Letter to the editor: ski boot problem

(Letter to Rossignol from Ken Warner – submitted as Letter to the Editor)

I bought some Rossignol X8 skate boots 2011/2012 a while ago from this seller



I’ve not been doing a lot of cross country for various reasons.  Yesterday, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2012, I was at our local XC track here in Mammoth Lakes, CA.  I hit a little icy spot that had a slight downhill right bank across the track.  To keep from sliding sideways to the right, I steped hard on the inside edge of my right ski.  I twisted out of my right binding and fell really hard.  I was stunned to say the least.  A trip to the E.R. showed that I had not broken anything.  Just a bad fall that put my back into spasm.

I looked at my boots and bindings today.  I have Rossignol NNN T3 bindings on some Karhu 55mm metal edge waxless BC skis.   I don’t BC.  I just cruse the tracks.  The skis are nice and stable and comfortable.

It turns out that the right boot has a little lip on the front plastic where the toe bar is that prevents the boot from locking completely into the binding.  On my work bench, I can twist the boot out of the binding with my hands because that lip keeps the boot out of proper position.  The lip is maybe one millimeter, maybe one an a half millimeters.  It’s clearly a manufacturing flaw.  That’s just enough to let the boot stay in the binding in most cases if the track stays flat.  The left boot seats in the binding properly.  Yesterday, I just happened to put just enough torque on the binding to twist out.  I’m really hurting today.  My butt and back are in spasm.

Everyday I spend laid up — needing pain pills to sleep, I get more and more angry about this.  It was completely unnecessary and caused by shoddy manufacturing.  I am considering getting some legal help about this.  My back hurts today because Rossignol screwed up.  That’s not right.  This accident is well documented with an accident report at the Yurt at Twin Lakes in Mammoth and the E.R.
I thought you should know.  What should I do?

Ken Warner


26 Responses to Letter to the editor: ski boot problem

  1. dean January 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Ken –

    I think you should recognize that you willingly participated in an inherently dangerous activity in self-selected equipment. Did you consult a professional ski tuner, boot fitter, or other person prior to completing your purchase, or did you act entirely of your own volition?

    Frankly, considering legal action after you fall on your butt when skiing is like wanting to sue Hooters because the Spicy Buffalo wings you ordered were too Spicy.

    Have some personal responsibility here. You are not a victim. You were a participant in an inherently dangerous activity and suffered a common injury. Even thinking lawsuit in this instance is an example of everything that’s wrong with America today.

    Own up to your choices and actions and recognize that you created the circumstances that lead up to your injury.

  2. Wayne Deja January 14, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Funny how so many say to “buy local”….In my town,same thing gets said…..usually by merchants. But when THEY buy,it’s not local.It only matters if it’s others buying in THEIR stores.Personally,I do buy most of my needs locally, but only because I don’t like the drive to Ridgecrest. But when I do get down there,bottom line is,would I rather pay $6.99 for a half gallon of grape juice in town…or pay $2.99 for the same thing at Ridgecrest Walmart ?…Best way to get people to buy local is to offer competitive prices with the stores that so many don’t mind going to that are out of town.

  3. sierragrl January 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    sheesh, none of this should be so hard….we bought local, but had a ski have the tip break off on a hard landing a couple months after purchase…went back to the local store, who said contact Volkl, which we did…they replaced the skis…While I get the vitriol being spewed at Ken somewhat, I hate to burst your bubble people, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference where he bought the boots from. No retailer takes back or replaces products past a month or so.

  4. David Bradford January 12, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    You’re not getting a lot of sympathy from this crowd.. However, the buying local issue is valid. A local shop wouldn’t have sold you that boot which is a skate boot to go with your skis which are classic touring skis. The skate boot has a different flex pattern than a classic boot. That being said, it still should have fit in the binding OK. Rossignol should cover their manufacturing defect, but as far as liability is concerned, if it were me I’d chalk it up to a somewhat heavy handed karmic slapdown for not buying local. Go easy on the pain meds.

  5. Big AL January 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I just don’t get it … this whole thing .. as I stated above seems to be surreal, almost like it was designed to cause all of the venom. This was one thought that came to mind in reading all of the posts.

    But I don’t think it was meant to be that way, just goes to show you how with a scrap of information, how it can be quickly turned into something it isn’t.

    I really thought it to be a joke, it was like .. OK give me the punch line. The letter as presented, did not preclude intent of the letter as to who it was originally sent. It appeared to be sent solely to the blog for comment, with the closing comment, “What should I do?”

    A couple posters offered comment that seemed not so bad, a couple were just direct and not vindictive, and then there are those who just need to show they are all that and then some. The general consensus and the focus of anger by some revolves around whether or not someone buys local. While a bi product of emotions comes out in the issue of taking responsibility of one’s actions.

    I love it how Ken likened the venous banter on here the other night, to a bunch of drunks in a bar at the end of a good run at it, and start getting offended at the slightest things. Alcohol brings out the true spirit in people, some drunks are happy, and have a good times with friends, others are mean, and can’t stay happy.

    But then Ken plays into the tank of piranhas, and is sorry for the dark side rearing up like it does. He probably is but he threw some rocks too. I know it is easy to get pulled into the fray, when emotions run high.

    • Benett Kessler January 12, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

      This was partly my fault. I did not understand Ken’s letter was written to Rossignol. Wow.

      • Big AL January 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

        I directing that at you Benett ..it was for the biters.

