Ski touring is becoming an ever-growing sports community. Maybe it’s because of the uncertain snow conditions around the lifts, or because of the varied physical challenges. In any case, ski touring offers you the perfect opportunity to enjoy the mountains, the snow and the views, and then even have a great downhill ride on untouched powder. It is precisely for these kinds of tours that our partner Marker has come up with the ideal binding: the Marker Kingpin. As the name suggests, Kingpin binding makes use of PinTech technology. This kind of binding has two lateral pins at the front where you can slot in the PinTech inserts on the ski shoe. At this point the shoe stays bound to the touring ski, but you can move your foot easily. One great drawback of PinTech binding has always been security - a problem that Marker has succeeded in solving. It is for this reason that the Kingpin in the first PinTech binding ever to have DIN ISO certification from the TÜV. Marker has achieved this mainly by using six steel springs instead of the conventional four, which usually go at the front. This so-called Six Pack Power Spring system can take much more impact and keep the shoe fixed. This safety benefit is a great plus for even experienced touring skiers.
Another aspect that makes the Marker Kingpin binding so special is its easy handling. Stepping into the binding is almost as smooth as it is with normal alpine binding. At the front, the the shoe inserts easily slot into the pins, while at the back you just click your heel in like you would do with alpine binding. Switching between hiking and skiing mode is also very quick and easy, and you don’t have to step out of the binding - you can even switch modes by using a ski pole. The individually-adjustable stoppers keep the shoe in the right position and steady it within the binding. While climbing, the binding impresses with its comparably low weight. The brake system automatically locks in hike mode to ensure it does not hinder your climb. When you switch back into skiing mode, the binding is ready to use again. In icy conditions you can integrate the ski crampons into the Kingpin binding. Even this can be done in one swift movement without having to step out of the binding.
However, the Marker Kingpin does not only impress uphill. Unlike other PinTech bindings, the Kingpin binding ensures the power that results from turn initiation is transferred directly to the ski. This is thanks to the Power Transmitter in the heel construction and the wide-set contact points. The direct energy transfer is further enhanced by the wide bore pattern, which is 38mm. Michael Mangold, manager of the research and development department at Marker, says the following about the binding: “Our main goal when developing the Kingpin was to create a frameless, PinTech-based binding that would deliver performance, comfort and, above all, security similar to that of conventional alpine binding. We have invested a lot of time and climbed countless slopes throughout the development process, and we believe that the new Kingpin is the beginning of revolutionary progress in the field of ski touring. We are very proud to have invented the first Pin-Tech binding ever to receive DIN ISO-Norm 13992: 2007 certification.”