Scarpa North America Blog

NTN telemark bindings: less than meets the eye

Nov. 17th 2011
NTN BindingRottefella’s NTN telemark binding, the New Telemark Norm system, has changed the way we look at telemark skiing. NTN arguably has usurped the traditional boot/binding interface of a cable binding for superior power transfer, better edge hold, release-ability, and step-in efficiency. These are all good things.

However, NTN has also gotten a rap among some skiers for the perception that it’s heavier and has a higher price tag.

But, like anything, you have a to look at all the information.

So, let’s back up. NTN isn’t just a binding. It’s a system. If we incorporate the weight of a boot built for the NTN system, which has removed excess weight and materials by doing away with the 75mm duckbill, the weight of the overall system drops considerably. That’s a factor worth considering.

NTN bindings aren’t the lightest on the market, sure, but consider that the SCARPA TX Pro (built for the NTN system, and comparable to the SCARPA T1 in terms of performance) weighs 1 pound, 6 ounces lighter than the T1 as a result of less material needed to make the boot interface with the binding.

This, if you combine boot and binding weights, an NTN setup (boot and binding, using the TX Pro and T1 as the examples) is only 1.5 percent heavier than the lightest currently available 75 mm telemark binding system that has a free pivot for touring. And, it’s 7.25 percent lighter than the only other releasable tele touring system.

TX ProThen there’s cost. We give leeway to the argument that the NTN binding itself is more expensive at the outset, but consider that you can swap your NTN bindings between skis by purchasing an extra set of mounting plate for 60 bones. So, adding two pairs of skis to the package, which – let’s face it – is the norm for anyone who’s serious enough about skiing to be telemarker, and NTN becomes the least expensive option.

None of this is to say that 75 mm doesn’t have it’s place. We build 75 mm boots and we plan to continue doing so. But, the point is, compare all the angles when considering what system to go with.

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