It's Like Falling In Love: Skiing the BMF-R Telemark Prototype

A young man's love interests are sometimes many and form an inevitable pattern — or at least this young man's did. I've no doubt that there are high school sweethearts out there who never thought of another, content to stick with their first love for a lifetime. Bully for them. Those people are probably still very happy with the performance of their Black Diamond 01 telemark bindings.

Speaking solely from my own experience, though, finding true love requires some trial and error. As one loves, falls out, then loves again with someone new, they refine what they are looking for and discover new traits they find endearing or perhaps even extraordinary. But sometimes a new love interest’s deficiencies can't be overlooked. For instance, if a prospective mate is attractive, intelligent and fun, but only skis groomers… or, god forbid, doesn’t ski at all.

Perhaps others are not as discerning as myself, in love or when it comes to tele gear. But man, I have skied a lot of telemark bindings, and there have been some truly exceptional developments over the years.

telemark skiing with the BMF binding, tele bindings

The first time I toured a free pivot, oh yeah, that was hot. Getting rid of the cable around the heel? So sexy, thought I'd never need more. The NTN Freedom skied OK I guess, assuming you don't mind spending powder days on the corduroy or fiddling with that toe-lever thingamajig. The step-in/brakes combo on offer from Idaho just last year? That one was a terrible date actually — we weren't together long. But still, my desires were refined. And I kept on looking for tele love.

Let me say that I am truly lucky on the romantic front. My wife doesn't complain when it's her turn to break trail and will happily spend eight or more hours achieving a summit. If it's snowing and I'm feeling lazy after ten consecutive powder days, she will make coffee and breakfast before dragging me up the hill again. She is The One. I've been blessed. But I also refused to compromise.

That unwillingness to compromise has finally paid off when it comes to telemark bindings. I have spent the last month skiing Bishop Binding’s NTN-compatible prototype, the new BMF-R telemark binding. And after years and years of, "Wow, this binding skis pretty good, but...", I have finally found The One.

The BMF-R is no compromises. My buddies have accused me of being a broken record: "It's just like an alpine binding! It's just like an alpine binding!" A statement that is the best compliment a tele binding can get.

If the 3-pin dudes think telemark gear should remain its own unique monster and nothing like it's fixed-heeled competitor, well, people who don’t ski seem to find partners too. For better or worse, Markers and Looks are the gold standard alpine ski bindings. They are easy to get into, ski great and rarely break. These are not compliments often given to telemark bindings. Until now.

BMF telemark ski binding in powder

When I get off the gondola or step up to the trailhead, I toss my skis down, press my toe into the BMF-R and step into the heel. The ski brakes flick up and I'm ready to shred; no bending over, no throwing levers, no "kick kick kick, stomp stomp stomp" trying to get some Byzantine cam system to engage. You wouldn't even know it's a tele binding. It's so easy. Maybe even graceful.

And, totally crazy, the same is true when skiing. Watching from the lift, you can always tell when a skier is making alpine turns on tele gear. The knee angles are wrong, the butt sits too far back, the skis don't really bend. It's one of freeheel skiing's darkest secrets: we're all a bunch of tailgunners, feeling safe in the backseat but not really driving.

The BMF-R offers a true world's first in its ability to switch at will from powerful telemark turns to equally powerful parallel turns. Press shins to cuffs and lay those boards over, bro. There is so much power to the edges.

The BMF-R binding puts you in the driver seat. If you want to ski old-school low, go for it, but there's really no need. Maximum telemark action is available as soon as your heel leaves your ski. No deadness, no rocker launch, just smooth, effortless engagement of your energy to the sweet spot.

Three turns into my first run, I felt like I had new skis; I'd never bent a board with such ease. The BMF-R skis like no other telemark binding before it — an incredible blend of stiffness, activity and user-friendliness. By the end of that first fateful lap, I knew the search was over. I'd found true love. The best skiing telemark binding the world has ever seen. Totally flawless telemark technology. Like she was created just for me ...but only if she likes to go touring, right?



  • Tom Wagner

    Ok, I have to confess being one of the old guys on the hill, Teli skiing for now almost 40 years, I have been fortunate to ski on old leather boots with 3 pins, to plastic and leather boots with a cable around the boot, to a plastic boot with a binding that had center pull cables, to now a ski boot as stiff as a any race boot and the Bishop binding. This latest combo making for one sick skiing machine. With stiffer boots now and a fatter ski than many of my alpine friends the Bishop system allows me to keep running with the young dogs! Favorite comment this winter was in New England when another free healer ( 30 years younger than me asked “Hey what kind of binding is that? Is it easier to get on when you get fat and your stomach gets in the way when bending over to put your binding on”? I almost told the kid to try some up hill and loose the gut! But instead, I told him that Bishop binding will allow him to keep free heeling as his gut keeps growing. It takes the slack out and transmits what you want to your ski now. Can’t wait to see the new binding! Keep up the great work!

  • Nils Vourc'h

    Hello Sirs
    When is if available? What price?

  • Peter Rath

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words…how about a couple thousand?
    Oh so curious and excited, kind of like the locker room talk about the new girl at school!!
    Let’s see her!

  • TA1

    All I can say is “Right Fn On” . " Byzantine Cams" – major LOL!! Can totally relate . Dude, after say 3000 of vert, skinning ,kick turning ,etc , it is absolutely no, I MEAN ABSOLUTELY NO fun trying to struggle to click or stomp back into my binding transitioning for the down. Brakes or no brakes installed ! Tried the NTN Freedom also, still tugs against you on the up ! WHY !!!! Really really tried to like them but have abandoned both and gone back 75m to my Switchbacks (they’re like Tele Uggs) !

    I am stoked about the BMF R though. If it functions and skis as amazing as you’re “Prose” , I’m down!!!!


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