Pre Production Prototype Low Tech (Dynafit) Backcountry Skiing Alpine Touring Binding circa 1983

Pre Production Prototype Low Tech (Dynafit) Backcountry Skiing Alpine Touring Binding — 1982 1983 1983 — 1st patent 1984

 first Low Tech (now Dynafit) binding that binding inventors Manfred and Fritz Barthel actually skied on, during 1982 and 1983.

first Low Tech (now Dynafit) binding that binding inventors Manfred and Fritz Barthel actually skied on, during 1982 and 1983.

This is the first Low Tech (now Dynafit, generic term “tech” or “pintech”) binding that binding inventors Manfred and Fritz Barthel actually skied on, during 1982 and 1983. It’s made using the basic concepts of the Ramer ski touring binding of the time, only the boot acts as the Ramer binding frame plate, and the ball/socket system of the Ramer is reversed so the balls are on the ski boot and the sockets mounted on the ski. (Later tech bindings would reverse this configuration, with smaller “pins” on the ski that mated with sockets in the boot.)

The boot is a Koflach Valluga, which at the time was the only shoe the Barthels felt might be strong enough to act as a binding plate. As it turned out, just about any plastic ski boot is stiff enough to do the job.

Detail of toe unit. The lever operates a cam used to lock and unlock the binding for downhill skiing or touring.

Detail of toe unit. The lever operates a cam used to lock and unlock the binding for downhill skiing or touring.

Toe unit detail showing retrofitted ball protruding from boot toe. This was later reversed to the present Dynafit concept of pins that seat in sockets at the toe of the boot.

Toe unit detail showing retrofitted ball protruding from boot toe. This was later reversed to the present Dynafit concept of pins that seat in sockets at the toe of the boot.

The heel uses a Ramer latch system, only with the rear part of the Ramer binding plate built into the boot heel.

The heel uses a Ramer latch system, only with the rear part of the Ramer binding plate built into the boot heel.

(Epistemology note: “Dynafit” bindings had no name when the prototype above was in use. Later, when the Barthels decided to make and sell the binding they called it “Low Tech.” When producing the binding themselves they chose the Dynafit Tourlite boot to be used with the binding, which led to the Dynafit company licensing and producing the binding, and calling it “Dynafit.”)

This binding is owned by inventor Fritz Barthel and was photographed by Lou Dawson in Austria, it is not present in the WildSnow.com physical binding collection. Thanks goes to Fritz for allowing us to provide this information and photos.

  Your Comments

  • Carl: I have found how the boot is buckled has a huge flex impact as well. Boots...
  • Carl: looks like a great thing to have in the pack. Site looks like it works, di...
  • Jack: hmmm. I wonder how hard it would be to instrument the boot liner to measu...
  • Omekim: Ummm.... The machine looks to be at room temperature. They should probably ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Tom, it would be easy to do something crude using a torque wrench on an art...
  • Lou Dawson 2: From what I know, unlikely all the boot flex ratings in the industry are an...
  • Tom Gos: Lou, I seem to remember that back in the '80s Ski Magazine (the American on...
  • Bill H: Maybe SkiAlper can rent some time on the machine for next year's issue :)...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hi Greg, I did have a graphic at one time but I don't recall it having reso...
  • Greg: I remember there being an image of the D scale at some point – with resort ...
  • Hans D.: Great advice. I hadn't thought about the "quickstep" notch, but now that y...
  • Dean Gagnon: Hello, Does anyone know where to get spare hinges for the tounge of the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Billy Goat, IMHO the Amer (Salomon) binding is not a done deal, it will be ...
  • Rod Georgiu: Good idea...
  • zak: Any idea on if/when Scarpa will update the F1 to include the tech from the ...
  • Lou Dawson 2: I'll say it. Many Dynafit ski models are built to be lightweight and not pa...
  • Tomas: Destruction topsheet - only 2 days during normal telemark skiing. I'm wait...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Glad you liked the photos, was a fun day with you guys. Main thing, just gi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Agree, someone needs to forget about TUV and all that sort of thing and jus...
  • szaraz levente: I do not need a TUV certificate brake, I only hate the wire wich connect me...
  • Lou Dawson 2: Hans, the best thing to do is put your boot-binding combo on a release test...
  • Hans D.: Regarding touring boots with swappable soles for alpine use: I have Lupo TI...
  • Dave Johnson: My mind is blown at the binding technology going on today. Imagine, in '76 ...
  • Bar Barrique: Jason; If you choose to replace the liners, I would advise speaking to the ...
  • BillyGoat: Convertible alpine bindings will defiantly have a market (aside from the fi...
  • Lou Dawson 2: My bad Dan, trying to be brief, I'm talking about the boot locator things, ...
  • Dan: I'm reading wildsnow religiously but I don't know what's the deal with the ...
  • XXX_er: I used to think that I MUST have a cuff cant adj at the outside cuff pivot ...
  • Lou 2: Tom, a canted cuff really helps me as well, sigh.... Probably still somewh...
  • Tom Gos: Lou, thanks for confirming that the new Maestrale will not have cuff cant r...

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

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