Howell SkiBindings founder, Rick Howell, was, at age 6, skiing in front of his father when Rick was hit by another skier who tried to ski between them — impacting Rick from behind. Rick fell and sustained a spiral tibia fracture (that's a ski-binding toe-related problem). Aside from the feelings about the behavior of the other skier, Rick's father — an engineering technician — was concerned because he had mounted and adjusted Rick's bindings. Rick's father then re-applied himself even more diligently to dial-in Rick's bindings according to the latest methods. At that time, there were no standards for the 'allowable-function' of ski-bindings. Three years later, Rick sustained a green-stick tibia fracture while racing (that's a ski-binding heel-related problem and an AFD-location problem). Horrified, Rick's father took the skis and boots to a summer-home neighbor, Gordon Lipe, who was at that time the leading 'safety' expert on ski bindings in North America. Lipe wrote critical 'test reports' on ski bindings in almost every monthly issue of SKIING magazine throughout the late 1960's and early '70's (click link). Lipe also was the original developer of the 'Weight-&-Ability Method' (now called the 'Weight Method', ISO international standard 8061) to select ski binding settings. Lipe also developed the first ski binding test-measuring equipment — the Lipe Release Check; and the ski industry's 1st effective mechanical AFD — the Lipe Slider. In SKIING magazine, Lipe wrote and illustrated how to modify bindings to enhance 'safety' (back-ten, product liability laws were not what they are, today: modifications were routine). Three years later, in 1965, during race-training, Rick sustained a complex spiral / bending tibia fracture (that's a problem involving the toe, the heel, and the AFD).
It was at that moment, Rick Howell knew what his life's work would be.
"If this happened after the leading expert (Gordon Lipe) serviced my bindings — then something's wrong with bindings, settings, testing, service — or all four. I must solve this problem."
Meanwhile, Rick had no injuries while competing as a starting-member of the varsity, winning, Fayetteville-Manlius, New York high school track and cross-country running teams.
Circling-back ... to learn what might have caused the skiing injuries — one year later, at age 13 — Rick became Gordon Lipe's part-time, weekend, lab assistant for Lipe's SKIING magazine test reports.
Over the next 3-years, Rick learned that although Lipe's obsession with 'safety' was well intended, his focus was not balanced with actual skiing. Lipe's theories were based on Lipe's background as a brilliant mechanic (footnote 1). 'But Lipe was not much of a skier. Rick was an active racer (footnote 2). During high-school in the late-1960's when Rick began to modify his bindings to meet Lipe's suggestions, the bindings could not be raced without pre-release or—ironically—without elevated settings to avoid pre-release. Elevated settings defeated Lipe's notion of 'safety'. The concept of 'safety' began to take-on a different meaning, because pre-release is dangerous — potentially far more dangerous than non-release. Pre-release can cause impact with a tree, a lift-tower, another skier — or even 'firm snow' — possibly causing severe upper-body injury (head, spine, spleen). Rick believed that a 'properly functioning' binding should provide retention at chart settings (further ironically, because 'chart settings' were originally developed by Lipe). Solving this problem—in part—at age 16, Rick had a machine shop fabricate special ski binding components to enhance edge control without elevated settings.
One year later while Rick was visiting his sister, Beverly Howell, at Burke Mountain Academy and while still in high school, a ski binding company — Salomon SA of Annecy, France — came across his modified bindings and a deal was struck to integrate Rick's developments into what became the worldwide #1-selling alpine ski binding throughout the mid-1970's — the Salomon 555. (Also during high school, Rick scored 100% (5's) in AP-Biology and AP-Physics.)
Rick Howell racing for New England College at the NCAA Division-1 UVM Winter Carnival, 1975.
During the mid-70's while double majoring in civil engineering and business at New England College, Rick became a solid regional competitor in ski racing (footnote 3) while skiing on the hot-selling bindings that he co-developed. These bindings were, of course, further-modified by Rick. -;)
Rick Howell at MIT's Charles Stark Draper Labs, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1976.
