Michael Kreuzinger | Interview
The developer of PINDING® is talking
34-year-old Michael Kreuzinger is the technical manager at Bavarian Alpine Manifest GmbH (B.A.M.) and responsible for the development, design and implementation of PINDING®.
Quite a challenge, considering that Michael doesn't go skiing, but snowboarding. But for the development of this innovative freeride and touring binding it is not a disadvantage, as the following conversation with Michael shows.
Hei Michael. I've heard you're passionate skater and snowboarder. How comes, that you are implementing one of the most innovative ski touring and freeride bindings into reality?
Apart of skating and snowboarding I am a mechanical engineer. If Bambam would have had the idea to bring an innovative jigsaw on the market, I would have also started to develop that! In my job as well as in my hobbies I can just be creative. And if the implementation works like for our PINDING® - that's just great! Honestly, that's what I love.
You are snowboarding, so do you really know what the target audience expects of the PINDING®?
Maybe because I'm a snowboarder, I know that exactly. I can still remember very well how we were on tour with our snowshoes and heavy boards on our backs a few years ago. We have taken that into account for the perfect run. But since there are the split boards, of course it has become much easier. Therefore my expectations of the PINDING® are: Maximum touring performance on the way up and reliable safety and perfect performance on the way down. The safety aspect also plays a very important role! At the age of 23 I had a Cruciate Ligament Rupture after a big crash with my skateboard. That's why, it is my mission to develop the PINDING® as safely as possible to minimize any risk of injury by a potential binding release. I suppose that the majority of our target group feel the same way.
Can you actually test the PINDING® in the snow as well or do you rely on the feedback from the team athletes?
Of course I can test my baby. The 30 meter cliffs I may leave to the hardcore riders. But everybody, who knows me, also knows that I have to take almost every sports equipment through the wringer. But of course I also depend on the valuable feedback and the opinion of the B.A.M. team riders. Who, if not the boys and girls with 150 days or more on the mountain are better suited to help developing our PINDING®?!
How did it feel to hold the first real prototype of the PINDING® in your hands?
Oh, that was quite ok! But when we started mounting the prototype on the ski the pressure increased enormously. The first steps on the floor in the office including cautious jumps didn't feel so bad. Afterwards it was a very big thing for me when the athletes came back from testing the prototypes with a big smile on their face. No prototype was broken, on the contrary: The PINDING® worked really well. That was an awesome feeling!
What are the biggest challenges in the development of this innovative touring and freeride binding?
It is our goal to establish a product of the highest quality on the market. This will take a lot of time and hard effort! The biggest challenge is to introduce a production-ready PINDING® for the ISPO 2016th in Munich.
What are your personal demands on the PINDING®? When are you really satisfied with the product?
My goal is that everyone who is skiing with our PINDING®, is 100% satisfied! Everybody! I am personally truly pleased, when everybody who is skiing with our PINDING®, comes back with a big smile on his face and our PINDING® is the reason for that.
What is the current state of the development in the PINDING®?
With our successful prototypes we have already taken the biggest hurdle and we were able to demonstrate the feasibility of our idea. Now it remains to optimize some of the features and to develop the items of PINDING® ready for series production.
How do you like it at B.A.M.?
I like it so much that I'm working around the clock. Ok, that was a joke, but: "There is nothing more powerful that an idea whose time has come - PINDING®!" That were the first words of B.A.M. that were communicated via Facebook. And at B.A.M. it really feels like this! The whole team is very motivated and we have much fun together and love what we do! I am where I want to be and do what I want to do! That's not so bad ;)
What are you up to in summertime?
Well, developing a thing called PINDING® ;)
Great, thank you very much for the interview, Michael.
Here we go, Michael Kreuzinger's 5 songs for B.A.M.
Images © Gü Almberger