Good news! Starting this season, Altitude Sports, your trusted retailer for technical clothing and accessories, will be selling ski equipment: all the essentials you need to complete your winter wardrobe and sports gear inventory in one place.
Let’s dive into the heart of the matter: your ski gear. When it comes to shopping for ski equipment, the first thing that comes to mind are the skis and boots. Choosing bindings is (too) often relegated to second place. However, bindings are an essential part of the trifecta. Once you’ve determined the right type of bindings for the style of skiing you want to do, you need to know how to mount them on your skis and how to adjust them correctly. Don’t panic! Our experts will guide you through the few steps necessary to mount and adjust your bindings, so you can enjoy your new equipment right out of the box.
1. How to mount the bindings on your skis
Installing at home or at the store?
Before you start installing your bindings on your brand new skis, it’s important to ask yourself if you have the know-how to mount your bindings yourself, or even if you have the right tools at hand. If the answer to either of these questions is no, it’s best to leave the job to a professional. It won’t cost you more than around $50 to have your bindings mounted and adjusted in a ski shop. After all, you’ve just invested a good amount of money in your new gear, so it would be a shame to damage it unnecessarily before the season starts
Ski binding installation is not to be taken lightly. The binding is the device that allows you to control your skis while skiing. Poor installation or fit could result in serious injury. Also keep in mind that a home setup could void the binding manufacturer’s warranty. Please read the warranty sheet carefully before doing the installation yourself.
Binding position on the skis
All skis have one or a few markings indicating where to position the binding. As a general rule, the center of your boot should be one, two, or three centimeters from the center line marker on the ski. You should see a center marker engraved on the underside of the boot sole.
For both novice and powder skiers, the standard binding position is slightly behind the center of the ski. This has the advantage of providing better stability and easier floating in deep snow. Snow park skiers who make sharp turns or want to change direction extremely quickly prefer a more central position on the skis.
Drilling and mounting process
In theory, installing bindings is a simple process. All you have to do is drill holes in the skis, add a little glue and screw the bindings in. First, you need to make sure you put the holes in the right places and drill to the right depth. Be careful not to drill through your new skis! Specialized technicians use the manufacturer’s templates and special drills that don’t go through the ski. The size of the drill varies depending on the composition of your skis: are they made of wood, composite or do they have a metal core?
Once the center mark of the boot is aligned with the mark of the ski, the manufacturer’s template is used as a guide, so the holes are correctly placed according to the length of your boot. After the holes have been drilled and cleaned, you can add a little glue to hold the binding screws firmly in place. When the glue has dried, you are ready to adjust your bindings!
2. How to adjust ski bindings
Adjusting your binding to your ski boot
The first step to adjusting your ski binding is to find the millimeter length of your boot. This measurement is usually engraved on the side or the heel of the boot. This measurement will allow you to adjust the front part of the binding. All bindings have their own adjustment system, but there is typically a tab or latch-like mechanism that allows the binding stopper to slide to the measurement that corresponds to the length of the boot on the measurement scale.
The same adjustments should be made on the back of the binding. Again, use the tab to unlock the device, and slide the binding to the gap corresponding to its size.
To check the fit, enter the front of the boot into the binding and then the back by pressing down on the boot. The boot should snap on easily and both ends should be securely held in place in the binding.
Adjust its trigger value (DIN)
To adjust the release value of the bindings, use a Phillips screwdriver to shift the values by tightening or loosening the tension. This adjustment is located on the front and back of the binding and looks like a gradual scale. The values correspond to the release force of the binding: the higher the number, the less easily the binding will release the boot in a fall. Be careful with the value you choose and don’t hesitate to ask a professional for help.
PRO TIP !
What is the DIN setting and how is it calculated?
The DIN setting refers to a standard for all ski bindings. Its value corresponds to the force required for your boot to be released from the binding when you fall. The higher the DIN setting, the greater the force required for the binding to release and free the boot. A low DIN setting is best for beginner skiers. This will allow the ski to release more easily in the event of a nasty spill, which could save you a lot of knee injuries. Skiers who are able to ski on advanced terrain, or those who do jumps, will prefer a high DIN setting since they exert more force on their skis when skiing downhill or jumping.
In addition to skill level, the skier's weight and height influence the DIN setting for ski bindings. There are a number of online calculators to help you determine your DIN setting. When in doubt, keep in mind that the value is adjustable. We recommend starting with a slightly lower setting to avoid injury in case of a fall, and increasing the resistance as needed. However, it is important to have a rough idea of your own DIN setting when shopping for ski bindings. Since each binding has a range of settings, you should choose one with a scale that places your DIN setting in the middle.
Q: Is it easy to mount ski bindings?
A: Binding installation on skis is an important aspect of your safety on the slopes. A ski binding that is not properly adjusted is likely to release your boot too easily or fail to trigger in the event of a fall. Both of these scenarios can be dangerous and lead to injury, so it's important to know what you're doing and to have the right tools on hand before you start installing ski bindings at home. If in doubt, you can consult a certified technician in the store.
Q: Can I install ski bindings by myself?
If you are qualified and have the right tools, you can do it yourself. If not, have a certified technician install the bindings and adjust them.
Q: Where should the ski bindings be positioned on the skis?
A: All skis have a centre mark to determine where to position the binding. Depending on your skill level and the type of skiing you do, you may want to place your binding directly in the centre, or slightly to the rear of the centreline of the ski.
Q: Do I need ski boots to install bindings?
A: Yep, your boots determine the length and location of the binding on the ski. While all ski bindings are adjustable up to a certain level, all makes and models of boots are different and the binding must be installed and adjusted accordingly - it's important to have your boot on hand during installation.
Q: How much does an in-store installation cost?
A: The price of an in-store ski binding installation is approximately $50. Some stores offer the installation along with the binding adjustment.
Q: Can I mount new bindings on old skis?
A: Yes, it is possible to install new bindings on skis that have already been drilled to accommodate different bindings. However, you will probably have to drill new holes in your skis to accommodate the new bindings. It is not recommended to drill the ski more than twice, as the holes will weaken the structure of the ski.
Q: How long does it take to get ski bindings installed in the store?
A: To avoid waiting too long, go to the shop with your skis, bindings and boots as soon as you buy your equipment, and do it before the start of the ski season. Waiting times are often longer as the season approaches, so we recommend you plan ahead. It usually takes a day or two to get your bindings installed and adjusted on your skis.
Q: How do I choose ski bindings?
A: There are different types of bindings for different skiing styles. Once you have determined what type of skiing you want to do, you should choose your binding accordingly. Also, make sure that the binding model you buy is compatible with your boot. Keep your DIN setting in mind as well: the adjustment value of the DIN setting should be in the middle of the adjustment range offered by the binding. To learn about the different types of bindings and how to choose a ski binding, read our article on the subject.
The process of mounting and adjusting ski bindings can be a bit of a headache. Even with all your newfound knowledge, leave the installation to a professional if you don’t have the necessary tools and skills to do it. It will save you a lot of trouble.
Now that you know everything about setting up and tuning your bindings, put on your boots and strap on your skis – a whole new season of adventures awaits!