Ski Binding Design | BLISTER Summit ’22 Panel Discussion

At our 2022 Blister Summit, we brought together a group of panelists to discuss alpine ski bindings; their features and how they affect on-snow performance; the real-world considerations anyone might want to take into account when thinking about alpine bindings; Amer’s brand-new Strive binding; and much more.

Our panelists include Francois Lefebvre (global product line manager of bindings for Amer Sports), Chris Davenport (professional skier, US Ski Hall of Fame inductee), Paul Forward (Blister reviewer, physician, & lead heli guide, Chugach Powder Guides), and Chris McKearin (commercial manager, Salomon Alpine).

Presented by: Whistlepig Whiskey & Athletic Brewing

TOPICS & TIMES:

  • Introductions 00:00
  • New Amer Strive Binding 5:09
  • Elasticity, Suspension, & Spring Orientation 9:37
  • Real-World Considerations 14:46
  • Real-World Impacts of Binding Features 23:28
  • GripWalk & Boot Norms 30:13
  • Binding Sounds? 33:47
  • Audience Q&A: Demo Bindings 37:02
  • How to Maintain Bindings 46:57
  • Considerations Re: Materials 49:09
  • DIN Release Value Range Myths(?) 52:17
  • Sustainability & Bindings 58:09
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7 comments on “Ski Binding Design | BLISTER Summit ’22 Panel Discussion”

  1. Traditional bindings take a dynamic stock to force the springs to release. Many injuries are caused by the slow twisting falls, where there is insufficient energy to release the binding. What if the binding’s spring was held in place with a solenoid. Their would be motion sensors and excellerometers that would keep the tension of the springs on when needed, but when the skis stopped the din pressure would drop to point five. This would allow the ski to easily release, while retaining enough pressure for ride up the chair lift.
    The binding could part of a free flex plate that would house the battery to power the electronics.

  2. Great discussion. I wish I could have heard it a week ago before I bought a new set of bindings. It would have put my mind more at ease on my purchase. I don’t think I made a bad choice and may not have even changed what I purchased, but the information shared here answered questions that I couldn’t easily find answers to without taking up time in a sales shop. And really, in general, you’re not able to find this depth of explanation even in better known shops.
    I don’t think the discussion circled back around to adjusting down your DIN setting based on the amount of elasticity in the binding.

  3. Great panel.
    I’d always assumed that, among bindings of the same type but having different DIN ranges, the higher DIN bindings would have a more durable construction. That’s why I’ve often chosen a DIN 16 binding even though I set my DIN at 12: I’m hard on things. Looks like I can save some money in the future.

  4. Disagree on the Gripwalk binding standard/5355 matchup. There are still mismatches with AFD line ups between boot and binding. Having better walking boots is a great concept, but the execution of Gripwalk leaves a lot to be desired..

  5. Jonathan – if you guys found that the AT / tech bindings were remarkably different (re the point you made at 40:32), why did you write “First, the downhill performance of each binding is surprisingly similar. If we weren’t skiing them directly back-to-back, I doubt we would be able to discern many performance differences.” in that review? Or am I looking at the wrong group test?

    Not meant as being nitpicking of fact checking here – I am just trying to make sure that I understand the reference :) Thanks

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