Ski bindings are perhaps the least sexy of the gear you’ll be buying. Safety, functionality and durability are the aim of the game here. In simple terms they have two jobs: keep you attached to your ski on the downhill and allow you to detach from your ski when you want, or rather need to, during a tumble.
When you’re choosing ski bindings you can break down the characteristics into DIN, elasticity, boot sole norm and durability.
The first thing you’ll need to figure out is what DIN you need. DIN refers to the force needed to release a boot from a binding, this value is standardised across the market so a setting will be the same no matter the manufacturer.
DIN is important to get right as it could be the difference between a pain free Jerry of the Day yard sale and something more nasty if the ski doesn’t release. Calculating your DIN takes into account your weight and ski style. Plug these two metrics into the table and it will tell you the winning number.
Start with this number and, as you gain more experience on the mountain, you will know if you need to bump it up or down a notch. When you are shopping for a new binding aim to purchase one that allows for adjustment either way.
Most adult bindings will have a good range of adjustment, often a lower model will have a DIN 3 – 11 range and an upper model in the 6 – 16 range. Aim to get something that you will sit in the middle. For example if you have a din of 6 aim for the lower range and if you have a din of 10 aim for the upper range.
That said, all of them are calibrated so as long as you don’t go past the stated range they will work correctly.