Installing your own ski bindings is a challenging task that requires you to understand your skiing technique, ski technology, the pressure and release of the bindings and many other details. Salomon, a very popular manufacturer, has many bindings on the market. If you want to install your own Salomon bindings, make sure to research your specific bindings. There is an inherent risk in installing and adjusting your own bindings, and it is a chore best done by very experienced skiers.
Things You'll Need
- Salomon binding literature (optional)
- Ski boots
- Pencil or magic marker
- DIN chart (optional)
- Epoxy (optional)
Familiarize Yourself with Your Equipment and Skiing
Understand how you ski. Your speed, your size and how aggressively or carefully you ski are all key aspects of binding installation.
Understand your primary type of skiing. If you mostly ski a particular way, such as freestyle or racing, make sure you have Salomon bindings specific to that style, and know how the bindings need to be set for your type of skiing. For example, if you are racing, your bindings need to placed at the midsole point for maximum speed.
Research your Salomon bindings. The company has hundreds of models on the market, and older bindings may not offer some of the features of new ones. It is ideal to have the manufacturer's literature on the bindings, particularly if they are used or you purchased them online or at a swap meet. At a minimum, know the model number, and look it up online to find out the specifications.
Install Your Salomon Bindings
Find the "midsole" mark on the side of the ski. This mark, otherwise known as the "sweet spot," indicates the ski's center, where the ball of the foot should rest. The standard place for bindings is centered over the mark, although experienced skiers will adjust the binding placement for greater control by moving them slightly forward. If you want to do this, research your ski type, your size and favored type of terrain to know how much bindings should move forward–typically it is only a few centimeters at most.
Line the toe piece of the binding up with the boot, and center the binding on the midsole mark. The boot should begin centered over the mark and then moved forward if you want to adjust. Fit the toe piece around the boot snugly. Make sure the boot is perfectly straight, and then remove the boot without moving the toe piece.
Mark spots on the skis with a pencil or magic marker through the screw holes of the toe piece.
Drill pilot holes for the toe piece into the ski in your marked spots. If the skis previously had bindings in another spot, you may need to fill the previous screw holes with epoxy. Also, some technicians recommend putting a drop of epoxy into the new pilot hole to waterproof the ski. Be very careful when making the pilot holes–you do not need to drill a deep hole.
Screw the toe piece of the bindings into the skis. Tighten the screws until they are firm and there is no play in them. Be careful not to make the screws too tight. Skis are fragile pieces of fiberglass with a flexible core, and if you overtighten the screws, you could buckle your skis. Now put your boot on, put it into the toe piece of the binding, and place the heel piece on the ski snug up to the boot.
Set the forward pressure if your bindings have this feature. Some bindings allow you to set the forward pressure–the pressure on the toe piece when the boot is clamped into place. If the forward pressure is too low, the boot might come out of the toe piece. Refer to any literature that came with your bindings, or look up your bindings online to find the screw that adjusts the forward pressure; there might be several screws, and you will need to adjust the correct one. You need to set the forward pressure when the heel piece is placed but before you screw it in. Getting the heel piece placement precise could involve an adjustment of only a centimeter or two.
Put the boot into the toe piece. Make sure it is tight and perfectly straight. Push the heel piece into the boot, making sure it is adjusted properly for forward pressure. Remove the boot without moving the binding. Repeat the process for marking and drilling pilot holes, and screw the heel piece into place.
Stomp the boot into the newly installed binding. It should be perfectly snug and ready for the slopes.
Set the DIN, or tension point, of the binding. This is critical for safe skiing. If you do not know your DIN setting, which is based on your size and your degree of ski expertise, check your DIN chart or look it up online. An incorrect DIN will making skiing dangerous, because your skis might release unexpectedly, or they might not release when needed.
Tips & Warnings
- It is easy to buy used ski equipment, but installing your own bindings is a task that requires expertise and precision. If you do buy used bindings, make sure the screws come with them. Also remember to research your Salomon bindings to understand their specific settings. Online forums are full of helpful information about different types of bindings, forward placement, and pressure and DIN settings.
- Installing your own bindings usually voids the manufacturer's warranty. If you are not an experienced skier, you may want to consider the risk of the binding releasing unexpectedly, loosening from the ski or functioning improperly. Poorly installed bindings can result in serious accidents.
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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