Atomic, Salomon to introduce new AT binding

Atomic and Salomon have partnered on a new alpine touring binding that will be available at retail for fall 2012. SNEWS gets a sneak peek at the new binding, and why the brands are talking about it now.

Atomic and Salomon, sister ski brands under the Amer Sports umbrella, have announced plans to introduce a new alpine touring binding for the 2012-2013 season. The binding, to be marketed as the Guardian 16 by Salomon and the Tracker 16 by Atomic, is being skied right now by a handful of brand athletes and staff.

“With both companies testing the binding the field, we’re definitely hoping to peak everyone's excitement for the introduction of the binding next fall,” Jenny Naftulin, Salomon alpine brand manager told SNEWS.

"Daron Rahlves and Chris Benchetler are skiing it right now, and we certainly also want to build the buzz around both bindings heading into the trade show season. We want the demand to be there before the show hits," added Kathryn Smith, Atomic USA brand manager.

Naftulin said the binding will be marketed primarily for its downhill performance, and features such as a “Low Profile Chassis” to enhance stability and terrain feedback, as well as an “Oversized Platform” for power and response.

“It’s all about the down,” said Naftulin. “We feel when it comes to skiing performance, we have a superior product. But we are also going to be talking about the convenience of not having to take the ski off to switch between hiking and skiing because of a really easily engaged hike & ride switch.”

Naftulin said the Hike & Ride Switch is engaged with a ski pole. After climbing, and pulling skins, skiers use their ski pole to flip the climbing bar to skiing position, stepping down with their heel until the binding locks into place.

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SNEWS will have more coverage of the binding as it becomes available, both here and in the pre-print issues for the SIA Snow Show and Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.
--Peter Kray 

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