How to Choose Ski Bindings
Since many skis are not coming with integrated bindings it is once again important to make sure you purchase the correct ski bindings. Bindings are what connect your boots to your skis, so they are very important in terms of your safety. They also are designed to absorb shock and minimize vibrations. This guide will help you choose the bindings that best suit your needs from The Ski Bum.
The DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung), is the scale used by skiers to determine what release force you should have in your bindings. A lot of factors go into determining your personal DIN range, so it is not something to take lightly. Generally, taller and heavier skiers will require a higher DIN setting. Ability level also comes into play, as advanced skiers will also need a higher rating. Finally, boot size matters. If two people are the same dimensions but have different boot sizes, the one with the smallerboot will need a higher DIN setting, as the smaller person will put more torque on the binding. Below is a nice guide based on weight and skill level that can help you select your DIN setting.
.75 - 4.5 DIN - Small, Junior children should look at this setting.
3 - 11 DIN - Heavier Juniors and Advanced Beginners would fit into this group.
3 - 12 DIN - This would be for heavier beginners, or lightweight skiers that are advanced.
6 - 14 DIN - For advanced-expert lightweight skiers, or heavier advanced skiers.
6 - 18 DIN - If you go this high, you are an aggressive expert skier. Any DIN over 10 is for experts who should know what they are doing. Mostly used to ski big mountains or for competitive racers.
Usually, a higher DIN range on the bindings mean the bindings are made with stronger materials and therefore will be more durable. For expert skiers, having a high rating is a necessity, as when you are aggressively carving at high speeds, your bindings become essential for safety. When choosing your DIN rating, make sure you are honest about your skiing ability level.
Ski brakes come with all bindings, and are attached to the heel of the bindings. Essentially, they stop your skis, preventing them from sliding down the mountain, after release so you can easily retrieve your skis and so they stop without posing any dangers to the other skiers. You want your brake width to be at least as wide as the waist (the middle section) of your ski, but no more than 20 millimeters wider than that. So if your ski waist is 75 mm, then you want to purchase bindings with brakes in the 75- 95 mm range.
The correct width is important, because if your brakes or too wide or narrow they will be ineffective. For example, if your brakes are too wide, they will drag in the snow when you edge your skis and they may break from constantly hitting the ground. On the other hand, if your brakes are too narrow, they will not clear the edge of your skis, making them ineffective.
As you can see from this guide, owning the correct ski bindings can have a major effect on your experience. For safety reasons alone, buying bindings should be taken seriously. With the assistance from this guide, you should be ready to purchase your bindings from The Ski Bum, ensuring that you will be safe and secure on your next ski trip!