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Author Topic: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?  (Read 933 times)
danvon
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Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« on: 10/09/11, 02:46 PM »

Anyone familiar with both of these?  I'm about 200 lbs, not super-aggressive.  Now I am using Targa G3s on my touring skis and the Voile releasables (essentially Hardwires) on another pair.  Wondering if I need the extra power that the X2s are designed with.  Supposed to be considerably more active than the original Switchback.   Would appreciate any comments.

Thanks.
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Andrew Carey
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #1 on: 10/09/11, 03:36 PM »

I weigh 223 and the original switchback was too active for me  Cheesy that's why I'm selling a pair.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
davidG
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #2 on: 10/09/11, 05:51 PM »

Have never quite understood the 'power' aspect of tele bindings, except that some take more input to function than others, and that input can only come from sufficient weighting of the rear (uphill) ski - a basic tenant of the telemark technique.  In any event, the Switchback has more 'power' than the basic G3, and I believe Voille tweaked the design with the X2 to target the 'more powerful' Hammerhead/Axl crowd, both by moving the pivot point rearward and by using a stiffer spring, thus requiring more input to function.

I have them all (well, X2 is coming on new waxless Vectors - but I understand the premise), and I like them all.  Also straight three-pins.  What I like about those that require a 'powerful' (weight) input is that I'm reminded (forced) to properly weight that rear foot.  And when doing so, I feel like I can charge the line I'm looking at.

The converse is that if you're not liking HH on 4 or 5, you won't do any better with G3 or Switchback.  It's about weighting the rear ski...

It's also about the quiver.  We all, simultaneously, seek the one-quiver while lasering in on specific setups for specific tasks.  That's mostly the skis' job.  You can't have too many skis.

I say get the binding that you're most concerned about being able to push.  But  consider, as well, the basic and lowly unit , cheap and light, that only works well when you can load the back same as front.  You know..

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"Maybe we should ban hikers from anywhere that there is a potential threat to surface water?"   [courtesy Newtrout, 2011]

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Andrew Carey
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #3 on: 10/10/11, 08:29 AM »

Obviously there is a great range of preferences, abilities, and objectives (lift vs. bc) in the telemark group of skiers.  I was a Hammerhead beta tester and thoroughly disliked the higher settings that many loved.  I ended up skiing mostly 3 pins after all the cable bindings of the day up through HH.  My bc preference was for 3-pin hardwires rigged so the hardwires were removable and stayed in the pack for all but the most difficult snow conditions, especially where parallel turns were much more effective than tele turns.  Now, I never had tele bindings on skis larger than 80 mm at the waist.  I really enjoyed the lightness of skis like the Tua Excalibur family and the Volkl Mountain family (e.g., Snowwolfs), the lightness, freedom of the heel, and lack of weight on the heel in climbing of a 3-pin binding. And by the time I went back to 3 pins I didn't have any trouble weighting the rear ski, etc. 

One caveat about active bindings, especially hardwire types:  with the heel retention it is really easy to lapse into using parallel turns instead of tele turns; if that's what you like, fine; it is more work to do a tele turn with an active binding and that also prompts a lapse into the easy parallel turn; 3-pins necessitate good tele technique.

FWIW, just an old codger running his mouth  Grin
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
vogtski
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #4 on: 10/10/11, 08:42 AM »

So what's this parallel turn I keep hearing about?    Wink
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Randy
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #5 on: 10/10/11, 09:34 AM »

For myself, I've found that skiing the HH in pos#5 requires a different approach than what will work in while skiing with a "neutral" binding  like the G3.    With a very loose heel binding one can use a "knee to ski" style and use a wide fore/aft spacing between feet.  With the a highly active binding like the HH in pos#5 I find it uncomfortable skiing in those styles.   I choose to stick with the HH and developed a more compact telemark movement pattern which I characterize as "butt-to-heel".   With this style I found that I could ski both active and neutral bindings easily and that for me this style handled variable snow conditions better, took less energy and allowed quicker turns.    However making that adjustment to my style required a significant amount of practice on "boring" lift served slopes, working on technique and fitness.   YMMV
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Big Steve
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #6 on: 10/10/11, 05:19 PM »

