saw these in a store, they look pree legit. anyone ski on them and have opinions?
if you havent checked them out yet, http://www.kneebinding.com/KB-Intro.aspx
and i love the retro look too
Hi all - I'm John Springer-Miller, Chairman of KneeBinding, Inc.
Sorry some of you don't like the look of the bindings. "Shelf Appeal" is always a tricky area - what appeals to some market segments doesn't appeal to others. Sales have been very strong accross North America, and the growth will allow us to add a couple of new models next season. We will certainly try to improve the visual appeal.
However - people aren't buying them because of the way they look. People are buying them (like hotcakes) because they are so much safer than ordinary bindings, and because they ski better than most. There are 70,000 ACL injuries A YEAR on skis now, and Kneebinding is the only binding on the planet that mitigates this type of injury. Many people compare our additional release mechanism to airbags - you hope you never need it, but you wouldn't buy a car without one. Since KneeBindings offer better edge-leverage than other bindings, and have virtually none of the pre-release issues most ordinary bindings are known to have, skiers get the best of both worlds - a better performing binding with dramatically llower injury rates.
Like all the other bindings that have been mentioned in this thread (i.e. Jester) we make much of the binding out of plastic. However - unlike ordinary bindings, we use solid, machined stainless steel for all the metal parts, rather than stamped-out sheet metal. And - KneeBindings are made in Vermont.
It is for these reasons that KneeBinding has been winning so many awards in the industry - including "Brand New Award" - ISPO, "Best Innovation in SnowSports" - SnowPress, "Best Alpine Binding" - Women's Adventure, "Skier's Choice" - Powder, and just recently - "Gear of the Year" from SKI Magazine.
Knee Injuries make up 1/3 of all reported injuries in Alpine Skiing now. KneeBinding intends to change that.
I hope this helps - feel free to let me know if I can offer any more information.
John Springer-Miller, KneeBinding, Inc.
It is true that most ACL injuries occur during backward twisting falls. But there is a misunderstanding about what actually causes the injury. It is not the backward or twisting motion that causes the injury.
When your hips and knees are bent, your foot can't move outwardly. Try this: sit down, and take your left foot and put it on your right knee. Your leg does move THAT way. Then try pulling your left foot straight sideways to the outside. You'll quickly see that too much force would injure your knee.
Being involved in a backward fall almost always causes you to bend your hips and knees (as if you were sitting). That puts you in position to be more at risk. Likewise, counter-rotating (twisting) increases the risk. But the actual injury occurs because of the sideways movement of the lower leg.
This is ALSO the answer to the question about why the binding only releases in one direction. The injury only occurs in one direction (outwardly). So, we only need to release the heel in one direction (inwardly) to mitigate the injury.
Hi - JSM Here!
To Malcom, who asked what happens if the heel ejects to the outside: The KneeBinding PureLateral heel release does not open to the outside. This is one of the reasons Kneebindings have succeeded where others have failed.
To PhuzzyWuzzy: Sorry if you thought I was being critical of the Jester. That was not my aim. You had criticized KneeBindings for using plastic, and you cited the Jester and others as being better because they did not. But - these other bindings are also plastic bindings. I believe Rossi still makes an all metal binding, and I'm sure others do as well - but very few. They are much heavier (i.e. Rossi's is well over 6 pounds per pair). And - metal bindings do not tend to have the "elasticity" that can be achieved by employing some resins. In any case, as a manufacturer, we have to make tough choices about these things. We can't please everyone, but we do try to balance weight against durability against performance against cost. Hopefully, we can find a somewhat popular balance.
As to your comments regarding other "diagonal" bindings - you are certainly correct that there are ordinary bindings out there that have so-called "diagonal" release. That is NOT what KneeBinding does. Diagonal releases require the heel to open up and forward before it can open laterally. I believe Tyrolia is most famous for this. However - most knee injuries occur when the skier is rear-weighted (falling backwards, hips and knees bent...). The heel cannot open upward and/or forward in this situation, thereby blocking a diagonal binding from releasing sideways. Thus, these bindings offer no help in reducing the number of knee injuries. Please note that not a single one of these other manufacturers claim their bindings can mitigate knee injuries - NOT ONE. In fact they are all very specific in warning consumers that they CANNOT mitigate knee injuries.
KneeBindings allow the heel to release directly sideways - completely independently of any other release or activation. This "PureLateral" release is the only proven way to mitigate knee unjuries on skis, and KneeBinding is the ONLY binding on the planet that has it.
Not to belabor the point, but knee injuries have risen to epidemic status in skiing. We've gone from only a few to 70,000 per year - and EVERY ordinary binding brand has contributed to the injury rate. The injuries are painful and debilitating. No one ever fully recovers from an ACL injury. One fourth to one fifth of the injured never ski again. The industry has been crying out for an answer for over a decade, and KneeBinding has invested a small fortune to finally solve this problem. It certainly isn't perfect - but it DOES improve on performance and retention WHILE reducing knee injuries by up to 75%. Surely you can see the importance of what we are doing!
I hope you'll actually give it a try before bashing it too much more. Those that have actually skied on KneeBindings have found a lot to like (i.e. "Gear of the Year" from SKI Magazine and "Skier's Choice" from Powder).
John Springer-Miller, KneeBinding Inc.
