Marker Kingpin Binding — 10 Things to Know

Post by blogger | October 3, 2014      

(Note, please see our extensive Marker Kingpin coverage for more information.)

The elusive Kingpin will be sold in 4 versions, shown here is one with brake and one without. One version will have 5-10 DIN and one will have 6-13; a rental-demo version rounds out the selection.

Kingpin will be sold in several versions.

1. Your boot doesn’t need tech fittings at the heel to use a Kingpin, but the “ledge” at the heel needs to be the standard ski boot shape or you’ll need an adapter. For example, Scarpa Alien is not standard sole shape; Scarpa Maestrale is.

2. Most equivalent binding out there is probably Dynafit Beast 16.
– Kingpin weight with brakes 730 grams, 25.75 ounces.
– Beast 16 (2014-2015 version) weight with brakes. 966 grams, 34.0 ounces
– Dynafit Radical FT is 566 grams, 20 oz.

3. The “six pack” springs in the Kingpin toe look sexy but it’s unknown at this time if they really make a difference in preventing pre-release. Marker of course claims they do and we agree the concept is good. Check out this video to understand the type of pre-release that stronger toe springs may prevent.

4. Brake and crampon widths:
– Crampon widths: 90, 105, 120
– Brakes, 75/100 and 100/125 (they retract nicely so cover a range a widths).

5. The binding will have several versions:
– DIN 5 to 10
– DIN 6 to 13
– DIN 5 to 10 without brakes
– Rental/demo version has boot length adjustment at toe and heel.

(Note that with the attention Marker has given to elasticity and energy absorption, the 5/10 DIN binding may suit most average sized skiers quite well. Sorry it doesn’t go to 11 but that’s life.)

6. A limited number of Kingpin bindings will be sold this winter, with full retail beginning fall of 2015. We expect this year’s inventory to be available sometime in December. I was told the way to end up with a pair is to “get on a list with a retailer.”

7. Lateral elasticity (twisting) is no different in range than most other tech bindings as this is a function of the shape of the boot toe sockets. (Note that Fritschi Vipec has toe wings that open to side and probably provides more lateral elasticity than “normal” tech bindings.)

8. Vertical elasticity is excellent, much better than “normal” tech bindings, similar to alpine bindings and Dynafit Beast.

9. “Kingpin” is a combination of the Marker “Royal Family” binding naming system and the term “pin binding” that Europeans tend to use for tech bindings.

10. A rotating toe unit was attempted but rejected.

Please see our extensive Marker Kingpin coverage for more information.


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106 Responses to “Marker Kingpin Binding — 10 Things to Know”

  1. Pablo October 3rd, 2014 10:33 am

    Actually Scarpa F1 evo is not compatible with Kingpin, even with the special adapter.
    Scarpa F1 Evo need the heel tech fittings to lock the cuff. You can only useit with traditional tech bindings.


  2. Knut October 3rd, 2014 10:40 am

    7. Lateral elasticity is no different in range than any other tech binding, as this is a function of the shape of the boot toe sockets.

    => The guys at Fritschi might strongly disagree here

  3. Lou Dawson 2 October 3rd, 2014 10:58 am

    Pablo, whoops, was just trying to use examples, how about Alien?

    Knut, agree, I’ll reword. I think I’m going to start calling this “tech salad.” I guess I can’t generalize as much as I’ve been able to do for the last 20 years (grin).

  4. Lou Dawson 2 October 3rd, 2014 11:07 am

    Did some edits, thanks to you guys!

  5. Brian October 3rd, 2014 11:18 am

    Scarpa Alien with the Kingpin…..reminds me of the guy I saw with MFD alltimes on DPS 99 Pures….

  6. Chris Beh October 3rd, 2014 11:18 am

    Dynafit website shows the Beast 14 binding weighing in at 795 g/28.4 0z which is closer to the Kingpin than the heavier Beast 16. Any idea if the Beast 14 will be available this season? And if Beast heel fittings are added to a boot will that boot still work in the Radical bindings, too?

  7. Charlie Hagedorn October 3rd, 2014 11:37 am

    Adjustable toe and heel on the rental plates is a nice change. Do any other tech bindings do that?

    It’s nice to be able to ski on boot center!

  8. Pablo October 3rd, 2014 11:52 am

    Charlie, Dynafit Tlt radical demo does

  9. Doug CrippleCreekBC October 4th, 2014 2:32 pm


    I believe the new G3 Ion binding will be adjustable in the toe and heel.

  10. Charlie Hagedorn October 4th, 2014 3:38 pm

    Cool :)!.

  11. Joan October 4th, 2014 4:11 pm

    Chris Beh, I just recieved today the catalog from a famous german sports shop (Sport Conrad) and the Beast 14 was there, so I supose it will be available.

  12. Simon October 4th, 2014 5:47 pm

    I have the beast 16 on my other skis and have the heel mod fitted to my K2 Pinnacles. Is this likely to work with the Kingpin?

  13. Lou Dawson 2 October 4th, 2014 7:07 pm

    Simon, I don’t thing you’d have any problem with Kingpin, but we do need to test that configuration. Lou

  14. Paul October 6th, 2014 8:22 pm

    Wondering if either the Kingpin or Beast 14 are compatible with La Sportive Spectre.


