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View Full Version : Want to Upgrade to Radar Strada or Vector Boots


Ski-me
04-04-2012, 05:13 PM
So a few years back, I picked up a used, Goode 9800 but did not have enough money for some boots at the time. So I mounted up the good ole' HO 97's which are a double boot system. Looking at them, I'd say they are at least 12-15 years old....they came off of my previous ski, a HO Limited.

So this year, I'd like to get a new pair of boots. I did try a pair of the Vector boots at the boat show and they are definitely comfortable but I'm curious about the Strada boots as well. I'm looking for some input here.....

I did pick up some HO Animals a few years ago but honestly found my old boots to be more comfortable so I never really used them.

My skills....I've done the course a handful of times but mostly free skiing. I'd say 15 off at 34 is my best, so I'm no "hard core" competition skier. I have tried the course more often but after each run, I sit in the water to rest and after about 4 passes, my foot is starting to cramp because the boots are too tight. So I think this will help me ski longer, too.

Who knows the next time I'll get boots.....:rolleyes: So, is it worth the extra money for a Strada or should I just stick with the Vector??

Sullivan
04-04-2012, 05:26 PM
Can't comment on the Vectors but I can say the Stradas are awesome. They are very comfortable and safe. I have been on the same pair of boots for 2.5 years and have crashed 100s of times with them. I really like the fact that I can spray hot water from the shower in them on the dock and my feet stay warm even in the dead of winter.

They are nice and you can't go wrong.

19_Skier
04-04-2012, 05:39 PM
From the reviews I've seen you can't go wrong with either boot. Compared to what you are running right now, you are going to love the comfort they offer and your feet will thank you.

I'd recommend finding a place that will let you try before you buy. Try both boots out and see what works better for you, spending more on the strada's won't be worth it if your aren't comfortable in them. my :twocents:

Ski-me
04-04-2012, 05:42 PM
I'm going to de-winterize our boat on Friday so I plan to check them out in a few days. Do the Strada's basically release by the elastic shoe strings? They don't release from the plate do they?

east tx skier
04-04-2012, 05:54 PM
I have the Strada boots on a Radar MPD and agree, they perform well and are very comfortable. A word of advice though, don't crank down the top laces if you want to come out of the boot in a fall. You can crank down the bottom laces, but leave the top laces just snugged up to the boot, but not tightened. This will feel strange at first since you are coming from foam/rubber boots, but it is how these boots can be run safely. After a few sets, you won't notice the loose top feeling when you're skiing.

Ski-me
04-04-2012, 06:21 PM
I have the Strada boots on a Radar MPD and agree, they perform well and are very comfortable. A word of advice though, don't crank down the top laces if you want to come out of the boot in a fall. You can crank down the bottom laces, but leave the top laces just snugged up to the boot, but not tightened. This will feel strange at first since you are coming from foam/rubber boots, but it is how these boots can be run safely. After a few sets, you won't notice the loose top feeling when you're skiing.

Yes I've heard that the top laces are very important and part of the "release" system. I assume, although it initially feels strange, that the overall ski control is excellent? I'm always use to being "locked in" but I look forward to my feet not hurting if I'm sitting in them for a long period of time....

east tx skier
04-04-2012, 06:25 PM
My feet definitely do not hurt. Make sure to heat mold the liners to your feet.

Ski-me
04-04-2012, 06:42 PM
Any significant differences from the 2011 model compared to the 2012 one?

TNH2oSkier
04-04-2012, 06:44 PM
Go strada's if you have narrow feet. I like mine, but it took me a solid month to get my swerve back to were it was after changing from rubber boots. Its like skiing in a pair of high top Merrills. There are lots of 2011's to be had at a good price.

WTRSK1R
04-04-2012, 08:05 PM
My feet definitely do not hurt. Make sure to heat mold the liners to your feet.

Any suggestions on how to heat mold at home? Just picked up some 2011 stradas off ebay, they are brand new but since I did not buy at a shop I am not sure about the heat molding. Will a hair dryer get them hot enough?

Thanks

east tx skier
04-04-2012, 11:49 PM
Put the liners in the oven for 250F for 10 minutes without the instep (I put some foil in between my liners and the rack). Put some WalMart type of thin plastic bags over your feet, then put the liners with insole inserted into the boots, and put your bagged foot in the liner in the boot with the laces cinched down. Leave your feet in there for about 10--15 minutes or so while the boot cools.

RadarDad
04-05-2012, 03:02 PM
I have been sking on Stradas for two full years. I have no complaints. I was able to go to Dealer days at Radar Lake and used a 2012 Strada ski with Vectors and really liked the feel and support. They are a little heavyer but, on a Strada who cares. If you have a pro shop that can fit the Stradas I would go for them. I will get a pair of Vectors this year but, I am keeping my Stradas.

