ISPO Day 1 — Scarpa Tronic, Dynafit and More


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 5, 2015      
When it comes to colors, life can be boring in the U.S., but check out what was front and center at the Dynafit booth!

When it comes to colors, life can be boring in the U.S., but check out what was front and center at the Dynafit booth!

After a fun wander through Munich with Manfred Barthel (“father” of the tech binding) we located my hotel on a sidestreet. After parking in the middle of the road a few times with our flashers on, I was impressed with how polite the Munich drivers are. Funny, the only guys who knew where the hotel was were a couple of cops. Makes you wonder. Just joking. Though we did get directions from some friendly guys in a police car.

Purported to be “classic Bavarian” this is indeed a nice place, in what to me looks like a fun part of Munich — though walking exploration will have to be undertaken to prove that out. They do serve prosecco and wurst for breakfast, so perhaps that’s proof of authenticity?

In any case, Manfred delivered me to ISPO in one piece (thanks Manfred!), so I had a fun afternoon checking out a few things I know are important to you, dear readers.

 First things first. The recalled Scarpa F1 Evo has a fix, but the new versions won't be available until next November. I'm not allowed to publish a photo hence the redacted image above. I can share the details verbally. As predicted, they'll have a manually locking version of the boot. It looked super solid, with a locking machine similar to the Scarpa freeride boots such as Freedom SL and the new for next season monster freeride shoe Freedom RS. They'll also sell a version with the self actuating Tronic system, only with added thickness in the plate the pushes down on the binding pins and actuates the vertical slider rod. The Scarpa guys told me most problems with Tronic happen because of mal-adjusted bindings. Whatever the case, the thicker plate will prevent the itself from sliding down in front of the pins if the ski is aggressively decambered, which results in the cuff unlocking as well as the boot getting jammed in the binding.

First things first. The recalled Scarpa F1 Evo has a fix, but the new versions won’t be available until next November. I’m not allowed to publish a photo hence the redacted image above. I can share the details verbally. As predicted, they’ll have a manually locking version of the boot. It looked super solid, with a locking machine similar to the Scarpa freeride boots such as Freedom SL and the new for next season monster freeride shoe Freedom RS (won ISPO award and does look tasty). They’ll also sell an F1 Evo version with the self actuating Tronic system, only having added thickness in the plate the pushes down on the binding pins and actuates the vertical slider rod. The Scarpa guys told me most problems with Tronic happen because of mal-adjusted bindings. Whatever the case, the thicker plate will prevent the itself from sliding down in front of the pins if the ski is aggressively decambered, which results in the cuff unlocking as well as the boot getting jammed in the binding.

Still on the "recall trail" I shouted yippe kyeee and headed over to Marker for a looksee. Their Kingpin fix indeed looks good.

Still on the “recall trail” I shouted yippe kyeee and headed over to Marker for a looksee. Their Kingpin fix indeed looks good. I’ve got a meeting with these guys to get more of their story, but for now the insider word is they indeed only sold about 3,000 bindings, and they’re possibly not all defective. Nonetheless, I’m still of the opinion that all of them should have the toe units replaced. Perhaps Marker can disabuse me of that opinion once we meet. Stay tuned.

I told the guys a Marker we call this an "Angelina" even though these guys had not yet reached for their cameras. It was a pretty hilarious scene.  You could hear the snapping bindings from two booths away. At times there were 12 people all snapping at once.

I told the guys a Marker we call this an “Angelina” even though these guys had not yet reached for their cameras. It was a pretty hilarious scene. You could hear the snapping bindings from two booths away. At times there were 12 people all snapping at once. My take on all this binding stuff is that this year was one of refinement in the binding arena. Orders being taken now for autumn retail will tell the story, and what sells out of those orders next winter is going to be a fascinating apex of this ‘interesting time in ski bindings.’

There was also an 'Angelina' going on at the Dynafit booth, as the European touring majority were focusing on that little green machine known as the TLT Superlight 2.0

There was also an ‘Angelina’ going on at the Dynafit booth, as the European touring majority were focusing on that little green machine known as the TLT Superlight 2.0

La Sportiva does not mess around.

