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Pilot, Prolink, Turnamic, plates... 2017-18 nordic binding systems

It's getting complicated in the nordic binding world.

Not only are ski manufacturers customizing their skis with plates and pre-drilled holes specific to certain bindings, Salomon has entered the NNN arena and opened up more brand crossover opportunities.  It's getting confusing determining which boots, bindings and skis will be compatible and which will not, plus whether the system you are using may be in danger of extinction. 

Here we've attempted to make things a little more clear, starting with a brief history. 

old cross country ski bindings

There used to be two major binding systems: New Nordic Norm (NNN) and Salomon Nordic System (SNS).  NNN bindings had two narrow ridges.  They were made by Rottefella and branded by Fischer, Alpina, Rossignol and Madshus.  Salomon bindings had one wide ridge.  The boots matched accordingly.  You can read more about binding history here

In 2005 the first plate system came out: the Nordic Integrated System (NIS).  These NIS plates were affixed to the ski by the manufacturer and the binding was slid onto the plate rather than screwed directly into the ski.  It is possible to mount a non NIS binding onto an NIS ski by screwing right through the plate, but if you have an NIS binding and a bare ski you need to buy the plate separately in order to mount the binding.

NIS plate on a cross country ski

Salomon opened up their opportunities in 2016 with the release of their Prolink binding.  Prolink is compatible with NNN.  Salomon now makes many of their boot models with Pilot and Prolink soles, so you have a choice.  This opened up mix-and-match opportunities between NNN and Salomon.  

In fall 2017 Fischer and Rossignol released the new Turnamic binding system, which slides onto an Integrated Fixation Plate (IFP).  Turnamic bindings are NNN compatible.  Unlike an NIS plate however it is very difficult to screw a non-Turnamic binding onto the ski through the plate because of the way it is manufactured.  Salomon is working on making an adaptor plate available that will allow you to mount a Salomon binding on an IFP plated ski.

Turnamic bindings are easy to get in and out of; simply twist the Turn Lock mechanism at the front.  You can also simply step in (automatic binding style), then use your pole tip to turn the Turn Lock to get out.  The biggest development with this new binding is its adjustability which is easier than NIS.  When you want more grip, slide the binding forward a few notches.  More glide, slide it back.  All this is tool-free so you can do it anywhere out on the trails.

Turnamic binding

Salomon started pre-drilling their skis in 2016.  This means only a Salomon binding will match the holes in the ski.  Because they have bindings to fit both SNS and NNN soled boots this doesn't limit you for boot selection, it just means you need to buy a Salomon binding (Profil, Pilot or Prolink) if you don't want to drill extra holes into your new ski.

Salomon pre-drilled skis

Naturally, the question arises: will Pilot be obsolete soon?  Salomon says no, they will continue to manufacture Pilot boots and bindings.  There are many who prefer the control of the two-pin Pilot system for skate skiing especially.  Salomon still makes Profil boots and bindings even though this system is outdated; they have a history of supporting their customers so you won't find your Pilot equipment suddenly obsolete.

Saskatoon skiers on Salomon equipment

If you are unsure about what binding system to go with, or what your current equipment is compatible with, feel free to contact us at the store.  We love questions about anything nordic skiing related :)

cross country skiing

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Comments


  • Hi Michelle,
    Yes, you can put new bindings on older skis. For your Huski wood skis you’ll need a direct mount binding (a binding that is not meant to slide onto a plate, but that is screwed directly onto the ski).
    Cheers,
    -the Eb’s team

    ebsadventure on
  • Hi
    I am new to cross country skiing and just came across two pairs of Huski classic wooden skis in excellent condition. I am wondering if I can put newer bindings on them???

    Michelle Lindemann on
  • Hi Amy,
    Flex 115 refers to how stiff the rubber flexor is in the binding. Those are very stiff – obviously this is a binding for skate style skiing. Which makes us think you bought skate skis.. in which case they will not be appropriate for classic skiing, if that’s what you want to do with them.
    To figure out what boots you need, it’s necessary to pin down the binding style (couldn’t resist the pun). Salomon made a few different kinds of bindings and they are not all compatible with each other. Any reputable ski shop should be able to tell you what boots you need if you let them take a look at the binding. Or you could email us a photo and we can tell you: ebsinfo@shaw.ca.
    Hope this helps,
    -the Eb’s crew

    ebsadventure on
  • Hello, I purchased these skis used and wonder if maybe I wasted my money! I can’t figure out what type of boots to buy to fit these bindings. They are Salomon and say Flex 115 on them. Any ideas?

    AMY GLASS on
  • Hi Trevor,
    Answer to your Question 1: It sounds like you are talking about an NNN binding, which has 2 narrow ridges down its length. If so, then any boot that is made with an NNN sole will fit, such as Fischer, Alpina, etc (Question 2). Question 3: the binding with the bar that sticks out like that is the first binding Salomon made. They then advanced with their SNS Profil binding, then SNS Pilot, and currently it is SNS Prolink.

    ebsadventure on


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