Salomon, the other big player (along with Marker) in U.S. binding sales, is committed to systems. Not surprisingly, the company wants skiers to use all its products (boots, bindings, interfaces and skis) rather than mix and match components from various manufacturers. Indeed, state-of-the-art Salomon products have always worked extremely well in concert with one another. Salomon's comprehensive range of bindings reflects its ski line, where all Skier Types should find products to delight them. If you can't find a binding that's exactly right under the Salomon name, you probably can't find it. Period.
S 800/Ramp 800 $129
This binding with a raised heel is designed to make turning easier for women and for those first venturing into moguls. The Ramp 800 offers no overall lift, but it provides enough forward leverage to make the ski quick, without sacrificing responsiveness in the tail. Newcomers and Players should take a look.
S 850 Ramp Plus $174
In Salomon lingo, "Ramp Plus" means ramp angle and lift¿in this case 10 mm. It has all the benefits of the above model, with added leverage and dampening features. Ideal for ambitious Players, Aspiring Carvers and Executives.
SP 850 (Spheric Pulse) $269
This is the one-armed version of the pricier Pro Pulse. It includes added safety features, plus natural pressure transmission to the ski edge. The single bar adds versatility to ski models like the Salomon X-Free 09. The SP 850 feels isolated from the ski, but when you step on the gas it won't disappoint. Light All-Mountain Experts, as well as many Carving Specialists, will appreciate this.
S 900 EQ Drive Plus $289
This passive plate with 10 mm of lift is damp yet powerful. By offering only height, without ramp angle, Salomon makes the ski more specialized¿something Racers and All-Mountain Experts may enjoy. The plate does not seem to reduce the ski's sweet spot, it adds great leverage and it lets the ski's personality shine through.
SP 900 Equipe (Pro Pulse) $339
One of the most impressive binding innovations in years, the doubled-armed Pro Pulse delivers seemingly limitless yet accurate pressure to the ski¿even at low speeds. True to Salomon's claims, it "lifts, amplifies and carvifies," and unlike the Drive Plus, it makes the ski more versatile. The adjustment feature, with a setting range of "Attack" and "Dynamic," is preset at the factory and can be tweaked at the point of sale. But it's not meant to be adjusted on the hill.Newcomers, Players, Executives and Aspiring Carvers could all benefit from the Pro Pulse. Racers and AMEs may want to be gentle with it initially, especially at slow speeds. Skiers will not feel abrupt transmission of pressure, but more of a turbo-like surge. The Pro Pulse does double duty as an adrenaline pump.
Salomon PlatesDeflex $200
This specialized plate is worshiped by speed event racers at the highest levels. But to appreciate the Deflex, you need warp speed and a precise ability to pressure the ski in giant-slalom arcs. It clearly adds power to the ski at the bottom of turn and conserves speed there. Deflex makes short turns difficult and soft snow deadly; this is not a recreational product. Only Racers need apply.
Hangl Plate $125
The Hangl plate, on the other hand, is a cool carving plate suitable for many Skier Types, especially those who want to leave trenches in the snow. A leaf spring under the heel compresses to apply force directly over the ski's sweet spot. A rubber layer beneath squishes ever so slightly, giving the sensation that the plate rocks fore and aft. Aspiring and true Carvers, hitch a ride on this one.