By Steve Kopitz
With many manufacturers going back towards traditional flat skis instead of integrated systems, binding selection has become an important topic again. There few key things you need to consider when choosing the best ski bindings for your ski, including DIN Range, Binding Type and Brake Width.
DIN Range – This dictates what weight/ability range the ski bindings are designed for. DIN varies by height, weight, age, ability, and boot size so having knowing these basics helps to instantly narrow down the correct choice for you. Skiers that weight more and are taller require higher DIN settings as well as skiers that are more aggressive. Also, if two skiers are the same exact height, weight, and ability the skier with the smaller boot is able to put more torque on the ski bindings, therefore needing a higher DIN setting as well. Here are some basic guidelines on what DIN range to look at. If you have a large foot for your size then you can drop one level or if you have a small foot for your size you can go up one level.
• .75-4.5.75-4.5 Youth Skiers Only Under 90lbs
• .75-4.52-7.5 Youth and Teen Skiers or Beginner Adult Skiers Under 140lbs
• .75-4.52-9(10) Teen and Intermediate Adult Skiers under 150lbs
• .75-4.54-12 Advanced Teens and Intermediate to Advanced Adults less than 190lbs
• .75-4.56-14 Intermediate Skiers over 190lbs or Advanced/Expert Skiers 150-210lbs
• .75-4.59-16 Advanced to Expert Skiers over 190lbs
Binding Type – Often the higher DIN range ski bindings have the more durable it is designed to be. This is important for more aggressive skiers, freeride skiers, and freestyle skiers. While the highest setting on the DIN range might be greater than you need the better binding will hold up the rigors of aggressive and freestyle skiing. Ski Bindings that mention steel or metal construction are typically going to be more durable.
Brake Width – All ski bindings require a safety brake. They come in many different widths and are often replaceable. When purchasing a ski binding make sure that the brake width is at least as wide as the waist (middle) dimension of the ski you intend to put it on. On the flip side try to avoid brake widths that are more than 20mm larger than the waist width of your ski, they will end up dragging on the snow when you turn and the brakes can end up breaking.
So to simplify things figure out the best DIN range for yourself, decide how tough you need your ski bindings to be, and double check how wide your skis are. Once you have done these three tasks your binding selection will be narrowed down to two or three options that best suit you.