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Dukes, Tracker, or ... Marker Kingpin???

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Looking for some suggestions.  Have been skiing DPS Wailer 112 Hybrids the past 4 seasons, mounted with Dukes.  Love the skis and setup.  As the upper end of my 2-ski quiver, they get a lot of use (by my standards anyway) whenever we get a couple inches of new north Idaho snow -- probably 85-90% resort use, and 10-15% mild backcountry.  I just found a pair of a pair of DPS Wailer 112 RP2 Pure 3's at a great price, so grabbed them as an upgrade to the Hybrids.  Now I'm pondering which bindings to mount on these things.  As much as I'd like to tell myself I'm going to get more backcountry skiing in, I can honestly expect to do the same 85/15 split (resort/bc) in the next couple years.  For that reason, was planning on going with another set of Dukes (or trying the Tracker or Guardian) since I value the performance in-bounds over anything in the BC, but thought I'd get the collective take on the Marker Kingpin with its "tech" binding toe and "alpine" binding heel.  Has anyone here skied the Kingpins, and can you comment on their feel and performance when compared to a traditional alpine binding?  If I can get pretty close to the same alpine binding performance out of the Kingpins and make a huge upgrade when it comes to weight and skinning, the Kingpins are probably worth the extra cost to me.  If the Kingpins are a noticeable step down from the Dukes for doing laps in the trees and crud in-bounds, it's not worth it.  Thoughts?   (For what it's worth, the skis are 190 cm, and I'm 6'2" and about 250#...)  Thanks.

post #2 of 10

Have had the opportunity to ski both, and wouldn't  ski the Kingpin as a 80% inbounds binding, although I only had a day or two on a test pair I do have a ski mounted with the G3 Ion for last season and did have the ability to ski inbounds at the end of each day.

 

They ski better than a Duke, so much that I have bought a Kingpin to replace the Duke on my fatter touring ski .

 

Both of these skis are used as a sidecountry setup and the only in resort they will encounter is possibly a lap or two coming back in from W?B sidecountry trips at the end of the day.

 

The negative is they are made to be ultralight, so they may fail in long term durability, and the release although Din certified I don't think (and its just my opinion) fails to have the elastic travel to deal with sharp quick impacts that you would encounter in resort skiing so bumps, harder crud etc may have issues, but in my case I have resort skis for those days which you may or may not have.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAH View Post
 

Have had the opportunity to ski both, and wouldn't  ski the Kingpin as a 80% inbounds binding, although I only had a day or two on a test pair I do have a ski mounted with the G3 Ion for last season and did have the ability to ski inbounds at the end of each day.

 

They ski better than a Duke, so much that I have bought a Kingpin to replace the Duke on my fatter touring ski .

 

Both of these skis are used as a sidecountry setup and the only in resort they will encounter is possibly a lap or two coming back in from W?B sidecountry trips at the end of the day.

 

The negative is they are made to be ultralight, so they may fail in long term durability, and the release although Din certified I don't think (and its just my opinion) fails to have the elastic travel to deal with sharp quick impacts that you would encounter in resort skiing so bumps, harder crud etc may have issues, but in my case I have resort skis for those days which you may or may not have.

Thanks!  Can I get you to elaborate a little when you say "they ski better than a Duke..." ?  Is the feel for the snow, power transmission, or precise ski control noticeably better/different?  A factor in me buying the carbon fiber Wailers is the added torsional stiffness and responsiveness of the ski (compared to the hybrid) and I don't want to negate those advantages with a poor binding choice. 

 

As you mentioned, I'll have to take durability and the difference in release into account as well as I consider the Kingpin, but figured I'd try to get a handle on how they ski first to see if I was even interested. 

post #4 of 10

The one thing I despise of all track based touring bindings is the elevation from the snow, one can argue increased edge leverage, but as soon as you get a ski that is wider than base if the boot, that leverage becomes a liability, as not only is it transmitted to the ski but up to the knee as well.  Elevation on a Duke is up near race binding with a plate.

