Marker has long been the king of burly, backcountry capable bindings with offerings like the Duke, Baron and Tour. But the Duke is about to get a whole lot bigger for the 2012/13 ski season when the new Duke EPF is released to the masses. Marker showed off the new Duke at the Outdoor Retailer 2012 Winter Market, and judging by the elaborate throne that lorded over the booth, they expect the Duke will continue to reign over the backcountry binding market.
So what makes the new Duke so special? Marker says it all has to do with EPF or Extended Power Frame. That basically means that the platform will be 28% wider with a new screw pattern that is 10mm wider than before. This should give the bindings more power transmission edge to edge on fat skis that are 89mm and wider underfoot.
The Marker Duke EPF will also have an improved climbing aid that has three positions – flat, 7-degrees and 13-degrees, and features a rubber covering that is easier to access with a ski pole. They’ve also moved the pivot point back so that it’s more under the ball of the foot for a natural stride and redesigned the guiding plate that will hopefully allow less ice and snow to clog up the channels that make the binding go from tour to ski mode. The toe piece is also a new design that makes it lighter in weight but no less burly.
Looks like the Marker “Royal Family” has a new monarch… maybe the Duke EPF sould be renamed the Marker King. You’ll be able to click your ski boots into the new Duke this fall.