In order to ensure as much safety as possible on the hillside, it’s important that the ski bindings you’re using are mounted and fitted properly.
Not only are these designed to prevent leg injuries while skiing, but they’re actually the main component that keeps your skis securely locked to your feet, allowing you to maintain control while carving down the mountain at high speeds.
With that said, your ski bindings need to be strong, and durable, and they need to be mounted properly, to ensure a safe, comfortable ride on the mountain.
Therefore, I’ve decided to put together the following step-by-step guide, explaining how to properly mount your ski bindings.
When it comes to purchasing a new pair of skis, you’ll have the option of either buying skis that come with integrated bindings, meaning that your skis will come directly from the manufacturer with the bindings built-in, or you can choose to buy your skis and bindings separately, which means that you’ll have to have your binding mounted to your skis.
Of course, you can pay a shop professional to do this for you. But mounting ski bindings isn’t an overly complicated process. It just takes a bit of knowledge and a few basic tools.
But before you go and attempt to mount your bindings by yourself, keep in mind that you’ll be drilling holes into your skis, which means that if this is not done properly, you risk causing permanent, irreparable damage to the ski.
So if you’re uncertain about mounting your bindings yourself, or you don’t fully understand the process, it might be better to get a professional to do this for you.
In order to mount your bindings, you’ll need to drill a few holes through your skis, which you’ll use to mount the screws that should have come with your bindings.
To drill your holes, you’ll need to use a template, which can usually be purchased from the manufacturer if it was not sold with the bindings.
You’ll also need a drill and a drill bit. The binding’ manufacturer will provide you with a recommendation on what size of a drill bit to use for this.
If you don’t have the proper jig to be mounting bindings or the proper tools, we strongly suggest that you not attempt to drill these holes yourself and recommend having a ski shop to mount your bindings for you.
Before drilling your holes, you’ll need to adjust your jig to the length of your boot, as well as setting it at the proper position on your ski
When you take a look at the sole of your boot, you’ll be able to see a mid-sole marking. You’ll need to line this up with the mid-sole marketing on the jig. Once this is done, you can lock the jig in place, and get ready to position the jib on your ski.
On the ski itself, you’ll also find a marking that indicates its true center, as well as a few notches to indicate 1, 2, and 3 centimeters in front and/or behind it.
However, as you’ll see below, some skiers have their own preference as to where they like their bindings mounted on their skis.
Then, once you know where you want your binding mounted, you’ll then position the jig on the ski, locking it into place. After this, refer to the manufacturer’s directions on how many holes to drill for your specific bindings.
Lastly, once you’ve drilled your holes, make sure to clean them out properly, so that there are no pieces of wood or plastic left in the hole. You’ll then be able to mount your bindings, once again, referring to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
But once again, if you’re unsure about doing this yourself, it’s better to get a professional to do this. And when in doubt, always make sure to ask a professional first, rather than risk damaging your skis.
Depending on where your bindings are mounted, your skis are going to perform differently.
And although there’s no right or wrong answer as to where you should mount your bindings, experienced skiers usually tend to have their own preferences.
So with that said, let’s take a look at a couple of the most common ways to mount ski bindings, as well as how this will affect the performance of the ski.
Traditionally, when mounting ski bindings, a shop tech does this by checking where the mid-sole point on your ski book lines up with the desired foot positioning on the ski.
This is typically about 2.5 centimeters behind the ski’s true center. All-mountain skis are typically designed to have the bindings installed in this position.
So, for those who are planning on doing mainly downhill skiing, or unless you’re an experienced pro, somewhere between the ski’s true center and here is likely the best position to mount your bindings.
Skis that are specifically designed for park and pipe riding have a more symmetrical shape than all-mountain skis. This is because park riders sometimes ride backward after landing a trick, which is known as “riding switch”.
Because of this symmetrical shape, most park riders mount their bindings directly at the ski’s true center to further help keep the things symmetrical.
A ski’s true center can be found by measurement its full length, from tip to tail, and marking the exact center. However, most skis will come with their true center marked by the manufactured.
Some more experienced skiers might prefer moving their bindings slightly ahead of their skis’ true center, which will make them feel shorter and easier to turn at slower speeds since you’ll no longer need as much weight to initiate turns.
However, the downside to moving your bindings forward is that your skis will feel less stable at higher speeds, making it harder to maintain control during harder carves.
This type of mount is typically only used for park riding. So, unless you’re planning on spending most of your time in the park, a zero or traditional mount is typically recommended.
Finally, for skiers that plan on using a powder ski mainly in deep powder, you’ll also have the option of mounting your bindings even further back behind the traditional mounting point.
This works to shift the skier’s weight even further back on the ski, providing a bit of extra float while riding through deeper powder and crud.
This is a great mount position if you often ride through heavy or wet snow.
However, it will also make your skis feel less playful, making it more challenging to initiate your turn on hard-packed or groomed snow.
In the end, mounting ski bindings isn’t a very complicated practice.
Especially when you have the right tools and the right knowledge to do so, you can easily mount your ski bindings at home by yourself.
However, the positioning of your bindings is going to have a big impact on the way that your skis are going to feel and perform out on the slopes.
So if you’re still not sure of where or how to mount your bindings, don’t hesitate to ask a local shop tech or professional to help you out. In the end, it’s better to ask a few questions or to get a pro to mount your bindings, rather than risk causing irreparable damage to your skis.
If you've got your bindings mounted successfully but you're not sure how to set them up right, see our guide on how to adjust ski bindings.