Rick conducted most of his undergraduate engineering thesis on ski-bindings at MIT's Charles Stark Draper Labs — 'How Ski Bindings Affect Ski Vibration', mentored by MIT Engineering Professor, Larry Young, ScD. Rick was never a student at MIT: Rick graduated in 1977 from New England College. Professor Young was at that time the chairman of the interdisciplinary Harvard-MIT Biomedical-Engineering Department and Chairman of the ASTM skiing safety committee: Professor Young invited Rick to follow-through on Rick's ski-binding research at MIT's Draper Labs (part of Rick's research was also conducted, on-slope, at Pat's Peak ski area in Henniker, New Hampshire and other parts of Rick's research were conducted in the engineering labs at New England College).
Starting in 1974, Rick began attending and voting-on the development of ASTM ski binding 'safety' standards at the 2nd bi-annual ASTM skiing-safety meeting in Montréal ... to today ... pro bono.
At the same time in the mid-'70's, Rick owned a small, certified, ski-binding service center located near the finish-line of the FIS-homogulated slalom racing trail at Pat's Peak ski area in Henniker, New Hampshire — catering to a wide range of regional racers. Rick was a Certified Binding Mechanic by Carl Ettlinger through the Skiing Mechanics and Manager's Workshops in 1973, '74, '75, '76, '77. Each racer's bindings were individually modified, release-tested with the Vermont Release Calibrator and adjusted to special Howell-developed racing settings. Rick's binding modifications combined together with his special settings averted pre-release without the need for grossly elevated settings. Almost all of the NEC Ski Team, including Rick, raced with Howell-modified bindings and Howell developed racing settings — with zero pre-releases and no injuries — during 4-years of NCAA Division-1 ski racing.
Although the Salomon 555 was worldwide #1-selling throughout the mid-1970's, it didn't take much effort to discover that it was not great, technically. Its success was sales-related due to a strong marketing campaign that was managed by the smart-marketing guy, Art Currier. So, Rick began a double-major at NEC — in business — focused on marketing and market-research.
Also at the same time, 1970-'77, Rick co-developed (together with Gilbert Delouche & Claude Gantet of Salomon SA of Annecy, France) a method to measure on-slope ski binding retention that could be matched with measurements by special lateral dynamic-impact tests in his labs at New England College and Pat's Peak Ski Area.
Further at this time, from 1974 to '77, Rick co-developed together with Wolfhart Hauser, MD, of Munich, Germany, Dr-Eng Peter Biermann of Stüttgart, Germany, and others — what's now called the 'DIN-System' — utilized worldwide over the next 37 years, each year, by ~20-million skiers — including today. This activity was pro bono by Hauser, Biermann & Howell — causing a major benefit for skiers, everywhere.
In 1977, one season after Rick was ranked #5 in the US (29 FIS Points) in the Downhill discipline of alpine ski racing — and was already considered by many to be one of the leading experts in ski bindings and while focused on his undergraduate engineering thesis — the bindings he was recreationally racing-on 'failed to function' as claimed by the manufacturer. Rick lost a ski, skied off a cliff at ~60 MPH and landed on a ledge — stomach first — rupturing his spleen. This was life-threatening. The operation to remove his spleen was successful — but this event was the last straw. The binding was a Geze Olymp 76. The test device was a Vermont Release Calibrator — that also broke the night before the race while testing others' bindings precluding Rick from testing his own bindings. The test report on the bindings in SKIING magazine was written by Carl Ettlinger (it reported erroneous information). After a full month in the hospital on IV-fluids, losing almost 30-pounds — and ending his ski racing — Rick Howell embarked all the way into his critical mission . . .
