ACL-FRIENDLY. ANTI-PRE-RELEASE. PROVEN.
Revolution. ACL-friendly skiing.
Howell SkiBindings provide revolutionary ACL-friendly skiing—proven, biomechanically—through peer-approved scientific research conducted and presented by Rick Howell at high-level orthopedic research, biomechanical engineering, sports science, and skiing-safety conferences throughout the past 20 years — published by British Journal of Sports Medicine. See end footnotes 1 & 3.
Specifically — how do Howell SkiBindings provide revolutionary ACL-friendly skiing?
Evolution. Howell SkiBindings.
Howell SkiBindings feature a focused collection of proven technologies and 53-years of ski-binding know-how from ‘category insider’ Rick Howell.
• Additional lateral-heel release.
• Biomechanical release-settings for lateral-heel release.
• Patented, low-standheight to reduce loading across the ACL, MCL, meniscus & tibial-plateau.
• Four, powerful, anti-pre-release functions to keep you securely on your skis with maximum carve-control.
Evolutionary Howell SkiBindings deliver revolutionary ACL-friendly skiing.
Anti-pre-release. Durability. Proven through extensive on-slope testing.
Howell SkiBindings arise from 5 decades of insider ski-binding experience by Rick Howell — (1) co-developing worldwide #1-selling alpine ski-bindings for a major French company while in high school; (2) high-level regional alpine ski-racing; (3) engineering thesis on ski-bindings at MIT (footnote 2); (4) co-authoring the universal ‘DIN-System’ for alpine binding release-settings; (5) owning/operating a ski-binding service shop at the base of an FIS-approved slalom racing trail; (6) working eight-years, full-time, as senior product manager at a major German ski-binding company; (7) developing five worldwide #1-selling sports products; and (8) conducting and presenting 20-years of biomechanical research on ACL-friendly skiing without pre-release. See footnote 3.
This highly focused know-how is expressly parlayed into ACL-friendly Howell SkiBindings — much of which know-how reaches well beyond lab-testing to involve decades of robust on-snow testing for anti-pre-release, carving-control, and durability.
Howell SkiBindings feature a lifetime limited warranty. See warranty sub-link.
Howell SkiBindings provide a premium skiing experience.
Staying in the game — injury free — is a huge part of the game.
ACL-friendly Howell SkiBindings provide high-performance edge-control, maximum anti-pre-release, and outstanding durability — to deliver the joy of alpine skiing year after year.
Often, ying plus yang is not ying or yang. ACL-friendly Howell SkiBindings are pure, uncompromised alpine. No pins. No extra weight. Less parts than other alpine bindings. Pure. Simple. Focused. Authentic.
Howell SkiBindings are planned to be shipped October, 2024. Pre-order deposits ($80) placed now are fueling, in-part, start-up manufacturing. The best compliment you can provide is a pre-order. In return for a deposit now, Howell SkiBindings offers 30%-off full-price when the net balance, $480 (Mars & Venus models), is payable upon shipment, October, 2024. Deposits placed now gain excellent pricing.
Click a photo at the top of the page to learn more about each model.
ACL-friendly Howell SkiBindings uniquely include a precision metal mounting jig ($100 value), DIN drill-bit, DIN tap, on-line mounting certification, 2-widths of ski-brakes, 2-sets of Teflon-topped toe-pads (AFD’s), and Teflon-topped heel-pads — FREE shipping — and the joy of happy, healthy, pure alpine skiing.
☀️ ❄️ 🏔️
Ordinary binding companies will imitate. But only Howell SkiBindings are based on five decades of insider know-how — including 20-years of ACL-friendly skiing without pre-release.
Click a model-image, above — or click a model-link, below, to learn about each model.
Howell Venus DIN 2.5–8 Extra ACL, MCL, meniscus, and tibia-plateau friendly for light and average-weight women. Light in weight. Easy step-in even in champaign powder. Low standheight to properly scale for size: utility-patented.
Howell Mars DIN 4–12 Decisively ACL friendly with maximum anti-pre-release and maximum carve-control. Cantilevered, super-wide toe-cup, heel-cup, toe-AFD & heel-pad — provide powerful edge-control. Low standheight to minimize cumulative meniscus stress or allow added lifters: utility-patented.
Howell Planet-B DIN 8–22 Strong and lite titanium housings. Powerful F1 valve-springs. Cantilevered, super-wide toe-cup, heel-cup, toe-AFD & heel-pad provide powerful edge-control. Solid stainless-steel inner-workings provide maximum durability during harsh racing conditions. Low standheight allows the addition of nearly any race-plate while still complying with FIS standheight rules: utility-patented. Limited production.
CAUTION: HOWELL PLANET-B IS ONLY FOR EXTREME SKIERS AND RACERS.
