(Editor’s Note: Steve Cohen, longtime SKI contrib, wrote this cautionary tale about a recent gear mishap during a Tahoe vacation. The lesson he wants to share: Double-check your bindings before you click in. Steve should know better. He’s the CEO of Masterfit, helps organize SKI and Skiing annual boot test and has been skiing going on 40 years. Warning: slightly gory photos of fillet of leg ahead.)
The longer you ski—or do pretty much any activity—the more complacent you become about equipment safety. Well, at least I can say that about myself—but I’m guessing I can say that about you, too. And when you work in the industry, as I do, you tend to grow even more laissez faire. “I’m a pro. What, me worry?”
It sounds cliché, but you can’t be too careful. I hit the “sloppy about safety” reset button recently at Northstar, and hope my experience encourages all skiers to do the same.
In my haste to get skiing on the first morning of a six-day ski trip, I didn’t check that the bindings on my demo skis were properly set. I mean, why did I need to? A friend had picked up three sets of different model demos for me and two others to use during our Tahoe ski trip. They were from a highly reputable shop whose skills I trust implicitly. My friend had my boots in hand and knew my height, weight and skiing ability—and the shop properly set up the bindings to match. That’s standard procedure. Only the bindings on the skis they set to my boots weren’t the ones I eventually clicked into. There were three sets of skis—and we weren’t paying close enough attention.