Skiing is an adventure-filled activity you can enjoy during the winter. Not only does it give you the rush, but it’s also a way to relish the winter snow. However, skiing can get quite expensive and technical.
Now, if you ski professionally or even just for fun, you probably have had trouble with mounting ski bindings. However, you need to know that installing ski bindings or even remounting ski bindings is pretty straightforward. You just need to have the right tools and, of course, patience.
Besides, mounting ski bindings every day will not only help you get the hang of it. It will also help you save money on your precious skis. Here’s an informative article to help you learn how to mount ski bindings.
What Are Ski Bindings?
Ski bindings are the parts of the ski that keeps the boots intact to the skis. They are made to protect skiers, as they allow the boots to detach from the ski. Not only do ski bindings act as safety devices, but they also allow skiers to control the ski. Aside from these, ski bindings also have two types: integrated and separate.
Integrated bindings are ski bindings that directly comes from the ski manufacturer. Moreover, these are the bindings that are built-in to the skis you’re going to purchase. On the other hand, separate bindings, as the name suggests, are bindings that you can buy separately from the skis. However, for separate bindings, you’ll have to ask a professional to mount the bindings for you.
If you don’t want to spend a hefty amount on professional mounting, you can always do it yourself.
Materials Needed for Mounting Ski Bindings
As mentioned earlier, you need the appropriate tools to mount your bindings correctly. If you’re planning to do it yourself, make sure that you have the following materials.
- Bindings and screws. The bindings should come with screws.
- Binding jig. The jig will serve as a guide during the drilling process.
- Glue. The glue will help keep the bindings in place.
- Drill and drill bit. You’ll need a drill to make holes to mount the bindings. Typically, the binding manufacturer will recommend the drill bit size you’ll have to use.
- OPTIONAL: Ski binding templates. You’ll have to use ski binding templates to drill your holes. If they were not sold with the bindings, you could purchase them from the ski manufacturer.
A Step-by-Step Guide on Mounting Ski Bindings
After purchasing the required materials, you’re now ready to mount the bindings. However, keep in mind that you should take precautions and do things carefully.
If you want to know how to mount ski bindings, below is a brief guide you can follow.
Step 1: Determining the Mounting Location
Knowing where you want your bindings mounted is the first step of the process. Depending on the location of your bindings, the skis will perform differently. Although there are no suggested mounting locations, professional skiers typically have varying preferences.
If you don’t know where to mount your ski bindings yet, here’s a list of the most common mounting locations.
- Traditional Style
Traditionally, technicians mount bindings by looking for the mid-sole point and where it lines up with your desired foot positioning. Usually, this point is 2.5 centimeters behind the ski’s true center. In addition, all-mountain skis are intended to get traditional bindings.
Moreover, the traditional position is best for skiers who mainly do downhill skiing.
- Forward Bindings
Usually, skiers who are more experienced prefer bindings to be ahead of the ski’s true center. This allows them to feel shorter and, as a result, turning at slower speeds is easier. The only downside to forward bindings is feeling that the skis are unsecured when moving at higher speeds. Consequently, maintaining control is more complicated.
Typically, only park riders use this mounting location.
- Park Riding
Skis meant for park and pipe riding are designed in a more symmetrical shape than all-mountain skis. This is because of a “riding switch” or a backward ride after a trick.
Given the skis’ symmetrical shape, park-goers mount the bindings exactly at the ski’s true center. This allows the skis to stay symmetrical. Typically, a ski’s true center is marked by its manufacturer.
- Powder Riding
Do you own a powder ski? Are you planning to use them mainly in deep powder? If so, mounting the bindings further back behind the traditional location is your best option.
Through this mounting location, your weight is felt further back on the ski. This allows for an extra float even through deep powder and crud. It’s also an excellent mounting location if you’re planning to ride often through heavy or wet snow. However, what you have to know is it could make turning a little more challenging on groomed snow.
Step 2: Drilling the Holes
Now that you’ve chosen where to place your ski bindings, it’s time to get to work. Prepare your materials. Also, ensure that your work area is sturdy and big enough to hold the skis.
The jig is vital to the mounting process because you don’t want to ruin your skis by drilling multiple times. It will also serve as a guide to choosing the drill bit you have to use. Although the sizes vary, you must get the appropriate size recommended for your skis.
- Now, align the jig where you want your bindings placed. Once you have them located, you can start drilling the holes.
- Once the holes are in place, make sure to clean the scrap and drill shavings before proceeding.
Step 3: Screwing and Glueing the Bindings
Now, here’s how to mount ski bindings, and it’s quite simple. If you have experience in DIY projects, this step is probably a breeze.
- Put the bindings over the ski and align the bindings’ holes with the drill holes. Put a small amount of glue in the holes before inserting a screw. Use the screws to attach them.
- Using a matching screw tip or a screwdriver, fasten the screw. Ensure that it’s tightly fit and stable.
- Add a small amount of glue to secure them in place.
