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Rotational release binding concept


Waternut
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After reading one of the other posts about bindings not releasing when rotating, it got me thinking. So on the way to work, I dreamed up a couple binding systems that would release if rotated or if pulled up. I'm not really out to make money on this but more to get other people and possibly the ski manufacturers to consider a new design for the masses. I could possibly hammer out a prototype this winter if it would help but realistically I'm just looking to get people to start brainstorming on this.

 

I think the top system would be easier to implement. It would use a metal or composite loop like the reflex bindings in the toe. The rear would have two spring adjustable arms with rollers at the end. In a side release, the arms would swing open and allow the boot to release. To keep the boot on the ski normally, the boot would have to have a rounded bump on it that sits below the rollers. This bump would force the roller arms out in the event of an OTF fall and allow the heal to lift off the ski. Maybe even be adjustable to allow heal lift?

 

The lower system would be closer in design to a clipless pedal system that bicycles use. I think this would be harder to work the bugs out of but it's just a thought. I was thinking kind of a hybrid design between the HO EXO concept and bike clipless pedals.

 

Anyway, thoughts are welcome. Maybe between us all, we can help someone mass produce a safer binding for the masses.

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Wim Decree designed a binding that released, in theory, from every direction. He used a Voile ball and socket release for the front of the binding. (http://www.backcountry.com/voile-release-kit-w-brake) And used a spring loaded release in the back. I skied on his binding for a few seasons and it worked great. Some higher quality parts for the rear release would make for the safest binding on the market, in my opinion.

 

I thought about putting a Voile release on the front a Reflex plate. Would be a fun project.

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  • Baller

Rotational releases may not help much. My rotational release needs are few and far between. I want to put a controlled rotational load on the ski and would be upset (or injured) by a prerelease then. And I certainly don't want to add the weight of a snow ski binding to my skis.

 

Heel lift is more important to protect waterskiing injuries. That's why I like Radars, they let my heel release when needed. Not perfect though, but I'm thinking the boot is more relevant than a release mechanism.

 

Eric

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  • Baller

Although I couldn't figure out how to ski consistently on them, I liked the Fogman pin release concept a whole lot, except one critically missing ability: Handling the "jam" release. In other words, the ski stops, but doesn't rotate (much) and so the boots are simply jammed into the front release, potentially resulting in an ankle or shin break as the skier's knee continues to travel forward.

 

Clearly, the ability for the heal to lift helps a lot to address that, and maybe if that's done right and combined with the pin release you could have the safest system yet?

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  • Baller

Its a Voile pin, like the one from wtrski6's link. The aluminum extrusion gets riveted into the binding base plate, and the pin unit bolted to a milled aluminum plate.

 

When you get down to it waterskiing is such a small market anyhow, that engineering a whole kit is going to be cost prohibitive. So you use bits from other product, Silvretta heel releases, Voile telemark release units, Shells from USD skates etc. And in the end you can assemble a workable product.

 

In theory I do not think this system allows a rotational release anyhow, you have the central blocks to prevent the boots from shifting side/side, you have velcro under plate, and you have the pin mounted centrally.

 

Only in the case of a boot/rtp combo for slalom skiers do I feel there is real rotational force expenditure. And this should be more of a clean high energy torsion release. Frankly it could even be a boot that could spin on its plate under enough force, instead of actually releasing from the ski.

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@wtrski6

 

It perhaps could work, the shape of the plate that attaches to the boot will impact the release. For instance, this is factory FM

http://i47.tinypic.com/11hc7pl.jpg

 

It has a shallow ramp angle to the sides, and a steep up/down. You could probably machine one that would not release one way, and release easily another, or be some combination of that thought to keep everything attached the way you wanted.

 

BUT... you'd want to think about what keeps the boot back, so if you have a silvretta heel, the angle of the heel set up actually pushes the boot forwards when locking. If the boot doesn't stop, the silvretta doesn't "latch" So if you have a sprung pin at the front, and your silvretta at the back, the motion will fight each other. Or rather one release will load the other...

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