Sth-Stronger than hell. The Salomon Sth2 is the latest in the long heritage of Salomon Single Pivot bindings that date back to the late 70’s with the S727 (check out the Salomon retrospect album HERE). The design of the new Sth2 is an evolution on Salomon’s tried and true design with adaptations for not only new wider skis but also addressing the modern skiers needs as well.
There are two versions of the Sth2 offered for 2014, the Sth2 13 and Sth2 16. The Sth2 13 will be a 5-13 DIN range weighing in at 1145gr and will be offered on 2 color options-silver/black and green/black. The Sth2 16’s DIN is now 7-16 (verses the outgoing Sth16 being an above mortal range 9-16) can now accommodate lighter skiers that demand a stronger binding and with the addition of a metal base plate on the toe and metal stanchions on the heel, weigh in at just 1220 grams and will be offered in a blue/black color combo. Prices of the two bindings will be $229 and $299 respectively which keeps them in line not only with their out going counterparts but competitive with Look, Marker and Tyrolia’s offerings too.
The legendary 3D Driver Toe Concept has evolved with WTR (Walk To Ride) compatibility. This WTR allows the modern skier to use both their DIN (traditional alpine boots) and also use their Tech Sole boots (Vibram soles or A/T type boots) with the new Sth2. This is accomplished just with the turn of a screwdriver allowing the toe height to be adjusted for the taller sole. The rollers that are in the wings allow the Tech Sole boots to release smoother and as expected. The 18mm low profile chassis combined with it’s wide “Stomp Pedal” AFD and 71mm wide platform allows strong lateral responsiveness so getting the ski onto edge and holding it there is very smooth and reactionary.
Where the new toe is an evolution in design from the previous generations, the heel is where there is a design revolution for this new binding series. Salomon has brought over the heel that they introduced this season in the Guardian to this hard mount alpine series. With this new heel design, Salomon was able to create more lateral rigidity without adding weight. So taking the heel design back to the drawing board has allowed them to reinvent their design with loosing what aggressive skiers demand from their bindings. Brake widths will be offered in 90/100/115/130mm sizes some being standard and optional for the different bindings.
On the snow feel was solid and confidence inspiring, the two main characteristics I look for/demand in a binding. When skiing, I want to know that the binding will release when I expect it to, but more so hold me in when I NEED it to. This past week, we were out on the snow testing the new bindings I put myself in a situation where i needed both to happen. We were skiing at Alpine Meadows on a day when it was a firm refrozen snow and in a turn transition I hit a hard piece of glaze that was hidden in the shade. As I lost my balance I started cartwheeling backwards down the face I ended up in a rearward twisting fall that I felt happen and I felt the ski fly off...as it should have. When I stopped tumbling, I brushed all the snow out of my helmet, goggles and where ever else I shouldn’t have had snow and reset the heel (I was then sure that it was a toe release). I was happy that binding released, as it should have. The rest of the day in skiing refrozen snow, bumps, trees and the sticky snow that came later..I NEVER feared that the Sth2 16 would pre release. Confidence. I am never the one for supporting change for the sake of change but Salomon is doing a fine job with the evolution of this series and I expect the Sth2's to be winners in their price classes.
STH2 Photo Gallery HERE
Edited by Philpug - 4/4/13 at 3:20pm