Automatic cross-country ski bindings adjust on the move
By Jeff Salton
February 23, 2010
One of the toughest jobs in cross-country skiing – apart from dragging yourself away from the log fire in the bar at the chalet – is adjusting ski bindings mid-journey. Riskprotect has designed bindings that automatically adjust to an incline or decline and remove the risk of skiers injuring themselves by attempting awkward maneuvers while off-piste.
“Without exaggeration, this was one of the great unsolved mysteries dominating the thinking of all manufacturers of ski bindings,” says Ulrich Schwingshackl, managing director Riskprotect. “My team and I succeeded, after months of painstaking work, in presenting a solution which not only makes off-piste skiing more agreeable, but also less strenuous and, above all, much safer,” he says.
Schwingshackl explains that the revolutionary feature of the climbing aid is an oil-cushioned ball that adjusts the climbing aid according to the steepness of the slope. He says this mechanism prevents the climbing aid from suddenly snapping back into the wrong position when going over rough terrain.
“We also designed an innovative ski crampon. This is a device made from metal that is attached to the binding of the cross-country skis. In order to reduce excessive effort, the new ski crampon only grips the snow when movement has ceased. The binding itself is made of carbon fiber. This material has so far never been used for such a purpose: it weighs less than aluminum, the metal typically used in bindings, but is twice as strong,” he says.
The Riskprotect prototype binding has been placed among finalists for the “ISPO BrandNew Award 2010“. ISPO is the largest trade fair in the world for sports articles and sports fashion and is held annually in Munich.
Via TIS Innovation Park.