(Note, please see our extensive Marker Kingpin coverage for more information.)
1. Your boot doesn’t need tech fittings at the heel to use a Kingpin, but the “ledge” at the heel needs to be the standard ski boot shape or you’ll need an adapter. For example, Scarpa Alien is not standard sole shape; Scarpa Maestrale is.
2. Most equivalent binding out there is probably Dynafit Beast 16.
– Kingpin weight with brakes 730 grams, 25.75 ounces.
– Beast 16 (2014-2015 version) weight with brakes. 966 grams, 34.0 ounces
– Dynafit Radical FT is 566 grams, 20 oz.
3. The “six pack” springs in the Kingpin toe look sexy but it’s unknown at this time if they really make a difference in preventing pre-release. Marker of course claims they do and we agree the concept is good. Check out this video to understand the type of pre-release that stronger toe springs may prevent.
4. Brake and crampon widths:
– Crampon widths: 90, 105, 120
– Brakes, 75/100 and 100/125 (they retract nicely so cover a range a widths).
5. The binding will have several versions:
– DIN 5 to 10
– DIN 6 to 13
– DIN 5 to 10 without brakes
– Rental/demo version has boot length adjustment at toe and heel.
(Note that with the attention Marker has given to elasticity and energy absorption, the 5/10 DIN binding may suit most average sized skiers quite well. Sorry it doesn’t go to 11 but that’s life.)
6. A limited number of Kingpin bindings will be sold this winter, with full retail beginning fall of 2015. We expect this year’s inventory to be available sometime in December. I was told the way to end up with a pair is to “get on a list with a retailer.”
7. Lateral elasticity (twisting) is no different in range than most other tech bindings as this is a function of the shape of the boot toe sockets. (Note that Fritschi Vipec has toe wings that open to side and probably provides more lateral elasticity than “normal” tech bindings.)
8. Vertical elasticity is excellent, much better than “normal” tech bindings, similar to alpine bindings and Dynafit Beast.
9. “Kingpin” is a combination of the Marker “Royal Family” binding naming system and the term “pin binding” that Europeans tend to use for tech bindings.
10. A rotating toe unit was attempted but rejected.
Please see our extensive Marker Kingpin coverage for more information.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.