Backcountry Skiing News Roundup — Pastries and Dynafit Radical Delay


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 20, 2014      
Fat costume is a chuckle but no joke.

We goofed around with this Halloween costume a while back, but obesity is no joke. Photo Jason Davis.

Backcountry skiers tend to not be overweight. That’s good, but we are an exception. According to this article, by the year 2030 half of the world’s adults will be overweight, and obesity is costing the global economy more than all war and terrorism combined. That’s simply amazing. To think certain individuals in the 1960s predicted most of us would be starving by now due to overpopulation, shows you how wrong you can be when predicting the future.

From the standpoint of skiing, even though Austria has some of the most prolific pastries in the world, I’ve not gotten the impression Austrians are particularly overweight (metrics bear that out, Mexico and the U.S. are near the worst. Austria as on the good side of most charts I looked at). Nor am I blown up after eating about 10,000 various Viennese confections. The country (and the man) that skis stays lean? Or, is it the country that drinks the most beer and the least soft drinks? According to some of my research, a direct correlation and probable cause exists between soft drink consumption and fat. I’m no fan of alcohol over-consumption, but a nice crisp weissbier instead of a Coke might be healthier?

Some days ago Dynafit sent out a memo to their dealers detailing the delay in distributing the Radical 2.0 backcountry skiing binding. While a disappointment to many early adopters (and fanatical bloggers), we see this as an overall positive development in the tech binding world. All too often, tech bindings have been released to retail only to fail and receive “in line” tweaks. That’s ok for Microsoft but bad for a safety device.

No doubt delay of the Radical is a business challenge due to G3, Marker, Fritschi and others panting after Dynafit market share. Nonetheless, I’d caution against early adoption of tech ski bindings. While here at WildSnow.com we’ve tested all the new bindings and give an overall thumbs up, until full consumer use has occurred we encourage sticking with the tried-and-true. For example, Dynafit Speed Radical with this year’s anti-rotation device is a winner, and the Radical ST/FT offerings are now seasoned as well. If you’re of the early adopter persuasion, at the least try to work with a good retailer so you have an easy option for part swaps and repairs. Ordering first-season bindings online, then attempting to repair or swap parts yourself can be like grabbing a puppy out of a cardboard box in front of the grocery store, then finding out later what you ended up with, good and bad. Dynafit’s letter regarding Radical 2.0 is condensed below.

Rotating toe unit on Radical 2.0 may increase binding safety.

Rotating toe unit on Radical 2.0 may increase binding safety and performance; retail release delayed until fall 2015.

Forbes has a nice article about the entrepreneurial Silverton Ski Area here in Colorado. Silverton breaks the mold in that they access advanced alpine terrain with all natural snow, eschewing foo-foo modern ski resort stuff like grooming and snow making. The experiment seems to be working, but couldn’t be easy considering Colorado is not exactly known for a great snowpack — though the gasp-inducing altitude and snow-catching topography of Silverton are big helps. According to the article, “they’ve been weighing the construction of a base lodge made of more permanent materials than plastic sheeting…” We hope it stays that way. Read it here.

Now this is truly interesting. Backcountry skiers are obsessed with avalanche safety airbags. More, any thinking skier knows that current “ski” helmets are not much better than a few layers of cardboard taped to your head. (Examples abound, such as Lindsey Vonn’s possibly career ending concussion in 2011.) Motorcyclists can get really nice torso protectors integrated with head-neck airbags. The same kind of technology is entering the World Cup ski racing arena. As the backcountry skiing avalanche airbag wars heat up, I’ll bet it’s only a matter of time before we see much more sophisticated systems that include tested and specific neck-head protection — rather than claims that a wobbly balloon behind your head or by your ears is some kind of reliable impact protection. Such could finally give us the skull protection modern glisse deserves. Article about World Cup airbags here.

RADICAL 2.0 COMMUNICATION TO RETAILERS WINTER 2014/15 — FROM DYNAFIT SALEWA (lightly edited and condensed)

EARLY LAUNCH OF DYNAFIT RADICAL 2.0 BINDING PUSHED BACK FROM SPRING TO FALL 2015.

The Radical 2.0 binding… was scheduled for release in limited numbers in Spring 2015. However due to a quality concern around one of its components, the launch is being pushed back to Fall 2015. The decision was made to maintain our high quality standards and ensure the trust of our customers and consumers.

Following intense inspection and testing, DYNAFIT…was not satisfied with performance results for one aluminum component in the brake mechanism. DYNAFIT immediately informed the component supplier that its performance did not fall within agreed tolerance ranges. Reproduction of the component will take several months, and consequently, scheduled market entry for the Radical 2.0 binding has been delayed until Fall 2015.

To satisfy orders already placed, we have put an alternate plan into place. Radical bindings are currently available in sufficient quantity to substitute Radical 2.0 binding orders on a 1:1 basis, and we are planning for additional inventory to cover re-orders throughout the season. All retailers who placed orders for the Radical 2.0 model can take immediate delivery of the Radical binding…



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Comments

39 Responses to “Backcountry Skiing News Roundup — Pastries and Dynafit Radical Delay”

  1. SR November 20th, 2014 9:36 am

    Backcountry skiing presents interesting survivorship bias issues in a couple regards, weight and fitness being one of them. Theoretically, the lucky ones with skinny genes could be the ones that keep skiing. But, I think there is some causation there as well. Agreed on the sodas.

    Because I haven’t been to Europe a lot, each trip it is startling to see how thin people are there.

  2. Charlie Hagedorn November 20th, 2014 9:57 am

    Kudos to Dynafit for caution. Pulling an already-ordered product is a hard thing to do.

    Thank you, Dynafit. This is the sort of choice that will lead us toward your products in the future (every binding we regularly use in our house is a Dynafit TLT, Speed Classic, or a Comfort).

  3. Lou Dawson 2 November 20th, 2014 10:03 am

    What Charlie said…

  4. Lou Dawson 2 November 20th, 2014 10:04 am

    Only half joking. They should correlate tobacco to body weight, that might give some insight into Europe?

  5. quelebu November 20th, 2014 10:22 am

    Wasn’t it the growing obesity problem that led to the development of fat skis? Every cloud has a silver lining 😀

    We definitely have an obesity problem this side of the pond too. Too much sugar in people’s diets – not just sweets and fizzy drinks but also the huge amounts of sugar added to make low-fat, convenience foods mildly appetising. Also over-eating (the 500g snickers bar springs to mind!) and not enough exercise for the vast majority.

    It’ll take the breakdown of global capitalism and/or environmental disaster to overturn the trend (think “Grapes of Wrath”) both equally likely/unlikely depending on your point of view.

    In the post-industrial future “earning your turns” might be the only way to get any “turns” – as long as you can make your own skis and skins. Better dig out that old spokeshave and get a couple of seals.

  6. KevinP November 20th, 2014 11:37 am

    “Q” had the inflatable jacket dialed in for James Bond a couple of actors ago.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKqdgvsbfFQ

    or search for “James Bond inflatable jacket”

    Good cheesy fun, it was tailored to attract beautiful women too.

  7. Clyde November 20th, 2014 11:51 am

    You might want to mention the recall of BD Whippets. Ever since they switched to stainless steel for the sake of cosmetics and marketing, their crampons have been having breakage issues and now they screwed up what used to be a good S/A pole.

  8. OMR November 20th, 2014 12:22 pm

    Soda is bad, and I’m not defending a poor diet, but weight gain is still a simple equation of calories in vs. calories burned. Fact is, most sport drinks, gels and energy bars are basically simple sugar, which is like a soda but in a convenient package. At least Mt. Dew (in moderation) tastes good. Can’t say that about a most gel or a frozen energy bar. My go to calories while skiing is bacon (pre-cooked), heavily salted almonds and Snickers bars.

  9. Ru November 20th, 2014 2:23 pm

    Junk food’ll do it. It is hard to squeeze enough calories into something that has to be made with water, but you can just pack solids full of fat and sugar and put away a thousand calories without really noticing.

