The Opposite Question From A Couple Of Weeks Ago.

A Question From Reader James Davis:

Ok I fully understand the mechanical aspect of old bindings, but what about the skis underneath? I have several pair of older skis in excellent visual condition that I like to use occasionally. How many times is it safe to put on new bindings?

Response from Dave Irons, long-time Ski Journalist, Ski Patrolman, And Venerable 

This is an interesting question.  There are so many variables there can be no definite answer.  In my pro patrol days, (120 days or more each season) my skis usually looked fine at the end of the season, but I got rid of them bindings and all.  They had been tuned so many times, there was little left of the edges and when skis are flexing, the fiberglass is actually breaking. By spring, these skis were noodles. Fortunately, I always had a ski company or shop to furnish new skis each year.  My concern with mounting new bindings would be how many times new holes would need to be drilled. This would be a question for the ski shop mechanic as each situation would have to be evaluated separately. James, take the skis to the shop. They will also know what binding would work best with the fewest new holes


  1. I am now just learning that my bindings that are more than five years old should be replaced on a pair of powder skis that have only been drilled once. These aren’t my everyday skis as they are used only during pillow light conditions here in Utah. (No, we don’t have powder every day.) Some manufactures allow for a longer window, but the ones I have need to be changed now. Lesson learned: Have a shop check the expiration date on any bindings you depend on that are more than five years old and consider the consequences if they are not replaced.

  2. Richard Kavey says:

    I don’t agree that a binding should be replaced after a set number of years. Factors such as the number of days on a bindings, the quality of the binding and advances in binding technology (e.g. Knee Binding) are all considerations. I have many sets of skis and bindings in my quiver – some much more than 5 years old that work perfectly well. Also, skis used for powder skiing put less stress on a binding than pounding through a rutted race course or high speed large radius turns on a icy, chattery surface. If you have questions as to how your binding is functioning, take it to a shop and have it DIN tested. And, never, ever put your skis on an open car roof rack to be salt and grit blasted.

  3. Chris Stannnard says:

    I hate to disagree with James and I am sure that, when skis have been as hard used as his are, he is wise to replace them. But he is wrong about fibre glass in general. The way it works is that the glass fibre provides the strength and the resin holds it together and allows the structure to flex. When designing skis I am sure the designers will allow for the flex without the structure being damaged in ordinary circumstances and that is before you remember the wood or Titanium core. Thus in normal circumstances skis should not be damaged by use within their design limits. However like us, age will catch up with all structures and skis are no different.
    For a normal skier, skiing 40 or so days a year if you are lucky and stopping for lunch etc it will take you some years to match James hours. The only reason I changes my skis recently was that at 80 my old skis were a bit to demanding. My grandson (17) grabbed them with glee and says they are still amazing although they are five years old.

  4. “How many times is safe to put on new bindings?”
    As much as you want… until the skis break. 1 – It is not recommended to drill new holes too close to the old ones (at least 5-7 mm away). 2 – Filling in the old holes with epoxy mixed with chopped glass fibers is way better for the core durability than using plugs made of ABS plastic. 3 – Ski bindings life is limited by decisions of the manufacturers. Every year certified ski services obtain a copy of Binding Liability Indemnification, which includes a list of indemnified bindings. Typically bindings older than 10 years are not in the list. They may work well for many years, but the legitimate service will not touch them. Some services may agree to do the release test for you in case you sign a waiver. 4 – Skis technically have no life limit. Keep checking them for major cracks in edges or/and a sidewall (which can be a sign of a broken core). Most ski issues can be repaired, it is a question of money, time, knowledge, and skills. Though as with TVs, computers, or shoes, people prefer to buy something new rather than to invest in repair of the old stuff. Many skiers will buy new skis only because they think the construction or the graphic design isn’t cool anymore. P.S. Here is an example of Atomic/Salomon/Armada… 2019-2020.

    • More on the “indemlist” – my understanding is that 10 or 6 years of age is not the only reason for manufacturers to take a particular model off the list. They may have other reasons (defects, returns, high level of accidents) which they do not disclose. So age is just a number, not a reason:))

  5. Greetings from Australia

    I have put new bindings on my Fischer skis this month. My shop asserted a noise was produced when tightening the toe piece.

    Am interested in a previous comment about DIN.

    Welcome any clarification.

    • Did they mean noise while adjusting your DIN setting on your NEW bindings from 2019/2020? If yes, what sort of noise? Clicks? Or did they mean the mounting screws? Can you please elaborate on your question “about DIN”. Regards.

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