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~ Sunday 29th September 2013

PLUM are the new big name in lightweight ski bindings and the clear leader in the race to better the already brilliant class leader Dynafit now their patent has expired. Where Dynafit have diversified and added  running and biking kit and clothing to their existing huge range, chez PLUM it's pretty much bindings only (oh, and some terrifying roller skis) The PLUM tag-line is "100% made in chez nous" and it's true. I visited the factory last week and saw the whole process - huge aluminium bars (OK, it's German aluminium) come in one end and finished bindings leave at the other. Inside, CNC machines run 24/7 making the component parts (80 pieces in a Guide binding!) Only a few bits, like springs, are bought in. It's all very high tech and I expected to see a robot assembly line putting it all together, but in the fact there are just 2 blokes in a small workshop who make every single binding (and brake, roller ski, and mounting jig) by hand! Sometimes a third guy comes in to lend a hand, but otherwise just 2 guys make 12000 bindings a year!

Anyway, I'm now the happy owner of the Race 165 binding. When will it snow? 

Poor "spot the fruit" joke. PLUM rhymes with "room", not "drum". Doh.