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  1. #1
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    School Me on Binding "Power" Width

    I've sure heard a lot of talk about how the width of freeride bindings is "better for today's wider skis."

    From the Marker Website description of the Jester Pro binding:

    Combine all that with Marker's signature Power Width design and this new breed of Jester delivers performance that can only be found from Marker.



    With similar technologies used by Rossignold and FKS should we all stop using older metal bindings that are "narrow" in comparison?

    Does it really matter?

  2. #2
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    The concept makes sense to me, though I don't know I can tell the difference on my Dukes. I think the biggest difference I notice is the higher stack height providing more leverage, which I think is a very real effect.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUPERIOR View Post
    With similar technologies used by Rossignold and FKS should we all stop using older metal bindings that are "narrow" in comparison?
    FKS mounting pattern is about 20 years old and narrow. Still used on skinny race skis.
    Quote Originally Posted by SUPERIOR View Post
    Does it really matter?
    Not really. The big advantage for both of these bindings is not that their hole pattern is wide, but that the hole pattern is short (from toe to heel), keeping the screws close to the boot, and reducing the "dead zone" under foot.

  4. #4
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    I'd like to hear what someone who's not as far from their college physics as I am comment. It seems to me what matters as far as skiing is where on the binding the boot contacts--which depends on the width of the boot, which hasn't changed. Given that it really doesn't take any effort to put a ski on edge (I can fall over sideways with no difficulty at all) I don't think you could tell even if there were a difference. Where I could see it making a difference is in the amount of force on the screws--which could make a difference in screws stripping out. Any physicists out there?

  5. #5
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    A wider baseplate or mounting pattern could theoretically result in less binding flex when on edge. There are many more factors though, most notably materials used. All of the good bindings out there seem to be plenty stiff laterally anyways. I would agree that the only other real advantage would be less force on the screws. As the distance between a screw and the edge of the ski decreases, the length of the moment arm decreases and thus there would be less torque on the screw.

  6. #6
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    I could see it having an effect on how a ski flexes laterally (right to left). But being that the binding is mounted at the center, where a ski is thickest, and that this lateral force is most apparent at the widest parts of the ski (traditionally tip and tail) one would not be able to tell the difference. I guess on the right ski like a soft R/R you could feel a difference, but not on your average plank.
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  7. #7
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    wider screw patterns would result in less chance of screw pullout would they not?

  8. #8
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    There would potentially be a lot to be gained from a wider mounting pattern, as dynafits are proof of. (super light, yet torsionally stiff thanks to the toe design, which has only moved the contact points a few mms out to the side compared to normal boot/binding designs. The heel has little to nothing to do with this in this case.)

    However, imagine if some (plural) boot/binding mfgs just went balls to the wall and designed a completely new interface from the bottom up, making it compatible only with skis 100mms or wider... This would enable you to move the entire binding assembly from the toe and heel out to the side of the foot, potentially resulting in something like a snowboard step-in binding, with no "dead zone" allowing the ski to flex freely, the stack height to be minimal (if you want it to), while being way torsionally stiffer than anything currently on the market. This looks to be a long way from becoming reality, but just look at NTN and how they managed to make a vastly improved boot/binding interface in the marginal tele-market...

    Current "power width design" is simply marketing BS. Just look at how a jester mount pattern compares to the other, older patterns from salomon and look (FKS being very narrow in the heel, though.)

    FWIW, I love my FKS.
    simen@downskis.com DOWN SKIS

  9. #9
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    ok I havent actually measuered but is a duke really any wider of a hole spacing than any other binding? Doesnt seem like it.
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  10. #10
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    Hey SiST --

    I think I get what you mean. Are you saying you'd make the binding more narrow from front to back and less like a block and more like a band to minimize the contact point on the ski?

    If I'm to understand correctly, this would allow for more flex in the ski and less dead zone?

    I thought the cool part about using FKS was that it had less "dead zone" than other skis?

