I had a question about stand height and Knee Bindings. Here is copy of a brief correspondence between me and John at KB:
From: Patu Haley [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2011 12:04 AM
Subject: lower stand height?
After two ACL rebuilds, I'm interested in the Knee Binding, but I'd strongly
prefer a version of the binding that didn't raise the boot off the ski
to such a height.
Is there any plan to develop a model with lower stand height?
On Oct 7, 2011, at 1:16 AM, John Springer-Miller wrote:
Hi - thanks for contacting KneeBinding.
We do not have any plans to change the stand height of the KneeBinding.
We do not add a lot of stuff between the heel and toe, so the geometry of
our binding makes our stand height LOOK greater than it is. In fact, every
single "system" binding we've checked is higher off the snow than
KneeBinding. Our "lift" is greater than some other flat-mount bindings that
are popular with freestyle skiers, but not all, and not by as much as it
would appear. The Schizo series from Marker, for example, is 25mm.
KneeBinding is 32mm. That 7mm difference is about 1/4 inch. Not a lot.
Some Markers get up to 36mm high (higher than KneeBinding). Some Markers
are 22mm, so at most, that puts KneeBinding a little over 1/3 of an inch
higher than the lowest Marker "Royal", and NOT AS HIGH as some others. Our
stand height is about in the middle of the range of Marker stand heights.
But that isn't all there is to it. We USE all the height we have to create
benefit. First, the KneeBinding boot platform is also significantly wider
than all other brands, and cantilevered out over the edges. Combining the
height with extra width provides GREATER leverage and stability - not less -
than any other binding. KneeBinding is the ONLY binding on the market with
a boot platform, front and back, the full width of the boot sole. And the
platforms are significantly more stable - with hard, flat, straight AFDs,
front and rear. No one else offers this, and the difference on snow is
palpable. The rear platform on all ordinary bindings is irregular, and
unstable compared with KneeBinding. Also - the front boot platform on
ordinary bindings is usually movable, which increases slop and play. And
worse, they are all CURVED, which creates all kinds of problems. When a
skier plows into a mogul - or when a freestyler lands switch on his or her
tips, the heel of the boot rises, and suddenly - ordinary bindings become
completely unstable, side to side. The flat boot sole is suddenly tipped up
onto the curved AFD of an ordinary binding - and ONLY touches that AFD in a
SINGLE point, in the CENTER of the boot sole. You couldn't DESIGN anything
The KneeBinding straight AFDS offer a rigid platform, with maximum
side-to-side leverage, regardless of the position of the boot. KneeBinding
also has a much wider screw pattern than any other binding, so that the
union between the binding and the ski won't dissipate your leverage. This
is even more important as skis get wider.
The new Jester Pro has taken a lesson from KneeBinding, and added a fixed
AFD, which tells you that they understand it is superior to their
alternative. But - they only added it the front, and it is STILL curved,
and it is still on a track, which further dissipates leverage.
One more tidbit - we take advantage of our platform height to raise the
rotation point of our brake mechanism. In addition, our brake tips ride
significantly higher than any other binding. Think again about that example
of a freestyler landing switch on the tips - the heel comes up a bit, and
the brakes come down. If the landing is also slightly tilted, it is easy
for the brake to snag in the snow. Not so with KneeBindings. Also,
KneeBinding brakes are available in sizes that cover 66mm all the way up to
150mm. So - you can get a brake with just the right fit for your skis. By
the way - The KneeBinding brake kits list for only $29 (others brands
generally list for $45 - $60).
Summary - KneeBindings have a lower stand height than typical system
bindings, but a slightly higher stand height than some other freestyle
bindings. But KneeBindings actually generate more stability. In addition,
KneeBindings are more responsive, have better leverage, and have a
significant brake advantage because of it.
(802) 760-3026 (office)
(802) 760-7591 (cell)
On Oct 7, 2011, at 9:01 AM, Patu Haley wrote:
Wow. Thank you for your thorough reply.
As an amateur engineer, I appreciate your analysis of how KB's design of the boot platform helps to minimize the inevitable slop between boot and ski.
As a fast-manuevering skier, I don't appreciate the stand height of the oddly popular Marker bindings, at least for my middle skis. Thus my concern with KB's stand height.
But it's a minor concern. More importantly, I believe my knee's health may compel a move from my long-time favorite bindings, Salomons, to KB's.
How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.