RadarDad:)

Ski-me
04-05-2012, 04:06 PM
I have been sking on Stradas for two full years. I have no complaints. I was able to go to Dealer days at Radar Lake and used a 2012 Strada ski with Vectors and really liked the feel and support. They are a little heavyer but, on a Strada who cares. If you have a pro shop that can fit the Stradas I would go for them. I will get a pair of Vectors this year but, I am keeping my Stradas.

RadarDad:)

I did try the Vectors at the boat show and they were definitley comfortable....I did like them. However, they didn't have the correct size in the Stradas so I just don't know yet.

Why are you electing to go with the Vectors instead of the Strada? Purely cost or do you prefer the Vectors? Just curious......thanks!

radarskis
04-05-2012, 05:15 PM
Hello all,
I'd like to jump in and say that heating them in the oven is not that productive for the liners.
Here's why:
When the Intuition foam reaches "molding temp" the foam expands and softens. The goal is to have the liner in the shell so it is expanding against the inside of the boot. This will fill ANY small space between the liner and the shell. The inside of the liner is then ready for your foot to pack out only to the shape of your foot.
If the liner is heated outside of the shell, when it is placed back into the shell, it is crushed and deformed before your foot has had a chance to shape it. you'd be better off riding the boots without using the forming process as a lot of people do. This would be the better option.
Any snow ski boot fitter can also heat them for you, if you do not have a water-ski pro shop nearby.
My two cents... let me know if you have any questions. I'm happy to help.

Sully
Radar Brand Manager

RadarDad
04-05-2012, 05:39 PM
Well you heard straight from the top guy at Radar. As far as the cost of the two bindings, well I have been fortunate that my son works for Square One (Radar & Ronix). I really did like the feel of the Vectors so if cost is a factor you will not be unhappy.

RadarDad

BrianM
04-05-2012, 07:18 PM
I've been on RS1s (Older version of the Strada same boots different name) since the year they came out which has been about 5 years now. I love them. Great feel of the ski, super comfortable and have never had any issues with not releasing. As Eastie said just run the upper laces barely snug.

east tx skier
04-05-2012, 08:04 PM
Hello all,
I'd like to jump in and say that heating them in the oven is not that productive for the liners.
Here's why:
When the Intuition foam reaches "molding temp" the foam expands and softens. The goal is to have the liner in the shell so it is expanding against the inside of the boot. This will fill ANY small space between the liner and the shell. The inside of the liner is then ready for your foot to pack out only to the shape of your foot.
If the liner is heated outside of the shell, when it is placed back into the shell, it is crushed and deformed before your foot has had a chance to shape it. you'd be better off riding the boots without using the forming process as a lot of people do. This would be the better option.
Any snow ski boot fitter can also heat them for you, if you do not have a water-ski pro shop nearby.
My two cents... let me know if you have any questions. I'm happy to help.

Sully
Radar Brand Manager

Sully, how do you heat them inside the boot? Hair dryer?

RadarDad
04-05-2012, 09:33 PM
Radar has heater with two long tubes and two shorter one. I think you set the temp to over 350 degrees and you heat them for 15 minutes. Your Pro shop should have this equipment. As Sully said the same system is used for snow ski boots. I do tend to keep the top laces a little loss, mainly because I am olded than most skiers! If Sully replys he will have the exact numbers.

RadarDad

east tx skier
04-05-2012, 09:37 PM
Thanks. I don't have a local proshop. May take my boots to Houston and swing by a shop there to get the boots heat sticked.

Sullivan
04-05-2012, 10:23 PM
I never got a chance to form mine at my dealer. I used the hot water shower on the back of my boat during the winter before every set. I swear this worked, I recently tried a new ski with new non formed Stradas and they were night and day different in how they formed around my foot.

Jeff Lyman
04-05-2012, 11:13 PM
Great thread I just orderd a set of Vectors today from H20. It was a tuff descission for me to the Stradas look and appear to be a step up but something else made my mind up to go Vector. Safety is 50% of my concern along with performance after double knee reconstruction 1 year ago. Vector open toe IN MY OPINION will allow your foot to extract easier then the Strada. The open toe does not alow a suction to create. Ive had closed toe bindings and have noticed this happen when trying to get out many times after a set. Also the water helps create some lubercation constantly. I'm screwing them down to a new 68 Vice ski. Looking forward to a great season ripping up the course. With a lake full of Goode skis I will be the odd man out, cant wait to see how goode a radar can be! I'll keep those laces loose thanks guys.

RadarDad
04-06-2012, 11:59 AM
east tx skier, M2 Sports in Houston area can fit your boots. The Radar rep is very good in that area.

RadarDad

east tx skier
04-06-2012, 12:25 PM
Cool. The Galleria location is very close to my mom's house in Houston.

shepherd
04-06-2012, 12:53 PM
I have the RS-1s too (old version of Stradas). I always used the Wiley rubber bindings before, which were comfortable, but the new boots are a big step up in comfort. I used the oven method -- no pro shop, water or snow, in my area -- and it worked out OK. But, I'll admit the fit was less than perfect. Even so, very comfortable boots.

FWIW, I lace them up tight all the way to the top. I didn't like the looseness at the ankles. I'm not convinced that I'll be better off having one or both feet come out of the boots in a hard crash than having them both stay in. Probably worse off if only one comes out. Maybe I've been lucky the last 3 years. Feel free to say "I told you so" if I come on here some day complaining about a knee injury. :o

east tx skier
04-06-2012, 12:56 PM
I have the RS-1s too (old version of Stradas). I always used the Wiley rubber bindings before, which were comfortable, but the new boots are a big step up in comfort. I used the oven method -- no pro shop, water or snow, in my area -- and it worked out OK. But, I'll admit the fit was less than perfect. Even so, very comfortable boots.

FWIW, I lace them up tight all the way to the top. I didn't like the looseness at the ankles. I'm not convinced that I'll be better off having one or both feet come out of the boots in a hard crash than having them both stay in. Probably worse off if only one comes out. Maybe I've been lucky the last 3 years. Feel free to say "I told you so" if I come on here some day complaining about a knee injury. :o

You have been lucky. :)

My goal is to ski into my 80s. Loose lace on top for me.

RadarDad
04-06-2012, 01:01 PM
On the instructions for the bindings it tells you not to pull harder than 20 lbs.? that may not be correct but, if you only make them snug you should be good. I ski at 36 mph and have come out of my Stradas.

My goal is to ski into my 80s too!

east tx skier
04-06-2012, 01:26 PM
On the instructions for the bindings it tells you not to pull harder than 20 lbs.? that may not be correct but, if you only make them snug you should be good. I ski at 36 mph and have come out of my Stradas.

My goal is to ski into my 80s too!

Is that just the top laces or both laces?

I cinch the bottom laces down pretty tight, but only just snug my top laces.

RadarDad
04-06-2012, 01:57 PM
That is the why I do mine too. I am on my third season with this type of boot and so far so good.

M-Funf
04-06-2012, 02:14 PM
Is that just the top laces or both laces?

I cinch the bottom laces down pretty tight, but only just snug my top laces.

I do the same. Both my feet come out in a fall. In fact, the liners usually come out with my feet.

I really love the feel of the ski and water I get with the Strada's. Much better than my old rubber bindings.

I used the oven method as well. Not great, but they felt better than before.

shepherd
04-06-2012, 02:45 PM
I cinch the bottom laces down pretty tight, but only just snug my top laces.

That's what I do, snug the top laces. I guess "tight" is different than "snug." My mistake. And yet, "snug" isn't "loose" either. I can't make them tight around my ankles if I wanted (I tried). Skinny ankles I guess... But even with "snug" top laces my feet rarely if ever come out, though I rarely have hard crashes any more.

radarskis
04-06-2012, 05:37 PM
Intuition says to heat for 8 minutes at 120 celsius. The best (only accurate way) to heat them is to find a cooker. East Tx, M2 in Houston will take good care of you on that.

You all are correct on the lace tension. The bungee is the release initiator. If the stretch is pulled out of the bungee lace by over overtightening, you are defeating the purpose. What you ultimately need is to get your heel out of the boot. The laces stretching forward initiate this. The chassis has enough stability to not need to run it tight anyway (like a rubber boot that need to be tight at the ankle for control).

Thanks to all of you that are riding our gear! I'm so stoked to see all of you on here enjoying it. Radar and MasterCraft belong together in my opinion!

I'm happy to help with any questions or suggestions you may need.
sully

shepherd
04-07-2012, 12:07 AM
Thanks for the explanation sully. It makes sense. But is the goal to let the heel out of the boot or for the boot to release from the shell? I only ask because the latter seems to be the case if I try to take my feet out without undoing the laces - the boot comes out with my foot.

Ski-me
04-07-2012, 10:23 AM
Thank for all the input! I did go up yesterday and tried on both the Vector and 2011 Stradas. I did like the feel of the Stradas and they were also on sale. So I went ahead and got the 2011 Stradas. They placed them in boot heater and then we molded them to my feet.

Can't wait to try them out! Thanks again for all the great stuff.

radarskis
04-09-2012, 05:01 PM
Shepherd,
If you're in the Strada boots, then yes, it's your foot and the liner that releases out of the shell.
In the Vector, only your foot comes out.
Happy skiing gents!