To determine what went wrong with the bindings and the test equipment, Rick decided to go to work for Geze ski binding company. During the next 8 years — from 1978 to 1986, starting at age 25 — Rick was the North American Product Manager at Geze ski binding company (some of Geze's features are now within Look's non-pivot bindings) while also becoming the North American Director of Marketing at Geze during the last 4 of the 8-years. Rick was presented with the Geze GmbH parent company's 'Glass Award' for successful business accomplishments. The bindings became 'best rated' by Carl Ettlinger (reference 4) (again, how-ironic!) of SKIING magazine and by Stuftung Warrentest of Germany. Respectfully, the entire team at Geze — especially the German engineers — caused this improvement, not just Rick. While Rick was Geze USA Director of Marketing, Geze ski bindings went from an unprofitable 2% market-share to a profitable 20% market-share within USA and Canada. This profitability-success was mostly due to the leadership of Geze-USA president, Tim Jamieson (Jamieson, a former bank-president in NYC — a finance-genius); somewhat due to Rick's product and marketing management; and significantly due to the work of 20 independent sales reps (see photo of the Geze-USA sales team below in Montenegro). That was a real team effort.
Rick Howell, Geze USA Product Manager (1978-'86) utilizing a 'metallic-tibia surrogate-human' ASTM F-504 ski binding test device fabricated by Carl Ettlinger of Vermont Safety Research. Photo, 1981 at Sugarbush during the introduction of the Geze SE3.
At the request of Geze GmbH in Germany, Rick also presented his marketing strategies to the Canadian Geze distributor, Raymond Lanctôt, Ltee, at their twice-annual sales meetings in Montréal and at Mont Tremblant ski resort in Québec. Rick's presentations spanned from 1978 to 1986.
Geze USA sales team in Montenegro, 1986. From left: Tom Beckley, Tatiana, Chuck Bell, Roger Ford, Richie Fredericks, Kathy Morrison, Roland Böhme, Barb Bishop, Dick Lavigne, Peter Kidd, Ray Skeleton, Peter Kennedy, Rob Haggerty, Mike Adams, Rick Howell (blue hat), Bill Ehmke, Mark Sweeney. Photo by Tim Jamieson, president of ELAN-Geze USA.
A few years after Rick left Geze in 1986, the ski-binding division of Geze GmbH was successfully sold in 1993 to Abel Swiss watch company; the next year, Abel sold the Geze ski-binding unit to Group Bernard Tapie. Shortly after, the French government seized, then sold, Tapie's ski-binding assets (Look and Geze) to Rossignol SA. Today, Geze GmbH has 390-million Euros of annual revenue and employs 2,800 people in the architectural building-hardware business. Geze is the largest producer of high-end architectural door and window hardware in Europe.
Going back ... 'Starting in 1982, and concurrently while working full-time at Geze, Rick started his own company on the side (under a non-corporate opportunity agreement with Geze USA and Geze GmbH) to invent, develop, manage the manufacturing, and distribute what became the world's 1st hands-off clipless bicycle pedals, CycleBinding — creating the category of hands-off clipless bicycle pedals (Howell-inventor, US Utility Patents 4,640,151; 4,803,894; and other foreign patents). In 1989, CycleBinding, Inc. was sold to Shelburne Corporation of Shelburne, Vermont. Over 1-million pair of hands-off clipless bicycle pedals are sold per year — including today.
Rick Howell, inventor, founder and professional manager of CycleBinding — world's 1st hands-off clipless bicycle pedal system (2-years before Look), winner of BICYCLING, OUTSIDE and VELONEWS magazine road tests, 1983, '84, '85. 'Utilized by Scott Molina to win 25 consecutive USTS triathlons and by John Howard to set 3 still-standing bicycling world-records. 'Outsold Look 3-to-1 (1984, '85, '86) at Bike Nashbar and Specialized catalogs and at the California retail-chain, 2 Wheel Transit Authority.
Immediately upon selling CycleBinding in 1989, Rick owned a turn-key-enterprise that successfully invented, developed, pilot-manufactured, and market-launched the first complete line of high-tech snowshoes & snowshoe bindings for Tubbs snowshoe company (5) — which products, during each of the past 24 consecutive years, have been worldwide #1 selling, including today (Howell-inventor, U.S. Utility Patent 5,259,128).
Rick Howell's company, Howell Product Development, invented & developed (1990-'93) through a turn-key contract, Tubbs snowshoes (worldwide #1-selling, each year, from 1993-to-today) also expanding the total snowshoe market 50-times its original size.