La Sportiva does not mess around either when it comes to colors.

Tradition is Dynafit holds their rock and roll party the first evening. After last year's beer riot it looked like they'd been made to tone it down a bit by having the band and booze inside the booth instead of in the hallway. A bit crowded, but interesting seeing the band with TLT6 boots as a prop.

Tradition is Dynafit holds their rock and roll party the first evening. After last year’s beer riot it looked like they’d been made to tone it down a bit by having the band and booze inside the booth instead of in the hallway. A bit crowded, but interesting seeing the band with TLT6 boots as a prop.

Ear to the ground: Industry insiders are tired of tech binding problems in first retail releases.



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Comments

52 Responses to “ISPO Day 1 — Scarpa Tronic, Dynafit and More”

  1. Foster February 5th, 2015 2:54 pm

    So there will be two versions of the F1 Evo next year: a manual and an updated Tronic?

    *shrugs and will return current gen boots when skiing stops*

  2. Lou Dawson 2 February 5th, 2015 3:07 pm

    Yes

  3. Lou Dawson 2 February 5th, 2015 3:11 pm

    Oh, I forgot to mention they made the rear crampon shelf 2 mm wider and say itll be much more compatible now.

  4. Foster February 5th, 2015 4:07 pm

    Interesting I’ve not heard comments about the rear welt not being wide enough. Most of the issues seem centred on the toe or the binding of the cuff on the heel bail of the crampon.

    Since you had to blank it out, is there any reason the new Tronic couldn’t just be bolted into the current generation boot? And does the manual lock version retain the Velcro strap and boa?

  5. Landon T February 5th, 2015 4:36 pm

    +1 Foster. I have limited other options so I think I’ll adjust my bindings a little and continue using the F1 Evo’s until the ski season is done. Won’t be using them in any ‘no fall’ terrain though.

  6. water February 5th, 2015 4:56 pm

    Glad to hear about possible crampon fit compatibility. But truly the rear shelf, while a bit narrow, wasn’t the issue. At least on CAMP XLC 390, the rear heel tabs that keep the crampon centered at the heel were both floating free of making any contact with either side of the rear boot. Additionally the toe bail fit left a lot to be desired. THE XLC390 isn’t an extreme crampon or anything.. it fits scores and scores of ski boots. It seemed many were relegated to specific petzl spiralock or full basket grivels. quite disappointing.

  7. Kyle February 5th, 2015 8:00 pm

    Lou, in any of the recent trade shows or company visits has there been any whisperings of 3D printing entering the boot industry?

  8. See February 5th, 2015 8:09 pm

    If you feel like asking the Marker folks any of the following questions, I’d be really interested in what they have to say:

    Does the six pack clamp the boot toe tighter than other (unlocked) tech bindings? If so, is the reason other tech binding manufacturers didn’t do this long ago because there is some “secret sauce” involved, like maybe how the heel piece works?

    If the Kingpin toe does clamp tighter, does this make the critical pin-to-socket fit more prone to malfunction if everything isn’t perfect?

    Was the pin loosening problem a production or a design issue (or both, neither)?

    Thanks, in any case, and I hope you enjoy Munich. I remember it as a very cool city.

  9. wyomingowen February 5th, 2015 8:36 pm

    I have to comment on the kingpin photo background, “ISPO Product of the Year”

    It probably is thanks to 3k guinea pigs, imagine if it was a full tilt release (pun intended)?!?!?!?

    Seems too much like Emmy’s, Oscars and all the other balogna, I could care less about

  10. Scott February 5th, 2015 9:04 pm

    German drivers are by far the best I’ve seen. They stay to the right unless passing, and when passing, they speed up. Makes the aggro, left lane hogging, no passing Colorado drives look downright barbaric.

  11. Kane February 5th, 2015 11:50 pm

    Is that some kind of entry level dynafit race binding with a Speed toe piece?

  12. monik February 6th, 2015 12:55 am

    Woow, that bindings and boots looks amazing. But I think too expensive for me.

  13. Tay February 6th, 2015 7:03 am

    Hi Lou,
    In the La Sportiva picture what is the red and white boot that is on displace?

