Project

Relevance

Ski touring is in vogue – a holistic sports unit for strength and endurance, which combines two already beloved disciplines: Mountaineering and skiing. Here, the maxim „easy uphill, stable downhill“ applies, a compromise between ascent and descent performance that has a particular impact on the safety of touring bindings. The tech binding developed specifically for ski touring has now established itself as the standard and has displaced the comparatively heavy frame binding. Today, more than 90 percent of ski tourers use a tech binding, even though it has been proven that this type of binding has significant deficiencies in the areas of safety and stability during the descent. Since the extent of the risk of injury – in the event of a fall – correlates directly with the reliability of the release function of tech bindings, there is an urgent need for action in the further development of tech binding safety.

Abstract

In order to counteract the increasing risks of injury and to preserve the attractiveness of the popular sport, the author of this master thesis focuses on the design and development of a tech binding with safety release function. For the implementation, she has been cooperating with the German company BMK Bearbeitungstechnologien, based in Marzoll, Bavaria, since November 2021. The complete development process – from the initial idea to the final design and the associated planned marketing – of the Tech3 tech binding is documented in the thesis: Relevant subject areas for ski touring were first theoretically analyzed and qualitative as well as quantitative market research methods were used, to understand the needs of the defined target group and to identify decision-relevant purchasing criteria. The analysis of the empirical data resulted in a list of requirements that were considered as the basis for further product design. The entire development of the Tech3 was illustrated using freehand sketches and 3D models. The final design, technical data and information on function, material, production and binding assembly was given and a usability test provided information about the initial reactions of the target group to the tech binding. In order to record the intended market entry and sales strategy, the startup „GRAT“ was fictitiously founded. Detailed insights into the company, its structure, marketing and financial planning are provided in the business plan, to examine how the product can be successfully launched.

The Tech3

The Tech3 was developed specifically for ski touring and is suitable for both beginners and experienced ski tourers. It proves itself as an all-rounder for classic ski touring on and off-piste and combines adventure and safety. To provide a safe and reliable pin binding, the Tech3 features a lateral release mechanism on the toe piece. This allows the specific release values to be set directly on the toe piece, where the lateral forces act most in the event of a fall. The Tech3 is distributed by GRAT through retail partners in Germany and Austria, is 100 percent made in Bavaria and promises a lifetime warranty.

Appendices

Creators