Originally Posted by ScotsSkier
Doesn't sound too far out of line. Having suffered a bad wrist break at the start of the season with an unintended release at 8.5 I am normally running 9.5-10 for everyday use and typically 12 on my race or training skis. 5'8", 165#, 284 BSL
There's enough solid info on this thread to warrant inclusion in some kind of sticky. Tip of the helmet to MO and Atomicman.
But I'll question the logic behind your statement here, SS. In the most respectful way, since you know a bunch more about our sport than I do. Nor did I go through your wrist break. Although I've had a number of pretty bad breaks and tears, some of which have functionally compromised me forever, so I'll use my imagination. And full disclosure: My most serious and lifelong injury was caused by a binding not releasing.
My argument: If a binding set at 8.5 releases you, then the joints south of your navel are being subjected to enough force that the binding's design parameters for someone your size have been reached. Put another, way, it might not have been what you wanted, but it was not "unintended," or a "prerelease." Your bindings did exactly what they were supposed to do, and if they had not released, you might have torn a knee instead of broken a wrist. Both suck, obviously. But how would you have reacted if your binding didn't release because of a high DIN and you blew your ACL? Would you have felt the same blame toward your DIN? I'd guess no, because you'd feel like you had control over the risk of injury.
And that's the problem. I think that we've all engaged in specious reasoning about DIN. It's a PITA to fall. And much worse if that fall causes a break or tear or concussion. So we tend, in hindsight, to blame the binding, thinking "I coulda saved that. My binding gave up." But this is a post hoc fallacy. The fallacy works as follows: X (binding releasing) was followed in time by Y (injury). Thus, X caused Y. Then to avoid Y, avoid X by cranking up the DIN so it can't release at normal loads.
The speciousness stems from the confusion of a temporal sequence with causality. In reality, the causal pathway between X and Y is pretty indirect at best, and probably not causal at all in a proximate sense. Example: My car doesn't start the morning after I switch to a new gasoline. I blame my new gas, on the grounds I never had any issues with the car until I switched. But in fact, there is a only a temporal correlation. It's highly likely that the car wouldn't have started regardless of which gas I used; it was just the morning that the ignition switch decided to die, or whatever. Slight probability it might have been the gas, but have I bothered to think through all the other probabilities, all the other pathways? Simply having Y following X doesn't prove cause. At best it suggests something to check out and likely dismiss.
So what if you had an unintended release that didn't lead to a broken wrist? Would you feel the same way? Imagine there are 1,000 Scots Skiers in alternative universes. And imagine that in 999 universes, that release at that moment was a PITA but didn't lead to a broken wrist. All those other Scots Skiers tumbled differently, hit at a fractionally different angle, whatever, and came up bruised but whole. So now is it accurate to say that the DIN caused the break? Looks like your bad luck (1/1,000) caused the break, and the binding just did what it was asked to do.
Well, you'll say, fine for those other Scots Skiers, but if the binding had not released, tumbling angles or fences or however you hurt your wrist are irrelevant. You wouldn't have fallen at all. Perhaps, but what about all those times a release at 8.5 prevented a major injury?
Put another way, we may have a binding releasing thousands of times at a normal DIN without causing an injury; some decent percentage of these releases in fact prevented an injury. But our minds have difficulty being interested in what didn't happen, and it's tough to even measure negative events without a careful design. So we overweight a single occurrence where we were injured, and infer causality. It was d**n DIN. Ironically, by avoiding X (eg, using a higher DIN that prevents release), we are probably strengthening its possible causal connection to Y, a bad outcome. If we increase the loads on our knees by 50% to avoid again coming out that one time that could produce an injury, we are far more likely to be very near ligament shear loads many times we fall. The cumulative risk of that shear skyrockets. But because it's a negative event so far, we fail to weight its future risk correctly. Very much like not being especially concerned about dying driving a car when the odds are waaay higher every time we start the engine than for any other activity than most of us ever do. Definitely including skiing.
Now obviously, there are true no fall-zones, where we will have to risk a knee to avoid dying. But I don't honestly think Masters qualifies, and certainly not almost all recreational skiing we do. If we're at Chamonix, getting ready to go over the other side, then yep, crank that sucker up. That's why god made stubby screwdrivers.
Anyway, to build on MO, my own hunch is that it's less about "pre-release" than about elasticity. Most bindings have mediocre elasticity, and we may approach their limits routinely by certain events like landing or doing bumps or turning at speed in rutty snow. So to avoid coming out and getting snow up our privates, or worse, we crank up the DIN. Which further compromises the remaining elasticity. Thus my favorite hobby horse, other than Bonafides , which is the antiquated status of literally all bindings. IMO Looks are the best of a fundamentally stupid approach, and it's downhill from there.