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Forum » Ski Gear Talk
Best Binding for Skiing Switch?
  • athe0007
    Posts: 7Member
    Is there any binding on the market that is designed to release when skiing switch? If not, anyone have any recommendations?
  • ChrisChris
    Posts: 18Member
    All bindings are designed to release when certain forces and pressures are places upon them. The DIN setting is what we use to control the accepted limits placed on them before they release. For example, your toe DIN controls the amount of upward force required to make your boot slide out of the toe portion of your binding. Heel DIN works the same. Sideways pressure can most often be adjusted as well, but takes more skill/knowledge. That being said, the direction in which you ride means nothing to your binding. It will release based on the constraints you've set no matter what. I don't know if you had safety in mind or if you were concerned of your skis releasing when you didn't want them to, but any bindings can be tailored to whatever your concerns are. Personally, I love Salomon's bindings and feel they hold up with the correct force for safety and function no matter where I'm skiing.

    Here's Salomon's current list of freeski/backcountry bindings. I like the STH 16. I run it on my Liberty's and love it.

    http://www.salomon.com/us/segment/freeski-backcountry-binding.html
  • D_QuigleyD_Quigley
    Posts: 30Moderator, Freeskier Staff
    Well put, @Chris

    @athe0007 Another thing you'll want to take into account is what DIN capacity you're actually going to use. For instance, the Rossi FKS 180 is a great binding but if you're not going to use the full DIN range then you'll be skiing around with extra weight for no good reason.

    Check out the full roundup of our favorite binders here, including the STH 16:

    http://freeskier.com/gear/products/category/bindings
  • athe0007
    Posts: 7Member

    Thanks for the replies! A little late though, I just bought two new pairs of bindings. :-)

    Okay, sorry guys, but now I'm confused. As I understood it bindings are designed to release in particular directions based on forward and lateral movements typically/statistically experienced in recreational skiing and racing, as well as being based on human anatomy. They don't release equally in 360 degrees or equally from the heel or toe, which is why Knee Bindings thinks they have something unique for lateral release.

    I have owned a pair of Tyrolias that had rotational heel release and just bought a new pair of Tyrolia Peak 12 T.H.s with the same feature and I also bought a pair of Salomon Z12s which supposedly have some kind of backwards falling release from the heel. I'm not sure if either of these will do what I want, which is to release my boots when my tails get stuck while skiing switch. I've read that someone has an upward toe release, but I'm not sure who. I'm more interested in safety than unintended release, being old enough not to be doing first descents in Alaska or winning any races.

    Intuitively, it just seems to me that a binding designed for going forward is gonna be different than one designed for going backwards. For example, if you pull hard enough on the back of your boot it will release at the heel, but I don't think that pulling upwards on the toe is going to do anything no matter what the DIN is set at.

    Please feel free to correct any misconceptions, I don't know much about equipment; I've just been trying to think through it logically from what I've been reading.

    Thanks in advance.
  • ChrisChris
    Posts: 18Member
    The first part of your first paragraph is true. They are designed to release in particular directions, etc. And no, they don't release equally 360 degrees around. I don't know much about Tyrolia bindings, but like I said, bindings are designed for forwards vs. backwards movement. Even if you're looking to ride switch, you're most definitely not going to ride switch exclusively. And if a binding was designed to NEVER release your toe and/or heel it would be extremely dangerous for us. There is toe DIN and heel DIN on all bindings. You can crank down your toe if you want, but at some point, it will always release. The bottom line is that pretty much any binding that @D_Quigley sent you to is designed for Freeskiing. All of those bindings have YOUR intentions in mind, meaning they will all perform well when going switch. There aren't truly bindings designed for going backwards, just maybe some saying they have better technology. And if you have a binding that boasts to never release your toe, don't use it.

  • ChrisChris
    Posts: 18Member
    Also, if your tails get stuck while skiing switch it can only mean two things:

    1) You're not on twin-tips. Resolution: get twin-tips

    2) You're skiing switch in crud, powder, or on severely dipping terrain and your weight is not distributed correctly. Just like with skiing regular, you need to adjust weight according to terrain. If you're going switch in pow, you really need to lean "forward" toward your tips.
  • athe0007
    Posts: 7Member
    Chris said:

    Also, if your tails get stuck while skiing switch it can only mean two things:

    1) You're not on twin-tips. Resolution: get twin-tips

    2) You're skiing switch in crud, powder, or on severely dipping terrain and your weight is not distributed correctly. Just like with skiing regular, you need to adjust weight according to terrain. If you're going switch in pow, you really need to lean "forward" toward your tails.



