Dynafit New Product Tips and Hints


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Just got done with the annual Dynafit press event in Austria. While I’m embargoed for a few more days from publishing closeup photos and tons of detailed info (I like to play nice, rather than piss off my hosts), I got permission to share a few things. For starters, as web rumors say, the Dynafit binding line is indeed revamped with a different heel lift system (that flips up similar to Onyx), but more importantly, the toe unit has a system that both totally locks out the side pre-release possibility we’ve previously covered here, but also morphs the binding into almost a step-in unit. Ingenious, if it works in real life.

Praxmar backcountry skiing.

Dynafit event this year was held at Praxmar, a small mountain trailhead area with a tiny ski tow but a huge amount of very popular ski touring terrain rising around 3,000 vert above. The snow and weather were nothing to rave about today, but as always, being here in the old country and hoisting beers with a bunch of mountain loving Germans, Austrians, Italians (not to mention Jackson Hole hardcores) and so forth is always an enriching experience. Wonderful how love of mountain sport can be so cross language and even cross cultural. Photo above was basically the scene today, ski tour in the wet snow and rain but love every minute of it (or almost every minute). As always I demoed some skis narrower than I've skied on in a year, just to stay true to the Euro way. And as always, the latest version of 7 Summits do deliver, but were not exactly the floaters one wants on 18 inches of Euro Mank. All compensated for by the evening group meals and some preview vids from Sweetgrass Productions.

Zee backcountry skiing  bindings of the hour.

Zee backcountry skiing bindings of the hour. Item in front is a race inspired creation that I suspect will be very popular for lightweight touring. All the new binding models have super interesting changes, but how they work in real life remains to be vetted. Of great interest is one version (not shown) that has the well known but formerly cosmetic connector between toe and heel, yet in this case has a switch to change from solid to sliding, thus said to change ski flex. Not a bad idea. Some of this stuff could be game changing in the tech binding world. Testing will be a blast!

Before you guys start going crazy, know that how this stuff works in real life is an open question. And “traditional” Dynafit bindings are still a totally viable option so don’t get all hot and bothered about holding off on your shopping (the new ones with the toe features are slightly heavier versions of FT/ST, so there you for a disincentive). But the engineering that went into this whole deal is impressive and you’ll see all of it soon either here or elsewhere.

What else? Lighter weight boots on BOTH ends of the spectrum, more rocker in skis and a new steel edged weapon that’s somewhere in width between Seven Summits and Manaslu.

More, while all Dynafit skis are getting lighter, these guys are working their tails off to make lightweight skis ski better. That’s not BS, it is truly sincere stuff.

Other products? Dynafit clothing continues to be nice for slim builds, similar in fit to Patagonia athletic style. Not sure how much will be available in North America, but good options abound. I like the Dynafit rucksacks as well. Not many big changes in that area, but again, if you are going lighter and want to get away from carrying your load above your head (Dynafit backpacks keep the weight lower and closer to your center of gravity), check ‘em out.

All for now, stay tuned of course.

Comments

18 Responses to “Dynafit New Product Tips and Hints”

  1. Jonathan Shefftz January 13th, 2011 4:50 pm

    “Item in front is a race inspired creation that I suspect will be very popular for lightweight touring.”
    – Get some close-up pics of that one!

  2. tony January 13th, 2011 5:26 pm

    will the Vertical ST10 and/or FT12 continue to be available next year?

  3. Matt January 13th, 2011 5:53 pm

    I am very curious about the workings of the heel lifters on the new heel pieces. Kind of look like a transformers toy I would’ve played with as a kid.

  4. Jason January 13th, 2011 6:01 pm

    Let the Euro’s muscle the skinny skis in the mank. Enjoy your day on some fatties! Looks wonderful there regardless of the rain. A bad day outside in the element is still a splendid day. :)

  5. John Gloor January 13th, 2011 8:58 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Lou, I was going to buy the FTZ 12 for an April hut trip to Canada, but now I think I will remount my FT-12 binders. Any knowledge on the binding hole patterns? It would be nice if the new binding holes matched the older pattern. I hate buying brand new gear just to find out it is not the coolest!

