The Pure 8, Pure 10 and Core 12 brakes can be switched quite easily. It only takes about 5 minutes, at least with a little practice.
(This image is of the brake for the Ultra World Cup race binding.)
Here is a small trick/tip to make it much easier:
Use the brake retracting/locking mechanism to hold everything in place (just like you were putting the brakes into touring mode), then install the screws. The lock will hold everything in place before even a single screw is installed.
Coming in 2020, the Core 12 Pro will have the same heel mounted brakes – and a new available Freeride Spacer.
Can you remove the brakes on the Pure 8/10 and Core 12 Pro and ski without them?
Yes. This doesn't impact uphill or downhill performance, other than you could have a runaway ski. You will lighten each binding by 47 grams.
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Here's a little help.
There are differences in both the heel and toe. Read on for more and to see which is best for you.
Click for the details.
Here is a recent conversation that started asking how the Hagan Off Limits compares to the Altai Hok (no comparison). In the last paragraph there is a question about sand skiing with the Hagan X-Trace Pivot binding.