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Skier level for setting the bindings...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
This is going to be my fifth season skiing, and I'm still around the intermediate level, mostly doing blues and a few mid-atlantic blacks when things are not too icy. I tend to be relatively cautious and slow, unless I'm somewhere with great cruisers and conditions (like Stowe).

When I had my bindings set on my previous pair and on the current, I kept listing myself as "beginner" and I've never had an unexpected bindings release. They only released in situations where I'm very glad that they did. Since many people set them higher to avoid unexpected releases, I'm starting to wonder if something is wrong with my skiing

Am I doing the right thing by keeping the bindings set for beginner for now?

Also, is there a way to force the bindings to release as a way to test them? They've been tested in the shop, but I'd like to try in less problematic conditions before I actually need them to release.
post #2 of 14
If your not really doing high speed or really aggressive things, I don't think you'll have any binding problems.
Setting them to low and taking a high G turn could cause them to release unexpectedly.

If you'd like to have them turned up, ask them to turn them up somewhere between for you. So the thought of them unexpectedly releasing on you wont be in the back of your mind. But should be safe still for your ski level. =)

I really wish mine would have released easier yesterday when i got hurt, but all the other times I fell and i knew it was coming, I'm glad they did not, cause then you don't have to walk around and pick up all your stuff. I think after a while it gets to be personal preference. And has a lot to do with how aggressive you ski.
post #3 of 14
Nope, you're in good shape.

The only reason to raise the DIN is to avoid premature release. If your'e not getting any premature releases, don't do that.

I don't think it reflects badly on your skiing. If anything, it's a positive reflection on your technical abilities. A well-executed turn generally doesn't put much stress on the binding. The types of activities that tend to raise the likelihood of inadvertent releases are skiing fast, hitting bumps in off-balance positions, banging into ruts on race courses where you're forced to turn in places you might otherwise prefer not to, etc. Even at very high speed, if you're smoothly arcing a turn on a fresh corduroy, there should be very little force on the binding. Once you're banging across bumps (which, among other things, make the ski flex and deflex), and throwing skis sideways, you start to need a higher DIN.

You should be able to twist out of your toes while standing still. You should also be able to release the heels by lunging forward, though that's a bit more prone to produce the sort of awkward diving about that one associates with the word "lunge." These aren't exactly the most meaningful tests, but at least they'll tell you that the binding is functioning.
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talyn View Post
If your not really doing high speed or really aggressive things, I don't think you'll have any binding problems.
Setting them to low and taking a high G turn could cause them to release unexpectedly.

If you'd like to have them turned up, ask them to turn them up somewhere between for you. So the thought of them unexpectedly releasing on you wont be in the back of your mind. But should be safe still for your ski level. =)

I really wish mine would have released easier yesterday when i got hurt, but all the other times I fell and i knew it was coming, I'm glad they did not, cause then you don't have to walk around and pick up all your stuff. I think after a while it gets to be personal preference. And has a lot to do with how aggressive you ski.
If you are not skiing at a high speed, don't worry about it.

If your binding comes off when you stomp your foot down on the outside edge side-stepping up a hill, up the DIN.

I on the other hand wish I had turned up my bindings last weekend; I expected a hit on the outside ski from a clump of snow while making a turn just a little too sharp for SL skis at 45+ mph (they can make nice wide turns at that speed, but if the tip grabs, expect a bit of a hit and it will if you turn too sharp). The hit, I expected the binding to let go, I did not.

I guess it's kind of stupid of me to be doing gs speeds on sl skis on anything but hardpack.
post #5 of 14
Binding din is a funny thing, .5 can make all the difference in the world. Had mine set at 10 for a while and ended up not being able to ski for 2 weeks. At 9.5 they release every time I want them to, but stay on when I need them to.
post #6 of 14
You will know when your din is set to low for your level of skiing, if you don't, then your not at that level yet.
post #7 of 14
I weigh 165 lbs and ski the entire mountain on DIN 5.  That includes groomed runs, double-black bump runs, powder and spring crud.  I have not had a release since I had the bindings mounted four seasons ago.  If you ski smoothly you don't need high settings. 
post #8 of 14
I'm 200# and ski all mountain at moderately fast speeds with my bindings set at 6.5.  I never have a release when I don't need it.  I don't jump and I don't twist my skis around...I ride the edges and let the skis pull me around.

