At some stage in your skiing journey, you may have considered replacing your skis. Perhaps you’ve had them for several seasons, or you simply want to take advantage of the newest technology out there. But have you thought about replacing the ski bindings themselves?
For many skiers, the bindings can sometimes go overlooked when compared to the other gear. But if you think about it, the bindings are like the brakes on a car, they’re the most safety aspect and play a huge role in performance. So, can you replace ski bindings? The short answer is yes—let’s take a look why.
Can you replace ski bindings?
Your ski bindings are the essential link between your skis and your boots. They respond to pressure to keep you safe and they work with your boot to help the skis perform in the way they should. That said, you can and absolutely should replace your ski bindings as required.
Bindings are composed of many tiny moving pieces that will show wear and tear over time. When the damage becomes too great, it can result in a poor connection between the skis and the skier. Not only that, but faulty bindings may not perform as they should—not releasing or prereleasing too early. This could be extremely dangerous for the skier.
When to replace ski bindings?
Just like skis and boots, bindings will wear out over time. With exposure to sun, cold, moisture, and bumping and moving the bindings will break down and eventually reach a point in which they’re no longer safe to use.
Some experts suggest that you should ditch you ski bindings for new ones when you ski shop will no longer work on them. The manufacturers of ski bindings will release a list of “indemnified bindings” each year, bindings that cannot be skied anymore because of safety issues. Most shops won’t adjust bindings or remount them if they’re on the indemnified list (normally after the bindings are 10-15 years old).
Another thing to consider is how old the skis are themselves. Skis generally only last around 100-200 days and the bindings are typically designed to have a similar lifespan. It may be tempting to use old bindings with new skis, but this can unfortunately have a high risk of injury. If you’ve purchased old skis and want to check the bindings, have them release checked at a shop. If they fail, it’s highly recommended that you replace the bindings to keep you safe.
Check out the video below if you’re testing out your binding’s releasability:
Remounting ski bindings
Adjustments can be made to the ski bindings, even if they don’t need to be replaced completely. Some skiers will make adjustments to where the ski bindings are positioned to improve performance. Others will have simply changed boots and the bindings no longer fit with the larger boot size. Sometimes, performance can be compromised by something as simple as gaining weight (around 10-15 pounds). In this case, a small adjustment to the ski binding mounting position by moving bindings on skis forward or backward can help the skier.
Remounting ski bindings backward
When skiers want more stability with skis that are sometimes too responsive, they’ll move the binding mounting position slightly backward. If they ski powder and aren’t getting as much float as they’d like, moving bindings on skis towards the back of the ski will help them achieve more flotation.
Remounting the ski bindings further back can also accommodate a larger boot, either for you or for a growing kid. Typically, if the boot has increased by more than one boot size, the bindings will need to be remounted.
Remounting ski bindings forward
Moving bindings on skis towards the front of the ski can be helpful when the skis aren’t responsive. If they become too stable and too difficult to turn, a new mounting position may give you more power.
How many times can ski bindings be remounted?
If remounting your ski bindings becomes necessary due to new boots or changes in performance goals, make sure you’re not remounting them more than three times. The drill holes should be at least 8mm away from the previous ones each time an adjustment is made. With too many drill holes, the structural integrity of the skis could be compromised. The extra holes could weaken skis to the point in which skiers may not want to use them.
While there are ways you could fill old holes with epoxy and perform other tricks to re-stabilize skis after having excessive holes drilled, it’s best to have a ski shop help with this if you’re not an expert.
So, should you remount your own skis?
As mentioned before, if you’re not an expert, it’s probably a good idea to leave your ski remounting to someone who is. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could not only destroy your new skis but could also put yourself in serious danger.
Getting the bindings professionally fitted at a ski shop helps to ensure that the bindings are precisely positioned and that you’re less likely to hurt yourself on the slopes. Plus, if the old holes aren’t filled correctly, the skis could end up developing core rot, where the core becomes water-logged. When the remount is done by a professional, core rot is much less likely.
So, can you replace ski bindings? Absolutely. Just like the skis themselves, ski bindings can be replaced. As the most important safety feature of your skis, bindings should be replaced if they show any significant wear and tear or if they’re outdated and end up on the manufacturers indemnified list.
If they don’t need to be completely replaced, you might want to consider remounting them. If you’ve changed boot size or are looking to target certain areas of performance, remounting them could be the way to go. As always, be sure to talk to an expert and get their help before making any mounting adjustments on your own.