About this project
READ ABOUT THE SI&I SYSTEM
MARKER JESTER AND SOLOMON STH PLATFORMS NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH KICKSTARTER
CAST is derived from the collective noun for a group of hawks and named in honor of CAST's founding member Ryan Hawks. CAST’s innovative patent pending designs have created a product unlike any other on the ski market. The SI&I binding system utilizes the most efficient ski touring capabilities available and couples them with high performance alpine bindings. The result is a binding system that sacrifices nothing in terms of performance, as the ascent and descent components work independently of each other. There is no added footprint to the binding, allowing the ski to flex naturally with minimal added weight.
The SI&I binding system has been designed to be highest performing Alpine Touring option for both the up and the down. We believe we have achieved this. Our head tester, professional skier Silas Chickering-Ayers won the 2011-2012 Freeskiing World Tour stop at Snowbird on the SI&I system (check the video out here: Silas' Winning Snowbird Run). In the following days, using the same skiing equipment, he completed a 10,000 vertical foot day tour, to the summit of Mount Rainier proving the versatility and ruggedness of the system.
As professional skiers, CAST’s members are always pushing the limits of skiing and the ski industry products, it’s our job and our passion. Our product line grew from a frustration with the current options in the ski binding industry and their incapability of keeping up with our skiing performance demands. This frustration is pervasive among top tier alpine skiers; these are our competitors, skiing partners and friends. As the fastest growing market in the ski industry the Alpine Ski Touring or ‘AT’ niche of skiing is rapidly evolving, and CAST has developed hardware allowing it to take a leap forward in performance and usability. Alpine Touring is when one uses specialized bindings to essentially walk into/up your ski lines, when lifts are not available, with a hinged toe and unlocked heel. When you reach a point where you wish to downhill ski, you fix your heel, in one of several ways depending on the system used, allowing you to ski as you normally would on lift access terrain.
Existing AT bindings are either geared toward getting you up the mountain while touring, or down the mountain while skiing. And while there are options out there, they still constrain skiers to certain hardware. Simply put, they are a compromise. The revolutionary thinking was CAST realizing that any binding attempting to do both would sacrifice performance in one way or another, so we created the SI&I binding system. This system allows you to easily (in seconds) change from using a touring binding setup to the alpine binding of your choice. The SI&I system eliminates compromise, it puts you on task specific gear allowing you to AT with confidence in your equipment, with the equipment you desire, period.
REST ASSURED, CAST HAS YOU COVERED
We’ve been hard at work for over three years now developing, prototyping and testing the SI&I system and boot modification. We’re ready to take them to full production. We are at the point where we need to purchase tooling and accept bids on our first production run. By supporting us in this effort you’ll be first in line to receive the SI&I system, as this is the only place it is being sold this season. You will also be a force for leading the ski industry in a direction in which it needs to go! Also check out our other incentives to the right!
"Wow!! I have been dreaming of a set-up like this. I'm a pro patroller at Mammoth and a dog handler. When we pop the top after a storm I have to be on my marker touring binding instead of my pivot's. The natural flex of the ski is compromised and I’m over it." - Scott, Pro Patroller and Avalanche Dog Handler, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area
"The SI&I gives me a real piece of mind. Skiing it in the backcountry you can just go out and send and feel confident..." - Dylan Crossman, Professional Skier
THE HARDWARE MAKING IT POSSIBLE
The key to CAST’s SI&I system is combining the best of the downhill skiing hardware and the touring hardware in the simplest possible way. In the backcountry you need reliable equipment, this means utilitarian and tough. Over the three years of testing, this is the hardware we've come up with.
- Cast aluminum body for the mount plate which is then CNC machined to precise tolerances.
- High precision laser cut aluminum for the slider plates. These attach to the tech and downhill toe pieces allowing them to slide in and out of the mount plate during your binding change over.
- Wire formed steel climbing bails for your heels to keep you balanced on any terrain.
- Laser cut steel locking mechanisms to make sure your toe pieces don’t go anywhere while in use.
- Injection molded high density plastic formed for the heel lifter making the toe and heel pieces of your binding the same height.
- Cast stainless steel tech insert and molded plastic for the boot lifters allowing boots to step into Tech and Alpine bindings with no change over.
- Weight difference to standard Alpine Binding:
- While skiing: 250g
- While touring: -142g (yes 142g lighter than your standard alpine setup)
- 0g lifted weight while touring, touring efficiency equals that of a tech touring system
- Increase in stand height: 7mm
- Bindings that are currently compatible with the SI&I System
- Tyrolia Peak T. H. 15
- Tyrolia X T. H. 18
- 4FRNT Deadbolt 15 and 18
- Head Mojo 15 and 18
- Rossignol FKS 15 and 18
- Look Pivot 15 and 18
- Salomon STH Driver 12, 14 and 16
- Salomon STH 12 and 14
- Atomic FFG Team
- Marker Jester Pro
- Marker Jester
- Marker Griffon
- Marker Squire
CAST'S PRODUCT LINE
- Two mounting plates
- Two Alpine toe piece slider plates
- Two Tech toe piece slider plates
- Two heel riser assemblies with dual height climbing bales
- Brake retaining rubber bands
- Two Dynafit technical touring toe pieces
- Boots modified to step directly into Tech and Alpine bindings by us
- Custom rubber tread pattern boot lifters
- CAST stainless steel tech inserts. CAST's unique system requires boot compatibility with Tech and Alpine bindings. CAST has developed a set of lifters, with an integrated tech insert, which can be installed on any hard soled alpine ski boot as well as some non-solid soled alpine ski boots, with only slight modification to standard boot fitting practices. This not only enables the boot to step into a Tech binding while still conforming to ISO 5355, (International Standards Organization) maintaining proper function in an Alpine binding, it also allows you to once again ski the boots you trust and like.
