Since the dawn of DIN rated bindings, “Skier Type” classifications have been confusing skiers everywhere. It is used, along with other personal attributes, to help determine the correct DIN for your bindings to be set at. So what is it and why does it matter?
Skier Type is a rating, chosen by the skier, that describes the way that they ski. It is a confusing combination of skill level, prefered terrain, but most importantly aggression. A shop employee cannot pick this level for you. It is entirely up to you to decide and inform your binding technician so that they can set up your bindings correctly. Most riders fit into one of three categories (there are exceptions). Skiers beware: Choosing the incorrect Skier Type to appear rad is not advised. Bindings that do not release when they should, increase risk of spiral fractures and other injuries.
Skier Type 1:
Type 1 skiers are usually, but not limited to, entry level skiers. They prefer smooth moderate slopes without many obstacles (bumps, moguls, jumps). They also prefer moderate speeds and never ski aggressively.
As a Type 1 skier, you would require lower than average release settings so that your bindings are sure to release in case of a low speed crash. This classification is not reserved for beginners only. You can be an experienced skier and be a Type 1 if you are a cautious skier who simply never takes the risk of skiing fast.
Skier Type 2:
A Type 2 skier is anyone who is not a Type 1 or Type 3. Confusing? It shouldn’t be. Type 2 skiers are those who ski a variety of terrain types at a variety of speeds. You would ski all over the mountain, possibly skiing fast down groomers and taking it slower off-piste.
You could be an expert skier, skiing with your kids. You could just be your weekend warrior going out and skiing at an average pace. Type 2 skiers require average release settings so that it isn’t too hard or too easy to eject.
Skier Type 3:
Type 3 skiers are usually, but not limited to, aggressive experienced skiers. They prefer to ski fast all the time down slopes of moderate to steep pitch. If you are a Type 3, you never take a run off and dislike going slow. You are blazing down everything.
While generally you would be an advanced or expert skier, you can be an intermediate who skis like a madman (or woman) and be a Type 3. As a Type 3, you require higher than average release settings to ensure that you don’t eject from your bindings when you have not crashed. Inadvertent ejection can lead to you crashing and getting injured.
Occasionally a skier may fall outside of the three standard classifications. A Type -1 is someone who requires even lower release settings than a Type 1 skier. A Type 3+ is someone who needs higher than Type 3 release settings. This could be someone skiing steep chutes and couloirs out of bounds that cannot have their ski come off, unless absolutely necessary.
So how is this used?
Your bindings should only be set up by a certified binding technician. They gather your height, weight, age, boot sole length (of your ski boots) and skier type to determine your DIN. It is up to you to provide them with accurate information so that they can do their job correctly and keep you safe. They then read a DIN chart to determine how tight to set the release on your bindings. If you are a Type 2, your DIN is exactly as it reads on the chart. If you are a Type 1 or 3, your DIN moves up or down one spot on the chart. If you are 9 years old or younger or 50 years or older, your DIN moves up one spot on the chart (lower setting).
A ski shop employee will also take your skier type into consideration when selling you skis. Type 1 skiers do not usually require stiffer skis. They will also consider the possibility of putting you on a shorter length ski if you fall between sizes and are a Type 1 skier. A Type 3 skier will usually require a ski that is a bit stiffer. If you are a Type 3 skier, you may also be recommended a longer length when stuck in between sizes.
This article is strictly informational. Please do not try to set your own DIN on your bindings. Check out our Ski Buying Guide or chat with our Customer Service when buying skis and bindings.