Dynafits never die, they just fade away. Indeed, the Dynafit binding might be one of the longest running ski binding mechanical systems since cable bindings. But sometimes Dynafits do break before they become card carrying AARP members. A while back we started an ongoing blogpost about Dynafit durability, which pointed out some of the failure points to watch for. But we forgot about the possibility of the pins breaking, so here are the details now that we have an example.
Let me repeat that this is rare and as far as I know does not happen with recent generations of bindings, but it did occur with some regularity a couple of seasons ago, when Dynafit changed manufacturers and some defective pins snuck into the retail channel. Apparently we ended up with some of those, as a set of bindings one of our WildSnow bloggers has been using did have the pin failure a few weeks ago. Luckily Jason got nothing more than a bloody nose from the resulting body slam but it could have been worse.
What to look for? First, know that with the latest models you DO NOT need to mess around with this. If you’ve got an older model, use a magnifying glass to examine your heel pins for cracks near the binding housing, and _behind_ the flange on the pin. Grab the pins with some pliers (protect from plier jaws with tape) and work them a bit to see if they’re getting ready to fail, and spread them apart so you can perhaps see behind the flange. Like I said, nothing to be alarmed about but good to be aware of — and I’ve not heard of this happening at all with newer generation bindings.
The repair is easy. In this case we swapped in some spare pins we had lying around, but it’s more likely you’d simply unscrew the heel unit from the ski and replace with a complete new heel unit. Only caveat: If you do break a pin be sure to replace both heel units, in case the other one has the same generation pins.