All during these developments and over the past 28-years, Rick lived and skied in Stowe, Vermont where he continued to modify special ACL-friendly ski-bindings that he developed to also not pre-release.
Rick Howell at Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe, Vermont, 2015.
In the Spring of 2016, Rick Howell presented his ACL-friendly Howell SkiBinding technology — utilizing metallic-surrogates (not humans) in over 10,000 lab-tests — at the 35th SITEMSH skiing safety conference in Inawashiro, Japan. Two related research presentations were then given at the 17th ESSKA orthopedic research conference in Barcelona, Spain; see page 64 & page 111 (reference 6).
ACL-ruptures are, by far, the most frequent worldwide injury in skiing = ~50,000 skiing-ACL injuries per year, worldwide. This frequency of skiing-ACL injuries has been on-going for decades — though, recently, the incidence (not 'incidents') is declining slightly: ACL-injuries are still, by far, the most frequent injury in skiing, today. ACL-ruptures are also severe. ACL-replacement surgery costs between US$20,000 to US$50,000 for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, not including the cost of early arthritis, loss of income, loss of athletic performance, and pain. Even highly rehabilitated World Cup ski racers who have sustained a skiing-ACL-rupture never return to their full-athletic potential. Proper post-ACL-injury rehabilitation takes approximately 8 to 10-months to accomplish. If every ACL-injured skier elected to replace their ruptured ACL, this scenario = $2.5-billion per year. Researchers believe ~40% of all ACL-ruptured skiers seek ACL-replacement surgery = ~$1-billion per year for diagnosis, treatment and rehab. Although medical-costs are socialized in some countries — there is no such thing as free-lunch. Over the years, skiing ACL injuries have amounted to a total accumulated cost of ~$20-billion. Further compounding the trauma of an ACL-injury, 50% of all ACL-injured people experience significant arthritis ~10-years after ACL-injury. Skiing ACL injuries are a serious issue.
This is a problem Rick Howell decided to solve.
Here is the theoretical prevalence of the main injury-mechanisms that cause skiing-ACL-ruptures:
Here above is the theoretical prevalence of skiing ACL-injury mechanisms that point to the main association of — 'valgus-dominant' loading (the vernacular is now starting to change to 'abduction-moment'). No one knows the exact prevalence of each type of skiing ACL-injury mechanism (see research papers by Tron Krosshaug, PhD and Tone Bere, PhD on the theoretical identification of ACL-injury mechanisms: Oslo Sports Trauma Center in Oslo, Norway: PubMed).
Irrespectively of the unknown epidemiologically-derived prevalence of ACL-injury mechanisms — by utilizing a unique inverse failure analysis first developed by Case Western Reserve University's former Biomechanical Engineering Professor, Eugene Bahniuk, PhD — a full, 3D-spectrum of loading conditions—an 'envelope' — can determine, biomechanically, which set of loading conditions cause ACL-rupture as follows:
If valgus-moment (dark green) loading is the dominant injury-mechanism in skiing, here are combinations of valgus-moments and tibia-torques (red) that — together — cause ACL-rupture (yellow) depending on where the applied-load enters the ski (reference 7).
No bindings are involved in the above graph: these are the biomechanical limits of: (a) torsional tibia-fracture —without Wolff's Law — see short black line; and (b) ACL-rupture as a function of a combination of the specific valgus-moment and tibia-torque shown at each incremental position along the back-half of the ski where an applied lateral force (blue) enters the medial (inside) edge. Example-1: When an abduction force enters a ski -20 cm aft of the projected-axis of the tibia large enough to produce a valgus-moment of 13 daNm plus a tibia-torque of 5 daNm, the ACL will rupture before tibia-fracture. Example-2: When an abduction force enters a ski -56cm aft of the projected-axis of the tibia large enough to produce tibia-torque of 11.5 daNm, the tibia will fracture before ACL-rupture. Both examples assume the average musculoskeletal system of a U.S. male weighing 169 pounds and an ACL rupture-limit at 20 mm/mm of engineering strain.
