If you’ve had your skis for years or bought them second-hand, you may wonder, “How do I know if my skis are safe to use?” As long as your skis are intact and damage-free, it basically comes down to the binding. In this article, we will talk about ski binding function, indemnification, and maintenance.
How Ski Bindings Work
Quality bindings are indispensable to ski safety. They keep your feet securely attached to your skis — and pop open to eject you from your equipment when needed. Most bindings feature a spring in the toe and heel pieces, and spring tension is adjusted according to the skier’s height, weight, age, ability, and skiing style.
Since bindings incur repeated impacts in the freezing cold and ice, their components can wear down over time, compromising performance and leading to injuries.
What is Ski Binding Indemnification?
Every year, manufacturers release a list of indemnified binding models. If a binding is indemnified, the manufacturer will legally stand behind the functioning of that product for the current year. Manufacturers will typically indemnify a particular binding for 10-12 years, but it can vary based on the brand and model.
What if My Bindings are Not Indemnified?
If your bindings are non-indemnified — i.e., not on the list — the manufacturer can no longer guarantee safe, reliable performance from your bindings, and they won’t take responsibility if the bindings fail. If you bring your skis for tuning or adjustment, it'll be difficult to find a ski shop technician who will be to adjust non-indemnified bindings. If you're not sure how old your equipment is, you can bring to your local ski shop and a certified technician can perform an evaluation.
Can I Still Use My Old Skis?
If you decide to go ahead and use non-indemnified bindings, that doesn’t necessarily make your skis a mobile death wish! However, it's not recommended, and you'll definitely want to make sure everything is in good working condition. And if your skis are more than 20 years old, consider repurposing them for decoration.
Regardless of your skis' age, make sure you're storing them correctly in the off-season to avoid unnecessary wear and tear. And it's always a great idea to bring them in for a tune-up at the beginning of each season. That way, a technician can confirm that your bindings are still safe to use, and make sure everything else is in working order, and adjusted to your current size and ability.
Ski Binding Adjustments and Maintenance
The spring tension on ski bindings is adjusted based on a skier’s height, weight age, and release preference (also known as a DIN). If you've changed in height, weight, shoe size or ability, or if you've or experienced a major impact on your skis, bring them to your local ski shop so a certified technician can perform a binding function test. This crucial service ensures that the release mechanism on the binding is functioning properly.
When in Doubt
Whether you found your skis in the basement or were given them as a hand-me-down, the best thing to do is to bring your equipment into your local ski shop. Certified technicians can perform an inspection and make sure that your equipment is in compliance with the industry’s current safety guidelines so you can enjoy your time on the slopes with peace of mind.
Do you have more ski-related questions or equipment needs? Based in northeast PA, Ski Shack carries a full line of outdoor gear, clothing and accessories to keep everyone in your family cozy, dry and safe in the great outdoors this season — no matter your experience or ability level.
Looking for something else? Based in northeast PA, Ski Shack carries a full line of outdoor gear, clothing and accessories to keep everyone in your family cozy, dry and safe in the great outdoors this season — no matter your experience or ability level.