by Frank V. Persall
There is no denying skiing is an exciting sporting activity. Gliding gracefully down a slope at 20 miles per hour is no joke. However, there are a lot of precautions one needs to take to prevent unnecessary injuries that can be caused by crashing.
One of the important elements or gear needed to ski is the skis themselves. They come with an integral component referred to as ski bindings, which are important to secure your feet to the skis. Safe to say without them, you might as well not try skiing since there is virtually no way to stay on your skis, not to talk of controlling them.
Also, if the bindings are not properly fitted to your skis and ski boots, there is even less control since the power you exert will not be properly transmitted to your skis. This in turn puts you and just about every other skier on the slope at a high risk of injury due to crashing.
As a result, ensuring your ski bindings are properly set is important. Fortunately, adjusting your ski bindings is not very complicated with the right instructions or guide.
Before you can adjust your ski bindings, you will need a couple of things:
a. Some personal information: In this case, you are going to be using a DIN Calculator to find the exact DIN settings for your ski bindings. The information you need include:
v. Boot size and length
vi. Skill Level
b. Screwdriver: This is not often required depending on how new your ski model is. Newer skis come with special locking devices that hold the bindings in place.
c. DIN Calculator: We have provided one for you so you can easily get the right DIN Setting for you.
Once you have all the above, there are three steps to follow:
The first step to adjust the ski bindings of your skis is to know the millimeter length of the sole of your ski boot. This is usually engraved around the heel of ski boots.
Once you find the sole length, place your skis on a table while ensuring the brakes are not obstructed. In case you can't properly recognize them, ski brakes are usually made of hard plastic and sometimes black rubber. They are typically found on the sides of the ski bindings.
Open the bindings and slide in your boot. You should hear a click sound if the boot slides right into place. However, if they do not, you need to adjust the bindings depending on how wide or narrow your boots are. To do this, you will need a screwdriver (for older models).
NOTE: Newer ski models come with a special mechanism that lets you adjust your ski bindings to the right boot sole size without the need for a screwdriver.
After fitting your boot into the binding, you need to adjust the heel length. This is important since bindings typically come with a gradual scale at the front and back.
For this step, you may or may not need a screwdriver depending on the locking mechanism of the binding. Below is the procedure to follow to adjust the heel length:
Assuming you are using an older model, use your screwdriver to loosen the screw located at the back of your ski binding. Very carefully, list the binding forward or backward depending on what is needed until the length of your ski boot is matched.
Once you are sure the heel part of the boot is in place, tighten the screw and ensure that your boot fits securely into the binding. If you double-check and the boot is not securely fit, you might have to further tighten or loosen the screw.
Lastly, you have to adjust the DIN settings of your skis. Essentially, this setting determines the release value of the ski bindings which is very important.
Using a screwdriver, tighten or loosen the tension of the gradual scale at the back and front of the bindings.
NOTE: The higher the number, the tougher it is for the binding to release your ski boots when falling. Hence, it is important to adjust to the right values. Usually, it is recommended to seek professional help when tuning your ski bindings.
Apart from taking your skis to a ski shop, you can also adjust the trigger values (DIN release setting) of your ski bindings yourself using our online DIN calculator below.
Finally, you need to repeat the above process on your other ski. That way, both your skis have matching DIN settings and are properly calibrated. Thereby, in case of a crash, you can easily release your boot from the skis to save yourself from potential injury.
So you might be wondering, what is this DIN setting we keep talking about and why is it important you get it right while adjusting your skis.
DIN setting is a standard put in place to guide skiers on the right tension to have in their ski bindings. The value (DIN Setting) is unique for all skiers as it depends on several specific details including your skiing skills. The value is also equal to the force needed so that your boot is released from the ski binding during a fall.
As earlier stated, the higher the value of the DIN setting, the greater the force you need to exert to release your boot from your skis when falling. Typically, beginner skiers tend to have low DIN settings. This makes it possible for them to remove their skis during a nasty fall or crash which in turn prevents the occurrence of bad injuries that would otherwise be caused when your leg is trapped in unnatural positions. However, professional skiers often prefer higher DIN settings since they ski on advanced slopes and terrain thus requiring more force while skiing or jumping.
There are two ways release force of ski bindings work:
- When there is a big twisting force, the ski boots are released sideways
- When there is a significant forward force, the ski boots are released upwards
DIN value is unique to every skier. The higher the setting is, the faster you can ski since you can exert complete and direct force on your skis. If you set a low DIN value, skiing downhill at high speeds and carrying out high-speed maneuvers and turns can release your ski boots which can cause injuries. This is because the pressure you exert while at high speed might be higher than the release force (DIN Value) you set.
NOTE: A general rule of thumb is that children ( nine years or below) and adults over fifty (50) years of age should have low DIN settings.
While using the DIN calculator, you will be required to input some details such as weight, age, gender, etc. Another crucial piece of information you will have to enter into the calculator to determine the right DIN setting for you is your skiing skill level.
If you are quite confused, here is a small guide on the attributes that can help you determine your skiing ability:
Type I Skier (Beginner)
Type II Skier (Intermediate)
Type III Skier (Professional)
|Likes to ski at slow speed||Has a varying degree of speed||Skis at fast speed|
|Very cautious while skiing||Moderate skiing||Aggressive skiing|
|Prefers smooth slopes||Prefers a variety of terrain||Prefers steep and challenging skiing terrain|
That said, we recommended choosing Type I or Beginner skiing skill level if you are not quite sure of your skiing abilities.
Most modern skis come with their bindings. However, some are sold without binding. Such skis are referred to as flat skis. They are designed to only accept a specific type of binding.
Of course, they do. They link your boots to your skis. Without the link, there is nothing to stop you from sliding headfirst down the sloppy terrain.
They also protect you during a fall by releasing the skis from your boots when the trigger release force is reached.
Ski bindings are important components of skis. They ensure you can ski since they secure your feet to the skis, making it possible to control them. While buying your skis at a store, you can easily get your ski bindings installed and properly calibrated.
However, if you already have your skis, with our DIN calculator, you can easily get the right values that you need to adjust your binding tension scale. If you are not quite handy with tools, you might have to contact a technician to get the job done.
While getting your ski bindings installed, remember that there are different types of ski bindings. The type you get should depend on your skiing style. Also, ensure the binding is compatible with your ski boots. There are different things you need to consider when choosing a ski binding. Be sure to keep an eye out for our article on that.
About Frank V. Persall
Frank is originally from the UK, but he has a passion for skiing that knows no bounds. He has made it his life's mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the World. Frank loves spending time with his wife and three children on ski slopes, as they all share his love for the activity.