ski, binding, and boot lifespan

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almost good
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I got my K2 skis, Marker bindings, and Dalbello boots at the beginning of the 2002-2003 season. After a couple of times skiing last year I noticed that my boots were breaking. The plastic was cracking and the boot was about to break away from sole. I just went and bought some used boots at Play it Again sports in Asheville, They are OK and I'll probably upgrade soon. I took the new boots and my skis to a ski shop to get the bindings adjusted to the boots, wasn't sure that this was necessary but thought I would be safe. The shop wouldn't said they wouldn't touch my bindings because they were over 10 years old and they couldn't be sure that any plastic parts wouldn't break. Is this a thing? I then found a shop that didn't worry about plastic and adjusted my bindings.
So, I'm wondering how long should we expect our equipment to last? Do skis wear out? Do bindings break? I've seen people skiing some pretty old looking skis on the slopes sometimes. Does anyone know about this?
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brigand
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Yeah, it's a thing. There's a certain limit after which shop won't work on bindings, presumably for liability reasons.

The real limit is the plastic - plastic gets brittle when subjected to repeated heat/cold cycles - exactly what you get when you leave them in the garage during the summer and use them in the winter. Keeping them in a closet inside during the summer helps extend how long they last, but nothing lasts forever. I have had an old pair of snowboard bindings literally disintegrate in my hands while mounting them on my snowboard; you dont want your boots to come apart at 45mph in a hard carve.

Skis are a little different; bindings aside, you can probably safely use your skis for many years - they aren't made of plastic, after all, other than the base, and if that fails it won't kill you, just slow you down. That being said, 2002 ski were straight sticks, I think - maybe they were starting to be a little shaped. Time for an upgrade I think.

18 years is a damn good run, treat yourself to some new boots. "But honey, I need new boots, bindings, and skis." :)
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jt3
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My boys in Florida tend to leave their stuff in their garage for long periods of time. I have seen more than a few show up and day one , on a trip out west or visit up here and their plastic parts on bindings crack.

I had one buddy show up and have a good first day session at beech and as he walked into the bar, left a trail of boot rubber back to the door as the sole fell apart.
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Old Fart
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Two issues with bindings.

First, and most importantly every year the binding manufacturers release a list of bindings they will support; the indemnification list. If your binding model is not on that list the manufacturer will not support any shop working on them; in other words if your Salomon 202's aren't on that list and the shop works on them and they systematically explode Salomon is going to take the legal stance that it is entirely the shops fault because they have told the shop those bindings are no longer safe. I would have some serious questions about any shop that will work on bindings not on the list.

Second, lots of mechanical parts in bindings. They wear out, pieces break, springs don't hold the tension they are supposed to, gunk gets in the mechanisms and they sieze up, etc. I would have my doubts about any binding older than 10 years old reliably releasing as they should.

An aside, my wife and I were at Vail once. She had some 15'ish year old boots that she loved. We were walking to get on the gondola and the entire toe of her boot just broke off and went flying down the sidewalk. Cost at least a half day of skiing getting her new boots, plus I had to buy a pair of boots at Vail where they did not give me my local hook up deal. Lesson learned, buy new gear at least semi-frequently.
almost good
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I guess I'll look at the list and see if my bindings are on the list. The skis are K2 Axis and have been great skis all these years but I'm not sure it makes sense to put new bindings on 18 year old skis. I'm thinking I'll probably get all new gear. I demoed a set of Heads last year. I don't remember what model, they were "rocker" skis and I liked them. They turned more easily and had a softer ride, more flex maybe. I don't need anything very extreme, I mostly just cruise around on groomers

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almost good
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Also, I rode the lift at Beech once years ago with a guy who told me that earlier that day his boots broke apart while he was coming down White Lightning. He wiped out of course and had to walk down the mountain. He just rented boots for the rest of the day

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almost good
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Well my bindings are not on the indemnification list and I should probably replace them. I'm not sure it makes sense to put new bindings on 18 year old skis so I'm thinking about getting all new gear. I've read reviews of Rossignol Experience TI 88, or maybe it's 88 TI, they seem right for where and how I ski. Anyone familiar with these skis?

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