Rottefella NTN Binding / DPS Wailer 112RP Hybrid, 178cm

Rottefella NTN Binding / DPS Wailer 112RP Hybrid, 178cm, BLISTER
Robin Abeles, Thirds, Alta Ski Area.

Frequent storms were hitting the Wasatch since the start of February, and the Wailer 112RP proved to be a fantastic powder ski in 18-24 inch pow days in the Comma Chute, Westward Hoe, High Traverse, and the Supreme area’s Rock Garden. The 112RP floats effortlessly, though perhaps not as beautifully as the Black Diamond Megawatt when the snow got bottomless.

Telemark skiing is a sport that highlights individuality, simplicity, and grace. Most free-heelers pride themselves on the purity of their turns and the simplicity of their gear. This can make a skier accustomed to a spring and cable system that uses a thin piece of plastic to secure the heel a bit dubious of the NTN binding.

The Rottefella NTN offers no heel strap, and its cable/cartridge system is hidden under a large amount of plastic and metal. A very valid concern is that, if a part does break in the backcountry, you may need to have an extra third binding on hand because a “jury rig” probably isn’t as simple as with a standard 75mm three pin binding.

Rottefella NTN Binding / DPS Wailer 112RP Hybrid, 178cm, BLISTER

Having spent a good amount of time in the backcountry on the NTN, however, my confidence is growing in its reliability, and I can’t wait to take them on a hut trip. Furthermore, swapping out the binding is amazingly easy because the NTN is mounted with two screws on a plate. This provides many benefits, the greatest being that you can buy extra mounting plates for your other skis and only own one set of bindings.

The plate also offers different mount positions that you can adjust in a matter of seconds to find your personal sweet spot on the ski or to adapt to the current the snow conditions.

Rottefella NTN Binding / DPS Wailer 112RP Hybrid, 178cm, BLISTER
Robin Abeles, Eddie’s High Nowhere, Alta Ski Area.

The NTN can also be set with more tension (depending on the cartridge) than the Hammerhead in the fifth hole slider position, but the placement of that tension is where the NTN is far superior.

As fellow telemarker and Blister Reviewer Kate Hourihan points out, the Hammerhead achieves resistance by tightening the cable and engaging the spring. Moving the sliders forward or backward underfoot not only dictates the range of motion, but also decreases or increases the tension of the cable. This gives the desired feel and power/control ratio. However, as it changes the range of motion, it also changes the pivot point where the cable bends under the foot (creating the free heel). This means that the more tension and control you want, the more you must keep the foot fixed on the binding.

Personally, I always wanted the TENSION created by the fifth position, but the PIVOT POINT of the fourth or third position was ideal. I have found that a combination of the slider position and the cable tension is the best way to achieve the desired resistance. This is a limitation in the powerful Hammerhead design, because the binding itself dictates where it is most comfortable instead of the skier deciding on the perfect amount of resistance/tension.

Neither the NTN, nor any other Rottafella, Black Diamond, or G3 binding for that matter, change the pivot point with tension adjustments because cartridges are used to shorten or lengthen the cable. The NTN still has a cable, but it doesn’t run around the heel. Instead, it runs through a clamp/cartridge system that grabs the boot at the ball of the foot. This design creates a releasable binding, a very cool feature for those of us who tend to hang out in avalanche country.

The clamp system allows the binding to release the boot similar to an alpine binding release: it requires powerful and forceful movement in the sideways plane to release. Any twisting motion that would normally translate to twisting legs and limbs forces the binding to release. The cartridges can be tightened to the desired tension, or DIN setting. Again, the pivot point is not changed, and the binding can achieve levels of resistance far beyond the Hammerhead.

17 comments on “Rottefella NTN Binding / DPS Wailer 112RP Hybrid, 178cm”

  1. Hi guys! I had the distinct pleasure of riding the lift at Alta a couple weekends ago with one of your venerable and esteemed employees… a certain “bannanahead” named Robin. What a hoot! The man totally owns it..keep up the excellent review work, and thanks. R.Dennen P.C. Ut./Bethel, Me.

  2. Dear Rick,

    We have no idea what you’re talking about….

    (Cough, cough.)

    Glad you’re enjoying the reviews, and we’ll see you next season at Alta!

  3. I was wondering if you needed a special brake for the Wailers as the waist is 112 mm and the largest NTN brake I can seem to find is listed at 110 mm. I’m not only creative but also inventive, therefore I want to copy the reviewed set-up exactly – bindings and skis! Keep up the good work.