  15. Eric V October 7th, 2014 12:10 pm

    News Flash : Archaeologists find 1,300-year-old ski. Gear review needed.

  16. Jim Milstein October 7th, 2014 2:05 pm

    The rough dimensions of that old ski sound similar to a modern ski, but I’m more interested in the binding. It’s got to be a telemark binding and likely very light, being leather. What the world needs is a good light telemark binding.

    The old ways are the best ways.

  17. See October 7th, 2014 7:26 pm

    It seems to me that even if “(l)ateral elasticity is no different in range than most other tech bindings as this is a function of the shape of the boot toe sockets,” it may be less prone to lateral prerelease because the stiff toe springs don’t displace as much under the same load as other tech toe pieces. In other words, range (amount of displacement) might not be as important as resistance to displacement in decreasing prerelease.

  18. See October 7th, 2014 7:34 pm

    All other things being equal, (in other words, non-rotating/sliding toe piece).

  19. Lou Dawson 2 October 8th, 2014 4:10 am

    See, yes, there is a mode of pre-release that’s about the toe wings opening up from direct force perpendicular to the long axis of the ski. This is where the downright strength of the toe springs comes into play, or their “energy absorption” if that term is better for understanding. This mode is different than lateral rotation of your leg and foot that’s the normal safety release mode for a “twisting” fall.

    See the video I made illustrating this:

    In terms of “range” of movement of our boot, it’s the same for any* tech binding that allows the boot to rotate out of the binding by using the toe pins and sockets as a “ball and socket” joint, and the amount the binding toe can open to the side before the boot comes out is the same as well.

    *note that Fritschi Vipec has toe wings that are designed to elastically move to the side and behave quite differently (sliding toe piece), and may be more effective in terms of elasticity. More, the Dynafit bindings that rotate at the toe may be more elastic in lateral twisting motion, Beast etc., testing of this is ongoing and we’ll have some conclusions sometime this winter.

    Trab binding is different as well, but I’m not calling it a “tech” binding, “tech” bindings use the defacto standard boot TOE fittings established by Dynafit. Marker of course does not use the tech heel fittings, but in my view I’d still call it a “tech” binding. Overall, Kingpin, Vipec, Dynafit etc. are all “frameless” bindings.

    I made a few small edits to the post above to try and clarify some of this.

  20. Pablo October 8th, 2014 7:22 am

    Lou you said: “Trab binding is different as well, but I’m not calling it a “tech” binding, “tech” bindings use the defacto standard boot fittings established by Dynafit.”

    So Kingpin can’t be called a “Tech” binding as well, no?

    Time for a new Tag for this kind of bindings? I like “Frameless bindings” in opossition to “Frame bindings” like Guardians, Eagles or Barons.

    No matter the system Dynafit, Vipec or Kingpin, all them are frameless.


  21. Lou Dawson 2 October 8th, 2014 7:33 am

    Good point Pablo, I should have written “defacto standard boot TOE fittings.” I’m just making my own arbitrary definition, so that’s what I’ll use for now. The idea being that if the boot toe fittings are acting as releasable ball-socket joints rather than just a way to hold the boot in the binding, that’s an important distinction for now, though it may cease to be that big a deal when all this stuff gets refined.

    As for “frameless” yes that’s a good term that encompases ALL bindings that are similar to Dynafit bindings. I do use that term, but it’s not specific enough for some of the communication I’m attempting here (grin).

    I’ll add the word “toe” to the blog post.


  22. Jürgen October 18th, 2014 4:55 am

    The toe part of the Vipec with built-in 13mm side elasticity is by far the most convincing concept against pre-release for me. Lou, you do have the better technical insights why they just increased release forces by 10% in walk mode rather than to offer full lock out !? Seemingly that´s the only but maybe significant issue as it may cause annoying releases uphill.
    I wonder why Fritschi did not combine a heel part of the Diamir line in a way Marker does ? I assume they wanted to stay as close to the generally accepted tech binding look as possible – simply for marketing reasons. If Marker is going to be successfull, Fritschi will follow with a Diamir-Vipec I guess.

  23. Jürgen October 18th, 2014 5:11 am

    one technical question which came to my mind: as Marker fixes the boot heel in kind of an alpine-style-way – is there significant pressure transfered to the pins of the front part ? Let´s say significantly more than a Radical 2.0 or Vipec heel part does (the former gap of older Dynafit heel parts are gone if I´m right !?)

  24. Lou Dawson 2 October 18th, 2014 8:04 am

    Jurgen, no more significant pressure but a bit more when the ski flexes. Ski flex is compensated by movement of the heel unit, as with alpine bindings. Another thing to know is that the Kingpin heel does behave somewhat like the toe jaws of an alpine binding. Oh, and also know that Vipec due to the toe release is easy to do release checks on using standard shop tools such as Wintersteiger. In my opinion it’s tricky to do calibrated release checks on normal tech bindings as they have a two stage release, first the heel goes to the side, then the toe wings open up. All quite technical, perhaps ski shops will step up to the plate and get super good at interpreting and supporting all this. Lou

  25. Pablo Diablo November 20th, 2014 6:48 pm

    Lou, how does it compare to the G3 Ion, you seem to be the only person that tried both binding. My question is in regards to touring only ; I have to choose between the two to put on my new Volkl BMTs. Regards

  26. Lou Dawson 2 November 20th, 2014 9:04 pm

    Pablo, first, see if you can actually obtain a Kingpin, they are scarcer than hen teeth.

