Telebuddy Binding Plates
For August ‘Guschti’ Poltera, the problem was two-fold. Foremost, as a free rider Guschti was always switching between a Bishop Bomber for controlling fat skis on hard packed runs, and a lighter 2-pin binding for easier hikes off-piste. Secondarily, as good as the Bishop was for edging hard snow, he and his friends wanted even more edge power with telemark bindings on their typically fat skis. Without drilling too many holes he wanted to be able to easily swap bindings between skis. As he says on his website, “after a few beers and some Bob Marley candles” the project began.
No conflict mounting pattern
To reduce the dilemma Guschti created the Telebuddy plates; a set of aluminum mounting plates with an unique, diamond-shaped 4-hole mounting pattern to hold the plate to the ski. Scattered around this ski mounting pattern are threaded M6 hole patterns for popular 75mm bindings, New Telemark Norm (NTN) and New Tele Tech Norm (NTTN) bindings. The threads for the various tele bindings are not cut into the aluminum, since those would inevitably wear over time, but are cold-worked inserts pressed into the plate.
Plate shifting benefits
The key to making the many patterns co-exist on the same plate is to shift their location. This is done by making the ski mounting pattern a set of four slots with discrete positions along the slot. Each slot mounting position puts a specific tele binding in the same position on the ski. For example (see tables below), with the NTTN plate you mount in the most forward position for a TTS binding, the second position for Meidjo v2.0, or the third for 22 Designs Outlaw X.
This also raises the possibility of a third use for the Telebuddy plates. Instead of using it for swapping bindings for a specific pair of skis, or bindings between skis, you could also use it as a shift plate for optimizing the binding location on your skis. To do this you’d want to figure out where the binding should be for your boot and then modify the plate mounting location so you could shift the binding forward or back in the discrete holes. For example, the standard mounting instructions suggest drilling the mounting hole location relative to the first hole. But with a little thought and analysis you could shift it to a middle position allowing you to adjust the binding location relatively easy. The exact implementation for this function is left for the user to figure out.
While going through the motions to install a set of Telebuddy plates I happened to use a pair of swiss-cheesed skis with mounting holes for a Meidjo, TTS, and G3 Ion. The mounting pattern for Telebuddy conflicted with none of these bindings, effectively allowing me to mount any binding I might want to what would otherwise be a ski ready for sacrificing to Ullr in a pre-season bonfire. In other words, another function of the Telebuddy plates might be to extend the life of a ski that couldn’t survive yet another binding on its own, but with the Telebuddy could accommodate several additional alternatives.
75mm & NTN Telebuddy plate:
- Rottefella’s Freeride (’07—’11)
- 22 Designs Hammerhead (or Outlaw X)
- 4-hole pattern bindings:
G3’s Targa & Enzo
Voile’s Switchback, Switchback X2, Hardwire
BD’s O1, O2, O3 (4-hole pattern)
- Rottefella Freeride (>2012)
- 22 Designs Axl, Vice
NTTN Telebuddy plate
- OMG TTS
w/non-standard cable positions
- Meidjo v2.0, v2.1 (sm only)
- 22 Designs Outlaw X
22 Designs Outlaw v1 (w/customization)
- Rottefella’s Freeride (>2012)
The dirty details
A couple things to keep in mind: this is a cottage industry product, thus, while the plates themselves look beautiful and there is a lot attention to detail in the finished product, some details are missing or not obvious without patient study. First, the plates did not come with instructions. Perhaps that was the result of merely of sending the plates for review in haste and trusting that online directions would suffice. To Gustchi’s credit, they did, but it required a bit of interpretation and the competence to determine center lines and drill without a jig. A thorough review of bindings indicates the position of each binding relative to pin-line (either 2-pin or 3-pin, depending on the binding) may shift a few millimeters from recommended, but probably not enough to notice. It is worth mentioning that screws for your particular binding are provided.
