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What is an Indemnified Binding?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 

Can someone tell me what it means when a binding is on the Indemnified Binding list?  Will a shop mount an Indemnified binding?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 46

 

Quote:
Binding manufacturers will indemnify ski shops in the event there is a skier injury after a shop services or mounts  their bindings IF it is on the current indemnification list at the time of service. Every year the list is revised and if your bindings are NOT on the list and you expect a ski shop to service or mount them, you will likely be out of luck, because the shop will then be liable, not the binding manufacturer if you or yours has an injury and subsequent suit relative to a binding. Any smart shop will politely decline to perform any work on bindings NOT indemnified.

 

Here's the Indemnified Binding List for 2010-11.

post #3 of 46
Most excellent explanation. When bindings drop off the list, the mfgs believe that due to age and average use, they will no longer perform to specs.

Why people would want to ski on bindings that are not up to date is beyond me. It is your legs and body you are protecting.

Rick G
post #4 of 46

Quote:

Originally Posted by wiscoskier View Post

Can someone tell me what it means when a binding is on the Indemnified Binding list?  Will a shop mount an Indemnified binding?

 

Thanks.


Yes a shop will mount an Indemnified binding. They will not mount a non-indemnified binding.

post #5 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

Most excellent explanation. When bindings drop off the list, the mfgs believe that due to age and average use, they will no longer perform to specs.

Why people would want to ski on bindings that are not up to date is beyond me. It is your legs and body you are protecting.

Rick G



No, that's really not it. The manufacturer thinks it's time you spent more money on something new that hopefully is made by them as well. If it lasted for 20 years, well, there's no "new" money in that!  Hense the popularity of making bindings out of plastic which degrades quicky do to UV exposure and other factors. To be honest, I don't really care for them at all, even new when I have a choice.(system skis)

 

Make mine METAL please!

 

Rick, I've got all metal bindings from the 70's that I would choose over some of the new crap that are being sold today without the slightest hesitation. And that IS because "It's my legs and body I'm protecting"

post #6 of 46


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

Most excellent explanation. When bindings drop off the list, the mfgs believe that due to age and average use, they will no longer perform to specs.

Why people would want to ski on bindings that are not up to date is beyond me. It is your legs and body you are protecting.

Rick G



No, that's really not it.


Yes, it is why. You may not agree and that's fine, you are welcome to your opinion, but in the real world people sue when they get hurt so there needs to be some protection from that scenario. I have personally torque tested at least 10,000 pairs of bindings in my life, there is absolutely ZERO doubt in my mind that binding performance changes and degrades with age. Use what ever you like, but making claims like you did above is what Epicski such a useless source of actual information- everyone has an opinion and they all have equal weight in this polite little world... too bad, because telling anyone that a modern binding is less safe than binding from the 70's should have the Mod's quickly deleting the post.

post #7 of 46

bravo-  well-said.......

 

 

 

And please feel free to run with sissors and yes, touch the plate when your server says its hot...........

post #8 of 46



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

Most excellent explanation. When bindings drop off the list, the mfgs believe that due to age and average use, they will no longer perform to specs.

Why people would want to ski on bindings that are not up to date is beyond me. It is your legs and body you are protecting.

Rick G



No, that's really not it.


Yes, it is why. You may not agree and that's fine, you are welcome to your opinion, but in the real world people sue when they get hurt so there needs to be some protection from that scenario. I have personally torque tested at least 10,000 pairs of bindings in my life, there is absolutely ZERO doubt in my mind that binding performance changes and degrades with age. Use what ever you like, but making claims like you did above is what Epicski such a useless source of actual information- everyone has an opinion and they all have equal weight in this polite little world... too bad, because telling anyone that a modern binding is less safe than binding from the 70's should have the Mod's quickly deleting the post.



First off, I'm not knocking the shops for being worried about getting sued. I get that you have to protect your interests. It's the binding manufactures making products with such a short lifespan that bothers me. Well that and making "less binding for the same money" so their profit margin stays where they want it. Not unique to this industry but sad none the less..

 

And you are also entitled to your opinion. I have seen and skied a lot of different bindings over the last 30+ years and have maybe 100+ different variants in my shop to examine. Some are simply better mechanical devices than others. It is that simple. Ski what you like.

post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

Most excellent explanation. When bindings drop off the list, the mfgs believe that due to age and average use, they will no longer perform to specs.

