Problem with Marker Kingpin Toe Pins Loosening — Fixed

Post by blogger | January 23, 2015      

Shop for Marker Kingpin ski touring binding.

Autumn 2015 UPDATE: Apparently Marker has worked out their manufacturing and they’ve gone back to using a toe pin without the knurled “star” pattern that was visible on the inside of the binding wings during winter-spring of 2015. It appears these newest version binding toes are easily identified by having grey springs instead of black. See photo below.

Marker Kingpin 2015-2016 has pins without previous knurled pattern but obvious high-quality pressing.

Marker Kingpin 2015-2016 has pins without previous knurled pattern but obvious high-quality pressing. Apparently the Kingpin 10 has grey springs while model 13 has black springs, but we’re not 100% sure about that nor do we know if the difference in springs is cosmetic or something more.

January 23 UPDATE, upgraded toe units are shipping, see below for illustration.

Below statement from Marker came in January 22.

“The Marker KINGPIN is a brand new and innovative ski touring binding. The first very limited series of production (early-intro production) was delivered during December 2014. After two years of testing we are very confident that the Marker KINGPIN is not only innovative and a big step forward in terms of protection, performance and comfort but also a very well-tested pintech binding.

However, we found out during some routine quality checks and due to feedback from limited Marker KINGPIN users that there were a few cases where the press-fit of the toe pins inside the sole holders were not to Marker standards. In extensive lab testing we discovered that there have been a few cases where the toes were assembled incorrectly. This led to those pins moving (like shown in Lou’s picture).

As a response we have already changed the production process and improved the quality control to ensure a perfect press-fit of the toe pins.

We recommend that users check the toes of their Marker KINGPIN bindings. If the pins have moved please contact your authorized Marker dealer to get immediately a free exchange toe.
Thanks for your understanding!
Your Marker team.”

Thanks to John R, photo of Kingpin toe pins, normal  on left, defective and coming out on right.

Thanks to John R, photo of Kingpin toe pins, normal on left, defective and coming out on right.

Marker upgraded toe pins began shipping around January 22, 2015 and are easily identified by visible differences.

Marker upgraded toe pins began shipping around January 22, 2015 — easily identified by visible difference from original version.

Improved Kingpin began shipping  January 2015, identify by the knurled ribbed (star shaped) pin inserted in the aluminum, original version pin is smooth.

Improved Kingpin began shipping January 2015, identify by the knurled ribbed (star shaped) pin inserted in the aluminum, original version pin is smooth.

Original post below, from January 19, 2015

Marker Kingpin, toe unit 'pin' to left is beginning to come out, pin to right indicated by arrow has obvously loosened and worked its way out.

Marker Kingpin, toe unit 'pin' to left is beginning to come out, pin to right indicated by arrow has obvously loosened and worked its way out.

Reports about a possible problem with Marker Kingpin have filtered in. We recently received what appears to be a legitimate report from J.K., who states in an email, with photos, that he experienced the toe pins coming loose in the binding toe wings resulting in the binding eventually ceasing to function correctly. He points out that if this problem occurs in the midst of a ski run, it could be a safety issue. I’m not sure how this should be dealt with. If you’re using Kingpins, pay attention to how your bindings look, as well as how they feel on your feet.

We will contact Marker today and see what they say. If this is indeed a problem, it’s an understandable manufacturing defect as it’s not exactly easy to press steel parts into aluminum and have them stay there. Thus, Marker’s pre-retail bindings could all have been fine, while the retail manufactured version could very well have an intermittent defect. How it should be dealt with by Marker and by binding users is an open question. More soon we hope.

Here is more info from J.K.

— 184 Volkl k\Katana V-Werks
— Tecnica Cochise pro 130
— I am 6’0″ 175 lbs, expert skier
This failure occurred after two days of light use at Snowmass, Colorado going both uphill and down. Prior to this I was on Volkl Nanuqs with Radical ST’s and had been skiing that setup the same way as this for three seasons with no issues. I bought the Kingpin bindings online from a shop back east as soon as they were available for retail purchase.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


294 Responses to “Problem with Marker Kingpin Toe Pins Loosening — Fixed”

  1. Aimee January 19th, 2015 11:56 pm

    Isn’t a bit unfair to publish this without detailing that multiple people have experienced this issue and without having first contacted Marker?

  2. Matt Franzek January 20th, 2015 12:34 am

    He isn’t the first person to report this issue. I believe it was reported on TGR’s forums a few weeks ago and has since been reported by a few more people.

    Makes me sort of happy I went with Beasts instead of Kingpins for my first tech binding. Now if I could find a boot narrow and stiff enough I’d be happy.

  3. Pascal January 20th, 2015 3:41 am

    „Thus, Marker’s pre-retail bindings could all have been fine, while the retail manufactured version could very well have an intermittent defect. How it should be dealt with by Marker and by binding users is an open question. More soon we hope.“
    This sounds like looking in a crystal ball to me. As it seems, the production tests should have begun. Not more, not less.
    Are there insights in productions problems today or re you just repeating one person’s problem with one pair of bindings anywhere ?

  4. colin January 20th, 2015 3:53 am

    so typical.
    when will someone come out with a solid touring binding for freeride use that is not too heavy and has no problems?
    the emery was the closest we got.
    the market is there.

  5. Eric Steig January 20th, 2015 4:54 am

    “when will someone come out with a solid touring binding for freeride use that is not too heavy and has no problems?”

    Isn’t that the Vertical ST, or Radical ST? I don’t recall hearing of any significant problems with those bindings. Not to mention the TLT classic, unless you are one of those that bends the heel-rise post.

  6. brruupp January 20th, 2015 6:35 am

    I have the same problem with my pair of kingpin bindings..

  7. BenL January 20th, 2015 6:43 am

    Looks similar to what Davidoff re-posted on Piste Hors.
    P.S. Are you around Skt Anton next week Lou, stand you a Weissbier if you are.

  8. Codey January 20th, 2015 7:09 am

    This is not exactly a ‘one time incident’. I was in Revelstoke over the holidays and one shop worker told me they they pulled their Kingpins off the shelf after having three different pairs come back with this problem. They were waiting to hear more from Marker before selling any more.
    That being said, this doesn’t really scare me off of the Kingpins. New products to the market are going to have a few issues, that is why Lou always warns against early adopting. It is also why Marker had a limited release this year, while planning a full retail release for next season.

  9. Dan January 20th, 2015 9:12 am

    Hopefully this gets sorted out soon. The Kingpins have a lot of potential.

  10. Lou Dawson 2 January 20th, 2015 9:16 am

    Cody, yes, apparently this is a problem with their first retail manufacturing run. Marker says they’re preparing a statement, and word here in Austria is they stopped their retail distribution for now. For you engineering types, it’s been explained to me that when you have one piece of metal inserted into another, especially something softer, you want the insertion distance to be at least twice the diameter. The insertion distance on the Marker toe pins appear to dance on the edge of that principle. I’m also told it’s incredibly difficult to get this sort of steel pressure fit in aluminum. If the aluminum is too soft the steel will work out, if the alu is to hard it will crack. Super tricky.

    The other thing I’m told by binding industry insiders is the big problem is that the RETAIL versions of these things need to have major torture tests, but often they get rushed. Deal is you can’t assume that the reliability of a custom assembled pre-retail product will equal that of a somewhat identical product made in a factory. There are just too many tiny steps to making this stuff that can be left out or changed.


  11. Lou Dawson 2 January 20th, 2015 9:19 am

    Ben, yeah, Davidoff posted a copy of something that was already on the web, with little to no information about where it came from, or the situation behind it. I chose to not pant over it until more verification. But at this point I’ve been privy to a couple of reports.

    Companies sometimes post slag about their competitors, I’m very sensitive to that issue and try to watch how quickly we jump on this sort of thing like, yes, panting blog dogs looking for every last pageview we can exploit. But at some point it becomes obvious we have an issue at hand, as it did in this case.

  12. Lou Dawson 2 January 20th, 2015 9:33 am

    Aimee, as I alluded to in comments above, I actually did wait until I’d received multiple reports, including one incredibly interesting one I unfortunately can’t detail. Rather than jumping on this, I was quite restrained. As for contacting Marker first, I generally do the contact along with the posting, as most companies, 999 times out of 1000, will say “oh, that’s the first time we’ve heard of that.” This is a joke among ski journalists, sad but true.

    In any case, believe me, this is a real issue not just pageview bait.


  13. al January 20th, 2015 9:48 am

    Of the small amount of folks that have skied on the Kingpin what is your opinion of the toe piece when it’s working correctly? Any better, same or? than the Radical? In particular I’m curious if it has any elasticity built in or a higher retention value compared to the Dyna. toe piece? Any other comments about how they skied?


  14. Brian January 20th, 2015 10:23 am

    Why the heck didn’t they make the pins thread in to the binding wing or make it a press fit with a stud and nut on the back?

  15. Matt Kinney January 20th, 2015 10:29 am

    Two pins, three pins, four pin… it’s still the same issue and more so in some AT bindings. A little ice here, a tolerance issue there. Sounds like old telemark bindings. 🙂

  16. Lou Dawson 2 January 20th, 2015 10:35 am

    Matt, I know, perhaps the word “pins” is cursed when it comes to ski bindings? And to think I used to brag on AT bindings, silly me…

  17. XXX_er January 20th, 2015 11:12 am

    I wonder if toe wings are the place to be using aluminum? Plum aluminum toe pieces have broke

  18. SeeMoore January 20th, 2015 12:27 pm

    I have been checking these Kingpins out thinking I would put them on a pair of all mountain resort skis that would double for bc skis for more hardpack spring conditions. I could finally get rid of my painful resort alpine boots too. But first year product release jidders have held me back and I see that is good now. Similarly, I see reports of high DIN test values and plastic problems with Vipec as well. For the Kingpins, seems like mating highly stressed steel pins into a softer aluminum base would be a major weak link in the system. Hey Marker, why not use steel for the wings and pins and lose some of that baseplate and heel plastic? A new version with steel need not weigh more than the current retail version methinks.

  19. wyomingowen January 20th, 2015 1:33 pm

    And people scoffed at Dynafit for pulling the rad 2.0 from retail this season. Also, let’s get statistical, as in sample population;

    how many Dynafits are being skied in bounds? On how big of skis? Pretty impressive if you ask me.

    I’m sure the others will catch up and I will say for as scary looking and as heavy as the Beast 14 is, at 20 days not a problem.

    Lou, look for Fischer pro-foil at ISPO please, I’ve been dreaming about that since touring on Karhu Catamounts 17yrs ago.

  20. Dimitri January 20th, 2015 3:00 pm

    I have this issue on my kingpin 13 too.. Only skied 2 days of soft Norwegian west coast goodness..

    3 out of the 4 pins visibly affected. One of the toes dramatically enough it effects step in and out and probably also release me thinks. Luckily I have a good local shop that offered to ‘fix’ the issue. Only fix I see is a total replacement based on new design/product run. Or thats’ probably more like what I’d be satisfied with.

    @XXX: the Plums toes are solid, at least the black newer version.

  21. David January 20th, 2015 3:03 pm


    Aren’t Plums CNC’ed Alum while Kingpins (and Ions) are supposedly cast Alum?

  22. Tom January 20th, 2015 3:11 pm


    Kingpins and ION’s are forged aluminum not cast. For this type of use forged will produce the strongest end product.

  23. Skian January 20th, 2015 4:27 pm

    As Lou stated above, Inserting cast studs into alloy is very tricky. This is why have liked the setup of a Plum heel and a Dynafit toe. Although from different brands, that marriage works well.

    The weakest point in any tech system is where the boot interacts with the pins. Incredible amount of force transmitted there. Over the years, there have been dozens of re-designs that the manufactures call evolution of product. Some times its real revolution and other times its fixing something that is breaking.

    Dynafit still in my opinion has the most durable toe piece being cast metal into cast metal. Manufactures continue to take the cheaper way out by modifying aluminum wings. I guess 20 years of development still has them ahead in that department.

    It’s always a challenge when you have a 2000 gr boot and a 2000 gram ski connected with a 500gr binding. If you have no idea of the skier use of the product you only have half the story. Maybe these skiers were taking the binding to the limit of acceptable use for the products function.

    I feel the king pin is an evolutionary product and hope Marker figures out a proper solution because we as skiers need them to be successful. They bring a large market demographic to Backcountry. I’m not saying its OK, I’m just saying no one hits a home run on their first bat. It takes fatigue to warrant that happening. I hope to see an answer, and that would be fixing this problem.

  24. XXX_er January 20th, 2015 5:30 pm

    I understand early plums had problems I know my ski bud broke a toe, this would be an old/light/ smoove/ bc only kind of skier who has never broken his dynafits

    So far plum and Marker have had trouble which is why I ask is aluminium a good material for a tech toe ?

  25. John walker January 20th, 2015 5:35 pm

    So this proves the adage “easier said than done” we don’t need more bindings on the market we need better bindings. I can attest to the amazing ski ability and next level safety that dynafit provides with the Beast models. I’ve got quite a few resort days on these bindings now and I’m thoroughly impressed. Wondering about on the fly damage control at the OR show now. But that’s why marker pays the big bucks.

  26. gp January 20th, 2015 6:39 pm

    Not still the same problem occurs in my kingpin.

  27. skian January 20th, 2015 6:40 pm

    @John I think the beast has its attributes also, and it went through a lot of revisions from its first look. Any manufacture who strives to bring next level product to market, takes a risk that it might not be right out of the box. With this amount in data coming in from blogs, and phone calls to the house, I would be shocked if engineers were not on this.

    In the immediate future I would think Marker is working on a stronger rivit system, What happens many times, is the mushroom on the back of the pin does not have the integrity to match the torque on the rivet and it backs out. Dynafit had a pin years ago that had a locking back nut. This was problematic as you had to be religious about checking them. But when they started to back out you noticed it before it became a problem. and it was consumer repairable in the field.

    Adding press fit (thats without a rivet) added more issues. The press fit took production labor out of the equation at manufacturing and QC went up for a while. Frankly if this is the bindings only issue I’d say Marker has a pretty compelling story just from the heel innovation.

    This is going to continue to be the challenge for all binding manufactures entering into this emerging market. The one thing about a larger market is that we should see more innovation for market share.This is a hiccup in design and application IMO.

    Plum did go through several issues in the last few years trying to address the integrity of their wings. A few were alloy fatigue so they built 20% more integrity into the wings by adding weight and a new shape. The problem moved as now the wing was strong enough to hold the power. Then people started pulling pins. So they invested in a new riveting machine and so far I have not heard in 2015 of any problems to those newer toes.

    Dynafit has had their issues to and I don’t want to go into any bickle bucket in Alaska and bring up old news that is no longer current to what we are talking about. Marker will have an answer for the early adopters and they will have a full response since they have stopped production till this is resolved.

    My concern is primarily I look at tech bindings like carabiners. People put themselves out there more in a no fall situation than any other product in skiing. No one wants that call, “my binging broke and I had a pretty bad fall.” These guys know bindings, and we will see quick resolution to this issue.

    Markers done a fine job and I don’t think we should be throwing them under the bus yet.

  28. Stian January 20th, 2015 7:08 pm

    I’m now on my third pair of kingPin toe pices, and also they are starting to pop out. Disepointed!

  29. skian January 20th, 2015 7:15 pm

    @Stian, When did you buy them and where? Did they just replace the frist pair out of shop stock? If you don’t mind me asking where did you ski them mostly and with what other gear?

