I am a ski binding engineer. Here is a copy of my post on a related thread regarding the question about pre-release — and how the Self Release Method (as described in the Geze Consumer In-box Instructions from 1984) may help you seek your settings in a way that insures that your settings are not elevated too much .... but the Self Release Method is ONLY valid in the presence of all of the binding-design-factors noted in the following paragraphs:
First, however, this information Must Be placed in proper / full context. Factors that cause pre-release go far beyond release settings. In fact, in most bindings today, the "release adjustment" is actually a "design deficiency adjustment". Most bindings today have mechanisms that cross-link the release and retention functions, so that the binding is constantly "confused" as to whether it should be releasing or retaining. That's why some bindings today now have release adjustment scales that go up to DIN 30: those binding designs need these high setting levels because their enherent design is cross-linking release and retention. Therefore, in these designs, retention can only be achived by nearly eliminating release. Consequently, no method of release adjustment or setting by itself will cure the pre-release problem within a binding that has a cross-linked mechanical design. Keeping this in mind, the best solution to a pre-release problem is to utilize a binding design that de-couples the release function from the retention function. No binding company (except KneeBinding) discusses this issue because this is new engineering science recently (1999) developed by MIT (Axiomatic Design) that has not yet found its way into ordinary bindings (re-engineering time; investment in molds / tooles / dies; fabrication of molds tools and dies; testing / testing / testing to de-bug; tweeking of molds / tooles / dies; energy to prevent investors from shipping bindings pre-maturely due to short-term ROI-goals) all add up to a long time-horizon to bring a new binding, with a new technology like decoupling, properly to market.
To be clear, the best way to mitigate pre-release is to utilize a binding design that decouples the release function from the retention function, rather than to utilize a band-aid like elevated releases settings -- which approach will not overcome the inherent design deficiencies of a binding that has cross-linked release/retention features (which is all ordinary bindings offered today). Some of the ordinary bindings that are offered today are more cross-linked than others, so some will provide better retention than others .... and you can determine which are which by how high the settings must go in order to have adequate retention. The signature of a good binding design is one that can be skied at low settings while not having pre-release. Again, this aspect is best controlled by the level of decoupling within the inherent design of the binding, not by the method of adjustment or by the amount one can elevate the settings. I have to make that clear because of product liability issues.
Further, dirt and contamination and other ordinary adjustments to the bindings, such as the forward pressure and many other functional adjustments aside from the release adjustments -- can and do have a much larger material effect in controlling pre-release than do the release-settings, per se. All of these adjustments should be made by factory-trained personnel in ski shops who make use of release measuring equipment to compare the expected release values to the actual release values -- and then to make corrections to the ski-boot-binding-system based on factory-recommended instructions (such as, just to name one correction: clean and re-lubricate the moving interfaces within the heel track and lower heel housing .... this cleaning and re-lubrication can cause a huge improvement in preventing pre-release.); or which testing by technicians brings a realization that the binding is defective and it must be returned to the binding-manufacturer.
When utilizing the Self-Release Method, bindings with poor recentering characteristics (especially when weighted) will not release at the intended levels during largely-loaded forward-twisting event. AFD's must be of low friction (preferably with a coefficient of friction of approx 0.01) and the total ski-boot-binding-system must be clean. Combined load tests (not possible for an ordinary ski shop to perform) provide information that can be compared to functional limits on the amount that the twist release should increase in the presence of large forward-loading (defined by the ISO standards). It is teh ski binding companys' responsibility to test for this condition and to make design changes to bring the binding into proper form regarding the minimization of friction. When utilizing the Self-Release Method, the fulcrum point (between the boot and ski) for forward release should distinctly-defined and be located under (or near) the ball of the foot -- not under the skiers' toes, as is found with almost all bindings being sold today.
Many of today's binding engineers were never transferred the lessons that were painfully learned by the diligent binding engineers of 25 years ago. Too bad, because this is why there are so many pre-releases today -- even with elevated settings.
Having said all of this, do not deviate from the instructions provided by the binding manufacturer unless you are willing to assume ALL risk for any events that may occur as a consequence of the below stated deviation method: settings lower than recommended by the binding manufacturer may cause pre-release and settings higher that recommended by the binding manufacturer may cause no-release. Pre-release can cause a head or spinal injury; no-release can cause a leg fracture or soft-tissue of the knee injury (yes, I said that correctly).
Lastly, the "Self-Release Method" is NOT a "test". For example, if a ski-boot-binding-system has an underlying impediment to release (such as a pebble lodged between the boot and the AFD), utilization of the Self-Release Method during this condition will result in the release setting needing to be lowered to off-set the impediment caused by the pebble -- but that reduction in the release setting is only an off-set during a lightly-weighted condition. Under this condition, the ski boot-binding-system will release at a much higher than intended (intended by the designer) level during a large-forward-twisting event. Therefore, the net-setting achieved by the Self-Release Method in the presence of an impediment such as a pebble will result in a setting that is unacceptable. Only release measuring equipment can "test" the difference between the measured value and the expected value. If the difference between the measured value and the expected value is within the limits specified by the manufacturer / designer, then the Self-Release Method (together with all of the other above conditions in place) is valid.
From the 1984 Geze in-box Consumer Instructions;
Unusually aggressive skiers and racers who sometimes need higher settings can use the Self-Release Method to obtain these special settings. This method [conducted in the proper way] may help to insure that the special settings these skiers need will not be grossly overtightened, which is the usual case with adjustments made without using this method.
Start by using the pre-settings for [Type III+] skiers that are suggested on the [ ] release setting chart.
— Stand on one foot with the boot buckled as it is during skiing.
— The ski should not be held fixed.
— Release the heel by bending the lower leg forward (move the knee forward and down—toward the forebody of the ski). Do not lunge forward with the opposite leg because this will cause an undesirable upward pulling on the Achilles tendon.
— Readjust the forward heel release setting to your "comfort threshold".
— Place the ski on its inside edge by rolling the knee inward and then SLOWLY twist the foot inward. Rapid twisting should be avoided because it is not the worst case for maximum loading.
— Readjust the setting to your "comfort threshold".
If, based on further skiing, it is believed that higher settings are needed, the setting may be increased as long as self release is still possible."
..... /..... and only if all of the conditions that are noted above the quote from the old Geze In-box Consumer Instructions are in place, too.
President & CEO
Howell Product Development