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Old(ish) boots still ok? Salomon X Wave 8

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Morning all. I thought my old X Wave 8's had disappeared years ago, but they have just resurfaced from a very long hibernation....

I think i bought them somewhere between 2000 and 2003, so a fair while ago. They only got maybe 6 weeks use over the following few years, then disappeared.

Anyway, they seem in great nick, and fit ok (were never perfect, but pretty good).

Are they too old and knackered to use, and is it likely that my feet will have changed massively over time, and therefore they are not suitable?

Not skiing until late March, but wondering if i ought to book rentals or not.

Cheers
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Too big a risk, IMO.....Talking from experience, where I kept some Salomon Integral Equipe 8.2 for too long, which could have resulted in a nasty accident.
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They're not THAT old. A pair of my sister's disintegrated but they were positively ancient.
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Quote:

Are they too old and knackered to use, and is it likely that my feet will have changed massively over time, and therefore they are not suitable?

They are probably OK. When ski boots have had it the plastic disintegrates around the soles first and they fall apart quite quickly. Tap them with a hammer and see if anything comes off. Also check inside for mice nests.
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Ours were eaten my something, left in damp cellar after Chichester floods.
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Depends where they have been kept. A friend had both his boots disintegrate simultaneously on the piste after keeping them in Singapore for a few years. He ended up walking down in his socks!
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They've been kept (inadvertently) in the loft, in a boot bag.

Had them on this morning, and the plastic seems to be unaffected, and the integrity looks just fine.

Was skiing with friends, many years ago, and one the better skiers had managed to procure some even older Salomon (SX81? 71?) for his wife, a new skier. Completely fell apart, luckily for her is was on the walk to the gondola, but it could have been much worse.

Thanks so far guys.
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SHAP wrote:
They've been kept (inadvertently) in the loft, in a boot bag.

Had them on this morning, and the plastic seems to be unaffected, and the integrity looks just fine.

Was skiing with friends, many years ago, and one the better skiers had managed to procure some even older Salomon (SX81? 71?) for his wife, a new skier. Completely fell apart, luckily for her is was on the walk to the gondola, but it could have been much worse.

Thanks so far guys.

My boots were stored in a cupboard, away from daylight. They looked in great nick.

When skiing in Tignes, during very bad/cold weather (so most lifts closed and I was skiing slowly), I noticed, after I stopped, that the plate on the binding, which pushed down the ski brake, had a piece broken off. Thinking this was strange, I inspected the bottom of my boots. On one boot, the protective heel pad was missing, leaving the retaining bolts hanging down like long spikes. I had been skiing around like this, but hadn't noticed due to the storm and helping my Son who was struggling in the conditions.

I suspect the Toe/ Heel pads are probably the most vulnerable.....and spare parts will be next to impossible to find.
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@SHAP, ...well...hmmm....first of all X Waves were a sensational boot. Designed by a guy who used to work in ProFeet West London. Far better last shape than many of the Salomon which followed, and really good to punch out and shape. The Lange RX series - incredibly successful boot series is a continuation of both the last shape and plastics - this saved Lange from being cast as narrow and difficult to punch and adjust - e.g. the hyper low volume blue series which ran for years. Switching to an X Wave replica increased Lange's sales exponentially and the RX series remains excellent. We've got X Waves and the related 1080s all over our house. Colin and Jon may be along to correct me, but that's my take to date. X waves are really cool. So far so good.

But....while Salomon have no record of exploding boots like the amazing exploding orange top model boots from a famous Italian maker (wrong pigment in a year's batch and boots were splitting all over the world) the loft is a problem. Three principal things kill plastics - solvents, heat and UV. They work in different ways of course, but heat causes plastic to degrade by evaporating plasticisers and creating free radicals:

From the excellent tech sheet from Tangram:

http://www.tangram.co.uk/TI-Polymer-Thermal_degradation.html

Quote: Thermal degradation of plastics at elevated temperatures is an inevitable event and for many polymers it can be a significant limitation to the application service life of a product. Even at moderate service temperatures long-term thermal degradation can represent a limitation to the service life.

The key thing here is how hot did the loft get? If your loft is above the house insulation then it will have gotten VERY hot this Summer during the period of static high pressure systems. The key thing in the Tangram data is 'moderate service temps' - this is not near-melting point temps, but simply elevated ambient temps. Our boots are stored in cool, dry contexts. I assume your loft is dry, but it may not be cool. Thats' the key thing. And when the boot is cooled with snow and ambient temp to near zero or below, that's when brittleness ramps up.

