Ok first I wanna start off with a little backstory. My dad grew up in Lennox, California. His main recreation was surfing. He eventually moved to Washington after high school. While there he picked up snowboarding. The first snowboard he ever owned was one that he built from scratch out of plastic. He even built the bindings.
My dad taught me to snowboard when I was about 10 and I've been doing so every since. My dad still snowboards as well.
About 5 or so years ago my dad came up with an idea for a new binding design. Basically he wanted to build a step-in binding, except unlike most step-in systems that require a special boot, this one would be universal. He came up with some really rough designs and some even rougher prototypes. Fast forward to today and he has multiple functioning prototypes that he built in the basement by hand. He's been riding them for about 2 years now.
The binding uses straps and ratchets just like your typical bindings (actually it's just one big strap). What makes this design so special though is that when you step down into the binding the strap automatically shoots over your boot and lands in the ratchet on the other side. Then you can just ratchet it down tight and you're good to go.
We think this would be great for people learning how to snowboard because they won't have to sit in the snow fiddling with their bindings. But it's certainly not limited to people who are just learning. These bindings are for anyone who hates sitting in the snow to strap in. Just stick your foot in as you're getting off the lift and you're good to go. This design also provides advantages over other step-in bindings because it is much less likely to get clogged up with snow (Click and Switch bindings come to mind, arrrrggghhhh!).
Right now my dad is calling it B.A.R.N.I.Y. The name is actually an acronym that stands for Boarding for Activists Residing in Non-Island Yards. Don't ask me how my dad came up with it but there you go.
Anyways over the last couple years my dad has been working on getting this design patented. Earlier this year everything was finalized and he is now the proud owner of not one, but two patents relating to his binding design.
Now comes the fun part, we wanna get this thing out to the masses. I setup a simple blog for my dad and told him I'd try and get the word out. We're not trying to sell these or anything, my dad just loves getting feedback so he can improve the design. We just had our first conference call with a firm that specializes in getting patented products picked up by big manufacturers. But that's gonna take some time so there's plenty of room to improve on this thing.
So, if you have some free time, and especially if your into snowboarding, check out our site and post some feedback:
The video on the main page shows the binding in use and gives some information on what my dad was trying to accomplish with the design. My dad edited the video himself. I know it's not the best but for a guy who isn't very computer savvy I was pretty damned impressed. We're going to be filming a much higher quality informational video this season in preparation for when that firm I mentioned starts contacting big manufacturers and sending out packets.
The name B.A.R.N.I.Y. is more of a code name, we're not necessarily going to be sticking with that. My mom's an ob/gyn and she suggested STAT which I kind of like and we've also toyed with Step-One (or some variation of that).
So, if you have any ideas for the design of the binding, the name, or just wanna give your thoughts on it please feel free to do so either in this thread or on the website. Thanks!