Sullivan
04-09-2012, 07:05 PM
I pull my laces tight. I've probably got 100 wild crashes and never once did I hurt my ankle or not come out when I thought I should have. My liners still come out just fine. You can not go wrong with the Stradas, I am a huge believer in these boots for guys that are just starting out to guys that are shortline 36 mph skiers. They Rock!

Do what feels best to you but I know you will like the boots.

sethro
04-24-2012, 11:33 PM
I've been wanting the Strada bindings since they first came out as the RS-1. But I'm cheap, and kept using my old Approach bindings, then I bought a used ski with more Approach bindings. My only real complaint with the Approaches were foot fatigue after 6-8 passes or so. I actually run them pretty loose, and can pull my feet out without undoing all the velcro and laces.

But, I finally ordered Strada bindings yesterday (leftover 2011 model) so I'm very much looking forward to trying them soon!

RadarDad
04-25-2012, 02:14 PM
Sethro,
I also live in NW IL.. When I got my first RS-1 I had to use my leftover Approaches! When I got my first Strada I also got a pair of Strada bindings. Night and Day. That is the one thing I have never had is sore or tiered feet. You will like the Stradas, and they are super lite. I ski on the Fox by Broken Oar.

Roger

sethro
04-25-2012, 10:09 PM
Hey Roger,

I'm certainly looking forward to the Stradas as everyone raves of how comfortable they are. One thing I forgot to mention, I did try to buy Stradas/RS-1 long ago but the size 12 did not fit. 2011 was the first year for the 13-14 size, so I had to wait a year to find a "closeout" deal.

I'm over in Sterling and ski mostly on a private lake with a course west of town, though I also ski quite a bit on the Rock River. I do have a lift on the river at my parent's house, but I rarely put my boat on it anymore. Send me a PM someday if you are up for a roadtrip.

Sullivan
04-26-2012, 12:00 AM
Sethro,
How far are you from Effingham? I'll be there visiting the inlaws at the end of June.

sethro
04-26-2012, 09:27 AM
Effingham is a long haul...probably at least 4 hrs by car.

sethro
04-28-2012, 08:04 PM
I just got my new 2011 Strada bindings with aluminum plates. I'm used to the HO Approaches, which mounted with those little cone washers between the plate and ski. Does the washer for the front Strada binding that came with the mounting hardware go between the plate and the ski, or does it simply go under the head of the mounting screw on top of the plate?

The mounting screw heads are large, flat and circular, like a washer, so it seems a washer wouldn't necessarily be needed on top of the plate.

Ski-me
04-29-2012, 06:18 PM
I just finished me first run of the season on the new Stratas. I must say they are very comfortable! I did one run and I felt a little loose in the heals (especially the read boot). I then moved the front boot back one hole and did a second run. It did feel better and I probably tightened the boot a little more with the strings. Improved over first run but I do still feel my rear heal slipping up.

Now, it could just be my form.....but any other reason or can I get that rear end down more? I think I am putting more weight on the front foot so that could be my problem. I have size 12 Stratas and my foot is usually 11 to 11.5. I did try the 11 Stratas and my foot was crammed at then end pretty good....that's why I went with the 12's.

Thanks for any tips.....

radarskis
05-01-2012, 01:34 PM
Sethro,
The washer goes under the plate to allow the ski to flex independently from the plate. The shoulder should be down, with the neck up through the slot.

Ski-me-
I am not understanding what your question is. "get the rear end down more"? I'm happy to help.

sully

Ski-me
05-01-2012, 01:44 PM
Sully, I just feel my rear heal slipping in the back of the boot (or just lifting up slighty). It may just be that I'm not centered on my ski and between the boots, but was wondering if this looseness is OK.

My front foot is OK....just my rear foot. Keep in mind, I have only been on them one day and it was the first ski of the year. Thanks for any help!

sethro
05-01-2012, 10:59 PM
Sully,

I did not receive the type of washer you speak of...with the shoulder and neck. That is what I'm used to (HO Approach hardware) and consequently what prompted my question. In my hardware packet I received:

(6) black screws with large, flat, round heads
(6) washers that were round, flat and made out of nylon/rubber
(4) black screws with "tapered heads" for a recessed fit for the rear plate
(2) finish washers for the front of the rear plate
(1) horseshoe "washer" for the rear of the rear plate

I did call Radar and spoke with Heather on Monday. She said the washer I have goes under the head of the screw and the plate rests directly on the ski. Can you please clarify how that front binding plate should mount? Do I need a different hardware packet? Thanks for your time.

Seth

shepherd
06-01-2012, 05:49 PM
It's time to replace my old RS-1 boots. Does anyone have a recommendation where I can find a good deal on a new pair of Stradas?

Edit: I actually just need new booties, not the whole system -- if they're sold separately.