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Turnamic Binding System

Turnamic Binding System

If you have been paying attention, there is a slow rumble of a(nother) new binding system. Last year was a big change to the binding wars with Salomon bringing Prolink to market. While the dust was settling this last season from that bombshell and it finally looked like we were headed towards fewer binding choices rather than more, the waters get murkier with the launch of Turnamic, a joint project from Rossignol and Fischer.
Turnamic Binding Image

Turnamic - What is it?

Simply put, Turnamic is a new plate, binding and boot-sole system that is NNN compatible. It is a joint development of Fischer and Rossignol. The Turnamic plate is also called Integrated Fixation Plate (IFP), a two-piece plate that is permanently mounted on all Fischer and Rossignol skis (instead of the NIS Plate as previously). Turnamic bindings slide onto the plate and are adjustable to all foot sizes and binding locations without the need for tools.

So if it is still NNN compatible, why make the change?

From our standpoint and limited time on snow with the Turnamic system this spring, it is an interesting development. It makes the landscape more complicated, but really, it doesn't change things much for the consumer. In our opinion, Turnamic has grown out of industry frustration with Rottefella, the company who owns the NNN brand. Rottefella makes NIS plates, NNN bindings, and NNN boot soles. The Norwegian company has been somewhat unresponsive to consumer and industry feedback, and slow to bring new developments to market. The big brands have been licensing NNN technologies which had significant costs as well as tied them to using NNN boot soles, binding plates, and bindings. These two big factors - cost and technical limitation - seem like the big drivers behind the Turnamic system.

Here is the info from the Press Release:
Power and dynamic action from the boot to the ski means a better experience on snow. Fischer is proud to introduce a new range of bindings, binding plates and boot soles under the TURNAMIC® brand that delivers a higher level of performance. The market leader in Nordic skiing fulfills its role as a result. The TURNAMIC® bindings and soles are based on existing
standards as they are compatible with the worldwide established NNN® profile.
The new products with their ground-breaking technologies are made for the requirements of cross country skiers of all age groups and ability levels. Intuitive and easy to use. An important step in convincing able skiers and growing the appeal to new customers of the immensely attractive sport of
cross country skiing.

What makes the new TURNAMIC® setup so compelling is its easy use. The bindings quickly slide onto the plate without the use of tools. When it’s time to ski, the Turn Lock mechanism can be operated even with a gloved hand making entry and exit easier than ever before.

Throughout the entire model range, tool free adjustment is available and easy to use. Technique, temperature and snow composition all have an influence on ski performance: With all TURNAMIC® models, this completely tool free adjustment allows skiers to better match their individual needs.
Sliding the system forward provides more grip, while sliding it back will noticeably improve glide. From the novice to the World Cup skier - everyone benefits.

Thanks to the optimised setup of the boot-binding-plate-ski components, TURNAMIC® gives you dynamic skiing performance like never before. FLOWFLEX® technology enables the ski to flex freely.
Whereas optimum power transfer is the decisive argument for the racer, the more easy-going skier appreciates perfect control. This is where all of Fischer’s product development expertise is available for everyone to experience.

That all sounds great, but what do you at BNS think?

Right! We at BNS are always trying to keep it simple and reduce the clutter to make it easier for you, our customers, to make informed choices. In this case, the complexity is annoying, but there are some positive aspects of the new system.

The Turnamic system provides solutions to several consumer and industry complaints:
  1. Easier access in and out of the bindings. Many people have been frustrated by the Xcelerator binding catch - it can be difficult to operate with gloved hands in the cold. Turnamic solves this with a big handle that twists and offers a manual option in the high-end Turnamic Race Pro binding while having simple automatic entry bindings in all lower price points, even some of the race bindings.
  2. Easier adjustment of the bindings. No tools are required to install and adjust the bindings. The bindings easily adapt to different foot sizes and binding positions on the ski.
  3. Stiffer platform. Some feel like the NNN Xcelerator binding is not stiff enough for skating. The Turnamic mounting system tries to stiffen the binding interface with the new plate and different materials. We have not had enough time on snow to really confirm this, but initial tests seem to show that it does feel stiffer - more like the old R4 bindings from NNN.
  4. Better ski flex. The NIS plate is a single piece of plastic that runs over a large section of the middle of the ski, altering the ski's characteristics as both the ski and the plate flex. Turnamic plates come in two sections and the heel attachment of the binding is made to provide fore-aft movement while keeping torsional and lateral stiffness. This allows the ski to flex more smoothly and ostensibly results in a more supple feel through the kick phase in both skating and classic.
  5. Increased Boot sole options. Moving to their own system allows Fischer to not only migrate bindings and plates but also boot soles. The limited options provided by Rottefella have allegedly frustrated the big boot makers for years. By untying them from the Rottefella sole, they are free to make their own soles and not have to pay royalties as a bonus. So far, the Turnamic soles we have seen are unremarkable - they are fine, but they do not add any huge improvements to the landscape yet. As time unfolds, we will likely see better boot soles across the board.

Who's on First?

Turnamic, Prolink, NIS, SNS, NNN, Rottefella, Xcelerator, Pilot, Propulse, Profil, BC? I'm quitting skiing.

How in the hell do we keep all of this straight? Well, it's actually not that complicated and the good news is that Turnamic is NNN compatible, so while it is a new system in some ways, you don't have more compatibility issues to worry about. With Salomon's introduction of Prolink last year, everything is trending towards consolidation on the NNN binding standard. Turnamic continues this trend.

Unfortunately for simplicity's sake, there are now 3 systems that are on the NNN platform (NNN/NIS/Xcelerator, Prolink, Turnamic) and one system on the SNS platform (Salomon). Any NNN, Prolink or Turnamic binding can be used with any NNN, Prolink or Turnamic sole. The only issues you may encounter are plate/binding interface issues - NNN/NIS plates need to mate with NNN Xcelerator bindings, Turnamic plates with Turnamic bindings, Prolink & SNS bindings can be mounted on any ski, but require an adapter on Turnamic plates.

Ugh! We created two tables that hopefully help clarify:
Boot Brand Compatible bindings
Alpina (NNN sole)
Fischer (Turnamic/Fischer Sole)
Madshus (NNN sole)
Rossignol (Turnamic/Rossi Sole)
Salomon (Prolink Sole)
  • Turnamic
  • NNN Xcelerator/Performance, etc.
  • Salomon Prolink
Salomon with SNS Sole (Pilot)
Atomic with SNS Sole
Salomon SNS Pilot, Propulse, Profil
Ski Brand Binding Plate on Ski Bindings that can be installed
Madshus NIS Plate (NNN) NNN Xcelerator or Performance
SNS (drilled into NIS plate)
Turnamic (with NIS adapter)
Fischer Turnamic Turnamic
SNS (with adapter for Turnamic plate)
Rossignol Turnamic Turnamic
SNS (with adapter for Turnamic plate)
Salomon None Salomon SNS Pilot or Propulse
Salomon Prolink (NNN compatible)
NNN (with NIS adapter plate)

At the end of the day, Turnamic is big news, but not big news. Confused? Don't worry about it - we can guide you through this without causing brain damage. As long as you tell us what boots you have, we will make sure you know your options and that everything you have plays well together.

Stay tuned for a short video and report from Nathan on the Turnamic system as he gets his hands on experience while picking skis.