Why people would want to ski on bindings that are not up to date is beyond me. It is your legs and body you are protecting.

Rick G



No, that's really not it. The manufacturer thinks it's time you spent more money on something new that hopefully is made by them as well. If it lasted for 20 years, well, there's no "new" money in that!  Hense the popularity of making bindings out of plastic which degrades quicky do to UV exposure and other factors. To be honest, I don't really care for them at all, even new when I have a choice.(system skis)

 

Make mine METAL please!

 

Rick, I've got all metal bindings from the 70's that I would choose over some of the new crap that are being sold today without the slightest hesitation. And that IS because "It's my legs and body I'm protecting"



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by rickg View Post

Most excellent explanation. When bindings drop off the list, the mfgs believe that due to age and average use, they will no longer perform to specs.

Why people would want to ski on bindings that are not up to date is beyond me. It is your legs and body you are protecting.

Rick G



No, that's really not it.


Yes, it is why. You may not agree and that's fine, you are welcome to your opinion, but in the real world people sue when they get hurt so there needs to be some protection from that scenario. I have personally torque tested at least 10,000 pairs of bindings in my life, there is absolutely ZERO doubt in my mind that binding performance changes and degrades with age. Use what ever you like, but making claims like you did above is what Epicski such a useless source of actual information- everyone has an opinion and they all have equal weight in this polite little world... too bad, because telling anyone that a modern binding is less safe than binding from the 70's should have the Mod's quickly deleting the post.


There are NO bindings from the 70's that are better than what we have now...even your beloved N77 (with the ever safe FORWARD facing brake), If you want to talk the 80's w/ Z7/Z9's, 957E's (and 957R's) to name a select few, you might have an argument, but even "all metal" 350D/R, N77's, 727E's, Heads, Spademans, Americana and of course Cubco's that WERE all metal cannot hold up to what is offered today. 

 

I do agree there are bindings that could still be indemnified that are no longer on the list could still be OK like some that I mentioned above (957E, 957R)

post #10 of 46

Truth on both sides of the coin here.

 

I don't agree with RS that I'd rather ski on 1970s-era bindings.  But the manufacturers' decisions to drop product from the list are both self-interested and at least somewhat arbitrary.  On the former issue, bear in mind that they receive no additional income from old bindings getting used, but take on additional risk.  On the latter, witness Salomon's decision to drop three generations of bindings (roughly a decade of product) from the list in a single year.

 

A friend of mine who broke a pair of Salomon Z12s asked me if I had a pair of bindings he could use to replace them.  I gave him a pair of almost unused Salomon 900S I've been holding on to.  The 900 series just dropped off the indemnification list -- the newest of the aforementioned three generations.  The 900s are heavier but more durable than the Z12s, and IIRC, share the same hole pattern.  Given the anecdotal evidence I've heard of the breakage rate for Salomon's Z series, I'd probably trust the 900s over the Z12s.

post #11 of 46

In practice it means that if you get hurt and try to sue the shop, the binding manufacturer will send their lawyers in to defend the shop.

 

Without this legal backup, the shop won't (usually) work on the bindings.

 

Indemnification doesn't really do anything for you, other than the fact that you can find someone to service indemnified bindings.

post #12 of 46
Thread Starter 

I think I get the point.

post #13 of 46

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

bravo-  well-said.......

 

 

 

And please feel free to run with sissors and yes, touch the plate when your server says its hot...........


I always touch the plate, I can't help myself.

post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaobrien6 View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

bravo-  well-said.......

 

 

 

And please feel free to run with sissors and yes, touch the plate when your server says its hot...........


I always touch the plate, I can't help myself.