  6. Bar Barrique January 13th, 2011 9:42 pm

    I’m looking for a “tech” binding with brakes that weighs in around 500 grams. This should be possible for those of us who are not looking for a “heavy duty” type free ride binding.

  7. Lou January 14th, 2011 7:56 am

    Mattt, the heel lifters are very simple. They just flip up and down. The idea is that you put the heel unit into one position for touring, leave it in that position, and flip the lifters. In fact, the heel unit will only rotate one direction, to prevent the inadvertent rotation in touring mode that’s sometimes a problem. Now, how this works in real life is a very open question. You’ll probably see some magazines award these bindings a prize, but we’ll test them first instead. The concepts are solid.

  8. jim orey January 14th, 2011 9:34 am

    Hello Lou, will Dynafit have a kit to change “post” type heels to new “flip” type, if indeed, the new bindings are game changing? Thanks

  9. Lou January 14th, 2011 10:02 am

    No official kit I know of as it would actually require pretty much placing a whole new heel unit on the ski due to the internals of the heel unit, but who knows what will be available on the black market or aftermarket in Europe…

  10. Lou January 14th, 2011 10:05 am

    ST and FT are still in the catalog. Unknown if they’re actually going to keep making them, or are just selling backstock.

  11. Lou January 14th, 2011 10:13 am

    Gloor, the Radical binding line toes only have 4 screws. The two front ones are 6 mm forward from the old pattern, the rear ones are the same. As far as I know the rear unit has the same hole pattern. So it sounds like mounting the Radical on a ski with existing holes really won’t be a problem if done well. Dynafit also will be selling their “Power Plate,” which we’ve discussed here before. This is a plastic plate that at least cosmetically widens the footprint of the binding. Engineering wise, I’m pretty sure the Power Plate does very little, if anything for most skiers.

  12. jerimy January 15th, 2011 8:01 am

    If the toe hole pattern is different, what does this mean for the Dynafit skis with inserts? Are they going to get rid of them, adjust to the new hold pattern, or sell two versions of the skis? The Baltoro does not have inserts from what I have seen if this is any indicator of where the inserts are heading.

  13. Lou January 15th, 2011 10:25 am

    Jerimy, I’ll try to get a specific answer but I’m 99% sure the inserts will simply be for the new bindings. If the Power Towers and stuff work, I’m certain they’ll phase out the old FT/ST. Good they’re keeping them in the catalog for now — probably makes the dealers happy, if nothing else.

  14. Jonathan Shefftz January 15th, 2011 10:39 am

    According to a TGR post (trust . . . but verify!):
    “If you look at e.g. the new Stokes, there’s a dimple in the titanal plate just ahead of the inserts; instead of lining up with 1st and 3rd or 2nd and 4th inserts like the Vertical’s do, you’ll be mounting into the 1st and 4th insert or 3rd insert and the dimples.”

  15. Lou January 15th, 2011 10:52 am

    Jonathan, I’d imagine it’s something like that. BTW, the coolest thing I saw that’ll actually be availabe to the masses is the Manaslu skis. Main model has a carbon fiber layer in it now, which I’m thinking might make it much less scary on steep boilerplate, and the women’s model is white. I’m actually thinking of rocking the women’t model, I’m so sick of ice on top of my skis from them being black. I also might try painting my existing Manaslus pure white.

  16. Jonathan Shefftz January 15th, 2011 11:05 am

    Lou, what, you don’t spray your topskins and bindings with silicon? Seriously, I do that before rando races and before stickiness-prone days and it works great. Just be sure to avoid any overspray onto the bases, and don’t do this for any sort of more mountaineering-oriented outing, as the skis can be a bit slippery to grab.

  17. Lou January 15th, 2011 11:11 am

    Jonathan, I’ve tried everything and it all can help, but there is nothing as effective as simply having a white topskin.

  18. Maki January 15th, 2011 3:35 pm

    Bar Barrique, you can look here
    http://www.atkrace.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=54:atk-race-rt&lang=en
    for the binding and here
    http://www.atkrace.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=57:ski-stopper&lang=en
    for the stoppers.

    They also claim to have a working release during uphill (adjustable). I haven’t tested them personally.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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