How Do We Review Each Binding?

Bindings are often forgotten about when it comes to ski performance, but bindings are the interface between boot and ski, and therefore play an important role in how are skis respond to our movements. The better the binding, the better the skis will perform. But, how do you choose which binding is right for you? Below, the table lists all of the categories we feel are important when deciding what binding to buy. Look for more information on each category below the table.

 Criteria for Ski Binding Reviews

 

These are the specs that will be posted for every binding we review

 

  • Binding Type
  • Skier Profile
  • DIN Range
  • Brake Width
  • Manufactured In
  • Anti-Friction Device
  • Lifter
  • Integrated Binding
  • Approximate weight

 

These are rated on The Good Ride Snowflake Rating System. The more snowflakes, the better the binding. It’s not an exact science but more a general guideline.

 

Adjustability Excellent Holding Power Very Strong Shock Absorption Excellent Heel-Toe Response Excellent
Great Strong Great Great
Good Moderate Good Good
Average Weak Average Average
Poor Very Week Poor Poor

 

Binding Type – Downhill (Locked toe and heel), Randonee (Free heel for climbing, locked for descent), or Telemark (Free Heel)

Skier Profile – What level skier are you, and what type of terrain do you prefer most?

DIN Range – The DIN Range, or sometimes ASTM Range is the set of standards used to determine the binding’s ability to release in a fall. These release settings, along with your height, weight, skier type, and boots will determine how much force is needed for the bindings to release. Generally the lower the number the easier your boot will release from the binding, and the higher the number the more force is required for the boot to come off. This number will usually range from 3 on the low end to 16 on the high end.  Beginners and light-weight skiers will want a binding that has a lower number, while heavier or more advanced skiers will want a binding with higher DIN settings. Please have a trained technician change your DIN settings for you if you are unsure.

Brake Width – Brakes are what keep are skis from continuing down the mountain should they happen to release during a fall. Bindings need to have brakes that are wide enough to fit across the entire width of the ski.

Anti-Friction Device – Some bindings come with anti-friction devices built in to the foot pad. These devices are designed to make it easier for boots to release from the bindings. They keep the boot from “sticking” to the binding surface when releasing.

Lifter – Some bindings have a lifter that lifts the heel higher in the binding. These help to increase the number of edge angles the binding can take before being released from the boot. This is designed more for ski racers, or others who will want to spend a lot of time on edge.

Integrated Binding – Integrated bindings are bindings that are made specifically for the skis you will be riding.

Durability – How long will these new bindings last? Are they made from durable material?

Adjust-ability – Most bindings will fit a variety of boot sizes, and come with a wide DIN range.  The more sizes the binding will fit, and the larger the range, the more adjustable we consider the binding.

Holding Power – Holding power and DIN are generally correlated with one another. The higher the DIN setting the more holding power the binding will offer. However, this is not always the case. Just because you have a high DIN setting, doesn’t mean your boots will not release from your binding. We use this category to determine how well the binding holds the boot in place when skiing.

Shock Absorption – Most bindings are designed to release with horizontal pressure, but you will be able to put a lot of vertical pressure on the binding without release. How well the binding absorbs that pressure is important. Some skiers who prefer large jumps may want a binding that can handle for vertical pressure. Same goes for those who ski bumps. The better the shock absorption, the less stress on our bodies.

Heel-Toe Response – How well do the bindings respond to your movement? Can you initiate turns easily?