 

 

The Duke being as elevated as it is I found was tippy and lacked precision when touring, especially on a side-hill when sot following a precise skin track on an area of exposure with no soft snow surface.

 

The tech binding is lower which I feel gives a greater feel for the snow, and torsional rigidity through the toe is increased with the tech fitting, I feel that the heel on the G3 was on par with a resort touring binding (Duke, Guardian) but a little lower than a traditional binding.  The Kingpin may deal with that feeling, I didn't get a chance to ski that binding in a test scenario to get the feel, the G3 I have the access to ski the exact same ski with 3 variations of bindings.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Great info -- thanks!

post #6 of 10

Obviously, the Kingpin requires a tech fit boot, no alpine sole option. A Duke or Guardian allows for either, not a big deal if you only ski AT boots (but if you do and you are worried about binding performance... WTF?). 

post #7 of 10

It would be worth your while to read the  latest discussioin of the Kingpin on Wildsnow https://www.wildsnow.com/18358/dynafit-radical-2-marker-kingpin-comparo/#more-18358, especially the discussion about release with tech toe pins with consideralbe input from binding wizard Rick Howell.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

but if you do and you are worried about binding performance... WTF?

Exactly. IME (limited), tech bindings and the reason they exist (skinning uphill for some distance) and the activities of touring (for me, closer to mountaineering or cross country hiking with some downhill usually on weird snow) are so different from alpine that it's a different sport. A great sport but a different sport. And should be; the problem is the proliferation of folks trying to use tech bindings for alpine skiing. Just deal with two sets of gear, or get an AT setup like the Duke et al. Seriously.

 

Because in this case, it's not about "which feels most alike;" trying to have it all is dangerous. Tech bindings just do not protect your legs like alpine bindings if you start using them for downhill resort skiing.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

Obviously, the Kingpin requires a tech fit boot, no alpine sole option. A Duke or Guardian allows for either, not a big deal if you only ski AT boots (but if you do and you are worried about binding performance... WTF?). 

Yes, my one pair of boots (Scarpa Maestrale RS) that I ski inbounds and out with are "AT" boots, so they'll work with Dukes or Kingpins.  Not sure what's behind your "WTF" comment.  I'm a hack skier, but the boots seem to work well enough for me that I can tell relatively subtle differences between the Dukes and my alpine bindings with respect to feel on the snow, driving the ski, etc.   Not being familiar with tech bindings in general (or the Kingpin in specific) I'm simply looking for some feedback on how the Kingpin differs from bindings I'm familiar with in regards to how the binding responds to skier input and provides feedback from the snow, nothing more, nothing less.   So I guess, YES, I am "worried" about binding performance.  (I'm also "worried" about safety characteristics of the binding, and it's likely durability, but thought I'd ask the question on performance here first and get some useful feedback before delving any deeper.) 

post #10 of 10

I have the Scarpa Maestrale boots and only ski them on tech style  bindings (G3 Onyx and Dynafit TLT Vertical).  I also have the DPS Wailer 105 Pure, a kick arse light weight touring ski.  I ski mostly out of bounds but will happily ski in bounds on my tech skis....... so I really wonder why you would want to mate a heavy frame binding with light ski and boot combinations?  If you haven't skinned in a tech binding you don't realise how much more efficient they are than frame bindings; and it's not just the weight but also the more efficient stride (say goodbye to Frankenstride).

 

You say you are worried about binding performance but I think your boots would have more of an influence than moving to a tech binding.  Also if you are considering a tech binding, don't dismiss the Dynafit Radical, which is also TUV certified.  Have a look at this comparison  -  https://www.wildsnow.com/18358/dynafit-radical-2-marker-kingpin-comparo/#more-18358

 

BTW, I do have several pairs of pure alpine skis (mostly race skis) and alpine only boots.  And I did come to tech bindings after wasting five years with various frame bindings *Dukes and Fritschi Freeride +).

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Dukes, Tracker, or ... Marker Kingpin???