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A ‘knee-friendly’ alpine ski binding gets US patent

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Suspicious thread reboot?

Anyway, I looked at the knee binding website and videos of testing way back in 07. It was about that time that I did my ACL, so had a deep interest in such things.

Anyway, I havn't revisited so I don't know if anything has changed (and I currently don't have the time to even read the above posts) but my concerns at the time involved the testing procedures in the video :

They clearly had no understanding of basic engineering mechanics.

It may be that the demo they had set up was for marketing, and so 'simplified' (or 'lied') for effect, but it sure wasn't science.

(I am a registered Chartered Engineer, and I do know about such things as they trust me with nuclear power plants.)
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thank you for confirming why we should be concerned about our nuclear reactors.

Rick Howell

Howell Ski Bindings
Stowe, Vermont
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Hi All. I see these have been on here before but wondered of views of these had changed since 09 or if anyone now has now any personal experience of them as I mentioned to my local shop my dodgy knees and was pointed to these by the ski tech who is also a ski-patroller who said these are the bindings he will be using this season.

Had a look at epicski (the american ski place referred above?) and there is a lot of discussion there and those who use it seem to rate them but a lot of others saying there is no real evidence that supports its claims. A hard one as imagine no independent studies would be around to say one way or the next and wouldnt even know how they would do one in the field, would have to be lab based But if it does what it says, i.e. releases laterally at the heel, then it cant hurt and if as good as other bindings (despite being pretty ugly) then worth a go?

Are they still priced ion the UK at the high end as the US site did say the were a little dearer but not too bad. Edge and Wax has them at GBP240-280 but what is the benchmark to say they are overpriced as this thread mentioned

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=1327775&highlight=knee+bindings#1327775

Thoughts?
snow conditions     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@ster, I find it odd that Mr Howell seems to have gone out on his own...after being president of kneebinding he now claims he is not kneebinding, but with a product that the heel looks very similar to,

I have visited the new website and it looks like renderings of an vaporware product in 1960s style...asking for preorders with a very long lead time.

If it works so well, why are we not all skiing on them now ? Its not like there is anything new in lateral heel release, or the understanding of torque.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@ster,
I skied on Knee Bindings last season, as did my wife. She had a rather nasty fall in Feb 2013 which resulted in a fractured fibula, tore the 'Bec de Canard' (bone spur where the ACL attaches) off and some other ligament damage. The fall seemed to be a phantom foot type fall on Crux in Tignes during poor visibility.
Having endured a year of rehab after surgery, she decided to get Kneebindings for her new skis, and I also got a set, purchased from SpyderJon. They are slightly heavier than the Marker Squires, but are quite robustly constructed. They performed well, though I had a bit of an issue with pre-release as I hadn't set the forward pressure correctly. You need to bear in mind that the bindings are 'handed' as the lateral release is to one side only.
Otherwise we are both happy with them. They do give some reassurance that they should reduce the risk of a ACL injury, and having had one of us injured and a resulting 25+month recovery period which included 2 operations, neither of us want to repeat that if possible. If you are worried about your knees, it may be worth investing in them, if only for peace of mind.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I've skied on them for a couple of years. I found the "correct" forward pressure seems really, and I mean really, high - to the point where clipping in needed a good proportion of my body weight. I adjusted them down from the book value but I still find them tough to clip in on any reasonable slope.

Having said that I believe more recent versions have been modified to make them easier to get on.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
kerb wrote:
I've skied on them for a couple of years. I found the "correct" forward pressure seems really, and I mean really, high - to the point where clipping in needed a good proportion of my body weight. I adjusted them down from the book value but I still find them tough to clip in on any reasonable slope.

Having said that I believe more recent versions have been modified to make them easier to get on.


That's the same issue we both had. Not ideal when venturing off piste, so we did wind the pressure off. I did find that a little upward pressure on the rear clip helps.
snow conditions     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Thanks @Scottish Scrutineer, @kerb, and @lampbus belatedly , for your replies. Interesting on the one sided lateral release adn the pressure needed. Certainly food for thought when time for new bindings come around and if SpyderJon is happy to sell them. Hopefully the knees will last until then!
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Scottish Scrutineer, interesting details...handed release, hard to adjust and difficult to clip into. Perhaps this explains why they are not more popular.

