Mounting your bindings onto a pair of skis should be taken seriously. The basic steps are deceptively simple: you position the bindings, drill guide holes and screw on the bindings. But to be safe on the slopes, installing bindings requires a great deal of precision and expertise. To install ski bindings yourself, you need to understand your specific skis and bindings and how you ski.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- K2 information about specific skis
- Marker information about specific bindings
- Measuring tape (optional)
- Ski boots
- Assistant (optional)
- Tape (optional)
- Marker DIN chart
Research your particular ski and bindings using the manufacturer's website and any materials that came with your skis. Newer K2 skis will have a binding placement graph on the ski sidewall. This chart shows where to position the skis for different types of skiing.
Determine how you will ski most of the time. An expert skier going very fast through backcountry terrain will need a binding placement different from the one used by someone who skis leisurely in groomed powder. For example, if you are planning to ski mostly in a terrain park, you may want to mount your bindings in a slightly forward position, which gives greater control for turns.
Research your binding and ski combination. Reading about your specific equipment will help you fine-tune ski performance through the binding placement. Many backcountry skiing websites---most are forums and blogs---provide information and a place to ask questions about maximising the combination of a certain pair of skis and bindings on certain types of terrain.
Understand Your Skiing and Equipment
Find the "midsole" mark---the traditional centre of the ski. This should be a small mark on the sidewall of the ski, otherwise known as the BOF or "ball of foot" mark. If there is any doubt about the location of the midsole of the ski, you may need to measure the ski to find the exact centre. Measure by pushing the skis together tightly with the bottoms flat against each other and measuring the part of the skis that touch (not the tips). Divide by two to find the centre.
Position your boot on the ski, with the centre of the boot lining up with the centre of the ski. It might be easiest to do this with the boot on your foot.
Put the toe clip of the bindings onto the ski, lined up snugly with the boot. The toe clip cannot be moved once it is installed, so take care to line it up properly and make sure it is perfectly straight.
Remove the boot from the toe clip carefully, without moving the toe clip. You may need assistance with this, as the binding needs to remain precisely in place. Mark the holes for the screws through the binding.
Choose a drill bit. You may need to consult the instructions that came with the bindings to see what size of drill bit you need to make the guide holes. Choose carefully---a too-small drill bit could mean your bindings will be loose and a too-big bit could damage your skis.
Drill guide holes, taking great care not to drill through the ski. You can put a piece of tape on the drill bit to help you know when to stop. Check the manufacturer's literature for suggestions on how deep to drill.
Screw in the toe clip. Tighten the screws snugly, but do make them overly tight.
Put your boot back on and step into the toe clip. Line the boot up perfectly straight with the heel clip. The boot should fit perfectly into the two clips, as if you were about to get on the slopes.
Remove the boot without moving the heel clip. You may need assistance with this. Mark the position for the screws.
Drill the guide holes for the heel clip, again taking care not to drill too deep. Screw in the heel clip.
Put your boot back on and clip into the binding to test the fit. Repeat this process with the other ski.
Install the Bindings
Check for a fore-to-aft adjustment. Some Marker bindings have this, which allows you to slightly change the position of your bindings on the skis without remounting the bindings.
Check for your DIN setting on a manufacturer's chart. This is the setting where the bindings release the skis. A low DIN setting means an easier release point---usually for less experienced skiers. Higher settings mean the ski will release only under higher pressure. Getting this setting accurate is important in avoiding serious injuries, like broken legs, from skis releasing improperly.
Adjust the DIN setting. Marker bindings have had issues with releasing unexpectedly. Make sure the DIN setting is correct for your type of skiing.
Adjust the Bindings
Tips and warnings
- Moving bindings forward a few centimetres works best with flexible skis used for tricks and terrain. Stiff skis only ride well with the bindings installed in the centre of the ski. If you have specialised skis, such as twin tip or racing skis, you want to understand how the binding placement affects their performance. Some technicians recommend filling guide holes on the skis with epoxy before screwing in bindings to waterproof the holes. This may vary based on the type and age of the skis.
- Installing your bindings yourself usually voids the manufacturer's warranty. There are many places where errors could cause the bindings to malfunction on the slopes, such as drilling the wrong hole size, making the screws too tight or not tight enough and using the wrong DIN setting. If bindings are not installed correctly, they could release unexpectedly, not release or come off the skis under high pressure.
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