Step 4: Adjusting the Bindings
After installing ski bindings, it’s now time to adjust them. This will ensure that the bindings will work properly and release your foot in case of trouble. Also, know that the adjustments depend on your size and ability.
- Toe Piece
Measure your boot sole’s length. This can be found in your ski boot’s heel or side and is in millimeters. Using a screwdriver, adjust your toe height. The toe height is also called the toe pressure.
- Heel Piece
Find the proper length setting using your ski boot. The length setting determines when your boot pops out of the binding when pressure is placed from the sides.
Adjust the heel piece until the binding is snug against the boot’s heel.
The ski brakes should be in the correct width and work properly. The brakes’ arms should be flat or parallel with the skis when the boot is with the binding. When the bindings release, the brakes should tilt down and back.
- DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung) Setting
The DIN setting is the force required for the bindings to release. Rotate the toepiece’s and heelpiece’s screw to the appropriate DIN setting. This can be found on top of the toe and heelpiece. The lower the DIN, the easier the bindings will release.
To determine your DIN, you can use a DIN chart or a DIN calculator. While a DIN chart approximates your range, a DIN calculator will give you an exact number.
- Beginners and children typically use lower DIN settings.
- Adult beginners or intermediate skiers typically use DIN settings of 3-10.
- Advanced skiers use high DIN settings. Typically, the number ranges from 6-14.
- The highest settings, 8-18, are used by racers, professionals, and big mountain skiers. However, the highest DIN settings are also the riskiest.
You may also like: How to adjust Rossignol Ski Bindings
Step 5: Testing the Bindings
The last and probably most important step is testing your bindings. This ensures that your bindings have a snug fit and are safe to use.
- Wear your boots, then step into the binding.
- Push down to secure them in place. Using your ski pole, press down on your back binding for a release.
If you weren’t able to release yourself, you might want to lower your DIN setting. On the other hand, if it’s released without difficulty, you may have to increase the DIN setting.
Safety Precautions and Things to Remember
If you’re thinking about installing ski bindings at home, you have to be very careful. As mentioned, ski bindings are complicated. Mounting them on your own is risky and dangerous, especially if you don’t have enough knowledge and the appropriate tools.
Here are some things you have to remember to stay safe.
- Mounting ski bindings requires a drill. When using one, make sure that you are wearing safety glasses. The glasses will ensure that particles don’t go into your eyes.
- If you’re going to use P-Tex, ensure that it’s away from you. Also, keep in mind to burn it in a well-ventilated or open area. This will help you avoid inhaling the smoke.
- Read and understand your warranty papers before proceeding to mount your ski bindings. Some ski manufacturers don’t allow DIY mounting. As a result, mounting bindings on your own can void your warranty.
- Remember that you shouldn’t drill too far and through the ski. If you’re not used to using a drill, use scrap pieces of wood to practice on.
- If you don’t have the proper jig or tools, it’s recommended that you don’t attempt to mount your bindings.
Shop Mounting vs. At-home Ski Binding Mount
Now, you might be asking: should I get a ski binding mount professionally done? If you’re thinking of mounting ski bindings or cross country skis bindings on your own, here’s what you need to know.
- Typically, a professional ski binding mount will cost you an average of $30-$60. However, if you bought a ski package (skis, bindings, boots) from one shop, they’d probably offer to mount for free.
- If you’re thinking of going to a ski shop to have your bindings mounted, go to a reputable one. A lousy mount job can damage your skis and make it more difficult. It can also cause an injury.
- Mounting the bindings on your own is risky. It can damage your skis if you don’t know how to do it properly. Bindings are complicated, too. In addition, it requires tools and can also void your warranty.
- Ski shops ask for your details, including weight, height, age, and skier type. These will help the shop adjust the settings for your bindings.
- Ski binding technicians will require you to bring the boots you use for the skis. This will help the technician mount, adjust, and test both bindings.
- Remember to check the mounting. Bindings should be lined up straight and centered in the same location on both skis. They shouldn’t be crooked or offset as well. If the mount has discrepancies, tell the technician immediately to have it resolved.
Can I mount my own ski bindings?
Yes, you can. However, keep in mind that it’s risky and can void your warranty.
How many times should I remount my ski bindings?
Remounting ski bindings should only be done up to 3 times. Although you can exceed this, the drill holes might get bigger every remount. This may lead to damaging the structural integrity of the ski and will loosen the screws.
Are ski bindings universal?
Most bindings are universal. However, the type of skiing you’re planning to do should match the boots and the bindings.
Will remounting bindings be damaging to my skis?
Your skis wouldn’t be damaged if mounting and remounting are done correctly.
How much does a ski binding mount cost?
The price of a mounting job varies, depending on the ski shop and the area you’re in. Typically, fees range from $30-$60.
If you’re adventurous and love the season of snow, you should try skiing. Although it can get expensive, there are many things you can do to save, especially with mounting ski bindings. Knowing how to mount ski bindings is a beneficial skill, especially when you love skiing. It doesn’t only allow you to do it yourself every time. Mounting ski bindings yourself also helps you save a lot of money.