Wednesday, December 1, 2021

December 13: Alpine Ski Binding Technology: Past, Present, and Future

The standardization of alpine ski-boot-binding systems and shop practices has resulted in significant injury prevention worldwide. These successes first began with scientific methods of discovery to better understand how alpine equipment works as a system (including the skier), and later how engineering designs and best practices might impact resolution

Please join Tahoe Silicon Mountain, a local network of entrepreneurs and professionals, on Monday, December 13th at 5pm, to hear a panel moderated by Heidi Ettlinger with ski industry experts Dave Carpenter, Dave Dodge, and Jasper Shealy, who have spent over fifty years studying snowsport related injuries, evolving safety practices, and innovating ski, binding, and boot designs.

This presentation will include the work of Carl Ettlinger who, over the course of his lifetime, became a distinguished researcher, discovering methods to reduce ski injuries which led to the production of testing devices, training workshops, and videos to make skiing a safer sport. His collaborative research and resulting innovations have saved the skiing public from tibial fractures costing conservatively by an estimated $600 million dollars annually. Carl was recognized by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) with the honorary title of Fellow for “meritorious and dedicated leadership of the ASTM International Committee F27 and for conducting the seminal research that provided the technical basis for standards that have materially improved skiing safety worldwide.” Carl also received the Carson White Golden Quill Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Snowsports by the North American Snowsports Journalists Association. To learn more about the inventions we rely on today for snowsport safety, visit Carl’s work here:

The panel will discuss:

  • Which design problems have been resolved and what still need to be addressed.
  • How have ASTM | ISO Standards influenced worldwide cost savings due to injury avoidance.
  • How important it is to conduct routine equipment inspections and testing of one’s ski-binding-boot system.
  • What the research demonstrates on helmets' dramatic reduction in serious head injuries vs. fatalities.
  • What information was discovered during four decades of data collection from the Sugarbush Project, and how these research findings continue to inform equipment development today - including the present compatibility guidelines between ski boot soles and binding types.


Heidi Ettlinger served on the PSIA-AASI National Alpine Team from 2012-2021. She is a member of the PSIA-AASI Women’s Advisory Group, the Nancy Oakes Hall Scholarship Committee, the National Education Leadership Council, and the PSIA Western Division Education Staff. Heidi has dedicated much of her career to building and leading women’s adventure programs (in winter and summer) for the public and professionals. Many of which have served as a catalyst for helping more women successfully pursue recreation and professional endeavors outdoors. Alongside designing and implementing training programs, Heidi develops products to recruit and retain new snowsport participants, while growing her business Gearing To Go! For several years Heidi coordinated the Ski and Snowboard Mechanics Workshop along with providing project coordination for Vermont Safety Research and administrative support for Vermont Ski Safety Equipment.


Dave Carpenter is the North American Risk Manager for the Rossignol Group as well as

a member of ASTM F-27 the committee on skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. Dave is the Sub-committee Chairman for F-27.83 on International Standards. He is the Chairman of the US Technical Advisory Group to the International Standards Organization on skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing and has held that position since 1998. Prior to Rossignol, Carpenter worked for Trappeur ski boots. He then became the Technical Service Manager and Product Manager for GEZE ski bindings and Risk Manager for Elan Monarck, Dolomite Ski Boots, Look Ski Bindings, and Look Cycle Products. Carpenter began his industry career with the Mount Mansfield Co (Stowe VT) and various ski and bike shops in the Stowe area. His history includes working with Vermont Ski Safety Equipment Inc building ski shop test devices, product testing for Skiing Magazine, and assisting with the Sugarbush Research project (the longest running ski epidemiology study in the world). Carpenter (much like Dave Dodge and Jake Shealy) has had a close friendship with the late Carl Ettlinger and VT Ski Safety Equipment Inc since the 1970s.

Dave Dodge is the owner and founder of Dodge Ski Boots, serves as the ASTM Sub-committee Chairman on binding test procedures, and has spent over 40 years on standards development with ASTM. Throughout the course of his work as an engineer, Dave has developed over 180+ patents worldwide. Dave founded Composite Developments where he designed and developed products for several snowsport manufacturers. Later, along with colleague Carl Ettlinger, he formed Vermont Safety Developments (VSD). VSD developed knee friendly ski binding technology including two patents Pat# 7,810,833 and 7,762,577. Prior to forming his own businesses, Dodge was director of R&D at Burton Snowboards and also worked at Rossignol as a design and QC engineer.

Dr. Jasper (Jake) Shealy retains emeritus status at Guidance Engineering and is an

invaluable resource for skiing safety knowledge and history. Dr. Shealy has been researching ski related injuries for over 40 years and has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles on the subject. As the science overlord, he continues to play an active role conducting ski safety research with Guidance Engineering.

Please join us on Monday, December 13th, at 5:00 PM online at The event will be available on YouTube as a livestream and after the event. Livestream for this event starts at 5:00 PM on, or log onto YouTube and search for Tahoe Silicon Mountain.

The audience will be able to submit questions online during the presentation.

A suggested donation of $5.00 will help TSM to defray the expenses of live streaming the event. Please donate at

You can find us at or sign up for email meeting announcements here:

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