One of the things you’ll have to do at some point if you’re a regular skier is know how to mount ski bindings.
In case you don’t know, ski bindings are what release you from the ski when the pressure put on them is greater than their release settings.
What do they look like?
Ski bindings are basically a toe and heel piece. The toe piece of the binding releases sideways and sometimes upwards too, and the heel piece releases upwards or in various directions.
Professionals can mount the bindings onto your skis, but it’s actually a simple task to do. So should you do it yourself? Here’s everything you need to know.
Why Do You Need To Mount Bindings?
The answer to this is simple: your safety while skiing depends on your bindings because they keep your boots securely attached to your skis.
Maybe you’re worried about doing it yourself, in which case a good idea is to purchase skis that already have integrated bindings on them. Or, you could go to a shop professional for help with mounting your bindings if your skis don’t have them. But honestly?
It isn’t a big job to mount your own ski bindings at home. You just need to ensure you have the right tools.
DIY Tips For Mounting Ski Bindings
Before we get started with the tutorial, it’s important to note that when mounted, your bindings need to be lined up and straight. They need to be centered in the same place on both skis.
If they’re crooked or not properly aligned, this could result in injuries. So, you really need to ensure that you take your time to do them properly!
How To Mount Ski Bindings – Step-By-Step Guide:
Step One: Choose Where To Place The Bindings
You need to consider what type of terrain you’re going to be skiing on in order to find the best location for the bindings. If your answer is all-mountain terrain, it’s best to follow the ski manufacturer’s recommendation.
If you’re a powder or park skier, you’ll need to mount the bindings in the middle as this will give you greater balance – this is especially important if you’re a park skier so that you can master those aerial tricks!
If you’re a beginner and don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best to stick with the center mark that’s already on your skis – this is a reference point for mounting bindings.
Step Two: Get A Jig
You shouldn’t try to mount your bindings without a jig. This is a piece of metal or plastic that’s placed on top of your skis and it helps you to drill more precisely.
Yes, you’re going to be drilling holes into your skis. You can purchase a jig from a ski shop. Avoid paper jigs as these aren’t precise.
Step Three: Get The Right Drill
You’re basically going to be drilling holes into your skis to mount the bindings, and for this a regular drill and quality drill bit will be sufficient.
Step Four: Drill The Holes
Set the jig on your ski in the mounting position you’ve chosen and then drill the holes.
You don’t want to drill too far into the ski or go through it. It’s a good idea to drill a few practice holes on some wood to ensure you become comfortable with it and get the right size.
Don’t make the hole too big or small. If the hole is too big, it won’t fit your bindings correctly, and if it’s too small it won’t be enough to accommodate them. But don’t worry too much – the jig you use will usually also inform you of what size you should use.
When you have completed drilling the holes, remove all the drill shavings from the holes.
Step Five: Put The Bindings In Place
Now you can put your bindings over the holes you’ve drilled. Use screws and some glue to keep them in place. To ensure that they will remain secure, you could first put some glue into the holes before you insert the screws.
Make sure you fasten those screws nice and tight. Just don’t make them too tight otherwise this could cause the bindings to crack.
Make Adjustments To The Skis
Have you attached the ski bindings to your skis?
Great, but you’re not done yet! You need to make some adjustments to your skis. This is because ski bindings are adjustable. They need to be so that they are able to release your foot if you happen to fall or twist your foot.
That said, they have to be the right size so that they will offer you security depending on your body and other factors.
Here is how to adjust the skis.
Adjust The Binding’s Size
You need to know the length of your sole – this is usually measured in millimeters and you’ll find it near your ski boot heel. Once you have that number, you should put your skis on a flat surface so that you can free their brakes.
Open the binding by holding down the two levers and then sliding the toe of one of the ski boots into the front piece of the binding. Press the heel and you’ll hear your boot click into place.
If it seems like you have to struggle to get your boot into place, you’ll need to make your bindings wider or smaller to get the right fit. So, you’ll need to make use of a screwdriver.
Turn it anti-clockwise to loosen the toe piece, or clockwise to tighten it. When the toe piece is a bit wider than your boot sole length, stop turning the screwdriver.
The above adjustment might not be necessary if your ski binding is a recent model. Some of these have built-in mechanisms so you can adjust them without having to use any tools.
Adjust The Heel Length
Another important thing you should do is adjust the heel length. For this, you’ll need to loosen the screw that’s at the back of the binding. Lift and move the binding forward and backwards to ensure that it matches your boot length.
When you’re done, tighten the screw. If it’s not right, you’ll have to repeat the process. Remember that you should do this with both skis to make sure that they’re adjusted in the same way.
Adjust The DIN Release Setting
What’s a DIN release setting?
It’s a very important safety feature because it’s the force that’s required for a binding to be released to prevent the skier from being injured.
Look at your ski bindings. You’ll see a series of numbers on the heel and toe pieces. These are the DIN numbers. Interestingly, the DIN setting will also be different for different people. It’s based on factors such as the skier’s weight and ability.
To make it easier for you to figure out your DIN setting, Snow Online has a nifty calculator. You just have to punch in your weight, skill level, snow boot length, and age, and it will give you a DIN setting.
For example, if your weight is 110 pounds, your skill level is rookie, your boot length is 278cm and your age is 30, you’ll get a DIN setting of 8.5.
It’s important to note that your DIN setting will probably change over time. For example, if you put on or lose weight. Similarly, if you’re carrying a heavier backpack, this could also change your DIN. The type of snow you’re skiing on can also affect the DIN setting!
You’ll see different numbers representing DIN settings on the binding. With the use of a screwdriver you’ll be able to adjust them to the correct setting.
If you’re worried or unsure about tweaking your DIN setting, make sure you ask someone at your local ski shop to help you out.
What’s the danger of a too-high or too-low DIN setting?
If your DIN setting is too high, it could result in you not being able to get free from your skis in the event of a fall or crash. A too-low DIN means that the ski binding could become detached when you don’t want it to!
How much do ski bindings cost?
Bindings for beginners can cost between $100 and $200, while expert ones can cost over $500 (via Roundtript). If you’re getting your bindings mounted professionally, you might have to pay extra money for that.
Before you hit the slopes, make sure that you’ve mounted your ski bindings. These are one of the most important skiing safety features so you want to ensure that they’ve been mounted correctly.
After reading this guide, you’ll have a better idea of how to mount ski bindings and if you’re up for the task of doing it yourself or should consider heading over to your local ski shop for a pro to do it for you.