo, and any other I may have missed. If the ski tip hits hard as in a buoy strike, your front ankle is trashed and I know this first hand.

Reply with quote  #20 
I did have in mind the gator-mod as well, in the first post. This is an interesting "british leyland" style of engineering that takes something that doesn't work correctly in the fundamental then adds on a system to workaround the fundamental fault.

The fault is described in above post. the gator mod applies a noose and tether that will spring the full plate off the ski when your front ankle is just about to be trashed. OK. But the hardware to get this to work on a goode g10 plate should be filed under patents along with the automatic hat tipper. [tongue]

Seriously tho, good try at it.  The gator mod is risky, legally speaking for the vendor because you are adding something to a designed system, not under your full control. I would not do it and own a house, or car, or shirt
Steve B.
Reply with quote  #21 
Yep, the bindings need to release in 3D. When it does release, both feet need to go. 

"Enough" up, down, left and right pressure on the front binding needs to mechanically release both feet from the ski. It would be cool if adjustments could be made separately in those 3 dimensions.

I'd want an easy, early release with the toe trying to come up. and a ton of resisitance going down, and medium left and right.

Steve B.
Steve B.
Reply with quote  #22 
Forgot to add. A neat feature might be a system such that if either foot comes out, the bindings release. Definitely complicated, good luck to those working on binding systems.

Steve B.
Reply with quote  #23 
Im sorry but you just can not use the same boot for slalom, tricks and jump. Thats just ridiculous. im sure you could jump with a pair of reflex boots if you really wanted to try and cripple yourself. The fact is slalom set ups are different to tricks (lets forget about jump because thats just madness) Look at the reflex boots and the amount of people that chop them for slalom as opposed to tricks. The fact is each discipline requires different things from a binding system and whilst this system looks great and id be very keen to try it out (on a slalom ski) its not going to end up on any jumpers anytime soon.
Reply with quote  #24 
Critic is correct & it depends on your ability. For tricks - If you are a world class you are going to need to put a LOT of energy into the ski, that is a more stout boot arrangement over slalom. Even between hand and toe passes your setup will change a bit - boot and certainly release wise. 

Slalom two feet inline whole different deal. Again world class skiers need a solid platform but from there more freedom than trick as the ankle needs to work like a sprung joystick - this is where rubber works well and still does. The problem with traditional rubber is the platform part has a bit too much give, in pressure situations. I don't think that even the pros realize how much power gets put down onto the ski when the competition heats up!

Rubber rear, toe kicker all good. Toe kicker I love to ski it so much freedom and the way your leg can  slip through the water. But if you want full control of the ski in all phases, or ski in cold, rough conditions, a rear boot is cool too.

MM your design looks to be very similar to the old ARC system 70's/80's.  For world class tricks my opinion is the front pin setup will have too much play and just be too heavy. 

For jump - using a sprung toe is dangerous. There were ramp releases and severe injuries (goes way back now) with the ARC system according to skiers on our lake.  The ski collides with the ramp surface, compresses the front spring and releases the boot, so the ski falls off in the air.  

Reply with quote  #25 
MM how far do you jump? you hit the ramp hard and crushed a jump with them on? 
Reply with quote  #26 
Other than jump, the new Reflex system works incredibly well for slalom and trick. The new white cuff slalom boot with the flexion strap provides really good flex, and protects against hyper extension of the achilles. The guts of the new 750 release is made of materials that are impervious to rust. If the system is set up correctly, it is absolutely the safest system on the market today for slalom. The black trick boot cuff is a bit stiffer to provide more side to side leverage, yet it allows the ankle to flex when needed. The folks at Reflex have done a good job of refining the system since the early days, and we now see the system in use by thousands of skiers world wide at all levels of the sport. You don't have to look at videos for proof, just check count the number of skiers using them at the next tournament.
Reply with quote  #27 
im not hitting out at you or evaluating your product without trying it and personally i think it looks a good slalom and trick system but I wouldn't market it as a binding useable for all 3 events. But experimenting and trying out new binding when hitting a 6 foot ramp at 60+mph isn't something id be keen on doing...
Reply with quote  #28 
No system will prevent all injuries , we can only hedge our bets . I am currently using a Reflex front boot with a RTP & was on a FM Revo before that , both are great but are not a total protection from injury. I have not heard of any serious injuries on the FM but it could happen, Mike Flynn a Greater Miami Ski club member did a OTF into his ski (at the wakes ) with a Reflex a month ago & broke his lower eye socket bones & nose & required a number of surgeries to repair the damage as best as could be done. Was it the Reflex systems fault ? Who knows , we ski at some pretty high speeds & shi$t happens. My reflex is set to release at a pretty low tension , if I go forward , I wil release & that could happen to me under the right circumstances . Am I worried , no , I would have to be pretty unlucky .