    Kingpin and Ion are quite different…


  27. Stephen November 29th, 2014 11:58 am

    Anyone know of a shop that hasn’t pre-sold out of their limited allotment? I’ve called a bunch of shops around the country and had limited luck or even been laughed at. Any leads would be appreciated.

  28. Christian December 8th, 2014 3:30 pm

    Looking at some images on the ‘nets, it appears the crampon slot is the same design as the Dynafit- any idea if a Dynafit Radical crampon will fit?

  29. Brian December 16th, 2014 11:22 am

    Does anyone know if the heel adapter for the Beast 14 will work in the Kingpin? I have Beast 14 on a touring ski and wanted to put the Kingpin on my other touring ski. Also, can you use your boot with with the Beast 14 adapter in an older Dynafit TLT Radical FT?

  30. Lou Dawson 2 December 16th, 2014 4:56 pm

    Brian, the latest model Beast heel adapters, in my testing, also work with Dynafit Radical. Test on the bench for any blockage of lateral release. It’ll either work or it won’t.

    The main thing to remember about Kingpin is it requires a DIN ski boot touring sole shape, similar to the top of alpine boot sole heel ledge.

    In terms of Beast adapter working in a Kingpin, that’s getting a bit out of gamut and only a bench test will tell for sure. A little early for that, but you should be able to find the answer soon.


  31. ML December 21st, 2014 12:19 pm

    MEC in Calgary have a few pairs of the Kingpin 10 and 13 if people are still looking. Doesn’t seem to be on their website though so best call the store

  32. John December 29th, 2014 1:14 am

    I have mounted 5 pairs of the Kingpin 13 in V-Werks and DPS Powderworks skis (a lighter construction the normal DPS). Here are my thoughts:

    The jig is very nice and accurate. it has a lock for both the front and rear sections as well as a cable to move both simultaneously. The front toe block is unnecessarily tall and will interfere with a drill chuck ( I cut mine to a still usable height) which can cause mis-alignment of the 2 forward toe piece screw holes. The bindings do not come with a paper jig! There are 2 jigs I know of in the Roaring Fork Valley, one at the Ute Mountaineer, and my own which I will be letting Cripple Creek use.

    The bindings are mounted in 3 sections; toe piece, heel plate with brake and lever for Walk/Ski mode, and the rear binding which slides on then screws forward to set forward pressure with a posidrive.

    The supplied screws are short but work well when mounting to a Volk V-Werks ski. The Volkl V-Werks internal reinforcement plate is the best I have seen for an AT ski!

    In wood core skis I think longer screws are necessary. Calipers and a screw kit will help to get screws as long as necessary.

    I use a high strength low viscosity, slow cure marine epoxy resin for maximum strength. West Systems.

    The toe stops are adjustable with a small metric Allen wrench (2mm I think). They are fragile and have loctite on them. When adjusted from the factory they made most boots raise off the heel piece. Turn them out a few turns and lever them forward with a tool, then reset them with the boot in. They don’t move easily.

    The heel piece has 2 adjustment windows and screws. One is hiding under the walk risers.

    They indeed do ski with the control of an alpine binding. No falls, so I can’t speak to release.

    I hope to get a pair and a jig to Lou this week for his further analysis.

    So far Marker seems to have delivered a quality product.

    More comments to come as the number of days skied increases.

  33. John December 29th, 2014 1:17 am

    Check Canada shops for availability.

  34. John December 29th, 2014 1:22 am

    I’ll check the crampon slot for Dynafit compatibility.

  35. Simon December 29th, 2014 6:07 am


    I have a set arriving in the mail tomorrow. Were the factory screws ok for the DPS?

    I am mounting mine to a set of Wailer 112s and am considering whether to use inserts or not.

  36. Lou Dawson 2 December 29th, 2014 7:30 am

    John, thanks for the details! We’ll be back at HQ today, at Field HQ this morning. Lou

  37. John December 29th, 2014 9:26 am

    Dynafit crampons fit like they were made for them.

  38. John December 29th, 2014 9:29 am

    I have to tap the Pure carbon DPSs. They have great screw retention.
    not sure about Hybrids.

  39. John December 29th, 2014 9:32 am

    I will have to epoxy then tap the holes, before mounting, on the DPS Powderwerks as they have a lighter core.

    The same for honeycomb or soft wood cores without a metal top sheet or reinforcement.

  40. Brian December 29th, 2014 9:34 am

    Do you know if the Dynafit Beast 14 boot adapter will work with the Kingpin binding?

  41. John December 29th, 2014 3:45 pm

    Never seen either Beast.