  14. BenL February 6th, 2015 7:13 am

    3D printed clog on a boot at ISPO, on their awards site, Easyfit I think, produced by Egger in Austria, sure Lou will find it.

  15. Erik Erikson February 6th, 2015 7:51 am

    Interesting that you mention that maybe different color-taste-thing in America and Europe, Lou; realized that when I was in Eastern CA and Nevada last fall for climbing/bouldering: Most of the American (at least male) climbers would wear quite unflashy colors while the European ones did prefer bright ones. This has become a habit with my friends and me too, also in touring and mountaineering. Should say its for safety-reasons, but honestly its mainly because it looks better on photos…
    But that Dynafit-Combo of green and pink indeed is a bit hefty even for Euros 😉

  16. Clyde February 6th, 2015 8:07 am

    Looking forward to your review of the M-Bindings Lou! Appears to be the most exciting new binding of any snow sport, plus the ski locator sounds cool. And be sure to update us on the revised Scott Voodoo boots.

  17. David Aldous February 6th, 2015 9:14 am

    Any more word on the dynafit plastic for next year, specifically in the tlt6? I’m looking to replace my maestrales because they kill my feet if I ever tighten the third buckle because of the low instep. I’m interested in the tlt6 because of the good compromise between climbing and skiing performance but I would probably need to try Greg Louie’s mold the whole boot trick to make that work for my foot. I’m trying to figure out if I should jump on a boot this year while it is still made out of grilamid or wait for next year’s model. If they are changing to pebax+ is it likely to be really difficult to punch the instep of the boot?

  18. andrew February 6th, 2015 11:26 am

    Lou – any word on MSRP on the speed superlight 2.0 binding? will the brake come with or be a separate purchase? any indication if the current (red) superlight will still be available or is 2.0 replacing it?

    thanks for the insight.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 February 6th, 2015 1:46 pm

    David, my take is they are changing back to using a Pebax formulation that’s stiffer. Not as mold-able as Grilamid. Andrew, the brake appears in the catalog to be an ‘accessory.” I’ll get an MSRP.

    I thought I listed the bindings somewhere for 2015-2016. According to the catalog I have:
    Low Tech Race 2.0 (110 gram catalog weight)
    Low Tech Race PDG (5 grams more than above, oh the pain)
    TLT Expedition (no lateral release)
    Speed Turn 2.0 (has the classic TLT vertical steel heel post)
    TLT Superlight 2.0 Men (green with removable brake)
    TLT Superlight 2.0 Women (light colored heel unit housing)
    TLT Speed Radical (Radical without brake, as sold previous)
    TLT Radical ST 2.0 (Radical with rotating toe unit)
    TLT Radical FT 2.0 (Radical with rotating toe unit)
    Beast 14 (Freeride it and don’t look back, baby!)
    Beast 16 (Freeride it and don’t look back, baby!)

    I’m walking out of here with a nice set of the retail version Radical ST 2.0 30 year commemorative bindings, ‘gold’ plated but of course. Perhaps I’ll break my rule against binding testing? Though they’d look pretty good in the WildSnow binding collection as a mint specimen. They’ve only been touched with cotton gloves so far.

    Lou

  20. andrew February 6th, 2015 5:21 pm

    great, thanks (as always) for the info Lou

  21. jbo February 6th, 2015 6:54 pm

    Tay – That is the Starlet 2.0 boot.

    andrew – $549.95 for the Superlite 2.0 + $79.95 for a brake.

    Kyle – The first version of the Spitfire 2.0 I saw this season was 3D printed, so it’s already being used for prototyping, etc.

  22. See February 6th, 2015 7:22 pm

    With the exception of exotic technologies like metal 3d printing, are there any plastic 3d printed products that can approach injection molded stuff in strength?

  23. Greg Louie February 6th, 2015 10:13 pm

    Pebax+ is a fairly new material and no one I know has worked with it yet. Some Pebax formulas punch relatively well (Pebax Rnew in Maestrale RS, for example) some are terrible to work on (BD Factor, for example).