I do hope Mike Flynn recovers fully & gets back on the water soon .
Roger Ellis
Reply with quote  #29 
Reply with quote  #30 
This is one of the best threads I've read on Skifly for a long time. Almost signed off completely a little while ago after reading some of the other stuff and certainly can't see advertising in here....... 
Now I don't know who all these guys are but they sure seem to be hard out and in several instances older, wiser skiers. To someone with 2 kids that have thrown away their dangerous  (but very colourful and extremely well marketed) ankle breakers that sure as hell don't do what they are supposed to (no names here...), and 2 years later still trying to get my world class jumping son back to form after a nasty slalom event in these things, I am glued to this post waiting for the next thread.
Love the discussion about jump bindings. Keep it coming guys and watching these bindings with interest.
Reply with quote  #31 
Hey Roger, I'm sorry, I certainly did not intend to advertise on your message board. I set out only to provide rebuttal to some of the derogatory comments made directly about my products by some of the dumb masses who have never seen and certainly never tried the OB4 products. From now on I will not put my website address on my posts since those are the ones you deleted. If you should decide to sell advertising on your website please let me know. I am certainly willing to discuss any concerns that your message board readers have about the product. But statements about performance of the product from someone who has not actually evaluated it is BS. And such anonymous statements show a lack of integrity from the person posting.
Mike Mosley
Reply with quote  #32 
Not derogatory comments at all, merely seeking to find out if any big jumpers have hit the ramp with them. I just don't see releasing bindings when you hit the ramp hard a good idea. there is many who hit the ramp hard, out of position to crush a jump and save them from a stack. if your bindings released when you hit the ramp hard and crushed all i see is a human missile
Reply with quote  #33 
Jumper, of course not all the comments are derogatory. Obviously you have a concern about the operation of the system. Those questions would only be answered by proper and gradually testing by you under safe conditions. I have never had a failure of the system when I was jumping,140 on 5' &165 on 5.5' @185lbs. Mike
Not to worry
Reply with quote  #34 
MM. As long as you bash, slander and libel people anonymously here, all is good.
Other side of the coin
Reply with quote  #35 
On BOS you don't see very many questions or critic's cause people are afraid of getting their posts deleted for "picking on a advertiser ".

credit due
Reply with quote  #36 
Good on ya Mike. Good hard debate about a new concept. We need this....
Reply with quote  #37 
Hang on a bit there Mister Mustache. (that was derogatory, my apologies) [wink]

This started as a general thread and not meant to zero-in on your system per-se. 

I did post my opinion,  as others have in and honest and forthright manner.  the fact that you are in disagreement, and quite understandably so, imo does not warrant the type of bullying attack coming back the other way.  That kind of response is a danger sign all unto itself because if there are product issues to deal with, you are going to have to be open and act accordingly.

Products, in particular bindings, it goes without saying there are bonafide safety issues on the line. The other stuff (will the ski sink, sharp edges etc.) is a product issue. However for jump: 

If you lose a ski, or your balance into the ramp it is a very serious situation.
If you lose a ski or have an equipment issue in the air, the same thing.

To have a spring piston up front and about 0.20" of catch at the back, the only thing holding you to your ski going into the ramp. I would like to see an engineer put his or her stamp on the drawing and quoted application, knowing the speeds and forces possible.
Reply with quote  #38 
I disagree ,this thread was started about MM's bindings & got side tracked a few times.

Your posts are valid & well thought out but lets not get nasty towards MM ,I prefer to have him continue to be part of this thread & keep us updated  on his systems progress.
Reply with quote  #39 
Yikes, Perhaps you would want to turn the plate around and put the wedge block in front so you can't compress the spring by overloading it upon impact with the ramp. We use the reverse mounted plate for the rear boot on double slalom boots, so it works that direction also. The spring does produce very strong pressure, and it has not ever failed for me. But again, controlled testing would be appropriate for extreme situations.

