Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

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JackO
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Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

Post by JackO » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:28 pm

Voile is obviously an old stalwart in the telemark world. And they continue to make great skis and bindings - frankly it's hard to imagine where telemark would be right now without them with so many brands dropping their offerings- especially in 75 mm - in recent years.

But has Voile had a new binding since the Switchback in 2007? - and its hardwire rod-and-cartridge technology has a 2002 vintage. And several of their bindings still being sold were born in the 80s (if it sells it sells!). It goes without saying we've seen no NTN or tele tech bindings from them, and more than half their current ski lineup is not suggested or warrantied with tele bindings on them. Though that's how it goes when you need to sell to the AT crowd to keep the lights on, it isn't a step forward for tele from one of its biggest brands.

It seems far-fetched now to think Voile would drop 75mm bindings a la Black Diamond and G3, but doesn't it seem strange that they haven't moved the needle in binding progression when 22 Designs, Meidjo, Rottefella and OMG TTS are pushing the envelope? Could they have something in the works, or are they leaning on their well-made, but old designs?

Perhaps there's just so few people buying tele tech, and maybe NTN hasn't made quite the splash people thought it would. Maybe Voile is doing just fine where they're at. But I for one would love to see fresh bindings from Voile. And it would be huge for such an important brand to push the sport forward like they did 15+ years ago.

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Re: Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

Post by Andy M » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:14 pm

You make some good points, but apparently Voile is coming out with a TTS binding -- see this recent thread:

http://telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3057

And their hyper construction skis that say not to mount tele bindings originally came out with no restrictions -- it was only after some tele binding pullouts that they decided the mounting plate may not be strong enough for the forces involved in a tele binding. Nevertheless, many folks on this forum have Voile hyper construction skis mounted tele and have had no problems. And apparently they are working on beefing up the mounting plate on the hyper construction skis.

I would certainly welcome their take on an NTN binding, with or w/o a tech toe.
Last edited by Andy M on Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

Post by JackO » Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:16 pm

Hadn't seen the tech binding coming from them! That's really exciting. I wonder if there will be some beta growing pains but maybe less so than NTN tech. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

Post by Woodserson » Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:44 pm

Great topic. I am a giant Voile fanboy.

At the end of last winter when the Hyper-construction issues started to become apparent and they were no longer warrantee-ing the Hyper skis which had been mounted with tele I gave them a call and asked them point-blank if they were going to quietly walk away from telemark and bow down to tech and the answer was a definitive NO, so I am hopeful.

The Voile rep I talked to in the aforementioned convo indicated the problems they were having was with 4 screw bindings (X2 specifically) and big boots ripping out of the Paulownia cores. A titanal plate under the mounting area would fix this, and hardly add much weight to the ski, but the gram weenies out there rule the roost it seems, to everyone else's detriment. I'm ok with an extra 75 grams of titanal to not have my binding rip out and still have an incredibly light ski. But SKIMO. and WEIGHT SCALES. and MY SKI IS LIGHTER THAN YOURS. and then we're all dealing with superlight downhill gear getting tossed in the chunder.

I have a pair of Objectives, which are not specifically named "Hyper" but have the Hyper construction along with the caveat for tele bindings and I've been bashing around them for a bit now with the 3pin HW w/ X2 cartridges (a hack I can accommodate because my feet are so big) and no problems. Great bump ski. I pretty much only use this ski with T4's, though.

Almost all my downhill skis have either the Hardwire or the X2. The V6 is one of the most magical downhill skis I've ever used in soft snow. The engineering in that ski is next level. They nailed the secret sauce in the V6 in a way I have difficulty comprehending. I can't recommend it highly enough.

The X2 is my binding of choice. The lightness, the small mounting footprint, the easy replacement of parts, the ruggedness. I compared it straight up, same ski, with an AXL this winter and I would say the X2 lands at a 1.75 Axl (almost position number 2 on the Axl but not quite). With my T2 Ecos the combination between the X2 and the boot is a perfect balance.

