Editor’s note: Naxo binding is discontinued as of 2009, content preserved for historical reference. Portions of this article are sourced from a press release.
Naxo nx01 is a high-performance AT binding from Switzerland with a full alpine toepiece, maximum DIN setting of 12, and an innovative “virtual rotation system” that improves stride ergonomics while touring and allows the use of a full size alpine-like toe. Beginning this year, Backcountry Access (Boulder, Colorado) will do North American distribution of the Naxo line.
The binding was developed by Naxo AG of Thun, Switzerland, a company founded in 2001 by former managers at alpine touring manufacturer, Fritschi AG. Naxo was introduced to the European market during the 2002-03 season.
The crux of the Naxo design is its beefy toepiece and a unique touring (heel lift) pivot system. By providing two pivot points, one beneath and one in front of the toepiece, the system allows for a full-sized alpine-style toe conforming to DIN standards for both alpine/downhill and alpine touring boots. It also creates a more rounded gait, reducing the “Frankenstein” stride often experienced with existing AT plate bindings, according to McGowan. In addition, the heel piece locks down in such a way that it cannot prerelease due to flex of the ski, an the touring heel lifter can’t be inadvertently raised while downhill skiing (WildSnow editor’s note: a problem some people claim other bindings have, and we’ve seen some evidence of but nothing to be particularly alarmed about). Binding length and spring tension at the toe and heel can be adjusted quickly, making it ideal for rental use or swapping between partners during an expedition.
While most of the WildSnow backcountry skiing blog posts are best attributed to a single author, some work well as done by the group.