Dynafit Beast 16 Binding Delta (Ramp) Angles — Week of the Beast Part 1


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 26, 2013      

For you cliff huckers and World Cup bamboo bashers out there, Dynafit Beast 16 might be the only binding you need. We’ll devote most of this week to the monster grabber since it’s about as different from a normal tech bindings as my ski style is from Queen Elizabeth. I’ll work on our FAQ all week; during each new iteration of the FAQ I’ll publish a brief blog post linking back to the FAQ as it grows. Here goes part one.

What you get visually when you evaluate binding ramp (delta) is different from what you get with a boot in the binding  and your foot in the boot.

What you get visually when you evaluate binding ramp (delta) is different from what you get with a boot in the binding and your foot in the boot. Click images to enlarge.

First installment, Delta Angle (also known as “ramp,” but when referring to binding we call it “delta.” I mixed up a packet of powdered Dynafit Koolaid. As I gulped the purple fluid it spoke to me and said “Low forward-lean angled between front of foot (toe) and heel…=minimal delta. True? The calipers and steel ruler told a tale, and it was good.

Basically, while just about any ski boot results in measurable ramp angle in real life (due to the “boot board” inside the boot raising your heel up), Beast can easily claim to have nearly zero binding delta that would contribute to the overall angle of boot and binding combined. The monster binding also places your boot heel 4 millimeters lower than Dynafit Radical model bindings (though the toe is slightly higher).

For the whole story, see our FAQ. Please leave comments here on this blog post. That way we can keep our comment threads focused on various aspects of Beast. Again, we’ll do a “Week of the Beast” starting today. Stay tuned.

(Please note, Beast ski binding is a radical departure from pretty much all other bindings. At this time we have no idea what kind of commercial success Beast will have, nor what problems may appear once the binding is in full consumer use. These blog posts and FAQs are not a recommendation, they’re simply here to inform anyone interested, and clarify things if you do desire to be an early adopter.)



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Comments

18 Responses to “Dynafit Beast 16 Binding Delta (Ramp) Angles — Week of the Beast Part 1”

  1. Lorne August 26th, 2013 9:20 am

    Pin delta is the relevant measurement surely, since that is what is commonly discussed for other bindings and boots have too many other variables.

    So the Beast has about 6.5mm pin delta compared to Radical/Speed/Plum’s 14/15/18mm? Why the massive change? The external boot sole ramp looks more like that of an alpine setup, sure, but if a typical touring boot with low internal ramp is used then the overall ramp is going to end up very flat. Are Dynafit’s newest boots built with more ramp and a view to be skied in the Beast ie. more like an alpine boot’s ramp (maybe a good project for Wilsnow next), or is it Dynafit’s opinion that a Beast setup should just be flatter than anything else out there?

  2. Mike Bannister August 26th, 2013 9:26 am

    I’m pretty sure less ramp angle is considered a good thing if you’re skiing switch. Which I’d guess is what Dynafit is aiming for.

  3. Lou August 26th, 2013 9:38 am

    Lorne, yes, it is now a minimal delta. I think it’s fine but anyone used to the radical delta of Radical models is going to need to adjust their style/stance/boots.

    As I mentioned somewhere in the post or FAQ, what I think is ideal is the delta of the old TLT model, heel pins 10 mm higher than toe pins. Beast could be shimmed up to this with just a 3 mm shim under the rear binding unit.

    Shew, a lot of interesting stuff related to Beast, as it’s so very different.

    Lou

  4. Woody Dixon August 26th, 2013 9:50 am

    Less ramp angle promotes a more natural and relaxed ski stance. With modern rockered skis you don’t have to drive the tips with the same pressure as full camber skis. It does require more active ankle flexion and less exaggerated knee/hip movement. And it will punish you if you get in the back seat.

    Most alpine setups these days have minimal ramp and relaxed forward lean. I personally find the combination of the 18mm of ramp on my Dynafit Verticals plus the ramp in my boots makes me feel like I’m standing on the tips of my toes when skiing. Drives me crazy.

    Also, it’s pretty easy to add forward lean, ramp angle, etc inside boots.

  5. Lou Dawson August 26th, 2013 10:15 am

    Right on Woody…

  6. Lorne August 26th, 2013 10:44 am

    Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I ski my plums with 7mm toe lifters to unramp them a little. It just seems pretty crazy that Dynafit has cut the standard ramp by over 50% on just one model, which like you say will feel weird (not necessarily “wrong”) when switching between setups.

  7. Woody Dixon August 26th, 2013 11:01 am

    I got the chance to ski with Hoji at one of the Freeride Touring Camps last winter. He made some base plates for his radicals to have zero ramp in the bindings. I have feeling that has something to do with the lack of ramp on the beast.

    (also, interestingly enough- even though he eliminated the ramp out of his bindings, he purposely increased the ramp and forward lean in his boots. I think this contributes to his “old school angulation” that the bros on TGR seem to gush about. While I tend to aim for hips inline with my feet and the front of my knees in parallel with my toes, Hoji likes his knees WAY forward of his toes and his hips hanging his heels.)

    Goes to show what works for one person, doesn’t work for another. We are all built/shaped differently. Also, I feel that what works for pros who ski steep terrain and huck pillows all day maybe isn’t the best stance for someone who likes to noodle through low-angle trees and go on gentle tours.