  30. John January 20th, 2015 8:41 pm

    I have been skiing 4 pair regularly for the last month. Have mounted more then a dozen. Have been watching this thread closely. Skied a new pair today, all day. One pin moved out about 1mm. This is the first time I have seen it. Toe piece has been removed from my ski. Maybe it was the bus ride home today that caused it to vibrate loose:). My skis I have been using for the last month are all fine.

    Seriously, this seems to be a real problem affecting some of the early production bindings.

    Additionally, the toe stop screws are too small for regular adjustment. the 2mm hex is too small.

    I hope Marker addresses both issues immediately.

  31. Lee Lau January 20th, 2015 9:38 pm

    Just checked my test pair. 12 or so uses. Some inbounds but mostly touring. Mounted to Blizzard ZeroG95s. 78 kg 165lb skier. One pin is backing out

    Picture here. Lou will have to approve

  32. Lee Lau January 20th, 2015 9:42 pm

    note to above – One thing I noticed was this the binding which was sticky and was hard to exit when getting in and out. Not sure if that was cause or sympton

  33. Sharon January 20th, 2015 9:48 pm

    For those who have had the pins come loose, did you have issues getting your toe out of the binding when you wanted to get out of the binding?

    For me, the binding that now has the pin coming out, i’ve been having issues with getting out of it when I want to get out. Its been very sticky so I have to release the heal before I am able to get out of the toe.

  34. Tom January 20th, 2015 9:56 pm

    I’m glad I check your website regularly. I’ve been touring on my Kingpins for about five days in the Cascades. As I was preparing for a dawn patrol I inspected my bindings and saw that all four pins are working their way out. I will be visiting my favorite shop in North Bend. I’m bummed because I couldn’t believe how well they toured and skied. I’m 6-1 200 lbs, never had issues with Dynafit’s or Fritschi’s. I broke a set of Dukes on a landing. I will have pics later. Thanks again from saving me from a possible disaster.

  35. tim January 20th, 2015 10:57 pm

    Tech is tech. Binding manufacturers and insurance companies suck. You get what you want and nothing is perfect. Skiing is a dangerous sport. Know your shit.

  36. Lou Dawson 2 January 20th, 2015 11:14 pm

    Lee, your photo link seems to be working, thanks. Lou

  37. Lou Dawson 2 January 20th, 2015 11:56 pm

    Skian, thanks. Funny, I was thinking of the carabiner analogy myself, as DMM makes the alu parts on the KIngpin. And yes, if a biner fails you are often toast. Tech bindings should be 100% no failure equipment for many users, perhaps for all users. I mean just think of the times you’re skiing in places where an unexpected binding failure would launch you into a rock or tree, or even off a cliff or bridge you’re crossing over a creek. Serious. Lou

  38. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2015 12:03 am

    Regarding how problematic the tech binding toe pins can be, I was speaking to tech binding founder Manfred Barthel yesterday and mentioned the Marker problem. He just laughed and said something like “been there, done that, 30 years ago.”

  39. Skian January 21st, 2015 12:17 am

    Outside of the pin issue, which I am sure will be resolved soon. How about some performance feedback on the binding from those who have skied many other bindings in this category. The performance of the heel, ease of use etc. I like many of you have high expectations of this binding. How confident is the feeling of different snow from front country to backcountry. Thanks Lou, I had a feeling you had the same feelings on bindings in general. I’d like people to realize over the last twenty years, we have seen a lot of innovation and a lot of replication of the original design. The Kingpin with its entry and retention system seems to be a solid solution for downhill performance.

  40. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2015 12:34 am

    Hi Skian, I can address that from my perspective. Both during bench evaluation and actual use, I can testify that the Kingpin is the most resistant to roll deflection (move boot cuff left and right) of any tech binding I’ve evaluated. Thing is, in my tests years ago even a classic Dynafit tech binding was super strong in this mode provided the boots was strong, as the toe of any tech binding is incredibly rigid, and that rigidity transfers to resistance to rolling deflection so long as the boot is strong.

    Thus, what’s interesting is that the bigger the boot, the less important it is to have that last bit of heel stiffness in the heel of the tech binding. But with lighter boots, it’s perhaps nice for some skiers to feel a solid heel unit instead of one that wriggles a bit more.

    But much of this is simply what you’re used to. If you go from a solid binding to one less solid you may not “like” it, then after three days you may have no issue. You might even like it better because it’s “softer” in chatter situations on hard snow. As with things like boot cuff forward lean, boot delta and binding ramp.

    Personally, in my ski touring life I have no need of anything more than the lightest tech bindings, Kingpin is overkill for me. But I’d acknowledge that for some folks it’s indeed an ideal binding that could be a quiver of one, as is Beast, but the vast majority of human powered ski tourers will have little to no interest in it.

    It sounds like many of you immediately jumped on Kingpin as a resort binding. Your feedback would be good, so chime in.

    Also, resort skiers, remember that while the heel unit of KIngpin is perhaps (likely) improved over classic tech bindings in terms of how it performs for downhill skiing, the toe still has the “blind spot” in torsional release that Rick shows in his testing of tech bindings. So keep that in mind. As always, we recommend the best quality alpine bindings for resort skiing, and only recommend using tech bindings for the resort if you actually need them for a tour as well.


  41. TWhy January 21st, 2015 12:57 am

    So, it means there is a stop of selling the kingpins in austria??

  42. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2015 1:09 am

    Yes, what I heard is they’re not selling or producing for the moment, I’d imagine three possibilities:

    1. All retail Kingpins have to be returned/replaced.


    2. Retail Kingpins with certain serial numbers have to all be returned/replaced.


    3. A test will be devised that retailers can do to check strength of toe pin installation.


  43. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2015 1:44 am

    FYI for everyone, according to one of our readers the Kingpin serial number is on ski/walk lever, readable in walk mode. Stamped also on bottom of plastic toe plate. Nothing on the pincer mechanism. In case this is needed for a recall. Lou

  44. john January 21st, 2015 5:39 am

    are they inserting these pins via shrink fit? change that aluminum to carbide for that price and shrink fit it! btw i guess i lucked out by not finding a place to buy kingpins for sale yet

  45. john January 21st, 2015 5:44 am

    ah i see now steel pin into aluminum.

  46. Brian January 21st, 2015 5:59 am

    So is Marker saying anything yet? They need to get on this quick IMO. Given the problems that other manufactures have had with this very same issue over the years really makes me question why Marker could have missed this.

    I inspected my Kingpins after reading this yesterday and I have one pin coming out, and the other three possibly backing out. I never inspected it that closely after mounting so I can’t say for sure if those three have moved, but one has definitely come out.

    Not looking forward to touring for the next week on my F12s in BC/BC, darn it!!!

  47. Dimitri January 21st, 2015 6:23 am

    from Marker/Volkl Norway (to me personally):

    “There was a production issue from the transition to pre to retail assembly. Tooling was changed and we are in possession of the new toe units, just return them to the retail shop and toes will be replaced with the newer version”

    seems straight forward enough 🙂 lets hope so

  48. Powbanger January 21st, 2015 7:22 am

    Is it really a surprise to everyone that a first gen AT binding would have an issue with durability? I remember spinning heels, snapped heel pins, sheared off heel pieces, pins in toe pieces with loose screws etc. No amount of R&D can find everything. Some companies release a limited number of product to a controlled group of people so when, not if, an issue shows itself they can react quickly and somewhat painlessly to it. It looks like Marker rushed the Kingpin to market without doing this thoroughly.
    It’s competition from bindings like the Kingpin, Ion, and Plum which has pushed Dynafit to allow other companies to distribute their bindings in turn losing control over their retail distribution. That’s another conversation though.
    I’m sure Marker will find a fix for this problem, they’re a big company with a lot of resources to react quickly to this. Don’t lose faith based on a first gen product.

  49. trollanski January 21st, 2015 7:25 am

    Go Marker! Cant wait to get on the improved version, as I just blew the top off the heel of another Radical. Yes, the gap was set correctly. Inspection reveals that all that was needed was to snap/sheer the front two top cap screws, and two tiny (2x7ish mm runs of plastic at the back plus the plastic above the vert. release screw. Other than that, they are great bindings, but even some of us old dodgers need a stouter option that is STILL light enough to tour on. More in-depth comparisons with say with the Ion would be helpful. Ion reverses the direction of the cap screws, and utilizes what appears to be a metal strap to tie the front of the heel piece together. and Go Marker!

  50. Joefbtg28 January 21st, 2015 9:05 am

    I feel like G3 tested the Ion for years to get them perfect before release, and Marker rushed the kingpin to market just to jump on the tech binding bandwagon. We all know that late entrants into a certain segment have a harder time eaking market share from the competitors that are already there. So they might have wanted to get into this market to grab what share they could even though the retail product wasn’t tested fully.

  51. jordan January 21st, 2015 9:35 am

    Ok, that was a lot of comments to get through.

    I’ve skied and tested almost every binding mentioned here in the comments EXCEPT the kingpin.

    @Joefbtg28: G3 has already had its share of problems with their new release, none of them life threatening, but certainly not a perfect binding right, though a vast improvement on the pitiful excuse that the Onyx was…

    @Powbanger: No surprise really. The Beast Prototype’s I tested had a small issue or two… again nothing dangerous, just annoying. I’ve been hard charging on a pair of Beast 14’s for the last few weeks, and I legitametly think I may have find my binder of choice. I’m 6’4″ and 215 lbs and I ski hard. This is the part of the prototype testing in the world that I am trying to change. Ever tried to test a boot? You need to be in the 26-28 size range or you are SOL. Most people in that size range aren’t big people. I think that most of these binders should be beat on for a few weeks by someone like myself or other BIG people, instead of solely by 150 lb “perfect skier builds” who have a far lower chance of finding the weaknesses in a binding by just skiing on it.

    @trollanski: I had the same problem with my first pair of Radicals, then they seemed to change something with what they were sending my way, and I haven’t had an issue in a couple years. That said, the 2.0 will fully address that issue as I can attest from having seen the new heel piece 2 days ago.

    Lou told me a long time ago that I was on the edge of being too big for tech binders (sorry Lou), and i completely agree with that statement from 6-7 years ago, but now the tech world is changing, and binders like the Kingpin, the Beast, the Beast 14 and perhaps even the Viper are changing the ski world. I’m looking forward to Marker resolving this and getting to go Beat on them.

  52. jordan January 21st, 2015 9:36 am

    *found *Vipec

  53. Brian January 21st, 2015 9:40 am

    I might comment that the picture at the top of this thread notes that the pin on the left is still in place, when in fact it may not be. 3 out of 4 pins on my kingpin do not protrude that far (by inspection of the reveal on the shoulder behind the pin). so the picture may in fact show what the pin looks like AS it is working its way out…..

  54. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2015 10:05 am

    Thanks Brian. Lou

  55. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2015 10:15 am

    Thanks for chiming in Jordan. I’d agree that some models of tech bindings can now handle big guys skiing hard. Especially those bindings with upgraded heel structures and wider base mount patterns. Some is dependent on boots. Bigger stiffer boot puts more stress on the binding. Proof is of course your success with bindings. BTW, a word to the wise, I’m thinking we may generally stop any real binding testing at WildSnow, we’ll just ski them a bit for a first-look then wait a while to see what shakes out. Then do a long term test when we really know the thing is safe. I’d suggest you might consider how dangerous binding testing could be. ‘best, Lou

  56. jordan January 21st, 2015 10:24 am

    Well said Lou,
    The issues of the past couple years have me doing far more inspections on my binders before jumping onto stuff where a failure could be a big deal.

    Point I was trying to make is just that Binding companies seem to be headed in a direction of making tech accessible to people who ski more aggressively and perhaps are bigger people. I’m excited about it!

  57. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2015 10:45 am

    Hi Jordan, agreed, I’ve been truly delighted to see the diversification of the tech binding concept. Only problem is even Fritz will tell you the system was never designed for the type of forces/use that’s it’s being pressed into these days. I still advocate that one visionary company could do tech 2.0, basically the same system only with some changes to the boot fittings that would make a big difference in elasticity without weight, as well as adding strength. That’ll be a pretty bold move, and cost lots of money… but the time is now since there is still no ISO standard for the boots or the specific tech binding design parameters. Once the ISO standards are made, that’s the death knell of radical innovation in my opinion. Lou

  58. Brian January 21st, 2015 10:59 am

    Has anyone heard anything from Marker yet?

  59. David Brophy January 21st, 2015 11:01 am

    So, on Sunday 11th Jan I was skiing on my Kingpins (4th day on them). I had rather a nasty crash, and the binding on my left ski didn’t release.

    (Skip this paragraph if you don’t care about my foot!) I felt a big pop in my foot and lots of pain. I assumed something was broken. Ski-patrol, toboggan, ambulance, hospital, x-ray. Nothing broken thank god so it must have been a ligament snapping. Doctor gave me a splint and a pair of crutches and said not to move it for a week. My ankle swelled up to the size of a softball, but every day it’s getting better. Today I’ve been walking rather than hopping. All good for the recovery. Standard ski injury.

    HOWEVER. This is where it gets interesting…

    I saw this post, and took a look at my bindings to see if any of the pins are coming loose. One of the pins is completely missing! I don’t know what foot that ski was on when I crashed… I don’t know if the pin came out during the crash, or after.

    I can’t imagine the pin being lose could have contributed to the binding not releasing (because the back didn’t release either). However I’m a touch worried!

  60. Ian January 21st, 2015 11:13 am

    That a binding companies second worst nightmare.

  61. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2015 11:21 am

    David, what caused your crash? Lou

  62. Matt Franzek January 21st, 2015 11:36 am

    Sorry about the hijack before hand. Jordon, any suggestions on an AT boot for large hard skier (6-5 210lb)? Dynafits have snug heels but my toes feel like they are in flip flops, Scarpa’s are huge, same with BD. Cochise 130? Or is it time to suck it up and go CAST.

  63. powbanger January 21st, 2015 11:37 am

    Jordan – What I was referring to with control groups is if Marker gave/loaned a number of kingpins to a large group of their athletes, pro reps or shop employees who at this point are not retail customers they would have been able to find and address this issue with only a bloody nose. Judging by these comments they have a bloody nose and two black eyes, and it’s only 30 seconds into the first round. They will get this problem fixed and we’ll all get passed this just like the other vendors 1st gen issues we have virtually forgotten about.

    Ian – you got that right.

  64. David Brophy January 21st, 2015 12:58 pm

    Well I’m pretty sure what caused the crash was myself. My recollection is that I was on a lovely bit of powder, there was a bump I didn’t expect, I got unbalanced, my left ski tip dug in and twisted right, and I carried on going straight. It wasn’t super fast, but the binding didn’t release so it put enough torque on my food to cause the damage. I’ve had crashes like this with these bindings and they have released nicely so I was surprised, but I fully understand ski bindings (especially tech bindings) are not 100% infallible, so as the time I put it down to bad luck.

    I’m pretty sure I remember releasing the toe part of both skis manually by hand afterwards, so I’m pretty sure the pin didn’t come out during the crash. However my memory could well be wrong – I’m was pretty convinced my season was over with a broken leg so as you can imagine there was a lot of adrenalin pumping around me at that point!

    Looking at the photos below, it certainly looks like the pin was forced out rather than just working it’s way out…

    Here’s some photos, and a photo showing the serial number:

  65. skian January 21st, 2015 1:25 pm

    @David, can you post a pick of the binding? What is your release setting?

  66. skian January 21st, 2015 1:28 pm

    Classic, right when I see your link, I hit send. Can you post a pick of the pin and backing on the other side?

