A known issue with Dynafit FT12 binding is the lack of support under the toe wings, due to the narrow baseplate (our theory is that style trumped function, but who knows…). At worst, this lack of support could lead to excessive stress on the steel binding base and subsequent breakage. At best, urban legend holds that having a toe unit base as narrow as the FT somehow makes your skis perform noticeably worse or even contributes to the possibility of binding pull-out. While we’re skeptical of the latter (except in the case of racing World Cup slalom on Dynafits), we are believers regarding concerns about FT binding durability. Hence, if you’re of average size or larger and ski hard with big boots and skis, we recommend this mod for the Dynafit FT12 backcountry skiing binding. Conversely, if you’re a mellow skier (like me), you probably don’t need this mod so don’t panic. (Click images to enlarge.)
I see only two minor downsides to the Power Plate. One, it adds 8 grams per binding. Two, and more importantly, the Power Plate will obviously exacerbate the build up of ice under the toe wings due to to the plate forming a rim to the rear of the binding. This type of ice buildup is in our opinion one of the reasons people sometimes experience what they think is an pre-release problem inherent to the Dynafit binding design, when in reality they have a wad of ice keeping the binding from totally closing on their boot toe. Thus, if you choose to install the Power Plate, simply be more vigilant about checking for ice under the toe wings and cleaning it out if necessary.
FT Power Plate is Dynafit part # 48566, and hopefully would be available from your favorite shop or perhaps online. If difficult to find, call Dynafit customer service.
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.
I purchased a pair of tri-steps about 7 years ago because I succumbed to the “freeride” dynafit marketing. It turned out that the marketing dept was better funded than the engineering dept on that particular project. Now we have the FT12. “Freeride” strikes again.
Indeed, I did get a chuckle out of how the ST binding is lighter weight and better designed, but it only goes to 10!
To be fair, Dynafit has made a huge effort to get these bindings out there for the folks who need them. A few rough spots along the way are only to be expected. Main thing is how they respond, and I think they’ve done well in that area.
Is that your new Volkls I am seeing?
This is probably an old question, but what’s the best way to deal with icing under the toe? Smacking it with my pole tip? A pocket knife? Thanks.
Zeb, in the FAQ but I don’t mind repeating. Ideal is to use something that won’t scratch the plastic, like a popcicle stick, but most people just get in there with a ski pole tip or even something blunt on a multi-tool. Also, one cleaned, it helps to ‘snap’ the binding open and closed a few times. This all in the Youtube videos as well.
Christian, yes, a demo/test pair of Volkl Nunataq. 107 wide at the waist, making me a hypocrite. But yeah, I’m human (grin). 1786 grams for a 178 cm, really light. They appear to have the same type of core used in skis such as Manaslu. Tons of rocker. Might be a really nice ski for those of you wanting something in that width that doesn’t drag you down like a boat anchor (at least not till the snow gets piled up on top).
Lou, all Dynafit needed to do was mold a new baseplate 2mm wider on each side that the ST’s plate and ditch the carbon cover. All problem’s solved. Retaining that cover led to a less effective solution. I am not impressed. Do you happen to know how much a pair of ST bases costs versus the Power Plates?
Does the plate mount up solidly, or is it a sloppy, rattle prone piece? There are no screws retaining it, and you recommended glue under the only contact holding it on.
It mounts up solid. Come by and we’ll mount your set for long term test. I have them sitting here.
P.S., an ST toe baseplate will work fine for an FT toe unit. That would be my upgrade of choice, since I cut off the connector strip anyway… Not sure how available just the ST toe base plates are, but they do break on occasion so I suspect Dynafit might have a few extra.
Nanatuq rocks! Super stiff for the weight. Its the maritime snow pack version of the Stoke at a much more reasonable price.
Zeb, it’s rare that clicking the binding open and shut a few times with the ski held vertically doesn’t create enough space for the binding to operate properly; I would try that first. Any spray periodically with silicone spray under the arms before you leave home.
how much are the power plates?
Out on Nanatuq again today at resort, am working on a review. Definitely a very smooth, easy to ski plank. Was having trouble with wax so couldn’t really rip. Next week I guess. Been uphilling on them as well, with the dedicated skins which are nice and glidy, with nice tip/tail system.
