A new company's on the scene with a revolutionary touring binding that switches between pin and clamp systems, offering the best of both worlds for ascending and descending.
Here’s a heads-up to the touring and free touring scene: a German startup has announced an innovative new binding design that’s gathering support now on the crowdfunding website startnext.com.
Longtime freeskier, ski designer, binding tinkerer and self-described “ski addict” Markus “Bambam” Steinke has just launched Bavarian Alpine Manifest, a new binding company with an usual and potentially market-changing product: the PINDING.
The BINDUNG in action. Photo: © BAM / Jakob Schweighofer
As more and more skiers and freeriders turn to alpine touring (AT) to find fresh tracks and tranquillity far from the pistes, demand is increasing for lightweight yet stable AT bindings that can meet the performance demands of hard-charging freeride tourers. Until now, skiers had to choose between so called “pin,” “tech” or “low-tech” bindings, which secure the toe with two small pins; frame bindings, with a plate underfoot that connects alpine-style heel and toepieces; or alternative solutions like normal alpine bindings equipped with Trekkers (also known as “day-wreckers”) and modified systems like the MFD All Time plate.
Each of these systems has upsides and downsides. Pin bindings are lightweight and comfortable for ascents, but not everyone trusts them to withstand the abuse of tricky, technical or freeride-style descents. On the other hand, frame or plate systems are burlier and sturdier—built for the descent—but add weight and bulk, to the dismay of many backcountry tourers.
Steinke, who founded the “Mountain Wave” ski brand in Germany in the 200s, had a new idea to challenge the current AT bindings on the market: “Why not combine the advantages of a pin binding (reduced weight, walking comfort) with the security and downhill performance of an alpine binding?”
That’s exactly what Steinke’s new design, the PINDING (“pin” + “binding”) does. The revolutionary toe piece of the PINDING fastens the boot with a pin system while in ascent mode, but quickly converts into a stable alpine-style clamp binding for the descent, with just one simple lever to control the conversion between pin/ascent and clamp/descent modes. The design of the PINDING heel piece is based on the popular pivot design used in the Look Pivot bindings.
As you can see in their crowdfunding teaser, Steinke took the PINDING to New Zealand this summer to test it out, and the results certainly look convincing. Now the ball’s in your court: the company is looking to finance the first production run of the binding through crowdfunding platform startnext.com.
Looks convincing, doesn’t it? Photo: © BAM / Jakob Schweighofer
B.A.M. have come up with several ways to support the project, from €20 postcard packets to your own ski film created together with Steinke and White Room Productions (for €4,500). The first 50 PINDINGs are available at a special price of €320, with an estimated delivery in spring 2016.
We’re glad to welcome this new comer to the expanding AT binding market, and hope Steinke’s idea works as well as promised! If it does, it’ll be as Bambam says: “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”