Rob’s Dynafit Binding Leash System

Post by blogger | October 21, 2008      

Lou asked me to share how I do my Dynafit leashes, so here goes. I like my leash systems because they are durable metal, simple to use with gloves, easy to reach, and unlikely to fail because of the simplicity and few parts. Yet perfection has not been achieved, so feedback and crit are appreciated. Probably biggest shortcoming is having the loop on the side where it could catch on something, though I’ve not had enough of that problem to get me to change how it’s rigged.

Dynafit leash system I've used for quite a while.

Dynafit leash system I've used for quite a while.

Loop the cable loop so that it is to the outside, so it doesn’t tend to catch as much. The loop must be positioned so that the pressed metal part does not interfere with the binding function. I have used the ring and hook for many years, it works fine. The keyring bends open appropriately during a harsh fall so the ski is not likely to injure me, but the keyring reasonably suspends the ski during normal use and falls. My theory is it would easily let go in an avalanche — though I’ve thankfully never tested it in that way.

Experimental Dynafit leash system.

Experimental Dynafit leash system.

On the Zzero3 boot I am experimenting with just using the prong in the buckle bail. Seems to work. One must appropriately tension the prong by bending it outward to fit the bail. I do not fall enough to really test it because I am old and conservative — even when skiing (grin).


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21 Responses to “Rob’s Dynafit Binding Leash System”

  1. Lou October 21st, 2008 10:05 am

    I like the way Rob’s system uses the cable but has a “fuse” made from the keyring. I don’t think having it on the side would work for me — too much bushwhacking is still in my life and it would catch on things.

    What do the rest of you WildSnowers think?

  2. James Foulks October 21st, 2008 10:18 am

    I agree on the bushhacking comment as well, but would still like to see better shots of how Rob has attached the loop to the boot in the top shot. Is that a key ring loop

  3. Randonnee October 21st, 2008 10:49 am

    The keyring loop is simply worked in between the buckle catch and the shell. It is a snug fit, but it fits. No problems yet. That is the simplest method that I have found and requires no modification. The problem with modifications and me is that I am too picky and may not like my mods and just chuck it, so the fewer the modifications the better for me.

    I attached to the side for ease of reach and because I do not like the idea of the cable being directly over the front center of the boot as I walk. Also it is easier to loop as shown, but must be positioned properly. I have never caught anything, and I ski or walk through plenty of vegetation. The mechanism of injury that I fear is catching something to the medial or inside, as far as the mechanics of an ACL or MCL tear, so I like it to the outside.

    Bottom line is it works, so I go with it. Perhaps I will try using the hole on the front lever to loop the leash and see how it goes.

    Best, Rob

  4. Lynn October 21st, 2008 11:04 am

    looks like a leash set up from a tele set up……..

  5. Randonnee October 21st, 2008 11:30 am

    Correct, Lynn. those are BD tele leashes. One of the cables in the photo used to be occasionally rigged on Karhu 10th Mountain skis with Voile bindings, used with leather boots.

  6. Lou October 21st, 2008 11:40 am

    Lynn just wants to see us use the word “tele.”

  7. Jim_S October 21st, 2008 11:54 am

    I would be interested to know what kind of stress-testing the Dynafit Leash underwent during development… It looks like it would work in cases where you want the ski to go away, but looks can be deceiving. It also looks suspiciously like a beefy version of a wicket used to hold a sticker-style ski ticket (perhaps a conspiracy from the ski-ticket-wicket industry 🙂 )

  8. Tony October 21st, 2008 12:32 pm

    How do you attach the leash to the binding? It looks like it is looped over the toe prong and is only kept in place when the boot is in the binding?

    In the second system, what happens to the buckle bail when you release in a rough fall? In the first system, the key ring would deform and release the leash. I wouldn’t want the buckle bail to deform.

  9. Randonnee October 21st, 2008 1:28 pm

    Tony the cable loop is threaded under the cross part, around the lateral post of the toepiece. Thus, it is fixed and does not interfere with binding function. As it is positioned, only one cable strand goes through that space, thus plenty of space, it does not interfere with binding function. As I said, I like it to the side. I may experiment with looping it through the front lever which is Officially Approved, but it seemed difficult to do that when I tried before.

    Yeah, you are correct, the buckle bail would pull out on one side. It can be easily replaced. I do not fall enough to worry about it, I have never done that. The prong is easy to use. The past three seasons, I have skied powder about 40 to 50 days per season without a leash or brakes- not recommended, but I get away with it. My use of leashes is not for powder, but for corn, hard snow, glaciers, places that I would fear losing a ski.