Mister Mustache
Reply with quote  #40 
I did make an assumption that you were jumping with the spring to the front.

Agreed - if you used a block at the front and spring to the heel you'd solve the ramp collision/ unhinge the ski theory. This did occur with the ARC binding (spring front) according to my sources. 

Also what you need is some shock absorption and damping component.  E.g. an auto suspension has springs and shocks. imo To be just sprung can lead to pre-release condition, so you need to build in some damping into the overall system, so shocks (as in wake, ramp, or rapid heel lift & return) does not break the spring connection.

Rubber bindings work well for all of the above. They offer a secure connection to the ski base, shock absorption, range of motion, stretch and return (energy preserved), and if properly fitted & lubed, a release. 99% of jumpers use them.

Rubber doesn't have: full ankle support, comfortable or tunable fitment, a robust platform (ie too much flex with rubber), customization, adjustment, sizing options, a release setting, warmth.    So 99% of top trickers use "hardshells"

Goes back to what critic said.



in the know
Reply with quote  #41 
no system is perfect; nor safe. always risk involved.  reflex user for 7 years.  torn achilles.  binding
didn't release.
released fine other times when it should have in the past. not sure why it didn't that day.
this was done at 39.5; 34 mph.

Reply with quote  #42 
I did want to address the Silvretta or Reflex heel

The hook that clamps the boot heel, floats on a pretty stiff spring. This spring is rated for a snow ski boot and an impact with earth, not water. The travel to release is quite short, like pulling a trigger.

Compare that to a rubber heel piece. There is much more travel for a foot to release out of rubber combined with slower more moderate application of force, by water on a ski tip.

Snow ski releases are designed to "break" based on the force applied by the foot and leg, spread over a stout boot structure. It is the boot structure that allows the human body apply force to load the spring and break the mechanical gate.It is designed to be a rapid application or impact type force to trigger the release. 

Now if you take a floppy thin, deformable plastic,  in-line shell with essentially one effective buckle and use that to be he basis for the leg & foot to load up the spring and trigger the gate, the force applied to the human tissue has an excellent chance of creating an injury of some sort.

There is variance in clamping position, release friction, and applied force - all creating a range of force applied to the leg and ankle before release. The release setting of 4 or 5 is actually very high for water skiing. The instability in the boot structure and said application requires that the release spring often be set even higher to prevent roll-out pre-release. This is very skier dependent as well.

imo you are at risk using the silvretta design at settings above 5, and even below that if your boot is not able to comfortably trigger the release in a test situation.   



Reply with quote  #43 
Kinda odd that they would launch on April fools but they look good.
Steve B.
Reply with quote  #44 
Nice website, although I'd like to see more close-ups.  I'd certainly like to try the system.

Steve B.
Steve B.
Reply with quote  #45 
Ask and ye shall receive. Thanks for the close up on Skifly's front page. And I did look at the website.

My question is, is it possible one boot can stay in while the other one comes out?


Steve B.
Reply with quote  #46 
One in one out? There is nothing technical in the system to prevent that situation from occurring. 

The front boot has to slide forward to unhinge, the rear does not. If the load the on front boot is high, there is friction to overcome. The ARC system plates were UHMW plastic so that stuff is slippery.

But depending on the pin settings I would say unlikely. 

One in one out applies to really tight rubber boots or cinch ups with little to no release possible. And toe kicker guys have the problem straight up.

The only system that has an interlock to prevent one in one out is FM i think.
Reply with quote  #47 
It is not likely that one foot would release and the other would not. As soon as the Ski catches in the water, your bodyweight alone working against the spring will release each foot. This is because the huge surface area of the ski against the drag of the water creates a lot of pressure which easily overcomes the spring tension. Again in a single boot with toe strap, the boot will release as soon as the Ski catches in the water. Injury usually occurs when the ski twisting around a joint requires excessive force for the skier to release from the ski boot. I will try to get video up on the website to further illustrate how the mechanism releases.

Mr. Mustache
Reply with quote  #48 
Could also post video here to further this discussion ?
Reply with quote  #49 
Why ask MM to post it? You will find the video on youtube before he even has a chance to post it here!
Reply with quote  #50 
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