Dynafit Radical FT 12s

By Alex Buecking

When I first entered the market for an AT setup in 2009, I thought that Dynafit bindings weren’t made for ripping. The only people I had seen using them were guys that dressed like cross-country skiers. You know, the yellow lensed sunglasses-wearing type you see lapping the line of boot packers at Bridger Bowl every November.

I spent the next three years wallowing around Montana’s backcountry on every frame-style AT binding in existence. The resulting slow, uphill slogs provided me with plenty of time to  wonder where those skinny-pants wearing guys found the energy to be that smug on a skin track.

I’ve become lazier since 2009, but I like to think that I’ve also become a little more open minded. So, last winter, I made the switch. I mounted a set of Dynafit Radical FT 12s to my well-worn every day skis. It wasn’t the lightest ski, but I already knew how they handled every condition, which is where I wanted to test the limits of the binding. The first place I took the alarmingly lightweight setup was on a familiar tour across the street from my house. It usually took me about 45 minutes with one good water/wheezing break. Going uphill on this new setup was faster, easier, and even fun at times. Less than a half hour later, I was at the bottom of the run getting ready for another lap.  I looked at my powdery tracks, and then at my panting Golden Retriever. I finally understood that those goggle-less middle-aged men weren’t just being smug, they were also having more fun than I was.

The next day, I took them to the part of Lone Mountain formerly known as Moonlight Basin. I skied hard on every kind of terrain I could find that day, from scree-ridden wind-scoured steeps, to icy groomers, to the park. They didn’t prerelease once, nor have they ever during the 50 + days I’ve ridden, aired, and been towed on them since.

The Down and Dirty: For me, the Dynafit Radical FT 12 performed better than any frame-style AT binding ever has, in any condition, uphill or down. Unless you’re really heavy and like to jump off really high stuff, you probably aren’t too badass to ride Dynafits. In fact, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re not already.

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