Yeah, yeah, I'll undoubdtedly get some "I told you so"s from the Vipec peeps, and some might be right in asking "Why would you do that?"......but I'll still give some observations after a handful of days on the Dynafits.
I've used them in just about any condition possible (yeah, why would you do that?), from untracked powder in the backcountry, to in bounds cut up powder, to groomers, bumps (both soft and firm), and ice. That included variable days where sometimes you were going from soft pow or bumps to ice, and back again. Haven't had a chance to skin in them yet, but looking forward to it.
Love the weight, especially combined with the great swing weight of the K2 Marksman I have them on. The whole setup can be redirected on a dime, easy recoveries if you flub up. Only downside to the overall light weight of the setup is there is an upper end to the comfortable speed limit, but that is more about the ski than the binding.
The Dynafits have worked perfectly in the conditions they were really intended for.....soft snow and powder. From Tahoe, both inbounds at Squaw and in the backcountry, to one of the best powder runs of my life at Whiteface just this past Tuesday, the bindings love the kind of conditions you will find on storm chasing days spent off the beaten track.
Dynafits simply do not like the hard stuff, they don't like ice (again, why would you do that?). Not that I have ever intentionally taken them out knowing it would be a full on resort day with hard conditions, but Tuesday was a good example. Powder day, with tons of soft to be found, but the wind does what the wind does, and variable conditions existed.
The issue on ice, I believe, is prerelease due to the lack of any real shock absorption in the toe piece. (Insert I told you so's). My bother took them through some bulletproof bumps the first day I had them. A few turns in and starting to hit them hard and the bindings would prerelease. This past Tuesday, cruising down skiers left of Lower Sky obliterating the soft piles of powder.....just before Blazers the wind had blown the slope down to tractor ice. Trying to slarve away my speed on the ice the left ski prereleased and went its own way. Not good. Then the right. Shit. Once collecting half my gear I did get called a beast by a dude on the lift while skiing a couple hundred feet in a foot of powder on one ski with a pack on my back!
I did have another prerelease when off the beaten track when hitting a firm, covered obstacle, again (I think) the lack of tolerance in the toe piece coming into play. (Told you so)
I also had one powder prerelease, but I'm chalking that one up to not clearing snow and ice from the toe plate and pin cups. Going forward I will be sure to be more vigilant about clearing snow and ice.
Love the binding so far, but it's not a go anywhere, do anything, one ski quiver binding. I knew that, I know that.....it was never made to be that. Having my user experiences so far I will keep in mind one piece of Dynafit advice I read. If you aren't using skins, don't use the Dynafits. For the intended powder days when touring that I got them for they have worked to perfection. When I expect to be in variable or icy conditions, or skiing no fall zones, I'll stick with the Barons for the added retention confidence.
Yeah, I'll do that. The shop set them around 6, a already tightened to 8. I'll crank them to 10. At 8 I was still getting the releases I needed, so I'm comfortable going higher. Caught a snow snake in the woods on Tuesday and I was saved by the release. Still not sure that will completely remedy the prerelease issue. Poking around I found multiple people having similar prerelease issues with wide skis on hard snow. If I do find myself in a serious spot in the backcountry on the Dynafits I'll lock the toe to provide a little extra protection against prerelease.
I have two pair of Dynafit Radical TLT's - super low weight. I have never had a release that was not warranted when the heel was locked. Mine are set to around 6. I don't ski my AT gear aggressively though.
I think it's just a matter of a little more tightening......and a little adjustment to my technique if I do happen to find myself on something hard, as the only time I've really had a problem has been when pushing them hard in very firm conditions.
The Radical FT is a flawed design and that is why Dynafiddle discontinued them and now call it the Radical 2.
IMO the FT/ST version did not ski that well as I always felt as though I was on my toes due to the ramp angle.
I am a huge fan of the Kingpin, as they ski exactly like my alpine bindings, close my eyes and I can't tell the difference, and that's the way it should be
Quick update. Cranked the DIN up to 9 and adjusted the heel gap, which was too big, and skied the Dynafits hard last weekend. Only one release, hitting an icy trough on the backside of a huge mogul. Otherwise they skied great. No trouble in big soft moguls all over the place, as well as firmer small moguls. Powder, airs and ice in the Slides presented no problems. I'm skiing them now with the Dynafit Guide leashes, attached to boot by 50lb nylon cable tie so they can separate if the REALLY need to. Hope there is enough new snow out West this weekend to put the setup to the touring test.