  4. Hey Kevin! Glad you’re stoked on the set up. You can use the 110mm brake for the DPS 112’s. You just need to bend the brake slightly. It works like a charm:)

  5. Hey, just came across this review while looking for everything I could find about the NTN binding. While there are certainly a number of exhaustive reviews out there, I found this to be one of the most helpful ones out there. Great job Robin; I look forward to more reviews out of you soon! See you up on the hill sometime. -Tim

  6. Robin – any thoughts on the mount point? I am about to mount up NTNs on some 178s and wondered if you were happy at the recommended line. It looks surprisingly far back.

  7. Hey Ben, the NTNs should be mounted true center. There are three possible positions on the mount plate that allow you to shift forward for harder carving, true center, or back for deep pow skiing. This being said, I felt like I could almost lean forward in the pow on the RP112’s with the binding mounted true center. The RP112’s don’t have a super supportive tail, you you’ll need to stay over the regular camber as much as possible! Hope this helps!

  8. Curious how wide of skins you use given the ski has a 141 width in the front? I am new to skinning and don’t know how much is enough, but I do weight 220 #.

  9. Hey Michael,
    I have a set of Black Diamond Ascension Skins that came out of the box at 125mm and I cut them down to size. The tip doesn’t have to be completely covered side to side because it is rockered and won’t be giving you any grip on the skin track anyway. As long as the part of the ski that is in contact with the skin track is covered completely by the skin you will have enough traction to get up the mountain. Your weight shouldn’t pose you any issues with a fat ski like this and a brand new pair of skins. Yeah buddy, don’t steal my lines! Have a blast!

  10. picked up the wailer 112 190cm in special edition red, with ntn. really like them so far and i like them best a the 0 mount point. they turn alot quicker than my sidestash and have lots of edgehold. crappy conditions the last two days but first impression is that they are a high perf ski in all conditions and excellent in the soft stuff. really noticed how quick they turn in the soft, and hard pack. the red special ed top sheet is awesome btw.

    • After using this set up for most of last season I have only awesome things to say about these skis. I love them so much I picked up another pair to use for alpine with marker dukes. I can’t imagine a better ski for what I like to do. Wicked in the soft stuff and they grip even better than I expected on the groomers. Plus super turny for all the trees around here.

  11. So … hands down, what do you think the best (summit county CO) all around tele setup is these days? Broke my much loved bombers and on 22 axl now … probably going NTN for the lifts once i can justify a whole new setup. Not so much info around on tele skis these days, cuz most of the softies have switched to AT (no offense to you, cant say i blame you all that much and im 50/50 these days, but still nothing better than a nice tele turn). My 10 Gotamas are great with a few inches of fresh but I find them pretty un-fun on harder stuff. I find that too much rocker washes out a lot and don’t see much need for the stiffer tails on some of the harder charging alpine skis.

  12. Any tricks to getting the Freerides to engage earlier? I had the freedoms for some of last season and part of this season until they broke on me twice, so I switched to the freerides, and they don’t seem to engage as early and I get a lot of wobble on the uphill ski when skiing icy conditions. I’m wondering if I just need to get used to the higher riser or the binding over the freedoms or if I need to get the stiffer tubes. I’m 6’3″, 220 and on DPS wailer rp2 112’s with the blue power tubes. I tried cranking the tube to 5 but it still seems less active than the freedoms. Wondering if I need to detune the skis in the tip to get rid of the wobbly uphill ski sensation.

  13. I’m looking at almost exactly this set up for next year. Skied TX pros this year on NTN freerides and love them, I now need a new powder ski. It’s hard to demo tele most places but I just skied a day on the DPS hybrids with alpine bindings and they were great. Question is what would you think about the RP2 carbon version versus the hybrid version? The hybrid is apparently more flexible but heavier, wondering if you have tried the lighter stiffer RP2 with more carbon and what you think of that set up? I don’t really do much skinning, this is for cat trips where the conditions are open Alpine as well as some tight glades, and also resort skiing. The other ski I’m considering for what it’s worth is the Blizzard Gunsmoke since my narrower skis are Blizzards and really like those but have never had the chance to try the Gunsmoke. Leaning towards the DPS though but trying to decide which version. Thanks for the great review and any advice you can offer

  14. In case that was confusing, the question is the hybrid vs the pure.


    Btw, also demoed the Rossignol Power7 and agree with you it’s not even close

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