After spending the last 10 years in research and development with some of the world's best freeskiers, Salomon have unveiled the new S/Lab Shift MNC, a binding set to transform back country touring for a new generation.
A hybrid of a frame and pin binding, this nifty new technology gives skiers the holy grail of bindings that lets you switch between touring and ski mode with the simple use of a lever. To make this concept even more appealing it works with any normal adult boot so no need to invest in expensive custom boots just to use the bindings.
The lightweight, carbon infused design was inspired by skiers who were on the look out for kit that allowed them to push the boundaries of the mountain and their skiing. Cody Townsend, long time Salomon freeski athlete, was one of the team behind the idea. He explains “We said to the R&D guys, if you can make a pin binding that tours like a pin binding but skis like a normal binding, that’s the dream.”
And the dream is now a reality with Salmon revealing the result of their hard work this week. The sleek design has been tested to the limits to make it user friendly and efficient.
Once you have adapted the binding to the boot you are wearing via an easy to use screw then the integrated pins work their magic. In touring mode, it uses pins for efficiency by placing the rotation point close to the metatarsal area of the foot and offering a 90-degree range of motion. In addition, a variety of simple manipulations can be used to adapt to terrain changes as the skier climbs. To change to downhill mode takes seconds, just flip a blue lever in the middle of the toe piece to fold the pins out of the way. You can then step into the binding the same way you would normally as the toe piece clamps to the boot like a standard alpine binding. The DIN setting on the Shift ranges from 6-13. Impressively the S/Lab Shift is the only non-frame touring binding to be TUV certified to alpine safety standards, making it just as safe as any alpine binding. This is due, in part, to the 47 millimetres of flex in the toe which helps it release smoothly during a crash so there's no reason to lock it out.
Available from September 2018 the Shift is set to transform the industry and skier experience by creating in Townsend’s words “a binding that tours easily but lets you ski how you want to ski – with no compromises.”
You can watch Cody and other athletes charging some big lines and stomping big air with the Shift below...