    Europeans in general seem to be more conservative in their approach to shell modification – the Dynafit guys seemed surprised this year when we told them we punch their Grilamid shells on a regular basis, saying it takes “a very skilled” bootfitter, but that hasn’t been my experience. Moderately skilled, yes, and mindful of a few basic parameters, but it’s not rocket science.

  24. Greg Louie February 6th, 2015 10:24 pm

    @David Aldous: Increasing instep height isn’t a “punch” per se – you can’t really use a typical ball and ring system on a SVST or Kaiser press, for example. You can stretch the area with your foot, or using a custom fitting of some sort and an old-school Superfeet Hydraulic unit. There’s also a $3,500 Montana machine that does this well but few shops are willing to spring for one. Most experienced bootfitters have figured out some way of doing this over the years – Masterfit U recommends sticking a lacrosse ball in the boot and cinching tie-down straps on either side of the ball.

  25. David Aldous February 6th, 2015 10:32 pm

    Lou, thanks for the info. I’ll see if I can find some of this years boots.
    See
    As far as I know 3d printed stuff is only 80% or so of the strength of an equivalent injection molded polymer. Maybe it has gotten closer to the performance of injected plastic in recent years. It also isn’t the same strength in all directions so it might not be the ideal material for ski boots other than prototypes.

  26. Erik Erikson February 6th, 2015 11:34 pm

    “Europeans more conservative in their approach to shell modification” (Greg Louie), thats even understated, at least concerning Austria (I literally do not know one person who has done that or having it let done, and I know plenty BC-skiers).
    It slowly becomes an evergreen-subject of mine, but the biggest difference in Americans and Euros (Austrians) when it comes to BC skiing is not ski-widths, not color-taste ;-), it is the availability of bootfitters somehow ;-). Where I live (Region of Salzburg) there are, well, zero, I guess.
    ISPO won´t be the right place to ask why that is, but maybe you could raise that topic in some conversation there anyway if you like, Lou.

    And, of course, thanks for all that information! Enjoy munich! (and I´d recommend some touring south of it afterwards – round Salzburg. Quite a bit snow now, but also dangerous at the moment).

  27. Lou Dawson 2 February 7th, 2015 12:04 am

    Surly the Wold Cup racers have boot fitters and modifications? Atomic told me one of their alpine racers had about 60 pairs of skis and 30 pairs of boots… But you guys that live over here in EU know better than I do about availability of services. If you don’t have boot fitters, then you don’t have boot fitters. Though one of the coolest boot presses I’ve ever seen is made over here so I wonder who’s using it.. If I have time I’ll look around at ISPO. Lou

  28. Lori February 7th, 2015 12:13 am

    Hi Lou,

    That is the most amazing suit I have ever seen (the green and pink one). Are they selling them? How can someone get one?

    Sincerely,
    A new skimo chick

    Nelson, BC

  29. Erik Erikson February 7th, 2015 10:52 am

    Austrian Racers who made it to the top (which is HARD) for sure have boot fitters and anything else one could need (for ski racing is probably the most popular sport here and at the moment, when you open a paper, we seem to be the kings of the world again ;-).. due to the current succes.in the world championships).. but unforrtunatly not the average guy like me 🙁
    So I my ask again (as I know there are many non-US-wildsnow-followers): If anyone is aware of good bootfitter in the area of Salzburg I´d be glad to know.

  30. Toby February 7th, 2015 2:56 pm

    Erik, Intersport Arena in Flachau has all the tools for boot shell fitting. I’ve heard they customized boot for many of the top racers from Austria. I was talking with very friendly guy in the shop who was pround to show their equipment. I saw two differed brands of tool kits around. He said they are not yet so familiar with touring boots. (Not a big surprise in Flahau area)

  31. See February 7th, 2015 7:08 pm

    Thanks, David. Wow, 80%… that’s way more than I would have guessed. I have only seen a few 3d printers, but my strong impression is that they couldn’t produce anything close to a high end touring boot shell in terms of wall thickness/weight/strength/flex characteristics/etc..