@ "The Met"?

post #15 of 46

On the 2010-2011 Indemnified Binding list, under Marker bindings, it has the following headings:

2010/2011 Retail Binding Line

2010/2011 Rental / Demo Binding Line

Non-Current Marker Retail Bindings

Are the Non-Current bindings still indemnified, or does Marker no longer stand behind bindings older than the 2010 model year?

post #16 of 46

Non Current refers to bindings that were made in previous years... if they are on the list they are Indemnified, if they are not on the list they aren't. It's pretty simple, really.

post #17 of 46

Whiteroom, thanks, I hadn't been able to find an answer to that by Googling

post #18 of 46

Great definition of what an indemnified binding is. I had some old skis and wanted to move bindings from them, was completely surprised when the shop declined to do so. BTW, the most current list a Google search turned up was the 2010-11 season. I think bindings age out after about 10 years (corrections welcome). For example, the Titanium 12.0 Speed Point IS on the 2010-11 list, along with a bunch of other Non-Current Marker Retail Bindings (and all those manufactured by others of course). You have to be a retailer & order the current list as far as I can tell. The 2010-11 list is the most recent free list. Just add one year & knock off the oldest ones for a current list.

 

When I think of how I risked my neck at 70+ MPH at Jay Peak in the late 60's on Fischer 205's and Marker Rotomat DL bindings, I can only thank my lucky stars I never crashed at speed. The toe on those bindings had all the retention of a rubber band. The heel sucked as well.

 

New bindings are a known quantity. Some old ones are safe for a long time, others... not so much.

post #19 of 46

My $.02

 

Binding manufacturers have LOTS of motivation to drop bindings off of the indemnified list. For one, it encourages people to go buy NEW bindings. For two, it limits their legal liability.  The indemnified list can change dramatically from year to year, in some cases for more than the simple question of "is it safe" would explain.

 

For example, Look has (or at least had in the last few years) some bindings from the early 1990's that were still indemnified.

 

On the flipside, consider Salomon. Their current binding designs have not changed since the early 1990's Salomon 957, and a properly operating 957 can be expected to protect the knee just as well as a brand new binding (I'm not saying everyone should go buy 20 year old bindings, or even use them, I'm saying a brand new 957 and a brand new STH16 offer almost identical safety performance.

 

A few years ago (either 2009 or 2010), Salomon dropped the 977, 997, and 900 from their indemnification lists. Never mind that these are 3 whole generations of bindings dropped in a single year. Never mind that these are near identical in design to brand new Salomon bindings. In addition, never mind that several of the binding models included were all metal bindings that could be expected to last longer than any of the new composite plastic models.

 

Obviously, safety was not the only consideration in Salomon dropping a huge amount of their past catalog in a single year. Design wasn't the issue, as the design is largely unchanged. Overall age wasn't the issue, as some of the bindings were still quite young(ish).  The only conclusion I can come to is somebody decided it would be more profitable to risk the goodwill hit and sdrop the bindings.

 

That said, it would be outright stupid to run older, non-indemnified bindings that have spent 20 years in a shed.

 

If you want to consider using an older binding, have common sense.

 

Ask the following questions:

 

1. How can I expect the materials in my binding to hold up as they age?  I trust older metal bindings (that still incorporate modern release designs) better than I trust older plastic/composite bindings.  I have a set of all-metal 1993 Sally 957E's in good shape that I would still mount, and I just bought a set of late 1990's 997 din 14 equippes that I consider good to go. On the flip side, I have a set of 1996ish 977 composite that I probably wouldn't trust for more than a groomed "gaper day" run, and a set of 2002ish Atomic 6:10's that fear will injure me just by me looking at them.

 

2. Has the binding design ever had any recalls? If so, or if they have noted performance issues, I'm not going to screw with them.

 

3. Are the bindings in good order? Is anything broken? If applicable, have they been lubed? Are the AFD's in good shape? Are they even still there?

 

4. Have the bindings been maintained? Do I trust their condition?

 

5. Can I get a shop to force test them? It can be difficult to find a shop that will force test a non-indemnified binding, but some will.

 

If I find anything on this general list to feel sketchy to me, I'll pitch the bindings. I've blown up a knee in a non-skiing injury. It sucks. In many cases, your skiing will never be the same. Its much better to spend a couple hundred rather than use sketch equipment. But, you also don't need to junk bindings just because they fall off the list.

 

post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

A few years ago (either 2009 or 2010), Salomon dropped the 977, 997, and 900 from their indemnification lists. Never mind that these are 3 whole generations of bindings dropped in a single year. Never mind that these are near identical in design to brand new Salomon bindings. In addition, never mind that several of the binding models included were all metal bindings that could be expected to last longer than any of the new composite plastic models.


So there's a little disconnect here.  If they're no longer all metal, they're not nearly identical in design, right?

