Bill Talbot

Vintage Gear Curator
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New England
So the 70's and 80's found lots of new binding companies looking to build a better mousetrap. Many of them took on the form of a PLATE system, multi directional release, took the boot interface out of the equation.

I've got a few here to get this conversation started! If you skied any of these or others back during their heyday, please relate your experiences on the snow, we'd love to hear about it :D

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IMG_1297.JPG


Besser Competition
Besser Plate
Gertsch 6D
Head Plate
Americana Plate
Spademan Rental Plate
Burt Retractable
 
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Royal

UTAH
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Dec 20, 2015
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UTAH
I remember skiing on Besser in the early 70's when was a kid(3 to 6 years old). I'm sure they were a JR version. I remember my Dad saying they were one of the safest bindings. I never had an injury whilst using them. As a testament to their enduring design, they were resurrected in the 90's(?) by Voile to make a releasable Telemark binding.
 
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Bill Talbot

Bill Talbot

Vintage Gear Curator
Industry Insider
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Posts
2,457
Location
New England
I remember skiing on Besser in the early 70's when was a kid(3 to 6 years old). I'm sure they were a JR version. I remember my Dad saying they were one of the safest bindings. I never had an injury whilst using them. As a testament to their enduring design, they were resurrected in the 90's(?) by Voile to make a releasable Telemark binding.

Not a great picture but here are a pair of Miller Softs with that very tele binding adaption

IMG_0008.JPG
 

crgildart

Gravity Slave
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Nov 12, 2015
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11,475
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The Bull City
Those ball toe plate bindings were pure disaster with the slightest back seat landing or tail riding in the bumps.. I saw so many friends bash the back of their heads when those things popped up dumping them backwards.
 

Uncle-A

In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al"
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One of the ski shops that worked used the Besser bindings for the Demo skis, and one day I jumped right out of them, not a fun landing. The rental shop used Spademan bindings and I used a Spademan when I ripped the Look toe off my Fisher skis. I owned a Burt that got mounted on a pair of Olin Mark IV skis and I hated the Burt because they were so heavy. Sold them at a ski swap soon after skiing them the first time. So three of the plate bindings I have user and if I had to choose the best of the bunch I guess it would be the Spademan.
 

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
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We had (plastic) Americana plate bindings at Timber Hill, boy did they suck.
 

Uncle-A

In the words of Paul Simon "You can call me Al"
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We had (plastic) Americana plate bindings at Timber Hill, boy did they suck.
The Besser was available in plastic as well and yes they also sucked.
 

eok

Slopefossil
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Nov 18, 2015
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774
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PNW
Sometime in the 70s a local rep gave me a set of Moog bindings (and a Moog T shirt) for free. Thankfully, I got rid of them (and the T shirt) shortly after trying them.

I mounted them on a spare set of Hart Freestyles. I thought the Moogs could be better than other plate bindings I'd seen/tried because the Moogs had the release piston at the rear of the plate. I remember the build quality of the Moogs seemed really good. Plus: the Moog brand name (ie: music synthesizers) had a "cool factor" at the time. What can I say, I was so young & clueless back then. ;^)

In reality (for me), the Moog binding truly sucked for any sort of aggressive skiing; especially bumps - which were my speciality at the time. And I can testify that the Moog + Hart Freestyle combo was truly a bad, bad, BAD idea. The Freestyles were super soft & flexy skis, which almost guaranteed the Moogs would pre-release when the skis rebounded off moguls & trenches. I "retired" the Moogs after a few days of trying them - got way too many pre-releases and some sore ribs.
 

eok

Slopefossil
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Posts
774
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PNW
I guess the ONLY plate binding I ever sort of liked was the Burt. And that was just because of the Gee-Wiz factor of the cable system it employed. I had Burts on some skis for most of a season in the 70s. I loved to freak out my buddies sometimes when I'd seemingly lose it in a mogul run - but my ski would quickly re-attach & I'd recover. They'd be like: "WTF just happened??!".

But the Burts were so crazy heavy and the cable system really was not that robust (prone to cable kinks/fraying & pulley/reel probs). After a while, my Burts just got too unstable & just moved around too much while skiing. As I remember, I didn't want to waste the money on re-building them - so I gave them to my brother. ;^)
 

Dave Petersen

Graphic Designer/Social Media Manager
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Burt Retractable Bindings
SKIING Feb. 1982
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image.jpeg image.jpeg
 

Dave Petersen

Graphic Designer/Social Media Manager
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Plate bindings 1980
plate bindings 1980.jpg
 

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