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Fore-Aft Binding Position

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I posted this on the gear forum but after thinking about it thought it might be more appropriate here:

I, my son, and my daughter all ski Pocket Rockets. We mounted them 1.5 cm back. I was especially willing to initially do this for myself as I previously had some Volants with the mounting point WAY BACK and thought a huge change might be too much. (For those of you who haven't heard, the Rocket mounting point is supposedly (???) a compromise between between optimal jibbing and free riding positions. So if you aren't jibbing many people say to move the mounting point back 1-2 cm).

We are now changing over to the Diamir Freeride binding and have another chance to consider mounting point. The fore-aft positioning of a binding is currently a somewhat hot topic of debate with a few studies underway. Peter Keelty (on his "members" site) has a short article reporting on his preliminary observations of a study done at Snowbird last year (performed by a manufacturer - results not out yet). From my understanding, one of the rules of thumb used (especially in racing?) is to put the ball of the foot on the center of the ski's running surface. I checked this out on the Rockets and it turns out that for my specific boot length if I mount the center boot point at the marked spot on the ski I will pretty much be aligned in this fashion. Thus, now that I have skied the Rockets for a year already well forward of where I was on my previous skis (and liked it) and given the concept of ball of foot on center of running surface, I am going to mount our new bindings at the manufacturer's mark on the ski.

Of course if you get the appropriate Atomic or Tyrolia bindings you can play with the fore-aft position for yourself and empirically determine your optimal mounting position.

post #2 of 3
I recently asked the same sort of questions when I received my new skis, manufacture will go nameless or blameless, and the ski was marked with “TOE HERE”. I have always mounted to the running surface and mid boot, which can or cannot be on the “ski mid mark”. I emailed said manufacture and was counseled to do it their way but if I choose I could do it mine. Confused? So I have mounted per their specifications and we will see what happens.

I have talked to several shop personnel recently and they find the whole thing confusing as well. Of course a six-pack will get them to do anything so what do they really know. One said it seems to change from year to year. Toe, to mid mark boot/ski, and then to running surface. The running surface actually makes more sense to me. I guess they could design the ski differently fore to aft and make the turning characteristics different but I would think running surface would be more consistent.

All that being said you could get into the discussion on mounting of a woman’s ski. You will never want to talk to Harb about this topic IF you think the binding should go forward. He related to us one day in a pretty lengthy explanation that while at Winter Park he blind studied several hundred women and none could tell the difference. Yet I can tell you on of our female instructors swears forward mounting really improved her skiing. I told her it was a bad mounting job originally and we both had a laugh. Sometimes it is the mind and not the drug if you know what I mean!

Now mounting the binding back is a new one on me. However I know and instructor that plane’s his sole to the rear so the heel is lower than the toe. He says it forces him to put his hips up and over on the ski. Personally I think it took a lot of guts to plane the boot that way to start with and I would never say I was wrong after I did it. He has done it several times. I wonder moving the binding back, if it doesn’t cause you to “surf” or ski like a water skier would do the same thing. The binding back would cause your tails to stiffen and your shovels to soften which in the right type of snow would change the ski characteristics. I know when I had Atomic bindings I tried all the binding in all positions and only found it was a pain to adjust. Nothing really seamed to change with the ski?
post #3 of 3
When I had Atomics with Atomic bindings, I also tried out the forward, mid and back positions. I noticed all the difference in the world. Although the forward position did make turning quicker, it felt awful and seemed jittery. The back position was more fun, because it made the ski feel "swoopy-er" and it felt quite stable. I settled on the mid position as the only practical way to go.

Since then, I've had other skis, and my most recent and continuing love affair [and boy does my wifey know about it!] is with the Rossignol Bandit XX with Rossi Freeride T-Plate 100 bindings. I don't knnow why, but my fore/aft balance, stability and manueverability, including quick edge-to-edge, is so much better than anything I've ever previously experienced. How the fixed binding position relates to this, I do not know, but I would fight tooth and claw if anyone tried to change anything about my skis and bindings!
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