Have never quite understood the 'power' aspect of tele bindings, except that some take more input to function than others, and that input can only come from sufficient weighting of the rear (uphill) ski - a basic tenant [sic] of the telemark technique.
I'm not familiar with the term "power," as applied to tele bindings, nor do I quite understand what you mean by "input."  The commonly used term "active" refers to a binding which: (a) promotes the flex of the rear (uphill) boot's bellows; and (b) aids in keeping the forefoot closer to the rear ski deck.  As an ardent (former*) HammerHead #4 - #5 user, I well understand the advantages of a highly active binding.  The difference between passive and active tele binders was so immediately obvious to me, I didn't get those who didn't get it.  Grin
One caveat about active bindings, especially hardwire types: with the heel retention it is really easy to lapse into using parallel turns instead of tele turns.  .  . 
My experience was the converse.  When I had passive bindings, I had less control and was more apt to parallel.  When I switched to HH's (I was a HH early adopter) I paralleled far less often because tele turns were so much easier than with passive bindings.

*My aging body persuaded me to switch to AT gear 5 seasons ago.  AT gear is HH#[approaching infinity]. 

My current rule of thumb: Nordic gear for Nordic terrain.  Alpine gear for alpine terrain. 

I'll likely get X2's for a waxless meadow skipping rig.
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kneel turner
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #7 on: 10/10/11, 08:42 PM »

Lots of good advice here.
AC says it's more work to do a tele turn with an active binding, but I've found the stiffer/more active setups have made the turns less strenuous.  The reason for this is that, in effect, the stiffer the static parts (boot shell/binding lateral stiffness) act like an exoskeleton and the stiffer elastic parts (boot bellows/ binder springs) act like assistance springs to the muscles contracting from turn to turn.
When I compare my old T2's and Targas to my Customs and Rid Stiffs.  I can just drop into a proper tele stance and be supported by my "stiff" gear, as opposed to having to hold myself in a static lunge with floppy gear.
So I'd say stiffer(more active) gear is less strenuous, but if you don't use a form that utilizes the benefits of stiffer gear, it's more likely going to feel like its resisting you, not assisting you.
Would you agree with that Andrew?

In any case, my gear has constantly gotten fatter, stiffer, and more active, and each time I've wished I'd gone bigger earlier.  So I'd recomend the version 2.
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Andrew Carey
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #8 on: 10/11/11, 08:18 AM »

Lots of good advice here.
AC says it's more work to do a tele turn with an active binding, but I've found the stiffer/more active setups have made the turns less strenuous.  The reason for this is that, in effect, the stiffer the static parts (boot shell/binding lateral stiffness) act like an exoskeleton and the stiffer elastic parts (boot bellows/ binder springs) act like assistance springs to the muscles contracting from turn to turn.
When I compare my old T2's and Targas to my Customs and Rid Stiffs.  I can just drop into a proper tele stance and be supported by my "stiff" gear, as opposed to having to hold myself in a static lunge with floppy gear.
So I'd say stiffer(more active) gear is less strenuous, but if you don't use a form that utilizes the benefits of stiffer gear, it's more likely going to feel like its resisting you, not assisting you.
Would you agree with that Andrew?

In any case, my gear has constantly gotten fatter, stiffer, and more active, and each time I've wished I'd gone bigger earlier.  So I'd recomend the version 2.

Sorry, I've tried to reply in detail twice and I get to the end of the box and my entire msg disappears.  So, I'll keep it short.  Everyone's methods and experience differs.  I find the most pleasant and least taxing tele experience with 3-pins and brown t-3s on skis with waists of 70 mm or less (Tua Excaliburs, Fisher Outtabounds, Salomon X-adventure) and 3-buckle blue t-2 without a power strap and loosely buckled for my Volkl Snowwolfs.  I used the 3-pin harwire and powerstrap skiing crud and the powerstrap lift-served with my Atomic R:EX and 7tms.  I arrived at this place after 20 years of tele skiing and skiing with people like Vogtski and Steve Barnett.  IMHO, for tele, freedom of the heels rules!

