Let the Buzz Begin — Is Marker Birthing a Tech Binding ?


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Update: We just got the following (condensed and lightly edited) email from Jonathan Wiant, CEO of the Marker Völkl Group. This is big news, they’re claiming their new tech binding (we’re guessing it might be called “King”) will have TUV certification to the ISO 13992 standard for ski touring bindings — possibly the first ever such certification for a “pintech” binding based on the now common “tech” system of ski boot fittings that mate with special binding parts.

Hi Lou,
We have made significant efforts to keep the lid on our development of a new ski touring binding. …So far our efforts of clandestine testing has been successful. Until the most recent “sighting” as communicated by Mr. L.R. from Austria on WildSnow.com the market is full of anticipation and rumors but no concrete evidence. …Our final step for testing had the misfortune of involving 3rd party testers and to make this test convenient and accommodating to fulfil test objectives we had to risk a public appearance. Yes, we have been “outed”!

Caught on the Stubai Glacier with the German TÜV Süd organization we were in the final stage of testing toward certification for ISO 13992. And yes, I am proud to announce that Marker is the first company to receive ISO certification for our new PinTech touring binding…

Best Regards, Jonathan Wiant

The spy email below came in June 22, 2014. Since I’m headed down to Chile at the end of August to a Marker/Volkl press event I thought it fun to get our buzz up. I’m of course the last person anyone in the industry tells about this sort of stuff, so I have to depend on our informants. Truth, while I suspected the press event was related to this, I had very little info and out of respect for Marker didn’t feel good about sharing anything. Luckily L.R. delivered the goods below. Can you imagine some kind of Marker tech binding paired with those mean black Volkl carbon skis? Get out! Marker Duke, Baron, Bishop, King? Pinch me, but did they really leave the “King” Marker model name for when they made a tech binding? Get out!

Hi Lou,

Maybe this is interesting for you:

Two weeks ago I saw a group of people at Stubai Glacier/Tyrol with eye-catching bindings on their Völkl skis: A Lowtech front part (similar to G3 ION) and a standard heel part of an alpine binding but with two heel lifters to flip. I asked them about their bindings, one of them didn’t say anything and started to escape from the situation and the second said in a southern-Germany-idiom: “You’ll see that next year at ISPO.” After that I didn’t get any answer to my further questions. He ignored me.

On the heel part I read “King….” and the Marker logo. Unfortunately I couldn’t take a photo.

Obviously they were testing their first tech binding. I think, due to their clothing and skiing style, two of them were athletes and three engineers. They often stopped to get out of the binding and step in again.

Best regards, L.R.
Austria

(Disclaimer: Above is from an unsolicited email and could be a troll or joke — but it jibes with a lot of other stuff we’re hearing.)

Comments

20 Responses to “Let the Buzz Begin — Is Marker Birthing a Tech Binding ?”

  1. Mark W June 22nd, 2014 10:48 pm

    Amazing the possibilities. Am waiting for more intel. “Maybe this is interesting for you.” Ha! The understatement could not be more right on.

  2. Pablo June 23rd, 2014 12:42 am

    I think is true. Every binding brand is working on tech systems. I also heard buzz about Salomon-Atomic working on it (with Kilian) and I saw Atomic prototypes of 1kilo boots…all in line. The frame type of bindings (barons, guardians,…)have little sense now and non sense in a pair of years.

  3. Ru June 23rd, 2014 12:54 am

    I can imagine pairing some shiny new tech bindings with some fancy black skis. Mostly I’m imagining that touring skis shouldn’t be black.

  4. Wookie June 23rd, 2014 2:41 am

    This could be big! Don’t care if someone just makes another tech binding, but a tech toe with the downward pressure of an alpne binding might be worthwhile, as I feel like tech bindings just dont ski the same…and I think that may be the cause. (This is not about release values – and its just a personal opinion.) I was interested in the new trab/scarpa binding – but ANOTHER standard is kind of a deal-breaker…..

    I’ll be keeping my eyes open on the glacier!

    Wookie

  5. Pablo June 23rd, 2014 4:45 am

    So it’s seems like it will be someting near to the CAST tech system but fixed.
    Maybe a tecnology that moves a standard alpine heel like the vipec does and you got a mix system…sounds nice

  6. Christian June 23rd, 2014 6:03 am

    Could be true, but why would they put a “King” sticker on it?

