Howell SkiBindings founder, Rick Howell, was, at age 6, skiing in front of his father when Rick was hit by another skier who tried to ski between them — impacting Rick from behind. Rick fell and sustained a spiral tibia fracture (that's a ski-binding toe-related problem). Aside from the feelings about the behavior of the other skier, Rick's father — a civil engineer — was concerned not about the wellness of his son but also because he had mounted and adjusted his son’s bindings. Rick's father re-applied his good-care and know-how even more diligently to dial-in Rick's bindings according to the latest methods. At that time, there were no standards for the function of ski-bindings (they were Dover cable-bindings). Three years later, Rick sustained a green-stick tibia fracture while racing (that's a ski-binding heel-related problem and an AFD-location problem (they were still Dover cable-bindings). Horrified, Rick's father took the skis and boots to a summer-home neighbor, Gordon Lipe, who was at that time the leading expert on ski-bindings in North America. Lipe wrote critical 'test reports' on ski-bindings in almost every monthly issue of SKIING magazine throughout the late 1960's and early '70's (click link). Lipe also was the original developer of the 'Weight-&-Ability Method' (now called the 'Weight Method', ISO international standard 8061) to select ski binding settings. Lipe also developed the first ski binding test-measuring equipment — the Lipe Release Check; and developed the ski industry's 1st effective mechanical AFD — the Lipe Slider. In SKIING magazine, Lipe wrote and illustrated how to modify bindings to enhance 'safety' (back-ten, product liability laws were not what they are, today: modifications were routine — and, still, there were no safety standards for ski-binding function). Three years later, during race-training, Rick sustained a complex spiral / bending tibia fracture (that's a problem involving the toe, the heel, and the AFD).
It was at that moment, Rick Howell knew what his life's work would be.
"If this happened after the leading expert (Gordon Lipe) serviced my bindings — then something's wrong with bindings, settings, testing, service — or any combination. I must solve this problem."
Meanwhile, Rick had no injuries while competing as a starting-member of the varsity, winning, Fayetteville-Manlius, New York, high school track and cross-country running teams (New York State champions).
Circling-back to learn what might have caused the skiing injuries — one year later, at age 13 — Rick became Gordon Lipe's part-time, weekend, lab assistant for SKIING magazine’s binding test reports.
Over the next 3-years, Rick learned that although Lipe's obsession with 'safety' was well intended, his focus was not balanced with actual skiing. Lipe's theories were based on Lipe's background as a brilliant mechanic (see footnote 1). 'But Lipe was not much of a skier. Rick was an active racer named to the NY State Ski Team (2). During high-school in the late-1960's when Rick began to modify his bindings to meet Lipe's suggestions, the bindings could not be raced without pre-release or—ironically—without elevated settings to avoid pre-release. Elevated settings defeated Lipe's notion of 'safety'. To Rick, the concept of 'safety' began a different meaning, because pre-release is dangerous — potentially far more dangerous than no-release. Pre-release can cause impact with a tree, a lift-tower, another skier — or even 'firm snow' — possibly causing severe upper-body injury (head, spine, spleen). Rick believed that a 'properly functioning' binding should provide retention at chart settings (further ironically, because 'chart settings' were originally developed by Lipe). Solving this problem in part at age 16, Rick had a machine shop fabricate special ski-binding components to enhance edge-control without elevated settings.
One year later while Rick was visiting his sister, Beverly Howell, at Burke Mountain Academy and while still in high school, a major ski-binding company — Salomon SA of Annecy, France — came across his modified bindings and a deal was struck to integrate Rick's developments into what became the worldwide #1-selling alpine ski-binding throughout the mid-1970's — the Salomon 555. (Also during high school, Rick scored 100’s in AP-Biology and AP-Physics.)
Rick Howell racing for New England College at the NCAA Division-1 UVM Winter Carnival, 1975.
