Technical Specifications & Comparisons
The Dynafit Beast 16 came in at 957 g per binding. This is right in line with the Marker Griffon 12 (945 g) and the Marker Jester 16 (995 g), which are, in my opinion, the lightest, high-performance alpine bindings on the market. The Look Pivot 14 comes in at 1,094, or 150 g heavier. The Beast 16 is 500 g lighter (or a little over a pound) than a Salomon Guardian or Marker Duke (1,459g).
I was also interested to measure how the stack height of the Beast 16 compared to the rest of the field. I pulled the following numbers from some bindings I have.
All measurements are with the same boot (Tecnica Cochise Pro Light w/ AT soles, 310mm boot sole), and the stack height toe and heel is the measured gap is between the topskin of the ski and the bottom of the sole of the boot, at the same places of the toe and heel for all bindings.
Dynafit Beast 16: 22mm toe, 24mm heel
Salomon Guardian: 25mm toe, 30mm heel
Look P18: 13mm toe, 18mm heel
Marker Griffon: 21mm toe, 25mm heel
Plum Guide (includes 8mm toe shim to flatten ramp): 23mm toe, 27mm heel
I will be looking to evaluate the Beast 16 binding on several main points:
- Is the binding fully legit to ski in bounds, full time, in place of an alpine binding?
- Where does the binding fall in the alpine binding spectrum from least laterally stiff and responsive to most? E.g., Salomon Z12 > Marker Jester > Look P18
- How does the toe and heel release perform on firm snow?
- How does the Release Values compare, in the real world, to how I set my alpine bindings?
- How is the totally subjective “ride quality”? I find tech bindings with low elasticity over transmit feedback into my feet, and therefore ride super harsh on firm snow, compared to a nice alpine binding.
- How does the binding tour? Any downside compared to a Plum Guide or Dyanfit Radical?
- The toe release does not lock, only the rotation locks out. Will the toe release when one is making heavy kick steps into hard breakable crust?
- How will all the moving parts hold up through long-term use?
- In short, is this the holy grail of bindings? Can I send 30 footers and charge chopped-up, variable snow in bounds in the a.m., then go run uphill with the rando geeks in the afternoon?
Initial On-Snow Impressions
A few quick thoughts after a nice handful of runs on the Beast 16 this weekend, after 15″ over the past 36 hours (great skiing conditions, but hardpack under all that):
1. For me personally, the Beast 16 will not replace a Rossignol FKS 180 or a Salomon 916 for true high-speed, hardpack shredding—which is, of course, fine, and most skiers won’t care. Nobody is going to be mounting a Beast 16 (or a Salomon Guardian etc.) to a WC GS ski, which is exactly what the FKS and 916 were designed for, but that’s not the point.
2. The Beast 16 feels more like a Duke/Guardian/Griffon in terms of responsiveness, which is pretty darn decent, for sure.
3. It rides smooth and damp, nice feel, very unlike the current tech bindings that have the “rattle your fillings out” feel on firm snow.
4. I sent probably about 15 OK-ish-size airs—10-15 feet—into a variety of pow, cut-up soft, and scraped off hardpack. No issues. Stomped and skied out with speed really nicely.
5. I did drop a ~25 footer, which I skied out fine, but one of my heels released on the groomer about 40 turns afterward. I went into the shop and re-adjusted the forward pressure, skied another run, and all seemed fine. No idea what went on there. I will just have to see if that happens again, otherwise I will chalk it up to an error on my end while initially setting up the binding.
6. Getting into the binding is a little different than a normal tech toe, and has a little learning curve—like the first time out on tech bindings, really. Three to four days, and I will feel like a pro, I am sure.
I am excited to continue testing the Beast and putting it through its paces, and will be reporting back shortly when I can put together a full review of this binding.
You can now read Marshall’s Update on the Beast 16 .