 

Also, there are some significant differences among the various Salomon bindings, e.g., between the Quadrax toe and the Driver toe.  As the years have gone on, Salomon has become more reliant on the former and less on the latter.

 

 

On the overall issue, I agree with you completely.  I have had no-longer-indemnified Salomon 900 Equipe and 900S bindings mounted on my family's skis in the past year, and "outdated" 810 Tis mounted on my daughter's skis just a couple of months ago.  I would not purchase or mount the theoretically comparable current version Salomon Z-10 or Z-12 bindings, because I know too many people who've had them explode.  By contrast, the only common problem with the older bindings of which I'm aware is the tendency of the simultaneously adjusting toe wing screws to strip.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

Binding manufacturers have LOTS of motivation to drop bindings off of the indemnified list. For one, it encourages people to go buy NEW bindings. For two, it limits their legal liability. 

 

This is the bottom line.  There is no direct financial upside to the manufacturer that keeps older bindings indemnified; there is only risk, without income.  Any financial benefit is attenuated and difficult to compute, such as the perceived quality of the binding line.

post #21 of 46

So...thread jack, since it seems the original question has been answered backwards-forwards-and-sideways.  

 

Next up for debate  "non-indemnified" lightbulbs ban begins this year, discuss.  I'm sure at least 80% of the points argued also applies. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase-out_of_incandescent_light_bulbs

post #22 of 46

Apples and oranges.

post #23 of 46


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDad View Post


So there's a little disconnect here.  If they're no longer all metal, they're not nearly identical in design, right?

 

Also, there are some significant differences among the various Salomon bindings, e.g., between the Quadrax toe and the Driver toe.  As the years have gone on, Salomon has become more reliant on the former and less on the latter.

 

I was referring to the fact that the technology behind the release mechanisms have not changed- a properly working 957 keeps you just as safe as a modern Sally.  While there are minor differences, and I'm certainly glossing over some of them, they all operate off of the same philosophy.

 

All that said, between me and my fiance, we have no less than 4 sets of Sally Z12's in the house. Most of them are the demo versions on various skis we own. My understanding was the 912TI had problems with the heel track breaking, but the Z12's were better with that regard. In any case, I doubt I'll push the skis hard enough to break em.
 

 

post #24 of 46

Binding distributors in the US remove bindings from their list of Indemnified bindings when they no longer support them with technical information and parts.

post #25 of 46

a quick note, my new Marker bindings say to set the springs at toe & heel to 1 or zero after the season.

 

apparently this keeps the springs in good shape. Now if only I started doing that years ago, it might have made the bindings more reliable.

 

just a hint, what down where the bindings are set and put the info on a sticky note, so you can set them back to where they should be BEFORE you go skiing again!!!!

post #26 of 46

Certified ski technicians won’t adjust bindings that aren’t on the manufacturers’ indemnified binding list. We’ve all been led to believe that this is because of potential liability. They don’t want to be sued--and who can blame them, right? They’re just trying to protect themselves in a highly litigious society.

 

The truth is both simpler and far more complex. Let’s think this through.

 

The first thing you need to know is that the indemnified equipment list itself costs money ($99). It is sold by the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association and is only available to retailers, who are forbidden from publishing it to the public in any form. The order form for the indemnified equipment list specifies the following terms:

 

“*This list is published by the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association for the express use of NSSRA member retailers and other snow sports retailers. By purchasing this list, you agree not to post it on the Internet or otherwise copy or distribute it to the general public. Unauthorized distribution of this list without written permission of the manufacturers of the bindings contained in this list is prohibited.”

 

If the issue was one of protecting skiers from injury (and/or equipment shops from liability) this list would be publicly available free of charge. Equipment manufacturers would want this list widely circulated so skiers could make informed decisions about buying used equipment. Consumers could consult the list before buying used equipment to make sure they’re buying equipment that is still supported.

 

But the list isn’t publicly available. It’s secret. And since it’s secret, consumers looking at used equipment have no way to assess its value (which renders it essentially worthless). Of course, you can always buy used skis at the thrift store and take them to a ski shop to see if the bindings are still supported, but chances are you’ve just wasted your money on equipment that the industry won’t service due to concerns about “liability.”