  67. David Brophy January 21st, 2015 1:49 pm

    I uploaded a couple more photos of the pin on the other side (which is perfectly flush as it should be). Is this what you wanted?

    They were set on DIN 7.5, which, after a more thorough consultation of the DIN calculator was perhaps a bit too high. I’ll be taking it down to 6 next time I take them out for sure.

  68. See January 21st, 2015 3:22 pm

    I can’t help wondering if the high spring tension in the toes of the original Onyx’s and now the Kingpins doesn’t somehow keep the pins from camming out properly, causing the pins to break or loosen.

  69. Ian January 21st, 2015 4:13 pm

    We can speculate all day long, but I would suspect it is cycle driven on that connection of pin and lever arm. This is why we see so many first gen product hit the fail switch. Not enough cycles in the testing protocol till its in the field. Out of curiousitty where does the marker chart place you on the scale.

    I know this is un nerving for many, but really, it’s been this way for the last two decades. I’ll refer again to metalergy, compatability and cohesion at the socket.

    If one of those pins are off whether that be pushed by pressure or a pooly aligned insert in a boot, you have issues. When Lou says Dynafit has been here before, he’s pretty spot on. One thing about being first is your R&D is way different.

    In my opinion, if your main issue is the pin interface to the wing, your pretty close to being spot on. In any tech system the weakest points of the dynamic system is the interface of boot fitting to binding pin. He forces are greatest there.

    Bummer for Marker to have this happen, someone is answering to that right now. More than likely, you could see there name on another companies door soon, if they don’t have a swift resolution.

    I think Lou has to approve images on the site. He’s probably elbow deep in weisse beer or wine.

  70. jordan January 21st, 2015 4:29 pm

    @ Matt,
    I personally really like the Vulcan, and I know what you mean about the excess toe room. Not that you should have to change a new boot, but have you considered grabbing a Vulcan or other Dynafit boot and putting in a Intuition liner one size bigger than the shell size? This is how I do it for the big cold adventures when I want more insulation, but it might be something that takes up a bunch of room in the correct size boot. But the Vulcan is the best boot I’ve ever skied for my size and weight.

  71. Steven Exe January 21st, 2015 9:26 pm

    A big thanks to Wild Snow. I checked my Kingpins after seeing this post. So with just four hours of lift skiing my right inside pin has in about an 1/8 of of an inch. The rest of the pins look just fine. I’m thinking Marker has an early production run pin retention issue with the Kingpins. I’m looking forward to the resolution of this issue and getting back to doing more turns with the Kingpins and my Coombacks 104.

  72. Tabke January 21st, 2015 11:13 pm

    All this…

    ….and I still want a pair.

  73. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2015 11:19 pm

    Drew, you are incurable (grin).

  74. Lou Dawson 2 January 21st, 2015 11:35 pm


  75. Matt Franzek January 21st, 2015 11:36 pm

    @Jordan. Thanks for the heads up, I’ll try the bigger liners before I drop $600 on CAST. Even though CAST does allow me to get my quiver down to 2 pairs of skis…

    After Markers statement I’m with Tabke, if I can get a boot I like, I still want Kingpins.

  76. Jørgen Aamot January 22nd, 2015 2:46 am

    Since the problem with the Kingpin binding could be a safety issue I think it would be fair that Marker release the batch numbers for the bindings with this problem.

  77. David Brophy January 22nd, 2015 3:30 am

    Great news from Marker. Crossed fingers I might have a new set of toe pieces ready when my foot is healed.

  78. Lou Dawson 2 January 22nd, 2015 5:38 am

    Jorgen, I have to say that while I like Marker and respect them, their statement is weak sauce. They should simply recall all retail bindings and replace the toe units. I don’t understand how they can ask people to ski on them, check them, and then go to a dealer. That doesn’t work during an expedition, or when you’re at the hutte for 3 nights, or in the middle of la Meije standing at the top of a 2,000 vertical foot couloir…. truly, I don’t understand their approach. Only theory we have here is that their first retail release was quite limited in numbers, and they’re just playing the odds. But I’ve heard quite a few reports of this, it’s not rare. Whatever, my Obewhanskinoobi recommendation is if you bought Kingpings, get the toes swapped, period. Lou

  79. Jørgen Aamot January 22nd, 2015 5:43 am

    I totally agree, Lou. You can not expect anyone to ski on bindings that have a known failure and expect them to check it once in a while. If you swap the Kingpins can you be sure of that the new ones are good? I would like batch numbers!

  80. Lou Dawson 2 January 22nd, 2015 6:09 am

    Yes, I’d add that they will need to provide serial numbers. Why? If for no other reason, some of these early bindings will definitely end up on the used market, and buyers of Kingpin will need a way to check what vintage binding they’re getting. Come to think of it, you’ll even want to do that if you find one for retail, or are we trusting perfection from retailers?

  81. Brian January 22nd, 2015 6:37 am

    Totally agree with Lou; Marker should just recall all bindings that have been sold. My understanding from the shop that I bought mine at is that only a few hundred came to the states in the first place, with only 30 or so pairs in all of New England. With all that is at stake, I think this approach by Marker is weak, bordering on reckless when you consider the compromise to safety that this problem presents. Not to mention the liability they are exposing themselves to.

    As I stated above, my kingpins have shown evidence of 1 pin working out, the other 3 seem to still be seated. This is after 30 runs at the resort and about 1,000 vert. of climbing (at the resort on hardpack/ice). I want both toe pieces replaced, no compromise, period….

  82. Lou Dawson 2 January 22nd, 2015 6:47 am

    Brian, can you tell I’m getting fed up with breaking bindings? I’d rather be writing nice travel reports, humor, and opinion. Instead… Lou

  83. Ian January 22nd, 2015 8:43 am

    The serial numbers in binding production are usually not individual, they are batch numbers. Therefor I would think isolating down to a small few isolated units will be difficult. Also asking un knowledgable consumers to make integrity issues on a piece of safety equipement seems like a mistake. We already heard of one insident above which resulted in injury, whether that be directly related to binding failure or not. Marker should err on the side of caution. Not to throw in a can of worms, but I have a lot of friends in the early pre production sample set. Solid athletes who put them selves out there. Personally I do not feel anything other than a full recall will be acceptable. It’s a pain, but it is the only way to manage risk, and people’s safety.

  84. JK January 22nd, 2015 8:45 am

    I’m the guy that sent these photos to Lou, which I did for two reasons:

    1. I want all the Kingpin testers out there to stay safe. Please keep an an eye on this issue. Knowing that many of us are skiing fast in dangerous and/or remote terrain, an unexpected toe release at the wrong moment could be a big problem. In retrospect, the moment that I had trouble getting in (and out) of the binding was the moment the pins had moved. I assumed (wrongly) that it was just ice buildup. SO — If it seems hard to step in, or open the toepiece, CHECK YOUR PINS.

    2. I really want Marker to succeed with this product. The Kingpin works beautifully, both uphill and down, for very little weight penalty. And I have been skiing the Radical ST for the last three years, which is an awesome binding too. The two days that I skied them before they came apart were awesome, and I was thrilled with the overall performance of the Kingpin.

  85. Brian January 22nd, 2015 9:01 am

    Lou, I hear you. I, along with many of your readers I am sure, really appreciate that you cover these things though. I would have never noticed this issue with my binding until it might have been too late. Too late being (at a minimum) in the middle of the Selkirks next week with a broken binding!

    So thanks, and looking forward to your next humorously opinionated trip report!

  86. Kevin January 22nd, 2015 12:30 pm

    I have a broken toe lever: excenter on my TLT Vertical FT bindings. I contacted Dynafit to get a replacement and they do not make it anymore but stated the Speed Radical replacement will fit. I bought one of these as a replacement but it really doesn’t fit properly as it doesn’t make contact when engaged in tour mode. I am worried that this might cause extra stress on the toe piece as it won’t stay properly engaged. Any thoughts on this? Or know where I can get a direct replacement?

  87. Pete January 22nd, 2015 12:37 pm

    HI I had this issue as well.

    Brought the bindings into a shop that had stock of these at lunch. They had them replaced by the end of the day. Had to use them with the pin slightly out after hammering it back in to continue skiing. After the replacement toe piece no issues.

    Great binding, great support

  88. Scootch January 22nd, 2015 1:14 pm

    Is there a Loctite that people could use as a temporary measure? i.e. remove pin and hammer back in with Red Loctite?

  89. Ian January 22nd, 2015 1:53 pm

    @Kevin, I’m not one for mixing precision gear too much that was not designed to work together. I’ve spent two decades in this category. I’ve seen my fair share of warranty tech product including the pickle bucket in my office today. Having an extra toe piece different than you have on the other foot can adjust a lot of variables. Given it has he same mounting pattern within the brand is good, I’ve mixed heels from one brand with another brand of toes. But always in pairs, either both heels or both toes. You can wear a pinnacle boot on one foot, and a tlt5 on the other. Every time you change one piece of the tech equation it transfers energy one way or the other differently. As Dynafit is comfortable replacing one toe, I’d say, they have done the math, but if you have issues in a function test, I’d be on the phone to warranty. I like the process of replacing both front rotors as pairs on my car as I do tech toe pieces. Keep the good one you have as a backup, replace both toes and I’d get back out here. @pete I would think the shop just grabbed a pair of current stock off the shelf and gave you a new look for a product with the same batch number. Might never be an issue, but I’d keep an eye on this thread. @Scootch you could have the magic answer, but then again, you could not. If you have a problem unless you have a strong mechanical background working with precision equipement tolerances, I’d hold off of the red loc-tite.

  90. Ryan January 22nd, 2015 2:25 pm

    can anyone post any pictures of (or provide more information about) the toe unit that doesn’t have the fault, or is there any more information regarding serial numbers of bindings affected or not affected? Has the design or mold of the wings changed or something similar? or it’s not possible to tell?

    I have bought a set (~2 days before this article appeared, argh!), and am waiting on delivery. I really don’t want to mount a set of bindings that I know fail. While it’s great they are replacing them, it still seems to be pretty poor form that people have to ski them and risk them failing deep in the field when the fault could surely be determined visually or by serial number.

  91. Ryan January 22nd, 2015 2:44 pm


    There is a loctite compound that might work, but don’t think red would do it (or for very long) There’s one with a metal filling in it that might be a better option (660 I think, called ‘quick metal’ or similar). It might require the anodized paint on the wings being cleaned off slightly at the point of contact (which could affect pin alignment, but it’s a pretty desperate solution IMO in any case).

  92. Skian January 22nd, 2015 2:49 pm

    @Ryan. This is a pretty small community with a growing market. Many people within the industry follow Lou’s threads, and if Lou has posted a statement, I’m pretty sure he has a main line. He will have a skinny soon, or someone else will. I’d be in a little of a holding pattern. Unfortunately Lou’s hut and hunger trip has a separation from the US of 8 hours, I am sure he has a full dance card filled prior to this trip, and his Binding thread just went virul. That being said, until you have an answer, I would be looking at short trips and keeping your eye on things, if you feel comfortable. More information is needed for anyone to make a call one way or the other, no matter how much consumer replacements have worked in the last 3 weeks. This is not a problem that just happens, its a cycle issue, Marker could already have a fix in place, but you can be sure, Marker engineers are working on a solution. I would call Marker and ask them if your new bindings are affected. I worked with a binding manufacture once who had 6 revisions of the original design in 24 months. In a system of man and machine, that is the pivotal point of product integrity. Since the integrity issue is where it is, the function of the binding is not of concern, it is however a very important part of the equation.

  93. Skian January 22nd, 2015 2:59 pm

    @Scootch, although you could push this pin in, the integrity of the interface of pin and pocket has very little room for error. if a pin does not engaged properly, say its a certain number of degrees to the left, there is a possibility that the pocket seating and spring engagement could be off, and this would affect release values. I know everyone is jonesin to ski these bindings but, I would ere on the edge of caution in use and terrain. Give it 48 hours for a response and a solution. If Marker says, thats a fix, then reassess. The bottom line is, you don’t want that pin coming out from your home repair in a 40 degree pinch. If the shop you work with says they would do it, then they take the responsibility of the hold.You could just be meadow skipping but 6 hours into a long day pull and physical risks are minimal, but walking out with bailing wire toes sucks. You do have bailing wire right?

  94. Lou Dawson 2 January 22nd, 2015 3:52 pm

    I’ll post a normal photo, but really, are you going to paste it to your forehead while skiing, for reference? Any retail Kingpin should just be returned for a toe unit swap. Anything else is just fooling around with your personal safety.

    As for checking what version of the binding, there are only two. A few pre-production units probably made it into the wild, but most are the first retail release and are identical as far as I know, so if you got one, don’t over think it, just get a toe unit swap.


  95. Ryan January 22nd, 2015 4:10 pm


    Not sure if you were responding to my suggestion re a photo, but I was only trying to determine if I had a received a faulty earlier production run unit, or something from a newer run where the issue had been resolved.

    I don’t know if this is possible visually or not. I agree with your sentiment; i’ve no interest in skiing on a faulty toe unit.

  96. Lou Dawson 2 January 22nd, 2015 4:46 pm

    It is patently ridiculous to ski on the binding and keep checking to see if it’s defective… I’ve now lost count of how many reports of this I’ve received. Lou

  97. Lou Dawson 2 January 22nd, 2015 4:50 pm

    Ryan and all, I added a photo that John R sent, with backed out pin on right and normal on left. Photo is at first part of post above. Go ahead and paste it to your skis in front of the binding so you can check after each run (grin). Lou

  98. Ryan January 22nd, 2015 5:07 pm

    Thanks Lou for that additional photo, that is useful.

    I think I’m perhaps (still) not being clear.

    My initial thought was that it would be useful to know about (or see) a REPLACEMENT unit someone has received and confirmed as not being faulty (i.e. received as a replacement from a retailer or otherwise), if indeed this is possible. I’m specifically wondering if there is a design change, or something else that would confirm the pair I’m about to receive in the mail are of a newer (fixed) rather than older (faulty) production run.

    Unfortunately the Canadian Marker distributor’s response to my inquiry about this seemed to be suggesting I should go ahead and ski them, and once (if) they come loose I should take them back to the retailer. Which I think is absurd. If there was a design change or something else to indicate production changes on my set (e.g. serial #s), perhaps I could have more confidence about what I’d received.

  99. Lou Dawson 2 January 22nd, 2015 5:14 pm

    My fault Ryan, late at night here and I was out to dinner. Yes, it would be nice if somehow Marker would indicate the improved/fixed bindings, but no word on that I’ve heard. I agree the advice to just “go ahead and ski on them” is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in weeks, if not years. Marker appears to need some marketing and PR help here. The possibly faulty binding needs to be differentiated from the reliable one, either by serial number or some small design feature. Otherwise, yes, consumer confidence will have to drop to the level of all other tech bindings (wry grin). Lou

  100. Scooch January 23rd, 2015 1:47 am

    Red Loctite idea has dissolved in a sea of stupidity! The King has lost his crown. Prince Ion from the land of G3 ought to fly a coup for the reign of Pinland.

    All of this is so stupid — considering all the fair warning the last few years with Dynafites breaking wings, Plums breaking pins, etc..

    Perhaps Dynafit was very smart to not release their most hopeful binding this year. Long live prudence.

  101. David Brophy January 23rd, 2015 2:28 am

    Hey guys,

    It seems obvious now, but I just had a eureka moment. The pop I felt when I crashed that I *thought* was my leg breaking, must have been the pin popping out! I’m 100% certain of it. It was such a pronounced pop. Could a jolt like that under stress have added to my injury? It’s difficult to say.

