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Rottefella

Rottefella

Rottefella is a Norwegian ski binding manufacturer and was the first company to produce telemark bindings. In 1927 Bror With invented the three-pin binding. These use a steel toe piece with three vertical pins that aligned with holes in the extended toe of the boot sole, which was 75 mm wide. The boot was held in place by a metal upper plate riveted to the base plate, which could be clamped down over the extended boot sole.These gave much better control than other bindings at the time and were soon in big demand. The following year, at the 1928 Winter Olympics in St Moritz, several skiers won medals using these 3-pin bindings, which became the standard binding for crosscountry skiers for the next 60 years. Telemark skiing and the 75 mm binding standard were born. Since these bindings looked pretty similar to a rat trap, the company was called Rottefella.

Rottefella was also the inventor of the very sucessful NNN or New Nordic Norm binding system which has skating and classic bindings, and also the wider NNN BC or New Nordic Norm Backcountry bindings we stock for nordic touring skis.

With the rebirth of telemark skiing in the mid 1970s in the US Rocky Mountains, skiers started steeper slopes and found the original 3-pin bindings did not offer enough support, especially as leather boots were being reinforced, with stiffer cuffs and buckles. It was found that adding a sprung cable around the boot heel could supply more control. Originally developed in conjunction with Yvon Chouinard from Black Diamond, Rottefella manufactured the Riva series cable bindings and the Black Diamond Riva Z bindings. With the introduction of plastic boots stronger more dynamic bindings were required and Rottefella introduced the Cobra series bindings with 20 mm riser plates, strong stainless toe pieces and plastic anti-ice plates to prevent snow build up. These bindings used articulated rods instead of flexible cables to attach the heel springs, which were strong compression springs giving progressively more power in the turn and so better control than the extension springs used on the Riva models.

Alpine touring binding technology progressed in leaps and bounds in the 1990's and 2000's and the limits of the 75 mm binding system were all too apparent. Many freeheel skiers were looking for telemark bindings that were lighter, efficient for touring and could transfer much more power precisely to the skis, but it was much easier to list the problems than find a solution. Rottefella invested a lot of time and effort and in conjunction with Scarpa (since new boot design and technologies were needed) in 2007 introduced the NTN or New Telemark Norm bindings . These use a metal toepiece combined with a clamp that connects with a lug under the ball of the foot. A spring mechanism inside the toepiece and connected to the "2nd heel" allows the boot to flex. The first NTN binding was the NTN Freeride. These bindings give extremely precise power transfer to the ski and were quickly very popular with strong skiers who wanted maximum control. The forward flex and articulation in touring mode were limited though, so skiers with a low stance tended to prefer the 75 mm bindings.
Rottefella released the slightly lighter NTN Freedom bindings a few years later, with more articulation in touring mode and increased flex when skiing.

Over the next few years more and more skiers were moving across to the NTN system bindings, and the 2-pin NTN bindings such as the The M Equipment Meidjo 2.1 and the 22 Designs Outlaw X. As a result Rottefella stopped production of the 75 m m standard Riva and Cobra cable bindings in 2016.
Rottefella still produces the original 75 mm 3-pin bindings as well as the NTN Freeride and NTN Freedom.

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