  10. Kyle November 20th, 2014 3:16 pm

    Interesting that Dynafit says “not to worry, we’ve got plenty of last gen radicals to substitute”. I guess they don’t have a lot of options, as they’re not going to recommend Ion/Vipec/etc for obvious reasons, but I can imagine there are plenty of people who ordered the Radical 2.0 for it’s increased elasticity and therefore the Radical 1.0 probably won’t be an acceptable substitute. I’m surprised they’re not doing more to push the Beast 14 as a replacement. Will be interesting to see how this strategy works out for them compared to past tech binding launches.

  11. Ben2 November 20th, 2014 4:15 pm

    One of the things that you notice between Europe and the US is not just the difference in number of overweight people, but the difference in kids. From anecdotal observations there are many fewer chubby kids in Europe. (At least W. Europe is where I have seen it.)

  12. Lou Dawson 2 November 20th, 2014 5:16 pm

    When I was researching this post, I was amazed at what a big problem child overweight has become. Really sad.

  13. Ed November 20th, 2014 8:09 pm

    I work in an engineering company which employs a whole pile of European folk in a variety of disciplines. We have discussed lifestyles many times but over and over one of the things that is a recurrent theme in conversations with them is how little North Americans walk. In Europe, we visitors marvel at the TGV, the ICE trains, the public light rail systems – all requiring folks to walk or walk and bike to get around.
    In N. America, we sit in our expensive sheet metal pods and get zero exercise. And I might add, zero interaction with our fellow human beings. In my city, we have had light rail transit run near our neighbourhood and it has been transformational – we can walk to and from the stations, we can get off a station early and get a little longer walk on the way home. And arrive home from the office having had human time to think. You even get to say HI to people in your neighbourhood and meet people you know on the train.
    All the spreadsheet people that moan about the initial capital cost of public infrastructure forget the “soft” benefits like fitness and connecting with people.
    So, get out and bug your elected “leaders” to get with it. Electrify! The effect is simply marvellous and a side effects are exercise and fitness – everyday! That simple.
    We can learn a lot, in many lifestyle ways, from Europeans I think!

  14. DMR November 21st, 2014 2:51 am

    Regarding obesity, for those interested I highly recommend reading Eric Schlosser’s book, “Fast Food Nation”.

    Soda and sugar drinks are indeed a considerable part of the problem on the intake side (the output side being exercise or lack thereof). Schlosser writes that in 1979 kids drank twice as much milk as soda, and by 2001 when the book was written, the ratio had flipped, and kids were drinking twice as much soda as milk. The quantity of soda increased from 7 ounces per day to 21 ounces per day. Go to #6 on this link: http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~insrisg/bookmarks/bk01/1115fast.htm

    Ed’s comment about how little Americans walk per day when compared to other countries is spot on. Couldn’t find a link to the figures I remember from a study conducted sometime around 2001, but here something I dug up with a quick Google search: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/the-pedometer-test-americans-take-fewer-steps/?_r=0

    That written, being extremely thin does not automatically correlate to eating well, and there are people who are chubby/slightly overweight who eat very well and are healthy by all medical measures (cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.). While the equation for losing weight is indeed burn more calories than you consume, it is not so simple with regard to overall health. Not all calories are created equal in terms of both quality and absorption. Example off memory after listening to a Science Friday podcast: if you eat 150 calories of almonds, your body will only absorb something like 120 calories, and the rest are fibers that scrape their way through your intestine, cleaning things as they go. The calories absorbed are “good” healthy calories relative to a sugar drink that is also 150 calories.

    Anyway just a little “food” for thought.

  15. Lorne November 21st, 2014 3:53 am

    A link to the Daily Mail? Really Lou?

  16. Lou Dawson 2 November 21st, 2014 4:08 am

    Lorne, we’re all just one big happy family here on the web. Lou

  17. Gerard November 21st, 2014 4:39 am

    I think the Japanese have got it right when it comes to food. A simple diet based on rice, soy ,seafood ,beef ,chicken and vegetables. Zero fat and wonderful taste. You see very few if any obese Japanese people.
    Of course from a skiers point of view some of the best BC skiing on the planet.