  10. Lynn October 21st, 2008 2:32 pm

    you are correct, it appeared two additional times. Leather boots, now that takes me back a long time. My first pair were some Fabiano’s bought at the Army/Navy store in Missoula. I paired those up with some nice 210 fischer skis sans metal edges and headed up to Lolo Pass for my first “tele” experience. There was nothing but falling that day, so cold that my shell jacket froze to my wool sweater. I may have used more profanity that day than combined in my life previous. Good times…….

  11. Altis October 22nd, 2008 6:05 am

    I’ve used both a homebrew short leash and the Dynafit long leash and, on the whole, prefer the long one. Yes, there’s more to it and it’s heavier but there are a couple of advantages. When you come to a halt on a slope, you can just kick your skis off and they still stay tied to you and don’t run away while you sort yourself out. Also, for storage, you can wrap the leashes round the skis to hold them together.

    Re: keyrings. I find that most are too flimsy and will barely survive one fall. I now use the biggest and burliest I can find – and carry a few spares too!

  12. Eric Steig October 22nd, 2008 7:29 am

    Why don’t the boot manufacturers put a loop on the boot like they do on their tele boots? Lou, they listen to you; you should push them on this. Especially now with the cuff-overlap system there’s no place for the bit of string or metal loop at the base of the toungue, as you have used.

    Do rando races require safety straps, and if not, why on earth not?

  13. Lou October 22nd, 2008 7:41 am

    Rando races technically require safety straps, if for no other reason than they’re usually held at a resort and the resort’s rules require such, but the rule is ignored at every race I’ve ever seen. I’ve definitely noticed that, and figured once someone got hurt or killed by a runaway enforcement of the rules would probably change.

    Quite a few people ski tour on Dynafits without safety straps. I see it all the time, and have heard a few sad stories of lost skis that resulted from such.

    As for listening to me, the PR people do (I can hear their screams hundreds of miles away) but the designers generally don’t, though a few do. As it is, all you have to do to make a super slick attachments system is drill a hole in the toe of the boot, and rivet your jingus of choice there, or just place a cord through the hole with a stopper knot on the inside of the boot. I’ve done it that way to F1s and it was very slick.

  14. Randonnee October 22nd, 2008 9:08 am

    Good point, Altis: “you can just kick your skis off and they still stay tied to you and don’t run away while you sort yourself out.” This is another advantage of the positioning of my leash- it allows boot entry into the binding while the leash is attached.

  15. Lou October 22nd, 2008 9:12 am

    That is indeed one detriment of my tiny little leashes.

  16. al gamble October 23rd, 2008 11:00 am

    On pebex plastic I seen my roomy snag a leash and actualy pull a bucklerivet/d-ring on a garmont energy right thru the plastic and leave the plastic of the rivet hole in perfect condition

    some kind of safety release like the split ring or attaching somewhere’s else on the boot is probably a good idea

  17. Lou October 23rd, 2008 11:55 am

    Like I always say, something’s got to give, be it a knee ligament, hamstring muscle, or a “fuse” in the safety strap system. Personally, I prefer the latter.

  18. Rob December 29th, 2008 1:23 pm

    Here in Austria nobody serious about backcountry skiiing is using leashes any more. I’ve heard a horror story of a rider who got into an avalanche, ski caught between trees, he had his hip “pulled out” suffering serious permanent injury.

    The “fuse” system looks interesting, digging for skis in deep powder is unnerving. Anyway, I’m a conservative rider and keeping my dynafit’s toes locked, like everyone here.

  19. Randonnee January 14th, 2009 1:14 pm

    So far this season I have ski toured twice and lift skied twice using the leash with the prong ( not a great year so far in WA). I tried attaching it to the front lever hole, that makes it more difficult to attach to the boot. Also, it is sort of in the way as far as when the boot pivots, in my view; that could cause wear and tear unless I add something for extension. But an extension would probably create a new problem, so I will use the outside attachment as shown in the photos. It is easy to move the leashes between skis when used as shown, also.

    Lou’s comments about no leashes/ potential disaster perhaps influenced me to use the leash instead of nothing in deep snow touring!

  20. Jim March 9th, 2011 5:46 pm

    I grew up using leashes before they invented brakes. We skiied like madmen, and fast. Never really had a problem getting hit by the skis windmilling. They used to have a release snap as I recall. So I’m taking my brakes off my DF ST’s and and going with the B &D coiled ski leashes. Having the brakes engage while going up and spinning the binding one click too far is sooo annoying.

  21. Gordon December 25th, 2012 5:13 pm

    I attached a binding leash to my bottom boot buckle. Then the buckle bale wire broke on the buckle. The bale wires are not fixable and I had to order an entire new buckle (epic 1). Then I had to buy a rivet tool to attach the new buckle to the boot shell (epic 2). Lesson learned: Don’t attach ski leashes to delicate boot buckles.

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