    FWIW -- It's 1 a.m on Monday morning and my brain is the dead zone.

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  11. #11
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    Yup.

    There is no reason to connect at the tip and tail (at least not just the tip and tail) if you have a suffiiently wide platform to move out to the sides. I have not done any real "analysis" on this, just going with the flow, but it seems to make at least partial sense.

    FKS have less dead-zone (due to the short mounting patters), they have more elasticity in the heel (less abrupt and stressing releases, fewer pre-releases) and they are all-metal-goodness durable (trying to stock up on FKS 155's, but they're hard to find).
    simen@downskis.com DOWN SKIS

  12. #12
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    It does not have so much to do with the mounting platform but with the construction of the binding. If you look at a Jester head on, vs the Look Pivot or Salomon Driver toe, you will notice that the Jester is more squared off, where the Pivot and Driver goes from wide (toe wings) to narrow (center column). The idea is that the Jester will be torsionally stiffer, where the Pivot or Driver will 'woble.'

    Is that actually true? I doubt it.

    -A user of P18s on wide skis.

  13. #13
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    Very true ^^

    A binding is not stiffer than it's weakest link.

    The "column" on the FKS is narrow, but if properly designed (which I think it is) it will not matter much. Also, the boot toe is an integral part of the boot/binding interface, making a strong connection as long as the toe part of the binding doesn't get budged up, but only swivels horizontally.

    It would be interesting to try a boot/binding setup alá wakeboard though. I think there's much to be gained in this area.

    simen@downskis.com DOWN SKIS

  14. #14
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    see: spademan bindings.
    go for rob

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    ok I havent actually measuered but is a duke really any wider of a hole spacing than any other binding? Doesnt seem like it.
    The width of the Marker Duke's screw pattern is basically the same as a the venerated (cough) Marker M-series from 20 years ago.

  16. #16
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    ^^^ Correct me if wrong, but if screws are properly set, doesn't footprint of binding, not screw distance, determine additions to lateral stiffness? OP isn't asking about binding torsion, or whether screws can pull out, or which bindings have the most metal, he's asking about whether a wider footprint in and of itself, all other variables held constant, will increase transmission to edges. Yes.

  17. #17
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    FWIW - I'm looking at a pair of skis on my wall that were once drilled for both a px12 and marker duke. The holes are the same width apart...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beyond View Post
    ^^^ Correct me if wrong, but if screws are properly set, doesn't footprint of binding, not screw distance, determine additions to lateral stiffness? OP isn't asking about binding torsion, or whether screws can pull out, or which bindings have the most metal, he's asking about whether a wider footprint in and of itself, all other variables held constant, will increase transmission to edges. Yes.
    Yes. Yes indeed.
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  19. #19
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    I suggest Blister Gear Review or Powder Magazine or somebody do a test and see if the average skier can tell the difference. I'm not trying to Poo-Poo on binding research and development -- but I'm skeptical about this "power-width" claim.

    Maybe it's just useful for super wide skis? Who knows? Maybe I should get a super wide and heavy boot to drive my super wide ski?

    Good thing my Oakley googles already have wide, spheric lenses so I can see my super fat skis or I'd have to upgrade those things too.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
    Yes. Yes indeed.
    True, but having a wider binding footprint only works one side of the problem, by putting pressure closer to you inside edge. The torque and force on the screws closer to the outside edge remains the same.
    simen@downskis.com DOWN SKIS

  21. #21
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    you folks are all looking at this wrong.

    the width of the binding footprint in relation to ski deflection is negligible. a ski is ridiculously stiff underfoot in all directions. the only perceived lack of torsion on some skis is in the tip and tail.

    the point marker is trying to make, is that on a wider ski, there is more leverage on the toe piece (i.e. the binding is the flex point between a very stiff underfoot ski and a rigid ski boot), so having a wider binding footprint makes the BINDING stiffer, if you compare the exact same binding with a super narrow footprint and a super wide foot print.