  18. Wookie November 21st, 2014 6:17 am

    A great topic – and important. As an American who has lived in Germany for twenty years now, I’ve been on both sides of the equation. When I lived in the States I was 40 POUNDS heavier. (I’m 6 feet tall and about 165 lbs now) When I moved here – my sporting habits didn’t change that much – but I began to lose weight almost immediately.
    These days – I only have to go back to the US for a week or two every year for business. I’ve become quite weight conscious as I’ve aged, and I make a real effort while there to watch what I eat. I eat less in the US than at home, and it tends to be mostly salads and “light” stuff….
    I’m getting to the point…..DESPITE this, I easily gain about 3 to 5 lbs in one week in the US. In addition – without going into details – I usually suffer from mild to moderate gastro-intestinal difficulties and am often pretty uncomfortable. I just fell “blah” and extremely bloated all the time.
    I’ve come to believe that the highly processed food that passes for normal in the US is the culprit…perhaps even the antibiotic content of the meats….anything….I don’t know…I know the subject is loaded for a lot of folks – I’m not trying to break a lance for organic or whatever – but I believe its not JUST lifestyle or eating habits….I think there is something about the food over there with you guys that is causing some of it too – and keep in mind – I’m not talking about Snickers bars or any of that – I mean the lean chicken, the steak – maybe even the salads and the vegetables.
    Although I’m not against progress per se – I can understand the reluctance in Europe to allow US gene-modified crops into the EU — or the worry about allowing chlorine-washed chicken into our supermarkets. It hasn’t been proven that those things are bad for us – but SOMETHING seems to be out of wack over there, so the desire to keep it out is understandable in my view.
    All in all – in Europe – even if you drink a bunch of beer and eat strudel all day – its much tougher to get fat than in the US…..at least that has been my experience.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 November 21st, 2014 7:57 am

    Wookie, that is super interesting… one thing about the U.S. is we get quite a bit of our food from places where they dose things pretty heavy with pesticides. Thing is, doesn’t Europe import quite a bit of their food as well from the same places? I’m not up to speed at all on the global food distribution system.

    As for us, our wheat free diet took care of most of what you’re talking about, but I can testify it’s real, whatever the cause.

    Lou

  20. Patrick November 21st, 2014 9:28 am

    Lou. Considering all-things-ski-tech, you do your homework, you do your research. When your mind wanders (e.g., to the Daily Mirror), push the mouse aside, pick up your axe and chop wood for the sauna.

  21. Lou Dawson 2 November 21st, 2014 9:44 am

    Sheesh, I’ll change the link! I hear the sound of feathers ruffling!

  22. Mark Worley November 21st, 2014 9:28 pm

    Sorry to hear about the Radical 2.0 being delayed, but it is for the best. This week I mounted up two pairs of bindings I have not before: Fritschi Vipec, and G3 Enzo. Vipec was a pleasant surprise. Heel pins and gap are unusual. Yes there is a lot of plastic. Overall impression is good. G3 Enzo looks nice, has strong looking, highly-engineered components, very good anti-ice plates. Mounting and adjusting are super fiddly, time consuming, and simply annoying.

  23. Frame November 22nd, 2014 4:16 am

    I kind of assumed the Radical 2.0 toe was the same as that on the Beast 14. I see the Beast 14 is for sale, any insight into the how that toe piece is ok? Guess it’s a different toe piece.

  24. XXX_er November 22nd, 2014 9:48 am

    sugar is everywhere in everything in north america, cut the sugar and cut the portions. BC skiing in BC related I took a skinny telemarktips crew skiing at the local hill and a couple of them claimed Canadians were on the whole skinnier than Americans to which I responded reallly ? not spending much time down there I have no idea

  25. Lou Dawson 2 November 22nd, 2014 11:17 am

    Frame, with rotating toe it’s the heel unit that’s tricky to build as it has to provide all the elasticity, assuming the toe rotation has no resistance. In a normal tech binding, the toe provides some of the retention and elasticity. That said, the dealer press release says the problem is in the brake system. Lou

  26. SR November 22nd, 2014 1:01 pm

    The CDC agrees with Canadians being skinnier on average, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db56.htm

    What’s amusing to me is that, not only am I considered skinny (and I am not), I also regularly get called out for my dog being too skinny. There’s been a real normalization of deviance on this point. It has interesting retail and sport participation implications for the future, though the overweight do seem to still buy a lot of outdoor gear even if they don’t use it much.