'Ski binding toes and heels are force-imparting mechanisms that read and react to force-limits ... and there is a singular applied-abduction-force for each unique combination of tibia-torque-at-ACL-rupture and valgus-moment-at-ACL-rupture for any given position on the ski (brown) at which a central-applied-abduction-force (also known as a 'centroid') enters the ski. If no ski-bindings are involved and if the boot is rigidly bolted to a ski — as in a 'no-release' condition if a binding were present — centrally-applied-abduction-forces that enter a ski between -10cm to -55cm behind the projected axis of the tibia can cause ACL-rupture 'before' torsional tibia-fracture. Abduction forces that enter the ski aft of -55cm behind the projected-axis of the tibia can cause tibia-fracture, not ACL-rupture. The term, "can cause" is used because these two different types of injuries are not only position-dependent (where along the ski the applied-load enters the ski), but also 'magnitude-dependent' (see vertical axis).
This finding about the position-dependency of the applied-load — not only the magnitude-dependency — that causes tibia-fracture or ACL-rupture is a major breakthrough for ski binding function that can address the ACL-problem.
Now, the question is — how do ski bindings behave relative to these biomechanical limits of tibia-fracture and ACL-rupture? To normalize all of the factors in question, we convert the applied torsional-torques and the applied bending-moments (see above) — to applied abduction force (see below).
The 2 thin blue lines form the 2D release-envelope for all ordinary 2-mode alpine ski bindings. '2-mode' = lateral at the toe; vertical at the heel. Other bindings with 'so-called pivot-turntables' (not shown) are worse than ordinary 2-mode bindings because no ski boot can release, laterally, through the side-lugs of a pivot-turntable. Other bindings with 'so-called diagonal heel release' (also not shown) generate the same performance-envelope as ordinary 2-mode bindings (above) because ACL-rupture involves abduction + rear-weighting. So-called 'diagonal heel release' bindings require lateral-abduction force plus upward-heel loading. ACL-injury-events do not include upward-lateral loading — ACL-injuries include abduction + downward loading — therefore, diagonal heel release bindings cannot respond to ACL-injury producing events. The manufacturer of 'diagonal heel release' bindings admits in their literature that their 'diagonal heel release' will have no effect on ACL-injuries. The thin black lines, above, form the release-envelope for the new, non-pre-releasing 3-mode Howell SkiBindings — with lateral heel release. Further to the above — only Howell SkiBindings are specially-tuned to operate in the 'white space' — below tibia-fracture, below theoretical ACL-rupture, and above pre-release (light green). The release-envelope of the other brand of bindings with lateral heel release does not have the above-noted shape: its shape is not within the above-shown 'white-space'.
Rick Howell's scientific presentations are met with enthusiasm by most researchers — but not by the other ski binding companies and not by researchers who are subsidized by the other binding companies. At the ESSKA orthopedic conference in Barcelona in 2016, three leaders in the field stood — including Peter Brucker, MD, a German national ski team physician — to signal strong enthusiasm toward Rick's research. Receiving this kind of enthusiasm at peer-reviewed scientific forums is unprecedented — and serves, in-part, to biomechanically-validate the technology. Full validation must come from evidence-based research involving an epidemiologically-correct, on-slope, prospective intervention study (presently being organized). The planned prospective intervention study will be the first of its kind in the ski industry, though this kind of validation is mandatory in the pharmaceutical industry — and will take ~5-years and cost ~$4-million to perform, in-full. Meanwhile, the biomechanical proof (above) is plausible and compelling.
Rick Howell's metallic surrogate utilized to test the biomechanical-function of ACL-friendy ski bindings without exposing humans to injury (shown, bolted-together with no-binding as when bindings fail to release. In this way, there is no bias toward any specific type or brand of ski-bindings.
"Nothing seems to go wrong with Rick's ski binding testing for ACL integrity because his test equipment is so simple."
— a leading researcher in biomechanical engineering and sports science.
On October 11, 2016, Rick Howell was granted U.S. Utility Patent 9,463,370 that uniquely allows low stand-height in an unpatented, open, version of an alpine ski binding with non-pre-releasing lateral-heel release.
Howell US Utility Patent 9,463,370, October 11, 2016, the heart of Howell SkiBindings.