Proven, biomechanically, through peer-approved scientific research conducted and presented by Rick Howell at:
IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury in Sport, Monaco, 2017 and 2021;
ICSS (International Conference on Science in Skiing) Voukatti, Finland, 2019; Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria, 2023;
SITEMSH (International Society for Snowsports Medicine) Flachu, Austria, 2015; Barcelona, Spain, 2016; Inawashiro, Japan, 2017; Serre-Chevalier, France, 2022;
ESSKA (European Society of Surgery-Knee and Arthroscopy) Barcelona, Spain, 2016; and Virtual-Madrid, Spain, 2021.
ISSS (International Society for Skiing Safety) Pontresina, Switzerland, 2003 (research grant-application and thesis promulgated by Rick Howell; performed and presented by University of Montréal researchers, Professor Nancy St-Onge, PhD and Professor Jacques DeGuise, PhD).
ISSS — research conducted and presented by Rick Howell at — Niigata, Japan, 2005; Aviemore, Scotland, 2007; Bariloche, Argentina, 2013; Cortina, Italy, 2015; Innsbruck, Austria 2017; Squaw Valley, California, USA, 2019; Serre-Chevalier, France, 2022.
The biomechanical proof behind ACL-friendly Howell SkiBindings, Howell-specified lateral-heel release-settings, and Howell anti-pre-release — is simple:
During ‘Slip-Catch’ or ‘Phantom Foot’ events, large ‘abduction-loads’ are generated when the center of forces that are produced by short shaped skis enter the inside-edge of a ski, laterally, directly-under or close-behind the projected-axis of the skier’s tibia.
“Events” means ‘crash’ or ‘specific type of un-control’. “Abduction” is defined, below. During these specific Slip-Catch or Phantom-Foot events, shaped-skis do not typically slide-out at one end. Both ends bite into the snow. Therefore, rotation of the ski about the long-axis of the tibia is minimal — but lateral (abduction) loading is maximal. During abduction loading, the naturally-forming center of the abduction-forces that enter a shaped-ski — located under or close-behind the long-axis of the tibia — is not sensed by ordinary 2-mode alpine bindings. The absence of an ordinary 2-mode binding’s ability to sense a centrally-located abduction-force is because the center of the abduction-force is located directly under or closely-behind the center of an ordinary 2-mode alpine binding’s axis of rotation. This means the binding has no lever-arm to produce lateral-toe release.
ALL ordinary 2-mode alpine bindings have a lateral-release blind-spot located where the center of abduction-loading is positioned. How ironic. The binding’s blind-spot is centered at the focus-point of the heel-cup’s radius (or, at the center of a pivot-turntable: no ski-boot can release, laterally, THROUGH the side-lugs of any pivot-turn-table binding).
Why is that blind-spot important?
The blind-spot is critically important because when an ordinary 2-mode alpine binding cannot release — the same abduction-force simultaneously acts over the long lever-arm of the lower-leg (including boot-sole thickness under the heel plus binding stand-height) to produce a large ‘abduction-moment’ located in the center of the ACL, MCL and slightly-laterally in the meniscus and tibial-plateau.
That ‘kinematics’ — involving the interaction of the Slip-Catch or Phantom-Foot skiing-ACL injury mechanism, together with an ordinary 2-mode binding, plus the anatomy of the lower-leg — outlines the most prevalent type of skiing ACL-injury.
This is not ‘medical advice’— it’s basic structural engineering applied to the human anatomy and to ski-binding mechanics. This essay presents a major breakthrough in biomechanics.
( Other types of skiing-ACL injury mechanisms involve very different kinematics — and are far less prevalent — noting that the incidence (not prevalence) of skiing-ACL-injury mechanisms is presently unknown. For example, the Boot-Induced-Anterior-Drawer (BIAD) skiing-ACL injury mechanism is far less prevalent — is addressed by vertical toe release (as in the former Geze SE3) — but no one has developed vertical toe release to mitigate adverse pre-release for strong / aggressive skiers (yet 😉. )
Adding emphasis — ordinary 2-mode alpine ski-bindings have little possibility of release before ACL-injury when large abduction-loads enter a short shaped-ski under (or closely behind) the tibial-axis, irrespectively of an ordinary 2-mode binding’s release-settings: even a small child’s setting can block necessary-release before ACL-injury during Slip-Catch or Phantom-Foot events.
This is basic structural-engineering applied to ACL-injury analysis.
🍎 A special (non-pre-releasing) 3-mode binding with additional lateral-heel release — and with special release-settings for the additional mode of lateral-heel release — can be located directly on the kinematic load-path between (a) a shaped ski’s center of applied-abduction-force (under or close-behind the tibial-axis) and (b) the ACL, MCL, meniscus and tibial-plateau.
