Adjust Ski Bindings
Whether you’re storming down a mountain at 45mph or simply trying your luck by doing crazy tricks and flicks at the terrain park, the ability to do all of that rests on the trust you have in your equipment – specifically your bindings – and the way you’ve set it up.
And while the whole procedure of installation and adjustments might seem like something automatic or simple, it’s not. There are some steps that you need to take in order for your bindings to be in the best fitting position for you.
For that matter, we’ve put together this guide on how to adjust your ski bindings so you can trust yourself – and your bindings – when speeding down the tracks or when gearing up for that sick move you saw the other day.
Important Info You Should Know Before Adjusting Your Bindings
It’s finally here, the day that you’ll finally be able to hit the mountain and start skiing. But, as with all things ski-related, safety comes first. Badly adjusted bindings can lead to a bad experience, and in some cases to injuries, or even death.
Setting Up Your Bindings
The installation of your bindings is a process that cannot begin without you asking yourself two important questions: What are you planning on doing with your skis and how skilled are you with them?
The purpose of the bindings is to keep you safe. When installed right, they are set at the position that is most comfortable for your style and type of skis. Getting them installed the right way is just as important as adjusting them, so if you aren’t sure how to install them, get a professional to do it for you.
The abbreviation DIN is of the utmost importance when adjusting your bindings, and further down this text, you’ll see why. DIN, short for Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institue for Standardization), has developed a scale of release force setting, a scale that has become an industry standard.
The scale is simply referred to as “DIN setting”, and it goes from 0 to 12. Getting the right one for your bindings can really help reduce the chances of you getting injured on your skis. It’s generally accepted that beginners should stick to settings from 2 to 7, and intermediate and experienced skiers should go for a setting from 3 to 12.
In order to find the right setting for you, you can use a DIN calculator. The calculator takes parameters such as height, weight, skill level, age, and boot size. Put them all in and you will get the right setting for you.
The Steps To Adjusting Your Ski Bindings
Getting your bindings installed means you’re almost ready to hit the slopes, now it’s time to adjust the bindings to get them from “ok” to “comfortable and ready to go”.
The good thing about adjusting your bindings is that you don’t need to see a professional (but you should if you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own). There are two aspects to adjusting your bindings:
- You need to make sure that the ski boots are fixed and are firmly in place when adjusting your settings.
- Set the bindings’ release force setting at the right level, so your boots can detach from your skis in order to prevent injuries when you fall or hit something with your skis.
With that said, let’s now go step by step:
Step One: Front Area
First, you start off with the front area. When you set the boot, you’ll first need to center it before you get down to the finesse.
First, you set the length of the bindings to fit your boots, and then adjust them to get the right amount of pressure on them. The front of the boot will have a counter with numbers (usually in millimeters) that you’ll need to match to your DIN result by turning the screw with a screwdriver. Some bindings don’t have screws and counters, but a lock-in system that just clicks into position right away.
Consult a DIN chart if you are unsure. Source: dincalculator.com
Step Two: Back Area
Before setting the rear part of the bindings, you need to make sure that the boot stays on firmly and that there’s no wiggling when you push it sideways or back and forth. After you get it all firm, it’s time to set the DIN setting. Turn the screw clockwise until you get the right DIN number.
Step Three: Test
So you got all the screws right, they match the DIN results, the boots stay firmly in place and are aligned to the skis as they should. Perfect! But how do you really know you got it all right? You do a test by trying them on. Here’s how to do it.
- Get into the boots
Slowly but surely. Have something nearby to hold on, ski poles or something of the sort. Get your feet into the boots and tie the laces as you would when you’re about to hit the mountain. Make sure you got the appropriate socks on!
- See how it feels
How does it feel? Is it too tight? Loose? Just right? There is no right way to feel, it’s personal preference. Just make sure that when you stand up you feel comfortable and stable and that you don’t feel as if the boots are wiggling or have wiggling space.
If everything feels right, then you’re ready to hit the slopes, if not, go back to the beginning and start over. Trust your instinct when testing, if there is the slightest chance of you not liking how something feels, there’s a good chance that particular thing is not set properly. Repeat this as much as needed. If unsure, get a professional technician to adjust the bindings.
Step Four: Braking
Once you’ve got the first and second parts right, you’re ready to go, but now you have to check the brakes.
First, start off by checking that the brakes are set in the right position. This can be done by checking to see how the brakes are lined up when the bindings are still open. If they’re parallel, then they’re all good. Also, the brakes should line up at a 45-degree angle when the bindings are closed.
After the brakes are all lined up, it’s time to test them to see how much force would be needed to set them off. In a testing environment, you want some resistance to be there when pushing against the brake. The power you will exert on your skis will be far greater when you’ll be riding, so make sure there’s considerable resistance, but that the brake is not completely stiff.
Test the brakes and if you’re having difficulties setting off, you’ll need a lower DIN setting. If they’re too low, up the DIN setting bit by bit to get to the appropriate one.
Step Five: Off You Go!
Well then, the front part is all good, the back one too, the brakes are set to help out when needed, and now you’re ready to hit the mountain and get your adrenaline fix. With the right settings, you can feel confident that you will have a fun and safe experience all winter long.
All in all, adjusting your bindings might seem like a bore, but it’s a necessary evil. You need to adjust them in order to be comfy and safe, and considering the speeds at which you can ride and the jumps and tricks you can make with skis, safety is something that every skier needs to prioritize over everything else.
Safe riding out there adventurer!