Uri, SJ has some good advice above.  I'm able to twist out of the toes while standing still if I set the inside edge into the snow and give a sharp twist inward.  That is NOT a replacement for getting the binding releases tested in a shop yearly.
post #9 of 14
Warning.  If you stubborn you can hurt yourself deliberately twisting out of your bindings.
post #10 of 14
In the old days before DIN settings, you clipped a boot in (While wearing them) and used the other heel to hit the toe of your mounted boot sideways. You then screwed in the tension screw until you could just about kick your boot out !!! The heel you adjusted by leaning forward and screwing in until you could lean forward without the heels pinging. You had to repeat that most days as the binding tension changed with temperature!!!

Mind you wasnt to big a deal if the ski came off, after all it was tied to your ankle with a cord!!!!
post #11 of 14
Quick point-

DIN Levels  -I, I, II, III, III+  are NOT 'ability levels', they are level of aggressiveness and how/ where you ski, not how well you ski. A cautious skier that is an absolute expert skier could be type I or II, an athletic aggressive college age never-ever could be set as type II... skill has very little to do with it.
post #12 of 14
I'm an instructor, a pretty good skier, and can be moderately aggressive.  I pick skier type -1.  I do not have "premature" releases and my skis come off when they need to.  Pick the skier type you are comfortable with, don't let someone pressure you into one they think is "right" for you.  Remember, its your legs that will break in the fall, not theirs.

Another thing, if you are skiing smoothly you shouldn't experience a "premature" release.  Thus your "lack of releasing" might be an indicator that you are skiing properly.  I'd love to see some video to see how you ski and how it relates to this subject.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by uricmu View Post

This is going to be my fifth season skiing, and I'm still around the intermediate level, mostly doing blues and a few mid-atlantic blacks when things are not too icy. I tend to be relatively cautious and slow, unless I'm somewhere with great cruisers and conditions (like Stowe).

When I had my bindings set on my previous pair and on the current, I kept listing myself as "beginner" and I've never had an unexpected bindings release. They only released in situations where I'm very glad that they did. Since many people set them higher to avoid unexpected releases, I'm starting to wonder if something is wrong with my skiing

Am I doing the right thing by keeping the bindings set for beginner for now?

Also, is there a way to force the bindings to release as a way to test them? They've been tested in the shop, but I'd like to try in less problematic conditions before I actually need them to release.


Well, its an old thread but what the heck?  The ability to ski at low DIN settings is actually the mark of a technically competent skier.  riding in the back-seat and doing twisting linked recoveries is a sure way to have bindings release at any skier level.  When you are ready to turn it up a notch, the difference is only one setting change for each level increase in the DIN setting.

Also, the skier levels used for DIN are not related to skier ability (i.e. beginner, intermediate, advanced) but is based on skier "type".  Think of this as whether you ski with a Type B, Type AB or Type A personality.  Some people like crushing race courses and mogul runs and are obvious candidates for Type A, while others prefer sightseeing cruisers and skiing with family (Type B).  It has very little to do with your skiing skill-level, and as I said before, higher skills enable lower DIN.
post #14 of 14
I'll just echo what others here have said. I ski as a type II even though the terrain and speed at which I ski might indicate otherwise to an observer. The specific bindings make a difference, too. For years I skied on Look turntables and would set them very low because I never came out of them due to their design. Now, my skis have Markers and the release characteristics are different, so I stick with a type II standard DIN.

In general, I'd rather release than stay in and risk injury. There are very limited occasions when I might decide that coming out would be more dangerous, and I might consider a quick turn of the screw. With the kind of skiing you're likely doing at the level you report, I think setting them to type I until you start to experience release when you don't want it is the prudent path.
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