  102. Lou Dawson 2 January 23rd, 2015 2:59 am

    Let’s just say it’s good the pin popped instead of bone tissue. Lou

  103. Pete22 January 23rd, 2015 3:32 am

    I bought the Kingpin 10 from Sport Bittl in Germany about a month ago, checked it yesterday and was very sorry to see that one of the pins was creeping out of it´s pocket. One thing that struck me as odd was that i can´t really figure out how the pin can move the way it does. If it would have moved the other way i haven´t been surprised because it would be because the boot does put pressure on it to move in that direction, but to move against the boot? Obviously there is nothing on the boot that can grab the pin and pull it out.

    Is there any chance that the pin was not put completely in the pocket to start with?


  104. Pete22 January 23rd, 2015 3:48 am

    Forgot to mention that i´m from Sweden. Would not make sense to buy ski gear from Germany if i lived in USA :-).

  105. Lou Dawson 2 January 23rd, 2015 3:53 am

    Pete, it’s just a physics and force thing, the pin starts to work and it wants to go the direction it goes, despite the force of the six-pack springs trying to squeeze it back in. One force direction overcomes another. It’s actually good that the pin comes out instead of just loosening. Much quicker for the user to spot and get the repair. Lou

  106. Pete22 January 23rd, 2015 4:08 am

    This just in; Sport Bittl send me an answer on my request to get new toe pieces that they are aware of the problem but they want 10-14 days to process my claim and after that i can probably send the toe pieces in.

    How´s that for immediate replacement?

  107. Lou Dawson 2 January 23rd, 2015 4:16 am

    Very sorry to hear they are handling it that way. The failure of retail shops to do decent customer service is painful to watch, it’s a death spiral. Lou

  108. knut January 23rd, 2015 7:49 am

    So that’s alone close to 20 pairs mentioned here that are affected. Out of 350 distributed in North America according to the heresay that I had access to.

    And Marker is talking about “a few cases”

    Are they serious?

  109. Lou Dawson 2 January 23rd, 2015 7:56 am

    Knut, that’s indeed typical marketing spreech, at least they didn’t say they’d “never heard of that happening till now…” I think they’re owning up to their responsibility fairly well, I’d give them grade B. FYI, the problem with all this is they have to avoid the dreaded “recall” as that opens a huge legal and bureaucratic can of worms. For example, our product safety laws in the U.S. are super strict, enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Once those guys are involved, this sort of situation can quickly become a complex nightmare resulting in lengthy delays of the product, huge amounts of money being spent, etc. But they are the thousand pound gorilla. If a company sells a product with a known safety issue, and it’s not handled correctly, then the gorilla must pounce. Lou

  110. See January 23rd, 2015 8:21 am

    David B, sorry to hear about your injury. Most of us have probably been there, if it’s any consolation.

    Care to tell us what boots you were using at the time? I still think this whole mess could have as much (or more) to do with the pin/boot interface as with the pin/binding arm.

  111. Brian January 23rd, 2015 8:44 am

    What about swapping out the toe piece to another manufacturer’s toe piece? I know this was mentioned above somewhere. Is this possible and what would you need to look out for if attempting this?

  112. Dimitri January 23rd, 2015 8:55 am

    I’d advise everyone to stay put and wait. I just picked up my new toes and it is very obvious they are the new type (Norway). It can’t be long till the rest of the EU and north America retailers get their stock. I will take some pictures and post a link when I get home

  113. Lou Dawson 2 January 23rd, 2015 9:01 am

    Brian, while we do mod just about everything, I’m a bit hesitant to always be touting modification solutions for technical safety equipment such as ski bindings. Sure, you could PERHAPS run Kingpin with the toe from a Radical or Plum, but you’d have no idea what the lateral release values would be, the ramp angle would probably be messed up, you’d have no warranty, and it’s possible the setup might not even work due to how the Kingpin heel deals with ski flex, and more. Thus, it’s a fun fantasy but just doesn’t seem very appealing to me, even though I’m of course not afraid to mod something if it seems appropriate, even bindings.

    Reality is that this run of Markers was limited. They’ll hopefully swap new toes on to every binding out there, and this whole thing will fade into history like that high school football game in 1994.


  114. Lou Dawson 2 January 23rd, 2015 9:03 am

    Dimitri, that’s good news that the fixed to is obviously different. Very important. Good on Marker. Lou

  115. Skian January 23rd, 2015 9:06 am

    The Kingpin is not you’re average tech binding. I would not mix and match gear, I would do nothing but wait. If a new toe piece is truly in market in Norway, they must have a solution. Pictures speak 1000 words. Po
    st up that pick.

    Two weeks to get these new toes out to retail stores is not that long on an international level. Hopefully we can go back to a thread about the prowess of the kingpin on snow.

  116. David Brophy January 23rd, 2015 9:06 am

    Hey Dimitri can you show us a picture?

  117. Erik Erikson January 23rd, 2015 9:27 am

    Raised that topic in another blogpost but in fact it belongs to this one and I have another question:
    I´d like to ask the experts here (concerning bindings but also ski industry) about their thoughts: How much more time approximately for testing and development would have been possibly necessary to prevent ocurring that binding flaw (which will be not good for markers image to some extend, depending in how they are going to handldeit)?
    Me as a layman would say: Two weeks of extensiv skiing by some hard ripping skiers would have revealed the thing and prevented marker from some problems. I really dont know, but if I´m right that two weeks would have been worth it I guess
    This of course applys to many other (binding-)problems of other brands that occured in the last years

  118. Erik Erikson January 23rd, 2015 9:30 am

    PS: Of course I meant revealing and solving the problem BEFORE the binding hits the market…

  119. Steve Irish January 23rd, 2015 9:49 am

    Yup. Just looked at my Kingpins and one of the pins is hanging out, probably a tour or two away from breaking. AWESOME bindings, so dissapointed. I am not waiting for the new toe pieces to be delivered—back to the tried and true dynafits for me. SO BUMMED, also pathetic response by Marker to say that there were a “few cases”. And the way they kind of made it sound to me…. is that is was such limited availability so who really cares about a few guinea pigs?? We go on long tours in the Wasatch here in Salt Lake City and sometimes you end up in a spot where if a binding breaks, you are in a precarious situation. Dangerous and negligent, how did such a brazen error occur? I must say though—Next year you will likely find me riding them!!

  120. See January 23rd, 2015 9:55 am

    Erik, I’m not an expert, but (imo) one problem with your suggestion (and the way I suspect a lot of new gear gets tested) is that “hard ripping skiers” aren’t representative of the market in general. The rippers want gear that goes to 11.

  121. Dimitri January 23rd, 2015 10:05 am

    Pictures of the new Kingpin toe below, the changes to the boot side of the pins are obvious. on the “back side” they have lengthened and crimped the end with quite a bit of pressure it seems (i’m sure there is some proper machinist terminology that I missed):

  122. Lou Dawson 2 January 23rd, 2015 10:21 am

    Thanks Dimitri, really appreciate you sharing that, I added the photos to the blog post to help folks out. Nice that the new version is so obviously different. Lou

  123. John January 23rd, 2015 11:08 am

    I just looked at 10 pairs of Kingpins. 5 new in the box, and 5 that have been mounted and skied. It “appears” that when they are assembled, the snow/ice clearing grooves are horizontal. The one pin that has moved out a little, is rotated about 90 degrees, as can be seen in the photo. I have 3 pairs that have been skied hard for a month with no sign of movement. That pair shown in the photo I sent, which you posted, was skied only one day very hard. The right pin not only moved out but also rotated. I have another pair skied only one day with a rotated pin.

  124. matt January 23rd, 2015 8:00 pm

    Hi Lou / Dimitri,

    while the extra pin length on the outside is a dead giveaway, could you describe the difference on the boot side? not obvious to me on the pictures.
    (I have a pair of king pins, still in its box, so will be looking for a tow unit replacement in France asap…)

    thks guys!


  125. Stian January 23rd, 2015 9:15 pm


    Yeah, they just replaced it from shop stock. I think this was the first report of this issue in Norway. I have them on a pair of Movement Super Turbo 182 and ski them with Dynafit Mercury.

    I did not notice any issue on my first 10 days (only touring and deep powder). The pins started releasing when I skied them at the ski hill. I’m a medium aggressive skier with OK technique.

    I’m not sure what I’m going to do now since I have all ready replaced the toe binding 2 times. I’m not to confident about mounting in the same holes for the 4th time…

  126. Erik Erikson January 23rd, 2015 11:31 pm

    See, thx for your input. Maybe I should have framed my thoughts more generally, but its hard for me in english… 😉 Just thought that THIS certain problem which shows quite frequently and quite early after starting to use the binding should have been quite easy been avoided with a fairly ittle amount of pre-market testing. Now the customers do this” testing” and the outcome is bad for the image of the brand, as we see…

  127. Steve January 23rd, 2015 11:48 pm

    I have 11 pairs in a ski demo fleet that have been hammered on at ski areas by various levels of skiers and used with many different boot brands. No issues so far. Just providing some contrast to this topic.

  128. Lou Dawson 2 January 24th, 2015 12:25 am

    All, the bindings built before the retail version seem to have not had the problem. For example, the demo bindings in South America last summer received a huge amount of use and not one of them developed this problem as far as I know. Then the retail version came out, fully industrialized, and the problem started. My guess is that industrializing the installation of the pins didn’t quite “take,” and they had to change that step in the manufacturing process for the upgrade.

    So what does this mean? It means there are probably bindings out there of the “1st generation” pre-retail that won’t have the problem. Also, it’s likely that not all of the retail version will have the problem.

    But who cares? A pin coming out while you’re skiing could cause you to take an unexpected fall. Period. That is the nut of the deal. No ski shop or demo fleet owner in their right mind can chance this happening when it’s a known problem, that is if you want to avoid being sued for every last dollar if someone did go out and ski the early binding and get hurt due to a pin failure.

    So again, my take is that every binding out there needs to be upgraded.

    For a reality check, imagine we were talking about an avalanche beacon, and it was discovered that 1 out of 20 retail versions of the beacon had the batteries fall out after a bit of use, but there was no way to tell which beacon this would happen to. Would you expect people to just go out and ski with the beacon, and bring it back for repair after the batteries fell out? Of course not. All such beacons would be upgraded for 100% fix of the problem. I’d argue that a ski binding is just as important.


  129. Erik Erikson January 24th, 2015 12:49 am

    Thanks Lou for the new info. I like your beacon-analogy, thats exactly the point!
    Besides that the fact (?) that the pre-retail bindings are probably ok and were properly tested speaks in behalf of marker (just cause they in fact probably DID the proper testing and the problem occured afterwards). So it all comes down to how they´ll handle the topic right NOW:

  130. Lou Dawson 2 January 24th, 2015 1:10 am

    Marketing 101 says that how product defects are handled is one of the biggest things in modern PR. If done correctly can be a 100% positive event that can demonstrate a company’s commitment to excellence and care for their customers. Lou

  131. Dimitri January 24th, 2015 4:04 am


    i’ve added a much better photo now to the dropbox folder above, the direct link is below. Recommend you also download the original 100% crops and do some zooming if you are still unsure (in the separate folder):

    it might be worth updating the article with the better pic as it is much more “contrasty”.

  132. Lou Dawson 2 January 24th, 2015 4:10 am

    Dimitri, I’ll do the update, thanks for helping out. Lou

  133. Lou Dawson 2 January 24th, 2015 4:19 am

    I added Dimitri’s photo to the blog post. Very obvious now for identification of improved binding. Lou

  134. See January 24th, 2015 7:18 am

    Erik, you make a valid point and I don’t disagree. I was just suggesting that if, for example, a problem is associated with the release process and the testers all have the skills and athletic ability such that they very rarely release, the problem might be hard to detect.

  135. matt January 24th, 2015 8:06 am

    @lou @dimitri,

    thks a lot guys v clear indeed.

    now hoping that marker will extend its recall to all of europe. There is NO WAY I am skiing on mine, given the potential risk.


  136. steve January 24th, 2015 3:27 pm

    I’ve been following this conversation after having my new Kingpin 13’s mounted recently (before I knew about this issue).
    After one hike and ski I have one pin working its way out and another has rotated.
    I can’t believe Marker isn’t taking action on this for any and all Kingpin bindings that are out there.
    If I never came across this site I would have never had known to look for the pin issue……. when would I have found out???? as my ski fell off and I ran into a tree?
    Has anyone been successful at getting a replacement binding?
    Are they available?
    If not who has an email address to the corporate office?
    They should get bombarded with emails until they are proactive and replace all of them before they fall apart.

  137. skian January 24th, 2015 3:37 pm

    If you read above, Marker has a fix, and is working on getting it out to the distribution. I’d contact the dealer, you purchased it from. If I was a dealer I’d be contacting my ten or so customers to let them know there might be a problem.

    I don’t feel it does any good to keep posting complaints unless you don’t see resolution in 2 weeks from the brand.

    As an international brand you don’t just flip a switch and poof, its all good with international distribution. I feel they are moving in the right direction, no matter my thoughts on this integrity issue.

    Contact your dealers, they I am sure will be on it.

  138. Erik Erikson January 24th, 2015 11:58 pm

    Just googled “Marker Kingpin Recall” and… “problems” in several variations and as well in englisch as in german and at least here in austria there are no real results beside some content of this (wildsnow-) thread…
    So I guess many costumers won´t even know by know that there could be a problem and that they should check their bindings frequently (which is a little ridicoulous anyway). Further of course they won´t even be aware that they should contact their dealers and I am even not sure that any of the smaller dealers here in Europe are informed by now.
    Also on the marker homepage I saw no words about possible problems by a quick look
    I´m really surprised.. I mean, that´s a safety issue! are they are going to wait till some binding dissesembles in lets say a steep colouir and someone gets really hurt till they really try to get the information about this by themselves to the costumers in every possible way?!

  139. MasonP January 25th, 2015 8:50 am

    Long time lurker, first time post. I purchased a pair of Kingpin 13’s which I received early Jan. My plan was to do some tours in the NW (Washington) this spring. That being said I’m currently stuck in the Midwest for work. I was anxious to see how the new bindings skied so I mounted them to my Volkl Mantras. They’ve been out 6 times now on nothing but bullet proof Midwest ice and chatter essentially laying down GS race turns all day long and I have yet to see any pin movement (though they’re being checked every time I take em off) I’ve also flatland toured a few miles through the farmlands just for exercise and to also “play” with the binding and get familiar. So far my only issue has been with the brake. The large AFD on one of my brakes has ceased to freely move left and right and now doesn’t return to center after being displaced. This causes a noticeable difference in release effort required to exit the binding in a fall. I’m currently working with retailer to get the brake replaced. Just thought I’d weigh in with both the positives and negatives. And for those on the fence, I’ve been a long time alpine skier and have limited time on tech bindings but this binding is the best one I’ve ever skied on.

  140. Lou Dawson 2 January 25th, 2015 9:36 am

    Mason, thanks, but I don’t understand your point. You’re getting the brakes replaced, but will continue to ski on a binding that might be defective? Or, is skiing the binding 6 times proof that your particular pair are not defective? Whatever the case, I’d suggest that along with the dealer replacing the brake you simply go ahead and replace toe unit with the upgraded version. Lou

  141. David Brophy January 25th, 2015 9:53 am

    So on Thursday I returned my bindings (Kingpin 13) to the retailer. They contacted me today to let me know they had a pair of upgraded Kingpin 10 toes that they could fit for me as a stopgap until they get hold of the upgraded 13, which would be any day now.

