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

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | July 29, 2014      

Note, as of September 1 2014 the secret is out, see Marker Kingpin website as well as other blog posts here.

Update: We just got the following (condensed and lightly edited) email from Jonathan Wiant, CEO of the Marker Völkl Group. This is big news, not only because this is a tech binding from one of the biggest binding companies, but they’re also claiming their new tech binding (we’re guessing it might be called “King,” and I’ve also heard rumor it’ll be called “Kingpin”) will have TUV certification to the ISO 13992 standard for ski touring bindings. We’ll of course believe that when we see the actual certification document, but it sounds excellent.

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 have 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 third party testers and to make this test convenient and accommodating to fulfill 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 reserved 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 low tech 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.

(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.)


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33 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!


  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.


  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


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



  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


  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

    (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.


  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.

  21. ski-libre July 30th, 2014 5:07 am

    Vipec opened the way, now they are all in the starting blocks… I heard that Fritschi didn’t get the TÜV because of the complexity to reach all the criteria. I am curious to see how Marker will get it with less experience in the touring tech binding world… but that’s fun to see that there is a real competition between all the actors. And for the gram counters pool, I’m in for €10, I say 1450g ;o)

  22. Lou Dawson 2 July 30th, 2014 10:44 am

    I need to apologize for overlooking something here. As I learned last winter and subsequently spaced out, Dynafit Beast is ostensibly already TUV certified to the ISO 13992. Apparently the process takes forever due to small details such as owner’s manual conforming to TUV requirements, so Dynafit has been waiting to have the cert in hand before really emphasizing this.

    As many of you know (and perhaps doesn’t show in my recent reporting), I actually think the TUV cert is a non-issue for the user and might even be detrimental to binding innovation and development. This especially considering how different tech bindings are from frame bindings, along with the fact that a separate standard was never developed specific to tech bindings (e.g., how can they give ISO 13992 to a binding when part of the binding is actually part of the boot, and can be all over the map in terms of performance?). But in terms of sales for the companies that have it, it’s huge, as normal ski shops will be much more comfortable selling bindings that have ISO certification.

    At any rate, I’ll edit the post above to get more clear on this situation.

    For more of my opinion on this stuff:



  23. bonschorno August 27th, 2014 9:47 am

    My source, which is pretty credible, says, that the testers have info-ban till the 1th of september…so I think there will be some interesting details coming up soon…

  24. Lou Dawson 2 August 27th, 2014 1:00 pm

    Si. I’m sitting next to a room full of Kingpins, have to wait a few days to share details. Stay tuned.

  25. Mark Worley August 27th, 2014 3:21 pm

    Stop the teasing. Stop it.

  26. Rob September 1st, 2014 9:49 am

    Will this be in the Beast price range?

  27. Lou Dawson 2 September 1st, 2014 10:01 am

    Exact cost will depend on brake width, but most common MSRPs are

    $599.00 for the 5-10 DIN (the “10” model)
    $649.00 for the 6-13 DIN (the “11” model)

  28. Lou Dawson 2 September 1st, 2014 10:03 am

    Marker Kingpin website just went live at http://marker.net/kingpin/

    You’ll see journalist content appearing in a few hours on various websites, including here of course.

    They say the Swiss make trains run on time. The corollary to that is the Germans make bloggers post on time (grin).

  29. John September 1st, 2014 11:35 am

    Hey Lou,
    When Marker uses the term “PinTech” referring to boots,
    is this any tech boot or some new standard?

  30. Lou Dawson 2 September 1st, 2014 1:36 pm

    John, it’s just a term of art meaning the tech binding type, or a hybrid thereof. The term was first brought to my attention by Fritschi, and I played around with using it in some blog posts. Marker told me they first saw the term on WildSnow, and liked it because in Europe people were calling tech bindings “pin” and in North America we were calling them “tech,” so, pintech. I’m not sure what we’ll do with it here at WildSnow. Probably use both terms for a while and see how it all sorts out. Lou

  31. John September 1st, 2014 1:48 pm


  32. Lou Dawson 2 September 1st, 2014 1:48 pm

    Ski-libre, I think Marker actually got there in part because all the other bindings who attempted TUV gradually changed the TUV understanding of pintech, but more, once you get all the infos about Kingpin you’ll see it probably really does an amazing job of satisfying the DIN/ISO requirements. At the risk of sounding like a fanboy on koolaid, but I’m telling it like I see it…

  33. Lukas February 6th, 2015 10:41 am

    I have a PinKing and used it a week in powder. It has the same weekness as other tech bindings: horizontal shocks on skis, e.g. created by rocks, are not absorbed and open the bindings. Either the front opens directly or the rotation of the boot opens the front.
    I guess the KinkPin binding has its advantage in slow forward falls. Its is easy to use, sturdy and beautful. It is heavier as traditionnal tech bindings.

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