Marker Bindings 2003

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Marker Bindings 2003

Marker, which has been around for 50 years, maintains its independence-the Motion partnership with Völkl notwith-standing. So you're not likely to see this "Mercedes" of bindings premounted to a ski on a ski shop wall. Buying a ski "flat" (without a binding or interface) is like buying a frame, then selecting the best components to build a custom bike. That's where Marker comes in. There are plenty of ski manufacturers that don't offer systems yet (market-share heavyweight K2, for instance), and Marker comes to the table with decades of experience in making one thing: bindings.

M1100 Titanium CC X1
$250
AC, PLAYER, AMC
This value-oriented model comes with solid features. Be reassured by the lighter, smaller toe and the Twin-Cam heel, which is essentially the same as Marker's race heel. Most recreational skiers are well-served by this secure setup. Recommended.

Titanium 1200 Piston Control
$330
AMC, AME, FR, RACER
We almost never think about how "ready" a ski is to start a turn. But once you feel one that has been readied by its binding, you will start turns with more confidence. The Piston compresses as the ski bends, then removes high-frequency oscillations in the ski as it unbends and starts a new turn. The ski is calmed-never surprised. Highly recommended.

Comp 1400 Piston Control
$395
AME, RACER
This race-plate setup is for the hardcore. It's wider than the regular Piston Control, and removable inserts let you adjust the ski's flex. It's exciting to ski, too. Even on a high edge, the ski has a glidey feel, as though it has no intention of slowing down. The plate absorbs anything thrown at it.Recommended.