We think long and hard before re-printing industry press releases. But this one has a spin on Dynafit that’s worth pondering. To wit, Dynafit went ahead and worked out some sort of “contract” with free skier Eric Hjorleifson, to represent the company as well as work on product design. More, they’re saying “The brand’s reputation as uphill oriented is long over.” (Dynafit had a previous arrangement with Eric we reported on last year, so this must be some sort of re-up or extensive contract change.)
It is said Eric had a lot of influence on the design of the Dynafit Vulcan boot, and that he’s going to have similar involvement in binding design. Judging from what happened with the Vulcan boot (one of the most radical stiffness/weight/touring-comfort ratios out there), “Hoji’s” involvement with binding development could yield interesting results. Is this the start of tech binding 2.0 and more? Or will we simply see a massive DIN 25 Dynafit contraption attempting to interface with the same tired boot heel and toe fittings that were designed more than two decades ago for lightweight European uphilling?
As for the brand’s reputation changing from being uphill oriented, words are words. Until they start making bindings used by World Cup downhill racers, I think the jury is still out on that one. To be fair, I’m thinking they’re talking about simply being more well rounded and addressing more segments of the backcountry skiing market. But saying it that way is kind of boring (can you tell why I’m not writing press releases?).
Press release follows, lightly condensed. Your comments, oh esteemed WildSnowers?
DYNAFIT PRESS RELEASE — Dynafit Disrupts the Image of Backcountry
Eric Hjorleifson signs a long term deal with Dynafit.
August 9, 2012- Dynafit … recently negotiated a long term contract with professional skier Eric Hjorleifson. In July of 2011, after an extended informal friendship, Dynafit originally signed Eric “Hoji” Hjorleifson as a North American athlete and boot consultant. Now a year later Hoji is a member of the International Team, and lead consultant on boots and bindings.
Human powered athlete Eric Hjorleifson is already hard at work designing and testing new products for 2013 and beyond. His influence in the Vulcan/Mercury/ONE boot development (launching this Fall 2012) has already changed the way the industry looks at alpine touring boots. …Imagine what will happen when Hoji gets his hands on the bindings.
“Officially signing on to work with Dynafit’s boot and binding product development teams is fantastic,” Hoji explained in a recent conversation. “I’m excited for the next few years, I believe there are going to be some very interesting developments with product in these segments, enabling skiers to go further, climb higher and shred harder than ever before.“
Jim Lamancusa, North American Sales and Marketing Director, believes the brand’s reputation as uphill oriented is long over. “We still believe in moving fast through the mountains and making transitions seamless, but the next generation skier makes no compromises in their backcountry gear. The ‘Complete Skier’ needs gear that performs great in-bounds, in side-country, and the backcountry. Hoji is coming into a team that is helping us create great products for this next generation.”
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.