Dynafit FT12 Binding.
With the introduction of the new Dynafit FT 12 binding this season, I am certain there will be an explosion of new backcountry skiers giving Dynafit binders a try for the first time. For years, there has always been a little resistance (for unknown reasons) for some to trust Dynafit bindings. But now, with a higher DIN release setting of 12, aggressive skiers can rely on greater holding power, along with the many other Dynafit attributes and ski with confidence that they won’t prerelease unexpectedly. Add the plethora of big and beefy boots with Dynafit compatibility (Black Diamond Factor, Dynafit ZZeus, Garmont Radium, Scarpa Skookum) on the selves as well, it now seems like a crucial year for Dynafit to prove its performance and durability to a large part of the backcountry skiing community.
Ever since I started to exclusively ski the backcountry about 9 or 10 years ago (as opposed to also mixing it up at the ski area), I have been using the Dynafit system. Originally, I chose Dynafit over Fritschi or Silveretta (Naxos and Dukes weren’t around back then) mainly because it was the binding hardcore JH ski mountaineers like Hans Johnstone, Tom Turiano, and Mark Newcomb were using, and the fact that I’d never seen anyone bring them into the shop for warranty issues. Not only were the weight saving of using Dynafits apparent right from the get go, but it soon became obvious that their skiing performance, efficiency and durability was light years ahead of its competitors.
Yeah, there are other bindings out there that might have a little more alpine binding-like toe release capabilities to them, but most skiers I know really don’t ever want to come out of their bindings anyway. (And something only a Dynafit binding can accommodate with its toe-piece lock-out mechanism.) Other bindings may claim to be high performance, but there is no argument to the fact that all of the bindings Dynafit offers have the most rigid boot-to-binding interface on the market…meaning the more control you have over your skis. Some may claim that Dynafit bindings are hard to get into and/or require an excessive amount of fiddling to get them to work right, but this is a myth and user error is often the answer to why a skier is having problems.
However, with all the ultra-stiff boots now available with Dynafit compatibility, skiers will be pushing Dynafit’s durability further than they have been ever been pushed in the past, and only time will tell in regards to how they will stand up to today’s ripping skiers. Seems every year there are more and more binding options out there for the alpine skier who wants to tour in the backcountry. In addition, the Marker Duke adds a new category of crossover bindings to the mix. But when shopping for alpine touring/randonne binding this year, one should consider the weight savings of Dynaift bindings as only one of its beneficial attributes. For the dedicated backcountry skier, there should be only one option. Try Dynafit this year and all your reservations will be thrown out the window.