  7. Lou Dawson June 23rd, 2014 7:27 am

    Christian, my assumption is that the model is called the “King,” to go along with their royal family of binding names. Makes sense, but I’m just guessing. Lou

  8. Lou Dawson June 23rd, 2014 7:32 am

    Ru, I’d agree, am wishing the skis were not black! Problem for all these guys is that carbon is black, so to make a carbon ski light colored they have to add a paint or color layer to the top, which adds weight and durability issues as each time it’s chipped or scratched the black shows through. Yet another design engineering dilemma, always fascinating. Me, I’d prefer the skis were white and chipped.

    BTW, I added more to the Quiz for you. Try it now.

    Lou

  9. Lou Dawson June 23rd, 2014 7:37 am

    All, I’ve got Trab system here, still evaluating. Been delayed by having to use the dedicated boots, getting fit correct and all that. Due to our dust covered snow we don’t have as much summer skiing as we used to, but I can still do some patch skiing to test. Stay tuned. Lou

  10. Pablo June 23rd, 2014 8:40 am

    Skitrab System looks great, but i think i’ts too late.

    The war has just begun and trying to convince with the handicap of a necessary dedicated boot, wich is just 1 model in the market….

    The idea behind the “King” (an alpine heel with tech toe fittings) maybe is more easy to the market because you don’t need a dedicated boot, just a regular boot with “standard” tech fittings and AT norm heels. And there are a lot of boots that match with that requirements.

    I think Ski Trab opened the “Pandora Box” of new tech systems by showing them system so many ISPOs ago but wasted too much time in his introduction in the market. To the point that now, there are new war players. (Diamir, G3, Salomon?, Marker?)

    Maybe i’m wrong, but if Marker “King” is real on next ISPO…Skitrab System is the first loser of this war…

  11. tommaso June 23rd, 2014 12:54 pm

    Hi!

    I am pretty confident the gossip is right…
    Why so? check one of our main guest at the Festival and you’ll understand why ;)

    http://www.adventureoutdoorfest.com/

    Bye!

  12. Lou Dawson June 23rd, 2014 1:25 pm

    Tommaso, I’m not getting your point. Do you have a specific link? Thanks, Lou

  13. joe June 26th, 2014 6:34 am

    A German website (wrong URL deleted) has the info that a marker pin tech bindung is in the making and will be (should be?) ready for the 15/16 season.

  14. Lou Dawson June 26th, 2014 9:32 am

    test

  15. Lou Dawson June 26th, 2014 9:33 am

    Joe, please leave a website address that works for the German one with info about Marker. Thanks, Lou

  16. joe June 26th, 2014 9:56 am

    http://www.freeskiers.net/community/showthread.php?24094-Der-Pinbindungen-Philosophie-Thread-oder-How-to-entlast-ein-Plum-Yak-Thread&p=372976#post372976
    (it is in German)

    Summary: The User “Mc4Air” who works at a outdoorshop e-mailed one of his wholesale dealers about this rumor. Much to his surprise the dealer confirmed that in fact marker did annouce (only to its dealers) that a tech binding is coming.

    Rejoice!
    ;-)

  17. Tay July 29th, 2014 5:11 pm

    Their marketing campaign could be along the lines of “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

  18. Chris July 29th, 2014 5:50 pm

    I’m looking forward to trying it in a couple of weeks in Chile.

  19. Bigsnowtrucker July 29th, 2014 10:31 pm

    pin tech + King = Kingpin, duh. But, it’s already been played for sure. Makes sense though, at least to me.

    Take that you silly Vipec, hope you got your loosening pins figured out. Later Plum. Dynafit better hang on tight, the next few years are gonna be a fun ride in the tech market with dollars up for grabs including possibly mine.

    Let’s just hope the boot guys can continue to deliver more options for tech boot fittings that are safe and durable to go along with all these new tech options. It seems that will now be the catalyst. They got the skiing part down so it seems but options still seem limited especially with my club feet for a boot that works. My quadrants are toast. I hear BD is leaving the boot game next year so that leaves Scarpa, Dynafit, La Sportiva for the underdogs? It’s all big players now otherwise. Interesting indeed.

    I wonder how heavy? Shall we start a gram counters pool? I’m in for $20, I say 1200g. Nice round number. Brakes???

  20. adam olson July 29th, 2014 11:33 pm

    binding war? give me a break. I hope Marker the best. I’ll stick with my Fritschi Eagle’s.

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