While the rest of the telemark ski industry continues their march toward heavier, more complex bindings that increase power and control for in-bounds skiing, Twenty Two designs goes their own route. Last year, they introduced their Telebulldog binding that combined an unusual set of features in a, believe it or not, old-style three-pin binding. They used updated materials and added two features never before seen in a binding without a heel throw: step in capability, and an integrated ski brake.
The new Lite Dogz binding retains these original features, but adds a detachable heel throw that can be removed to lighten the binding for touring, or attached for increased control. The heel throw unit can be connected to the toe piece in three places to adjust how actively the binding adds forefoot pressure to the rear ski. Plus, it features a climbing bale to relieve calf pressure when climbing steep slopes.
Like several new bindings from other manufacturers, the Lite Dogz included an Alpine Touring style low friction pivot point at the toes to improve uphill climbing efficiency. But, the Lite Dogz include this feature without bloating to a weight that negates the added efficiency. The Lite Dogz weigh a claimed 26 ounces without the heel piece, and 35 ounces with it.
No other manufacture makes a step-in, three pin binding with an integrated ski brake, adjustable forefoot pressure, and detachable heel throw – let alone one at this weight. Twenty Two designs plans to have it available for the 2007-2008 ski season. $200 MSRP.