  32. Erik Erikson February 7th, 2015 10:54 pm

    Toby, thank you very much for your information!!! I´llcheck “Intersport Arena” out for sure!
    Just hope that they are (or will become) that kind of bootfitter that seem to be common in the US: Not only capable of punching shells but also skilled in reducing volume, maybe having some high-Volume liners in stock and so on. But then, as I frequently read here, reducing volume is also possible by choosing a downsized shell and punching out the toe area.
    But don´t you also think that it is kind of funny how hard it is to find a shop in Salzburg that IS in fact specialized in bootfitting Touring boots, given the still increasing masses of BC-skiers and Tourers?! And given how common that kind of fitting seems to be in the US? Hopefully after the wider skies the next thing that will make it over the pond to Europe will be bootfitters… 😉

  33. Lou Dawson 2 February 8th, 2015 1:24 am

    Erik, we do have boot fitters in North America, and we have some good ones, but don’t get the idea that the best guys are on every street corner. The really good craftsmen are not that common and still have to be found through word of mouth. Though most better ski shops can at least do a simple punch for a bunion or bone spur.

    In my experience, the real super fitters are expensive and worth it, they generally work by contract though I’ve seen some that have a list of services and price-per-service.

    It can be very time consuming work and the risk of failure is expensive.

    Lou

  34. Erik Erikson February 8th, 2015 1:09 pm

    Ok, Lou, thanks for the info. In fact I really got the impression here that just a minority of US-Skiers use their shoes out of the box without some modding. But maybe it´s just like the people who contribute actively here on wildsnow are also the ones who are deeper into that stuff and know the good bootfitters more likely

  35. Greg Louie February 8th, 2015 6:03 pm

    Lou is right about bootfitters in North America – they are not “everywhere” and the range of competence varies a lot. Certainly if you go to most larger ski resorts you’ll be able to find someone with experience, and there seems to be a lot of qualified people in places like Boulder, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, but there are plenty of people who call themselves bootfitters who’ve never picked up a heat gun and fix every problem with heel shims.

  36. BillyGoat February 8th, 2015 9:14 pm

    So you’re telling me euro’s just deal with painful feet, or that they all have teeny tiny mid feet, which is why dynafit’s all fit like total sheeit. Maybe they didn’t totally blow they Kehion, but for some reason, my guess is they did, along with a total confused look as to why anyone might possibly need some instep room.

    But marker appears to be in little rush to get new toe pieces to customers until a problem comes up. I would ask them why they think this is such a non issue given the frequency of issues (Just about everyone I have talked to who has skied one, has had issues) given how few of these went out.

  37. Erik Erikson February 8th, 2015 10:34 pm

    @BillyGoat: Just can say that in the region where I live there are people who would like to have a TLT but can´t wear/purchase it due to the narrow fit. And never heard that a shop would have offered them to heat the shell and punch it…
    Or, in the opposite, if one has very narrow feet like me, shops only offer to heat mold the stock liner (again), place a second insole in the boot or sell thicker socks.
    / And just curious: What does “Kehion” mean? Could not even find it in a dictionary..

  38. Greg Louie February 9th, 2015 12:17 am

    It’s Khion, no clue what it means. Looks like maybe Dynafit borrowed it from some basketball player.

    Several of my friends who live or have lived in Austria, Switzerland and France say they’d rather come to the States to have boots worked on than try to find someone in the Alps to do it. FWIW, a few of them say the same thing about dental work.

    When they are here they complain about the lack of decent cheese and sausage, though, and they are always wondering where the hut with beer and coffee is while touring.

  39. Erik Erikson February 9th, 2015 1:03 am

    So a skilled US-bootfitter, who is keen on tasty sausage, cheese and cozy huts (the latter I would really miss, too!) should come over here and start a business. He would be a rich man after only one season, I guess… 😉

  40. Jeremy C February 9th, 2015 1:56 am

    There are a few very highly specialised Boot Fitters in Europe. I was getting foam boots and custom foot beds 30 years ago. For example in the UK there are Profeet, Surefoot, Solutions4Feet etc. These shops only sell sports footware, and have highly experienced and qualified staff, with all the correct tooling to modify ski boots. However, these shops only tend to visited by skiers after they have skied for a few years, and are fed up with poor boots, and are therefore willing to pay for the custom service.

