A New Binding Approaches: The Barniy (designed by my dad) - Snowboarding Forum - Snowboard Enthusiast Forums
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
japii
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Default A New Binding Approaches: The Barniy (designed by my dad)

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:

www.automaticclosing.com

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!
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I know theyre a proto or whatever but do they/will the have any sort of highback lean adjustment? Adjustable angles on the base? Also How good is the ride? I mean they dont look comfy or overly well shaped for the job, and they must be pretty heavy no? I'd also go for 2 straps, those seem like a big pressure point in the middle of your foot. Hard to say without trying them.

Oh and what price point will they be at? Because they cant ride on the "easy to enter" factor. They have to ride as well as other bindings at that price.

In my eyes they either have to represent a beginners bindings price. Or if the price is higher then ride like a high end binding.

Last edited by Snowjoe; 11-13-2007 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i would have to agree having a toe strap HELPS! i notice when the toe strap is not tightened down my board tends to get squirly. Also have more padding and have some toe ramps :-) good luck!
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What's the flex like? How many moving parts do you have for that? How adjustable are the straps? IMO, those bindings look really really incredibly cheap and incredibly heavy. Not only that, you'd have to make one binding per boot size, because it looks like you can't adjust the heel cup, toe ramp etc etc. In theory, it looks like it would work, but in practicality, I doubt it would work.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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In fact I just had a thought. Your best bet for this would be to try and lisence the technology out to an established binding company who can incorporate it into a high quality binding rather than produce the whole unit yourself.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice to see so many responses already. These are all legitimate concerns that you guys have. They are the same concerns we've been dealing with as we've progressed through the design progress.

The highback does have a lean adjustment. As does the arm that flips over. And you can adjust the highback where it's attached to the baseplate to allow for bigger or smaller boots.

We aren't into the production phases yet so this is far from the final product (my dad built the prototypes from scratch). When we do go into production we will be using different materials that are much lighter (right now it's 3lbs) and there will be many small changes to the design to further optimize it. We appreciate all the impressions so far. We know this design won't appeal to everyone, but keep the suggestions coming so we can make it the best it can be!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowjoe
In fact I just had a thought. Your best bet for this would be to try and lisence the technology out to an established binding company who can incorporate it into a high quality binding rather than produce the whole unit yourself.
Ya, we've looked into this. First we need to get the word out though and since our patents are finalized this is the next step. We figure there's no better way to improve on the design than to ask snowboarders what they think. Even if this isn't a binding you would ride, people who actually snowboard know more about the hardware than some corporate guy.

And ya, if we went into mass production ourselves, the materials would be much higher quality and our goal would be to make a binding that can holds it's own in todays market as far as durability and aesthetics go. Keep in mind my dad built this prototype in the basement from scratch. So of course we didn't have many resources. Our main goal was just to get the design out there and functioning properly.

Last edited by japii; 11-13-2007 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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this could be more directed also at kids bindings because they usally do not have a toe strap just the ancle
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkmouse
this could be more directed also at kids bindings because they usally do not have a toe strap just the ancle
Not only that, but they'd be able to spend less time on their ass and more time flying down the hill!
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The problem is I dont think people are actually that bothered about strapping in. Its minimal amount of time in reality. If people wanted ease of access that badly then the Flow and K2 cinch bindings would be controlling the market, but people are still going for the conventional.
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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cool idea,

run with it!
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