  8. Tom Gos August 26th, 2013 5:31 pm

    I suspect that the lack of binding ramp on the Beast is a lot about making a tech binding that is more familiar feeling and looking (in terms of stance) to skiers coming from alpine gear. Most modern alpine bindings have zero or very little binding ramp, although alpine boots definitely have some ramp molded into the shell and/or boot board. Nevertheless, if you are marketing a new binding primarily to folks who are used to seeing zero binding ramp then you probably make sure your new product has zero binding ramp. I think the same thing is true with the stand height or lift of the binding – the Beast is “closer” to the ski and more similar to what is currently normal or fashionable in alpine bindings. Of course desirable ramp and lift are unique to each individual regardless of what is currently normal or fashionable.

  9. Lou Dawson August 26th, 2013 5:44 pm

    It’s a known fact that ski touring gear companies such as Salewa/Dynafit BD and others see the alpine market as the fertile field for their sowing — and are directing much of their energy in that direction. Beast is most certainly a seed crop!

  10. John Gloor August 26th, 2013 10:02 pm

    I have to say, the Beast binding has me kind of puzzled. I can see the target audience, but there are several pretty good, but heavy competitors there. Since I have no interest in this binding, I have not fully read any reviews of it. Why would I not buy this http://casttouring.com/products/sii-touring-system-look-and-head/ and use my touring boots or modified race boots? Obviously it is cruder and does not handle easy walk/ski changes, but if you are using the Cast binding system, most likely you have one peak as the goal instead of a day of endless yo-yo sking.

  11. Lou Dawson August 27th, 2013 6:27 am

    Gloor, I try to keep clarifying in my FAQ, but my opinion is that the Beast is unique in that it connects your boot to the binding using tech fittings and pins, for better or worse, but in this case overall better because of the incredibly rigid connection between boot and ski, as well as the release interface being totally engineered, rather than depending on toe wings, friction, and so forth as non-tech bindings do. Other bindings work, I’m just saying that in downhill mode those are the reasons Beast might have advantages even over regular alpine bindings! The jury is out, but at this juncture it very well might be the most ingenious overall ski binding ever produced.

    On the up, it’s true that Beast being frameless you’re lifting a bit less weight, but I don’t feel that’s a big factor. But it is light compared to some of the other beef bindings. For example, a Marker Duke weighs around 47 ounces, Beast weighs 34 ounces. If the Beast is durable, at that weight it will be very attractive.

    Beyond all that, yes, most ski tourers won’t want or need Beast, for us the vast choice in tech binding offerings is amazing and being constantly improved. What I think is cool about Dynafit is they’re only making several thousand Beast bindings, recognizing they’re not a commodity but rather something very specialized. Of course that’s also a good marketing ploy as it will make Beast an elite product if they work and hold up.

    My coverage of Beast here at WildSnow is being done simply because that’s what we do — we cover backcountry skiing bindings and enjoy doing so. Personally, I’m eager for the newest and improved lighter weight offerings that Dynafit and other companies are no doubt working on.

    In fact, I have insider knowledge about two entirely new tech bindings to be announced this winter from big brands, and rumors of more.

    It might turn out to be quite the interesting gear winter, as I know of another super disruptive product that’s due to be announced any day.

    Lou

  12. Gerry Haugen August 27th, 2013 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the tech review. Personally I think the flatter delta is a real plus, and will, as Woody pointed out, contribute to a more neutral stance. This, combined with stiffer, yet better touring-mode, rando boots, makes for a combination which allows quick response to terrain and snow density changes. The elasticity in the new heel units should be welcome. Since most b.c. skiers come from an alpine start, a flatter binding position and stiffer boot will translate into a smooth transition. The current alpine boot trend, as I was advised by an alpine gear purveyor, is that the trend there also is to a more upright boot. So instead of burning our quads just maintaining a neutral position, we’ll now be able to stand more erect & respond quickly and effectively. Now if Dynafit can bring this to the market at less than the rumored retail price of $1,000 that I’ve heard, they could have a real winner!

  13. Daniel April 6th, 2014 3:54 am

    Excessive ramp has made me sell both vertical ST and radical speed bindings and go for TLT speed on both my skis (more affordable than buying two sets of beasts) . My skiing has benefited from this. My observation is that i like the TLT speed ramp as is very much on my narrower, turny ski (scott CrusAir), but def. want it flatter on the longer turn radius, slower turning and wide Huascaran. Might try a Beast one day, even though I do not need the DIN and beef. Just for flat ramp and brakes. When I recently spoke to a tech guy at the german dynafit branch, I was not under the impression that they have a broad understanding of the ramp issue at all. Forward lean and shin/ski tip pressuring evangelism is stil very wide spread in Europe.

  14. lederhosen42 April 6th, 2014 5:53 pm

    In my opinion, ramp angle is one of the easiest things to customize on a binding. shim it up! piece of cake!

  15. Lou Dawson April 7th, 2014 5:14 pm

    Have to say I’m loving my shimmed bindings…

    http://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-up-rise-up-stand-up-for-your-ramp/

  16. Bert January 27th, 2015 2:28 am

    Any idea on the beast 14 ramp?

  17. Lou Dawson 2 January 27th, 2015 3:12 am

    Hi Bert, remember our main binding ramp article is here:

    https://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-up-rise-up-stand-up-for-your-ramp/

    I’ll check on the Beast 14 ramp and add that if I can find the numbers.

    Lou

  18. Lou Dawson 2 January 27th, 2015 3:20 am

    Bert, I researched, Dynafit is claiming same ramp and stand height for both Beast 16 and 14. I updated our chart, will verify in person if I get the chance. Lou

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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring 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 ski touring news and information here.

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