"Rick Howell is one of the foremost ski binding engineers in the world."
—Chris Brown, PhD, PE, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, WPI, former NCAA All-American ski racer.
On March 17, 2017, Rick Howell presented his latest pro bono research at the International Olympic Committee conference on Sports Injury Prevention in Monte Carlo under the chairmanship of Professor Roald Bahr, PhD, of the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center and under the session-moderation of University of Salzburg Professor Erich Müller, PhD: 'Mitigation of ACL Rupture in Alpine Skiing Through Ski Bindings' (see page-41). The presentation abstract is published in the February 2017 issue of the peer-reviewed medical journal — British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51:p-331 http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/51/4/332.1
Rick Howell (left) and University of Innsbruck, Sports Science Prof. Werner Nachbauer, PhD (former Austrian Ski Team member) at the top of Sölden, Austria during the 22nd ISSS Conference in Innsbruck, Austria, April 20, 2017.
On April 22, 2017, Rick Howell presented incrementally enhanced biomechanical research at the International Society for Skiing Safety (ISSS) conference in Innsbruck, Austria — hosted by University of Innsbruck Department of Sports Science — under the session-moderation of University of Munich Professor Veit Senner. Rick Howell's presentation: "Theoretical ACL Integrity with Ski Bindings". The slide-show of this abstract-presentation is free in the Howell SkiBindings on-line catalog.
Here's the current Position Statement by SITEMSH
"There is enough mechanical and biomechanical evidence to assert that it is possible to reduce knee injuries in alpine skiing, especially those involving the ACL, with [specially] designed, manufactured and adjusted ski bindings.
The presentations and demonstrations at SITEMSH and ISSS meetings, especially at SITEMSH since November of 2014, show ample support for this assertion.
Conventional modes of release are laterally at the toe and vertically at the heel. To accomplish a reduction in knee injuries, ski bindings also need to have a mode of release, laterally at the heel.
This additional mode allows ski bindings to respond to lateral loads centered on the inside edge of ski, close to and at the rear of the center of the boot heel.
These loads result in a combination of valgus and inward rotational [torques] on the knee.
These two [torques] together, not individually, have been shown to be responsible for increasing the risk of inducing injurious strains to the ACL. Apparently most of the ACL injuries in alpine skiing are caused by these kinds of loads.
Conventional bindings cannot respond appropriately, and clinical trials with new ski bindings should be designed to verify this thesis."
Rick Howell has parlayed his youth's calling; business and engineering education; ski racing; corporate marketing, manufacturing and distribution management experience in the category of ski-bindings; long and repeated history of consumer product development success; specialty ski-binding engineering know-how; newly-patented intellectual property; and pro bono scientific research on the validation of the ACL-friendly function — to develop new Howell SkiBindings.
It was inevitable.
New Howell 880 Pro Powerful anti-pre-release. Never-before-seen edge-control. Liteness. Durability. Patented 17mm low stand-height. 'And a 3rd-mode of lateral heel release that might provide ACL-friendly skiing.
"If Rick's bindings do everything ordinary bindings do — and if there might also be the possibility of mitigating ACL-injury — why wouldn't you ski them?"
—Jake Shealy, PhD, Professor Emeritus, RIT, worldwide leading epidemiologist in skiing safety.
New Howell SkiBindings will be ready for shipment October, 2018. A 30% discount on the full-price and free shipping* is provided when reservation-deposits are placed now (click here to visit on-line store). Reservation deposits are $100 for the Howell 800 Venus; $200 for the Howell 880 Pro; and $400 for the Howell 888 WC Racing.
FLAT-OUT SKIING CONFIDENCE.
Howell Ski Bindings
It was inevitable.
PO Box 1274, 79A Mansfield View Road, Stowe, Vermont 05672 USA
1— Gordon Lipe's father was the inventor of the automatic transmission — and Gordon was an inherited-owner of Lipe Rollway Bearing Company in Syracuse, New York. He and his father were gifted mechanics who made a fortune selling their automatic transmission technology to General Motors. Gordon Lipe lived on Skaneateles Lake in central New York.
