Marker Kingpin First Try

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pmg
Posts: 435
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:59 am
Location: Sonthofen

Marker Kingpin First Try

Post by pmg » Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Hi,

was super lucky and got one of these fancy new bindings today (well, actually two).

First impression is: That will be my new binding from now on! Has all the advantages of pin touring bindings (mainly low stand height, lower weight, nicer to walk) without any of the disadvantages I encountered with my dynafit bindings (hard to step in, sometimes awkward handling, stoppers that suck, and a lack of trust when riding real hard).

So, this seems to be a binding that can be used for every day on the skis, whether its touring, riding groomers or being off-piste. Perfect for me, as I just don't want to ride my alpine boots any more. Always had trouble finding boots as my feet are really slim, and since I tried on the La Sportiva Spectre boots I don't want to ski anything else.

Will give them a test tomorrow if my little girl finally decides to sleep (its 3 in the morning here), then I will give some first feedback.

Ah, and just in case someone might get wrong ideas about this post: I don't work for marker or la sportiva and do not get any benefit from writing positive about these products :)

pmg
Posts: 435
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:59 am
Location: Sonthofen

Post by pmg » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:33 am

First test was great! The handling of this binding is great, especially the stepping in - hardly any difference to stepping into an alpine binding.

As only 2 smaller lifts were open, I didn't charge them hard, but it feels that they transmit the "power" better to the ski than the dynafits (though I never felt that a dynafit binding has a problem there).

Release worked well, hit an ice block when skiing off-piste... one ski was compressed, upset, clinched (whats the right word here? one ski has a bit of a rocker now it didn't have before), but the binding luckily did its job.

what of course feels good (as with any other pin binding) is that you are close to the ski.

and: the brakes can really be called brakes, they are as good as the ones alpine bindings have.

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falls
Posts: 1451
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:04 pm
Location: Wangaratta, Australia

Post by falls » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:30 pm

nice work!
I think if you hit something hard enough to bend a ski then you really want your binding to release!

Here's some info for others who haven't read/watched about the kingpin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdqvtzDS-A4

Image
Don't wait up, I'm off to kill Summer....

pmg
Posts: 435
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:59 am
Location: Sonthofen

Post by pmg » Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:01 am

Yeah, a binding should definitely release in this case :) It was one of those icy blocks made in the close to the piste terrain by the piste machines. If my tip was 15cm high it might have skied over it...

Well, there is always a damn lot of advertisement when a new product is released, and in the product's first year, all the weaknesses are shown - lets see if I find some that winter.


So far, what I figured

+ Solid build, does not give the impression something will break sooner or later (yes, only constant use can tell if thats true)

+ They say that their toe piece is much stronger than those of other pin bindings. My subjective impression is that this is absolutely true. Toyed around with it and the toe piece of the dynafit vertical FT, the opening/closing of the pins definitely takes much more force on the kingpin. So hopefully no sideway pre-release on that toe piece.

+ Setting the correct length of the binding works sooo easy. Just see the that one screw doing it aligns with its frame - done. No fiddling with that 5.5mm plastic piece where I never knew where to exactly put it.

+ Stoppers are like alpine stoppers - solid and capable of slowing the ski down. Never liked the dynafit stoppers really - not going in the snow a lot, and the way they are mounted to the binding is just *****. Lost one of those in a backward fall (turned around 180° first, then fell) - the stopper got some impact from behind and went off. The ski came to a halt 2km below... Won't happen with the kingpin stoppers.

+ Stepping in: Nearly like an alpine binding. Also the heel piece step in feels like it should :)


So, whats negative?

- the climbing aids are not as easy to put on/off as I would like. If the things standing over to the left and right would be a bit taller it would be really easy, but the way they are the pole easily slips off when trying to put them in.

- about 200g more weight than the dynafit vertical/radical per binding.


My conclusion so far:
The kingpin is an excellent all-rounder. With its normal heel and the safety features it brings, it can be used as a normal binding for everyday skiing in a resort. (Maybe you shouldn't jump superhigh cliffs with it? Can not tell as we do not have the snow here to jump superhigh cliffs)
But it also is a full touring binding, being only a bit heavier than other pin bindings. Still much more leightweight and comfortable than any frame touring binding.

pmg
Posts: 435
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:59 am
Location: Sonthofen

Post by pmg » Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:11 am

To cut the long story short: Will try to get hold of a second one and then sell all my dynafit bindings. Charged this binding in bumpy terrain today and the binding didn't show any weaknesses. The last time I rode the dynafit vertical FT like this I had serveral prereleases (though the binding was perfectly set).

If the stoppers would go for a waist below 75mm I would make some fun and mount them on my odl GS race skis :)

pmg
Posts: 435
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:59 am
Location: Sonthofen

Post by pmg » Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:20 am

Also did a bit of walking, quite good. Pros and Cons:

+ Compared to a frame binding its soooo easy (anyone who tried both knows what I mean).

- 200g more per Ski than other "comparable" pin bindings

+ I really like that you can switch from walking to skiing and back without having to step out of the binding

+ The heavier heel piece makes kick turns (is that the right translation for Spitzkehren?) easier as the ski falls back faster.

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