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After the much acclaimed release of the Magneto and Afterburner, Spark R&D took them back to the drawing board to make a great binding even better. This year Spark replaced the Tesla Magneto and Afterburner with the T1 Arc and Surge models.

These new T1 models kept the much acclaimed pin-less Tesla baseplate but included several new updates. The major update for the T1 models is the reduction from two climbing wires to one, hence the T1 name. An updated climbing wire baseplate has two perches which are set at different heights. These new revisions reduce the weight of the binding while still giving the rider 12 and 18 degree climbing wire options. Another great advantage to the single climbing wire base plate was that it had the ability to be designed with in a narrower and shorted length. These designs allowed for the creation of both the Women’s Arc and Women’s Surge models. These sizing refinements along with shorter heel cups help to reposition the highbacks for women. Following suite with the previous models, the Arc features a lighter weight machined baseplate and a softer designed highback. The Surge model features a solid baseplate with a stiffer highback for those hard chargers out there. Riders looking to upgrade their Tesla binding to the T1 system can save some dough by maintaining their current heel cups, highbacks and straps and purchasing the Arc or Surge baseplate kits.

arc-ripnflip-highbackw-fladed-webWorking their way up from the redesigned baseplate Spark went with a redesign of their highbacks. Spark began by 3D scanning various boot models to create a highback which was truly fit around boot design and shape. In addition to slots for the Strappy Stap the new highbacks feature a quick and easy touring to riding mode adjustment. With a simple flip the highback can be adjusted from touring mode at -13 degrees, to your standard ride setting of 0-22 degrees forward lean. These new Rip N’ Flip highbacks are available as upgrades for your current Blaze, Burnere, Magneto and Afterburner bindings.

Riders who move from the Magneto to the Arc or the Afterburner to the Surge, can expect to see a weight reduction of approximately 100 grams per pair.

The new highback adjustment is very simplistic and will be great for those with boots which allow for additional stride. Riders who are accustomed to using their poles to deploy their climbing wires, may have some difficulties with the new single wire system. The new design no longer has the climbing wire coming to the rear of the baseplate where it was accessible. Currently riders have been bending down and deploying their wire by hand.



Colin Balke is a content editor for who lives in Northern California. When not plucking away on a keyboard, he can be found splitboarding, camping, backpacking, or hanging out with family and friends.

One Comment

  • packfill says:

    I’ve upgraded my Burton Hitchhiker bindings to the new Surge highbacks…two thumbs up. I like to ride with a bunch of forward lean. It was always a pain in the has to have to adjust the highbacks after every run. Now, just flip the lever and you’re good to go.