During the mid-70's while double majoring in engineering and business at New England College, Rick became a solid regional competitor in ski racing (3) while skiing on the hot-selling 555 ski-bindings that he co-developed. These bindings were, of course, further-modified by Rick. 😉
Rick Howell at MIT's Charles Stark Draper Labs, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1976 conducting his undergraduate engineering thesis on ski-bindings.
Rick conducted most of his undergraduate engineering thesis on ski-bindings at MIT's Charles Stark Draper Labs — 'How Ski Bindings Affect Ski Vibration', mentored by MIT Aerospace Engineering Professor, Larry Young, Sc.D. Rick was never a student at MIT: Rick graduated in 1977 from New England College. Professor Young was at that time the chairman of the interdisciplinary Harvard-MIT Biomedical-Engineering Department and Chairman of the ASTM skiing safety committee: Professor Young invited Rick to follow-through on his ski-binding research at MIT's Draper Labs (part of Rick's research was also conducted, on-slope, at Pat's Peak ski area in Henniker, New Hampshire).
Starting also in 1974, Rick began attending and voting-on the promulgation of ASTM ski binding 'safety' standards at the 2nd annual ASTM skiing-safety meeting in Montréal ... continuing to today ... pro bono.
At the same time in the mid-'70's, Rick owned a small ski-binding service center located near the finish-line of the slalom racing trail at Pat's Peak ski area in Henniker, New Hampshire — catering to a wide range of regional racers. Rick was a Certified Binding Mechanic by Carl Ettlinger through the Skiing Mechanics and Manager's Workshops in 1973, '74, '75, '76, '77. Each racer’s bindings were individually modified and adjusted to special Howell-developed racing settings through the use of a Vermont Release Calibrator. Rick's binding modifications combined together with his special racing settings averted pre-release without the need for grossly elevated settings. Almost all of the NEC Ski Team, including Rick, raced with Howell-modified bindings and Howell-developed racing settings — with zero pre-release and zero injury — during 4-years of NCAA Division-1 ski racing.
Although the Salomon 555 was worldwide #1-selling throughout the mid-1970's, it didn't take much effort to discover that it was not great, functionally. Its success was sales-related due to a strong marketing campaign managed by the smart-marketing guy, Art Currier. Knowing this, Rick began a double-major at NEC — adding business.
Also at the same time, 1970-'77, Rick co-developed (together with Gilbert Delouche & Claude Gantet of Salomon SA of Annecy, France) a method to measure on-slope ski binding retention that could be matched to lab-measurements through the use of specially fabricated dynamic-impact test equipment also co-developed by Rick.
Further, from 1974 to '77, Rick co-developed together with Wolfhart Hauser, MD, of Munich, Germany, Dr-Eng Peter Biermann of Stuttgart, Germany, and others — what's now called the 'DIN-System' — utilized worldwide ever since by 20-million skiers — including today. This activity was pro bono by Hauser, Biermann, Howell, and others — causing a major ‘skiing safety’ benefit, worldwide, by reducing leg fractures 80%.
In 1977, one season after Rick was ranked #5 in the US (29 FIS Points) in the Downhill discipline of alpine ski racing — and was already considered by many in the ski industry to be one of the leading experts in ski-bindings — ‘new’ bindings he was testing, failed. Rick lost a ski, skied off a cliff at ~60 MPH and landed on a ledge — rupturing his spleen. This was life-threatening. The operation to remove the spleen was successful — but this event was the last straw. The test device fabricated by a 3rd-party broke the night before the race while testing others' bindings, precluding Rick from testing his own bindings. The test report in SKIING magazine misrepresented data. ‘And the binding manufacturer had supplied incorrect specifications on the binding. After a full month in the hospital — ending his ski racing — Rick Howell fully embarked into his critical mission . . .
‘To determine what went wrong with the bindings, the test equipment, and the test-report — Rick decided to work for Geze ski binding company. During the next 8 years — from 1978 to 1986, starting at age 25 — Rick became the full-time North American Product Manager (some of Geze's features are now within Look's non-pivot bindings), then becoming Director of Marketing at Geze during the last 4 of the 8-years. Rick was presented with the Geze GmbH parent company's 'Glass Award' for successful business accomplishments that caused over 100,000 pair of bindings to be sold in a single year. The bindings became 'best rated' by Carl Ettlinger (then) of SKIING magazine (again, how ironic) and by Stuftung Warentest consumer reports in Germany. Respectfully, the entire team at Geze — especially the German engineers — caused this improvement, not just Rick. While Rick was Director of Marketing, Geze USA went from an unprofitable 2% market-share to a profitable 20% market-share. This profitability-success was mostly due to the leadership of Geze-USA president, Tim Jamieson (a former bank-president in NYC — a finance-genius); due to Rick's product and marketing management; and due to the work of 20 independent sales reps (see photo of the Geze-USA sales team in Montenegro, below). That was a great team effort.
Rick Howell, Geze USA Product Manager (1978-'86) utilizing a surrogate metallic-tibia ASTM F-504 ski binding test device fabricated by Carl Ettlinger of Vermont Safety Research (another irony). Photo, 1981 at Sugarbush during the introduction of the Geze SE3.
At the request of Geze GmbH, the parent German company of Geze USA, Rick also presented his marketing strategies to the Canadian Geze distributor, Raymond Lanctôt, Ltee, at their twice-annual sales meetings in Montréal and at Mont Tremblant ski resort in Québec. Rick's presentations to Lanctôt spanned from 1978 to 1986.
Geze USA sales team in Montenegro, 1986. From left: Tom Beckley, Tatiana, Chuck Bell, Roger Ford, Richie Fredericks, Kathy Morrison, Roland Böhme, Barb Bishop, Dick Lavigne, Peter Kidd, Ray Skeleton, Peter Kennedy, Rob Haggerty, Mike Adams, Rick Howell (blue hat), Bill Ehmke, Mark Sweeney. Photo by Tim Jamieson, president of ELAN-Geze USA.
A few years after Rick left Geze in 1986, the ski-binding division of Geze GmbH was successfully sold to Abel Swiss watch company. The next year, Abel sold the Geze ski-binding unit to Group Bernard Tapie. Shortly later the French government seized, then sold, Tapie's ski-binding assets (Look and Geze) to Rossignol SA. (Today, Geze GmbH has 390-million Euros of annual revenue and employs 2,800 people in the architectural building-hardware business. Geze is one of the largest producers of high-end architectural door and window hardware in Europe.)
Going back ... 'Starting in 1982, and concurrently while working full-time at Geze, Rick started his own company on the side (under a non-corporate opportunity agreement with Geze USA and Geze GmbH) to invent, develop, and manage the manufacturing and distribution of what became the world's 1st hands-off clipless bicycle pedals, CycleBinding — creating the category of hands-off clipless pedals (Howell-sole-inventor, US Utility Patents 4,640,151 and 4,803,894). In 1989, CycleBinding, Inc. was sold to the Shelburne Corporation of Shelburne, Vermont. Over 1-million pair of clipless pedals are sold per year — including now.
Rick Howell, inventor, founder and professional manager of CycleBinding — world's 1st hands-off clipless bicycle pedals (2-years before Look), winner of BICYCLING, OUTSIDE and VELONEWS magazine road tests, 1983, '84, '85. 'Utilized by Scott Molina to win 25 consecutive USTS triathlons and by John Howard to set 3 world-records. 'Outsold Look 3-to-1 (1984, '85, '86) at Bike Nashbar and Specialized catalogs and at the California retail-chain, 2 Wheel Transit Authority.
Immediately upon selling CycleBinding in 1989, Rick owned a turn-key-enterprise that successfully invented, developed, pilot-manufactured, and market-launched the first complete line of high-tech snowshoes & snowshoe bindings for Tubbs snowshoe company (5) — which Howell-invented snowshoes have been are remain today worldwide #1-selling (Howell-sole-inventor, U.S. Utility Patent 5,259,128).
Rick Howell's company, Howell Product Development, invented & developed (1990-'93) through a turn-key contract, Tubbs snowshoes (worldwide #1-selling, each year, from 1993-to-today) —also expanding the total snowshoe market 50-times its original size.
All during these successful developments, Rick lived and skied in Stowe, Vermont where he continued to modify ski-bindings to mitigate ACL-ruptures without pre-release.
Rick Howell at Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe, Vermont, 2015.
In the Spring of 2016, Rick Howell presented his ACL-friendly Howell SkiBinding technology — utilizing metallic-surrogates (not humans) based on ~10,000 lab-tests — at the 35th SITEMSH skiing safety conference in Inawashiro, Japan. Two related research presentations were then given at the 17th ESSKA orthopedic research conference in Barcelona, Spain; see page 64 & page 111 (reference 6).
ACL-ruptures are, by far, the most frequent injury in skiing = ~50,000 skiing-ACL injuries per year, worldwide. This frequency of skiing-ACL injuries has been on-going for decades — though, recently, the incidence (not 'incidents') is declining, ACL-injuries remain, by far, the most frequent injury in skiing, today. ACL-ruptures are also severe. ACL-replacement surgery costs between US$20,000 to US$50,000 for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, not including the cost of early arthritis, loss of income, loss of athletic performance, and pain. Even highly rehabilitated World Cup ski racers who have sustained a skiing-ACL-rupture never return to full-athletic potential. ACL-injury rehabilitation takes approximately 8 to 10-months to accomplish. If every ACL-injured skier elected to surgically-replace their ruptured ACL, this scenario = $2.5-billion per year. Researchers believe ~40% of all ACL-ruptured skiers seek ACL-replacement surgery = ~$1-billion per year for diagnosis, treatment and rehab. Although medical-costs are socialized in some countries — there is no such thing as free-lunch: the cost is borne in taxes. Over the years, skiing ACL injuries have amounted to ~$20-billion. Further, ~50% of all ACL-injured people experience significant osteoporosis arthritis ~10-years after injury. Skiing ACL injuries are both frequent and severe.
This is a problem Rick Howell decided to solve.
Here is the prevalence of skiing-ACL injury mechanisms:
Prevalence of skiing ACL-injury mechanisms point to 'abduction-dominant' loading (see peer-reviewed research by Tron Krosshaug, PhD and Tone Bere, PhD on skiing ACL-injury mechanisms: Oslo Sports Trauma Center in Oslo, Norway: PubMed).
Utilizing an inverse failure-analysis first developed by Case Western Reserve University Biomechanical Engineering Professor, Eugene Bahniuk, Ph.D. — a full spectrum of loading conditions — an 'envelope' — can explore in great detail ALL plausible ACL-rupture (yellow) mechanisms.
It is now established that abduction-moment (dark green) loading is the dominant injury-mechanism. Here are combinations of abduction-moments and tibia-torques (red) that — together — cause ACL-rupture, depending on where the applied-load enters the ski (7).
Bindings do not release in the above envelope: these are the biomechanical limits of: (a) torsional tibia-fracture — without Wolff's Law — see short black line; and (b) ACL-rupture that arise from lateral force (blue) being applied to the medial (inside) edge of a ski. Example-1: When an abduction force enters a ski 20cm aft of the projected-axis of the tibia — with a magnitude large enough to produce an abduction-moment of 13 daNm plus a tibia-torque of 5 daNm — ACL-rupture will occur before tibia-fracture. Example-2: When an abduction force enters a ski 56cm aft of the projected-axis of the tibia — with a magnitude that produces tibia-torque of 11.5 daNm — the tibia will fracture before ACL-rupture. Both examples assume an average U.S. male weighing 170 pounds and an ACL-rupture limit at 20% elongation. This is a major finding by Rick Howell.
Ski binding toes and heels are force-imparting mechanisms that read and react to force ... and there is a singular applied-abduction-force for each unique combination of tibia-torque at ACL-rupture and abduction-moment at ACL-rupture for any given position where the abduction force enters the ski. An abduction-force entering a ski between -10cm to -55cm behind the projected axis of the tibia can cause ACL-rupture 'before' tibia-fracture. Abduction-forces entering ski -55cm aft of the tibia can cause tibia-fracture not ACL-rupture. The term, "can cause" is used because these two different types of injuries are not only position-dependent — they are also magnitude-dependent (see vertical axis in the envelope, below).
This finding about the position-dependency of the applied-abduction-force that causes tibia-fracture or ACL-rupture — is a major biomechanical discovery that is utilized to address the ACL-problem through special ski bindings.
How can ski-bindings address these findings?
To associate a special ski-binding function to the above biomechanical discovery, we must first simplify all of the above factors. To do this, we convert torsional-torques at ACL-rupture and abduction-moments at ACL-rupture — to applied abduction force at ACL-rupture (see below).
(Light green is 'pre-release'.)
The 2 thin blue lines form a 2D release-envelope for ordinary 2-mode alpine ski-bindings. '2-mode' = lateral release at toe, vertical release at heel. Other bindings with 'so-called pivot-turntables' (not shown) produce worse release-envelopes because no ski boot can release laterally through the side-lugs of a pivot-turntable. Other bindings with ‘diagonal heel release' (not shown) generate approximately the same 2D release envelope because 'diagonal heel release' bindings require lateral-abduction force plus upward-heel loading. ACL-injury-events do not include upward-lateral loading — ACL-injuries include lateral abduction + downward loading. Therefore, diagonal heel release bindings cannot respond to ACL-injury producing events. The manufacturer of 'diagonal heel release' bindings admits in their literature that their bindings have no positive effect toward mitigating ACL-injuries.
The thin black lines, above, form the release-envelope for the new 3-mode Howell SkiBindings — with additional non-pre-releasing lateral-heel release. Further — only Howell SkiBindings are specially-tuned to operate in the 'white space' — below tibia-fracture, below ACL-rupture, and above pre-release.
Rick Howell's pro bono presentations are met with great enthusiasm by most orthopedic research engineers — but not by the other ski binding companies and not by researchers who are subsidized by the other binding companies. At the ESSKA orthopedic conference in Barcelona in 2016, three leading orthopedic researchers stood — including Peter Brucker, MD, a German National Ski Team physician — to signal strong enthusiasm toward Rick's research. Receiving this kind of enthusiasm at peer-reviewed scientific forums is unprecedented — and serves, in-part, to validate Howell’s new ski-binding technology. Full validation must come from a prospective intervention study. A proper prospective intervention study will take ~5-years and cost ~$4-million to perform. Meanwhile, the biomechanical proof is compelling.
Rick Howell's metallic surrogate utilized to test the biomechanical-function of ACL-friendy ski bindings without exposing humans to injury (shown, bolted-together with no-binding, as when bindings fail to release). In this way, there is no bias toward any specific type or brand of ski-bindings when conducting unbiased biomechanical testing.
"Nothing seems to go wrong with Rick's testing because his methods are so simple."
— a leading researcher in biomechanical engineering and sports science.
On October 11, 2016, Rick Howell was granted U.S. Utility Patent 9,463,370 uniquely addressing the positive effect of low stand-height on ACL integrity while imbedding the patented technology into an open-art-version of an alpine ski-binding with non-pre-releasing lateral-heel release.
Howell US Utility Patent 9,463,370, October 11, 2016, the heart of Howell SkiBindings.
"Rick Howell is one of the foremost ski binding engineers in the world."
—Chris Brown, PhD, PE, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, WPI, former NCAA All-American ski racer, peer-reviewed author of scores of scientific papers on skiing safety.
