A Step-by-step Guide on How to Mount and Adjust Ski Bindings

Published by Harry Sowers on

Should you Mount or Adjust your Own Bindings?

Skiing can be a tremendously fun time if all the important considerations get addressed. Safety is critical, and ski bindings go a long way in keeping your ski boots in place as you take off down the mountain or at the park. Having bindings isn’t enough, as they need to be correctly mounted and adjusted for optimal use.

A ski shop is likely to sell skis without these boot bindings, so you need to get them on your own. There are exceptions to this rule, but many such cases require a boot purchase with the skis before bindings become a part of the deal. Note that some stores also mount and adjust bindings if you do both the binding and ski purchase at the same time. Skiing without bindings is not skiing at all, and things can get dangerous or even deadly if you try to pull it off.

It’s advised that you read through this guide before you even touch a ski binding. If you want to do things on your own, the process may be an intimidating one. If you’re not sold on your ability to get your bindings mounted or adjusted, then make your way to a ski shop to have a certified technician get the job done. If you are confident that you can get the bindings set up on your own for your ski boots, then go right ahead.

Binding Mounting

ski with mounted bindings

This article will teach you everything you need to know about how to mount ski bindings after purchasing them. Of course, you may also need to adjust ski bindings after mounting, so it’s important to give you valuable information in that regard too. Note that a certified technician can mount bindings to your skis for you. However, you may want to get your hands dirty with a little DIY ski project, which is understandable.

Technicians have many tools at their disposal that you don’t, which makes it much easier for them to mount each binding. Additionally, they know how to mount ski bindings very well. Still, you can get through the whole thing with nothing more than a drill, some glue, and a screwdriver.

Binding models have evolved, and more recent releases use a locking feature to make adjustments that much easier. Older bindings require some screwing for adjustments, but it’s nothing too serious. Before you begin to mount anything, ensure that you have the following information for the skier:

  • Weight
  • Height
  • Skill level
  • Boot size
  • Gender
  • Age

This information is more suited to adjusting the ski bindings than mounting them, but it’s best to go into the

Choose Your Mount Location

Your boot placement on your skis is dependent on where your bindings are mounted. Your skis are likely to have a mark that indicates where the center is for binding purposes. You must pay attention to it since it helps to guide your binding placement. Ideally, a center placement should be used if the skier is a beginner.

There are advantages to various binding and boot placements, so you need to ascertain which is best suited for your needs. For example, you can place the bindings a bit forward of the center on your skis if you want to generate quicker turning speeds.

Drilling for Your Mount

Once you’re sure where you want your bindings, it’s time for you to drill the required holes into your skis. Don’t worry about getting a specialized drill, as just about any common one should do the trick. However, you may want to make sure that you have a jig on hand, so you don’t end up drilling the wrong place.

Using the jig is important to help prevent you from drilling multiple holes after messing things up. If you don’t own a jig, there’s nothing to worry about, since you can get one at a ski shop quickly enough.

Once you’re ready to start drilling, you can place your jig on the skis and go to work. Note that the binding holes are not meant to go all the way through the ski. Apart from positioning, the jig also helps you with hole sizing. Ski bindings are particular, so a hole that is too big or too small is useless to you.

As is the case with any drilling job, you want to clean the areas where the holes are drilled into your skis to get rid of any shavings, particles, and scrap.

Gluing and Screwing

Now that you have made your ski binding holes, it’s time to mount the bindings in place. Put the bindings in position over the holes you made in the previous step. From here, use your screwdriver to set the screws in place, and complement them with some glue. Note that you are to put a touch of glue into the hole before you insert the screw and not the other way around. If you drive the screw in first, then things can get messy, and the glue likely can’t keep in bindings in place on your skis that way.

The principle of over-tightening screw applies to ski bindings as well, so be very careful as you drive each screw into place, as you can cause cracks in your bindings. Remember that plastic is a part of ski binding composition, so you don’t want to put too much pressure on the material and compromise its integrity.

Note that glue makes it very difficult to remove the bindings on your skis. So if you have any plans to do a binding change or removal, it may be better for you to forego using the glue.

Binding Adjustment: A Step-by-step Process

skis with ski bindings
Skis with bindings

Now that your bindings are mounted, you’re almost ready to go. The only thing that’s left is for you to adjust them. This aspect is a very important process for the safety of the skier. While someone can get some skiing in without ever falling, it’s improbable. Even people who ski at the professional level are bound to fall at times.

If you do fall while skiing, you are going to need knee protection more than you know. Even twists and turns necessitate some level of security, or you could end up with a severe injury. Remember the six pieces of information above? This is where you apply them since the adjustment is a very subjective process.

Adjusting your ski bindings boils down to a toe piece adjustment, a heel piece adjustment, and getting your DIN settings right.

Binding Toe Piece Adjustment

Your ski boot sole length is important to the equation here since a binding toe piece much match the said length. You can typically find the ski boot sole length on the heel or the side of the shoe in millimeters. All you need to do once you find it is to use your screwdriver and adjust the toe piece to the length that is displayed. Note that the front of your skis likely host a millimeter counter as well to help you get things right with the bindings.

The pressure is the next important aspect. This is also called the toe height of your bindings. You need to make sure that you adjust this to match your boot as well. You don’t always need to adjust ski bindings in this way since many of them automatically change to meet the height of ski boots. However, this is not always the case, and a small adjustment is often necessary for this. Ski boot design typically means that there is an Anti-Friction Device (AFD) below the toe. When you adjust ski bindings appropriately for pressure, the boot works optimally with the AFD.