  42. John December 29th, 2014 8:34 pm

    Follow up to the 2mm hex X 10mm X2.5mm dia. screws that adjust the toe stops. These are secured with loctite and can be difficult to initially adjust. I had to heat the screw in one binding to melt the loctite. The 2mm hex is fragile. The 2mm allen used to adjust needs to be in great condition. I will have to replace one or two as the allen wrench (machine shop quality) slipped on initial rotation, essentially stripping the screw head.

    Lou may have time to chime in on his thoughts before heading out of town in few days.

  43. Simon December 29th, 2014 9:08 pm

    Thanks for the info John. Will be mounting on Pure Carbon.

    Anyone got a paper template yet? Otherwise I will have to go old school!

  44. John January 7th, 2015 8:12 pm

    Toe stop update. I have had to replace 3-2.5mmX10mm screws because of too much loctite. Be careful to get them initially turning by ensuring the 2mm allen is in great shape! Go slow. Bolt depot has them in stock here in the US.

    On another note;
    They tour well, and the risers can be adjusted in stride with your ski pole grip. My BD poles don’t have straps. Also I can fully transition from tour to ski without removing my ski as fast as I can with Dynafits. Again the pole grip can move the binding lever from walk to ski. I transition completely with skis on, including ripping skins. I have even made easy transitions with 191s.

  45. John January 7th, 2015 8:32 pm

    Too much Loctite from the factory, that is. if the hex strips, they are difficult to remove. Ace Hardware has a 12mm plated flathead screw for 33 cents as a short term fix.

    I have now mounted and adjusted 8 pairs. Marker should use a slightly larger diameter screw. the toe stop is captured by the spring pins and will not come out if a screw brakes or is removed. Essentially they are not entirely necessary, though they supposedly help with a smoother more elastic release. It is a PITA to readjust them when changing boots. You could break off the head off the screw in an emergency and not worry about it.
    It is a bitch to take apart the toe piece to remove a screw with broken head, but it can be done by two people with strong fingers. Then you have to carefully remove the screw with good small needle point pliers or Vise Grips.

    That said, I am very happy with the bindings performance and quality!

  46. Christian January 7th, 2015 8:36 pm

    Awesome info, John! Any thoughts on using Quiver Killers for bindings with narrower hole patterns?

  47. Christian January 7th, 2015 8:38 pm

    …oops, just realized the subject of this post… my question is in reference to Volkl BMT’s and their reinforcement plate.

  48. John January 7th, 2015 8:49 pm

    I am not sure I understand your question, but will try to answer in the context of my experience.
    I have run into hole spacing issues on remounts. If another Marker Royal, or Dynafit, binding has been previously mounted you can get 10mm separation from old mounting holes to the new ones, with some jig finessing.
    I have a pair of skis I am very attached to, with some first descents in Antartica, and many classic skis in North and South America.
    When there have been multiple mounts, there are too many holes too close together to mount in the same position. I haven’t figured out what to do!?
    Quiver killers being larger in diameter will increase the spacing problem.

  49. John January 7th, 2015 8:56 pm

    I have mounted My VWerks with Kingpins. The reinforcement plate is the best I have mounted to.

  50. John January 7th, 2015 9:02 pm

    I believe the Ion mounting holes will line up with the reinforcement plate.

    I am not sure I understand your question, but will try to answer in the context of my experience.

    I have run into hole spacing issues on remounts. If another Marker Royal, or Dynafit, binding has been previously mounted you can get 10mm separation from old mounting holes to the new ones, with some jig finessing.

    I have a pair of skis I am very attached to, with some first descents in Antartica, and many classic skis in North and South America. Where there have been multiple mounts, there are too many holes too close together to mount in the same position. I haven’t figured out what to do!?

    Quiver killers being larger in diameter will increase the spacing problem and possibly another issue is they may be too large in diameter for the VWerks reinforcement plate.

  51. Christian January 7th, 2015 9:46 pm

    Hi, sorry for the poorly-worded question. I guess I’m wondering if using QK’s for something like a Speed Radical with 40mm-width mounting pattern will sufficiently reinforce the mounting screws in the ski, since they fall inside or overlap the reinforcement plate of the skis. Hope that helps clarify.

  52. Chris January 9th, 2015 12:27 pm

    Thinking of putting 125 Kingpins on BD C-Converts. Will the brakes tuck in adequately (105 waist)? I’ve had issues in the past with alpine bindings that had too much overhang.

    RE: mounting notes above, do you recommend using different screws than the factory screws, for first time mount, or just being careful? Thanks.

  53. John January 9th, 2015 9:08 pm

    The 125 is the only brake that will fit. I installed the 100mm brakes on 99mm waist skis and they barely fit. As far as screws, I have never mounted a BD. So far the wood core skis have mounted well with stock screws. I do recommend a 3.5mm pilot drill bit, tap, care, and high strength epoxy.

  54. John January 9th, 2015 10:06 pm

    If you mount too close to the reinforcement edge, or partiatially through the edge, you will loose the integrity of the mechanical interface of the screw threads. You will then have to rely on a chemical interface (I suggest a high strength epoxy) to hold the threads of which ever threaded fastener you choose. Unfortunately, the threaded interface wins in strength. Further complicating mounting to the BMT is hollow channels running the length of the ski. I have found the VWerks reinforcement to be one of the strongest for screw retention. By moving off center you will weaken the H pattern reinforcement plate.
    I threw away my Volk reinforcement pattern after I found some Kingpin bindings, so I don’t have the measurements.
    My next choice was the G3 Ion,because the hole line up better.

