Choosing Ski Bindings Tips

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What type of binding is best for extended backcountry tours?

Telemark and Backcountry Bindings

Traditional three-pin telemark bindings are common amongst telemark skiers that favor the backcountry. Sole extensions are used to attach the telemark boots to the bindings. Three holes in these extensions are designed to match the three vertical pins in the bindings. Three-pin bindings are suitable for short backcountry tours that do not involve extensive downhill skiing. If you prefer longer tours with more downhill skiing, you might be better off choosing a three pin binding that comes with a heel cable.

Backcountry skiers should look for bindings that come with a brake. These are crucial in the event of a fall. They keep the skis from flying away from you. If you plan to do a good deal of uphill hiking, choose a lightweight binding. Also, choose bindings that can be adjusted by your ski poles. That way, you won't have to step out of your bindings when you transition from apline to touring mode, or vice versa.

What is the purpose of the DIN setting?

DIN Settings

DIN settings are the most important safety element of ski bindings. "DIN" stands for Deutsche Industrie Normen, which is the German industrial organization responsible for setting the standards for binding release tensions. These settings are determined by your:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Boot length and type
  • Skill level
  • Aggressiveness
In general, beginners are advised to use a lower DIN setting. In the event of a fall, the binding will release, and thus prevent injury. Expert skiers need a higher DIN setting, so that the vibrations caused by high speeds in steep terrain do not allow the bindings to pre-release. The average DIN settings for each ability level are as follows:

Beginner — 3 to 6
Intermediate — 5 to 9
Advanced — 6 to 12
Racer — up to 24

Most recreational skiers are advised to lower their DIN settings after they reach the age of 50.

What is an integrated ski system?

Integrated Ski Systems

Although there have been many new advancements in the ski industry, the integrated ski system is perhaps the most impressive. Integrated ski systems involve a ski and a ski binding that have been coordinated to act as a harmonious unit. This allows the ski to flex freely along its entire length.

In the past, ski bindings were mounted in a fixed position under the skier's heel and toe. This restricted the amount of flexion that the skier had underfoot. The new, integrated ski systems feature a rail that allows the bindings to float along the top sheet of the ski. It slides forward and back as you turn, thus allowing the ski to flex along its entire length.

Proponents of integrated ski and binding systems claim that they transmit more power and accelerate turn execution. Salomon, Elan and K2 are examples of manufacturers that have created integrated ski systems.

For whom is dampening important?

Mounting and Other Special Features

In most cases, the farther back the binding is mounted, the stiffer the response will be from your skis. However, since their center of gravity is different from men's, many ski shops will adjust women's bindings so that they are slightly forward of center.

Some ski bindings actually have an adjustable fore/aft device, so that you can move them either forward or back depending on snow conditions. Others have an adjustable forward pressure that allows the bindings to adapt to torque when the skis bend or twist. Advanced skiers will often use ski bindings that contain rubber or some other sort of material that will work to dampen vibrations. This provides safety at high speeds.


Rossignol Ski Bindings for Racing

If you want a high performance binding for ski racing, you'll definitely want to consider a Rossignol ski binding. For example, Rossignol manufactures high end bindings that offer a shorter mounting zone to make the fit more secure and efficient.

Additionally, they provide seven points of contact between binding and boot, as opposed to the average number of three points of contact. The idea is that by using this better binding, you will get a more balanced flex that will allow for better contact on the snow and therefore more control when skiing. Clearly, more control will make your racing faster and more accurate.

What is the 'freeflex' in Tyrolia bindings?

Freeflex Innovation in Tyrolia Bindings

If you ski than you have faced the frustration of bindings that give when you don't want them to. Sometimes, the slightest change in terrain can make a perfectly comfortable ride a disaster when your bindings release at the wrong moment. If this problem plagues your ski trips, you should check out the freeflex technology that is available in Tyrolia Bindings.

