Just when you think you're on the leading edge of ski technology, someone drops another high-tech bomb. In November, Salomon unveiled a radical new ski-binding interface called the Pilot system. It's unique in that the binding isn't screwed into the top of the ski but affixed by two mounting pins inserted laterally through it. The idea is to reduce the flat spot under the boot created by a standard binding and preserve the ski's natural flex. The result, says Salomon, is better control and boot-to-ski energy transfer. The ski-binding combo is making its way to select shops now and will be sold next year as the Pilot Scream 10 and Pilot Scream 8 (the skis are similar to Salomon's popular X-Scream). They'll sell at a street price of about $949 and $699, respectively.
Given the low-maintenance binding installation, if the Pilot is successful, it could have backshop ski techs looking for work. "It takes 20 seconds to put together," says Salomon Alpine product manager Ted Wardlaw. "It's so easy, a monkey could do this."