  55. Christian January 10th, 2015 12:11 pm

    That directly answers my question. Thanks so much!

  56. Bert January 13th, 2015 10:47 am

    My barons have developed slop in the lever that switches from/to tour mode. As a result, the whole binding can move a bit fore/aft. This problem has been reported at TGR as well, and is due to wear of the lever pivot points.
    The lever on the kingpin seems to be similar. If such slop develops here however, only the heel will move with potential releases. I’m curious as to the research marker has put into this and how others view this (potential) problem. For me this would be a reason to hold out on buying them until some durability reports are in. Note however, that the baron i have this problem with has seen quite some action (~100-150 days).

  57. Lou Dawson 2 January 13th, 2015 11:05 am

    Seems to me that just about everything has been reported at TGR at one time or another, from binding problems to deviant concourse. But I’ll take this one as legit (grin). Marker did use their binding a bunch before going to retail, and I have a hard time imagining this would be a problem, but you never know. Reports appreciated and early adopters beware. Lou

  58. Colin carver March 20th, 2015 2:53 am

    Hello again Lou.
    Managed to find myself a pair of kingpins! Lookin pretty sweet I must say. I see a couple issues off the bat.
    1. Snowballs under foot are going to be fun.
    2. The two screws that hold the brakes in place are actually mounting screws, so, looking at the system which holds the brakes up in tour mode, there is a tolerance of, ohh, half a millimeter or so where the brake arms snap over the little pin on the slider plate. Long story short, its not going to be long before the brake arms wear enough of a notch that the brakes will not stay up, and you have to remove mounting screws to switch them out. Bad.
    3. Tech bindings are knee blowers when the skiier falls completley over on their back while skiing, and rotates around the skiis. So, now we have more power holding in the toe. Have read many reviews, no one is mentioning the increased knee blow factor.

    Hey Bert, nothing lasts forever. The lighter its made, the less wear and tear it will tolerate. buy some new bindings.

  59. Lou Dawson 2 March 20th, 2015 7:18 am

    Colin, there are indeed some “blocked” angles when it comes to tech binding release. No one is denying it. Problem is you can’t very easily talk about it unless it’s measured and defined. Rick Howell got a start on it, but only a start. The 13992 norm is no help, and TUV is no help. Main thing is, don’t fall.

    Let us know how your binding hold up, especially that brake lock.


  60. Tom May 19th, 2015 11:28 am

    Just wondering if anyone has considered, or tried, pairing a kingpin heel piece with a releasable toe piece such as the dynafit beast or a fritschi vipec for a binding which would release both at heel and toe?

  61. Michael May 19th, 2015 11:51 am

    Interesting thought. Maybe someone in a shop could mount up a Beast 14/Radical 2.0 toepiece and a Kingpin heel on some dumpster skis and do some release testing. Would be interesting. Although that’s an expensive proposition for the consumer, as I doubt these pieces would be sold individually. Not realistic for 99%+ of us.

    Beast 14 is fairly close in weight to Kingpin. Although it doesn’t truly release at the toe, the rotating toe piece gives some toe elasticity. Might be the best choice if you’re that concerned about safety/retention.

  62. Lou Dawson 2 May 19th, 2015 12:46 pm

    Tom, why? I doubt there would be any real world difference in safety, and you might even end up with a monster that would pre-release every time you sneezed. Lou

  63. Tom May 19th, 2015 4:11 pm

    I guess I’m just being over zealous about safety release on the basis that heel release seems best for preventing knee damage and toe release for tibia breakages.

  64. mcspreader November 20th, 2015 6:21 pm

    I have tested this binding matched to a Volkl BMT 109 ‘big mountain touring’ ski. I have only used it in the the downhill mode so cannot comment on its touring performance.
    It was very easy to step into compared to other pin bindings i have tried. There is a stop to push the boot against to engage the pins. The heel feels like a normal alpine or frame touring(diamir) heel. Its din certified life the dynafit beast 16. I found the climb to ski change a bit fiddly compared to my current diamir set up but it is so much lighter.
    So what? The ski felt very secure, even when exposed to random aggressive changes in direction. When I eventually overcame my ability with ambition the binding released safely. I experienced no prerelease despite much provocation but when I over rotated and caught an edge.. pop… the ski was off.
    Very impressed by firs (very limited) impressions. If Marker need an intermediate /advanced test monkey.. I’m their man.

  65. Dave P December 3rd, 2015 9:30 am

    Is there a published boot compatibility (heal ledge) chart anywhere? I can’t seem to find one. I’m currently running Dynafit Mercury boots.


  66. Kimmo Koivuniemi January 3rd, 2016 7:32 am

    Colin, about the break arms wear issue: If you kick down with your heel to lock up the break arms, they will surely wear over time. But If you squeeze with your fingers the sliding plate down on the surface of your ski and then rotate the lever to walk mode, the brake will lock up nice and easily and it doesn’t wear the arms or the pin. Of course you have to take skis off, but that is normally the case when putting on skins and changing to walk mode.

