|Everything necessary for a good tech binding mount! Plus, good modeling for the younger generation.|
So 2 winters ago, my son fit my wife's TLTs and I took him out for an afternoon in the bc. He had a blast. He talked about it for the last two years so I figured that now he almost skis a 160 ski so I should generalize my thoughts on light gear setups and think about including kids in my statements. It just makes sense. Light, small, not as much muscle mass. Quick to tire and recover. And my son is already a great skier who, at 11, I can have an absolute blast with anywhere in area I care to go in all but the scrappiest conditions. I think that baseline downhill competency is key since as we all know, bc snow conditions ain't anything like in area skiing on most days.
For a kid, once again, race skis seemed like the way to go. Most all mountain skis in that length are 75-80 mm under foot. You cant get lighter than skimo race skis so the 66 mm waist is close enough I figure. I settled on some Dynafit PDGs which Ive been skiing on for a number of years now. They are a great ski and it is hard to beat their price in the skimo ski market.
Boots are easy size wise but with a kid who will be growing for a few years yet it is inevitable that we will have to get a few pairs over the years to make it work. I found a pair of gently used Scarpa Aliens in mondo 26 on Craigs List. He wears a mondo 25.5 in a downhill boot. I figure Ill go up in full sizes in whatever I can find on Craigs List and pack them out with liner shims as needed.
That left a binding plan. I was helped out quite a bit by Jason at Skimo.co on selecting this setup and also got the PDG skis from him. Dynafit Speed Turn and Radical heels allow for 25 mm of adjustability. That is probably enough to allow the ski to grow with my son but I was concerned with moving too far away from the boot/ski center alignment since only heel adjustment is an option. That being said, I could theoretically handle a run of mondo 26-28 which might see him through college! To be safe though, I added in a KreuzspitzeToe Shift Plate which took the range of adjustment up to 5 Alien BSLs and also reduced the ramp angle of the Speed. Something discussed at great length on Cold Thistle, again on Cold Thistle and also on Wildsnow. I wanted the Dynafit Speed because of durability, BSL adjustability and DIN adjustability. As to Turn vs Radical, I merely chose Turn because of the price difference. The DIN adjustability was very important to me with a kid, just like with my wife who is going to have a hard time releasing from a race binding. Little people need more forgiving releasability. At least if they are not animals on skis. Better safe than sorry.
|You can see one drilled ski and one taped ski ready for measurement and marking up. Tape really helps. The long ski centerline mark was super useful|
|The T handled tap|
|Dynafit sized bit. Having that integral depth stop is awesome.|
|The funky heel gap tool|
Anyway, at the end of the day (or two evenings really), it was a fun experience. And successful! My son got to test drive this setup at the area and my wife said he was ripping it up! I had to work. Ah well...
Stay tuned for thoughts after taking these out and hitting the bc this weekend!!! Woo hoo!