    At the other extreme are the general sports shops, who happen to sell ski equipment, who have 3 different boots, and 5 skis. In these shops a boot fitting is largely trying on the boots in your size and picking the one that does not cause immediate pain, and that you like the colour of. I have heard many skiers say that they expect new boots to hurt for 2-3 weeks, until the liners pack out!

    Any shop that does not as a minimum have the facilities and experience to make custom molded foot beds shouldn’t really be selling skis boots.

  41. Lou Dawson 2 February 9th, 2015 1:58 am

    Khion, some kind of Greek myth character. Lou

  42. Benl February 9th, 2015 6:41 am

    Jennewein in Skt Anton certainly good for boot fitting, that said Jeff is american but been there long enough to call him a local. Rest of the crew are good as well and always very helpful, lent me a pair of Cho You week before last to try tech bindings with my new TLT6s.

  43. Erik Erikson February 9th, 2015 7:41 am

    Thanks, Benl !! St. Anton is far from me (but still inside Austria) but I´d go just about anywhere reachable by car to get a good fit finally (or maybe for the first time…)

    And thanks to wildsnow! Got already more information via that www-detour to America and back than from any local directly…

  44. jason February 9th, 2015 2:26 pm

    Lou, I see what looks like a new dynafit compatible Dalbello touring boot in those kingpin photos. Can you offer any beta? Their initial AT boots were not very well received, but this looks much more like a krypton with dynafit inserts.

    also, re: dynafit binding line for the coming season. Any word if there will be a superlite type binding with a flat touring mode?

    Thanks!

  45. Rich February 9th, 2015 2:37 pm

    Umm, not sure where this ‘europe has no boot fitters’ thinking has come from, There are several decent ones in the UK and lots more in France, Italy, Germany etc.

  46. Mike Browder February 9th, 2015 4:42 pm

    Yes, I agree with Rich. I live in Chamonix. There are boot fitters equal to the U.S. easily found in France, Italy, and Switzerland at least.

  47. Erik Erikson February 10th, 2015 4:10 am

    @ Rich: I´d be glad about information where the bootfitters in Germany and Italy are located if you know!
    And maybe the existence or not of bootfitters is really not an European but an Austrian issue?
    Would think I am blind or incompetent cause I can´t find one, but at least some commenters here confirm my impression..(Greg Louie for example, who got his infos from several local sources obviously..)

  48. Stefan February 12th, 2015 5:44 am

    @ Erik, I called Riap Sport in Bad Reichenhall if they can do some fitting on my TLT 6 P and they sayed its no problem. I have not been there yet but its not far from Salzburg City. http://www.riapsport.de/
    GTZ Stefan

  49. Erik Erikson February 12th, 2015 5:54 am

    @ Stefan: Thank you very much! But to be honest: I know Riap sport, have been there about 2 years ago or so and there was nothing special they could really do in case of narrow feet. Maybe that´s different in case of wide feet / punching, or maybe they got better in fitting terms. I´ll check for sure!
    To do them right: Beside the bootfitting thing they are one of the best shops I know concerning experience and knowledge, they can give real solid advice when it comes to BC skiing and have all the good stuff in stock (maybe one of my candidates for the “best ski shop post”)

  50. Neil Newton Taylor February 21st, 2015 2:43 am

    Hi there,

    Pele Sport in Schwarz, Tirol is a dynafit centre, and expert touring boot fitters. Not too far to drive from salzburg (depending on were you live).

    here’s the link: http://www.pelesport.at

    My local boot fitter is also great (Sport Monz, Pfunds, Tirol), just a bit too far to drive from Salzburg.

    I think europe has many good boot fitters, just in small shops that are hard to find.

    Cheers,
    Neil

  51. Landon T September 23rd, 2015 1:57 pm

    Hi Lou, any update on the Scarpa F1 Evo replacements? Are they still on track for November release? I am anxiously waiting for the replacements as the mountains visible west of Calgary have already been white a few times!

  52. Landon T September 23rd, 2015 2:03 pm

    Sorry, I see you had responded to my question in a different post. Delayed again!? Grr.

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