By incorporating a custom rubber tread pattern and tech inserts into a ISO 5355 compatible sole, CAST is again setting a new precedent for function and performance. The creation of a system that allows these boots to be made tech compatible ends the conundrum of alpine vs. touring vs. tech compatible boots, which has faced skiers in the past.
SIDE NOTE: Like AT bindings the ski boot options available are a compromise between skiing performance and touring efficiency. While there is no prefect boot for every skier CAST feels that proving the viability of a new sole standard that functions properly with any type of binding is a solid step in the right direction, one we hope the industry will follow.
WE ARE READY TO GO TO FULL PRODUCTION, WE JUST NEED YOUR SUPPORT
This is what we already have going:
- A fifth generation binding that has been prototyped, tested and approved over and over by us and a team of professional skiers which includes several professional competition wins on the SI&I system
- Thousands of miles trekking on the SI&I system
- Backing and approval of many of the top skiers in the world
- A warehouse that we will be running CAST’s operations out of with a dedicated team for assembly and distribution
- An advertising campaign lined up through the teams many connections to the ski industry
- Optimization of manufacturing processes for easy and reliable manufacturing
This is what we need your help with:
- Finalizing tooling, including the purchasing of molds and raw materials
- Funding the first production run
- Launching our product onto the market for the 2013-2014 ski season
- Final outfitting and tooling of our shop to allow for efficient assembly and distribution of our products.
Risks and challenges
Similar to any project, there are several key risks and challenges in changing/revolutionizing the AT market. Here are our risks.
In order to make sure that this system is what skiers are looking for, it has been designed along side, and by, many of the worlds leading freeride skiers. In our many design generations we have strived to make the system more and more simple, in use and in build. With easy access to a CNC mill, CAST is able to prototype quickly and efficiently, allowing us to put new design concepts to the test in the harsh winter climate in a day. We have designed the build to be easily manufactured, a key component to cost, durability and other desired design qualities. We have a dedicated team of skiers and designers working on bettering the system day in and day out. CAST headquarters is set up in the AT hub of the United States with most of the main AT destinations within a short drive, this puts us dead center of the AT scene.
We have been working closely with shops on our initial prototyping, forging trust and personal relationships with them. We are keeping all manufacturing in the USA and are very proud of that. We have costs and details from our desired manufacturers and secondary manufacturers. This should allow us to have good control on the lead time and quality of our final products. We have a dedicated team in our headquarters in Driggs, ID that will be assembling final products, performing boot modifications, and have set up jigs and tooling to do this quickly, accurately and efficiently.
Getting the right team together for any project is essential and challenging but we have no doubt that we have done it. CAST's team is driven, skilled and connected to the industry in which we are working. To us this is not a job, it is a passion, a lifestyle and a dream. Partnered with our already loyal and skilled following we strongly believe we are lined up for success now and in the future.
Originally from Vermont, Lars has been skiing competitively on freeskiing circuits for the past six years and began working on a better solution to alpine touring equipment around the same time. His skiing has taken him around the world and he is at the forefront of pushing the sport of freeskiing through both his skiing and his design abilities.
Younger brother to Lars, Silas rose through junior freeskiing comps to establish himself as one of the top young skiers in the country. He is out skiing everyday, testing ideas, equipment and providing feedback to help Lars develop the best gear.
A fellow Vermonter, good friend, and UVM engineering grad, Matt teamed up with the Chickering-Ayers brothers to provide design and marketing know how as well as help make CAST's projects a reality.
Rossignol FKS 15 and 18, Look Pivot 15 and 18, Tyrolia Peak T.H. 15, X T. H. 18, 4FRNT Deadbolt 15 and 18, and Head Mojo 15 and 18 bindings work with it right now. Our next goal is some of the more popular Salomon and Marker platforms. Depending on how successful we are here, we would like to have them out shortly.
Our boot lifters are made with very similar materials to what is commonly used on the market today. This means a rubber tread pattern for grip when booting with a solid plastic “frame” for support.
The technical insert in our boot lifters is very solidly mounted with 4 T-Nuts into the bottom of the boot. Since this Technical Toe is only used for the uphill portion of your alpine tour we have designed accordingly along with a very large factor of safety for strength. Simply put, this isn’t going anywhere.
We have made notes in the incentives about international shipping costs. This being said they are different everywhere. We are in the process of partnering with shipping companies to minimize cost. We’ll keep you updated on this but it is expensive to ship, especially to places like New Zealand, Australia, Chile and Argentina.
As you can see in the incentives we are selling the SI&I with and without technical toe pieces. We are also selling it with and without alpine bindings (although there are a limited amount of alpine bindings).
Right now the only technical toe designed to work with the SI&I system is the Dynafit Radical.
Touring boots with swappable lifters don’t work right out of the box. There are ways to make them work fine in alpine bindings like sanding the toe lifter down. We can’t recommend this because there is no flat surface to conform to the ISO standards, we have definitely never ever ever done this ever, that would be dangerous and we only ski very safe things.
We have played with a lot of options. What we found was that the easiest, cheapest and most reliable brake retention device was a tuning rubber band. When you get the SI&I System you will receive ample rubber bands to use and lose and still have some left over. Take a few extra with you...what can it hurt.
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