I now ski AT: lighter over all, free pivot on the way up, nearly effortless fixed heel on the way down :-)
« Last Edit: 10/11/11, 09:25 AM by Andrew Carey » Logged

... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
Big Steve
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #9 on: 10/11/11, 09:44 AM »

.  .  .  but I've found the stiffer/more active setups have made the turns less strenuous.

Same experience here, except I'd say "far less strenuous and with much more control."
 
I find the most pleasant and least taxing tele experience with 3-pins and brown t-3s on skis with waists of 70 mm or less.  .  .  .

I'll agree with "most pleasant," at least on Nordic terrain.  There was no need for active bindings in the leather boots days because the forefoot and ankle flexed with ease.  Active bindings were designed as a response to high cuffed stiff-bellowed boots which tended to flex at the tippy toe rather than breaking at the ball of foot.

Quote
I find the most pleasant and least taxing tele experience with 3-pins and brown t-3s on skis with waists of 70 mm or less.  .  .  .I now ski AT: lighter over all, free pivot on the way up, nearly effortless fixed heel on the way down :-)

There ya go.  Nordic gear for Nordic terrain.  Alpine gear for alpine terrain.
« Last Edit: 10/11/11, 09:49 AM by Big Steve » Logged
davidG
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #10 on: 10/11/11, 12:52 PM »

Hey, guys, been busy this morning..  Yeah, Steve, I got in a habit of saying 'power' - picked it up from adverts and chat, but of course I mean 'active' in the sense it is generally used with tele bindings.  And 'input' means weight - get it where it belongs..

...There was no need for active bindings in the leather boots days because the forefoot and ankle flexed with ease.  Active bindings were designed as a response to high cuffed stiff-bellowed boots which tended to flex at the tippy toe rather than breaking at the ball of foot.
..

but isn't that, again, just a reflection of the need to weight that foot? 

Believe me, I'm a devotee of the active binding when it's about charging the fall line.  But I've been putting closer to neutral gear on touring boards, and some of my funnest days (on the down) have been as AC says, heel free as can be with wires in the bag
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"Good for you for getting it and thank goodness I wasn't there with you."  [courtesy mikerolfs, 2014]
Big Steve
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #11 on: 10/11/11, 03:24 PM »

but isn't that, again, just a reflection of the need to weight that foot?
Not quite.  Passive vs. active is about whether the weight on the rear foot is distributed more on the toe (passive) or more at a point somewhere behind the ball of foot (active).  You can have the same amount of load on the rear ski, but if the center of load is near the toe (passive) you'll have less control than if the center of the load is somewhere at or behind the ball of foot (active).  Flexing the bellows is a big factor  in getting the load more rearward.  A lowrider with a soft flexing boot (e.g., 3-year old Snowpines) won't get much, if any, benefit from an active binding.  OTOH, a more upright telemarker with a stiff bellowed boot will benefit greatly from an active binder which promotes the bellows flex.  Ankle flex is also a factor and, again, an active binding promotes ankle flex in a stiff cuffed boot.

As Steve Barnett breached in his classic instruction treatise, one key to a good telly turn is to have the rear foot near the deck of the ski.  That's not a problem for a lowrider with soft low boots in even the floppiest of bindings.  Conversely, skiing with only your tippy toe loaded -- a common occurence with a super stiff-bellowed boot with a stiff cuff in a pasive binding -- results in a poor telly turn.
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davidG
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #12 on: 10/11/11, 04:17 PM »

so if i'm skiing three pin on a charging ski and have the full ball of the T1 on the deck (because my position is solid and stance is tight), then I don't need that spring and heel lever?
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"Maybe we should ban hikers from anywhere that there is a potential threat to surface water?"   [courtesy Newtrout, 2011]

"Good for you for getting it and thank goodness I wasn't there with you."  [courtesy mikerolfs, 2014]
Big Steve
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #13 on: 10/11/11, 04:35 PM »

.  .  .  because my position is solid and stance is tight.  .  . 
Ah, a fully loaded question  Grin

I'm a big boy and I've never been able to flex my F1 bellows that much in a 3 pin.

