If you’re looking for Beast 16 information, be sure to check our FAQ.
We’re over here in northern Italy (Dolomites) at Refugio Fanes checking out the new Dynafit products for 2013/14. I’m not sure what’s the most interesting, huge beefy bindings or lightweight ‘nearly one kilo!’ performance skis? Actually, I’m guessing we’ll probably be more into the low mass skis than the 850 gram appropriately named “Beast” binding. But it is all quite intriguing. More commentary from me soon now that Lisa and I have done some gear demos. Meanwhile, here is the party line (mostly PR copy, but with as much backstory and opinion as I can fit in.) Click most images to enlarge.
One thing many of you will ask is if this will be the first TUV tech binding certified to DIN/ISO standards? According to Dynafit, they’ve actually made a strategic decision to bring the Radical series binding to TUV cert first, then the Beast because the way TUV works, if they get the first tech binding TUV cert for the Beast, all the crazy cool features of the Beast that make it release so well (we assume, kindly) will end up being retroactive to other tech bindings, and make them harder to certify. Thus, it’s better to go for the TUV cert first on a more classic and basic tech binding, then move up to the more complex. Whatever the case, whoever brings the first TUV certified tech binding to market stands to make a bunch of money due to it being favored by ski shops. The race is on.
For massive data dump please enjoy our Beast 16 Binding FAQ
Press Release Info for Beast Binding
It’s all in the name – ski touring supplier DYNAFIT is presenting a brand new binding design for winter 2013/14. Dynafit’s binding designers have hit the fall-line and are targeting ambitious freeriders with a binding for all conditions and terrain types. The frameless system is combined with great stability and robustness up to DIN 16 integrating top performance on the ascent with an aggressive downhill ride. (Editor’s note, ‘DIN’ is of course a misnomer until the binding is TUV certified, but such is said to be in the works though not an immediate priority.)
Former pro freerider and design technicians Fredrik Andersson and pro skier Eric Hjorleifson have brought new disciplines into play for ascent-focused ski touring specialist DYNAFIT. Together, they have been developing the new binding model, the Beast 16. (Editor’s note: beyond PR copy, it’s probably a couple of smart engineers that really made this thing happen, it is quite complex mechanically and materials wise.) Their demands for the freeride binding were clear from the outset: top downhill performance, release value of 16, optimum ascent comfort all courtesy of the frameless system – and naturally not forgetting lightness.
The weight of 935 grams per binding makes the binding a maverick in the freeride binding ascent category (Edit note: heavier than normal tech bindings, but compare to normal freeride ‘frame’ bindings). The frameless system, which celebrates its 30th anniversary at DYNAFIT in 2013, saves lifted weight as well as saving overall mass and provides the ideal pivot point on the ascent. So the designers’ decision to arm the proven system with the requisite downhill characteristics was a logical step.
– The Beast binding has been fitted with a sophisticated release mechanism. This provides release at both the toe and heel units, while the rotating toe piece has been designed in such a way that it combats premature release potentially caused by sudden impacts.
– The binding’s ultra-low height gives freeriders perfect ski-to-snow contact. A stable and smooth ride thanks to the subtle lean-forward angle and high-level torsional rigidity as a result of the wide baseplate are all features unique to the new DYNAFIT binding.
– Freeride pros Eric Hjorleifson and Fredrik Andersson used their long years of experience, as well as their ethos of creating the ultimately versatile skiing experience, as inspiration for the new design. DYNAFIT athlete Hjorleifson said “New-generation skiers need equipment that ensures equally top performance whether you’re jumping, skiing off-piste and cross-country.”
– The Beast 16 is available this coming winter in a limited run of 2,500 bindings, all individually numbered and delivered worldwide.
– Perfectly complemented release mechanisms for toe and heel units.
– Rotating toe piece for ideally combating premature release caused by sudden impacts. (Patent pending)
– New, revolutionary design and setup for rear pivot points enable extra vertical movement thus increasing the release path/release value/tech gap (to 10mm from 4mm). (Patent pending)
– This design allows increased energy absorption through greater elasticity when performing dynamic actions (e.g. jumps). (Patent pending) ((Editor’s note those German copy writers. The word is “hucks.”
– Binding entry achieved by pressing the heel down with controlled force. Entry force is therefore low whatever the setting (DIN range 6-16), providing convenient entry in deep snow with higher DIN values. (Patent pending)
– Ultra-low binding height ensuring at-to-ski contact for boot (DYNAFIT Vulcan: rear 23mm; front 17mm)
TLT6 Performance – Press Release
The top choice for skiers who demand the best boots for climbing light and skiing strong. When used without the tongue, the TLT 6 is ideal for training and short races. Its up to the user to adapt the flex index to the type of activity: super high flex index with black tongue, high with colored tongue, standard without tongue. The carbon cuff provides an impressive level of forward support, with or without an additional tongue. As with the TLT 5, the new TLT 6 features a short rockered sole and perfect crampon compatibility; the Ultra-Lock system allows incredible cuff rotation and uphill agility, with a super-fast, single-motion transition from walk to ski mode; the new rear spoiler provides an adjustable forward lean angle. Also available in M’s & W’s MTN.
Grand Teton ski PR copy
Created in memory of Steve Romeo, an influential ski mountaineer and backcountry advocate. The “Grand Teton” boasts an amazing swing weight, beefy sidewall construction, and a carbon stringer, with a continued focus on saving weight. Additionally the Grand Teton has a long rocker shovel, a revolutionary bamboo-beech core, and weighs in is less then 1550 grams. Light enough for serious ski mountaineers and burley enough for whatever the mountain delivers.
A note about Dynafit’s product categories. Main segment is probably their ‘speed touring’ product category. That’s where most of us are. In their language this simply means a combo of what works good for up as well as down. However, I figured out the reality: “speed touring’ simply means skipping lunch till you’re back at the beer stube. Typical euros.
Dynafit PR copy re Cho Oyu ski
Despite the wide geometry of the ski, the weight is only 1080grams and is thus perfect for deep snow as well as mountaineering and ski expeditions. The Cho Oyo offers a new 3-D flex-tip design and a micro sidewall construction to achieve optimum weight reduction. With ‘scoop’ rocker, triple radius, a paulownia wood core, and new carbon speed stringers the Cho Oyo will have you begging for more laps in the backcountry. CHO OYO Available length of skis: 174,182,191, MSRP $799.95
More backstory on the ski weight issue. As I suspected in comments above, one of the product line managers I spoke with agreed with my take that lighter skis that actually ski is a rapidly growing trend. He mentioned that the legendary 1 kilo ski used to only be a rando racing plank, and is now a ski touring ski. When they get the wider boards down to that weight it’ll be truly amazing, but for now I did ski on the Cho Oyu and yes, they do fly uphill and do quite well on the down. In detail, I found the sidecut to be a bit much in breakable crust (we did find a tiny bit) but they’re fine in powder and edgy on hardpack. I’d use them for winter powder and spring skiing.
Another thing, re ongoing issues with other companies making tech fittings that work poorly, and end up causing bindings being blamed for problems actually caused by the fittings: Insiders here are saying that yes, Dynafit will soon implement a program of certifying inserts made by other companies and used in other brands of boots. That is a very positive development in my book.
And why can Dynafit do all this stuff? They were nearly bankrupt in 2003, and grossed fifty million euros in 2012. That is a heck of a lot of gear, and I can’t help but be delighted that our sport can create that sort of prosperity for the individuals involved — and result in more and more amazing gear for all of us.
All the new gear will be available beginning October 2013.
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.