Whatever you might have against snowboards, you have to admit, their standardized insert system for binding mounting is pretty slick. A rider can have one pair of bindings, and swap them out to any one of his boards in minutes. While this probably will never happen to skis, with the range of hole patterns on the market, we can pretend, at least, with DynaDuke plates.
Made by a company called Binding Freedom, Dynaduke plates screw onto your skis and allow you to attach Dynafit and various Marker bindings to your ski quickly (they also make a version for Dynafit and Salomon bindings). To my knowledge they work for Marker Dukes and all their derivatives, such as the Tour, and all Dynafit Bindings. I recently picked up a pair of Marker Tours, and I never seem to have enough Dynafits for my quiver of skis, so DynaDukes looked like the perfect solution.
Dynadukes are machined out of aircraft aluminum, and weigh 4.0 oz per ski. They have 36 tapped holes in them. The bases are machined out to save weight and the edges are tapered to allow the ski to flex naturally. They are anodized orange, and look very well made. Mounting them is fairly easy by simply using the supplied template. There are four widely spaced holes in the front and back of each plate. The holes are almost too wide to fit on the mounting area of my Megawatts, as they have two grooves that run along the edges. The edge of the plate overhangs slightly, but the screw is solidly in the wood core of the ski, so I’m not worried about it. The Dynadukes were originally made for Dukes, however I am using Marker Tours on them, which have the same hole pattern, but the binding is slightly different. The heel lifter bar rests on a plastic section that overhangs the back of the plate, so I glued a small piece of UHMW under that section to hold it up.
My current quiver comprises K2 Coomback and Wayback skis, both 175, and 188 Black Diamond Megawatts. For boots I run a new pair of Scarpa Maestrales for most touring, and a Pair of Scarpa Hurricances for inbounds, slackcountry and a bit of touring with the Markers. For bindings I have one pair of Dynafit FT-12s (the 110 version with the slightly stiffer toe springs), and a pair of Marker Tours. With inserts for Dynafits in my K2 skis, and the Dynaduke plates on my Megawatts, I can basically combine this equipment any way I want.
The combo of Dynafits and Marker Tours pretty much covers any sort of skiing I might want to do. While the Tour isn’t quite as strong as the Duke, It seems beefy enough for me, especially since I’m fairly light and ski with a fairly low DIN (9). After maching down some crowded, icy groomers at Whistler the past few weekends, they’ve fulfilled my expectations well.
I’ve only done about five binding swaps so far using the Dynaduke plates, but it is already an easy process, taking about twenty minutes to fully swap. I’ve done it a few times in parking lots, and minutes before I had to leave to go skiing. I lost a few of the screws within the first couple binding swaps. I had to go to a few different hardware stores around town to find some extra ones, and the ones I found rust a little, so I’d recommend getting some extra stainless screws from Binding Freedom.
I used the plates mounted with Dynafits for about twenty days of backcountry powder skiing over winter vacation. I didn’t notice the extra weight or stack height, or any differences from touring with a normal mount. The plates did cause more snow to stick to the binding area of my skis than normal. Also, a few small pieces of the plastic baseplate on the Dynafit snapped off where they were not supported. This isn’t really an issue, since most of this stuff is superfluous material for aesthetics only. I’ve skied the plates mounted with Tours for about five days at the ski area over the past few weeks. The plates performed well for the Tours as well. More photos below:
Louie Dawson earned his Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design from Western Washington University in 2014. When he’s not skiing Mount Baker or somewhere equally as snowy, he’s thinking about new products to make ski mountaineering more fun and safe.