Anyone ever use these? My buddy tore his acl yesterday skiing. This sounds like a better option, but I would love to hear some first hand experience. Are there any other bindings on the market with the same release mechanism?
I've heard mixed opinions. No one seems to knock them as a ski binding itself; many here who have dealt with knee injuries swear by them. However, the contention arises because others here feel their marketing claims about aiding with knee injuries are unproven, unsubstantiated, or downright lies depending on who you ask. (As ecimmortal alluded to, it has been a subject of voracious debate.)
You can see detailed reviews of the binding on its dedicated product page here on EpicSki. Also on that page there is a section called "What people are saying" that includes links to other threads and articles that reference the KneeBinding product.
I have no experience with them and likely never will. The reason I probably won't is that if someone suffers an ACL injury skiing with another binding, there is absolutely no way to prove that the outcome would have been any different if they were using the knee binding . The alleged fact that nobody has suffered a serious knee injury using them is probably important, but only if we know how many people are using them and how often they ski. I say "alleged" because someone might have had a serious knee injury and just never bothered to publicize it.
Cirquerider "banned" me yesterday for pointing out he could be my grandfather, does that count?
I think you figured out their new marketing plan. (BTW seeing the signature bit at the end, did you know we now have a dedicated mobile site that is quite awesome and works better than Tapatalk?)
This has been my first season skiing on Knee bindings mounted on a pair of Blizzard Bonafides. I ski up to single diamond and mostly on piste but I am getting more off piste with the Boneafides. So far I have had no issues with the Knee Binding. I had my first and only release this season at Mammoth last weekend and it there was nothing special about the fall. I should have come out of the binding and it was a conventional release.
I have no existing knee injuries and bought the Knee binding after coming across the product on the internet while researching ski bindings. I found there is a great deal of controversy and strong opinions about this binding. The possibility of knee binding being a safer binding was a part of my motivation for buying Knee binding, but not the only reason. Knee bindings other technologies also caught my interest as well. Knee binding seems to have historically emphasized improved safety from ACL injuries as the primary marketing message about their binding but I feel it might serve them better if they also emphasized their other binding technologies and performance more as a reason to buy Knee binding. What I found interesting when researching bindings is that in Knee Binding’s marketing they promote and explain specific technical aspects and claimed innovations about their bindings and why they feel it makes their product a superior product. A lot people attack Knee Binding for making these claims. Strangely the other bindings manufactures seem do a lot less of this. They provide very little information to the consumer about how their product works, the technology behind it, and why I should buy their product over someone else’s. I wish the other binding manufactures would do this, they may have a great product with superior technology and innovations, but they seem to be keeping it a secret to themselves instead of using it as selling points. Ski manufactures seem to be a lot better at this.
People are skeptical about Knee binding’s claims of reducing the potential of ACL injury. I have read Knee Binding’s case for why Knee Binding should reduce the chance for ACL injury and it seems to be sound in theory, a lot of thought went into this. Proving the design actually works to reduce injuries in the really world and not just in theory is another matter though and is difficult to do. Not just for Knee binding but for any binding manufacture. I think if Knee Binding stays on the market and becomes more widely used, in time enough real world experience will be accumulated to know how the product performs like for any product. Knee Binding has passed TUV testing like many other bindings so it is likely not any less safe than the other more popular bindings. Even if in time it is proven the lateral release does not help reduce injuries, I still have a binding that has passed TUV testing and should be as safe as the other conventional bindings on the market.
In peoples postings this binding is often compared to the Look Pivot and many people believe the Pivot functionally offers the same kind of release as does the Knee binding does. I feel these people are making a causal at first glance opinion and do not really understand the basics of how bindings function or bothered to read Knee bindings descriptions of binding function. After carefully examining both bindings and reading Knee bindings statements about how their binding works and how the Pivot works, and using my background as mechanical engineer, I feel that these bindings are not functionally the same at all and one should not be considered as an equal or substitute for the other.
Knee bindings are often critized for being ugly or esthetically not pleasing and cheap looking. That may be fair criticism, they are not the prettiest binding on the market. I found after examine the bindings and others on the market that the build quality is on pair with anything else out there looking from the outside. I think bindings would really need to be disassembled to and the parts examined to make a far comparison of build quality though. No binding manufacture seem sell the quality of parts or internal construction as selling points though like the ski manufactures do. I think it would be helpful to the consumer if they did.
I also do not believe Knee Binding is the universal binding to meet everyone’s needs, but should be able to meet the needs of 90% of the skiers out there while possible providing the best safety. I have seen people criticize the binding when comparing it to the racing bindings from other manufactures. I do not believe Knee binding was meant to be a race binding or that World Cup racing is what Knee binding had in mind. I have also seen park skiers criticize Knee binding for being inferior to the more popular bindings used by those who ski the park, especially with retention. I think their points may be valid. I do not ski the park but after reading their discussion on other forms on this issue my conclusion is that park skiing is probably the most demanding technically for a binding to provide the retention, durability, and safety the park skiers are looking for with loads and forces that are not commonly encountered in normal skiing and no binding on the market meets all these needs. I have read a number posts from park skiers in their 20 who said most of their friends had blown out knees and that is why they were looking into Knee Binding. It seems that a lot of park skiers are skiing on the strongest most durable binding they can find that can with stand the impacts and landings but with the DIN stetting cranked way up to provide the retention they are looking for, but at the expense of releasing safely if they have a bad fall. To me it seems bindings that meet the needs of park skiers would be leading the push for technology improvement in the ski binding industry but this does not seem to be the case. Cranking up the DIN settings and relying on skill to avoid injury seems to be the only answer for park skiers at this time.
Good luck with your decision on bindings - My experience with Knee Bindings has been good. 3+ seasons, I have knee bindings on 3 skis: Volkl Gotama, Kastle FX84, Vist Cross over III. Skied in fresh/soft/wet/crud, and hard pack/ice, and bumps. No problems. seams to erform and release just like prior binding, which were mostly marker. 2 falls that I thought may be "backward twist" both released OK. No real way to know if these have "saved" my knees or not, but I do know three things: I can still keep up with everyone I want to ski with, Haven't had any pre-releases, and any skiing problems seem to be from my form, not the equipment. Typically 40 days per year, so probably have 120-ish days on them. They seem like a good investment vs a knee rehab, even if they only increased the odds by 40-50%. A great investment if they protect against all knee injuries.
As far as reliability, they look less sturdy that Marker or Vist, but they seem to hold up, no breaks, no cracks, etc. for me. Unfortunatley, like a lot of preventative measures, you never know if they worked or not....