"Where others use plastic, we use stainless steel," says Marker Product Manager Kirk Langford. Marker believes that overly damp, light and elastic bindings with excessive lift have a downside.
Indeed, many of the best skiers on earth—including racers, freeriders and instructors—gravitate to this product. "Marker is not a niche product," Langford says. "Our bindings work well for all kinds of skiers in all situations, not just a few. And on any ski."
A streamlined housing hides Marker's complex technology. The company tries not to confuse shock absorption with elastic travel. Shock resistance means less fatigue to the skier, but elasticity can mean too much time before the binding releases when it needs to. Marker also deems "lighter is better" to be a myth. "Mass is a dampener and absorber that delivers power to the ski," Langford says. "Lightness, for good skiers, only means more vibration and chatter."
MRR Turbo SC Racing
$395 AC through RACERS
With Selective Control (SC), Marker led the way with the concept of a performance-enhancing ski/binding interface. The SC's three settings alter the ski's flex for differing snow conditions. No. 1 takes the jar out of wet, chunky crud, while No. 3 grips tenaciously on hard snow.SC now comes in several versions at differing prices. A new Kevlar-carbon plate connecting the toe and heel has harder edges for better delivery of pressure to the edge. And its "floating toe," with an elastomer layer beneath it, creates a soft, knee-pampering ride.
Marker says SC makes any ski more versatile and smoother to ride. Anybody who experiences sore knees over the course of a season might consider it a possible prescription.
Meanwhile, the MRR binding features Marker's turntable heel and Logic2 toe. Logic2 is designed to ease release in the event of the dangerous rearward, twisting fall. Meanwhile, new geometry on all surfaces that contact the boot distribute pressure evenly along the ski for better edging and tighter coupling.
M9.2 with EC14 Racing
$330 PLAYER, FREERIDER, AMC, AME, RACER
The inexpensive EC14 system—paired here with Marker's step-in binding, the M9.2—replaces the EPS3 lifter often used with earlier models. Now some 95 percent of all non-SC bindings come with this 14-mm lifter, which focuses the skier's energy and weight where it's needed, over the ski's edge. The combination of lift with tight, direct steering in the toe feels positive on hard snow, yet equally solid in soft junk.
M9.2 Speed Point Titanium
NA (Wholesale only)
Consumers won't be able to buy the new Speed Point demo bindings, but will likely encounter it affixed to demo and high-end rental skis. This is no SC, but the Speed Point (which mimics the SC's No. 2 setting) is a rental binding with top-shelf performance. Shops just flip a lever and turn its dial; the heel and toe move simultaneously to accommodate any boot sole. Now potential buyers have an opportunity to experience demo skis with an elite-feeling binding attached—one that won't obscure the ski's true character.