    assuming the screws are sufficiently tight, their layout is not important in binding stiffness, the contact point with the ski is the important thing, and the shaping of the binding.

    that said, given the weight of a griffon/jester, they are very stiff. but they are not in the same realm as a heavy full metal binding like a p18 or s916. don;t get me wrong, jesters/griffons ski sick, but they are designed to be adequately stiff and very light. you don't see and world cup racers skiing them though, they are all on full metal heavy bindings.
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  22. #22
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    I know there is a big difference in lateral rigidity in a Salomon Sth and a regular Driver, the difference is more and more evident on the harder the snow is. I have skied Jesters & Griffons and there is a subtle difference in lateral feel due to the composite vs. magnesium wings & heel stanchions. I don't think the Jester is worth $110.00 over the Griffons but the Jester Pro's are definitely worth the $20.00 over the regular Jesters.

    The most bomber/rigid bindings I have skied have been the Sth Steels (957 Race, 997E (11-17), 920, Sth16 Steel ect), Pivot 155,180 and 185 . Marker M20's (and I am sure M30's) have a great feel but I didn't have the trust in their lack of lateral elasticity.
    Click. Point. Chute.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshalolson View Post
    see: spademan bindings.
    Sure...that is the other way to go.

    Click. Point. Chute.

  24. #24
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    The hole pattern is no not substantially different. The real leap in the new marker system is that the spring in the toe peace is perpendicular to the the ski and appose to inline with it. Mechanically speaking it is a simpler method of lateral boot retention. Power Width design is simply an add campaign to point out this difference in design. When it comes down to it, this isn't the shuttle atlantis it got back already. I have a pair of dukes, fks, axials and pivots. Nothing provides a more predictable and reliable toe release then the Look toe peace. That is what really matters is it not? I like my knees.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiSt View Post
    Very true ^^

    A binding is not stiffer than it's weakest link.

    The "column" on the FKS is narrow, but if properly designed (which I think it is) it will not matter much. Also, the boot toe is an integral part of the boot/binding interface, making a strong connection as long as the toe part of the binding doesn't get budged up, but only swivels horizontally.

    It would be interesting to try a boot/binding setup alá wakeboard though. I think there's much to be gained in this area.

    WHOA !!!!! Slow that horse down!

    We ARE talking about skiing, right? Not snowboarding.

    Given we're talking about skiing...the dynamics and stress factors are FAR different between wakeboarding and skiing. The stance in wakeboarding is a goofy/regular stance more like snowboarding. The forward stance of skiing, combined with the turn initiation at the forward 40% of the foot while skiing would not work well with that adjustable plate system. In skis, the forward part of the binding is basically a 'clamp" that clamps your forward section of boot tightly to the skis. Those bindings above have no such forward stance clamping effect...therefore there would be kinetic loss at that section of the boot/ski interface.

    Like you said..."the boot toe is an integral part of the boot/binding interface"....do you even see anything relating to a boot toe clamping device in that picture? That's because since the stance is similar to a snowboarding stance it doesn't need it. Totally different dynamics involved.

    Marker is and always has been my favorite binding company, and unlike Salomon, they haven't gotten off their original path and started making skis and snowboards. They've stayed true to their roots and focused on what they do best....building the best ski bindings on earth.

    I'm still waiting for the electromagnetic, super flush, aerodynamic binding/boot interface that they described in the 1975 Ski Magazine....said we'd all be using them by 2000! And where are the Jetson's-style anti-gravity, autonomous "pod" cars that we were supposed to be flying in by now??? Shit....it's way past 2000....get on it, guys!!!!


    Oh wait......I see it ISN'T autonomous. George is STEERING it. I forgot.
    I'm thinking of the "Johhny Cab".

    I LOVE the Jetson's !!!!!!!



    That thing folds it self up into a briefcase ???? Cool.

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