Ski bindings can be intimidating. They don’t really have any graphics and don’t seem to have features that differ from one to another.
Nonetheless, ski bindings are extremely important and could be the difference between standing up safely after a fall versus a broken leg after a fall.
Now that I’ve scared you a little bit, here are a few easy steps to answer the question; how do I know which bindings will work with my skis?
Your skill level has a large influence on what DIN range you will need to consider. We will talk more about what specific DIN ranges mean below, but for now you need to figure out where you are in your skiing ability.
Beginner skiers prefer mellow terrain and typically ski with a cautious or slow style, which means they can use less aggressive bindings. Intermediate skiers are comfortable on a variety of terrain and tend to ski in control but are capable of skiing more challenging slopes. Since this is the largest group of skiers the type of binding they need will largely depend on the size of the skier. Advanced skiers generally ski at high speeds and are comfortable on all terrain both on and off the trail, so they require the most durable bindings with the highest retention characteristics.
The DIN Range
Weird word, weird numbers. Don’t worry about it. Here’s what the different DIN ranges mean.
• .75 – 4.5 Youth Skiers Only Under 90lbs
• 2 -7.5 Youth and Teen Skiers or Beginner Adult Skiers Under 140lbs
• 2 – 9(10) Teen and Intermediate Adult Skiers under 150lbs
• 4 – 12 Advanced Teens and Intermediate to Advanced Adults less than 190lbs
• 6 – 14 Intermediate Skiers over 190lbs or Advanced/Expert Skiers 150-210lbs
• 9 – 16 Advanced to Expert Skiers over 190lbs
Most men will have a binding that has a DIN range of 6 -12 and most women will have a DIN range of 4-12. Advanced and expert level skiers may choose a binding that has different materials or DIN ranges, or specific types of bindings like AT or Race.
Note that these ranges are approximations and meant to demonstrate a range of the types of skier that is a common DIN range. When you purchase new bindings, please take them to a qualified shop to have them mounted and adjusted by a certified person.
How WIDE is your ski?
The brake width of the binding (the brake is part is the flexible lever that springs downward when your boot is released from the binding) should be as wide as the waist width of your ski. The waist width will be the middle part of the ski and is listed for every ski. So if you have a ski that is 87mm in the waist, you’ll need a binding with a brake at least 87mm wide. The brake shouldn’t exceed 20mm larger, so don’t worry if you need to go up a few millimeters.
Just remember to have a professional mount the bindings on the skis.
ALPINE TOURING SKIER:
What’s a DynaFit Binding?
Simply put, DynaFit, which can be considered a tech binding, is an Alpine Touring binding which allows the alpine touring boot to connect into the toe of the binding and allowing the heel to release. This makes hiking in the backcountry easier.
Are you staying where there are chairlifts and signs that point you to the lodge and warming shacks? If so, don’t worry about DynaFit bindings.
Determining what kind of skier you are and what skis you have will determine which ski bindings are right for you. If you have fat powder skis, you’ll need a binding wide enough to mount. If you are an advance-level skier who wants to head out to the backcountry looking for untouched powder, a DynaFit Bindings may be what you want.