Ski bindings are meant to do two things—come off when they’re supposed to come off and stay on when they’re supposed to stay on. A ski pre-releasing in the middle of a turn is very frustrating, but so is an injury because a ski didn’t come off during a fall.
With this in mind, the DIN rating for bindings is without a doubt the most important thing to consider when purchasing bindings. Bindings will all have a published range, the highest and lowest setting that you can adjust them to. Below are some guidelines to consider:
· Kids less than 100 lbs should be in the .75 to 5 range.
· Slightly larger kids and beginner adults who are less than 140 lbs, pick a range like 2 to 7.5—better skiers in this same category, look for something like the 2 to 10 range.
· Experienced teenagers and adults less than 190 lbs, look for a range of 4 to 12.
· Intermediate skiers over 190 lbs or experts over 150 lbs, look for a 6-14 range.
· Advanced or expert skiers over 190 lbs should look for a range of 9-16 or higher.
Note that if the ski that you purchase already has an integrated binding system, the binding will be proportional to the ability level of the ski.
As skis get wider and wider, ski bindings with large brake widths are being made to fit them. What this means is that the safety brake on every heel piece must be wide enough to reach around the ski and touch the ground. If they are too narrow they can’t provide the friction to stop a runaway ski. Look for a brake width that is 5-10 mm larger than the waist of your ski (because the heelpiece is behind the waist of the ski in a larger spot).
Bindings are the MOST important piece of safety equipment that a skier has. ALWAYS have your binding/boot/ski setup checked by a professional before hitting the slopes. The correct mount and DIN setting are essential to a properly performing binding.