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ACL-friendly ski bindings that do not pre-release.


Good News  —  Based on 46 years of ski binding development— Rick Howell of Stowe, Vermont — introduces new Howell SkiBindings.

Rick Howell is the developer behind 5 worldwide #1-selling high-end sports products including clipless bicycle pedals, high-tech snowshoes, and ski bindings for other companies.

But unlike all others, only new Howell SkiBindings provide — anti-pre-release — maximum edge-control — ACL-friendly skiing — and a low 17mm stand-height to reduce cumulative knee-strain.  They're lite.  They're durable.  Easy to step into.  And Howell SkiBindings come with two sets of brakes in two different widths — standard.

It is anticipated that Howell SkiBindings will be Certified in Germany — and ready for shipment starting October, 2018Reservation-Deposits placed now receive a 30% discount and free shipping** October, 2018. 


$100 Deposit  Howell 800 Venus — the 1st ski binding expressly built for lite but strong women.  It's loaded with ACL-friendly features.  And its housings are made from castor beans converted to a high-tech recyclable resin.  DIN 2.5-9

$200 Deposit  Howell 880 Pro — a robust ACL-friendly binding that simply does not pre-release.  Includes precision metal mounting template.  DIN 5-15

$400 Deposit  Howell 888 Max — an extreme binding with housings machined from ti6Al4v bar stock titanium.  DIN 6—18.  Includes precision mounting template, special Howell Test Fixture, Cant Kit, and 3-sets of screw lengths.  DIN 6-18

See full prices in the on-line catalog.


   Anti-pre-release. ACL-friendly.


    Howell SkiBindings

       It was inevitable.


79A Mansfield View Road   •   PO Box 1274    •   Stowe, Vermont 05672  USA
1.802.793.4849  •  •




1—  Toes, Release.

    Howell SkiBindings provide toe-piece release-features that vary by model. 

    All Howell toe-pieces provide non-pre-releasing lateral toe release. 

    In addition to lateral toe release, the Howell 800 Venus (DIN 2.5—9) features non-pre-releasing multi-directional toe release with additional non-pre-releasing vertical toe release.  The pure vertical component addresses BIAD (Boot Induced Anterior Drawer) ACL-friendly skiing.  The prevalence of BIAD-ACL injuries among the general skiing population is ~10% of all ACL injuries.  Multi-directional toe release (also known as 'diagonal toe release') addresses backward-twisting ACL-friendly skiing.  The prevalence of backward-twisting-ACL-injury among the general skiing population is ~10% of all ACL injuries. 

    Howell 880 Pro (DIN 5—15)  in addition to featuring ordinary lateral toe release, the 880 Pro also features multi-directional toe release — but without pure-vertical toe release.

    Howell 888 Max (DIN 6—18) toe-pieces feature ordinary lateral toe release;  no multi-directional toe release;  no vertical toe release.

    Ordinary 2-mode ski-binding release addresses tibia-friendly skiing. 

    No release setting — even low release settings — on ordinary 2-mode bindings will have any effect on ACL-friendly skiing.  Please see Rick Howell's ACL research published in the peer-reviewed British Journal of Sports Medicine and/or an expanded version of Rick Howell's ACL research presentation that can be accessed in the on-line catalog, herein.

    Toe Anti-Pre-Release (unique to Howell SkiBindings):   All Howell SkiBindings strongly mitigate pre-prelease in the normal ways — by deploying 'elastic travel';  by retaining elastic energy within all phases of the elastic-travel;  by minimizing recentering-time;  by minimizing friction within the inner workings of the toe;  and by minimizing friction between the boot-binding interface.  However, only Howell SkiBindings uniquely — and additionally — mitigate pre-release by functionally-decoupling each mode of release from the other modes of release — and  by functionally-decoupling all of the release-modes from the components of the binding that provide 'skiing-control'.  Functional-decoupling filters friendly-skiing-loads from injurious-skiing-loads.  In this way, the binding is not approaching release in the presence of innocuous skiing-control loads.  This is why Howell SkiBindings uniquely—and decisively—do not pre-release.  No other ski bindings do this.  


2—  Heels.