To figure out where a binding mount pattern is located on the plate, there are marks on the forward corner of each particular binding relative to their position for the discreet slots of the plate mounting screws. For first position, there’s a single dot next to the corner hole, for position three, three dots, etcetera. Or you can just slip a binding over the top and move it around until it lines up. The latter is probably faster than squinting to read the markings on the plate, at least for this old man’s eyes. ;)
Secondly, they don’t work with all bindings off the shelf; notably the first generation Outlaw or Meidjo (v1.x), and, for the moment, size large of Meidjo v2.1. They work easily with Outlaw X, but the cams of the original Outlaw, those orange ‘feet’ that close the claw onto the duckbutt of an NTN boot, require additional custom spacers to engage reliably. To make Meidjo 2.0 or size small Meidjo 2.1 work with Telebuddy plates, you need to make additional modifications to mount the shift bumper plate and the heel post; the details are left for qualified users to figure out. Rottefella’s Freedom won’t work yet either, but since this is a small operation you could probably get Guschti to add the missing holes with a personal plea. For most other tele bindings, it’s smooth sailing and the heel plates make it easy to adjust the position of the heel post.
It is worth noting that, while directions were a bit incomplete when I first looked at Telebuddy plates for review, clarifications and updates have been added to the website since then. My guess is that by the time you order up a pair there will be more information available, and perhaps additional bindings.
One other important consideration. While part of the reason for using Telebuddy plates is to raise the binding on fat skis, the practical limitations of the diamond-shaped 4-hole mounting pattern mean it won’t work on skis narrower than 90mm at the waist. In fact, below 100mm you need to make sure the mounting area is wide enough for the plates themselves (80mm) and the mount pattern (57mm on-center). They don’t make sense for narrow, touring skis, not only because of the width requirements for mounting them, but also because each plate adds half a pound of touring weight to each ski.
As indicated above, these aren’t for everyone, but Guschti notes inquiries from free riders, pro ski instructors, guides, and patrollers prove the Telebuddy plates do fulfill a need. If you want extra edging power on your fat skis, the ability to shift your bindings for or aft to optimize binding location, to swap bindings between skis, or extend the life of a pair of over-drilled skis, Telebuddy plates may be the answer you’re looking for.
75mm/NTN Telebuddy Plate
MSRP: 170 CHF ~ $171 USD
Weight/ski: 6½ oz. – 180 g
NTTN Telebuddy Plate
MSRP: 170 CHF ~ $171 USD
Weight/ski: 6½ oz. – 180 g
I’m a snowkiter and have owned these plates for almost 2 full seasons now and have performed very well for edge control on my fatties(K2 dark side 128). They are very robust and have broken 2 bindings (Rottefellea cobra and G3 enzoR) but not had any pull outs. However, I have experienced some lift on tail of the plate that has become worse over time on my very flexible pow skis. I had a ski tech add another screw on the rear most slot on the plate to prevent some lift with little effect. The tech mentioned it’s bad design but I disagree and think its my aggressive snowkiting on very flexible skis in extreme conditions. The skis still perform and edge well with the plates but are becoming more flexible and less responsive on anything other than deep POW. Keep in mind I ski very aggressively on inbounds slack country hikes, backcountry tours and snowkiting through all sorts of gnar like ice and extreme sastrugi on exposed ridge lines and in the alpine. I have relied on them for several 8 mile + backcountry kite tours to peaks in the alpine wilderness with no failure in the plates and will be remounting them to another POW ski soon. This time it will be on a stiffer ski most likely and will be using inserts to optimize my binding position forward and aft.
Fly high and live free!
I really like this idea. Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’d like to see to see an NNN-BC hole pattern on a plate like this. For lighter patterned skis (like Annums) I’m torn about the best binding platform: NNN-BC, 3 pin, or maybe a TTS NTN… and it would be nice to try a few options.
I have had the same problem with the Outlaw. yeah, it skis great but in 40 days ripped out the toe piece in 3 skis. 2 regular mount and one with binding freedom inserts. have not had this problem with the freeride (30 days so far.) My theory is that with the freeride there is a little play in the toe piece aleviating some of the force on the screws when making a turn. This may lessen the performance relative to the outlaw but then again no equipment failures. Joe, i would switch to the freerides. may cost you less in the long run.
I rip my tele bindings out of my skis at least twice per winter. Today I pulled the top sheet off a brand new ski with my Outlaw X’s. Will these plates eliminate this problem?
Maybe. Hard to say without seeing you ski. See my answer on the Insert article…
These need to be mounted on Binding Freedom/Quiver Killer inserts, right? Seems like mounting plates to skis with traditional screws and epoxy would make shifting the plates very difficult.
Also, should we expect more binding pullouts with the four-hole mount pattern?
If you plan to shift the plate, then yes, inserts would be recommended. Otherwise, not required.