An individual's COG, thigh length, shin length and overall flexibility are factors.  That has become apparent as I haved watched various tele techniques the past 30 years.  If your technique and physiology are such that your entire forefoot is loading the ski deck through the entire turn in a passive binding, then you might not notice much benefit from an active binding.  (But, then again, you might, as evinced by a lowrider bud of mine who recently got a rig with HH's and skis demonstrably better on them than on his Targas.)

But someone with different physiology may have an equally "solid and tight" stance and good technique, yet not be able get a T1 bellows to flex sufficiently to get the forefoot on the ski deck.  That person would very likely benefit from an active binding.

Nearly all skiers with T1's and passive bindings appear to me to be skiing the rear ski with their tippy toes.  I came to hate T1 bellows because they were too stiff and switched to T2s and SynerGs.
« Last Edit: 10/11/11, 04:39 PM by Big Steve » Logged
davidG
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #14 on: 10/11/11, 04:40 PM »

Ah, a fully loaded question  Grin
..

Yeah, sorry about that.    So, it is about loading..?
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"Maybe we should ban hikers from anywhere that there is a potential threat to surface water?"   [courtesy Newtrout, 2011]

"Good for you for getting it and thank goodness I wasn't there with you."  [courtesy mikerolfs, 2014]
Andrew Carey
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #15 on: 10/11/11, 06:05 PM »

BTW, my favorite nordic ski patrol (30 days last winter) set up on the MTTA is Karhu Guides (waxless), tlt speed bindings, and tlt5 boots :-).  I'm now using my tele stuff only eastside around Mazama on the MVSTS.  I may well get another NNN-BC setup (I have the bindings, but my SNS boots shrunk and I gave them and my SNS-BC boots, bindings, and skis to my stepson).
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
Andrew Carey
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #16 on: 10/11/11, 06:08 PM »

... T1 bellows because they were too stiff and switched to T2s and SynerGs.

That is why I liked the 1st edition of the 3-buckle T-2s, they were actually easier flexing than the 1st black and later T-3s.  There seemed to be a pathological tele syndrome of bigger boots requiring more active and heavier bindings allowing bigger, heavier skis requiring, then even bigger boots .... .

Of course, this culminate in a reasonably good development: NTN.
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... want your own private skintrack? Better move to the yukon dude. (B'ham Allen, 2011).
...USA: government of the people by corporate proxies for business.

Andy Carey, Nisqually Park, 3500 feet below Paradise
Big Steve
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #17 on: 10/11/11, 06:11 PM »

Nordic ski patrol on alpine bindings?  Grin Sounds like a great setup.
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rlsg
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #18 on: 10/11/11, 09:16 PM »

I kept breaking the area just behind the pins (toward the heal direction..) on my Merrill Super Comps ("leather") (costing me over $100 a pop for sole replacement and the Comps were over $500 new?..) and I heard that voile  hard wires flexed further back than a straight three-pin setup and consequently would mitigate the breakage problem.  That took care of the problem and so have gotten  used to the cable so much that I've used them ever since with plastic.

Side note:  I find my newish scarpa t-1s stiff enough that I don't really need the hardwire cable settup  to make the boot operate from the ball and I still get lots of leverage (I still ski with the cable on though).    I really like the cable though with my t-2xs as it does make those boots "break" further back for the active feel I've become accustomed to.
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rlsg
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Re: Voile Switchback v. Switchback X2?
« Reply #19 on: 10/12/11, 10:15 PM »

Think I will purchase the voile switch back sx simply because I've seen a few broken Blackdiamond cables
on the new stuff (and broke lots years and years back) but have never seen nor broken a voile hardwire.

Looks like voile will be plenty active, maybe more than the three-pin hardwire and maybe a tad lighter than the Blacks..
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