    Not that it really matters to me because I won’t be skiing for a few more days yet – foot still very painful when I move it the wrong way. Physiotherapy this week I think.

  142. steve January 25th, 2015 9:55 am

    Do you know if Marker has the upgraded version available to the dealers throughout the USA right now? or will there be a bit of time until they are available?
    Has anyone that has had this problem gotten the upgraded toe piece?
    I have a trip coming up that I am wondering if I will be able to use these bindings or if I should look for an alternative.
    I have contacted the shop I got my bindings from and the person I spoke to knew nothing about the issue and the guy that might was out of the shop for a few days.
    Thanks for any information.

  143. MasonP January 25th, 2015 9:56 am

    Lou, confusing yes. I guess I was just stating that, yes, not everyone is having an issue with the toes straight outta the box. The brake was an issue after day one and I went and talked with the shop prior to this “issue” coming to light. So, yes, I will be requesting replacement toes and hope the shop here can deliver in a meaningful time prior to the WA trips. Also, I’m very aware of you’re stance on not skiing them at all with a potentially known defect and can appreciate that advice as very sound. Though the skiing here is very NON life threatening and I can keep a watchful eye on them so I’ve still been skiing them (yesterday) until I can get the shop to swap them.

  144. Lou Dawson 2 January 25th, 2015 12:15 pm

    Ok Mason, sounds workable. Be careful. It’s easier to fix a binding than a blown shoulder. Lou

  145. Murmel January 26th, 2015 6:12 pm

    A friend of mine broke his knee because the pin broke off while skinning up. Mine broke after less than 5 days; pin got loose. Same happened to anothe guy. But I liked them as long as they lasted!

  146. Ryan January 26th, 2015 6:39 pm

    this is unbelievable. the idea that they want people to ski them until they fail with stories like this out there beggars belief.

  147. Skian January 26th, 2015 7:51 pm

    I’m a little skeptical of some of these posts. I think a little verification is needed in these claims. I’m not saying they are not valid, I’m just saying if they didn’t happen, you could have some legal team crawling into your ski time.

  148. Erik Erikson January 26th, 2015 10:37 pm

    Skian, right, maybe some people (I do NOT say it´s you, Murmel) may jump at the bandwagon now and do claims that are not true to gain some advantages. That´s how it always goes.

    BUT: I have to repeat what I posted 3 days ago already cause really I don´t get it:
    – There is a known problem with that binding which is a safety issue and may cause severe injuries
    – There obviously is some kind of fix now
    – But Customers out there (and maybe even retailers?) are still NOT informed officially that they should contact their dealers or at least check their stuff – at least you do not find anything quick on the internet besides this site and even not on the marker homepage. I myself would´nt know nothing about the issue if I wouldnt read wildsnow quite frequently.

    I even do not want to blame marker specifically/alone. Maybe that´s the way it´s done generally by most manufacturers and I did not notice till now. On the other hand, if you look at the latest ABS-recall: They seem to meet their responsibility much better

  149. See January 26th, 2015 11:58 pm

    Skian, if something is reported that did not happen, it’s not valid. The large number of reports of failure within the first few hours of use is pretty amazing. Who should verify these claims, in your opinion?

  150. Lou Dawson 2 January 27th, 2015 12:02 am

    Skian, that’s why I didn’t post about this right away when I first heard about it, but once I had solid reports I posted, and Marker verified, to their credit.

    I’ve been watching to see if there were any shill comments but I haven’t seen any that looked suspicious, if so I delete. I know one of the commenters personally, and received additional verification from another of the photo contributors, and I personally know someone who attempted to fix a defective pair of bindings, so with that kind of verification I’m comfortable with the tone of these comments, mainly that this limited retail run should be 100% replaced. Totally reasonable and not that big a deal as Marker didn’t distribute very many bindings.

    Not sure why you would have a problem with that. Marker themselves have set a very high standard with their marketing for this binding, the flipside of that is it has to work.

    Also, a person can easily anonymize themselves when making blog comments since we don’t require registration, so it would be difficult for someone to track down the commenters. Main thing is for me to practice due diligence on the moderation side, doing my best.

    P.S., I just did more verification of the comments, still not finding anything suspicious. But at this point I would ask commenters to use their true full name if they file reports about defective bindings. A link to your Facebook or a personal website would be the gold standard for verification.


  151. Skian January 27th, 2015 10:13 am

    Lou, you do a great job, never a question

  152. RyanL February 1st, 2015 2:36 am

    I find it insulting and unprofessional that they have a know product failure in the toe piece and because yu should be fine, the pin should stay captive, and you probably will not be on a multiday tour when it fails they are going to save a few bucks (it looks to be a rework and not a whole new toepiece) and not replace them until they break. I took mine back to the shop and told them I was not waiting until they broke. The shop contacted marker but a week later and marker has not returned any of the repeated messages. I went from stoked to livid with Marker.

  153. Jeff P. February 1st, 2015 6:27 am

    Same here. Marker has been unresponsive. Started trying to make contact as soon as I read this initial post.

  154. Erik Erikson February 1st, 2015 6:40 am

    .. and probably it gets boring me posting this (again): But still no official/obvious/easy to find information/warning by marker about the problem and the possible danger to find on the internet… also not on their homepage. So I just hope for all Kingpin-users that they are also wildsnow-followers…

  155. Lou Dawson 2 February 1st, 2015 10:27 am

    Erik, I’d agree it appears Marker should be more aggressive, but perhaps they don’t need to be. They released very few bindings, and it’s true that nearly anyone using them has probably seen this post, or posts on other websites that link to this one. Another thing is that companies have to be very careful not to do something that breaks the Consumer Product Safety Commission Rules. For example, doing an actual product recall is tricky and fraught with legal pitfalls. Lou

  156. Erik Erikson February 1st, 2015 11:23 am

    Thanks Lou for clarifying and explaining. Than maybe I did Marker wrong and they are really sure anyway that every user of their binding is informed. Just could not imagine that they took that for granted,, and the possible outcomes of a binding breakage can be real bad.
    / May I ask if you did some touring around Altenmarkt? And if there will be maybe a short post about that? I sure would love to read such one,

  157. wyomingowen February 1st, 2015 12:36 pm

    For the record;
    No horse in this race, no pony at this show.

    @ Erik…I don’t think it’s boring, the whole thing is wrong.
    Did everyone pay retail for this biding? If so you have rights, if you don’t exercise your rights than go for religion, maybe you’ll find faith in your equipment.

    @ Lou, big follower of your blog here, but this time I disagree…Marker brought goods to this marketplace for sale. Just like good parenting if you mess up there’s going to be consequences.

    Trying to be coy to avoid our established consumer safety net is on par with supporting Citizens United.

    I just feel bad for all the skis out there that will be un-skied for a time or have extra holes from a mid-season binding swap

  158. Dimitri February 1st, 2015 2:12 pm

    What he said

  159. Ryan February 2nd, 2015 5:27 am

    Just received my set in the mail, clearly the original pins, not the newer pins. Now waiting for a response from the retailer and in turn Marker Canada. Not holding my hopes up but will be trying for a replacement before having mounted and skiied them.

  160. Lou Dawson 2 February 2nd, 2015 10:07 am

    Point taken Wyoming, perhaps I’m being a little to easy. A defect is indeed a defect. This recent (a few moments ago) Scarpa recall is in my opinion a much better way for a company to deal with this sort of thing. Just recall it all, or at least aggressively swap it all, or whatever they want to call it.

    Again, one thing to remember is some very heavy laws cover this sort of thing. If something is bad and not handled correctly, huge fines or even jail time can result. Thus, I suspect the way this is being handled might have something to do with that. Lou

  161. Erik Erikson February 2nd, 2015 11:43 am

    I can understand that maybe for marker it´s not easy to handle this. But what remains in my eyes: There is clearly something wrong. And if there are actually laws that lead companies to act like this, than there is something wrong with that laws!
    I mean, that sounds like marker can´t even inform people officialy and offensively about that problem cause THAN they would maybe have to do a recall cause of laws and THAT it is very risky cause of the laws? So they have to rely on that really every single purchaser of the product did read about the problem more or less incidental (mainly in this post)? That is pretty lame, given the risk of breaking your binding and breaking your bones.

  162. Lou Dawson 2 February 2nd, 2015 12:02 pm

    Erik, how else would Marker notify customers? WildSnow is not incidental, if I do say so myself (grin). I guess they could buy radio ads or perhaps Google Adsense (latter, serously)? One of the very real issues with recalls is how customers are notified, so you are onto something, but I’ll bet Marker could prove that WildSnow announcement is all they need. In my opinion that’s true. A lot of people check this website every day, and all our posts snipped on Twitter and FB. Lou

  163. Erik Erikson February 2nd, 2015 12:26 pm

    Lou, right, did not think about FB and twitter, I do not participate in both. But couldn`t marker just announce on the front of their homepage? Or have the retailers call the customers of the binding to warn them?
    And sure, very, very many people follow wildsnow, but some I know only have a look every two or three month, others do not really read stuff cause their english is too bad. But I have to admit: I am not sure if the kingpin has been released only in english speaking countries till know anyway.. ?

  164. Mason February 2nd, 2015 2:05 pm

    FYI. Working with my shop to get replacement toes and the owner had just returned from the SIA show where he had spoke to Marker about this very issue. He sold exactly three pair. He was told by the Marker rep present that, ” unless the pins have actually begun to show signs of failure, they will NOT replace them.” He was told they’re still insisting that the affected product is just a small sampling of the total product out there and dealing with it on a case by case basis. So as mine have yet to fail I’m stuck with them until my knee breaks as well. Very sad indeed.
    I’m not the Letigious sort, but this screams class action. Just saying.

  165. Jason February 2nd, 2015 3:51 pm

    Thanks for that update. I’ve been delaying mounting my new Kingpin 13’s until I got more information on this. Not sure what to do at this point.
    The question that needs to be answered though is, if it is only “a small sampling of the total product out”, why is there redesigned toes/pins (see pic above) being distributed.
    Doesn’t make sense to me.

  166. Ryan February 2nd, 2015 5:40 pm

    I think they had to redesign it to avoid the possibility of future failures (and because they know full well the initial run do fail), but their strategy is to minimise their losses by replacing as few units as possible.

    Whether or not all toe pieces produced before the redesign will fail or not appears to be a moot point for Marker. They clearly value their immediate bottom line more than their long term reputation (and potentially revenue) and the safety (and convenience) of their customers.

    It stinks of usual corporate crap you come to expect these days, but is nevertheless infuriating when you pay full retail to sort out their shoddy manufacturing and quality control for them.

  167. steve February 2nd, 2015 6:39 pm

    A follow up of my experience with the Kingpins.
    It took one easy morning skin up a ski area and groomer run and then a 3 hour back country tour for my pin to loosen. It appears like if they are going to fail they fail pretty quick.
    I brought my toe piece to the local Marker dealer who knew nothing about the issue (and they sold the King Pin bindings). They called Marker who told them to send it in for a replacement…… no questions asked.
    I received my replacement toe pieces about 4 days later.
    I was told by the shop manager, who had just gotten back from the ski show, that his understanding was that Marker produced bindings in one facility and everything seemed okay. They moved the machine to another facility and it didn’t get calibrated and this is where the problem bindings were produced.
    Take this with a grain of salt please but it may have some merit as to way Marker is acting the way they are. They just don’t know how many bindings are affected.
    I am in no way thinking this is a good excuse for how they are handling this.
    Perhaps there are legal procedures that are hindering what I would think would be appropriate actions. I don’t know, you don’t know….no one knows……..
    That for me is one of the biggest problems with this issue.
    I am thankful my binding fell apart quickly and I got a replacement and am skiing on them again. They are great bindings but I would not feel at all confident skiing with the old toe pieces. Too much at risk, either blowing your knee apart or being stranded in the back country with a broken binding.
    I hope everyone affected by this gets their bindings replaced so they can move on to more important things in life. Not a fun things to have to deal with.
    Marker, please do the right thing and help people feel good about their bindings. There is a reason why you redesigned. Get them the improved toe pieces asap!!!!

    Good Luck!!

  168. Mason February 2nd, 2015 6:46 pm

    Thanks Steve. I have all the confidence in the world that the shop I’m working with is top notch and if he’s telling me I’m SOL until the toe pins show signs of defect. The shop owner was very apologetic but his hands are tied by what Marker is telling him. I guess it’s resort tours and taking real eeeeasy until… Well they “hopefully” fail. Never thought I’d HOPE for my binding to fail but in this case what else can you do?

  169. wyomingowen February 2nd, 2015 7:05 pm

    @Mason, a top notch shop will refund your money and carry the fight on for you. In return I’m sure you’ll spend duckets in the future.

    Gosh, extra holes in skis suck, but there’s plenty of them out there as well as several bindings that will get you off piste.

    I may have to buy King Pin’s someday. Seems a little silly that at this point consumers can’t tell Marker what they think with their wallets vs a “what can I do and how long do I have to wait”

  170. Jim Lamb February 2nd, 2015 7:34 pm

    If I had laid down the cash for the KINGPIN and mounted em’ up and got this story from Marker, I would do the following-
    Take some vise grips to those pins and pull them part way out, or, all the way out, take to retailer and show them the defect and get new toe pieces.
    I’m not a vindictive, dishonest sort of guy but, really, Marker?

  171. See February 2nd, 2015 8:54 pm

    It’s puzzling to me that, while tech bindings have been around for 20+ years, and lateral prerelease has presumably been an issue since the beginning, only recently has the idea of adding a couple extra toe springs been tried (as far as I know). I can’t help thinking that other binding engineers probably considered and rejected that solution long ago, for some reason. I understand that the FT12, Onyx, Ion, and probably others have heavier springs, but are the Kingpin’s in the same ballpark as those bindings in terms of toe spring tension (or compression/ whatever), or are they in a different league?

  172. Erik Erikson February 2nd, 2015 9:09 pm

    First I have to say: I guess I am known as a quite calm and not quarrelsome guy, so it is really not typical for me to repeatidly oppose someone like I do here concerning marker. But this thing is really not okay anymore imo: Just checked and the kingpin in fact was released in European countries too. So my point from above comes into play: You really don´t find nothing about this issue for example in german language anywhere. As I said, there are (believe it or not 😉 persons who are even worse in english than I am, so they do NOT read english stuff on the internet frequently and if, they maybe would not fully comprehend.
    Honestly: What kind of “informing” people is that? and even retailers are obviously not informed as steve said above? So they are supposed to sell maybe the defective kind of binding without knowing that they should at least indicate to the customer that he/she should check?
    Just to make it clear why this really bothers me: I imagine some friend of mine, not good in english, not a frequent wildsnowfollower, so NOT informed about possible flaws. He buys that binding, takes a fall, hurts himself badly (or maybe dies for we do stuff where a breakage would lead to that) – and it was clear from the beginning that this breakage could happen but nobody could tell him and marker did not try to put out an information (at LEAST on their german/austrian homepage) he could understand? Maybe I am missing something here, but thats the way it seems to be…
    Second thing I do not get: If, as Lou says, almost everyone (who can fairly understand the english language) and is interested in this binding is on wildsnow: What do marker think will cost them more money in the long run? Just offer a swap of the toepiece or saying “wait till it breaks” and having everyone read this mostly negative comments here and ruining their image ??

