What Should I Look For When Buying Bindings?
In most cases, if the ski company that made your skis, also manufactures bindings, then you should seriously look at those bindings first. If you ski Head, buy Head bindings. If you ski Atomic, buy Atomic bindings. If you ski Rossignol or Dynstar, buy Looks. If you ski Salomon, buy Salomon. The manufacturer's design the equipment to work in harmony with each other.
If you have chosen one of the many brands of skis that don't have a complimentary manufacturer's binding, such as indie ski brands like Armada, J Skis and 4FRNT or one of the well-known, more established brands like Blizzard or K2, then you might be well-served starting with a binding manufacturer that you have had success with. For example, many skiers are diehard Marker fans and many freeride skiers are Look fans, if that describes your situation take a look at the manufacturers current binding line and determine what binding best serves your needs based on your ability, weight and terrain.
All bindings have a DIN rating, which is an acronym for Deutsches Institut für Normung. In English, it means how much force is going to be required to release from the binding. The higher the DIN setting, the more force, the lower the DIN setting the lower force. Determining the correct DIN setting is based on your ability, height, weight and the type of skiing you do. For example, if you ski front side groomers a DIN setting that corresponds with your ability, weight and height is fine. However, if are a big mountain skier or a park junkie always looking to land the next big trick you will have a higher DIN setting, then someone skiing groomers of the same height and weight, because you don't want your ski to release in mid air or half way down a big line. Unless you have specific reasons to have a huge DIN (i.e., +13) then there is no need to purchase a more expensive binding for that setting.
With skis coming in such varying width Hart Boss is 61mm at the waist (it is a mogul ski) to the Black Crowes Nocta which is 122 mm at the waist, you need to shen you purchase your bindings, be sure to get them with brakes that are wide enough
Finally, when it comes to one of the most contested parts of bindings, where to mount them, Hartenstein says the recommended line is always tried and true. "In general, 99 percent are traditional mounts,” he says. “We trust the company's recommended line. They weighted, balanced, and developed the skis to ride best mounted at that line."
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