Modern alpine ski bindings have evolved through a design approach that combined intuitive mechanics, traditional designs, and early concepts of the sport's injuries. Unfortunately for today's skier, this design approach has not yielded alpine ski bindings that protect effectively against lower limb injury.
A new approach to ski binding design is advanced. The new approach begins both with a release locus derived from injury mechanics research and knowledge of the expected loading and then incorporates these into the final binding design.
A mechanical ski binding designed by following this new approach is presented. This binding offers a number of performance features lacking in commercially available designs. One feature is the ability to eliminate the axial force supported by the tibial shaft from affecting release in forward bending. A second feature is the binding's ability to release according to virtually any preprogrammed locus of the combination of moments in both bending and torsion. A third feature is a release mechanism that is insensitive to the common frictional forces that affect the release consistency of conventional heel-toe type bindings. In addition to these features, the binding offers a variety of operational conveniences. The presentation of the binding not only describes the design details, but also evaluates the release performance (that is, locus and consistency) based on laboratory tests under quasi-static loading.