How to

6 April 2017

Rottefella Have Just Made a Major Breakthrough in Ski Technology

In downhill skiing, the bindings don’t need to be adjusted most of the time; gravity is doing most of the work. In cross country, skiers often find themselves changing them, usually to improve either the grip or the glide, depending on whether they’re going downhill or uphill. On routes with a lot of changing gradients, this can be a laborious, irritating task, given that you have to actually remove the skis to make said adjustments.

That might all be about to change, as Rottefella – a binding manufacturer from Norway – have developed a new kind of binding which is electronic. Using a remote control built into the ski poles, skiers can adjust the bindings to forwards to increase grip or backwards to increase glide without ever even having to stop skiing, much less take the skis off.

The bindings only move two inches in each direction, but any seasoned cross country skier will tell you that two inches is more than enough to make that crucial difference. The bindings use bluetooth technology to receive signals from the remote, and move using a small collection of tiny motors. The technology is so compact that the bindings barely differ from normal ones in terms of size or weight.

This is far from the first attempt to incorporate electronics into skiing. Various attempts have been made to produce magnetic bindings, both for skis and snowboards, and several patents for electronic binding technology have been filed since the mid ’80s. This is the first system which will be available to the mass market though, and it’s on track to come out in September of next year.

There’s no word yet on how much these bindings will actually cost, but you don’t have to be a market researcher to know that they will probably end up priced on the upper end of top tier. If they do well though, they may end up setting the standard for cross country skiing sometime in the not too distant future. 

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop.