How Do You Find The Centre Line Of A Ski to Mount Bindings?
Skiers want to fit bindings to their skis for several reasons. However, before you start to drill holes in your skis it’s best to get clear, how and where bindings fit. So, how do you find the centerline of the ski to mount bindings?
Finding the centreline of a ski can be tricky because the top sheet is often rounded at the edges, which makes it difficult to measure the exact width. However, by using a set square or square piece of wood, placed against the edge of the ski, it’s possible to get an exact measurement. Divide the width by two and mark several points on the top sheet along the center. Join these points together and this is the centreline of the ski.
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Integrated Bindings vs. Non-integrated DIY Bindings
The standard skis that you rent from the ski shop have integrated bindings, that are fitted at the end of the manufacturing process. In the design process, the binding and the ski are matched for optimum performance at a certain budget. This style of ski and binding is aimed at the mass market where most skiers, who will be beginners or intermediate, spend most of their time improving their skills in skiing and groomed runs.
As skiers become more advanced, they generally move to stiffer skis which are less flexible, which gives them better stability and cornering at speed. While it’s still possible to buy stiffer skis with an integrated binding, some skiers prefer to personalize the combination. Some skiers, who spend a lot of their time on powder, prefer to mount their bindings slightly back from the recommended position. This gives the ski a slight lift in the front during use, which helps to keep the ski on top of the powder.
Fitting: DIY or Ski Shop
Once you have taken the plunge and bought separate skis and bindings you then must decide whether to fit the bindings yourself or pay a ski technician. If you get the job done in a shop it will cost from $40-50 (£30-40) and be finished professionally and quickly. The price does vary depending on the type of binding you’re fitting.
If you decide to fit the bindings yourself, you should check if it affects the warranty. Also, the position of the bindings is critical to the performance of the ski, so you must be confident you can site the bindings exactly. Buying skis and bindings don’t come cheap either, so weigh up the pros and cons of DIY or paid technician.
Fitting your own Bindings
Equipment you need:
- Electric Drill & bits
- Masking tape
- 2 x clamps
- Craft knife
- Look at your new ski to find the suggested center mounting point. It should be written on the side of the ski and sometimes on the top sheet too.
- Check the sole of your ski boot to find the center marking.
- Stick a 1ft piece of masking tape along the top sheet of the ski. This is to measure out the centerline of the ski. If the top sheet of the ski is rounded it’s difficult to measure the width exactly.
- If you place a square piece of wood up against the ski you can use this as the indicator of the width at the top surface. Repeat the process with the wood on the other side to get the exact total width.
- Half the width and mark the masking tape with several points, which you can join up with the pencil as the centreline. Also, mark the center mounting point on the masking tape as well.
- Next, you need to find the centreline of the first toe binding. Turn the binding upside down and stick a piece of masking tape lengthways along it. Measure the width, halve it and draw a line down the center and slightly over the end.
- Next position the toe binding on the ski. Fit the toe of the ski boot into the binding and locate the center mark on the boot with the center mark on the ski. Then line up the centreline on the binding with the line on the ski. This means the toe binding is in the correct position for fitting. Tape it in place.
- Put a long screw into one of the four holes on the binding and tap gently with a hammer. Repeat with the other three holes. Remove the masking tape from the binding and the ski.
- Put the fitting screw in the binding to see how deep it will go into the ski. Measure the same distance on the drill, which will stop you from drilling right through the ski! Drill the four holes and clean up with the craft knife.
- Put a drop of superglue into each of the four holes and mount the binding with the screws.
- To fit the heel binding make sure it is in its central position. And find the centreline in the same way as in the toe binding and mark on the masking tape. Locate the ski boot toe in the front binding and position the heel of the ski boot up against the heel binding.
- Center the heel binding on the ski and mark the screw holes. Attach the rear binding and repeat with the other ski.