On March 17, 2017, Rick Howell presented his latest pro bono research at the IOC (International Olympic Committee) conference on Sports Injury Prevention in Monte Carlo, Monaco under the chairmanship of Professor Roald Bahr, PhD, of the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center and the session-moderation of University of Salzburg Professor Erich Müller, PhD: 'Mitigation of ACL Rupture in Alpine Skiing Through Ski Bindings' (see page-41). The presentation abstract is published in the February 2017 issue of the peer-reviewed medical journal — British Journal of Sports Medicine, 51:p-331 http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/51/4/332.1
Rick Howell (left) and University of Innsbruck, Sports Science Prof. Werner Nachbauer, PhD (former Austrian Ski Team member) at the top of Sölden, Austria during the 22nd ISSS Conference in Innsbruck, Austria, April 20, 2017.
On April 22, 2017, Rick Howell presented further enhanced biomechanical research at the ISSS (International Society for Skiing Safety) conference in Innsbruck, Austria — hosted by University of Innsbruck, Department of Sports Science — under the session-moderation of University of Munich Professor Veit Senner. Rick Howell's presentation: "Theoretical ACL Integrity with Ski Bindings". The slide-show of this abstract-presentation is free in the Howell SkiBindings on-line catalog.
In early Spring, 2019, Rick Howell presented 5-years of additional new research, biomechanically validating the special release settings for the non-pre-releasing lateral-heel release-function of Howell SkiBindings at ICSS (International Conference on Science in Skiing) at Voukatti, Finland and at ISSS (International Society for Skiing Safety) conference at Squaw Valley, California USA.
Here's the current Position Statement by SITEMSH ( Société Internationale de Traumatologie et Médicine des Sports d’Hiver )
"There is enough mechanical and biomechanical evidence to assert that it is possible to reduce knee injuries in alpine skiing, especially those involving the ACL, with [specially] designed, manufactured and adjusted ski bindings.
The presentations and demonstrations at SITEMSH and ISSS meetings, especially at SITEMSH since November of 2014, show ample support for this assertion.
Conventional modes of release are laterally at the toe and vertically at the heel. To accomplish a reduction in knee injuries, ski bindings also need to have a mode of release, laterally at the heel.
This additional mode allows ski bindings to respond to lateral loads centered on the inside edge of ski, close to and at the rear of the center of the boot heel.
These loads result in a combination of valgus and inward rotational [torques] on the knee.
These two [torques] together, not individually, have been shown to be responsible for increasing the risk of inducing injurious strains to the ACL. Apparently most of the ACL injuries in alpine skiing are caused by these kinds of loads.
Conventional bindings cannot respond appropriately, and clinical trials with new ski bindings should be designed to verify this thesis."
Rick Howell has parlayed his youth's athletic achievements; youth’s skiing-injuries; business and engineering education; co-development of the DIN-System for ski-binding release settings; corporate marketing, manufacturing and distribution management of ski-bindings; history of product development success, including 5 worldwide #1-selling sports products; newly-patented ski-binding technology; and peer-reviewed and approved scientific research on the biomechanical validation of the ACL-friendly function — to develop new Howell SkiBindings.
It was inevitable.
New Howell 880 Pro Powerful anti-pre-release. Never-before-seen edge-control. Liteness. Durability. Patented 17mm low stand-height. A 3rd-mode of lateral-heel release that provides ACL-friendly skiing.
"If Rick's bindings do everything ordinary bindings do — and if there might also be the possibility of mitigating ACL-injury — why wouldn't you ski them?"
—Jake Shealy, PhD, Professor Emeritus, RIT, worldwide leading epidemiologist in skiing.
New Howell SkiBindings will be ready for shipment October, 2023. A 30% discount on the full-price and free shipping* is provided when reservation-deposits ($80) are placed now. To Order by Reservation-Deposit, now:
Howell Venus DIN 2.5-9 Extra ACL friendly for women.
Howell Mars DIN 5-16 Decisively ACL-friendly, anti-pre-release, powerful edge-control.
Howell PlanetB DIN 8-22 Titanium strength. CAUTION: EXTREME SKIERS & RACERS, ONLY.
FLAT-OUT SKIING CONFIDENCE.
It was inevitable.