2— While racing out of Cazenovia Ski Club in central New York, Rick earned positions on the New York State Ski Team in 1968, '69 and '70.
3— Rick earned 29 FIS-points in the DH discipline of alpine ski racing — a handicap that placed him 5th in the U.S within his age group in 1976; was a member of the Can-Am Team (USSA 'Eastern Automatics'); and on the New Hampshire State Ski Team in 1976. Separately, Rick also raced SL, GS and DH for the winning Division-1 New England College Ski Team — and was inducted together with the whole NEC Ski Team into the NEC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
4— Carl Ettlinger replaced Gordon Lipe after Lipe's 12-year authorship of the SKIING 'Binding Performance Reports'.
5— Tubbs snowshoes are not Howell SkiBindings.
6— 'ESSKA': European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy. ~4000 orthopedic clinicians and orthopedic researchers attended the 2016 ESSKA conference in Barcelona, Spain.
7— Not based on prospective intervention study: based on plausible biomechanical research presented by University of Montréal researchers, Nicola Hagemeister, PhD and Yan Chavelier, PhD, at ISSS-Pontresena, Switzerland (2003); and by Rick Howell at ISSS-Niigata, Japan (2005); ISSS-Aviemore, Scotland (2007); ISSS-Bariloche, Argentina (2015); SITEMSH-Flachau, Austria (2015); SITEMSH-Inawashiro, Japan (2016); ESSKA-Barcelona, Spain (2016); International Olympic Committee - Monte Carlo, Monaco (2017); and ISSS-Innsbruck, Austria (2017). (It's also plausible that Howell SkiBindings, properly tuned as shown in the above performance-envelope, might mitigate MCL-rupture, too — but significantly more research is needed to validate the interaction between Howell SkiBindings and MCL-rupture mitigation.)
Copyright © 2017 by Rick Howell and Howell Ski Bindings. All rights reserved.
U.S. Patent 9,463,370. Other patents pending.
'Howell SkiBindings', 'Howell 888 Max', 'Howell 880 Pro', 'Howell 800 Venus', 'It was inevitable.' are Service Marks (sm).
Howell SkiBindings company is against (a) ski waist widths greater than 87mm AND (b) all 'pin-binding's' (except new Trab TR2) — due to (a.i) their association with a new type of skiing-injury: severe, high-energy tibia-plateau fractures, severe tibial-tuberosity fractures, cumulative miniscus-damage, and MCL-rupture; and (b.i) due to high-energy, spiral-tiba-fractures. Both new types of skiing injuries are the fastest-growing categories of injuries in skiing — matching the growth of fat-skis and pin-bindings. The high-energy nature of the new types of skiing fractures involve many multiple-fragments, difficult surgical reconstruction, and 10 to 15-months of aggressive rehabilitation. Fat skis on firm snow and pin-bindings in any snow (except Trab TR2 pin bindings) — are a serious problem for the sustainability of our beautiful sport: the ISO standards on pin-bindings must be changed to reflect human-biomechanics. References: (1) Dominik Heim, MD; SITEMSH-Japan, 2016. (2) Zorko; Nemec; Matjacic; Olensek; Alpine Skiing Simulations Prove Ski Waist-Width Influences Knee Joint Kinematics; ISSS-Innsbruck, Austria, 2017. (3) Stenroos; Pakarinen; Jalkanen; Mälkiä; Handolin; Tibial Fractures in Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding in Finland: A Retrospective Study on Fracture Types and Injury Mechanisms in 363 patients; Scand J Surg Off Organ Finn Surg Soc Scand Surg Soc., Sept 2015, doi:10.1177/1457496915607410. (4) Improved Short Term Outcomes in Tibial Plateau Fractures of Snow Sports Injuries Treated with Immediate Open Reduction Internal Fixation; Janes, MD; Leonard, MSPH; Phillips, PA-C; Salottolo, MPH; Abbott, MD, Bar-Or, MD; ISSS-Innsbruck, Austria, 2017.
*US$20 is automatically added to international Reservation Deposits at the time of placing a pre-order to address international costs.