Before you can learn how to adjust ski bindings, you need to know how to mount them first. Ski bindings are a great way to keep the skis attached to the boots, but there is a right way and a wrong way to attach them. If done incorrectly, there is a chance that the ski will malfunction and not allow the skier to maneuver as needed when skiing downhill. It can also cause accidents if they loosen in the middle of a downhill run.
Bindings are easy to mount, but getting them to stay mounted properly is what is difficult. There are updated methods for mounting ski bindings to keep them where they should be, but these methods are not widely used because they require special tools and slightly more technical ability. The standard method for mounting ski bindings is adequate for general, recreational use.
Mounting ski bindings properly is important, and in the next section, I will explain how to mount them correctly and a few tips that will help ensure they stay in place.
How to Mount Ski Bindings
There are various ski binding systems on the market today, and they all differ according to where binding attachment points are placed on your ski and how they are adjusted up or down the ski.
The following instructions are for mounting bindings that use the classic heel piece.
Your bindings should be positioned correctly, and this will enhance your skiing experience. Ski bindings are positioned in two directions:
The first is fore/aft, which will alter the toe-to-heel distance.
The second is lateral, which will alter the width of your stance.
The precise positioning of your bindings depends on the type of skiing you do and the type of terrain you ski on. For example, on all-mountain skis, the bindings are positioned 2 to 3 centimeters behind the true center.
It’s recommended that you have your bindings positioned by someone experienced with that particular brand of bindings. If you’re unable to find someone available, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the best of your abilities.
Positioning the binding even a centimeter or two can significantly change your skiing experience. We recommend that you read this article for an explanation of different mounting positions and what each is best for.
Ways of Mounting Bindings
Along with deciding on where the bindings go, you’ll need to find a way to mount your bindings to your skis. There are a few different options for how to do this.
While most skiers stick with the standard ski bindings (screws and velcro straps), there are other options.
The first of these alternatives is to use the standard screw bindings still but use the screws with rubber instead of metal bindings. Rubber binds can be a heavier option but are much less likely to snag with the skis. After that, you can also upgrade your screws to screw-in pads that rely on friction instead of screw holes to keep your skis attached.
Another option is to use one of the many skateboard or rollerblade bindings that lock onto the skis. You can also get plastic-based bindings that lock the skis to the bindings.
The last option is to get custom bindings made that attach specifically to your skis. There can be benefits to custom bindings, but they are rather pricey.
If, after some research, you’ve decided that you want to use screw holes to mount your skis, you need to read the next step: drilling holes for the screws.
Be warned, drilling holes into your skis requires precision as well as the correct equipment. For many, a better option is to take your skis to the experts, as it is very easy to break or crack your skis if you are not careful.
However, if you consider yourself a DIY person and have the correct jig to drill the holes, we recommend watching this in-depth video for a detailed demonstration of drilling holes to mount ski bindings.
That leads us to the mounting step that will most likely be the easiest for you, gluing and tightening the screws into place.
Screw and Glue Bindings In Place
Once you have your ski boot on the skis, you need to secure it properly to your bindings. Hopefully, you will have some screws and binding plates already in your bindings from the previous season. If you are mounting a new set of bindings, you will also need to make sure that the screws are included.
First, you will need waterproof ski-binding glue. We recommend Wintersteiger Binding Glue. Place a small amount of glue into the holes before tightening the screws into place. Wait until the glue dries before testing the bindings for correct release.
Another warning: use caution when screwing your bindings into place because it can easily damage your ski if you overdo it, which will be a costly mistake.
For an illustrated, step-by-step explanation of the above process, click here.
How to Adjust Ski Bindings
There are several ways to adjust ski bindings, depending on the type of binding you have. Most of the time, it’s best to do this in a professional shop after taking a beginner’s ski or snowboard lesson. Here are some ways to adjust one of the more common types of bindings, the step-in binding.
Keep in mind that, even if you can see a binding mount sticking out of the ski, it’s not necessarily the only point you can mount the binding to. In fact, it’s far from it. Binding attachments are sometimes fiddled with to give players the best performance.
The bindings will be mounted perpendicular to the ski so they can move at an angle. Once bolted in place, the bindings will be adjusted by sliding the toe and heel pieces forward and backward on the shoe’s mounting point.
If the bindings are behind the mounting point, your ski tips should be pointing down, and if they’re in front, they should be pointing up.
While ski bindings do require a decent amount of setting and adjusting, you can still learn how to do this relatively easily. Don’t hesitate to ask a staff member at the shop if you’re not sure of anything, and they should be able to help you out.
Again, it’s important to remember that if you’re new to the sport or the ski areas where you’re going, it’s best to consult an expert in the field before attempting this yourself. Making a mistake might cause irreparable damage to your ski, which works out much more expensive than taking them to the professionals.