  173. Erik Erikson February 2nd, 2015 9:16 pm

    And, last thing: If wildsnow is the main platform for information (which I believe): Why does no marker guy chime in here and respond directly? I think the issue is really big enough for that and I can remember that Dynafit-guy Federico or something like that who in fact could give answers directly concerning dynafit.

  174. Ryan February 2nd, 2015 10:17 pm

    does anyone have a direct contact for Marker in Germany? Lou?

    I have repeatedly tried to email through the contact form on their website, but it gives an error message saying the form isn’t working. I was trying to send them the link to this page and give them a wake up call.

  175. Frame February 3rd, 2015 5:43 am

    @Mason – perhaps put one binding/ski on at a time at home, toe only and do some bouncing around… Don’t want to over stress things, but may be a way to encourage the problem, if your bindings do have the problem.

  176. Skian February 3rd, 2015 5:46 am

    I spoke with the US management last week at SIA. They had said they only have 5 confirmed returned to them.

    Although not not great news in production there is a certain percentage of acceptable breakage based on percentages. If 500 units is the number sold, than in my opinion they are within this number.

    This is a long thread, how many actual comfirmed broken do we have on this thread?

    Also, the national and international shows are on going currently. That’s why your responses are slow.

  177. Lou Dawson 2 February 3rd, 2015 5:58 am

    Skian, I can’t believe you’d even think that somehow we could correlate reports of breakage here to a number thrown out for the “US.” You know as well as anyone that you can never believe defect level numbers that go public. More, we’ve got reports from Canada, Europe. Way too confusing to get a real number. As for “acceptable defects” I agree there are levels and limits. If it’s something that probably won’t kill or injure you, that’s one thing, say for example the Dynafit heel lifters breaking off but leaving the heel functional. But in this case in my opinion the case of pins working out should be near zero chance, not 1%.

    It is indeed a small number of bindings. Considering around 175,000 pairs of ski touring bindings (mostly tech bindings) are sold each year, worldwide.

  178. Skian February 3rd, 2015 7:15 am

    @Lou, you know I’m not arguing with you or that point. Just stating what I heard from the US. I agree a project Zero target is ideal, but never a fact or reality in production. 1% would be acceptable from a manufacturing point, 5, 10 or 20% not.

    I think it will be a week or two with shows and all before we hear anything concrete from Marker.

  179. XXX_er February 3rd, 2015 8:41 am

    ” Is there a Loctite that people could use as a temporary measure? i.e. remove pin and hammer back in with Red Loctite? ”

    Loctite makes a sleeve & bearing retaining compound ( 609?) the stuff I used was green, it IS tenacious, the only way to get a part loose after it sets up is heat

    This situation is just the typical 1st run failure of a product with the internet allowing a user group to share information way faster than the manufacturer of a product can react, I seen it lots in ski/bike/kayak gear over the last 15 yrs or so, typicaly the users get each other even more riled up, the mfger tells them to return the product if they are not happy … problem gets solved

  180. steve February 3rd, 2015 9:04 am

    My recommendation would be that if you did removed the pin, instead of gluing it back in I would return it to the Marker dealer for replacement…… problem solved.
    It doesn’t appear they hesitate sending a replacement if the pin is loose or has fallen out…. only if it hasn’t loosened or fallen out yet….which they may not all do.
    The other thing to be aware of is it appears the pin rotates (noticeable by the snow clearing grooves) before they start working their way out.
    Again it would be great for some clarity from Marker and perhaps it will come with time…. legal BS is my guess.

  181. Lou Dawson 2 February 3rd, 2015 9:17 am

    All clear Skian, agree that show season really throws a wrench in it. Lou

  182. Steve Irish February 3rd, 2015 9:42 am

    What a mess. I went back to my dynafits after noticing my Kingpins were breaking, ONYL thru the fortune of literally bumping into someone who saw me riding them and directed me to your sight. Thank you for putting this information out there. I have a partial tear in ACL and have to be very careful with the gear that I select. I took a chance on the First Generation Marker Kingpins, They looked, weighed, behaved and performed like a dream…for awhile. Until I read the posts here and took a close look at my binding after skiing a 3000 foot shot here in the Wasatch backcountry and noticed that one of the pins was hanging in by less than a millimeter. Wow….I could have really injured myself. Marker’s response to this is PATHETIC, nothing short of NEGLIGENT. I will never ride a pair again nor will I ever buy another Marker product again. REI in SALT LAKE CITY IS STILL SELLING THEM!!!!!! I asked the salesclerk why they are knowingly selling a defective product and was told they will continue to do so until Marker issues a recall. Am I on a Crazy Pills or is the one of the dumbest things we, as consumers, have ever heard? Are they waiting for someone to get severley injured? 9 months of rehabbing my knee could have ended in one turn and an unanticipated release.

  183. Jeff P. February 3rd, 2015 10:11 am

    My Kingpin saga is over. No, no loose pins. In fact they tour and ski exceptionally well. From someone who had previously been on (and is now back on) heavy Marker Dukes, the difference is really incredible and I think these bindings will eventually be everywhere. I was this close to taking them on a week long trip to the Alps and was obsessing over the tools I’d need to do an on-mountain emergency repair, Loc-Tite, etc. Boy would that have pissed off the rest of my touring group. Who wants to head into the backcountry already concerned over all that stuff? It’s one thing to prepare for the unknown…but this doesn’t feel the same. The knowledge that Marker knows there is an issue, has engineered a fix for all future sales, but will only give you that fix now if your binding has actually fallen apart, leads me to pull the plug (sorry for the pun). The dealer I got them from in France has been great and acknowledges that this is a tricky situation. But it seems their hands are tied unless you actually have a broken binding. I could have, and thought about, yanking a pin out. But it’s not how I operate and instead I have to chalk it up to the downside of being an avid early adopter of cool new tech gear. As an earlier poster stated, you do have an option. Return them!

  184. Erik Erikson February 3rd, 2015 11:49 am

    Steve, so you are an example for what I posted above: Though your first language obviously IS english so you can at least understand the information in this language it was pure luck that you got to know about it and avoided an accident (which I am happy for you!!). . At least in German there still is nothing to find. And the German speaking market is not small (Germany, Austria, Parts of Switzerland),

    And really, I can´t believe that this “show season” delays marker from doing the right thing. I mean, isn´t now the time to set priorities?Maybe skip a show or withdraw a guy from the show so he could take care of the problem?
    Remember: Their main product and concern is SAFETY bindings…

  185. Steven Exe February 3rd, 2015 12:40 pm

    Its interesting of skian to report in his 3 Feb 5:46 am Wild Snow blog that Marker US management last week at SIA had reported that they only had five confirmed Kingpin failures return to them to date. Well maybe the following might provide insight into why that might be the case. If the USA Authorized Marker dealers do not know how to proceed on this issue I’m not surprised that Maker does not have a good estimate on the actual number of Kingpin failures in the USA.

    I skied my Kingpins for the first time at Schweitzer ski resort for a half day on the 18 of January. I was quit please the performance of the binding. Several days later, after viewing the post in Wild Snow Blog I checked my Kingpin binding and found that one of the toe pins had move out an 1/8 on an inch or so.

    On Friday 23 February I returned the skis and binding to the Seattle REI store which is the authorized Marker dealer where I originally purchased the Kingpin. While the REI ski shop personal had heard of the Kingpin issue but had no words from Marker or the REI management on how to proceed. They would or could not tell me to ski or not ski on the Kingpin or when or how to proceed to get a replacement toe binding. I was able to convince the REI personal to take my name and contact information so they could contact me when they did receive direction.

    Sunday 1 February a good week later and still not having heard from REI, I returned to the downtown Seattle REI store. I found the same individual from my first visit and who was also quite familiar with the Kingpin issue. Again, he stated that REI had no direction from Marker USA on how to proceed with this issue. He said he could understand my frustration but there was nothing he could do until REI received direction from Marker.

    I’m not sure how to resolve my experience with an authorized Marker dealer (REI) with Markers statement “If the pins have moved please contact you’re your authorized Marker dealer to get immediately a free exchange toe.” It is possible that my experience with the authorized Marker dealer (REI) is just that an REI issue. It also seem that there is a huge liability issue for both Marker and REI with apparently not step up and have a procedure in place for handling the known failures with potentially 12 or so Kingpins that REI has sold and presumable are out there someplace in use. To be fair, I should point out that REI is more than willing to have me return the Kingpins for a full refund. I’m still holding out in the hopes of get an updated replacement Kingpin toe piece and use them this spring. I just wish I could figure out how to accomplish getting a replacement toe piece.

  186. Pete22 February 3rd, 2015 4:07 pm

    Contacted Sport Bittl in Germany again today, hoping that they had maybe received new toe pieces from Marker but no such luck. Going to Norway on sunday for a week of skiing but without the touring i had planned because of a loose pin on my Kingpins. Instead i have to drill new holes in my skis and ski with a Marker Jester i had laying around. How it makes me feel? Well…

  187. See February 3rd, 2015 7:52 pm

    Since significant changes were made to the design of the pins (knurled vs. smooth, protruding on outside vs. almost flush), it seems clear that the problem is more than a production glitch. The perceived slow response from Marker may be because they need to make sure the new toe isn’t half-baked… not that that’s an excuse for the lousy way they’re handling this.

  188. Gerard February 3rd, 2015 10:12 pm

    IMO it would make sense if the bindings had batch or serial numbers embedded so that any faulty units would be immediately identified. Using hex code this would be extremely simple even of they sold in exess of 100k.

  189. Ryan February 3rd, 2015 10:31 pm


    The base plate of my toe pieces have a 6 digit number stamped in them, as well as those round discs that often get stamped into manufactured plastics (are they dates of pressing?) – I have no idea if these are unique to an individual pair, or to a batch, or otherwise. They may even only relate to the plastic part, not the metal bits with the pins in it, I’m not sure.

  190. Lou Dawson 2 February 4th, 2015 12:05 am

    I mentioned serial numbers in a post way above here, a reader said “Kingpin serial number is on ski/walk lever, readable in walk mode. Stamped also on bottom of plastic toe plate. Nothing on the pincer mechanism.”

    They sold/distributed very few bindings. The difference between the “improved/fixed” binding and the original is easily visible (photos above). That’s all anyone needs to know in terms of figuring out what to return. BTW, all distributed bindings are under warranty, as well as being sold by reputable retailers, I’m not getting why this all should be such a big issue, perhaps we’re just circular chatting? Nearly anyone with the original possibly defective binding should be able to walk into their retailer’s store and ask for a refund based on not being satisfied. If any doubt just get a store credit, that’ll keep the retailer happy, then simply put your name on the list for a set of bindings when the new improved version comes in. Yeah, you possibly end up without bindings for the rest of the season and have to put something else on your skis, but everyone has been warned about early adoption of these none standardized and quickly released ski touring products. The endless defects and breaking parts have become somewhat of a standard in of themselves. You were all warned years ago to early adopt at your own peril. Early adoption has consequences, like returning stuff and ending up without it.

    If the retailer balks at 100% satisfaction, stop doing business with them and remind me to remove them from our “best ski shops in the world” thread.


  191. Erik Erikson February 4th, 2015 1:54 am

    Lou, one of the few times I cannot fully agree with you: In my eyes this IS a big issue in terms of how a manufacturer is allowed to handle such a problem generally. I think one can´t just leave it alone and do as if it was ok, due to “only few bindings sold” and so on.
    First it is about responsibility: In fact there are quite a few bindings out there that are likely to break and cause real bad consequences. A responsible minded company has to try with all effort to avoid this and stand to their responisbility. That means at least make an announcment on their homepage and ACTIVELY care for that the warning is available at least in the first languages of the countries they sell that stuff. And, of course, make contact to the dealers and prompt them to contact the customers with a warning. I know that wildsnow is real big, but nevertheless I know more than one guy in Austria who could easily buy the binding and not read wildsnow, maybe cause he is not good in english. And THIS guy could, in an extreme case, die cause Marker did not stand up to their responsibility.
    Second, to actively call on people “ride that thing till it (possibly) breaks, than we´ll do the exchange” is also not the way a brand that stands for safety!(-bindings) should let to be act.
    The risk you take as an early adopter is one thing, how a company deals (or not…) with an already KNOWN and possibly dangerous problem is another.

    Finally let me say: Lou, I really appreciate the way you let this discussion happen on your site though you are partly of another opinion. I could imagine it is not easy for you, as you probably know and like the/some guys at marker and do not want them to get “bashed” like that, all the more as you feel this is exagerated.

  192. Lou Dawson 2 February 4th, 2015 2:26 am

    Erik, all good points. Regarding Marker, they’re mature enough to take it all in stride. I still think the lack of info on their site has something to do with the small “preliminary” retail release of the bindings, as well as some kind of legal issues, also, some of these European websites are really hard to change and update, so they might just be dealing with corporate inertia and depending on the media to get the word out. I’ll try to do something at ISPO. Lou

  193. Dirk February 6th, 2015 2:17 pm

    Was sold the old kingpin toes by a dealer in Norway last week, even though he knew about the issue. Skied the binding for 2 hours and had visible pin damage on both toes….
    Marker should stop the sales of all old bindings, that is the only safe option.

  194. Lou Dawson 2 February 7th, 2015 12:13 am


    If you want to remain anonymous here in public that’s ok, just send us a contact using the menu above, stating that you placed a comment.

    We’ll let other web forums be places where a bunch of anonymous people can pile on. Let’s ramp up the credibility here at WildSnow.

    Word on the street is they distributed 2,500 pair of bindings.


  195. Dimitri February 7th, 2015 1:51 am

    I can verify at least Dirks’ kingpin failure. Although you appear to have deleted his comment..

  196. Ryan February 8th, 2015 12:47 am

    Just wanted to add as of 4 days ago, the Canadian distributor wasn’t moving regarding replacing unused pairs – i.e. the view was still ‘ski them, if they fail, return them’.

    I told my dealer that wasn’t good enough, told them to pile it on Marker, and am still waiting a reply.

  197. Lou Dawson 2 February 8th, 2015 12:59 am

    Weird, a dealer that doesn’t do “satisfaction guaranteed” for a recent sale? No wonder they get taken out by mail-order. I’m so tired of hearing about these lamers, they whine and moan about staying in business, and can’t even support a customer by swapping out a product that might have a known defect? Do they have a mental problem? Lou

  198. Lou Dawson 2 February 8th, 2015 1:00 am

    BTW, Dirk’s above comment was verified through email with him and I put his comment back up. Thanks Dirk!

    He sent me some photos. More of the same, no need to publish.


  199. Ed February 8th, 2015 1:03 pm

    About Canadian “Distributors” of dubious use. If you want to see an unreal list of what you cannot sell into Canada look at’s international “can’t ship-to list for Canada”. They are a great web retailer I have bought a lot of stuff from over the years but it seems lists like theirs are just getting longer and longer, not only on their website but others. The two big chainsaw manufacturers do this as well if you’re into tree felling or arborist gear. And boot manufacturers and . . . you get the picture. Not exactly “Free Trade” is it? Even if the Canadian so-called distributor doesn’t have stock anymore, the US retailer cannot ship to Canada and the Canadian distributor DOES NOT CARE. We had such a bad time years ago buying North Face tents for a canoe trip that we ended up going into Seattle – even with gas, duty and exchange it seemed better than extra weight etc models we could find up here. Over the years I have found boundless examples and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. And even if you try buy off of a Canadian website, some of them seem to be a disaster (two weird experiences with unconfirmed orders just showing up!). As for service from retail shops, a lot of these guys are really nice folks and they do try but if their little trade combine distributor up here doesn’t see fit to help them, we’re outa luck pal!. News flash for the backcountry ski sports industry – what with FEDEX/ UPS/ PUROLATER having cross border shipping down to an art, there is no need for these middlemen up here for the most part. SO at the trade shows if you have a new product, don’t fall for the line that these guys know the Canadian market better than you could.
    And shipping from the States often has entertainment value as well – you can watch your shipped skiis go from Colorado to California to Chicago to Minneapolis to . . . . by the time they get to Western Canada they are more travelled than the owner! (Grin).

