The perfect alpine touring (AT) binding for riders who want a high DIN doesn’t exist ... yet.
But unlike alpine bindings, which have independent toe and heel pieces, high DIN AT bindings have always required a frame that holds the toe and heel. For touring, the binding plate unlocks at the heel, and pivots on the toe, with the frame attached to the skier's boot.
The problem with a frame binding is that it creates a dead spot in the middle of the ski. When you’re arcing a turn, you flex your ski ... until you hit the section where the frame is screwed into the ski, at which point you are pressuring the binding, which doesn't allow the ski to flex underneath it. Furthermore, when you’re skinning uphill, the weight of a high DIN touring binding is strapped to your foot and you’re lifting it with every step, which is incredibly tiring.
When Dynafit releases its Beast 16 AT binding in January at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Utah, the perfect AT binding will finally exist.
Designed by Dynafit’s Frederick Anderson with skier Eric “Hoji” Hjorfeifson, the Beast 16 is the world’s first DIN 16 binding with torsional rigidity equal to any full alpine binding. It skis like an alpine binding, and it’s significantly lighter than any other DIN 16 AT binding currently out there.
The Beast 16 solves the problem of other burly AT bindings. It has independent toe and heel pieces, which won't cause a dead spot in your ski. The ski can flex through its entire length. It also eliminates the issue of extra binding weight on your foot that you’re moving with every step because it uses tech fittings—arms that hold pins into divets in the toe of a boot. In the case of the Beast 16, the side arms are beefed up and look more like an alpine toepiece than a typical Dynafit binding.