Friday, 24 February 2012

Scarpa Maestrale problems

After multiple sessions on skis and several visits to Jules at The Boot Room in Chamonix I have finished by trading in my Scarpa Maestrales and moving to a Dynafit TLT5.

The reason?

As soon as I got on the Maestrales I felt like I was on a 5ยบ outside edge on both skis - this meant I had to internally rotate both legs (ie ski with a major A-frame) just to get the skis flat let alone find any edge on the outside ski...
As well as feeling all wrong this also caused considerable hip & knee pain after 2 days skiing - not ideal!

On closer inspection it would appear that the front Dynafit inserts in the Maestrales are not set horizontally - the inside insert is higher than the outside insert. This appears to be an integral part of the boot design (though why is beyond me when the boot is designed to clip into a horizontal set of pins on a horizontal ski).

Interestingly I tried several Maestrale shells with Jules at The Boot Room in Chamonix yesterday and there was variation between all of them in the amount of offset!
As a simple test - in touring mode flex forward until your knee touches the ski - with my Titans it is completely central as you'd expect, with the Maestrale it is offset over the inside edge...

(Thanks to Will for the idea for this test - funnily enough when I mentioned this to him he said "hey, maybe that is why I have had sore knees this winter!")

I can't believe that no one else has had this problem, though an internet search only reveals one result with a similar issue... to me it was blindingly obvious from the moment I first clipped in and slid along a gentle path that something was not right!

Off to test run the TLT5s this afternoon, shoping for better 'feel' there.

While I'm in gear mode I do need to say a big 'MERCI' to Jean-Pierre at Dynastar in Sallanches who not only replaced my blistered Mythic Riders free of charge for some Mythic Lights but also mounted them then & there (and understood my request for the binding to fit a 307 and 322mm bsl, something Sport Conrad failed to do earlier this winter...). Now that is customer service for you!


  1. Interesting, Si.
    I've had 2 occurrences of a different issue with clients wearing Scarpa boots in the cold conditions we've had. A Maestrale and a Gea wouldn't clip into ski mode after being in walk mode. Warming and fiddling seemed to do the trick, but it's not ideal....

  2. Hi Andy,

    Interesting indeed... If you clip the toes in & look at how the heel lines up with the rear 'prongs' it will be (more or less) off centre (since the front inserts are offset). It is possible to imagine that with a very cold (ie stiff) boot this might cause problems clipping in to ski mode.

    Still, loads of people seem to love them - just wonder how many do have little niggles like that?