Description Inspiration Method Final Design
Daily ski bindings are not able to mitigate the forces that often appear in alpine skiing. Due to this, the rider often sets the bindings on the wrong weight setting, which results in the bindings not resolving at the right time. In the worst case the skier can damage their knees.
Equipment for alpine skiing has developed to give the skier an improved experience, and to enable peak performance. Using increasingly mature technology the design and characteristics of the equipment are becoming more extreme. The skier needs increased strength, for example building protective muscle mass around the knee, to be able to resist forces and improve their skiing technique.
The problem with current ski bindings is dealing with conflicting skiing scenarios that deliver different torque and impact forces. I identified four scenarios that needed to be considered: catching an edge (outward rotation), pivot shift (smaller rotations), phantom foot (weight shift to rear) and ski chatter (high force impact). The conflicting forces of these scenarios needed to be understood to develop a successful solution. During my project I had contact with specialists in engineering physics, mechanics, and physiotherapists from the Swedish alpine ski team. The challenge was to combine their expertise to produce a ski binding that would help reduce the number of knee injuries caused through skiing.
While based on the same geometry and function of today´s bindings, using a hairspring to fix the ski boot, the design also includes a shock absorber to help improve handling of impact forces. My design delivers a ski binding that that is more capable of resolving correctly under torque, yet still capable of withstanding the high impact of alpine skiing.