 

Let’s examine the “liability” issue for a moment. We all hear about runaway legal settlements, but courtrooms rely on facts. Let’s suppose that someone claimed that an ACL (knee) injury was caused by faulty ski equipment, or equipment that was improperly serviced because it was too old. Sure, anyone could make such a claim, but in order for such a claim to carry weight in court, it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. I don’t know what line of questioning I would pursue in court, but it might go something like this:

 

So, Mr. ______, regarding the location where you sustained your injury: how many times had you skied that particular location before? Do you know exactly how fact you were going? Had you been properly trained to sustain such speeds without injury? Do you know the rated force at which your binding was to release your ski? Did you properly represent your ability level to the technician who serviced your equipment? Is it possible that you were skiing in a location that was beyond your ability level?

 

The list of questions could go on. Suffice it to say that a potential claimant would have a difficult time proving injury due to equipment failure because of the number of variables involved. Furthermore, any injury likely would have been caused by a human fall. And how do you prove the fall wasn’t because of skier inexperience or error? You can’t, because you can’t prove a negative. Of course this isn’t to say that a product failure claim couldn’t ever be successful. But the hype over a potential lawsuit is likely overblown.

 

If ski shop owners or technicians were concerned about legal liability, here’s a much more likely scenario that should worry them: Mr. John Doe comes into a ski shop with a used pair of skis. He is told that his bindings can’t be examined or serviced because they were recently removed from the indemnified binding list. He decides to take a chance and suffers an injury due to equipment failure--failure that could have and would have been detected by any competent ski shop or technician. He sues the shop for negligence.

 

Indeed, given the aforementioned scenario, if the indemnified binding list was truly about legal liability, the ski industry would service used equipment subject to the liability disclaimers that are found elsewhere in the business world. For example, an owner of used equipment might be told, “This binding, because of its age, cannot be guaranteed to perform optimally. We can only service it if you sign a release of liability holding us harmless in the event of equipment failure.” But in that case, the equipment would at least be inspected. Saying that equipment cannot even be inspected because it’s not on some magic, proprietary list is to invite a potential claim for negligence.

 

But of course, the list isn’t about product liability. It’s about selling new equipment. Neither ski manufacturers nor ski shops have any impetus to service used equipment when they could be selling new equipment instead. The indemnified binding list is not about skier safety. It’s an industry trade secret designed to increase revenue. It’s all about money.

 

The interests of ski manufacturers and shop owners are not necessarily the same. Ski shop owners should think twice and retain legal counsel before they refuse to inspect ski equipment. After all, they are the professionals on which their communities rely for ski equipment safety. And in a depressed economy, not everyone can afford to buy new equipment every few years.

 

Food for thought.

post #27 of 46

Any whiner who is suing just because they hurt themselves should either be permanently blacklisted or sentenced to the bunny slope indefinitely . .    

post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhpeterson View Post

Let’s examine the “liability” issue for a moment. We all hear about runaway legal settlements, but courtrooms rely on facts. Let’s suppose that someone claimed that an ACL (knee) injury was caused by faulty ski equipment, or equipment that was improperly serviced because it was too old. Sure, anyone could make such a claim, but in order for such a claim to carry weight in court, it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. I don’t know what line of questioning I would pursue in court, but it might go something like this:

 

 

Actually since this is a tort law claim and not a criminal complaint the burden of proof is only a "preponderance of evidence" not "beyond a reasonable doubt".  That is a very different standard and a much lower bar to get over.  Just a clarification.

post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhpeterson View Post

The first thing you need to know is that the indemnified equipment list itself costs money ($99). It is sold by the National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association and is only available to retailers, who are forbidden from publishing it to the public in any form. 

 

The NSSRA list does not determine whether bindings are indemnified -- the manfuacturers' lists do.  NSSRA just publishes a compilation of the various manufacturers' indemnification lists.  It was published on their website until 2011-12, when they decided they'd rather try to make a little cash from it.

 

You can check the individual manufacturers' lists in their technical manuals, which are available on their websites.  These should be the current ones, found by the top-secret method of Googling "[manufacturer] binding technical manual 2013":

Look (and other Rossignol group)

Marker

Salomon (should include Atomic)

Tyrolia (should include Head and Fischer)

post #30 of 46
I just don't get why anyone would even want to ski on obsolete technology.

Thank you Whiteroom for your clarity!
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