  67. Lou Dawson 2 January 3rd, 2016 7:59 am

    Dave, that would literally be hundreds of boots, since the standard DIN/ISO ski touring boot sole shape is what fits the binding, provided the boot has tech fittings at the toe (it’s just a few “short sole” non-standard boots that do NOT fit the Kingpin). Your retailer can take it from there if you can’t figure it out.

    Colin, yes, practice changing modes at home and figure out a method that doesn’t require aggressively stomping on the binding.. In the field, clean out ice and use method developed at home. It’s tough making these touring brakes that retract, nearly every AT bindings seems to have trouble getting it perfect, with a bit of user TLC required in most cases. That’s one reason quite a few ski tourers go without brakes, hopefully using a leash where appropriate.


  68. Gaz May 24th, 2016 5:01 am

    Hi, I have atomic waymaker carbon 120 boots, just brought the touring toe piece for them hoping that it will be compatible with the Marker kingpin 13. Will this work?

  69. Lou Dawson 2 May 24th, 2016 7:42 am

    Most likely, but ALL boot binding combinations should be bench tested. Lou

  70. Jake September 28th, 2016 2:28 pm

    Does this binding work with la sportiva spectre?
    Had assumed it would since spectre works with frame bindings but was looking to buy from a website which said non-compatible. Anyone have any experience?

  71. Lou Dawson 2 September 29th, 2016 2:47 pm

    Jake, I tested on bench, forward-upward release is fine, heel to the side (lateral) does function albeit with a bit of extra resistance at one point in the cycle as the binding heel rotates to perform side release. I’d say the answer is a qualified yes, if you have the binding tested as Marker recommends. The resistance I’m observing is probably less of a factor at higher release settings. Lou

  72. Rob October 5th, 2016 4:27 pm

    Hi Lou, 2 years ago you wrote in this thread that you’d need to test the Beast 16 heel insert with the Kingpins. I was wondering if you did and what did you find out? Does this combo work or not? Thank you.

  73. Vitaliy October 25th, 2016 1:20 am

    Hi Lou. I have new 2017 version of Kingpins 13. I’ve noticed they removed step-in guides, but made wider toe switch holders with pin. Little redesign. Stepped in without any problems and fails 100% eff. Any difference in new heel?

  74. Phil N April 7th, 2017 9:06 am

    Four days into the Haute Route ski tour on my Kingpin 10s, the arm that links the walk/ski lever to the heel piece broke. Was able to rig a strap system to keep the brakes up in walk mode and strap the heel piece together in ski mode and finish the trip, but certainly not a good situation in an isolated spot. Anyone else have this problem? Bindings are a year old with light/moderate touring use before the failure.

  75. Mike April 7th, 2017 1:03 pm

    Phil N,

    Thats a pretty normal failure for the kingpin/duke/tour switch activated systems. Ice can build up between the base plates and the heel tower. When you try and force the binding back and forth over the plates and there is extra resistance from ice build up, something has to give. In my experience that is how most of the them brake. Marker is normally pretty generous with warranty so I would think you’ll be able to get a new one.

  76. Phil N April 8th, 2017 2:26 pm

    Thanks for the quick reply Mike. Could not find any mention of this elsewhere. I’ll check with Marker and post a follow-up.

  77. Danny September 27th, 2017 9:14 pm

    Despite the sync problem between the kingpin and the backland I am determined to make the heel adapter work so that I can use this combo as my inbounds/ side-country set up.
    It’s an incredible boot and I think the binding is top notch for its strength and ease of use.

    The problem that I am having is that the adapter sits above the heel by a small amount when it should be flush.
    I am concerned that downward binding pressure on the adapter will overload the screws and strip them out breaking the guide pins in the process.
    I’ve heard mixed reviews about this combo and bits of news concerning an adapter specific to the backland arriving “sometime in the future”
    The packaging on my adapters said it would fit the backland. The screw holes line up perfectly but… like I mention the adapter doesn’t sit flush.
    I am going to file the adapter flush unless someone can convince me that i should just leave it alone. Has anyone had experience with this issue? Thanks

  78. Lou Dawson 2 September 28th, 2017 7:57 am

    I’d just file it flush, but that’s not a recommendation as I’d need to be there in person to check things, the main thing with all this is any boot/binding combo has to be extensively bench tested for proper function, before any tuning be sure you or someone who can help has the skill to do that.

    The Kingpin heel in particular doesn’t work properly with every boot I’ve tested it with. Most, yes, it’s fine. But it has to be tested.

    Beyond all that, I still tend to think that using a Backland boot with Kingpin binding is an unequal pairing with no real benefit. The boot is soft compared to “freeride” oriented boots, and I doubt would take advantage of the Kingpin vertical heel travel. Kingpin releases laterally at the heel just like most other tech bindings, with about the same amount of travel. It does hold your heel down tighter with less rolling deflection than a classic tech binding, but I highly doubt that causes most people to ski any better than they would otherwise.


  79. Phil N September 28th, 2017 9:19 am

    To follow up on my broken Kingpin, Marker replaced the part under warranty without problems. Local ski shop took care of everything. Thanks again Mike for the advice.

  80. Rodney November 26th, 2017 6:36 pm

    Have been skiing Kingpins in Salomon Mtn 95’s for 2 years and love the setup. However, today while grabbing some powder turns in Klosters, i hit a hole in low vis and did a forward somersault- very acromatic I hear you say. One ski came off and the other came off as expected. I reclicked back into the binding and s short while later i hit a small compression and went head over heels again. I thiught i had hit anither hole but then realise that both the heel units on my Kingpins were gone (never to be seen again). The one had clearly stripped the screw thread which gave a reason for the exit and the other seemed to have left without that.

    I assume that in hitting the first hole the ski bent and went through the travel possible on each binding and they came apart a short while later.

    I am fairly heavy at 85kgs – but I would not have out my incident out of the range of normal parameters. I wonder if snow or ice got into the spring and reduced the range of motion of the heel unit?

    Skiis with our local ski shop and they are speaking to Marker to see what they say.

  81. Rodney November 27th, 2017 7:17 am

    Now subscribed as this is in an out of way spot

  82. Rodney December 1st, 2017 9:48 am

    An update – my local shop in Klosters (Gotscha Sport – fantastic people) spoke to Marker who have replaced both heel units and repaired free of charge. Really delighted! Good on Marker for doing the right thing

  83. Dara December 4th, 2017 3:47 pm

    Anybody have an issue with Kingpin 10 not releasing the heel properly when on the lowest DIN setting? I have not experienced this but my ski shop that sold me the skis and bindings and mounted them told me that the bindings failed the test. They haven’t heard back from the manufacturer so here I am, with no skis and an avy course coming up. Just wondered if this was a known issue. And yes, I know I’m a wuss for wanting the lowest DIN–I’m a cautious old lady with bad knees!

  84. See December 5th, 2017 6:56 pm

    I am making a wild guess here, but I wonder if the upward pressure from the brake springs has a significant effect on release friction at low settings. Again, this is pure speculation on my part, but maybe try the AFD plate Christian referred to recently here ( ) with leashes?

  85. xav December 25th, 2017 2:16 pm

    WARNING to all Kingpin users: please check your pins on a regular basis for breakage!!!!! Mine broke off today after around 50 ski days since Jan 2016. Due to sheer luck I opted out of skiing a steep icy chute only to loose my ski and finding the pin broken when skinning a few minutes afterwards. You all get the consequences – yes, I feel insanely lucky to be alive!
    Usage conditions: 90kg of a skier, 95 mm ski, boot with Dynafit certified inserts, used 80% in backcountry, Euro snow conditions

  86. Lou Dawson 2 December 25th, 2017 8:42 pm

    This has to STOP!

  87. xav December 26th, 2017 4:54 am

    True, this SHOULD stop but will not. We have come to a point in the global economy when profit is king and quality has left the stage.

    Have you heard about the Kobe scandal in Japan, the lore of “quality” bulls#t bingo?

  88. See December 26th, 2017 8:38 am

    xav, did the pins break or get loose and fall out? Glad you’re ok.

  89. xav December 26th, 2017 12:34 pm

    One of them broke off clean from the “jaws”. Will check the others with a pair of pliers 😉

  90. John Koltun December 30th, 2017 11:02 am

    kingpin toe piece issue.
    I’m on my second season with the Kingpins and have some thoughts and concerns I’d like to share. First, I like the durability and security of the binding. I’m a weekend patroller and have these mounted on my V-Werks Katana’s. It’s a great setup overall and I’ve taken then into the backcountry a number of times and I ski them hard. They are my daily driver here in AK I have used them in huge variety of conditions. Arelatively minor complaint is the brake hold system is pretty funky, I usually have to manually hold the brake pad down when setting the lever to tour mode since the catch rarely works. But my biggest concern is with the toe piece. In certain conditions with packable snow or very cold temps, I have noticed that snow and ice accumulate under the walk/tour lever and springs. This causes an issue where I cannot depress the lever to release my boot toe. As I am in-out of my skis dozens of times a day, this becomes quite the hassle. Now, as far as I can tell, it should not affect the toe release in a crash, but it does concern me. At first I thought this was a rareity, but it seems to occur fairly often. I haven’t had this issue with any of my other tech bindings.

  91. Lou Dawson 2 December 30th, 2017 11:11 am

    John, ice in the toe unit causing problems is common to most if not all tech bindings. Inspection and “snapping” the toe wings open and closed are first steps, also carrying something non damaging to clean ice out is useful. Main thing is that in many ways no tech binding is an alpine binding, that could change with the Salomon Shift, but still holds true. If you’re ski patrolling and in-out dozens of times a day, I’d imagine using tech bindings is a royal pain in the rear. Any way to just use alpine bindings and be done with it? Lou

  92. Christian December 30th, 2017 11:12 am

    John, thanks, you just sold me on switching to the brakeless AFD platform! Playing around with the idea of doing Quiver Killers for easy (not sure if that’s the best term) swappage between brakes and brakeless pads for going between lift-served and b/c.

