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Is a binding check necessary

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Dear all:

For years I've been paying for a binding check at the beginning of each season.  As I understand it, my boot is put into the binding, and then some sort of torque test is run to determine if the binding is in fact releasing at the pressure for which it is set. 

 

As ski season approaches, I have been wondering if this check is necessary and/or useful.  I have never had a binding fail this check.  In addition, if I have the check performed in early November and I wonder if it is it really giving any assurance that my bindings are still working properly twenty ski days later in late March. 

 

Any thoughts on whether binding checks are a useful part of getting your skis ready for the season or if there is some other way of determining if bindings are working properly, would be appreciated.

 

Thank you.

post #2 of 19

I don't know how crazy people are here about binding advice..but..you can do a quick check in the basement to see if they're in decent shape.  You can manipulate the bindings by hand..make sure the toe pieces are free..you can pop the boot in manually push the boot out of the toe piece to see if it's releasing in a fairly normal fashion.  Same with heel pull.  Are you measuring DIN torque?  No..but you'll get the idea of how much pressure is required to pop it and you can see if you're in the ball park.  Should you get them checked occasionally?  Probably.  Honestly, we had more problems with broken plastic binding bits and pulling screws out of the ski.  Rarely had skis fail on spring rate and most of those released early, not late.  And mostly older bindings.  Condition of boot is also somewhat important so don't neglect that.

 

I believe the standard, ass-saving legal answer would (and probably should) be to have them checked regularly just to be safe.

post #3 of 19

I've had bindings reveal issues in the testing that required the binding to be replaced, along with minor toe piece tweaks and changes to the DIN to make up for the torque test readings (heel and toe set "differently" in order to be the same setting).  That being said, I don't obsess about it.  Probably should.  Old and have bones getting more brittle.  

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
 

I've had bindings reveal issues in the testing that required the binding to be replaced, along with minor toe piece tweaks and changes to the DIN to make up for the torque test readings (heel and toe set "differently" in order to be the same setting).  That being said, I don't obsess about it.  Probably should.  Old and have bones getting more brittle.  


Yeah, for sure you should be careful as they get older and salt-corroded if you have them on the car all the time.  I do know some people obsess over DIN checks too and probably they don't need to.  It can't hurt and we always checked whenever we did binding work to make sure they were good to go.  But personally, I haven't checked mine with a DIN gauge in 15 years. I pop my boots in and make sure they release and that's about it.  A little common sense goes a long way, spend 5 minutes every time you go and make sure they appear to be working correctly.

post #5 of 19

I don't ski that many days a year, no chutes or anything crazy (my version of intermediate crazy). My gear goes into storage and out of storage in good clean condition.  I get them checked every second year and if I get new kit or new used kit, the check gets done.  As a rec skier I have not been surprised or injured by how and when I've bailed out of a binding,  However, compared to the total cost of a season...how much does it really cost?

 

Now that's a waffle type response.

post #6 of 19
At fifteen bucks a pair, it can add up.
post #7 of 19

I have never had one done, but if I had it done it would only tell me that 7 or 8 is really 7 or 8, and I'm still left determining whether I want to use 6, 7, 8, or 9 (or 11:devil:).  I seem to check my bindings on average once a year by falling in some spectacular fashion.  Binding came off, good.  Binding stayed on without injury, but I could feel it was close, good.  Binding comes off when sidestepping up a hill? Crank it up another quarter.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

I have never had one done, but if I had it done it would only tell me that 7 or 8 is really 7 or 8, and I'm still left determining whether I want to use 6, 7, 8, or 9 (or 11:devil:).  I seem to check my bindings on average once a year by falling in some spectacular fashion.  Binding came off, good.  Binding stayed on without injury, but I could feel it was close, good.  Binding comes off when sidestepping up a hill? Crank it up another quarter.

 

^ I follow the above procedure and have never had my bindings mechanically torque tested in 50+ years of skiing...mostly on new of fairly new equipment.

 

Bindings can go out of calibration over time, and I think it is due to springs wearing out. Sun Peaks Resort Corp. requires all of their employees who work while on skis (patrollers, instructors, lift maintenance, etc.) to have the Corp's ski tuning shop test employee's bindings before a Staff Pass is issued. This is likely driven by the B.C. Worker's Compensation Board requirements.

 

So I asked the ski tech guy one time if they encountered many bindings that failed the test. He said no, but that the previous year one of the ski patrol's binding was borderline but they gave him a pass, so instead of buying new bindings he probably just increased the DIN setting by a half or full number. The ski tech also said that they wouldn't be giving a free pass to the ski patroller the following year.

post #9 of 19

Some of these safety laws are counter-productive (not the one mentioned by Dano T).  As an example, parents and skiers are notoriously inaccurate in estimating weight at the rental shop, but a good scale, duly calibrated as per regulation is too expensive, and the liability associated with using a scale and calibrating it with say a known 150 lbs from some weight set, which is far better than nothing, is too much, so the rental shop ends up with no scale. 

Just say'n.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

Some of these safety laws are counter-productive (not the one mentioned by Dano T).  As an example, parents and skiers are notoriously inaccurate in estimating weight at the rental shop

 

Also, sometimes, parents screw up when they take their kids skis in for a tune & binding check.  I had my son at 92 lbs., but he pre-released several times on jumps, maybe because he weighed closer to 100 -- but maybe because I IDed him as a type 2.  Is someone who plays in the park, albeit a little cautiously, more type 3 than type 2?

