For backcountry huckers there’s a new adapter plate that fits in Pivot bindings for touring. Indie ski maker Kitten Factory’s familiarity with handmade carbon fiber skis spawned a related project: the Carbon Sender, a lightweight carbon fiber plate molded to fit in a Look Pivot binding. Two climbing posts at the back level your stance when skinning, while the toe of the boot is held by a pair of pins mounted to semi-rigid walls of carbon fiber similar to Dynafit’s DNA binding, except KF adds a manual clamp that prevents the pins from letting go when stomping an icy traverse.
While the 2-pin connection is cool, it means that this plate only works with boots already outfitted with tech inserts. Unless you get your favorite heavy alpine boots retrofitted with tech inserts, the functionality of this plate is limited to boots that are categorically unfit for landing big air, but we both no plenty of people who don’t obey the rules, hucksters in particular, so it appeals to those who dare. It does seem that a simple wire bale would allow more boots to be used, but tech fittings definitely have more caché.
The main advantage of this system over the CAST binding system is the ease of use. No need to fiddle with swapping toes at the top and bottom of a run, just toss the plates in your pack. They weigh only a pound per pair, and they’re not very bulky.
Is there much of a market for such a thing? It looks great; very practical for boots with tech inserts in the toe, but how many skiers use an AT boot in a Look Pivot so they feel more confident when they’re in the air as much as they are touching down on snow? According to YouTube, more than I know of, that’s for sure. KF would surely make it compatible with other alpine bindings if the demand is there. Since the number of alpine caliber boots with tech fittings is growing, perhaps this nano-niche of a market has a chance to survive.
“Or,” as the converted would say, “you could just ‘believe’ and go Dynafit.”
Size range (BSL): 280 – 330 mm