  27. Frame November 23rd, 2014 2:00 am

    Lou, thanks and err D’oh.

  28. Zachary Winters November 23rd, 2014 9:18 am

    This is without a doubt the greatest photo ever published on wildsnow!

  29. Lisa Dawson November 23rd, 2014 10:16 am

    Zachary, the video is good too.

  30. JCoates November 24th, 2014 6:51 am

    Wookie, I agree that there is something about the food in Europe vs the US which seems to be healthier. I have been such a glutton since moving to Germany 5 years ago….gravy, heavy meat, Knuedel, and of course the beer. But I’ve actually lost weight and I think it’s due to the quality and freshness of the ingredients. Everything in European cuisine tends to be seasonal. When it’s spargel season it’s spargel season, when its feld salad season, it’s feld salad season. Everything is locally grown and I think that makes a huge difference. Even the out of season fruits and vegatables are pretty close and from Spain or Italy in the off season. I think it makes a huge difference in taste and health.

  31. JCoates November 24th, 2014 6:56 am

    Or maybe I just got a tapeworm the last time I ate tartarein France?? 🙂

  32. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 8:38 am

    Let’s not get too carried away with European exceptionalism. I’ve gained weight plenty of times during EU trips, as have others I know. A standing joke is needing a spare pair of pants for the return trip, with bigger waist.

    On the other hand, I’d agree that at least in the EU alpine countries I’m familiar with people seem to be slimmer. I’d attribute that mostly to just a bit of extra walking every day, which can burn a lot of calories if done on an everyday basis.

    I’d also agree the food in general seems to be better in terms of gastric effects.

    Lou

  33. Chris December 11th, 2014 12:23 pm

    Comments above and some product descriptions indicate that the Radical 2.0 toe and the Beast 14 toe are similar or identical. Is that the case? If so, is it merely the pairing with the heel element that makes the difference between the two?

  34. Lou Dawson 2 December 11th, 2014 12:45 pm

    The Radical 2.0 doesn’t exist so somewhat difficult to make a final comparo (grin).

    Differences get technical and need to be divided into categories. For example, elasticity. The Beast heel has more vertical elasticity than the Radical heel.

    So we can’t use the word “merely,” but yes the heel unit is a big deal.

    Lou

  35. Chris December 11th, 2014 2:29 pm

    I had gotten the impression that the Beast-14 has the exact same toe as the Radical-2.0. Is that the case? The Radical may not exist in the retail world, but a lot of specs and pics had been put out there. I’m considering of the Beast-14 but maybe not if the toe is suspect.

  36. wyomingowen December 11th, 2014 2:52 pm

    I’ve got 3 inbound days on beast 14, can’t compare to something not available. but it wouldn’t make sense to release (no pun) if it’s the same as 2.0.

    My only observation is it takes 2x the pressure to release the toe as from any other Dynafit I own (which is 3 different models, now a total of 4)

  37. Lou Dawson 2 December 11th, 2014 4:32 pm

    Chris, I’d rather share my own links. Here is some of our coverage of Radical 2.0 toe.

    https://www.wildsnow.com/15021/news-backcountry-skiing-touring-52/

    https://www.wildsnow.com/11958/dynafit-new-bindings-2014-2015/

    Knowing the industry the way I do, I indeed agree with you that the toes could have been exactly the same as that’s pretty common in the ski binding world, where parts are “re branded” for different products under different names. But really, Radical 2.0 doesn’t exist except in pre-production form and in PR events, so it’s impossible to get a definitive answer about what’s what.

    And, yes, even if the toes were slightly different, the real difference between Beast and Radical 2.0 is the heel units.

    Lou

  38. Chris December 11th, 2014 5:35 pm

    Thanks, Lou. Your connections with and insight into the industry are massively helpful to those of us who otherwise can only dabble in what’s splattered out there in webspace.

  39. Canadian m December 11th, 2014 9:39 pm

    The Toes are/will be the same as the beast 2.0, however the carbon fiber base plate may not be

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