Marker Duke ReviewMay 5, 2014
- Good power Transmission to the Ski
- Low Stack Height
- Easy adjustment between AT and Alpine soles
- Super secure feeling upon clicking in
- Transitions are slow
- Tend to ice-up a bit on the binders.
I own a pair or Marker Duke bindings, but I never really plan on skinning too far on them. They are just to heavy to be a real BC touring binding in my mind. But they have their place, and it is close to the resort, or 80-foot hucks with a bit of an approach.
The Marker Dukes are the head of the Marker royal binding family. The Dukes came to me mounted on a pair of 184 cm Voikl Mantras. The Mantras have a lot of metal in them, and combination of this ski and the Duke binding made for a heavy setup for pushing some spring slush. Stepping into Duke at the top of the gondola gave me a nice resounding click into place. That always makes me happy, and it gave this binding a very Alpine binding feel for the downhill run.
While trying to get used to the tip and tail-rockered Mantra, I found myself wheeling around and slamming bumps, and jumping off of kickers, and generally skiing hard around the resort–the whole time knowing that eventually I had to put the skins on and give them the old uphill test. As is the case with all of Marker’s touring bindings, I had to step out of the Duke to switch to touring mode. This is not really a deal breaker but it is something that could be improved.
Stepping back into the binding, I immediately notice the weight of the setup for uphilling. But that just it; Marker hopes you will feel as secure as possible in an AT binding for the downhill. . After I made a few steps of along the flat, the angle of the slope increased and it was time for me lift the heel riser. This is where I give Marker big props. With virtually any ski pole basket, it was easy to switch heel lifters from flat to medium and medium to high. It took just a quick flick of the pole before I was on my way again. This might be my favorite characteristic of the Duke.