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DIN Settings

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The whole thing is arbitrary baloney - just as so many 'must stop/change at 50' things are. What's so magic about 50: except that you can get SAGA discounts...
I've skied the average DIN 5 (recommended for my weight/height and ability generally - 6 at maximum on stiff SLs) since starting, and still do, albeit now over 50 and with delicate knees. Most of the time the skis have released when needed and not when not needed: but it all depend on the mechanics of the fall or catch in the release scenario. When I had my knee injury collision/fall, one ski released (the still more troublesome knee) and one didn't.
I worry about pre-release too, to be honest, on-piste and off (not that I yet do much OP but I was pretty agressive on-piste). How much I feel that the DIN setting is actually right varies quite a bit between which set of skis/bindings I'm using (same boots). Having said that, I hit some unexpected deep stuff the other day, tips jammed in and I went A over T and both thankfully released just before something pulled too badly in my knee again - so I'm deciding that 5's about right for the moment (give or take, it agrees with most charts as well). But that was on my longer AM skis (as was the injury), whereas my shorter piste/sl skis don't seem to release so much, probaby because they don't hit the ground a lot of time that I lose it (day before I had a good tumble too, but on the piste skis. They never touched the ground until I came to rest again).
But for other people setting bindings (hire shops, initial ski set-ups) there has to be a starting point. A good setter-upper should ask a lot of questions to establish knowledge and ability of the skier. An experienced skier should already know what they want anyway, established through trial and error. Interests me though that they rarely really ask about fitness (though it is in most charts to be fair) or injuries which might lead one to want to allow for easier release (for instance - I think knee ligaments here). But injuries are not age dependent and fitness isn't either. The above article does reference knee musculature and injuries but interestingly doesn't list it as a factor in the main list of thing which determine DIN settings. Nor is boot stiffness listed: I don't know if or how that affects release but I would have thought that it must do.
As @Ichabod points out, there are unfortunately legal issues around all this (litigious society that we live in), especially with hire gear. It would indeed be intereting to see what stance they take on DINs being set too low and allowing pre-release as opposed to usually being more concerned about them being set too high and not releaseing thus causing injury (which pre-release never causes, of course...) My counter to any challenge on self-set DINs would be to see how many questions the hire setter asked in order to determine the correct setting for the skier and skis in front of them rather than just going off a very arbitrary chart: and I would consider it negligent if proper and due full consideration was't given to all relevant issues. But in a busy hire shop..? Yeah, right.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Nowadays it should be possible to have an app-based DIN-setter, with enough variations in height / weight / boot length / age / ability that the DIN changes in only very small increments for any slight variation in parameters.

But for simplicity most people still seem to use historical (paper-based) charts, in which the age scale is only calibrated as something like under-10/10-49/50+, and between the latter two just gives a crude "one row" chart adjustment. The average age of a skier in the second band is perhaps 35 and in the third band perhaps 65, so rather than being interpreted that the DIN should decrease at exactly 50, it is more that settings at age 65 should be a bit lower than at 35. The gradual reduction for age can of course be offset by increasing ability, particularly for someone who say only starts in their 30s and skis for six days a year.

Given that many people probably don't know about the age 50 threshold it would be helpful for hire shops to say to anyone who has just turned 50 that they have set the DIN slightly lower than last year / last month, and to come back if their skis release more than once.
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I think all of us that know and care about our din settings know what works for us. I just think we (those that turned 50) should be made aware that the charts drop you dramatically from a level you likely used for 40 years.
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Apologies for butting in with an ignorant question. But last week I had a binding from a rental ski repeatedly releasing at the heel in the powder, without feeling as if it was under much stress. Although I'm sure lack of technique was the likely cause, if the binding hadn't been set up correctly, how could I tell?
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@Penry, I think that's actually a great question. The answer seems obvious: the binding releases 'too easily' but I think that is actually a difficult thing to define. On top of that, even if you report a problem, sorting it isn't always easy. 20+ years I owned some ski's that the back binding that kept releasing in the most innocuous situation. I took into a shop in a resort and left it with them, with my boot. They couldn't find anything fundamentally wrong, said the DIN was good. They did some fine adjustment but ultimately didn't cure the issue.
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@Layne, so other binding since the suspect one did not have the release issues?

@Penry, I would suspect itís a din setting and technique issue. Powder and crud has that effect on skiing technique as we tend to over crank as the skis canít be tipped on edge as easily when there if snow on top of them. The only other explanation (other than a faulty finding) is that they did not adjust the length correctly on one ski, but that would have been an issue in groomed also I suspect.

I guess the dilemma is the balance between not having perfect technique in ungroomed/off piste that May strain the binding a bit more vs cranking the din too high. I hardly ever fall on piste or bumps, but seek off trail whenever possible, so I decided to set them higher for the deeper stuff. I have never even thought about changing setting for different conditions and donít even change skis for conditions. One quiver for me, although I do rent skis on some holidays.
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Redwine wrote:
@Layne, so other binding since the suspect one did not have the release issues?

Correct.
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I find this talk of prerelease worrying from an equipment perspective. I can't ever recall it happening to me in at least 20 weeks skiing, OK I'm not doing off piste every day or hammering moguls non stop, but sking fairly fast and hard even on heavy cut up black runs.