 

 

Derailed the thread, sorry.

post #11 of 19
Guys, it isn't about the binding so much as the boot binding interface. Lots of worn boot soles won't test properly, and this IS potentially dangerous to the user.
post #12 of 19

The above comment is a good point. The pads, lugs, or rail on the bottom of your boot have to be kept within certain parameters to be compliant with safe release values (+/- 1mm of 30mm in the heel and 19mm in the toe). Check your pads! Call your local ski shop and have some pads ordered up prior to your ski vacation. There is nothing worse than rolling into a destination demo shop and having a tech deny you that S7 rental because your boots are blown. 

 

American liability requires binding manufacturers to suggest annual binding tests. I suspect that advent of rockered skis has made DIN settings a little less important than they used to be (and binding springs are better these days). I typically set mine at a 10 for all mountain skiing, but I've swapped skis out on the hill with other skiers and ripped around on groomers at a far less setting. With that said, knees are important and peace of mind might be worth $15-$20.

post #13 of 19

Personally I think the system in flawed. Look at a 125lb/5/7"/5y/old/II/291BSL verses 126/5'7"/49y/old/II/290bls. Many women,even if they are up to 135 lb will say they are 125..this really throws things off. Men it's the 5'10" vs. 5'11" height..there are jumps of 1.5 from going from I to II to III. This chart was designed over 30 years ago..time have changed, skiers "Over 50" are in better shape. I think it is time the chart gets revisited. 

post #14 of 19

^^^ right, we no longer need a step function chart.  A smooth function could be developed.  As an engineer, I would like to have the functions.  However like I said earlier, why get more precision on a result that you are arbitrarily going to change by up to 3 or more anyway? (by deciding which risk acceptance skier you are I, II, III, III+, III++ or whatever in-between you decide on).

 

(edit: I would even settle for a nomograph.)


Edited by Ghost - 10/19/14 at 9:48am
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Personally I think the system in flawed. Look at a 125lb/5/7"/5y/old/II/291BSL verses 126/5'7"/49y/old/II/290bls. Many women,even if they are up to 135 lb will say they are 125..this really throws things off. Men it's the 5'10" vs. 5'11" height..there are jumps of 1.5 from going from I to II to III. This chart was designed over 30 years ago..time have changed, skiers "Over 50" are in better shape. I think it is time the chart gets revisited. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 

^^^ right, we no longer need a step function chart.  An smooth function could be developed.  As an engineer, I would like to have the functions.  However like I said earlier, why get more precision on a result that you are arbitrarily going to change by up to 3 or more anyway? (by deciding which risk acceptance skier you are I, II, III, III+, III++ or whatever in-between you decide on).


Thread idea?  Lets redesign the way we set DIN?

post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Personally I think the system in flawed. Look at a 125lb/5/7"/5y/old/II/291BSL verses 126/5'7"/49y/old/II/290bls. Many women,even if they are up to 135 lb will say they are 125..this really throws things off. Men it's the 5'10" vs. 5'11" height..there are jumps of 1.5 from going from I to II to III. This chart was designed over 30 years ago..time have changed, skiers "Over 50" are in better shape. I think it is time the chart gets revisited. 

An opportunity to play devil's advocate - cool  :)

 

The chart has had changes the last 5 years or so, albeit minor tweaks.  It is designed to reduce the risk of injury - that's all.  There's no guarantees.  It would be unreasonable to expect proper release or retention in any and all circumstances for all types of skiers at this time.  The binding technology is the factor here, more than the DIN system.  If you don't want to get hurt skiing, then don't ski.

 

Nice read - 

 

https://skiinghistory.org/history/release-history-safety-bindings

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakespapa View Post
 

 

Also, sometimes, parents screw up when they take their kids skis in for a tune & binding check.  I had my son at 92 lbs., but he pre-released several times on jumps, maybe because he weighed closer to 100 -- but maybe because I IDed him as a type 2.  Is someone who plays in the park, albeit a little cautiously, more type 3 than type 2?

 

 

Derailed the thread, sorry.

What do you mean pre-released on jumps? It's quite easy to produce forces that will cause a ski to come off when landing and they should. If there is any kind of spin this is doubly true. I have even caused my skis to release when I hit my boots against the ski. If it's coming off on takeoff I would assume he's catching something on the lip, if landing unless it's a heel release I would be skeptical of it being a case or a pre release

post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonewolf210 View Post

What do you mean pre-released on jumps? It's quite easy to produce forces that will cause a ski to come off when landing and they should. If there is any kind of spin this is doubly true. I have even caused my skis to release when I hit my boots against the ski. If it's coming off on takeoff I would assume he's catching something on the lip, if landing unless it's a heel release I would be skeptical of it being a case or a pre release

Thankfully my skis will not release when hitting a ski to a boot. And no, skis shouldn't release on a good landing. pre-release also causes injury. The boy is more likely generating forces associated with a III than a II setting. I like to think of the recommended settings a low ballpark that will meet minimum standards of liability for shops and manufactures. I mean really, did I get all weak and brittle on the day I turned 50? smile.gif
Edited by markojp - 10/20/14 at 1:57pm
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


Thankfully skis will not release when hitting a ski to a boot. And no, skis shouldn't release on a good landing. pre-release also causes injury. The boy is more likely generating forces associated with a III than a II setting. I like to think of the recommended settings a low ballpark that will meet minimum standards of liability for shops and manufactures. I mean really, did I get all weak and brittle on the day I turned 50? smile.gif


Thanks.  I'll talk to the shop.

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