PO Box 1274, Stowe, Vermont 05672 USA
1— Gordon Lipe's father was the inventor of the automatic transmission — and Gordon was an inherited-owner of Lipe Rollway Bearing Company in Syracuse, New York. He and his father were gifted mechanics who made a fortune selling their automatic transmission technology to General Motors. Gordon Lipe lived on Skaneateles Lake in central New York.
2— While racing out of Cazenovia Ski Club in central New York, Rick earned positions on the New York State Ski Team, 1968, '69 and '70.
3— Rick earned 29 FIS-points in the DH discipline of alpine ski racing — a handicap that placed him 5th in the U.S within his age group in 1976; was a member of the Can-Am Team (USSA 'Eastern Automatics'); and on the New Hampshire State Ski Team in 1976. Separately, Rick also raced SL, GS and DH for the winning Division-1 New England College Ski Team — and was inducted together with the whole NEC Ski Team into the NEC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.
4— Carl Ettlinger replaced Gordon Lipe after Lipe's 12-year authorship of the SKIING 'Binding Performance Reports'.
5— Tubbs snowshoes are not Howell SkiBindings.
6— 'ESSKA': European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy. ~4000 orthopedic clinicians and orthopedic researchers attended the 2016 ESSKA conference in Barcelona, Spain.
7— Not based on prospective intervention study: based on plausible biomechanical research presented by University of Montréal researchers, Nicola Hagemeister, PhD and Yan Chavelier, PhD, at ISSS-Pontresena, Switzerland (2003); and by Rick Howell, pro bono, at ISSS-Niigata, Japan (2005); ISSS-Aviemore, Scotland (2007); ISSS-Bariloche, Argentina (2015); SITEMSH-Flachau, Austria (2015); SITEMSH-Inawashiro, Japan (2016); ESSKA-Barcelona, Spain (2016); International Olympic Committee - Monte Carlo, Monaco (2017); ISSS-Innsbruck, Austria (2017); ICSS-Vuokatti, Finland (March, 2019); ISSS-Squaw Valley Ski Resort, USA (April, 2019). (It's also plausible that Howell SkiBindings, properly tuned as shown in the above performance-envelopes, might mitigate MCL-rupture — but significantly more research is needed to validate the interaction between Howell SkiBindings and MCL-rupture mitigation.)
Referenced scientific / medical conferences:
'ISSS': International Society for Skiing Safety. [https://www.isss2019.com]
'SITEMSH': Société Internationale de Traumatologie et Médicine des Sports d’Hiver. [https://www.sitemsh.org]
'IOC': International Olympic Committee (2017 conference on Prevention of Sports Injury). [http://www.ioc-preventionconference.org/2017/]
‘ICSS’: International Conference on Science in Skiing. [http://www.icss2019.fi]
’ESSKA’: European Society for Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery and Arthroscopy. [https://www.esska.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=996937]
Copyright © 2020 by Rick Howell and Howell Ski Bindings. All rights reserved.
U.S. Patent 9,463,370. Other patents pending.
'Howell SkiBindings', ‘Howell Ski Bindings’, ‘Howell Bindings’, 'Howell Planet-B', ‘Howell PlanetB’, 'Howell Mars', 'Howell Venus', and 'It was inevitable.' are Service Marks (sm).
Content subject to change, without notice.
Howell SkiBindings company is against (a) ski waist widths greater than 90mm AND against (b) all 'pin-binding's' (except Trab TR2 and ‘Shift’, though ‘Shift’ bindings provide no mitigation of ACL-injury). This position statement is due to the association of fat-skis and pin-bindings with severe, high-energy tibia-plateau / tibial-tuberosity fractures, cumulative miniscus-damage, and MCL-rupture. These are the fastest-growing categories of injuries in skiing — matching the growth of fat-skis and pin-bindings. The high-energy nature of these skiing fractures involve 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 and ‘Shift’) — are a serious problem for the sustainability of our beautiful sport. The new ISO standards on pin-bindings must be revised 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.
*US$20 is automatically added to international Reservation Deposits at the time of placing a pre-order.