Binding Hype Hits — Herr Barthel Speaks

Post by blogger | September 8, 2014      

Fritz Barthel

Marker tech binding rumors spread for a long time, but they eventually faded out on the rain soaked pastures of my misty home mountains here in Austria, between the ignorance of gawking pooping cows… Hey, can anybody stop the rain, this year is so bad!


20 years ago, Fritz worked on a non-pin heel for the classic Dynafit TLT Low-Tech, looks tight and light, doesn’t it? We suppose it could still happen. Who will be first?

But now the news floods even my mailbox despite my being the laziest, most ignorant media dummy. The empire strikes back! Kingpin has landed! As I found out quickly this King is not a Cambodian warlord but Marker´s answer to Dynafit. Cool name I thought, remembering that someone told me that they call the massively protruding Marker heel piece “The Anal Intruder,” referring to the position freeriders are in after big jumps. “King-Pin Intruder”, tsk tsk, dirty business the binding business…

Hmm, in the thin light of my faint memories, just an edge before sweet amnesia takes it all, was there not something? Around twenty years ago? Upon viewing the Kingpin, I feel as if I have seen something like that already. A mild sensation of deja-vu enters my brain. Somewhere in the attic there must be a box with old ski touring binding prototypes. I wipe off the dust of decades and there emerges…ah, now I remember. There it is, a kind of pre-release, so to speak.

Funny mechanism, one spring for front and side release, a screw to change the ratio between those two, low and high heel riser, forward pressure load, lightweight, Patent EP 0519243 (1995)







(WildSnow guest blogger Fritz Barthel invented the tech “pintech” binding system about 30 years ago. While he claims laziness was the mother of his invention, we constantly berate him to accept the fact that he is the king and any tech binding is his scepter, even the latest intruder.)


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13 Responses to “Binding Hype Hits — Herr Barthel Speaks”

  1. Maciej September 8th, 2014 9:39 am

    So Fritz Barthel is brilliant AND funny…this was a great way to start my Monday.

  2. Lisa Dawson September 8th, 2014 9:45 am

    Yes, Fritz is brilliant and funny….and a very good dancer!

  3. Eric Steig September 8th, 2014 10:07 am

    Great stuff! I wonder now why Fritz went with pins in the heel then… not enough retention I suppose. Anyway, his good humored attitude makes me all the more unlikely to abandon Dynafit, in spite of the appeal of the gorgeous anodized orange on the G3 Ion, or the greater je ne sais quoi of the Kingpin. Dynafit n’est pas mort! Vive le Dynafit!

  4. Lou Dawson 2 September 8th, 2014 11:03 am

    Hmmm, not sure, perhaps Fritz will enlighten. Lou

  5. Charlie September 8th, 2014 11:51 am

    What’s old is new again. :).

    Steel on steel is a great interface. Burly, repeatable, clears ice readily.

    The Low-Tech binding interface is a really good one. Quibbles about things like pin spacing are pertinent, but I know that when I stomp into my heel pins, I’m likely to have a repeatable and consistent binding to my ski, even in the presence of a little mud or ice.

    I was mounting a pair of Dynafits in our physics shop one day when a professor who’s a master of mechanical design strolled through. He stopped, fiddled with the binding, and exclaimed, “this is what a binding should be!”. It’s an elegant, simple, lightweight system that gets the job done.

    Thank you, Fritz!

  6. skian September 8th, 2014 2:24 pm

    Yes, the clamoring for power, the search for one, the desire for bombproof, and the reality theres none….

  7. ptor September 9th, 2014 6:29 am

    Where are my titanium Emerys?

  8. cam September 9th, 2014 7:55 am

    awesome post!

  9. Hoji September 9th, 2014 11:03 am

    Well done Fritz!

  10. Dostie September 9th, 2014 2:49 pm

    Deftly played. A jab to the jaw and a slap on the cheek. Can’t wait to see what Salomon unearths. Do you have your attic locked Fritz?

  11. Billy Balz September 9th, 2014 5:00 pm

    Patent infringement?

  12. Mark Worley September 10th, 2014 6:26 am

    Sure like to sift through Fritz’s prototypes, toolings, drawings of years past. Great stuff!

  13. Marcin September 16th, 2014 8:10 am

    Billy Balz

    “Patent infringement?”

    Alas, no. The date of priority is June 21, 1991 (

    Which means that the 20-year patent protection period ran out in June of 2011. Marker has good patent attorneys 👿 working for them, too good to fall for the oldest trick in the book.

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