    Thanks Chris, your comments are very helpful. So as I've been reading posts over the net it seems that other people have suffered the same type of fall as I'm concerned about. Namely, going in a straight line backwards and then falling straight over the tails backwards and whacking the back of your head. I assumed originally that it was from catching a tip, but now I realize that it could also from crossing tips. I don't think it can be from catching an edge or it would be a twisting fall. I also realized that that, yes if you use technique to stay on a diagonal to the fall line you'll most likely do a twisting fall which I have pretty good control over. In the five years I've been skiing switch I've suffered these backwards falls three times and they happen so fast I'm not really sure what causes them (without video). Anyone who's seen or suffered the same thing have any insights?

  • ChrisChris
    Posts: 18Member
    I can't offer any advice past what I've already surmised. I've never experienced a fall like that in 21 years of skiing. Even without twin tips. Actually.....you may need to de-tune the edges of your tails. They have a tool called a gummy stone that is used to dull the edges of your tips and/or tails. You shouldn't have sharp edges starting 1/4 to a 1/2 inch from where your tip/tail starts to curve upward. This can cause you to catch a tip or tail with no explanation.

    Gummy Stone:
    http://www.backcountry.com/swix-gummy-stone
  • 3rik
    Posts: 3Member
    Click into your skis backwards and take notes from the Nimbus boys.
  • athe0007
    Posts: 7Member
    Chris, Actually my edges are detuned about 6 in. from both the tips and tails. I've also been discussing this on EpicSki and I did find a vid of the type of fall that I've experienced (although it's pond skimming). I ski switch a lot in none standard style (I don't scissor my skis as much as most people and I've been using a more upright stance) that has put me at more risk for these types of falls. Here's a link to the vid:



    Here's also my best guess of what the problem is:

    Thanks guys for all the suggestions, but I think I've got it now. So, I believe this is just a Center of Gravity (CoG) issue. We don't see the same kind of falls forward because most binding mounts are back of CRS so you have a lot of tip in front of you. Even if you lean completely over your tips you don't have enough leverage to displace them. If you're skiing switch most likely your mount is back of CRS so you have far less tail supporting you and it takes much less to push you over your tails. The steeper the slope the easier it is, or
    the more erect your stance the less your CoG is supported by your skis. Any kind of bump or irregularity that might throw you more over your tails puts you at risk for this type of fall, especially if the slope is steep. I don't
    think this is a style issue, because all of the vids have people with their CoG way over their tips. I just tend to like being erect and ski switch on steeper slopes. The moral is that for switch it's best to have a closer to center mount and to be sure to keep your CoG over your tips when skiing switch. The binding problem
    is still the same: if you go over your tips with enough force your bindings will release. If you go over your tails with the same force they won't, however even if they did release I think you'd probably still whack your head.
  • ChrisChris
    Posts: 18Member
    The center of gravity theory is what I was talking about in one of my earlier comments about how you need to lean forward toward your tips. If you're skiing on twin tips and you had park in mind when you mounted them, they should not be so far off of center mount that you have a huge displacement of weight toward your tails. If you do, then yes, switch that up, get them mounted more toward center if not dead center. I have my park skis dead center mounted and my backcountry pushed back only about 2-3mm. Even with my backcountry skis I've never experienced or witnessed this type of fall on the snow. Also, the binding problem is not the same. The reason that the guy in the video and your bindings don't release when you fall backward is because the fall is happening as a result of added pressure to the binding. You've caught an edge. Not the edge of your sidewall, but the edge of your tail. This causes your body to pop and lift, no applying actual force to the binding. Like I said, there's rear and front DIN for the bindings. If you want to test this, bring your DIN down as low as it can go, click into your skis, and lean back (applying as much upward pressure on your toes as you can). Your skis will release.
  • Dec1anStevenson
    Posts: 2Member
    Looks are made ver well. Don't get markers