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.
Sweet! I won’t be poppin’ outta those for sure. Now if only I didn’t need a second mortgage to buy the boots… Mondo needs an inexpensive pair of 30’s.
– Long live the Binary Scale
I am a card carrying member of the Dynafit mafia but find myself moving back to step-in binders like Freerides for some of my skis / days. Nothing better for covering lots of ground, though!
The FT 12’s are lighter than the ST’s?
Well Dave…this looks to be true according to the Dynafit website. It’s a little confusing…but is seems as though the ST w/brakes comes in at 530g…and the FT12 w/brakes at 500g.
Go figure??? My guess is it’s the big plastic mounting plates on the toe and heel of the ST that is adding the extra weight.
Better watch your back JohnHemlock!!!! The Dynafit mafia is NOT to be messed with. Once you’re in…you can never get out!!!!
Hi Randosteve, Have you tried a new Dynafit Guide Skis?
I have not tried the guide ski, only read and seen photos. At 113-78-100, it sounds a little narrow for todays day-to-day skiing, but could be a great spring, long tour or expedition ski.
I should have them one day next week 🙂 I have chosen them for multi day tours together with Vertical FT 12 and Zzero C 3 T boots this should be my sweet combo. I have heard that Guide is stiffer version of the DYnafit SevenSummits I had a pleasure to ride last season
For a freeride and slackcountry I would ride Manaslu 187 + FT12 + ZZEus TFX
Greetings from Poland
From Dyanfit HQ…
The Glass Carbon Torque Plate on the FT is a lot lighter than the ST Nylon base plates…..it also has a lot to do with holding down the heal of the new 12 DIN….allowing this binding to be beefed up AND stripped down all at once.
The Guide Ski will only be available in Europe this year to select Guides and Dynafit Competence Centers. There is one pair in North America.
First great site!
I have seen on some pictures on this site that you (or somebody else) ski with the binding in locked mode. I presume this is due to prerelease. Personally I have no problems with prerelease on my my narrow skis (volkl snowwolf 74or76mm)…but I have had a few on my k2 coombas (103mm). The releases happen when skiing in hard slopes or on ice in the backcountry. I would prefer to ski unlocked, but my confidence in the wide skis are disappearing – so now I ski harder with my narrow skis in almost any conditions. I have changed and remounted the bindings – so I feel it is not a mounting issue. I have skied 10 years with dynafits without these problems. My skiing style is smooth and powerful (x-racer). The release happens more often when doing slalom turns, thas gs-turns.
So now I am wondering:
– is it common to lock the binding where you ski?
– does ski-softness affect release (i.e. cause prerelease)
– does ski width affect release?
christian…yes…lots of people i know ski with the toe locked. sometimes it’s just a force fo habit…other times you lock it out to be sure you won’t loose a ski.
sometimes a soft ski, especially if you are using TLTs, with reverse flex when skiing hard…and allow the rear of the boot to release. this is less of an issue with Comforts, Vertical ST and FTs…since the pins on the heel piece are longer.
i guess ski width might effect release…since there is more pressure due to leverage…but i have dynafits on my megawatts at 125mm at the waist and don;t really have any issues. of course i really only ski those in powder though.
hope this helps!