Lou, thanks for the offer. I’d love to try them out. Send me an e-mail with your number and I’ll get in touch with you.
Those look like a beefy set-up.
Does it matter, the added weight, really?
I think for the added support, who cares.
Good stuff! I like how you can enlarge the pictures on your site.
ST toe sub plates are available . I recently bought 5 prs to upgrade (retrograde?) My FTs and a few friends. With shipping around $17.50 each.Good service too.
ST Toe subplates are also nice to upgrade older models because they also have the reinforced crampon slot.
Robie, good info, thanks!
I’ve got SollyFits on my skis with FT12’s. My guess from eyeing the power plates is that they would not work with the SollyFits due to an over hang. Has anyone at WS experienced this issue yet and had a fix? My guess would be the ST toe plates.
Thanks in advance.
Rob, I skied FT12s, Powerplates, and Sollyfits for the first time at a resort today. The plates overhang about 1/8th of an inch, but there is about 1/4 of an inch that is supported by the Sollyfit, so I think the Powerplate will serve to support the toe wings. Not problems so far.
Seems to me that the FT overhang could be easily addressed with a DIY fix. Say with some UHMWPE cutting board material cut and dremeled to fit fit snug under the wings, with a small drop of epoxy underneath to hold it to the topsheet. Anybody try anything like this?
Alexs, it would be tough to hand machine the plastic for the nice fit the Power Plates have. Also, it is indeed true that an ST binding toe plate does almost the same thing (and in a way might be better, because it’ll trap less ice), for around $17 according to poster above.
I had the same problem that colin samuels had, only difference is that i had used the bindings exactly 12 times and almost all of them on the groomers (not much pow this winter here in the Dolomites). I experienced several pre-release issues, brought the bindings back to the shop, it looked like there was nothing wrong. two weeks ago i was skiing (very relaxed and slow) and bam! me going one direction, one ski the opposite. broken…
Lou, I think they’re $17.50 per pair.
Even cheaper at Telemark Pyrenees, 6.27€ plus shipping outside of the EU.
Greg, too much espresso? I multiplied by two for some unknown reason!
Thanks for this post!
I’ve used this binding w/ F1s and Radiums and noticed the issue with both boots. Certainly not a binding for the F1 as no plate can be added, but the Radium’s should have been more stable – still a bit squirrely in front. Also, having an issue getting the ski crampon situation working due to the carbon being installed too close to the rear of the toe piece…
hey lou…..still liking those Nunataqs?? are ya gonna write a review?
Bjorn, am getting out on them again today. Sure, I’ll write up a review…
Lou (et al)-
I just picked up a pair of FT12s to replace some Fritschis that broke skiing some mellow hardpack (the repeated torque from skidding perpendicular to the fall line busted the toe cap and the bent the square metal tube).
I haven’t mounted them yet, so it sounds like an ST sub toe plate is preferable. I’m going to check with Dynafit. I wonder how long it would be before 11/12 FT toe plates are available.
Also, should I ditch the connecting carbon plate? Why?
Blake, if you change to the ST toe plate there is nothing for the connecting plate to connect to, so yeah, you’ll ditch it. What to ditch will be obvious if you get the ST toe plate…
Hi Lou, I got some of these plates for my FT12/Manaslu set up and was able to snap them into place without removing and remounting the binding. I started by getting one side of the plate under the wing and then GENTLY (they will break if you bend them too much!) wrapped it around and snapped it under the other one – then shored it into place under each wing with the butt end of a screwdriver. Pretty easy and totally solid and I’ve done it for 3 more pairs since.
I’ve been rocking them for a month plus now and haven’t noticed any ice build up whatsoever. And maybe it’s just me, but i swear i can feel a performance difference with better power transmission in the toe, but no matter, definitely an upgrade.
Denny, thanks for figuring that out! I’ll bet if the plates were heated fairly hot they’d snap in there even easier. Still, I’d recommend bridging any tiny gaps with a dab of epoxy. And as for performance difference, more power to you (grin)!
I’m new to Dynafits, and just wanted to share that I think they are bomber. I took a day at Alpine Meadows in the Tahoe area to ski these binding on a morning ice / sloggy afternoon spring day to just feel confident in them. I had been skiing backcountry with them, but never felt 100% confident in them. I do now. I’m a 6’3+ 210lb ski anything anywhere skier. My set up is Praxis Backcountry 190, Dynafit FT12 and BDel Factor boots.
I took these things down chattery ice and 8″ slush out the hikes, mainly on Bernies bowl. Not once pounding through the hardpack in the shadows or on the icy north slopes did I feel like I was going to come out of the bindings. I didn’t huck anything, cause I understand the setup I am on, but if you land square on your feet off stuff under 20′, I don’t see a problem. I’ll let you know if we get another powder day lols. I was impressed.
Anyhow… I am going to get the plates, just to be safe, but love the binders! I hope this helps someone feel more confident when switching over. BTW, if you have a link to get the plates, that’d be cool.
I know this is a little off the subject, but I can not get the Portman template to download in the proper size, so the holes don’t line up. I would like to make my own template, so does anyone know the exact measurements for the Dynafit FT12 bindings. Also, there is no midsole mark on the K2 Backup, it has a regular camber, so does anyone know how to measure to find the midsole.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Regarding buying Power Plate, get direct from Dynafit. I have no idea why it’s not simply available from backcountry.com or other etailers…
John, If you have the binding, can’t you just measure it to make your template? But, don’t give up on our templates, just dig into your printer settings, I’ve never heard of a problem with scaling that couldn’t be solved by tweaking a few print settings.
As for mounting marks on K2, try a dealer or K2 customer service. Or perhaps someone here can chime in…
Do you think these would help with binding pull outs at all? You seem kinda skeptical at the top, Lou. I guess either way it can’t hurt to have them, I’m a pretty big guy and have these mounted on some fairly wide skis. I had a FT12 toe piece rip out on me on a few months back and am just getting around to remounting them now. I’m hoping power plates plus some helicoils or inserts will do the trick.
The seat-of-pants engineer in me doesn’t see how Power Plate would make a mount any more resistant to pullout. If you want that, use inserts or helicoils.
I think the power plate could help with toe piece pullout because it helps reduce twisting and bending, which probably loads up one or two screws and causes them to fail. I think the toe piece failures and toe piece pull out has the same cause, the only difference is if the ski fails (pullout) or the binding cracks/breaks first.
Well, one way or the other I do agree the binding base should be as wide as is practical. That just makes sense. Never was thrilled about the narrow base of the FT12… made no sense.
Since the 2011/2012 model will have a beefed up toe wing, is the power plate a silly idea for an aggressive 165 lbs skier on a 100mm ski? No huge air these days for me, just ski mountaineering, with an occasional resort day.
Excellent info as always. Thanks all!
Just FYI, e-OMC has/had them, they’re out of stock until January.
MEC (http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/Snowsports/BackcountrySkiing/BindingComponents/PRD~5028-447/dynafit-vertical-ft-power-plates.jsp) has them as well, not sure if they ship the US though.
Do you mean the radical line? The power plate is designed only for the FT12 AFAIK, the ST’s toe wings are already supported.
I am looking at the FT (or maybe the ST?) for a pair of Dynafit Stokes, so now I am thinking maybe I SHOULD get the Power Plate. Should I consider the ST if I am only 165 and use a DIN of 7.5-8?
So the FT12 had the unsupported toe wings,
The ST design supported the toe wings better.
The radical line (both ST and FT) for this year has a redesigned toe piece that in theory should help with the pullout issue, but it has a new hole pattern and I don’t know if it works with the inserts on the stoke.
If you’re not going to run a higher din then IMHO why pay the extra cost +extra weight for the FT when the ST would be adequate. The plastic connector plate on the FT is for looks and really doesn’t do anything anyways.
Right on Brother! Just dropped the cash prodeal for Stokes, Quadrants and … ST’s!
Good call. I agree with you about low DIN logic and the Radicals have a lower upper elevator, as I assessed in the shop. TLT for me Bro!
Looking forward to Jan/Feb deep! Kd.
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