Tyrolia bindings introduced the freeflex technology for just these types of problems. The name tells you what you need to know. These Tyrolia bindings will flex with the ski better than any model binding in the past. For freestylers or cross country riders, this flexibility can prove invaluable to staying on your feet. Tyrolia bindings are the feature of Head skis. Next time you are looking at new bindings or all new skis, look into the freeflex options from Tyrolia. You can find them at almost any retailer or from many venues on the Internet that deal in skiing gear.

What type of skier uses Salomon bindings and skis?

Salomon Bindings & Skis - A Popular Choice Worldwide

When it comes to skiing gear, everyone has a favorite. For many people across the globe, Salomon bindings and skis are the only choice. Salomon bindings and skis are made with quality and innovation as the focus. If these are as important to you as they are to the manufacturer, than you should take a look at what Salomon has to offer. Salomon bindings are available for every level of skier.

From men to women to youth skiers, Salomon bindings are available, tailored to your type. Speed, sport, or freestyle, Salomon bindings will give you a ride you will never forget. People across the globe are using Salomon bindings and skis for their adventures on the slopes. If you are interested in trying out Salomon bindings, skis or other products, you are sure to find a dealer near you. You can check out their website for detailed information on all of their bindings, skis, and other ski accessories.

Should I buy step-in ski bindings instead of newer plate bindings?

Step-In Ski Bindings - Traditional and Reliable

When it comes to ski binding, step-in bindings are by far the most common and popular type. Step-in ski bindings are made of both a heel and toe piece. Both of these parts are attached to the top side of the ski. With these types of bindings, a skier need only to slide their boot into position and the ski bindings will lock them into place.

For security, step-in ski bindings have release systems that conform to the internationally recognized DIN scale. Most step-in ski bindings will release a skier's toe and heel in an upward motion, although sometimes the toe will release sideways. The release settings of step-in ski bindings can be adjusted for a skiers personal taste. Be sure that your settings will not put you at risk of being unable to bail out when you need to.

When you are looking into purchasing a set of ski bindings, be sure to know what type of release you prefer and that the model you choose will provide you with it. Step-in ski bindings were revolutionary when they were first introduced and remain the most popular and reliable ski bindings on the market today. There have been many other types of bindings, such as plate bindings, introduced to the market. However, for safety and reliability, stick with what has worked for so many generations of skiers… stick with the step-in ski bindings.

What precautions should I take when Transporting my skis on a rack?

Binding Maintenance

Before each season, it is advisable to have your bindings checked and adjusted. The anti-friction device should be kept clean. If it becomes damaged, be sure to replace it.

During the off season, store your skis in a warm place. If you keep your skis on a car rack while traveling, make sure to cover the bindings. This will protect them from road grit. It is very important to have your DIN settings checked as you get older.

As your ski skills improve, you might want to choose a more advanced binding model. Be sure to buy your bindings are from a reputable manufacturer. Look, Marker and Tyrolia are the most popular.

What are the components of a ski binding?

Components of a Ski Binding

Alpine ski bindings are composed of a heel piece and a toe piece. Their distance from each other is determined by boot length, which is why you should never borrow someone else's skis without adjusting the binding. When the skier steps down into a ski binding, his or her weight locks the device down around the ski boot. Once the binding is secure, the heel piece is responsible for holding the heel in place.

Other components of ski bindings include ski brakes and anti-friction devices. The ski brakes are the prongs that are attached to the bindings. When the binding is released during a fall, the prongs keep the ski from running away. The anti-friction devices are located under the forefoot. They allow your boots to slide out of the binding when the toe piece is released.
Many ski bindings have an accessory known as a "lifter," which helps add leverage and edge angle to your skis. Lifters are especially helpful for new skiers that have difficulty keeping their skis on edge. However, research has shown that a lifter of about 11 to 12 mm is suitable for 95 percent of the skiing population.

For easy transport of your skis, always be sure to lock the breaks together.

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Jolyn Wells-Moran