All About the Knee Binding
By Steve Kopitz
If you’re a skier you’ve more than likely heard about the new Knee Binding ski binding. Here we will get some information to you that will help you understand exactly what the Knee Binding is accomplishing. Please see the below video for some great basic information on the Knee Binding ski binding.
Next to answer any lingering questions you may have, check out the in depth question and answer courtesy of Knee Bindings website below.
Q: What makes KneeBinding so special?
A: It’s the only binding in the world that reduces the risk of ACL tears and ruptures in skiing. It does this dramatically and reliably, while improving ski performance and minimizing the kinds of pre-release issues often associated with ordinary bindings.
Q: How can it do all that?
A: Ordinary bindings offer two release mechanisms; lateral toe and forward heel, which have been standard on all bindings for 30 years. KneeBinding offers a third dimension – an additional, entirely separate mechanism – with its own retention setting and release profile. This patented PureLateralTM heel technology isolates the specific event that causes 70% of ACL injuries in skiing, releasing the boot directly sideways just before the knee is injured.
Q: Why is this different than “Diagonal” bindings?
A: A so-called “diagonal” heel can only move sideways AFTER the heel has opened vertically. Because most ACL injuries occur when your weight is on your heels – it is impossible for these heels to open vertically when a phantom foot event puts your ACL at risk.
Q: What about “turntable” heels?
A: ”Turntable” heels have side lugs/bars designed to aid the lateral TOE release. These completely prevented ANY lateral heel release during the phantom foot event that causes most ACL injuries. All ordinary bindings have a lateral TOE release with a pivot point at the heel, even if the heel is not a turntable. KneeBinding is the ONLY binding that ALSO has a pure lateral heel release with a pivot point at the toe.
Q: Is it true that there is a left and a right binding?
A: Yes. Most ACL injuries happen when the skier’s hips and knees are bent (i.e. a “sitting” position) and the ski is pulled directly sideways to the outside. The human leg doesn’t bend that way. This “phantom foot” event accounts for nearly three-fourths of all ACL injuries on skis, and it ONLY happens in one direction – to the outside. So, our PureLateralTM release only needs to release in one direction to protect the ACL.
Q: Is this the first lateral heel release in a binding?
A: No, there have been other attempts through the years. KneeBinding is the first and only lateral heel release that works reliably and that doesn’t have pre-release issues.
Q: Many skiers report that KneeBindings allow them to ski at lower DIN settings than they normally do. Can you explain what they mean?
A: Sure. There are several things that make our bindings so good at retention, such as the excellent elasticity of the toe and heel mechanisms. Astute skiers also realize that our comprehensive Floating Mount System (FMS) is a significant factor. By reducing the number of places the binding is rigidly attached to the ski, we allow the ski to flex more naturally. Certain situations, such as plowing into a mogul, create problems for ordinary bindings, and skiers often increase their DIN settings to compensate. KneeBindings reduce the likelihood of these types of unwanted releases, allowing skiers to maintain more appropriate DIN settings. Our goal is to reduce ski injuries. Making it possible for skiers to ski at the DIN settings recommended by International Standards is part of that.
Q: Skiers also report that KneeBindings gives them an increased sense of power over their edges. What gives?
A: The design, placement, and relationship of the heel and toe platforms were specifically created to improve edge control. You can roll into a turn more aggressively, and you can actually feel the increased sense of confidence that comes with better edge grip.
Q: What other performance features does KneeBinding offer?
A: In addition to everything else, KneeBindings offer four sizes of interchangeable brakes, various “ramp angle” options, and significantly easier “step-in” characteristics. It even includes a convenient snow scraper for your boot soles.
Q: Can KneeBindings prevent all knee injuries?
A: No – not all. Skiing is an inherently dangerous sport, and injuries will still occur. But they will occur a great deal less with KneeBinding. KneeBinding directly targets the single biggest cause of ACL injuries – the “phantom foot” event – which is responsible for nearly three-fourths of all ACL injuries.
Q: Can I mount KneeBindings on any skis?
A: You can mount KneeBindings on any “flat” skis. You may be able to mount KneeBindings on various kinds of “system” skis as well, by removing the bindings or plates that came with the skis, or by adding a plate or adapter. But nearly 60% of all skis sold in North America are now flat skis, thanks largely to to consumer and retailer backlash against “proprietary” mounting systems. KneeBinding can actually be mounted on about 75% of all skis sold in North America. Consumers should check with an authorized retailer to make a determination about a specific ski.
Q: What about Juniors?
A: KneeBindings are only permitted with adult boot soles.
Q: What are the top three features of the KneeBinding?
A: KneeBindings improve edge grip/control and power transmission, and they reduce unwanted releases. But the top three features are: 1) Safety; 2) Safety; and 3) Safety. This binding is more fun to ski on, more reliable, and it’s the safest binding on the planet.
Below are some final specs on the KneeBindings: