This autumn, we learnt how to choose a pair of skis to suit your needs and aims, now it's time to learn how to adjust your bindings so you can ski in complete safety.
To properly adjust your ski bindings you need to take the following elements into account:
Gender, age, height, weight, shoe size and skiing ability.
You will also need a large slotted or crosshead screwdriver.
Adjusting the boot sole length and compression
The first step involves adjusting the binding to the same length as the sole of your ski boots.
To do this, you need to find the length of your sole in millimetres printed on your boot. It is usually located on the heel.
Now that you know the exact size, you need to adjust the front part of the binding to match it.
When you lock the binding, you will see the compression control appear. This control is important as it lets your bindings follow the bend of your skis under your feet when you make a turn.
In most cases, you'll see a yellow indicator that needs to be positioned in the middle of the adjustment zone. To do this, move the heel binding forwards or backwards by a few millimetres until you achieve the desired result.
Adjusting the binding release force setting
Once you've carried out the first 2 steps, next you need to adjust the release force setting.
This allows you to set the strength of the release trigger during a fall.
You need to be careful with this setting. Too low a setting can lead to the binding releasing when you don't want it to, and too high a setting can cause serious physical damage (ACL tears, sprains and even fractures) as your legs will stay attached to your skis in a fall.
To determine the right setting strength, I advise you to consult the AFNOR table (French Association of Standardisation) issued as part of the ISO 11088 2006 standards.
The first line of the following table corresponds to the length of your boot sole in millimetres.
If you end up on one of the table's empty cells, go to the nearest number on the same line, unless you weigh more than 94 kilograms, in which case you should go to the nearest number in the shoe size column.
Finally, this setting needs to be adjusted to suit your skiing ability by using the following table :
If these instructions don't seem clear, please don't hesitate to ask questions in the comments at the end of this article, I'm here to help you.
And if you're in any doubt, don't hesitate to have your settings checked by a professional for even more peace of mind!