So....answer to your question I am afraid is ...maybe ok, maybe not. Think about the conditions in your loft. If they have been exposed to higher than normal ambient temps (i.e. 20 deg c), I wouldn't rely on the boots, and if they weren't that comfy away, junk them. Lange HV RX would be a compatible replacement - available for 150 gbp in places. Easily punched to be comfortable....
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@valais2, great reply cheers.

Whilst the loft is most certainly dry, and actually cool for much of the year, it does get noticeably stuffy up there on the odd occasion that i need to be up there in the summer. Last summer, probably even more so, as you mention.


@johnE, I'll try the hammer...


@Old Fartbag, glad you noticed when you did.
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Quote:

Was skiing with friends, many years ago, and one the better skiers had managed to procure some even older Salomon (SX81? 71?) for his wife, a new skier. Completely fell apart, luckily for her is was on the walk to the gondola, but it could have been much worse.

Laughing Similar happened to me. Friends we'd not skied with before turned up at Chambery, where I met them, with huge long skis - sort of thing you see expert elderly Frenchmen on. Turned out he'd got a job lot on eBay. Including wife's boots (his own were far superior). When I saw them ski - not well - I persuaded them to rent decent skis. But her boots disintegrated on a trip to Les Contamines - fortunately I had some powder traces in my back pack and they were perfect to lash her boots together to get home. The only other time I ever used them was to lash up a pair of too-big snowchains, when an unexpected heavy fall in October caught me on summer tyres.

Quote:

I suspect the Toe/ Heel pads are probably the most vulnerable.....and spare parts will be next to impossible to find

Not necessarily. CEM probably has a drawer full, and certainly a good French ski hire shop will.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
pam w wrote:


Not necessarily. CEM probably has a drawer full, and certainly a good French ski hire shop will.

That's what I hoped when I had the problem.....but my Boots were even older. All I got was a disinterested Gallic shrug, or a look of "What the hell are you doing in boots that old". Also, the material in any replacement, could nearly as old as what broke.
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Ah - well I got just what was needed for my sister's old white rear entry boots with bright pink heel pieces (left little pink bits all over the terrace of the restaurant). But that was in Les Saisies where a high proportion of the adult skiers are expert elderly French men in one piece suits with hugely long skinny skis and rear entry boots. Laughing
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You know it makes sense.
pam w wrote:
Ah - well I got just what was needed for my sister's old white rear entry boots with bright pink heel pieces (left little pink bits all over the terrace of the restaurant). But that was in Les Saisies where a high proportion of the adult skiers are expert elderly French men in one piece suits with hugely long skinny skis and rear entry boots. Laughing

I have a friend, Aaron Cassells, who teaches in VDI. Some years ago, when a fellow "Noran Ironer" turned up for a private lesson in some old 205s, he refused to teach him until he went and hired something sensible. They knew each other well, so this isn't as cheeky as it sounds.
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Laughing
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 Poster: A snowHead
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As others have said it is hard to say if they are ok!

When i used to work out in Canada i have several memories of people walking down the slops in their ski boot liners after the rear entry boots they had pulled out of the loft for the first time in 30 years exploded the first time they tried to put some force through them. Not that you boots are 40 year old rear entry boots, but it can happen to more modern boots also.
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Er, how has this become a sticky?
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SHAP wrote:
Er, how has this become a sticky?

It hasn't.
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spyderjon wrote:
SHAP wrote:
Er, how has this become a sticky?

It hasn't.


I knew that would happen.... Toofy Grin
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Still skiing my x wave 9s from maybe 2004. New liners... (mice rehomed) but they're skiing beautifully. Nice to hear that they really were good back in the day and I wasn't missold by some guy in chamonix! I took his word as I knew nothing... still don't. Very Happy
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my wife still has her Xwave 8's. Linings still good, fit excellent, and no obvious degradation in plastic. I had some I bought at the same time, in 2003, and the linings went. Upgraded a couple of years ago.
The point is just today I generously offered to upgrade my wife at my cost. She is currently refusing. Loves them. I an concerned about plastic degradation, but we keep them in the bedroom at a decent temperature, and look totally ok.
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