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

Rottefella offers four different levels of cartridges, called  (unfortunately) “Power Tubes.” Also unfortunate: you have to purchase in addition the specific one you want if the binding doesn’t happen to come with the Power Tube you need. Thumbs down on that; it would be better if, upon ordering your binding size (small, medium, or large, depending on your boot size), you could also request and receive the correct cartridge.

Rottefella NTN Binding / DPS Wailer 112RP Hybrid, 178cm, BLISTER
This sweet turn down Alta’s Gunsight was made possible by Power Tube, the sick cartridge with the siiick name.

With the NTN, the boot is now allowed to really flex at the bellows and function as it was designed to, without the influence of the binding’s pivot point. I settled on the Scarpa TX Comp after riding the Scarpa Terminator X Pro and Terminator X, the Garmont Prophet, and the Crispi Evo, and all of these boots offer different placements and stiffness of bellows.

The fact that the ball of the foot is clamped rather than the heel gives the NTN amazing amounts of control, and places you on your edge quicker. Try an experiment: stand on the balls of your feet, and try to change the direction of your upper body by leading with your heels. Feels awkward and clumsy, doesn’t it?

Now, try to do the same with all your focus on the balls of your feet. You should feel much more stable and the change in direction is almost intuitive. This is what the NTN does. It is actually freeing your heel from all responsibility by focusing all the directional energy where it should be: on the balls of your feet. This design also diminishes the amount of left-to-right play the boot has in the binding, translating every movement you make more directly and quickly to your edges.

With other bindings beside the Hammerhead, you will see tele-skiers up on the toes of their back foot. But if the back foot is where you place at least fifty percent of your weight to carve your turn, wouldn’t you want the ball of your foot and your toes to be engaged?

Try another experiment: place your right foot flat on the floor, step backward with your left foot, and land with your weight on you toes. Now do the same thing, only land on the ball of your foot. Which stance feels more stable?

When your back foot is on its toes, your front leg will take the brunt of your weight. When the back leg is stabilized by the ball of the foot, your center of gravity is right where the ski wants it: centered over both feet, allowing the edges on both skis to fully engage and do their job.

Santa Fe / Arapahoe Basin local Tele Tim instilled in me the importance of carving on teles as apposed to sliding, and the Rottefella NTN binding helps make this possible. When the back foot is stable, you can really squash the pinky toe to get the ski on edge while leading your turn with the front foot. This is what gives tele-skiers the ability to really carve a powerful turn with grace and efficiency, almost superior to an alpine turn. While alpine skiers must put the uphill foot forward of the downhill foot in order to get the ski on edge, all the tele-skier needs to do is bend the uphill knee. The NTN’s design places your weight so perfectly on the ski that the back leg wobble isn’t an issue.

I am looking forward to riding the NTN on stiffer, comp-oriented skis (i.e., skis that have stiffer tails that demand more speed), as well as huge powder skis. I would also love to try the NTN setup on a newfangled design like the DPS Spoon.

But for now, and with more than 50 days on the NTN, I can say that every ski I own will have an NTN binding on it. I will continue to ride other telemark bidings for purposes of reviewing, but I feel that the NTN is to telemarking what the parabolic design was to ski building: it is a game changer, and an evolution that is in keeping with the spirit of what telemarking truly is, a powerful and free connection to the snow.

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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