  200. Ryan February 9th, 2015 3:24 pm


    I think I understand some of what you’re saying, but should also say my Dealer appears to be doing everything he can to sort it out. Last update was that they would try and swap them, but were still waiting to receive new Din13 toe units to replace them with.

  201. Skian February 9th, 2015 3:36 pm

    Without a TUV/DIN norm for boots, DIN release as the consumer wants it is still a dream. I hope Lou digs deep into the complete misrepresentation to the consumer market. After 20 years working in this field, I am truly disappointed in the ski worlds complete miss guidance to the ski market and the consumer.

  202. Lou Dawson 2 February 9th, 2015 4:23 pm

    Skian, agree, it’s a bit of slight of hand, but they do specify on the certificate that the bindings have to be used with Dynafit fittings for the cert to be valid. Lou

  203. See February 9th, 2015 8:28 pm

    Skian wrote “(w)ithout a TUV/DIN norm for boots, DIN release as the consumer wants it is still a dream.” I interpret this to mean “without a proper boot toe socket standard, tech bindings still don’t always work as well as alpine or frame bindings.” What I want to know is if tech bindings can match alpine/frame bindings even when the sockets are perfect.

  204. Lou Dawson 2 February 9th, 2015 9:34 pm

    See, no.

  205. Jason February 10th, 2015 11:05 am

    Not to pile on, but used my Kingpin 13’s for the first time this weekend. In-bounds for a few runs, and everything looked fine. Then skinned for about 30 minutes and looked at the pins and 3 of 4 had obvious movement, and the ice grooves in the pins we no longer horizontal.
    I was expecting this to happen, and am not shocked. Will re-post after I’ve spoken to the dealer and have information about how it will be resolved that might be useful.
    Otherwise, truly great bindings. Love the heal piece.

  206. Lou Dawson 2 February 10th, 2015 11:16 am

    Jason, please report back.

    A pair were waiting for me back here in U.S., with the original possibly defective toes, I just torture tested them in the workshop and didn’t see movement, but it sounds like touring on them is what does them in, so I’ll try that ASAP. Lou

  207. Dimitri February 10th, 2015 11:28 am

    I did absolutely no touring on mine and all but 1 pin was out of place. One significantly. Hard to say what forces dislodge these pins uniformly like that in what one thinks would be a vice like counter force. Appears the fit on the old pins is still snug enough for a friction clamp..

  208. John February 10th, 2015 8:09 pm

    Happy to report some toes have been replaced. Maybe a pair will re-appear in your workshop, before you return!

    Still hanging on to one original unused pair for future comparison.

  209. Jason February 12th, 2015 10:28 am

    Update on my situation:

    So I called Marker, and although they don’t have any DIN 13 toes yet, they should be able to ship them shortly… They were fully aware of the situation, and happy to replace the toe pieces. They did reiterate that the warranty has to be through the retailer (as I suspected).

    So I returned my skis/bindings to the retailer (MEC-great service) and they will submit the warranty to Marker and should be all fixed up. It might take 1-3 weeks because the DIN 13’s aren’t available yet (DIN 10’s were ready), but that’s fine.

    All in all, pretty painless…will just have to wait and see how long it really takes. Can’t wait to get them back.
    So let it snow now….

  210. John February 12th, 2015 7:10 pm

    All but one original pairs of toes have been shipped. I mounted the last original pair yesterday, and skied the both sides of East Snowmass Creek. Baldy, b2 or b3, Willoughby, Garrets, then back around to Fanny Hill via the Ditch. Lots of skinning and steep skiing.

    I measured each pin with digital calipers before and after, and put a dot of nail polish on the pins. Interestingly, one pin rotated about 30 degrees and moved IN .2mm!

    I was skiing with a G3 athlete that had not seen the Kingpin. I was not any slower on transitions, and had a great day overall.

    It appears Marker has a solid product, now that the new toes are out, even though I have not skied them, several friends have without issue.

    I’ll drop a set by.

  211. John February 12th, 2015 7:14 pm

    Replacements have been shipped, that is.
    Should pick them up tomorrow.

    Full transition with ski on.

    BTW, the new G3 pole looks like they operate lifters and levers nicely.

  212. Lou Dawson 2 February 13th, 2015 4:20 am

    John, so your last pair of _original_ Kingpin toes had the pins move? And you are now swapping all to the fixed version 2 toes? Please clarify. Lou

  213. John February 13th, 2015 6:50 am

    Yes to both.
    I am picking the replacements today. The old one that failed yesterday, had the one day of use, and the pin rotated and moved inward. I carefully measured each pin and placed a drop of nail polish and partially on the wing and partially on the pin, as a visible indicator of possible movement. One of the 4 pins moved. I have seen them move out and rotate, but never in. But Who was looking for this kind of failure.

  214. Mason February 13th, 2015 7:01 am

    John, I think what Lou is asking is, are the toe pins that rotated and moved in the newer knurled style replacement pins or the old style flush mount pins. It’s a bit unclear.

  215. John February 13th, 2015 7:10 am

    They were the old style.

  216. Mason February 13th, 2015 7:21 am

    Thanks John

  217. Lou Dawson 2 February 13th, 2015 8:02 am

    Ok, clear (shew).

  218. Soren February 14th, 2015 3:41 am

    Im based in Austria and both mine and one of the dealer shop employees pins has come out of our bindings. Was at the ISPO 10 days ago where the Marker rep. told me they had replacements ready, so the dealer would get them on monday for replacement. Now 10 days later still no replacements or word on when we will get them.

  219. Derekt February 14th, 2015 4:39 pm

    I recently bought a a set of rossi super 7s with marker kingpin 10 and have used them 3 times so far. I wanted to see how they worked without locking the toes. For the first 2 uses I was touring and they snow was soft but became moist to wet as you descended. Those times I did not lock the toes and did not have any pre-releases and was fairly impressed as I still hit a few drops despite the grabby snow. Today at the ski hill I wanted to test them on steeper terrain with harder snow to see how they held up to that, first run down something steep with the toes just in ski mode I had a pre release so I began to dial them each run to see how little they needed to be locked. I decided that they still need to be either fully locked or 1 click away from locked to ski aggressive terrain. I weigh 160lbs and am 6′.
    I got home and checked the toe pins and one has started to back out even though I was assured they were the updated toes on purchase… I am in the process of getting them replaced.

  220. Skian February 14th, 2015 5:38 pm

    Holy smokes, this thread is going to need a link page. Well were the toes the new ones or not?

  221. Toby February 15th, 2015 12:20 am

    Very interesting report Derekt. Maybe the conclusion really is that any tech binding with rigid toe construction will suffer prereleases when skied aggressively enough. Maybe you should test the Beast or Vipec and report back.

  222. Frame February 15th, 2015 1:53 am

    Or Toby, it could be that his pins had loosened.

  223. Toby February 15th, 2015 2:11 am

    Frame, I must agree. If the pin comes out even 0,2 mm then geometry changes towards unlocked position. But still I’m big believer of flexing toes., pwr towers etc.

  224. Dimitri February 15th, 2015 3:19 am


    what did you have settings dialled up to? To be honest I find you story hard to believe. What release values to do ski on alpine bindings? I’m asking because the kings have at least certified release values (I know, from the heel and there is a difference).
    I have the 13 set to 9 on a BMT 122 186 and although im not hucking massive cliffs I ski hard and fast in steep terrain (6’3″ 200 (plus gear) of your american lbs). If what you are saying is true I’d check the wear on your boot inserts, snow ice build-up, etc, etc, and remember to do the snow clearing when you clip in initially.

    Maybe you should have gone for the 13??

  225. Lou Dawson 2 February 15th, 2015 9:32 am

    You guys are correct, if the space between the pins (left right) is reduced, the binding can no fully close on the boot toe and may become more prone to opening. That’s a basic principle of tech binding toe units. Lou

  226. Matt Franzek February 15th, 2015 11:13 am

    Have we gotten to the point where we need to ask how many toe pieces have not been affected of the original run of bindings?

  227. Lou Dawson 2 February 15th, 2015 4:39 pm

    No way we will ever know.

  228. Will Tacy February 17th, 2015 12:22 am

    After one day of touring and one day at Mammoth over the long weekend, I noticed that two of the pins on my new Kingpin 10s were working their way inboard.

    I just dropped off the skis at my local shop (Marker retailer, naturally). They hadn’t heard a thing, but they are going to connect with Marker and request the replacement toe pieces.

    I love the bindings, and at this point I’m willing to write this off as a typical brand-new-product-problem. And assuming no hassle with the replacement, I’ll stay happy.

  229. Ryan February 18th, 2015 3:34 pm

    @John or anyone else

    Has anyone here received the updated toe pieces in the US or Canada? After promising noises a week ago, I’m now being told the replacements are still not available (in Canada).

  230. Lou Dawson 2 February 18th, 2015 3:44 pm

    Ryan yes quite a few have been received that’s how come we have photos. Lou

  231. Ryan February 18th, 2015 4:04 pm

    ok thanks, thought they might have been in Europe.

  232. John February 18th, 2015 10:38 pm

    I have received updated toes from both US and Canada.
    A pro skier friend of mine has been skiing several pairs, originally with the old toes, now with the new, and just loves them. He skis them really hard!

    I have one pair of original toes which also worked inward and rotated. I took the time to careful measure each pin before and after skiing with a Digital depth gage, and put a dot of nail polish on each pin to see if there was a fracture in the nail polish. I was first perplexed by the measurement of the pin moving inward. We have all been concerned about them moving outward, and have overlooked this type of failure.

    We have been hammering the 13s, no pre-releases.

    I have experienced about a 50% failure rate with the original production toes. I still ski a couple of pairs that have shown slight movement even though I have replacements.

  233. John February 18th, 2015 10:45 pm

    The sample size is 15 pairs of bindings between me and my friends.
    It only takes a sample size of 6 pairs (incredibly small sample size!) to submit for DIN ISO certification, or maybe thats the TUV certification.

  234. Will Tacy February 19th, 2015 1:10 am

    Update: The shop got nowhere, so I called Marker USA myself. They were great – gave me an RA number right then and said they would ship out new toes. So far, still happy.

    Next question – has anyone mounted the replacements in a ski without a metal top sheet? I’m wondering if it might be better to go with inserts just to be sure.

  235. Ryan February 19th, 2015 2:40 am


    Where or in what shop in Canada did you swap them?

  236. John February 19th, 2015 6:10 pm

    Try Monod Sports. I had to wait both in the US and Canada until they had stock.

  237. Brian Kautz February 20th, 2015 2:49 pm

    Hello all. I’ve been secretly following this thread ever since the beginning, but I went ahead and bought the Kingpins anyway. They’re awesome, but my pins started moving after ~3 days. I went to the shop where I bought them and it took about a week to get the updated toe pieces- they’re installing them as I type this. However, I have the 13s and the replacement toe piece is for the 10s- should I be concerned about this? The DIN setting is in the heal, so the shop said that the 10 toe pieces will work. Any thoughts on this?

    I do love this binding. I put them on the Line Magnum Opus, and it has to be the lightest setup at 124 under foot.

  238. Brian February 20th, 2015 2:58 pm

    Well, I answered my own question by going to Marker’s website, and there is a difference between the 10 and 13 toe.

    Thanks for all the great info on the site.

  239. Stefano February 21st, 2015 4:15 am

    A different question:
    My skibrakes seem to have differences in width – they do not clamp the skis together enough. Not so bad, but is is the same with other bindings? I suppose its because od the different brake widths.the skis just fall apart, the brakes arent holding them together.

    Besides that no moving pins so far (1 day pist 1 touring). So far i really dig the bindings, i dont feel a difference to normal bindings.

  240. Lou Dawson 2 February 21st, 2015 7:59 am

    Brian, my take is that the 10 and 13 toes are functionally identical, but I could be wrong. Due to uncertainty as well as your conclusion, it’s certainly wise to put a 13 toe with a 13 heel. Me, I’ll need to see both toes side-by-side and perhaps even do some bench testing before I’ll feel like I know for sure. I looked at the Marker website verbiage and they do imply that the springs in the 13 toe are stronger. Lou

  241. Brian February 21st, 2015 8:37 pm

    Thanks Lou. And thanks for all the great info.

  242. Will Tacy February 22nd, 2015 10:26 pm

    Well, I’m officially a fan of Marker’s customer service. After calling to report the issue with my toe pieces, not only did they give me a return authorization number right away, they over-nighted the new toes to the local Marker retailer. Probably the best customer service experience I’ve had in a long, long time.

    I’m good to go again. Now if only this storm cycle would turn into some thing real for SoCal.

  243. Lou Dawson 2 February 22nd, 2015 10:33 pm

    Nice report Will, thanks.

  244. Jason March 4th, 2015 12:36 pm

    I’m dealing with MEC in Vancouver Canada. Very helpful, but it’s been about 3 weeks now and nothing yet….And I just got a phone call, they are IN.

    Brian, Lou probably knows more, but from what I’ve found the spring strength between the 10 and 13 toes is different. Originally they were different color springs. I’m not certain though, just maybe something to ask Marker about.


  245. Ryan March 4th, 2015 2:12 pm

    Marker never responded to the REI Seattle tech that called them several times on my behalf. I never skied them but there was no way I was going to mount them on brand new Moment Exit Worlds and ski them with this well know issue. So now Marker will get them back anyway as Im returning them. I could care less that a brand new product had this issue, it seems like a reasonable oversight. But Marker lost respect with me for their ski them until they break response.

  246. Lou Dawson 2 March 4th, 2015 4:27 pm

    Jason, the official word is that yes the spring strength is different. I’d like to measure it before talking about it much more, quite frankly. Will try to figure out a way to do it. Lou

  247. See March 4th, 2015 7:08 pm

    Beam torque wrench with paper clip to indicate pointer excursion, delrin plate with fitting for torque wrench and holes for mounting binding toe. Clamp boot upside down on workbench and have at it?

  248. See March 5th, 2015 12:15 am

    Sorry, I forgot about the boot toe fitting wear issue. How about mounting the ski sideways and hanging weights from the toe pins?

  249. Lou Dawson 2 March 5th, 2015 8:42 am

    See, thanks for the idea of using weights, I think I’ve got a plan developing. Only trouble is that it can’t be a static weight, it has to be dynamic so it’s more in keeping with the forces that occur while skiing. Or perhaps not. I’ll start experimenting today. Lou

  250. Derekt March 10th, 2015 2:33 pm

    Sorry for the late reply..
    The pre releases I reported were done with the toes un locked and was always the toe that failed first.

    Don’t have much to say to your comment as I don’t see what’s so hard to believe.

    I would have liked to get the 13’s if they were available to me. Are you guys locking out the toes for the descent?

    I have not had any pre releases since I started locking the toes for descents on mar aggressive terrain, even with the faulty pins. Other than the defective pins I have been loving them.

    I received my replacement toes the other day, still awaiting a time to try them. They sent me the kingpin 13 toes and they do have the updated splined pins.