  93. XXX_er December 30th, 2017 1:07 pm

    I used tech bindings to setup B nets for a ski race but I only did it once

    IME I was in and out of them lots but I couldn’t do the toe clearing ritual which MUST be done every time cuz I was carrying things so the ski would fall off in the new snow

    I didn’t have poles all the time so it was hard to get out of the binding

    so IME working on a tech bindings is not recommended

    but working on a frame AT binding is fine

  94. Christian December 30th, 2017 4:45 pm

    A brief scan on the product reviews for the Kingpin shows at least 3 instances of pin shearing in the field.

  95. Lou Dawson 2 December 30th, 2017 5:11 pm

    That toe pin shear is indeed a worry, nice to see “consumer testing” getting the word out. We fortunately never had any break that way… By the way, the toe pins loosening is a known defect of the first generation or so, and involved a swap program. We’ve got that posted up pretty well:


  96. XXX_er December 30th, 2017 7:56 pm

    I should mention a local ski bro broke the pin (not the loosening problem) on his Kingpins in his second season, a big guy at 225, skiing front country/side country/ back country in mtn labs but a fairly mellow kinda guy. the local dealer got him fixed up on warranty pretty quick

  97. Rob December 31st, 2017 12:05 am

    I have the same issue with Kingpin toe piece release lever as John Koltun. I’ve had Dynafit vertical and radical in the past and radical 2.0, plums, ions etc several times on various test skis and while all of them occasionally do get snow or ice stuck under the toepiece, for some reason it does seem to happen a lot more often with Kingpins. I love my Kingpins, I think they are a great binding, but it really is a frequent problem I have with them.

  98. Herf December 31st, 2017 11:30 am

    I’ve skied in all conditions with Dynafit bindings for years. Never had a problem or early release. I’ve skied a few times with Kingpins in the past two years and the toe released at least three times, on moderate slopes. Probably user error, such as not fully checking for ice, but like I said, only problem with a tech binding is with the Kingpin.

  99. Lou Dawson 2 December 31st, 2017 12:06 pm

    The toe pins are 5 mm in diameter, they are in single shear that’s imperfect as the boot toe fittings don’t ride next to the pin base but rather a slight bit out, creating extra leverage. Anyone care to do the engineering calculations on how much shear strength the pins might have, given them being a fairly hard steel? That might help guess whether this is an inherent strength problem or perhaps embrittlement or fatigue. The fact that many tech bindings out there have 5 mm toe pins, and don’t break, would indicate this some kind of manufacturing or specifications problem. But we can’t talk about it without some numbers. Lou

  100. Lou Dawson 2 December 31st, 2017 12:07 pm

    9 times out of 10 accidental toe releases with tech bindings are caused by icing, or so it’s said (smile). Lou

  101. bobarnot January 4th, 2018 4:33 pm

    Impossible toe piece in adverse conditions Works perfectly in the shop, but in powder it took me 107 tries to get the toe piece to fix the boot At the transition was even worse 113 tries to get the toe piece to set Immensely frustrating

  102. Lou Dawson 2 January 5th, 2018 8:47 am

    Bob, not every ski binding is appropriate for every skier. Sounds like you’d be wise to get rid of the Kingpins and try something else. That said, Kingpin toe is nothing unusual compared to most other tech binding toes, you might be wise to demo some other bindings and see if you have similar problems. What’s your’e experiencing might be user generated rather than the binding’s fault. Lou

  103. xav January 19th, 2018 4:32 am

    Re: toe pin shear

    My bindings were replaced by Marker with the most current version (even though it was after the warranty period). Their story was that they were the from the faulty 1st batch. Honestly they didn’t look like, when compared to the Wildsnow’s photos, though I did not check the serial numbers. Anyway:
    1) my confidence in that binding (any tech binding?) dwindled
    2) the new toe piece is a pain in the *** to get into since it does not have the “power towers” anymore

  104. Paul J Lohnes February 3rd, 2018 9:37 am


    Tried to do a search and see if this question was asked..very surprised i did not find anything re Kingpin Heels icing up when going from ski to skin. Yep..happened again today. Was hoping the wednesday ice up was an anomaly. Both heels froze after two skin laps in bounds this morning. Deiced using the car heater vent, iced again after third skin..deiced at resort hot air air, iced again after fourth and fifth skin. WTF…I wonder if manmade snow has some physics that make it want to ice up. Looking at the design it just seems like a piece of plastic sliding along a plastic rail. Not sure where the icing is even happening. I have no confidence at this point going into the BC with this binding. Maybe a generous dose of WD, Silicone, or White Lithium with a good wipe down of overspray might be the best i can do. Any help appreciated.

  105. Lou Dawson 2 February 3rd, 2018 10:49 am

    Hi Paul, all bindings are subject to icing of one degree or another, depending on conditions, age of binding, type of use and on and on. If I were you, yeah, I’d start with plenty of silicon as well as rubbing glop stopper wax on exposed surfaces, also carry a tool that you can work into the crevasses in the binding to remove ice without damage, such as a small stick of wood. All that said, I’m not a big fan of any tech binding with integrated brake as they all seem to be prone to icing and other failures… Let me know how it goes. Lou

  106. Paul J Lohnes February 3rd, 2018 11:22 am

    Thanks Lou..I’ll give that a try.

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