To the OP, I too was wondering what Voile was going to do next, as the NTN train leaves the building. The TTS binding, for me, holds more appeal than a straight up NTN set-up. The only NTN binding that catches my eye is the Meidjo 3.0 but that's like, 48 screws to nail those things into the skis and I'm just not into that yet. It would be a tough sell for me. I was thinking of a OMG TTS set-up for when I bash my boots to bits and I'm forced to go tech-toe but the Voile could be the ticket. I was exciting to see it offered! I am hoping the position of the hinge is on par with the activity level of the X2, it looks like it's not adjustable fore-aft for activity preference so we're stuck with what we get. EDIT: I was wrong, for Correction, see posts below

My hope going forward is the same as it ever was: Dependable, light, simple bindings. Don't re-invent the wheel, don't complicate the world. Keep it streamlined, keep it strong, keep it simple. AND KEEP IT COMING.
Last edited by Woodserson on Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

Post by Andy M » Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:50 pm

Woodserson wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 8:44 pm
I am hoping the position of the hinge is on par with the activity level of the X2, it looks like it's not adjustable fore-aft for activity preference so we're stuck with what we get.
It looks like there are two positions for activity: Neutral and Active. And there are two hardwire spring choices: Tour or Stiff.

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Re: Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

Post by Woodserson » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:31 am

Andy M wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:50 pm

It looks like there are two positions for activity: Neutral and Active. And there are two hardwire spring choices: Tour or Stiff.
OH yes, I see that now. A closer reading would have eliminated my guess. I can see the "active" setting holes too for the wire in the picture. The stiff cartridges look like they'll be X2 and I bet we get blue ones for tour.

Notice the 6 hole pattern. There's a good chance this might be their fix for the Hyper skis, instead of beefing up the mounting points of the skis themselves.

Image

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Re: Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

Post by Rodbelan » Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:53 am

Woodserson wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 8:31 am
Andy M wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:50 pm

It looks like there are two positions for activity: Neutral and Active. And there are two hardwire spring choices: Tour or Stiff.
OH yes, I see that now. A closer reading would have eliminated my guess. I can see the "active" setting holes too for the wire in the picture. The stiff cartridges look like they'll be X2 and I bet we get blue ones for tour.

Notice the 6 hole pattern. There's a good chance this might be their fix for the Hyper skis, instead of beefing up the mounting points of the skis themselves.

Image
I am noticing also 2 more things: the toe piece doesn't have springs... it means that it is either in lock or open position, unlike dynafit type toe piece. And the cable position doesn't seem to be adjustable without taking the plate off the ski, just like OMG TTS. Kreuzpitze and Moonlight ones can be... So you need to install inserts or drill many holes. We will see a review by CDostie at Telemakskier pretty soon, it seems.
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Re: Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

Post by JackO » Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:35 am

Pardon my greenness - but that's all the springs do on a tech toe?

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Woodserson
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Re: Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

Post by Woodserson » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:13 am

JackO wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:35 am
Pardon my greenness - but that's all the springs do on a tech toe?
The springs allow the skier to step in, and have the pins auto-close on the boot. Look at any tech-toe it will make sense when you see it.

This one has a hardened non-moveable pin on the right side, so a skier would place the boot against it and set the pin then throw the pin on the left side with the little throw- that plastic black thing. It's simple, less moveable parts and things to ice up. But, maybe a little more finicky to get right. Tough to tell right now. I bet one would keep the bindings left/right though so the manual throw tab doesn't get accidently whacked by a ski-- keep the throw on the outside.

This toe binding is coming right off Voile's snowboard hardboot STS binding, closer-up pictures here:

https://www.voile.com/voile-sts-tour-bi ... embly.html

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Re: Quarantine Musings - What's Voile's Next Move?

Post by JackO » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:23 am

Woodserson wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:13 am
JackO wrote:
Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:35 am
Pardon my greenness - but that's all the springs do on a tech toe?
The springs allow the skier to step in, and have the pins auto-close on the boot. Look at any tech-toe it will make sense when you see it.

This one has a hardened non-moveable pin on the right side, so a skier would place the boot against it and set the pin then throw the pin on the left side with the little throw- that plastic black thing. It's simple, less moveable parts and things to ice up. But, maybe a little more finicky to get right. Tough to tell right now. I bet one would keep the bindings left/right though so the manual throw tab doesn't get accidently whacked by a ski-- keep the throw on the outside.

This toe binding is coming right off Voile's snowboard hardboot STS binding, closer-up pictures here:

https://www.voile.com/voile-sts-tour-bi ... embly.html
Right on, makes sense! Appreciate that - coming from the 75mm world I have to say the Voile TTS looks a little dainty upfront, but maybe just different from the other TTS bindings out there. From what you're saying it sounds like it's nothing to worry about from a performance standpoint.

It's an interesting choice between the two tele tech options: NTN and hardwire/cable. I guess it comes down to personal preference on the downhill.

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