        I hear ya though Trouble .. the business people don’t want to hear the tourist trap thing, because it is their livelihood. If I can get what I need here locally, I get it, if I need it right now even though I could get it else where cheaper, I will buy it here, now.

        The thing is .. so much of what people offer locally is more expensive, there is no argument there, it is just that way. So you have to deal with it, if you need it you buy it here, or find it online, or make a trip out of town. I know local business people who do just the same.

        I know for myself, I don’t have very much money, like a lot of people around here, so you save money where you can. And you try to support locally as well. But in the end, you do what you need to do.

        I get what you’re saying Ken, but the way I see it, you have shot yourself in the foot with some of your remarks, and some of the people who have made some crappy remarks as well, wonder why some people don’t seem to want to support local … well there is some truth in Troubles remark. Inyo and Mono counties are considered tourist destinations, so things are going to cost more in part just for that one fact. Tourist destination says it all ….

  6. Trouble January 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    Ken- if it was one of their kids hurt, they would sue the Pope.

  7. ferdinand lopez January 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    apparently no sympathy for ken,sounds like a typical californian,looking to profit from his own negligence,ken you should take everyone to court,rossi,the ski manufacturers,whoever owns twin lakes,the town of mammoth,who ever sold you the equiptment,and mother nature for making the snow so dangerous

    • Trouble January 13, 2013 at 6:17 am #

      Maybe people will stop getting hurt if Ken doesn’t back down all you clowns.

  8. fish dude January 12, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    What should you do? Leave the area and maybe the country!!!! Someone please tell me this is sarcasm!!! This guy is the reason insurance rates are so high and that medical services are so high…Ken…Man up and take some responsibility for your own actions!!! Your butt and back are not in spasm…your brain is….

  9. Ken Warner January 12, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    …and I’m beginning to see why your BID is needed to tax us local people for millions of dollars to get new customers — your old customers don’t come back because they don’t like you.

    Listen, I have a better idea than using the BID money for marketing. Just hire a bunch of thugs to roam the streets and threaten people if they don’t buy something from your stores. Dress them up in brown shirts and shinny black jackboots and when there are no people around, they could smash the windows of the businesses that don’t want to pay BID tax.

    You all represent Mammoth businesses at their finest.

  10. sierragrl January 12, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    Contact rossignol, write them a letter putting them on notice of the faulty equipment and of potential injuries suffered. Although, if you don’t bring up the injuries, you might have a better chance of getting the faulty boot replaced for free. Which to me, should be sufficient. You’ll get over your soreness and get back out there, but hopefully with a new boot.

  11. tj nella January 12, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    OMG get a life Ken…if you are scared of getting hurt doing a sport then stay in the house and stare at the walls.

  12. Ken Warner January 12, 2013 at 12:53 am #

    Clarification: That was a letter I sent to Rossignol support asking for their help in resolving this problem. They have not been responding. I told them I was going to go public and they contacted me within hours. I am working with a representative from Rossignol to resolve the problem with their quality control.

    The boot I bought is last years model and is not sold in Mammoth to my knowledge and certainly not for the price I paid. I asked Benett to help me out and print the letter I sent to Rossignol to pressure them into responding and it worked. But I’m sorry it caused so much evil venom to be expressed in her blog.

    It is really unsettling to know the kind of meanness expressed in your comments is at the core of our local businesses. Your meanness is reason enough to avoid your businesses.

    • Big AL January 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

      For the record Ken, I really thought it was a joke, the way it was presented here, I was not being venomous about what I said towards you.

      I understand what you saying now more clearly, but the way it was presented here, did not show the intent, maybe it should have had some sort of intent included to show us what you just said. Makes more sense now, and yes I hear ya .. some people really like to slam people, but in all fairness .. you certainly did not respond any differently … referring to the storm trooper scenario.

    • SkiJohn January 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      Oh, so you can dish it out, criticizing all things Mammoth Lakes, but you can’t take it? I’m not a business owner, but I work hard for my money and like to spend it supporting locals when I can. I’m sorry people have been bashing you here, and I’d like to think you’re perhaps a nice guy, but you never have anything positive or nice to say about anything or anyone. Maybe this experience will improve your attitude.

  13. Big AL January 12, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    This has got to be a joke .. where’s the punch line.

    It really does illustrate as old mmth stated, one of the biggest problems we face today, law suits over every single thing that happens to us .. a manufacturing defect, that some how was not detected, what about all of the others that are detected and kept from causing harm.

  14. Jeff January 11, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

    Maybe you should have inspected the boot yourself, Please hang up your skis and pick a new outdoor sport.

  15. Chet January 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    I can’t take it anymore; I’ve just got see Ken in person to see the mug behind the madness.

  16. Jon January 11, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    Is this guy serious?

  17. mammoth Resident January 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Ken are you for real?
    dude as others have said . . Buy local, otherwise take a hike. Call Rossi , please don’t pester the local shop as you did not support them.

  18. old mmth January 11, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    Waaaaaa, A law suit because you fell down skiing?? REALLY? ha ha ha ha LOL. Yep. someone owes you something. WHY? this is the problem with society today. nobody can take responcibillity for there own actions anymore.

  19. Support local businesses January 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Gee, Ken, maybe you should have shopped locally so you could return the boots to a merchant who cared about you, and likely wouldn’t have sold you an unsafe product in the first place. You no longer disgust me, you amuse me.

    • Trouble January 13, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      support local-how many times did you vote for yourself? If I can save money on line, I will with zero regrets. When you live in a tourist trap it’s good to get out once in a while.

  20. BobK January 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Have a little whine with your Tylenal.


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