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Dynafit bindings: caution!

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Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby geoffirons » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:47 pm

I searched the forum for any discussion of pre-release of Dynafit binding toe pieces, and didn't find any, so here goes...

I expect experienced Dynafit users (as I am--I've been skiing Comforts on Havocs for a few years, and this year added FT12s on Coombacks) are aware of this, but may not take all the necessary precautions (as I have not). New or prospective Dynafit users may not be aware of the issue. There is real potential for your binding toe piece to pre-release (as mine did last Fri on some double black extreme terrain at Crested Butte... resulting in about a 500-foot fall, and a broken right leg). There are two ways this may happen:

1. Ice can form inside the holes at the toe of your boots. This ice can be a very tiny amount, even too tiny to see (I have experienced this in the past). Carry a hard, pointy object to poke this out (some recommend a 16D nail; I prefer to use the awl on my Swiss Army knife).

2. Snow/ice can build up under the springplate of the toe piece. It is very important to check this area of your binding to keep it clear.

In either case, when you step into the toe piece, the pins will close and you will think you are secure, but you are not. The springplate has not fully engaged. When you stress the binding (as in making a turn) the pins will open and you will be out of your toe piece; normally that will quickly be followed by you being out of your heel piece as well.

There is a good discussion of this issue on Wild Snow (as well as lots of good tips from Lou on using Dynafits). Check out http://www.wildsnow.com/2540/dynafit-onyx-tech-prevent-release; be sure to check the post from Jack dated Feb 24 2010, 8:08am.

I am still a big fan of Dynafits, and will continue to use mine... well maybe not anymore this year. :(
Geoff Irons

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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby tmathews » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:49 pm

geoffirons wrote:New or prospective Dynafit users may not be aware of the issue. There is real potential for your binding toe piece to pre-release (as mine did last Fri on some double black extreme terrain at Crested Butte... resulting in about a 500-foot fall, and a broken right leg).


Holy sh*t, Geoff! I'm glad you're okay! :shock:

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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby Carl » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:11 pm

Wow. Really bummed to hear about the leg, although relieved it wasn't worse. I too have come out of the toe and crashed hard (though not as hard as you) because of some ice in the toe that I didn't clear. This is part of the reason why I don't ski my Dynafits in the resort anymore. I told my wife that I had to buy a couple new pairs of skis with Barons this year for use inbounds for safety reasons. She knows that was mostly BS but there was a little truth to it.

I agree with the advice below. One other thing I like to do is when I step into the bindings, after visually making sure no snow/ice is build up, I put the binding into tour mode, swing the ski side to side to work out any remaining ice, then click the heel and put the toe back to ski mode. Probably doesn't do a whole lot but it can help and becomes second nature. I'll also remove my skins at the top of the run w/o removing my skis whenever it's convenient. Then you don't have to ensure a clean connection again.

geoffirons wrote: There are two ways this may happen:

1. Ice can form inside the holes at the toe of your boots. This ice can be a very tiny amount, even too tiny to see (I have experienced this in the past). Carry a hard, pointy object to poke this out (some recommend a 16D nail; I prefer to use the awl on my Swiss Army knife).

2. Snow/ice can build up under the springplate of the toe piece. It is very important to check this area of your binding to keep it clear.

In either case, when you step into the toe piece, the pins will close and you will think you are secure, but you are not. The springplate has not fully engaged

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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby George James » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:16 pm

That sucks a lot. I hope the break wasn't too bad. Here's hoping the pieces reunite nicely for you.

Thanks for the service announcement, I'll pass it along to some people I care about.

Here's a site that might be interesting or useful somehow while you heal. Best of luck to you.

http://www.mybrokenleg.com/
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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby skiwall » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:40 pm

I'm so sorry about your leg! Feel better!

Thanks for the info as well. I'm on my way to getting some dynafits (I mean... I'm there mentally, just not quite financially...), and this is helpful.
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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby gsliva » Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:50 pm

The new 2011/2012 Dynafit bindings have an improvement that completely eliminates prerelease. Wildsnow.com.
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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby Manky » Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:40 pm

You can always put the binding in leg breaker mode (tour mode) and it definitely won't come off. I figure in some situations I would rather know I am NOT going to release in no fall situations. Gotta love the new lightweight equipment but it can be quirky! Sorry to hear about the leg.
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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby strongmelon » Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:56 pm

geoffirons wrote:I searched the forum for any discussion of pre-release of Dynafit binding toe pieces, and didn't find any, so here goes...


Wow, this happened to me on a blue run last year. No broken leg but tumbled a long way, leashed ski whacking me the entire time. Not much more than bumps and bruises. I'm pretty sure it was the problem given the icing on my boots.

Hope your leg mends quickly and well.

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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby gsliva » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:06 pm

I dropped in from the Peak Gate at Highlands Bowl last friday and had toe release. I think it was a misaligned toe pin not a prerelease as I had no problem getting down in powder. Still Dynafit users need to be careful at ice buildup both below and in the toe pin recesses. I'm guessing I had ice buildup in the toe recesses during the boot pack climb up to the top.
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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby coloradokevin » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:08 pm

I've only toured with my Dynafit binding about 7-10 times so far, but I've noticed that the toe area can collect some snow under certain conditions. Based on the concerns that have been voiced in this thread (and others), I've been careful to address such issues when I've noticed it.

While I don't know if it is the recommended solution to the problem or not, I've found that snow is easily cleared from the toe piece by simply closing and opening the binding one or two times without a boot in place. Those springs are fairly strong, and they snap quickly and with some force. Thus far it has worked for me as an easy ice-clearing solution. Your mileage may vary.

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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby CO Native » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:09 pm

So you're not going to try to talk me into buying Dynafits tomorrow are you?

Sorry to hear about the accident.
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Re: Dynafit bindings: caution!

Postby geoffirons » Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:19 pm

CO Native wrote:So you're not going to try to talk me into buying Dynafits tomorrow are you?

Sorry to hear about the accident.


We'll talk about it. I will certainly continue to use mine... just more carefully.
Geoff Irons

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