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


More Good News for Alpine Skiers  —  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, 2019Reservation-Deposits placed now receive a 30% discount and free shipping** October, 2019. 


$100 Deposit  Howell 800 Venus — the 1st alpine 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 alpine ski-binding that simply does not pre-release.  Includes precision metal mounting template.  DIN 5-15

$400 Deposit  Howell 888 Max — an extreme alpine ski-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.

See full prices in the on-line catalog.


 We trust you will pre-order Howell SkiBindings.


            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 alpine 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 ('2-mode' = lateral toe & vertical heel) 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';  retaining powerful 'elastic work' within all phases of the elastic-travel;  minimizing recentering-time;  minimizing friction within the inner workings of the toe;  and by minimizing friction between all of the many boot-binding interfaces.  However, only Howell SkiBindings uniquely — and additionally — mitigate pre-release by functionally-decoupling each mode of release from the other modes of release — by functionally-decoupling each mode of retention from the other modes of retention — and by functionally-decoupling all of the release-modes from all of the retention-modes.  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 alpine 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 is not ACL-friendly.  The manufacturer of 'diagonal heel release' does not claim this feature to be ACL-friendly.)

    (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 non-pre-releasing lateral heel release feature in 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 ACL-friendly, the lateral heel release function and the lateral heel release setting must be functioning and set according to Howell SkiBindings specifications.  The optional 'Howell Test Fixture' helps to evaluate the maximal-function and the precise-calibration of lateral heel release.

    Please note — there is "no difference between the release settings within the 'general-skiing-population of skiers' and the release settings within an 'ACL-injured skiing-population' who ski on 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, MD, and Professor 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 is consistent with our in-house biomechanical studies to mean that — ''proper' 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 ACL-injury binding.  The #2-selling brand of ordinary 2-mode alpine ski binding is also the #2 ACL-injury binding.  'Same with the #3, #4 and #5-selling ordinary 2-mode alpine ski bindings.  ACL-injuries are by far the #1-injury in skiing:  ordinary 2-mode alpine ski bindings are ACL-injury bindings.

    No one knows the prevalence of the various injury-mechanisms that cause ACL-injuries, but the best hypothesis is provided in Tone Bere's 2013 PhD Thesis — in her chapter — 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 open-art functional-decoupling principles as noted above for toes — but applied vertically and laterally at the heel.

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

    Low, 17mm stand-height.  Definitive research performed by University of Salzburg Professor Erich Müller has proven, biomechanically, that tall stand-height is associated with high strain across the ACL.  This research is so compelling that the FIS — Federation International de Ski ... the governing body for international ski racing, including the FIS World Cup series of races — has regulated stand-height expressly to mitigate skiing ACL-injuries.  Follow-through epidemiology has also shown a significant reduction in skiing-ACL injuries after the new regulations were enforced in all levels of FIS ski racing.  Howell SkiBindings have a low 17mm stand-height to not only reduce ACL-injuries — but also to allow the use of lifters — and still be under the FIS stand-height limit.  There are a few other ordinary ski bindings with low stand-height — but none of the other bindings also have lateral heel release.  The combination of lateral heel release AND low stand-height that is uniquely found only in Howell SkiBindings is a powerful 1-2 knockout combination toward mitigating — never eliminating — skiing-ACL injuries.

    We trust you will consider purchasing Howell SkiBindings.



         Anti-pre-release.  ACL-friendly.

                Howell SkiBindings.
                   It was inevitable.




Copyright © by Rick Howell and Howell Ski Bindings, 2017.  All rights reserved.  
U.S. Patent 9,463,370.  Other patents-pending.  Content subject to change, without notice.

* '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.