Ski bindings function as the all-important link between your body’s input – transmitted through your ski boots to your skis – and your skis’ reactions.
Often the least-thought-of piece of ski gear in one’s setup, properly adjusted bindings can mean the difference between a safe day out on the slopes and an injury due to a fall.
Selecting a pair of ski bindings that will perform as expected in the conditions you ski, will release when needed, and will get you where you want to ski, is thus a vital part of choosing your ski gear.
Modern ski bindings are all safe and standardized, so choosing between brands can be a matter of preference and specialty needs.
In this article, we will discuss the different aspects to consider when purchasing ski bindings online at Absolute-Snow.co.uk or in our Hemel store. Read through the entire article to get a good overview.
Retention vs. Release (aka, What the heck does DIN mean anyway?)
The function of ski bindings is to securely hold your ski boot to your ski, allowing for maximum transfer of energy from the boot to the ski, while at the same time allowing your boot to break away from the ski in a situation where doing so would prevent injury.
Bindings are designed to release if a certain amount of torque is reached, typically in a fall. And the amount of torque required before a ski binding releases is usually adjustable, within a pre-defined DIN range. (Note: DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. – in English, the German Institute for Standardization – which is the organization that oversees the ski boot release standard.)
The proper DIN setting for any skier is dependent upon the skier’s height, weight, ski boot sole length, and the skier’s style and personal preference. DIN settings can be adjusted at home or on the mountain; however, we reccommend that all skiers take their bindings to a local, certified binding technician for adjustment and testing.
Ski binding DIN settings range from 0.75 (for little kids’ skis) up to 18+ (for racers and big-mountain skiers who do not want a ski to release under any circumstance), with most falling somewhere in between and offering skiers a range of usually around 8 to 10 different DIN settings.
High performance skiers (e.g. skiers who frequent no-fall zones, skiers landing big jumps or drops, and high-performance carvers) will typically want a higher DIN setting, allowing them to stay in bindings longer and trust in their own ability to ski out of a situation where a binding with a lower DIN setting might release.
Less aggressive skiers are often more interested in saving their knees from potential injury, and prefer their bindings release easier when excessive torque is detected.
In general, recreational skiers will want their bindings to have a DIN range from 4 to 10, while performance-oriented skiers will want a DIN range going up to 12 or 14, with racers and big-mountain skiers looking for DINs up to 16+.
System/Integrated Ski Bindings
These days, many ski manufacturers are designing binding interface systems that are designed to allow a pair of skis to flex through their natural range of motion without the bindings causing any unnatural resistance.
Typically these skis will either be sold with bindings already mounted and ready to ski (such as the Rossignol Zenith Z72 Carbon ), or will come with special plates and specific binding mounting requirements that will be spelled out in detail.
The advantage of these systems is the ski manufacturer has devoted their time and energy to ensure a good synergy between ski and binding.
The downside is these integrated packages can often be costly, don’t allow you to mount the bindings on another pair of skis in the future, and restrict you to one specific binding.
Ski Binding Brake Width
Ski bindings come with brakes, which flip down when the boot is out of the binding, preventing runaway skis on the slopes. Be sure to purchase bindings with breaks wide enough for the waist width of the skis you intend to mount them on.
Each ski binding should list the brake width in the product description. And many binding companies will sell their bindings with a full range of brakes, designed to accommodate skis with waist widths from 70 to 132 mm.
You can also buy after-market brakes for most bindings on the market today.
Ski Binding Weight
As we said earlier, modern ski bindings have been standardized and tested to perform as advertised, so a lighter weight binding will perform just as well as a heavier one.
But weight savings can be an important factor in overall skier performance, and can certainly affect the price of a given pair of ski bindings, with lighter-weight options generally costing more.
Only an individual skier can determine how much he/she is willing to pay for a pair of bindings that are a few grams lighter than another pair.
Do You Need New Ski Bindings?
If the skis you’re pulling the bindings off of are played-out, the answer is yes.
In fact, if you’re even asking yourself this question, the answer is probably yes.
Sure those old Salomons or Markers or Tyrolias might technically still “work.” The fact is that modern ski bindings will perform better and will keep you safer than your out-of-date pair.
Plus, many ski shops (including ours) won’t even mount bindings that are 7+ years old for fear that you’ll come back and sue them when you fall and the bindings don’t release as they should.
So unless you’re pulling a pair of almost-new bindings off a pair of last-year’s skis you just didn’t like, it’s probably time to buy new bindings.
Buying Ski Bindings Online
Shoppers with Absolute-Snow and BargainBoards can buy ski bindings with confidence because we offer a no-hassle Return Policy*, and a Price Match Guarantee.
We also offer a binding mounting service. If you buy skis and bindings with us we can mount the bindings for you at no extra charge. All we need are your boot sole length, ability level and where you would like the bindings to be mounted (we mount them centrally as default). Please read our terms and conditions.
* We cannot accept returns once bindings have been mounted or used in any way.
We recommend you consult your binding manufacturer’s guidelines before adjusting the DIN settings on your ski bindings because all bindings are different. The following table has been produced as a guide only and you should not adjust your bindings without first seeking expert advice. If you fall over whilst skiing, it is very important that your ski detaches easily from your boot to prevent you breaking your leg. Safe DIN settings for your bindings vary according to your weight, boot size and your skiing ability.