Originally Posted by tromano
I am sort of surprised that companies are so interested in this market because I so very sledom see people out touring. It is not a very popular sport.
The whole point of touring is to get away from crowds and experience the joy of the outdoors/skiing sans lifts, over-priced food, and gapers, so the whole point is to seldom see people while you are touring.
Touring is pretty dang popular here in Tahoe. Just about everyone I ride the resorts with also has a touring set-up and uses it almost as often as they go to the resorts.
And touring is popular enough to keep companies like Black Diamond, Dynafit, Voile, and Fritsch in business.
That said, Salomon is a ski company and like all companies they are trying to sell more product. Most skiers already have a set of skis and bindings, so you have to appeal to them with a new type of ski (rocker) or a new binding (AT) so that they will feel the need to buy more. Additionally, look at how many resorts are opening new "side country" terrain to woo more customers to the slopes. Gaper Joe from the Pocanos will need to have him some AT bindings so he can venture beyond the ropes. And, yes, you'll have the folks who purchase these bindings just because they are a hot, people who have no intention of touring. Who cares.
But back to the task at hand. I, too, have fondled these and they are muy bueno. They look/feel much beefier than the first gen Dukes I have been using (and yes, I skinned in 'em because why else would I have them?) and the fact that you can switch to walk mode w/o having to click out is clutch. For me, I've skied on Fritsch and didn't like 'em. And I'm still not sold on Dynafit as too many of my buddies have had serious issues with 'em. I've liked the Dukes, for the most part, but having to click out to switch to/from walk mode sucks and the negative ramp angle can be wonky depending on the type of boot and ski you have.
I'd like to get beta on the Tyrolia binders, but my first impression on the Atomic/Sollys is that I'mma be making the switch.