HOW SAFE ARE ALPINE TOURING BINDINGS? | Dodge Ski Boots Chairlift Chat #03

Dave Dodge is the current Chairman ASTM Binding Testing Committee, holds many binding patents, is an expert witness for a number of binding related trials, and co-founder of Dodge Ski Boots. If you’re interested in learning how safe, or unsafe, tech bindings are you do not want to miss this episode of chairlifts chats.


SkiGearTV says:

Outstanding and informative video. On the firm, carrying a heavy load; such as a bundle of gates, water jugs, drills and other Alpine coaching supplies adds to the concerns many coaches have for the performance, (especially retention) for these types of binders. They are indeed unbeatable when you need to get up above your spot quickly to replace a gate or pick-up the pieces following a training mishap.

Grant Herbers says:

Yeah, this video is really a joke. He literally disregards the binding he is holding in his hand for the entire video, the Marker Kingpin, which is DIN/ISO 13992:2007 Certified by TUV. Not to mention the fact that all of the forces he’s describing apply to both a downhill and an AT binding.

The information presented here is outdated at best (ignores AT binding technology that has been on the market for over 4 years, i.e. Marker Kingpin, Dynafit Beast, et al. – which he dismisses as “unproven”) and is misleading at worst, considering he runs a boot company that doesn’t sell any AT boots. A conflict of interest to say the least.

It’s concerning that someone like this is running the ASTM binding testing committee. They should at least have a good grasp of the current technologies available. It seems like this guy doesn’t have any AT experience, especially considering that the Dodge website advocates touring in a stiff carbon boot with no walk mode in a frame binding, by basically saying that “at least it’s light and good in the downhill”.

Marlin Walkup says:

How is he an expert if he doesn’t understand torque?

Spencer Parkin says:

So are there other kinds of bindings that don’t suffer from the same limitations as the tech bindings featured in this video?

GillisPOW says:

Eye roll

Bryce Possiel says:

I don’t see how those moment arms differ between a tech toe piece vs. a traditional toe piece (actually that isn’t true, I do if fact see that they don’t differ).  You still experience the same force differential from a horizontal force applied to the front vs. rear of the ski with any type of binding.  What should have been discussed is the actual difference in the release mechanism between a “pin” style toe piece and a “traditional”  style toe piece, as this is where the true safety advantages of the traditional binding standout.  It should also be discussed that various tech binding companies are developing solutions that minimize/mitigate this difference, and are constantly getting closer to the performance from both a skiing and safety perspective to traditional bindings.Edit:  I just finished the last 30 secs of the video and my concerns (in regards to newer tech bindings) were somewhat addressed.  Dave should be more informed about the alternatives however just as he asks us as consumers to be more informed.

anonymous user says:

With five decades of all disciplines from long track nordic to 45 degree speed skiing on 235s, or a french monoski in the glades. I can really thank these guys. For considering ISO AT boots with ISO DH bindings. I use Daymakers which are suitable for skinning 211 Super Gs up a back country glacier next week in British Columbia, Canada. I love them and lead the pack of marketed money pigs!

Zdravko Simeonov says:

how is this guy an expert if he doesn’t know the kingpin releases also in the back ?! It’s a certified by TUV for safety binding. total bulshit.

Eddie Huang says:

New to skiing and tech bindings. Chased a buddy down an icy run in the resort last week on skimo race skis running Plum 150’s. Good things my legs are still attached at the hips. But now that I’m better informed….

Jurij Franko says:

The main problem is that man who runs ATM committee obviously fails to understand torque.

Roger Gauss says:

Not buying his argument. When the boot applies the set amount of torque to the binding it will release, end of story. Where the force is applied to the ski doesn’t change this.

Frank Bush says:

Ive been skiing agressively on vipecs exclusively for 2 years now, and they have released when needed and stayed on when needed. No problem with lateral toe release or vertical heel release. I ski them on din 10. Nose butters, switch skiing, cliffs, jamming my ski tip into hidden avy debris on runouts etc… I crash a bit, and no problems.

Elaine Nilsson says:

Are you saying that this particular binding doesn’t have a heel release? I use the Dynafit Radical. I believe they have a heal release. I have the DIN set at 7. I was going slow, the ski released but not till after I broke my ankle.

Ranar14 says:

LOL calls the Vipec unproven even after 4+ years of their use.

Elaine Nilsson says:

I’m a little confused. You say that the heal doesn’t release but then you say if the DIN isn’t set high enough they release too easily. Don’t the toe and heal adjust separately? In other words can’t the heal be set at a higher DIN than the toe?

Greg Halliday says:

I think my first pair of bear trap bindings were unsafe. If you have experience with tech bindings and are a proficient skier then go for it. Are Dynafits really made to charge hardpack inbounds? Not really the tool for the job but lots of folks do it. If you know your equipment and how to ski then you are all set. I ski Freerides exclusively in and out of bounds without any problems. AT or tech bindings have a place in and out of bounds.

Larry Grossman says:

don’t ski like crap, and you will be just fine….the sky is not falling gang.

Jacob Snyder says:

“Tech bindings aren’t very safe for lift served skiing”… says the guy who doesn’t make a tech compatible ski boot… I have to giggle a little at that

Jonathan Buzzard says:

Now you can just get a Salomon S/LAB Shift binding and have the best of both. That is a pin binding going up hill and a full alpine toe and heal going down hill.

Craig Houdeshell says:

Speaking as an engineer, the forces seen at the described distances, and the heel toe relationships are the same for “tech” bindings or an alpine binding. He never gets around to describing the deficiencies with a “tech” binding and thus, why it is no good. More information needs to be given to understand the argument.

Der Mifu says:

I never had any Problems with my King Pin, tecton Or ATK Binding…they all Released when they should.

Mike Nagle says:

Been skiing on Dynafit Speed Turns at the resort for the third season. Wife’s on Vipecs. No problems for either of us. Never had a pre-release; have had release in a fall. Wonder what he’d think of the 3-pins and cables we used to ski on!

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