Salomon says its new S/LAB SHIFT MNC is the first-ever binding to utilize the touring efficiency of a free-heel pin binding for ascending, and the power transmission of a standard alpine binding for descending.
With the shift of a lever, the toe piece transforms from a classic alpine binding to a tech toe with pins. On the uphill, the pins enables the skier to move efficiently by placing the rotation point close to the metatarsal of the foot and offering a 90-degree range of motion. On the downhill, the toe piece offers one of the highest elasticity levels of any traditional alpine binding on the market.
Seven years in the making, in collaboration with some of the best freeskiers on the planet, Salomon unveils the S/LAB SHIFT MNC binding for the 2018/2019 season. The S/LAB SHIFT binding ushers in a new generation of backcountry skiing capability by delivering downhill performance combined with lightweight touring proficiency like never before.
“Pins are for climbing, not charging,” says Chris McKearin, the U.S. alpine commercial manger for Salomon. “With the S/LAB SHIFT MNC binding, we have all of the elasticity of Salomon’s famed alpine bindings, combined with the power transmission to drive a big a ski and a lightweight, touring-capable package. With in-depth involvement by athletes including Cody Townsend, Salomon’s binding team has finally solved the puzzle of combining efficient uphill capability with true alpine performance.”
Atomic, under the same ownership as Salomon, is also releasing the binding as the Atomic Shift MNC 13.
The S/LAB SHIFT utilizes a combination of carbon-infused PA, steel and aluminum to deliver a strong and reliable, yet lightweight construction. The S/LAB SHIFT weighs 865 grams per binding including screws, creating a massive strength-to-weight ratio with a DIN setting that ranges from 6 to 13. With the use of an adjustable toe pedal, the SHIFT is Multi Norm Certified (MNC), permitting compatibility with all adult norm boots, from traditional alpine boots to touring boots. Salomon will continue to offer the MTN tech binding for those who want a simpler, ultralight, backcountry binding.
“I’ve been really impressed with the design, testing, feedback and approval process that has gone into the creation of the S/LAB SHIFT,” says professional skier Cody Townsend, who has been involved in the testing and development process since the beginning. “This binding is an engineering feat. By creating a binding that tours like a pin binding and skis like an alpine binding, Salomon has crafted the holy grail, the dream.”
The S/LAB SHIFT binding was designed under Salomon’s athlete-driven S/LAB program with longtime Salomon freeski athletes Cody Townsend, Chris Rubens, Greg Hill and many others. According to Solene Chappaz, the global product line manager for alpine bindings, the athlete-driven design process has yielded a product that has been tested to the limits.
“Our global athlete team is very demanding. There has been a large level of feedback and many tweaks from the team during the development process,” Chappaz says. “Having such an excellent endorsement from our athletes will have a huge impact on the success in the marketplace.”
The S/LAB SHIFT will debut at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver, January 26-29, and will be available from Salomon dealers beginning in September 2018. For more information visit: http://shift-bindings.salomon.com/.
Born in the French Alps in 1947, Salomon is committed to pushing the boundaries of mountain sports through the creation of innovative equipment that allows people to play, progress and challenge themselves in their chosen outdoor sports. The company produces and sells premium footwear, winter sports and mountaineering equipment, hiking equipment, and apparel specifically designed for all of those disciplines. Products are developed in the company’s Annecy Design Center, where engineers, designers and athletes collaborate to create innovative solutions that continually improve the outdoor experiences of those who see nature as a vast playground.
Photos by Cam Mcleod