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Salomon’s S/Lab Shift bindings match uphill capacity with downhill performance

Chris Rubens & Cody Townsend explain the all-new SHIFT Binding
Ski touring is a popular backcountry sport quickly gaining notoriety around the globe — but it’s not without its limitations. These limitations are attributed to ski equipment, which is most effectively designed to serve one primary purpose as opposed to meeting all the needs required by dedicated ski tour participants — until now.

Salomon’s new S/Lab Shift bindings will change the way you think about ski touring, offering a product that performs equally well during uphill ascent as it does for shredding lines down the mountain.

Backcountry bindings which utilize pin technology are notorious for their limitations during alpine descents. Traditional alpine bindings offer safety and performance factors unmatched by the capacity of tech bindings, but what if you combined alpine and pin technology? Salomon did just that.

The new S/Lab Shift binding has been designed to switch between a pin and an alpine toe. When the binding is in walk mode, it allows for a full range of motion while hiking and kick turning. An easy-to-use screw works with any normal boots on the market, making for added versatility. In addition, small changes can be made to adapt to changing terrain during your climb.

When you’ve reached the top of the mountain and you’re ready to shred lines downhill, a simple lever in the toe transitions the pin binding to a traditional alpine binding — in a matter of seconds. Lifting up the lever forces the wings to fold inwards into the alpine shape you know and love, offering equal performance and measures of safety. The Adventure Journal states the Shift offers 47mm of elasticity and provides for 13 DIN. These bindings also function with all normal alpine boots on the market, boasting MultiNorm certification.

The Shift is crafted with carbon-infused PA, aluminum, and steel — serving for the first carbon-infused PA ski bindings ever. This innovative design makes for an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, with the bindings weighing in at just 3.7 pounds per pair. The Shift’s light weight is another advantage for use in ski touring and it doesn’t compromise downhill performance.

“You don’t realize how much technology goes into a ski binding because you just click into it, but they release in ways that protect your knees, your bones, and your other ligaments,” Salomon athlete Cody Townsend states in an article. “They release when you need them to, and stay on when you need them to. That was the ultimate goal with the Shift; to have a binding that tours easily but lets you ski how you want to ski—with no compromises.”

Salomon’s new S/Lab Shift bindings will be available at retailers in September 2018.

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