Don't get me wrong - if they work and have no other serious drawbacks then I am interested in protecting my knees.

On the handedness : 1. Is it clear which way they release ? (Or actually 'keyed' so they will not clip in if on the wrong foot - unlikely as the DIN ski boot is symmetrical).
2. If I swap skis - which I do sometimes to distribute wear or if I get an edge burr or base damage one one edge on the mountain - the lateral release is instantly void. In fact, if the upward release compromised in any way? Eg if the design uses an element of lateral release to ease upward heal release, if I am loading the heal the 'wrong' way then the upward element will be stiffer ? It is very difficult to design the heel piece to fully isolate these two motions - I am interested to know how they do this.

On the adjustment : I have noticed that forward pressure screw on the bindings I have come across (but I am not a ski tech) sometimes 'turn until it clicks', 'turn until it is flush' or 'turn until the line on the head is flush'. As ski bindings should be obvious to set right with minimal training - how are the knee bindings set and do they differ markedly from other industry norms ? If they are different, I would question the design wisdom, and if they are 'normal' then I would question why experienced people in this thread got it wrong ! You are not helping people's knees if they pre-release.

On the difficulty clipping in : Yes, off piste in soft snow, it can be dangerous if the ski cannot be simple to get back on. If we assume that a correctly adjusted binding heel will release correctly as per DIN, laterally (is there a DIN test for this?) and upward, then I an interested in why they are hard to clip into, when other bindings manage it with ease. It is possible that this is a sign of a better release traded off for harder clip in.

Does anyone have a binding I could look at on my engineering bench ? I could even devise some comparative tests Madeye-Smiley
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
There is a MASSIVE amount of information about safe binding release here:

https://www.wildsnow.com/15123/tech-binding-release-testing-acl-broken-leg/

But it takes quite some time to absorb.
latest report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
@6Bindings, we should always be concerned about the ways manufacturers make claims for their products, particularly where peoples' health are at risk.

I did dig about a bit with google but I could not find the video I vaguely remember - I wanted to review it and see if it still rang my alarm bells. I think it was on a manufacturer website so is probably now lost in the vaults...

Anyway, the newer video of the park skier falling and his ski releasing under lateral tail loading has helped me understand one of the actual real-world situations that you are attempting to protect against.

I have never seen a knee binding here in Europe - they may be around but in spite of being a gear geek, I don't scan every ski in the rack ! Are they more common in N.America ?

Anyway - what's the story with you going out on your own again ? Are you making a better product ? what will be the improvements over the kit that @Scottish Scrutineer and @kerb, have been using (In light of their comments above) ?

I do and I don't envy you - it must be hard to produce a new binding, especially in an industry that is so conservative and an environment that can be very litigious. This is a shame as traditional binding design may well have been a factor in my knee damage and I believe there is room for improvement.

Good luck in your new venture.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
A bit more in the way of background/info

http://www.skinet.com/ski/article/safer-world-acls
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Latest developments in the dispute between the skibinding company Kneebinding and the inventor of the binding (and earlier poster on this thread) Rick Howell: http://www.stowetoday.com/stowe_reporter/news/local_news/court-opens-trial-in-ski-binding-dispute/article_ebc40908-895a-11e5-a96d-47d330f929ed.html
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I think I need to get some popcorn in for this one, it could drag on quite some while: http://www.stowetoday.com/stowe_reporter/news/local_news/bad-blood-spills-over-in-court/article_f960eac8-8e31-11e5-b0a6-136c4a07689f.html
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Alastair Pink wrote:
I think I need to get some popcorn in for this one, it could drag on quite some while: http://www.stowetoday.com/stowe_reporter/news/local_news/bad-blood-spills-over-in-court/article_f960eac8-8e31-11e5-b0a6-136c4a07689f.html


Edit: I saw the link to the Stowe Reporter story on the facebook ski.hub group - a useful site for ski news stories run by David Goldsmith. Madeye-Smiley
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@MatteoSabo, think this is prob. the wrong place to raise that question - try:

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2853548&highlight=norway#2853548
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