Non-pre-releasing lateral heel release is uniquely available in all 3 Howell SkiBindings models — 800 Venus, 880 Pro, 888 Max.  Each model addresses ACL-friendly skiing during Phantom-Foot and Slip-Catch events that comprise ~75% of all skiing-ACL injuries among the general skiing population.  No one knows the prevalence to which ACL-injuries are (or can be) mitigated by lateral heel release — but the leading group of skiing safety experts comprised mostly of research orthopedic surgeons believes it's plausible that properly tuned bindings with lateral heel release can provide ACL-friendly skiing.  No binding — not even bindings with lateral heel release — is completely ACL-friendly.

    (Diagonal heel release — featured by another binding company — does not provide any possibility of lateral heel release during Phantom-Foot or Slip-Catch skiing-ACL events because Phantom-Foot and Slip-Catch events include lateral and downward loading.  The competitor's binding requires lateral and upward loading to cause 'diagonal heel release'. Diagonal heel release cannot address Phantom-Foot or Slip-Catch skiing-ACL events:  diagonal heel release is not ACL-friendly.  The manufacturer of 'diagonal heel release' does not claim that this feature can provide ACL-friendly skiing.)

    (A note on pivot-turntable heels:  No boot can release through the side-lugs of any pivot-turntable — lateral heel release is therefore impossible with pivot-turntable bindings:  pivot-turntable bindings are not ACL-friendly.)

    If 3 in 5 ACL-injuries are mitigated by the lateral heel release of Howell SkiBindings, we consider this to be a good outcome — especially in view of ordinary 2-mode bindings (even ordinary 2-mode bindings with multi-directional toe release and/or with vertical toe release) that do not have lateral heel releaseNo ordinary 2-mode bindings have lateral heel release.  However, to be effective, the release-level of a binding with lateral heel release must be calibrated according to Howell SkiBindings specifications:  high lateral heel release settings are adverse to ACL-friendly skiing. 

    ( Please note — there is "no difference between the release settings within a 'general-skiing-population' and the release settings within an 'ACL-injured skiing-population' with ordinary 2-mode bindings".  This fact is proven again-and-again in many peer-reviewed, epidemiologically-correct, evidence-based research studies on skiing safety — especially in the well-known 'Sugarbush Study' by Carl Ettlinger, Robert Johnson and Jake Shealy — 'Functional and Release Characteristics of Alpine Ski Equipment', Journal of ASTM International, Vol. 3, No. 7, STP-1474, Skiing Trauma and Safety: Sixteenth Volume, pp 65-74, 2006).  This fully-validated evidenced-based study means that 'reduced release settings in ordinary 2-mode bindings will not provide ACL-friendly skiing'.

    Ordinary ski bindings — 2-mode bindings with lateral toe release and forward heel release — are not ACL-friendly no matter what level of release setting.  The #1-selling brand of 'ordinary' 2-mode alpine ski bindings is also the #1-cause of skiing ACL-injuries.  The #2-selling brand of 'ordinary' 2-mode alpine ski binding is also the #2 cause of skiing ACL injuries.  'Same with the #3, #4 and #5-selling 'ordinary' 2-mode alpine ski bindings.  ACL-injuries are by far the #1-injury in skiing, those are the bindings that cause this evidence-based — proven — injury pattern.

    No one knows the prevalence of the various injury-mechanisms that cause ACL-injuries, but the best hypothesis is provided in Tone Bere's PhD Thesis, 2013, Chapter on ACL Injury Mechanism Review,  Norges Idrettshøgskole;  and separately provided in Rick Howell's research — ACL Rupture in Alpine Skiing through Ski Bindings, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2017;51:283-412, presented to the International Olympic Committee (the IOC) on 'Preventing Sports Injuries' in Monte Carlo in March of 2017.

    Heel Anti-Pre-Release (unique to Howell SkiBindings):  same Functional Decoupling principles as noted above for toes — but applied to the heel.

    Only Howell SkiBindings provide non-pre-releasing, specially-tuned, lateral heel release, with low, 17mm stand-height.



         Anti-pre-release.  ACL-friendly.

    Introducing new Howell SkiBindings.  (sm)



Copyright © by Rick Howell and Howell Ski Bindings, 2017.  All rights reserved.  
U.S. Patent 9,463,370.  Other patents-pending. 

* 'ACL-Friendly', 'Anti-Pre-Release', 'It was inevitable', 'Howell SkiBindings', 'Howell 888 Max', 'Howell 880 Pro', 'Howell 800 Venus' are (sm) Service Marks.

** US$20 is charged at the time of Reservation Deposit for international orders.

*** 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.