Bindings have been on 5.5 (which is 0.5 down from chart for 72kg male, 183cm, 45y, 329 BSL intermediate skier) for years.

The single time I've had a ski release not in a fall was on tbar when I suddenly found I was only wearing one ski - without even noticing it coming off. Went back to get ski and found edge had been half ripped off by a hidden rock that had obviously pulled ski to side and released without me noticing. So I'd call that a valid release.

If I was getting regular prereleases I think I'd be buying new bindings/boots rather than cranking up the DIN - beyond adding +1 to go to Advanced rather than Intermediate on chart.

Or is everyone else just skiing so much more aggressively than me???
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@kerb, I think we are all remembering the few instances over a decade plus that we have had an issues or two. For me, I had one time that it has been an issue. When I turned 50, was on a heli Trip and used the skis provided by cmh. Deep deep powder, first time out, off balance on the first day all came together with a much lower din setting vs what I had been skiing for 3 decades.

Otherwise, on my skis. 8.5 never pre releases and when they do they are supposed to. Never felt the binding malfunctioned and felt 100% confident that the annual tech check correctly identified that my binding are fine. If u have not had an issue, and feel solid on your skis I would not worry about it at all.
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@kerb, there are various issues at play. I use a DIN of 9-10 depending on conditions. Reasons:
- I do ski aggressively, so my weight is forward all the time.
- I'm very tall (6'7 - which is generally not on the DIN chart at all) so there's a lot of leverage there.
- I'm heavy (105kg - which is generally not on the DIN chart at all) so there's a lot of weight on the big lever.

When I was on rental skis I had people setting them at like 6, 6.5... it didn't take much to release a ski!

The reason the freeride bindings go up to silly numbers... 14/16 etc is partly because of the very aggressive skiing going on, but also partly because there are places those people go where losing a ski is just not a practical scenario at all and people are willing to take a higher risk of injury if it means their skis don't disappear.
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OK @redwine and @dp, that all makes perfect sense.

Seems to be more a problem with the DIN charts (or ski techs) not catering properly for "non standard" skiers rather than mechanical issues with the bindings.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
not at all a tech problem. Its our responsibility to know how we ski and what the appropriate equipment is. Maybe you get a good tech that confirms you are xxx on the charts - does that sound right to you (very small group IMHO). the rental guys are just processing hundreds of rental a day and likely are not taking deep interest in your ski style din relationship.

Its great we are all now armed with better information so we can make sure we have the right equipment for us.
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Very interesting reading the somewhat varying views on DIN settings here. I won't add my thoughts to the pot but I would be interested to know, for those who usually pick their own release values and research their bindings before buying...

Does anyone set their bindings above 10? if so why?

Do you always set front and back (or lateral and frontal for touring bindings) values the same?

Would you buy a binding that goes much stronger than the value you need, because it feels safer?
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You know it makes sense.
dulcamara wrote:
Does anyone set their bindings above 10? if so why?
I don't

dulcamara wrote:
Do you always set front and back (or lateral and frontal for touring bindings) values the same?
Pretty much yes.

dulcamara wrote:
Would you buy a binding that goes much stronger than the value you need, because it feels safer?
From what I know you want your DIN setting to be broadly middle of the range.
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@Steilhang, There are differences in bindings 'release rates' i find. For instance, i find that Marker is fairly tolerant of very short duration shocks but Salomon isn't. So, for me it's Marker din 6.5 and Salomon din at 7.5 and i hope i don't have a slow twisting fall ! Any 'bump' on the Salomons at 6.5 and they release me !
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
dulcamara wrote:

Does anyone set their bindings above 10? if so why?


I run at 10 keeping both feet on the ground. I think if I started getting into silly stuff (skiing in 'no fall zones' and jumping off stuff) I'd be inclined to go past 10.

Quote:

Do you always set front and back (or lateral and frontal for touring bindings) values the same?


EDITED to remove dodgy information, thanks @spyderjon for the correction.

Quote:

Would you buy a binding that goes much stronger than the value you need, because it feels safer?


No because it isn't safer is it? All a higher DIN setting means is that the spring can be tightened further.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Thu 11-01-18 15:58; edited 1 time in total
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dp wrote:
......Bindings are simple. They are pointing inwards, you put your boot in, they push onto your skis because there are big springs in them. The springs are pushing towards each other. If you set your heel at 10, and your toe at 5, you'd just end up with something around 7.5 because the heel binding would just push you harder into the toe binding. If one binding is not opposed at the other end of the boot by a binding of equal 'strength', the boot will just sit in the wrong place to equalise it.....

That is not correct. You been on the single malt again?

The toe and heel springs are certainly not pushing towards each other.

The toe release/din springs are not pushing down or rearward at all, it only resist lateral movement.

The heel release/din spring is not pushing forward or laterally, it only applies downward force on to the boots heel lug.

The only spring pushing the boot forward is the forward pressure in the heel which, when correctly adjusted to the users boot, gives a constant fixed pressure irrespective of the din settings used.
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dulcamara wrote:
Does anyone set their bindings above 10? if so why?

