Please note this is for informational and educational purposes only. Ski bindings should only be serviced by trained and certified professionals. Do not attempt at home. Always ride at your ability level. The Ski Saver is not responsible for any injury from improperly set or adjusted bindings.
Why DIN Settings are Important
Imagine carving down a steep run, feeling the stoke and BOOM! your boot suddenly pops off your ski. You would likely have a very bad day. Now imagine crashing hard and your boot does not come off the ski. The resulting force into your knees, ankles, and hips would also make for a bad day.
Both of these scenarios pose a serious risk to the skier and others on the mountain. These types of crashes have claimed many ACLs and it's the reason why having properly adjusted bindings is crucial. To prevent these scenarios from happening, this is where the DIN settings, or simply DINs come in.
What does DIN stand for?
DIN stands for Deutsches Institut für Normung, translated to German Institute for Standardization. The International Standards Organization (ISO) also adopts identical standards. It is measured as a number, with a low numer requiring less force to release.
What factors make up DINs?
A combination of factors go into a DIN setting. They are height, weight, age, ability level (known as skier type 1-3+), and boot sole length. Below is a brief explanation for how to find your skier type and boot sole length:
How to find boot sole length
To find your boot sole length, it's printed in raised small letters on the back heel of each boot. It will be measured in millimeters (mm). This is different than your boot size, which is typically measured in mondopoint (mondo).
If you have trouble locating it; rub your finger around the heel and you'll be able to feel the numbers.
Pro tip: Mondo sizing is simply the length (cm) of your foot. Add the 2 numbers together to get US standard sizing, add 1 for women's. (ex: 26 mondo is 8 men's, 9 women's).
As skill level increases, DINs should be reset to account for faster and more aggressive riding.
How to calculate DIN Settings
To find your DIN setting, there are a number of online calculators to use. It is recommended to use a chart provided directly by the binding manufacturer for the most accurate results. As a reminder, these settings should only be adjusted by a trained and certified professional technician. Improperly set DINs can cause severe injury.
Most adult recreational bindings will go roughly from 4-16, but pros and extreme experts can find bindings up to 24+.
How to adjust DINs
Adjusting a DIN setting is as easy as turning a screw. There is one on the toe and another on the heel. Every model is different, but generally there will a reference mark indicating the current DIN with the full range on the sides.
This is known as the visual indicator. On most bindings, turn right to increase and left to decrease. Once set, these should never be adjusted except by a certified professional.
Other Factors to Consider
Although ski bindings are relatively maintenance free, they do require periodic inspection. As with any piece of equipment, the springs and other parts can wear out with time and repetitive use. This can cause the binding to apply an improper amount of force, even with properly set DINs. Specific devices have been designed to test this. The amount of force is compared to a reference and must be within a certain tolerance range. If the binding falls out of this range, it is not safe to use and should be replaced. Manufacturers may have their own guidelines for how often to get this done, but once at the start of each season is a good rule of thumb. This should also be performed when buying used skis. Do not attempt to create your own device, these are highly precise and calibrated (and expensive!) pieces of equipment.
Each year, manufacturers will give a list of bindings they indemnify technicians to service, hence the name 'indemnification list'. This is due to legal liability in the event of an accident. If a model (name and year) is not on this list, any servicing or adjustment is no longer possible. Once a binding is taken off the list it will not go back on. This list is typically not available to the public.
This does not include maintenance items such as waxing, edge sharpening, and base repair. This should be performed regularly for the life of the ski.