"If you’re not getting accidental releases (pre- release) you are way ahead of the game on any binding, provided you’re the type of skier who seldom falls. Nonetheless, main thing is if you _can_ ski the binding unlocked, at reasonable settings, so you might get at least a smidge of leg bone and knee protection out of the deal." Lou Dawson @ WildSnow
From the mind numbing discussion of tech binding linked below:
If you are here much it is obvious I hold some strong opinions. And in turn I have no problem voicing them But I don't publish opinions (and that is all they are, opinions) with out some thought and actual experience (my own experience unless noted other wise) behind the thought process.
And I have made mistakes..
One I hope to rectify now or at the very least clarify so that the reader won't make a decision based on faulty info.
Lou has published a wealth of information on the tech bindings in that blog post. If you ski tech bindings now or are about to you need to read it IMO.
For me, in general, this is how I think about tech bindings: "If you’re not getting accidental releases (pre-release) you are way ahead of the game".
I use tech binding in several flavors on many skis and in all sorts of conditions. Any thing from lift skiing to using lwt race gear while mountain touring. Terrain can be beginner lift serviced on piste with students or for me and my skills, "death fall" serious in the alpine back country.
Friends and I have skied "race" bindings in all sorts of terrain and snow conditions. Only one of us hurt to date that I know of. And in that instance the skier thought it might well have been a binding failure or a prelease the cause. Broken binding at the end of the drop, after banging off the rocky gully walls, so the details will never be known. I do know the two or three times I have pre-released in race bindings I would have preferred it didn't happen. Both times via hop turns on steep terrain i nthe first 1/2 turns, after a boot pack fwiw. So now I am very careful on how I clean my boots and bindings after a boot pack. Seems to have solved the problem.
More recently here on Cold Thistle I have suggested a few combos of tech race bindings, that are new to me, Bindings I am currently skiing this season.
To be specific I am using:
Dynafit Speed Superlight...which has never disappointed in the 4 seasons I have used them on daily drivers. And never a prelease.
Dynafit Low Tech Race...again 4 seasons. 2 preleases that I distinctly remember and a couple of very scary situation on really steep hard snow when I looked down and saw my heel pins in a "about to release" position. To be fair I am using boots and skis in a situation the binding were never intended for. But it is a binding I trust 100% within its limitations. Call this a comparable DIN of 11. But there is not "real" comparison to a DIN setting and not much to a DIN of 11. It is a lot more complicated that that.
Easy way to think of it for me is..."if you wouldn't ski a DIN of 11 on alpine race bindings, stop looking for lwt touring bindings beyond the Dynafit Speed Superlight (SSL). Let me repeat this... Easy way to think of this: "if you wouldn't ski a DIN of 11+ on alpine race bindings, stop looking for lwt "race" binding set up beyond the SSLs.
Dynafit SSL Toe and plum 135 heel:
This is a new combo to me. Picked to eliminate the fright of dropping into something like the Cosmic is less than optimal snow conditions and not loosing a ski. Heel offers a lot more retention that a Dynafit Low Tech Race heel. But I am still locking my toes in no fall/most terrain. And I'll use my skis more like a crampon that a ski part of the winter....rocks and all.
Dynafit SSL toe and a Kreuzspitze race heel: Same advantage or disadvantage as the Plum 165 heel. Two peas in a pod as far as I can tell.
After skiing in the last two heel/toe combos this winter I believe I may have gone too far. As in .."this might be a non releasable binding" for my weight, skill and age, too far. YMMV of course. And a binding that seldom, if ever, releases might be just what your doctor ordered.
The majority of bones I have broken in my body have happened while skiing...so I'm not mentioning any of this to my Doc! There are times I simply do not want a ski to come off. But then there are times (the majority of my skiing?) I'd rather have a "safety" binding bolted to my boots.
You can't make good decisions for yourself with out good information. I would caution anyone mixing and matching tech bindings in general and LWT Tech bindings specifically to gain some realistic idea of what kind of pressure your own binding choice will release at . I might be willing to play in the freeway at odd hours. But I don't recommend you play in the freeway during rush hour.