Binding Heel Piece Adjustment

The toe and heel piece adjustments go hand-in-hand. There’s no way you can say that you’ve managed to adjust ski bindings properly unless both the toe and heel pieces receive adequate attention. You have to pay attention to the heel piece, so you get it to be snug against the ski boot. If the bindings are too loose or too tight here, you could be in a dangerous position when you use your skis.

If you adjust the binding heel piece too tight, then the boot gets no release from the skis when necessary. On the flip side, if you don’t tighten the binding heel piece enough, then you create a situation where there is no resistance to prevent the boot from just slipping out.

It’s imperative to do some measure of testing after these adjustments to ensure that the correct changes have been made. This is also an excellent time to run a quick check on your ski brakes. Once a boot goes into a ski binding, the brake is supposed to be parallel to the ski. When the bindings are released, the brakes should be angled downward and back.

Proper DIN Settings for Your Ski Bindings

The bindings on your skis should now fit each boot well, once you have completed the instructions above. The next step is to adjust your DIN setting properly. The toe and heel pieces of bindings typically illustrate the possible DIN settings at the top. Your job is to rotate the screw to the appropriate point based on the parameters that are appropriate for the skier.

This is just another layer of safety for ski bindings, and it helps you to make sure that your skis don’t cause an injury because of an inability to release a boot properly. DIN, which is an acronym for Deutsches Institut für Normung, is a standard that the ski industry has implemented on a worldwide scale. There is a specific amount of force that bindings need to release a boot when needed.

This is where the personal information, such as weight, height, and skill level, factors into how to adjust ski bindings. You see, DIN setting information is based on these stats. The said information yields a number, which corresponds to the boot release point for your bindings. This number is then used to rotate the screws on the heel and toe pieces.

The DIN setting yields a lower number when less force is required to release your boots from the skis. Similarly, when you have a higher DIN, more force is needed. If you are to fall or have a sudden twist as you ski, you may find that your body and the skis are not always going in the same direction. This is the reason that you need to learn how to adjust ski bindings, as having your knees going in the wrong direction is the kind of bad news that you don’t ever want to have to deal with.

You should always use the combined personal information to make sure that you arrive at an adequate DIN setting. However, some common DIN settings can help you to see where you stand. First, children and beginners are better suited to a lower DIN, since these people need their ski bindings to release more efficiently when the time comes.

As far as adults are concerned, both beginners and intermediate skiers should use a higher DIN. Remember that an adult is putting more weight on the skis, which means that a more significant amount of force is required for release. You may think it would be better for an adult to choose a very low DIN (like the ones a child may use) as a beginner to allow for a smoother release. However, an adult’s weight makes things more complicated, as the low DIN setting is likely to cause them to slip out of the bindings.

It stands to reason that more advanced users tend to use a higher DIN, as they want to impose a more considerable force release requirement on their bindings. If you’re into speed and jumps, then an average setting likely can’t do the trick for you.

The final category consists of racers and those who use their skis to take on towering mountains. They tend to put the DIN settings for their bindings very high. Of course, there is a heightened amount of risk associated with going this route, but these expert users want their bindings this way, as their skill level can make up for the increased force requirement.

It is doubtful that your ski bindings need a DIN setting higher than six, seven, or eight. Even those numbers typically correspond with those who are at a more advanced level. When you adjust the DIN to be super high for no reason, all you do is welcome injuries.

Having Your Ski Bindings Tested

Even if you know how to mount and adjust ski bindings well, the process doesn’t always end after your first adjustment. The DIN, boot length, and boot pressure help you to make better judgments as you adjust the bindings. However, you can’t be too sure that you got it all right without adequate testing.

Even certified technicians who know how to adjust ski bindings very well ensure that they test them. They achieve this by emulating the propulsive force and twisting motions to trigger releases from the heel and toe pieces. The test is considered successful when the bindings release as they should under the right amount of force.

If you figured out how to adjust ski bindings on your own and made it a DIY project, you can test the waters too. You can use your ski pole to check release by pressing it against your back binding. Lower the DIN if it’s too hard to release yourself, and heighten it if things were effortless.

As a rule of thumb, consider getting your ski bindings tested annually, whether you do the test yourself or not. Subjective factors, such as your skill level and weight can change, and you always want to be using the most optimal settings.

Common Concerns

Several questions pop up frequently where bindings are concerned. These are four of the most common ones and their associated responses.

Can I Mount My Ski Bindings?

Based on the nature of the information provided, you can ascertain that the answer to this is yes. However, you should never take that step if you have any doubts about the process. A certified technician can do the job for you if needed.

Where Should I Mount My Ski Bindings?

This depends on your skill level and how you plan to use your skis. Beginners tend to benefit from a center placement, while more advanced users can use a different placement for a different experience.

How Do You Adjust Ski Bindings for Bigger Boots?

Even if your boots are on the larger side of the spectrum, you can follow the same process laid out to adjust your ski bindings. Just ensure that the skis and the bindings are suitable for the boot size.

Can You Move Ski Bindings?

You can move your bindings after you set them, but it means drilling a whole new set of holes into your skis. You should consider if you have any plans to move them when you start the mounting process. If you do, then you should make sure that you avoid any adhesive options, such as glue during the mount. If you do use one, then moving the bindings can be a chore.

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Harry Sowers

Harry grew up outside of Denver Colorado and has been skiing and snowboarding since he was 3. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college at UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.