  251. Lou Dawson 2 March 10th, 2015 2:40 pm

    Derekt, sorry to hear you’re having to lock the toes on the downhill, that kinda defeats the whole design philosophy of the Kingpin. But you do what you gotta do… The 13 toes are said to have stronger springs, if so you might be able to ski them unlocked. Let us know how it goes.

  252. Derekt March 10th, 2015 3:38 pm

    The connection already seams way more solid with the black springs. Will report back after skiing.

  253. Lou Dawson 2 March 10th, 2015 3:52 pm

    The real bear with all this is unless you have your bindings checked on a machine to verify your DIN number setting, who knows? The pre release you experienced might simply be because the bindings were not calibrated and you ended up with a lower release value than you intended. This is whey anecdotal impressions and statements about tech bindings are a minefield. For example, the black toes on the Kingpin might just compensate for a lower lateral release value in the heel, that which could be taken care of by simply dialing up the number. But no way to know without measuring. Lou

  254. Lou Dawson 2 March 10th, 2015 4:12 pm

    BTW, I’m pretty sure this pull tester has the computer interface we’d need to do better tests.

    I’m tempted.

  255. Dimitri March 10th, 2015 4:14 pm

    I was thinking something more commercial:

  256. Lou Dawson 2 March 10th, 2015 4:23 pm

    The electric drill windlass and bench is plenty good for repeatable results, all I need is an instrument with a sample rate that’ll computer graph the force as I pull, rather than just giving me the max force as the dynamometer does.

  257. John March 10th, 2015 11:59 pm

    I have been skiing the 13s unlocked for 4 months now. With the high avy conditions, I have been hammering bumps, jumping cliffs, dropping into couloirs…, toes unlocked. And some of the backcountry has had some highly variable snow with some wicked breakable crust. These bindings are now my daily driver. No pre-releases! A few high speed crashes have resulted in proper releases. I do seem to recall having one release in the backcountry do to excessive torque by some foreign object, resulting in proper release.

    Dav has also been skiing them as his daily driver. same results, same time period.

  258. John March 11th, 2015 12:08 am

    Also, was touring the other day with a guy on beast 14s. The bindings only have a low rise and vey high rise setting for the heal lifter, which was constantly dropping back to the low height. FWIW, he should have been using low the whole time. Seemed to be very fiddly.

    I can transition the Kingpin, with skis on, as fast as a Dynafit or Ion.

    The new G3 Via Carbon poles are awesome for flipping lifters and pulling toe levers, and the transition lever on many of the new bindings.

  259. Derekt March 14th, 2015 9:42 am

    Skied them the other day with the toes unlocked, although not in aggressive terrain. The snow conditions were very variable though with mostly hard wind compacted surfaces in the alpine and shmooey snow below. I had a few awkward “torqued” landings in the shmoo as well witch I felt was an ok test. Still a little tentative about skiing them un-locked in steep aggressive terrain though due to my previous experience as I just would rather not experience a pre release in those situations..

  260. Lou Dawson 2 March 14th, 2015 10:56 am

    I wonder what would happen if alpine bindings provided a “lock?”

  261. Jason April 28th, 2015 10:05 am

    Hi all, this thread is quiet, but figured I’d check to see if anyone else is having this issue.

    While I’ve had the toe piece replaced and everything is great with the pins, I’ve started noticing a heal issue.

    -Not while skiing, and not while touring flat…but when using the riser tabs (either of them) my heal piece very slowly starts to slide backwards. Ultimately, the adjustment screw at the back of the heal is unscrewing.
    I just keep an eye on it and after several hundred meters of uphill, readjust it to the proper spot.

    Has this occurred to anybody else?
    I’m simply going to try some loctite and hope that fixes it. Any thoughts?

  262. Trav October 31st, 2015 1:22 pm

    Does anyone know if Marker stuck to the “improved” star pin shape. I just got a pair the retailer swears are ’15s and the pins are not the star style. I’m hesitant to keep them. From the info here it appears that they should have the star style pin, unless that was just an interm solution.

  263. Lou Dawson 2 October 31st, 2015 1:27 pm

    Wow! What a hassle these informal recalls are… I’ll check, if you hear anything more let us know. Lou

  264. Trav October 31st, 2015 1:40 pm

    Thanks! Yeah, I’m betting it’s an old pair, but no way to know. I’m trying to decipher the production info/ serial number. Going by the circles (clock style) on the underside read left to right the toes are G,1,15. But that’s just a plastic piece. Will definitely report back if i get an answer from Marker. The ski it and see if they move approach doesn’t cut it in my book.

  265. Lou Dawson 2 October 31st, 2015 2:07 pm

    I went over to dealer Cripple Creek Backcountry, their 2015-2016 indeed do NOT have the knurled pins as pictured above, instead they appear to be quite well pressed and swedged. So, I’m happy to say your dealer is correct. Am putting up some photos in a moment. Thanks for being here and asking questions — and keeping me hopping! Lou

  266. Lou Dawson 2 October 31st, 2015 2:32 pm

    Photo added! Shout out to

    Loving our working together, having a ski shop in our town was a long time coming and finally here!

  267. Trav October 31st, 2015 2:39 pm

    My pins are clearly 1mm beyond the gold wing. They also have a sort of dimple or nipple in the center. This must be what you mean by swagged. Just saw the new pics. Yup, that’s the nipple!

    Thanks for clarifying this mystery. Confident I’ve got the current bindings.

  268. Lou Dawson 2 October 31st, 2015 2:40 pm


  269. Trav October 31st, 2015 2:41 pm

    Yeah – Great to have a good shop locally! That’s the dimple. Thanks for jumping on this. Sure would be easier if Marker was a bit more transparent on things.

  270. Lou Dawson 2 October 31st, 2015 2:45 pm

    If it was easier I’d be out of business (grin)!

  271. Lorne October 31st, 2015 3:22 pm

    I don’t think your spring colour comment is valid Lou. Mine were pre-ordered from a German shop a few months ago and shipped 2 weeks ago so are surely new stock. Toe pins match the descriptions of the new style but my springs are black.

  272. Lou Dawson 2 October 31st, 2015 4:06 pm

    That was bothering me so I checked, the Kingpin 10 springs are grey, the model 12 springs are black like the original version. I’ll be interested in testing to see if the difference is only cosmetic. It’s possible this was just an “in-line” color change and means nothing… Lou

  273. Marc November 2nd, 2015 10:31 pm

    I purchased my Kingpins here in NZ. After reading this article I was very cautious about the toe-piece, to the extent that I contacted the Marker rep over here (Duncan – great bloke and well known over here) who was happy to investigate for me. Long story short, mine are as shown in the photo above (I was dubious at first due to the lack of ‘teeth’). They have black springs as they’re the 13’s…the telltale sign was the manufacturing stamps on the base of the toe…mine were manufactured in May 2015, so well after Marker became aware of the issue, and hence I was re-assured about them being a further iteration of the toe. So far so good, though I’ve only taken them out on four (fairly large) days thus far.

  274. Curtis Cunningham November 4th, 2015 8:48 am

    I’m in the market for my first pair of tech bindings. With the concern over the toe pins of the Kingpin, I’m curious if the concerns of them coming loose should rule them out of my consideration?

  275. Lou Dawson 2 November 4th, 2015 8:54 am

    What concerns? The whole point of this reporting is to communicate that yes, there was a problem, but it is taken care of. Apologies if I confused. Should I do some editing? Thanks, Lou

  276. Thom Mackris December 29th, 2015 2:37 pm

    Hi Lou,

    Photo editing is a thankless task, and I appreciate your attention to detail on this topic. I’m frequently guilty of obscuring the detail in a wealth of facts, and I sympathize with you as this story unfolds.

    Silly me – I looked more at the photos and embedded text than rereading the actual comments in the body of the post.

    Since this post is a key asset in your binding category, perhaps you can bring the photos to consistency with the comments/updates?

    I still may be wrong about this, which I guess is my point. I had a lot of trouble reconciling the contradictions.

    Here is my understanding – from both this thread, TGR, and Craig Dotsie’s post:

    Photo #1 (the two part photo) appears to be correct (very helpful): 2015/16 version has NO star-shaped knurl and outer side stands proud by about 1mm.

    Photo #2 (John R, photo) shows a defective binding with no star-shaped knurls. Perhaps they went back and forth with the knurls, which means that you can’t tell by this attribute. If I understand this correctly, then this photo serves to confuse,and I think it should be removed.

    Photos 3, 4 & 5 (January 2015 binding update): I believe only photo #4 is relevant – showing the outer side of the pin projecting beyond flush by approx. 1mm. Photos 3 & 5 show star shaped knurling which I believe was only on some of the defective design iterations and NOT on the 2015-16 updates.

    Thanks, as always …

  277. Lou Dawson 2 December 29th, 2015 2:43 pm

    Thom, the knurling is NOT on the latest, but if a person buys a binding and it has the knurling, it’s ok as far as I know.

    The John R photo is simply intended to show what it looks like if a binding has a pin come out. Sorry if that’s confusing.

    The first part of the post, with the update, is what’s important…

    I really truly enjoy this writing about defective products. (grin)

    ‘best, Lou

  278. Thom Mackris December 29th, 2015 9:45 pm

    Thanks Lou!


  279. Mase January 6th, 2016 1:23 pm

    I’m being told from the local Marker dealer that there has been an official “recall” on Kingpin toes and that ALL owners were notified. Is there ANY validity to that statement. Seems blatantly false and makes me want to go elsewhere.

  280. R January 16th, 2017 11:11 pm

    Hi there,

    My Marker Kingpin 13’s failed this afternoon. My boot released from the binding and resulted in a pretty serious fall at speed.

    When I recovered my ski’s, I noticed the binding was pretty messed up and no longer usable.

    I realize this may not be related to the pin issue others were seeing but wanted to provide an image of what happened to my bindings. These were purchased in late 2015.

    Wondering if anyone else has had issues outside of the pin problems?

  281. Chris January 20th, 2017 3:52 pm

    I also had pin failure discovered after ski fell off and yard sale insued. My new skis have been in the shop for 6 weeks waiting for toe pieces to come back from Marker. Marker will not let shop just replace toe pieces from their stock because Marker is repairing my broken toe pieces. Marker will not responded to my emails and I haven’t found a phone number. Terrible customer service for a know defect.

  282. STL February 13th, 2017 5:30 pm

    I bought a pair of Kingpin 13’s in Spring of 2016. Due to various reasons, I finally got them mounted on a pair of skis. During the middle of my third day of use, I noticed it was hard to click in/out. One pin on each binding had moved, like the photos above. I was told by my shop today that it appears I have the newest version (per their conversation with Marker). Toe pieces were sent to Marker for evaluation and possible replacement. I hope the process goes a lot more quickly than the 6 weeks Chris has waited, which is pretty unbelievably. I also hope it turns out I did not have the latest version, because if I did, I would not be very confident in using the replacement.

  283. XXX_er March 21st, 2018 12:24 pm

    Hey Lou what do you know about all the breaking Marker Kingpins?

    Pins shearing off and heel pieces self destructing

    I know guys that have broke multiple heel and toe pieces this season

  284. Lou Dawson 2 March 21st, 2018 12:33 pm

    The breakage and defects of Kingpin have been frustrating both for users, and writers. I don’t know any personal experience details and none of our regular gear bloggers use Kingpins, so I’ve not had any direct experience reporting we could have done. One problem might be that early units are still in play, with known defects. And so forth. I’m not sure using Kingpins is wise, but I can’t say that for certain as like I said I have no direct experience with current Kingpin reliability.

    I can say, in a general sense, that trusting any tech or hybrid tech binding that’s had even a hint of problems is not the smartest thing until you’re certain everything is taken care of. That can sometimes take years, and numerous “in line” changes or even product recalls. Some companies seem to do better with this than others. G3, for example, has been very good about getting the word out about problems, and getting them fixed.

    Overall, I’m sickened by the ski touring binding industry’s seemingly endless foisting of bindings that break. This involves loved ones and friends being hurt or worse. Not sure that’s the case with Marker, but I’m most certainly watching, with an arm wrapped around a certain household fixture one might utilize when ill (smile).


  285. XXX_er March 21st, 2018 1:23 pm

    SO my read on the situ is that pins came out of the arms on the 1st batch of Kingpins and after that the Kingpin was pretty bomber thru the 16-17 season, I know big guys and rippers that had no problems and there was a lot of confidence in the product last season

    But 17-18 season there are lots of anecdotes about pins shearing and heel pieces destroying themselves, apparently Marker has been good on warranty so the local dealer is basically just giving out spare parts as the problems come in

    4 buds all broke bindings in the same week and another big guy has broken 3 toe pieces & 2 heel pieces

    I am sure you will let us know when you know but for now its obvious Marker has a big probelm and Kingpin is a product to take a pass on for 17-18 season

  286. Lou Dawson 2 March 21st, 2018 1:33 pm

    Good to get more information! As for swapping binding parts then heading out again for more charging? Illustrates a problem with straight warranty repairs, you don’t know if you’re just getting more parts that break. Unofficial “soft” recalls, or real ones, allow the company selling the product to announce exactly what’s going on and that the new parts or replacements have the problem fixed. Lou

  287. XXX_er March 21st, 2018 2:08 pm

    Obviously my large ski bud (mellow guy/ 220lbs/ skis every day) whom I talk to on the chair is just getting more parts that break and so it would seem every time I talk to him he has broken more HW … 5 broken parts this season!

    My guess would be materials issues on multiple parts … Marker has BIG problems

  288. See March 21st, 2018 6:59 pm

    If there is a problem with Kingpins breaking (and it sure sounds like there is) part of the problem is probably that they were touted as being touring bindings that perform like alpine bindings. I wonder how many people on Kingpins switched from Dukes or something similar.

  289. XXX_er March 22nd, 2018 10:21 am

    The problem is that the Kingpin is breaking when used as prescribed not that people are miss-using the binding, a lightweight binding that does it all is the holy grail of ski bindings … Kingpin isnt it

  290. Lou Dawson 2 March 22nd, 2018 10:57 am

    I think the Tecton gets close, we’ll see how it does in sophomore season after they fix the breakable brake and perhaps tweak the possibility of boot toe denting, though the latter doesn’t seem to be a big deal now that we’ve had a season for the early adopters to experience early adoption (smile). Lou

  291. See March 22nd, 2018 6:23 pm

    I agree XXX_er. That’s what I’m saying— wrong prescription. I’ve been moaning about the marketing hype surrounding this binding for a long time. Unfortunately, the exaggerated claims that a tech touring binding with a clamp style heel was going to provide alpine binding like performance was picked up and repeated by retailers and others and people believed it.

  292. See March 22nd, 2018 6:47 pm

    I should clarify that, while “tech touring binding with a clamp style heel” could be interpreted to include the Tecton, I didn’t mean to question Lou’s cautiously optimistic take on the Fritschi. Maybe it, or the new Salomon or some other binding will prove to be the holy grail in a few years. In the mean time, I’m sticking with alpine bindings for resort skiing (although I do cheat occasionally).

  293. XXX_er March 22nd, 2018 9:44 pm

    I don’t think its the wrong prescription becuz pins don’t break like that, I think the pins are a materials problem and plastic should be able to handle the problems with heel breakage

  294. See March 23rd, 2018 6:51 am

    Maybe, but I think this is another good example of why one should be skeptical of claims to have found the grail until there’s evidence to back it up. A lot of time, effort and money have been spent on making light, strong, convenient touring bindings with the performance of good alpine bindings, but the goal remains elusive.

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