A grad student at my school was developing FEA programs to mimic an athlete's/skier's knee under stress, do you guys implement that kind of software/testing when you design a new binding? Also, wouldn't a binding that could release on both sides be more beneficial? Say your leg got crossed up or twisted in the opposite direction, certainly injury could occur if your binding couldn't release appropriately. For those saying these aren't selling, consider that this is the first year, 70,000 isn't that bad at $450 or whatever a pair. Though these are being marketed as high performance, the look of the binding makes me feel that it is mostly wealthy recreational skiiers that are purchasing these and few freeskiers. You would definitely improve sales for the NS market by offering sponsorship to pros or talented ams.
To Mattridesskis and Brian: The FKS and Pivot bindings (and all the other bindings based on the original Look “turntable” bindings) do not have a lateral heel release feature. Note the side bars/arms that come up alongside the heels of the boots – these completely prevent ANY lateral movement of the heel, and therefore these bindings do nothing to help prevent knee injuries. Originally, this type of turntable was created to aid the toe-twist release. In order for the toe to twist out sideways with the tight, solid side bars, the heel HAD to pivot.
Many people make the mistake of confusing this with KneeBinding's PureLateral heel release. To get a sense of PureLateral - envision that our heel can release sideways even though the toe stays put. It can release the same way the toe can – when no other part of the binding detects any forces.
To reiterate – PureLateral heel release is the only proven way to mitigate injuries, and KneeBinding is the only binding on the planet that has it!
To Phillegal: Yes, we test and analyze different forces on a skier’s legs in a variety of ways. We even have our own computerized test harness that allows us to measure and analyze a variety of forces that act on the leg during simulated injury scenarios. As to whether the binding should release in both directions: the injury mechanism KneeBinding targeted (as I described in an earlier post) only occurs in one direction - outwardly – and it accounts for nearly 75% of the ACL injuries in skiing. Note that there are several other specific, known ways that skiers can hurt their knees – but each, individually, accounts for only a very small number of injuries.
Overall, knee injuries account for over 30% of all reported ski injuries – so we are making a BIG dent in the overall injury rate. KneeBindings are a LOT safer but skiers can still get injured - they will even still injure their knees. Skiing is still a dengerous sport.
KneeBinding didn’t just want to create a safer binding – we also wanted to create a BETTER binding. We worked hard to eliminate the kinds of pre-release issues ordinary bindings suffer from, and also to generate increased edge leverage. It is an intricate process involving the size, orientation, placement, and relationship of the boot platforms, and also – yes – the fact that the heel only releases in one direction.
John Springer-Miller, Chairman – KneeBinding Inc.
Well - enough said!
I certainly appreciate the forum offered by NS that allowed me to help clear up some of the facts. If anyone wants more information, please drop me an e-mail, and I will answer it to the best of my ability.
John Springer-Miller, Chairman - KneeBinding Inc.
I can see there is still confusion about why KneeBindings are so different. I’ll make one more attempt at putting it all into a nutshell:
First - "Turntable" bindings are different than "Diagonal" bindings. KneeBindings are different than BOTH of these.
Second - Diagonal - must release upward before releasing sideways. Companies that make this design clearly state that their bindings do NOT reduce knee injuries – probably because most knee injuries occur when the skier is rear weighted, and these binding heels cannot release sideways in a rear-weighted fall.
Third - Turntables - look closely at this kind of binding, and try to imagine the heel moving sideways while the toe stays in place. They can't do it for several reasons - but most obviously because the boot heel is "blocked" by the side bars/plates. The turntable is NOT a lateral heel release - it merely provides a rotation point for the lateral TOE release. Companies that make this design ALSO clearly state that their bindings do NOT reduce knee injuries – probably because they CANNOT release sideways at the heel.
Finally - KneeBindings – They DO pivot at the heel (although without requiring a turntable) to facilitate a toe-twist release. And they DO release up and forward at the heel, just like all ordinary bindings. In fact, these two release mechanisms are standard on ALL ordinary bindings - Look, Rossi, Marker, Salomon, Tyrolia - all of them (with or without a turntable). KneeBinding, of course, also offers these two release methods. BUT KNEEBINDING HAS A THIRD MECHANISM THAT NONE OF THE OTHERS HAS. This provides an additional axis of release (lateral heel), with an ADDITIONAL spring and cam system, and an ADDITIONAL DIN setting. When you set the DIN on an ordinary binding, you set it in two places. With a KneeBinding, you set it in THREE places.
I hope this finally clears it all up!
John Springer-Miller, Chairman – KneeBinding Inc.
Well, remember that it isn't the rearward fall that causes knee injuries. The force that causes 3/4 of all knee injuries is abduction - the lateral (straight sideways) force under foot that pushes your foot to the outside - while hips and knees are bent.
Again, the ONLY proven way to mitigate this kind of knee injury is a PureLateral heel release, and Kneebinding is the only one that has it.
There is no evidence that upward toe release prevents knee injuries, and again - the manufacturers of these bindings warn that their bindings cannot reduce knee injuries.
John Springer-Miller, KneeBinding Inc.
Idea: All binding companies sends a pair of bindings to me and i will ski them and write a nonbiased report about each of them. Kind of like what smuggs did with outerwear.