If you own a set of 2017/18 Kingpin 10 or 13 bindings, Marker wants you to send them back for repair. The ski brand issued a voluntary recall for those two specific models after quality-control testing revealed that the front pins could break, causing the bindings to release under lower-than-desirable forces and posing an increased risk of falls. The release did not specify how, exactly, the bindings could break and whether that would render them useless immediately.
The Kingpin binding is one of the most widely used touring bindings on the market (we’ve rated it as one of the best backcountry ski bindings in our Winter Buyer’s Guide two years in a row) thanks to its combination of light weight and downhill security. Those qualities have made it a popular choice for skiers who want to go fast and light while still charging hard on the way back down—exactly the circumstances under which a skier is cranking on her skis, and relying on her bindings to withstand those forces.
In a press release sent out this week, Kingpin explained that the company found the defective pins in a limited number of Kingpin 10 and 13 bindings from 2017/18. “We are aware of our responsibility as a manufacturer when it comes to safety, especially with regard to ski touring in the backcountry,” the release stated. “This is why after extensive and serious testing and evaluation we decided to recall the whole population of the 2017/18 model, even if the problem only affects very few bindings.”
Customers who have bindings from that year are encouraged to send them back to Marker to have the pins replaced at no charge. (The new bindings are easily identifiable, because Marker recently changed its logo. Kingpins with the new logo are the only ones subject to the recall.)
Outside reached out to Kingpin for more information on how the issue with the new bindings happened, why it was only discovered after the bindings had already gone on sale, and what is being done to correct it in future versions of the Kingpin, but didn’t hear back before publication. We’ll update this story if more information arises. In the meantime, Kingpin owners: get those bindings checked.