With Fritz’s okay, I can report on this prototype for a Dynafit telemark binding. Fun stuff, perhaps for five minutes I can get more traffic than Telemarktips. (All, please don’t rip these photos and publish elsewhere. They are copyrighted.) This is totally a prototype with no plans for production (the unit shown here was made 12 years ago, and in possession of Scarpa for quite some time before being returned to Fritz. So this is mostly just a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a mechanical genius. Also a testimony to what one person can do during their spare time in a workshop — makes NTN look kinda overcooked, no? And 12 years ago!?
|The concept is quite simple. Use an articulated boot, but with the articulation damped by adjustable springs mounted on the boot instead of a cable (which Fritz dismissed as “old fashioned.” The boot shown here was an experiment in making an articulated model, and does not have the springs attached.) In touring mode you’ve basically got a Dynafit toe unit, with free pivot as well as articulated boot. To switch to tele, you throw the touring lock down and this engages a set of hooks that hold the boot down to the ski at the articulated point.|
|Shown in touring mode, the hooks that engage the boot for telemarking are clearly visible.|
|When it’s time to look hip and drop a knee at your chosen telemark mecca, you just engage the hooks into the mode shown above, and away you go. There you go Tipsters, yet another concept for that Grail floating just out of reach (grin)!|
Seriously, Frtiz and Dynafit are working hard on boot designs. As far as I know they’re not planning on entering the telemark world, but they are working on more designs for AT backcountry skiing boots, and Fritz is trying to break out of the traditional mold and do some extremely innovative things that, yes, I’ve signed a blood contract not to reveal. I can say that today he was riveting carbon fiber cuffs to custom rando race boots, and says we’ll see more of such super lightweight concepts in coming Dynafit production boots.