The recent Memorial Day weekend snowstorm and the re-opening of Jackson Hole's aerial tram for out of bounds side-country skiing reminded me to post a write-up of the new Marker Duke EPS alpine ski touring binding for 2013. I was lucky enough to test out this new binding back in March at the Powder Magazine 2013 ski test in Jackson, WY. The new Duke is pretty similar to the old design introduced by Marker about 5 years ago. The big news is that the new Duke EPS is 28% wider than the old binding. The wider platform results in higher performance on wider skis. The difference was very noticeable when skiing on hardpack and groomers, I felt like I had more leverage, holding power, and the skis were much quicker edge to edge. The new Duke definitely made the 112mm waist Volkl Katana powder skis I was on feel much narrower and carve quicker, faster turns on piste. With a weight of 2780 grams per pair and a max DIN of 16, the Duke is not the go-to binding for all day backcountry touring (Check out the Marker F12), but perfect for in-bounds skiing and sidecountry adventures requiring occasionally skinning. The new Duke will definitely be on my sidecountry powder skis next year. Here's a quick video of the new Duke from Marker.
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