Grail Quest – Could Silvretta be Sir Galahad?


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | December 18, 2006      

I was doing some fitness uphilling this past weekend and spied nordic jumping bindings (Winner SL) that have an elegant and simple torsional release mechanism. Got me thinking…

Winner SL ski jumping binding
Winner SL ski jumping binding has release system that looks like it would work for telemarking.

The safety release mechanism of these jumping bindings could easily be adapted for telemark skiing. This binding is made by Win.Air, a company that used to be part of Silvretta and no doubt still cross pollinates with them. Silvretta already makes their excellent telemark touring adapter for backcountry skiing — why not a radical telemark binding based on the concepts of jumping equipment, but with grail-quest virtues like free touring pivot and stepin/stepout?

If Black Diamond can spend millions on developing a new telemark binding, and Rottefella is no doubt doing the same, might there be another big player with a binding under their hat? We wouldn’t be surprised if Silvretta (Salewa) or Win.Air were working on something.

Nordic ski jumpers land in the telemark position and were thus keeping the tele alive long before the great tele revival excavated the turn from the sands of history. Thus, wouldn’t it be fitting if the grail binding ended up being based on jumping equipment? If you’re going to reinvent the wheel, you might as well start with a wheel.



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Comments

17 Responses to “Grail Quest – Could Silvretta be Sir Galahad?”

  1. Mike Marolt December 18th, 2006 9:17 am

    Lou: You’ve been doing a lot of tele-thinking lately……

    M

  2. Derik George December 18th, 2006 9:33 am

    Can someone please explain to me the economics of spending millions to develop a new tele binding? Maybe I just don’t understand the money to be made. It doesn’t seem like the market is there to justify this kind of R&D. Could airline CEOs be running Black Diamond?!

  3. Lou December 18th, 2006 10:59 am

    I just like gadgetry, especially when it’s in development… back to rando gear this week. Gotta get the skins working on the Trab skis, been duct taping them on till I figure out how I want to tail fix etc. with the Trab tip and tail shape.

  4. Mike Marolt December 18th, 2006 11:58 am

    Hey, what is the best AT skin these days for 24 hours of Sunlight?

    On the Trab tip, not sure what that is like, but on some oversized tips in the past, I used a wire hanger and formed a kind of hook or cage.

    M

  5. Daigan December 18th, 2006 12:03 pm

    To me, that looks remarkably similar to Karhu’s 7TM line release sytem.

  6. Daigan December 18th, 2006 12:04 pm

    here’s a closeup of said system, courtesy of TTips

    http://www.telemarktips.com/Resources/7tmTour3.jpg

  7. Lou December 18th, 2006 12:15 pm

    Wow, that really is similar!

  8. Drew December 18th, 2006 5:32 pm

    Hey Lou,
    I’d be psyched to see a whole post on jumping skis- they are huge and fat with no sidecut, right? I better other folks would be interested, too?

  9. Lou December 18th, 2006 5:34 pm

    Trab tip and tail have a nice fitting for the skin, but it doesn’t tension the skin and I don’t like that, so I’m trying to rig something that does, shouldn’t be too tough.

    As for skins for Sunlight, the up route is mostly low angled, so you definitely want mohair if you can find it. Don’t know a source at this time, anyone else? Waxed mohair will really save some time over the duration of the event. Remember you also need two pair of skins if you’re going solo, so one can be drying while the other is being used.

  10. Lou December 18th, 2006 5:44 pm

    Derik, according to an inside source at backcountry.com, telemarkers spend an immense amount of money on gear and making ski equipment specific for telemarking can be a good business move. Witness the number of so-called telemark skis that are simply re branded alpine or randonnee skis. There is some question in the industry about how may telemarkers will buy new boots to go with a new binding system that requires a special boot sole, but from what I’ve seen and heard I’m thinking it won’t be a problem. Whoever did the market research for Black Diamond appears to agree.

    By the way all, I’m familiar with the other release tele bindings, knew this one was similar in concept, just a good example of how the technology is out there and just needs to be brought up to speed. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the release mechanism I’m writing about was on jumping skis long before concept was used for 7TM.

  11. Mark Worley December 18th, 2006 7:29 pm

    Nordic jumping has always held my attention. That’s a nice looking and simple binding.

  12. Grant December 18th, 2006 8:10 pm

    last year I got some Trab mohair skins from Mark at Wasatch ski.
    http://wasatchski.com/gear.htm
    The trab tip and tail system works well once you dail it in, but no tensioning is a small draw back. By accident I cut a pari of skins a few mm short, they ended up working really well, lots of tension!

  13. Derik George December 18th, 2006 8:17 pm

    Lou and all-
    Reference the rebranded alpine skies: My all around backcountry skis are Rossi T3s (dynafit mounted ofcourse), that are just Bandit B2s with different graphics.

    Yes, I guess I underestimate the amount of money the consumer is willing to spend. I did assume that most companies (except airlines 🙂 ) have marketing people that figure this stuff out before they undertake the project. Interesting developments.

    For 100% mohair skins, there is a certain overseas retailer that has the coltex version. I won’t endorse them because they don’t advertise here, but customer service has been good, and with the falling dollar, prices are okay.

    As alwasys, thanks for the info.

  14. Lou December 19th, 2006 6:47 am

    Derik, thanks for being sensitive to the advertising issues. Since my advertisers don’t sell 100% Mohair skins (a search of backcountry.com yields a mohair benie hat), it’s fine to share the source. http://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/

    But please shop our advertisers here at WildSnow.com if you can…

    Mohair skins really are incredible. They glide like crazy.

  15. Lindsay December 20th, 2006 12:36 pm

    Lou, Looking for any info on your site for Karhu’s TM 7 line, this is the only thread that comes up – any other info? I’m ready to pull the trigger on getting this binding and thought I’d check the local
    reviews.
    thanks,
    lb

  16. Lou December 20th, 2006 4:57 pm

    Well, Mitch over at telemarktips.com covers randonnee as well as telemark, so I guess here at WildSnow.com we can talk about telemark as well as rando. But seriously, I’d head over to telemarktips.com for tele info. Say hi to Mitch for me.

  17. BrianRS January 6th, 2009 8:59 am

    I didn’t know there was so much technology behind bindings, you live and learn.

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