When the Rotefella NTN (New Telemark Norm)binding came out in 2007, many telemarkers understood the potential for a more powerful system. Some, however, still wanted a lighter binding system, and a system that offered a true free-pivot touring mode (the first version of NTN still had a bit of tension in the system when released to tour mode).
For Fall 2012, Rotefella answers that call with the new NTN Freedom binding, which, at 1 pound 10 ounces per binding (size large) offers an NTN telemark binding that’s right in the realm of the lightest telemark bindings available – 75 mm or otherwise. As well, when switched to tour mode (which is as easy as pulling up a tab on the front of the binding), the system offers almost no resistance when touring. Pair that with a 60-degree range of motion for walking, and NTN offers outstanding touring performance.
Backcountry Magazine’s editors liked what they saw, and what they tested. After lots of time on the binding last spring, just last week they named it one of five bindings to earn their 2013 Editor’s Choice Award.
So, now there are two. The NTN Freedom binding offers … well … freedom for touring in the backcountry, while the original NTN, now called the NTN Freeride binding, offers a burlier, more powerful system for people who are telemarking in area, or who just like to have the more powerful option.
One more point on weight: SCARPA NTN boots are lighter than traditional 75mm Telemark boots. So, SCARPA Terminator X tele boots paired with NTN Freedom bindings set the new standard for lightweight performance for Telemark ski touring. By design, the binding’s dual connection creates a stronger interface between boot and ski, providing more powerful edge to edge responsiveness, while maintaining natural flex and overall driveability.
Other features of the NTN Freedom include a lateral release, two heel bale heights and interchangeable Power Boxes (in several stiffnesses) that change the flex and tension of the binding to accommodate a wide variety of preferences. There’s also no left or right symmetry, a common shortcoming of traditional Tele bindings. For its own part, the Terminator X has a newly redesigned Intuition liner as well, plus more ergonomic buckles for use with gloved hands. And, of course, a new look.
Just out this month, the new Rottefella NTN Freedom binding is distributed in the U.S. and Canada by SCARPA North America. Look for it at SCARPA retailers everywhere starting in coming weeks.