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Choosing a ski binding can be fun but is also extremely important. This is the component that will keep you safe throughout the life of your set up if used and maintained properly. Typical alpine ski bindings have a DIN range in an indicator window, which directly affects how easily your boot will release from the ski system. Alpine ski bindings are meant to release both left and right in the toe, and upwards on the heel. In the first section below we will discuss how to determine your DIN setting and then move further into how to choose a binding model.
Based on your height, weight, age, boot sole length, and skier type, you will have a DIN setting that must fall within the advertised DIN range of the binding. You can use this Ski Binding DIN Chart as a basic reference to find your setting. Please give us a call if you need help navigating the table. As long as you are not falling on either extreme limit of the range, the binding should be a good fit. For most women and lighter men (100 - 170lbs), a 10 or 11 max binding DIN will be sufficient. For larger individuals (160 - 250lbs) a 12 -14 max binding DIN would be more appropriate. Really only individuals over 250lbs and competition skiers will use a binding with a max DIN higher than 14.
Make sure that the binding brakes are an appropriate width for your skis. You must first find the millimeter measurement of the width of the ski. This can be found on any product page on Powder7.com or is usually printed on the topsheet of the ski. Ski dimensions list three numbers and the middle number represents how wide the ski is underfoot, where the brake will go. So if the dimensions are 115/90/112 then the ski is 90mm underfoot and this is the number you are basing the brake width on. Ideally, you want the brake width wider than the ski while having the two widths as close as possible. However, brakes are designed to stretch about 8mm, so you can have an instance where the brake width is smaller than the waist width of the ski. Conversely, you never want the brake width to be more than 12mm wider than the waist width of the ski. If you have too much overhang, brakes can get caught on pants, loose roots, etc. Choose the option that has the least difference between the ski width and brake width.
Once you have located your approximate DIN setting along with the brake width you need, you can now start shopping through the bindings. Most binding models have multiple brake width options so first find the model then check that that particular model comes with a brake that fits your skis. Below are the best sellers in each category.
If you are an alpine touring enthusiast or are even thinking about doing such activities in the future, you will save a lot of time, headache, and money going with a tour binding from the start. There are varying levels of tour bindings based on how much actual touring will be done on the skis. Below we will break down which bindings work best based on how much the ski will be used for touring versus resort skiing .
It is always good practice to get your bindings tested once before the start of every season. Take your ski setup to any authorized retailer of the bindings and they should be able to do the test in 15 minutes for a small nominal fee. It is also good to turn the tension down on the springs in the summertime. In other words take your screwdriver and dial the setting all the way to the lowest numerical value. If you do this, you will of course have to get them re-tested before the start of next season.
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