My SL race skis are set to 12, they still release if I straddle a gate. I'm using the standard "weight in stone" formula for settings.
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@spyderjon, oh sorry - that was what I had been told by somebody who I thought, knew (I appreciate wasn't you... that'll teach me)
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Quote:

Does anyone set their bindings above 10? if so why?


I'm at a 10 now, but used to run 12 when I was competing and in the park at lot. The increase in pressure is needed with shark bites from rock when running over soft snow at speed, you really don't want them releasing at certain points in difficult terrain!
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On my SL and GS skis the bindings start at 10, so I pretty much have them on the lowest setting. It doesn't seem worth buying new bindings just to set them to 9.5. They don't seem to have any problem releasing when I need them to.
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Lots of good reasoning there, makes sense to me. Though cant get my head around the idea of wanting a value in the middle of the binding's range.. or at least the benefits of it.

Straddling gates is an interesting one for sure... guess that's just where an alpine binding will release easiest.
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dulcamara wrote:
Lots of good reasoning there, makes sense to me. Though cant get my head around the idea of wanting a value in the middle of the binding's range.. or at least the benefits of it.

Straddling gates is an interesting one for sure... guess that's just where an alpine binding will release easiest.

You don't want the springs totally relaxed or totally compressed.... is how I always saw it. Just a layman's view!
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Layne wrote:
dulcamara wrote:
Lots of good reasoning there, makes sense to me. Though cant get my head around the idea of wanting a value in the middle of the binding's range.. or at least the benefits of it.

Straddling gates is an interesting one for sure... guess that's just where an alpine binding will release easiest.

You don't want the springs totally relaxed or totally compressed.... is how I always saw it. Just a layman's view!


That's how I had it explained, and I suppose if you want to adjust the DIN based on type of skiing, it helps not to be at the end of a range.
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Binding springs are not totally relaxed or compressed at the extremes of their range. To achieve din certification they have to be equally accurate/consistent throughout their entire range, which modern springs can do.
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@spyderjon, happy to bow to your superior knowledge but presumably a binding with a DIN range 4 to 10 the spring will be under more stress at 4 and 10 than it would be at say 6 and 7. That's not to say that having them at 4 and 10 will be in any way 'dangerous' - clearly the binding will be manufactured to perform correctly and well even at 4 and 10. But in terms of perhaps they will be 'happier', perhaps have greater longevity, at the mid-range?
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I see your point, but I wouldn't worry too much.

Obviously a lower setting will have less wear on components but i think spring forces are not near material elastic limits for most bindings, and probably, unless you fall 20 times a run you are not going to start hitting cycle fatigue numbers. Generally the bindings will get broken when the forces from a fall go in a weird direction that they are not ready for (or take a rock to the face wink )....

Just hoping to save people money Happy
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@dulcamara, have you had a hand in the new Low Tech Booster?
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@dulcamara, or... they just break?

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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Each season I bow to the greater knowledge of the manufacturers but pretty soon find myself popping out when I least expect it. So I crank things up a bit till I find something that works. According to the charts I should be at 6.5 but still finish up at 8.5 even as I trip over the 50 year mark. Obviously there is a danger in things releasing before they should but not releasing at all has potentially worse consequences. Charts and guides, I believe, lean towards caution. And rightly so.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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Haha low tech booster has nothing to do with me... got some sitting by the desk with mounted and ready to go with some beast 108s.... if we get a dump I might try them out... will report back

You will never take them any further than a few hundred meters above the lift though.
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@under a new name, ouch how did that happen?
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I turned 50 during my Christmas ski holiday and didn't feel any urgent need to reduce my DIN settings. I guess it's just common sense and not all 50 year olds are the same. It's just a modifier in the setting table to take account of older farts brittle bones!
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esaw1 wrote:
Each season I bow to the greater knowledge of the manufacturers but pretty soon find myself popping out when I least expect it. So I crank things up a bit till I find something that works. According to the charts I should be at 6.5 but still finish up at 8.5 even as I trip over the 50 year mark. Obviously there is a danger in things releasing before they should but not releasing at all has potentially worse consequences. Charts and guides, I believe, lean towards caution. And rightly so.


Yes, exactly that for me too. Before now I've had rental guys refuse to nudge me up to 8 because their chart says 6, and I even had one hand me the screw driver so it wasn't him doing it. Pre-releasing is definitely more concerning than staying attached - heading for the trees with one or no skis attached is fairly ermmmm disconcerting.

The other thing I've learned is that the indicated DIN in the little window can be as much as 20% out when tested on a binding tester (haven't read all this so someone will have already said similar) so its not an exact science by any means. That said, modern bindings are pretty amazing compared to old.
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@dulcamara, I really don't know. I was sitting on the chair, about to lift off and as we did, a bit of a wrench (not much, certainly not painful) and there I was sitting with only one ski.

Imagine our surprise when a kind chap a few chairs back brought up my ski, and binding, separately. Shocked :shock

Big shout out to Antoine Sports in Avoriaz who provided a replacement to get me home for a nominal fee.

The matter is with Marker for consideration...
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