The developers of the SI&I Alpine Ski Touring System by CAST have reached out on Kickstarter.com to get their concept for the ultimate touring system off the ground. The idea is to provide a setup that is both light wight for the up but yet durable for the down. Here is some more information on their product.
CAST is derived from the collective noun for a group of hawks and named in honor of CAST’s founding member Ryan Hawks. CAST’s innovative patent pending designs have created a product unlike any other on the ski market. The SI&I binding system utilizes the most efficient ski touring capabilities available and couples them with high performance alpine bindings. The result is a binding system that sacrifices nothing in terms of performance, as the ascent and descent components work independently of each other. There is no added footprint to the binding, allowing the ski to flex naturally with minimal added weight.
The SI&I binding system has been designed to be highest performing Alpine Touring option for both the up and the down. We believe we have achieved this. Our head tester, professional skier Silas Chickering-Ayers won the 2011-2012 Freeskiing World Tour stop at Snowbird on the SI&I system (check the video out here: Silas’ Winning Snowbird Run). In the following days, using the same skiing equipment, he completed a 10,000 vertical foot day tour, to the summit of Mount Rainier proving the versatility and ruggedness of the system.
As professional skiers, CAST’s members are always pushing the limits of skiing and the ski industry products, it’s our job and our passion. Our product line grew from a frustration with the current options in the ski binding industry and their incapability of keeping up with our skiing performance demands. This frustration is pervasive among top tier alpine skiers; these are our competitors, skiing partners and friends. As the fastest growing market in the ski industry the Alpine Ski Touring or ‘AT’ niche of skiing is rapidly evolving, and CAST has developed hardware allowing it to take a leap forward in performance and usability. Alpine Touring is when one uses specialized bindings to essentially walk into/up your ski lines, when lifts are not available, with a hinged toe and unlocked heel. When you reach a point where you wish to downhill ski, you fix your heel, in one of several ways depending on the system used, allowing you to ski as you normally would on lift access terrain.
Existing AT bindings are either geared toward getting you up the mountain while touring, or down the mountain while skiing. And while there are options out there, they still constrain skiers to certain hardware. Simply put, they are a compromise. The revolutionary thinking was CAST realizing that any binding attempting to do both would sacrifice performance in one way or another, so we created the SI&I binding system. This system allows you to easily (in seconds) change from using a touring binding setup to the alpine binding of your choice. The SI&I system eliminates compromise, it puts you on task specific gear allowing you to AT with confidence in your equipment, with the equipment you desire, period.
THE HARDWARE MAKING IT POSSIBLE
The key to CAST’s SI&I system is combining the best of the downhill skiing hardware and the touring hardware in the simplest possible way. In the backcountry you need reliable equipment, this means utilitarian and tough. Over the three years of testing, this is the hardware we’ve come up with.
- Cast aluminum body for the mount plate which is then CNC machined to precise tolerances.
- High precision laser cut aluminum for the slider plates. These attach to the tech and downhill toe pieces allowing them to slide in and out of the mount plate during your binding change over.
- Wire formed steel climbing bails for your heels to keep you balanced on any terrain.
- Laser cut steel locking mechanisms to make sure your toe pieces don’t go anywhere while in use.
- Injection molded high density plastic formed for the heel lifter making the toe and heel pieces of your binding the same height.
- Cast stainless steel tech insert and molded plastic for the boot lifters allowing boots to step into Tech and Alpine bindings with no change over.