The "flat spot" is living on borrowed time. With binding manufacturers continuing to figure out how to better enable skis to flex underfoot, what has long been the bane of ski manufacturers¿the way a boot and binding inhibit a ski's flex¿may soon be yesterday's problem. Nearly every manufacturer is either introducing new technology or tweaking and expanding existing technology that should run the flat spot out of town. The Pilot system introduced by Salomon last year will now be offered in many additional models. Marker has come up with an interface that allows the toe piece to float on the ski. Tyrolia's Free Flex bridge has been improved, and Atomic's Full Flex technology has been added to every binding in that company's line.
On the safety and release fronts, a trickle-down of high-end technology has occurred. Look and Rossi, for example, will both use their top-end toe pieces through their entire collections. And most other manufacturers have moved their most high-tech release features lower in their respective lines. It's enough new stuff to create quite a buzz at the binding wall. And speaking of buzzes, Tyrolia, Rossignol, Look, and Marker all will introduce new interfaces intended to reduce vibrations.