Big news on a new product from Voile. Are you sitting down? It’s going to blow you away! Okay, I admit it will probably make you yawn. This may not sound big, or exciting, but it is important; at least it is to fans of the Telemark Tech System who are not a crowd yet, but they are a vocal minority on the net.
New Mid-stiff Spring
Voile is replacing the guts of their Long Throw spring LT to make it stiffer, for faster engagement on the already longer LT spring. Perhaps more importantly, it will be easy to obtain directly from Voile.
It doesn’t sound like much, but it has big implications for the light-is-right telemark aficionados who are enamored with the telemark tech system. Particularly if your foot is men’s 10 or larger (> mondo 28.0), there’s hundreds of you. Perhaps more.
As TTS gained a following it was quickly apparent that longer springs were needed, especially for large sized boots positioned for extra activity. Since Voile was the OEM source for Olympus Mountain Gear, the original TTS binding, they made a longer spring with existing material. A longer standard spring is a softer spring. Most TTS converts said, “meh,” to it. It was too soft.
Voile joins TTS world
Last year Voile finally joined the low-tech side of telemark bindings, introducing their version of a Telemark Tech System. They already provided the springs for the original TTS binding, but as a Voile product, it comes with their ultra low tech binding, the one made for splitboards that is closed manually.
40 years of Telemark bindings
After nearly 40 years Voile is still making telemark bindings and related gear. Part of the reason for that is their philosophy on making gear solid and simple. Theoretically the new LT spring could be used in any of their classic 75mm cable bindings but the driving force was their new TTS binding using Voile’s spartan tech toe originally developed for splitboarders.
It turns out there’s a lot more demand for Voile’s spring cartridges than for their brand of TTS binding. Besides their 75mm cable bindings using these same cartridges, they are also OEM’d by Moonlight in Norway, and Lengel’s OMG. And then there are the do it yourselfers, 2-pin tele geeks. It isn’t really that hard to build a DIY TTS binding. Get a cable kit and pick your toes.
The differences between various brands of 2-pin toes are subtle, but noticeable. For the most part, it boils down to the feel of the toe closure and it’s reliability. Once you’re in, the toe is transparent, a mechanical transfer of power from the boot to the ski. After the toes are pinned down it’s all about cable position and spring rates to define the telemark sensation. That’s why this new LT spring is big news for TTS fans.
A choice is good, three are better
Voile will soon be offering three lengths of cable rods, and three spring cartridges. The new, stiffer spring will be used in the long cartridge for guys with bigger feet that need the extra length but don’t want to compromise with a softer spring.
Springs for TTS
|Cartridge Sz.||Length||Wire Diam.||Travel Dist.|
|Small||3.75″ • 95mm||0.098″||43mm|
|Stiff (X2)||3.75″ • 95mm||0.112″||35.6mm|
|LT||4.8″ • 122mm||0.105″||57.5mm|
When you look at Voile’s sizing chart for cable wire size versus boot size there are/were a few holes. With this new stiffer LT spring maybe the resulting combinations will open things up. For instance, Voile’s size chart suggest the LT spring won’t work below mondo size 27, based on using the medium length cable rod. You could get a size smaller with Small cable.
A stiffer long spring is what TTS fans have been clamoring for and it’s finally here. The best part of this news isn’t really the spring itself, but the indication that Voile is taking TTS seriously. After 30 years with Voile Mark Christoferson knows a thing or two about the company and their cagey navigation of the telemark market. They were first to the plate in the 80’s, then downshifted and followed trends with ingenious simplicity. The Switchback is the stellar example of that. To summarize the importance of this new spring, Mark said, “it’s something for us to build upon,” so who knows what might come next.