We’re in an ongoing research and mod project for Dynafit Comfort ski brake retraction. In writing about this issue I’ve been a bit quick on the trigger, saying our “ejector” mod somehow worked with Dynafit Comfort brakes. Actually, what’s going on here at the WildSnow Modshop is by doing a series of small modifications and technique tweaks, we’ve figured out how to get the brakes retracting more easily when changing from downhill mode to tour, without taking skis off. At this point it’s a bit disappointing, however, as even with our tweaks it still takes quite a bit of force to get the brakes to retract by rotating the heel unit.
Below are the developments so far, a list of ways to make the Dynafit Comfort Binding brakes retract more easily, no matter how you change modes. Some of these tweaks might help with Dynafit TLT brakes as well, but we’re experimenting with the Comfort model at this point.
- Remove one of the springs from the brake mechanism,
so it takes less force to retract. Downside is the brake doesn’t
punch into the snow as strongly when deployed after a release, but
it’ll still stop your ski.
- Clearance the front BOTTOM edge of the plastic
pad under the boot heel, so it hits slightly later during retraction.
- Lubricate the circular shaped steel plate that
the binding rotates over when it retracts the brake. Do this daily.
- Most important: Stand on the ski in such a way
as to force the brake to partially retract. This is easy on harder
snow such as dense corn, more difficult in powder (you may need to
shove a ski tail under the brake prongs for them to rest on).
- Learn how much force the retraction should take,
practice at home. Don’t exceed this force in the field or you’ll
Our “ejector” mod detailed previously in this blog allows the brake to fully deploy when you change from downhill to tour mode, thus the brake must retract as you rotate the heel unit to your selected tour position. Thus, the primary advantage of other methods of changing Dynafit bindings from downhill to tour without exiting the ski may be that such methods start rotating the heel unit while the brake is still retracted under the boot. Thus, perhaps the “ejector” is best used on rigs without brakes. Research is ongoing.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.