A special 3-mode binding with additional lateral-heel release — together with special lateral-heel release-settings — can read and react to large abduction-loads generated by shaped-skis during Slip-Catch or Phantom-Foot crashes — to release before ACL injury.
That special non-pre-releasing 3-mode binding with additional lateral-heel release and with special biomechanically-based lateral-heel settings is ACL-friendly Howell SkiBindings.
The thin black line represents the unique ‘release envelope’ of ACL-friendly Howell SkiBindings — operating in the white-space below the integrity-thresholds of the tibia, ACL and MCL — and above the pre-release threshold.
TWO IMPORTANT HOWEVER’S.
First ‘however’ — anti-pre-release.
Special bindings with additional lateral-heel release and with special settings for lateral-heel release MUST NOT pre-release.
Pre-release can sometimes be worse than no-release (settings are only a small part of how a good binding properly addresses anti-pre-release).
—> Only Howell SkiBindings provide key know-how and advanced technology to block dangerous pre-release without high settings in all 3-modes of release.
🍎 Anti-pre-release in Howell SkiBindings is provided by ‘decoupling’ each of the 3-modes of release from each other — AND by decoupling each mode of release from innocuous skiing-control actions, such as carving.
Each mode of release in Howell SkiBindings is a separate system. 3 separate springs. 3 separate cams. 3 separate mechanisms. Each of the 3 modes of release has independently adjustable release-settings. Each mode operates without influencing the other two modes.
‘And all 3 modes of release deploy wide off-center-pivots to filter-out the massive fore-and-aft pressure generated by the incompressibility of ski boots during ski-flex. Fore-and-aft pressure is filtered from all 3 release mechanisms because ski-flex does not cause tibia-fracture, ACL or MCL rupture, or meniscus tearing. Wide off-center-pivots in all 3-modes of release — lateral-toe, forward-heel, and lateral-heel — resolutely block adverse pre-release.
Only Howell SkiBindings block pre-release without high settings. This is a Very Big deal. This is an industry first.
Other bindings do not provide these combined features, benefits and advantages because only Howell know-how refined them during 53 years of testing — including 20-years of testing ACL-friendly skiing without pre-release.
No other binding provides evolutionary-revolution.
And Howell SkiBindings accomplish these extraordinary functions — simply. Simple equals durable. Durable equals reliable. Reliable equals trust.
Alpine ski-bindings are all about trust.
Second ‘however’ — obvious notice.
No ski-binding, including Howell SkiBindings, can ‘prevent’ all skiing injuries. The term, ‘safety’ is a misnomer. A ‘safe binding’ can be dangerous if it’s overly-focused on ‘release’ without proper care to mitigate adverse pre-release.
Skiing injury can occur by simply falling down or by impact with an object — including impact with ‘firm snow’.
However ➡️ Howell SkiBindings are proven, biomechanically, to mitigate injury to the tibia, ACL, MCL, and meniscus by mitigating episodic (single traumatic event) non-release — by mitigating chronic (cumulative) loading to those same musculoskeletal elements — by maintaining maximum carve-control — while mitigating adverse pre-release.
Howell SkiBindings provide a collection of extraordinary biomechanical breakthroughs — for happy, healthy, pure alpine skiing.
Rick Howell was never a student at MIT. Rick performed his “dream research” at MIT at the bequest of and sponsorship by MIT Aerospace Engineering Professor Lawrence R. Young, Sc.D., who at the time, was the Chairman of the interdisciplinary Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Department involving human-machine interaction for space flight. The research performed by Rick Howell at MIT (1974 - ‘77) was titled: ‘How ski-bindings affect ski performance’. Rick is a graduate of New England College with a double undergraduate major in business and civil (structural focus) engineering.
Br J Sports Med 2017;51:283-412.
Br J Sports Med 2021;55(Suppl 1):A1-A188
Publisher’s 2nd correction: Br J Sports Med 2022;0:1. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2021-IOC.367corr2
Explore each binding model by clicking an image at the top of this page.
It was inevitable.
Howell SkiBindings (sm)
PO Box 1274 • Stowe, Vermont 05672 USA
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Copyright © by Rick Howell and Howell SkiBindings, 2023. All rights reserved. U.S. Patent 9,463,370. Content subject to change without notice.
* 'ACL-Friendly', ‘ACL-friendly’, 'Anti-Pre-Release', 'It was inevitable.', 'Howell SkiBindings', ’Howell SkiBinding’, ’Howell Ski Bindings’, ’Howell Bindings’, 'Howell Venus', 'Howell Mars', 'Howell PlanetB', and Howell Planet-B’, ‘Functional Decoupling’ — are (sm) Service Marks of Howell SkiBindings, Inc.