DIN You Know?, Incidents And Accidents 2, XC Stereotypes, Skier Code Review, First T-Bar Pic.

On The DIN List? Credit: Pirates of Powder

We dropped our skis and new boots off at the Sports Stop in Wenham, MA, the other day. We wanted to make sure our new boots and bindings worked in harmony. And to generally slick up the skis for the season.

Imagine our surprise when the ski tech said, “You only have one year left on these bindings.”

“What?” says I.

“Bindings are good for 10 years,” he patiently replied to my confusion. “Springs aren’t reliable. And ski shops won’t work on them if they are on the DIN List.”

Several thoughts popped up: Has it really been 10 years since I bought those skis? Wow. This is a cash-cow for the binding/ski/boot business. Wow. Wait a minute, wasn’t there just a ski-skate-board swap down at the high school gym? Wowser again. Those obsolete skis and bindings are probably unusable, if not unsafe, and lots of kids are going to ski on them. And, what is this DIN List?

Apparently, the DIN List is not readily available to the public. We did find an undated copy on SkiBum.net with an explanation of what “indemnification” means. The article also includes a set of rules in place if a ski shop does, in fact, work on old bindings. Here’s also a DIN List from 2016-17 from PugSki.com.

Here’s the point: Do you know if your bindings are on the DIN List? What have you done about that if they are? Are you the kind of sportsman who holds on to equipment as long as possible? Are you aware that might/might not be a terrific idea?

After all, we still have wooden XC skis that we treat with pine tar and old-fashioned wax like the old days.

Time to buy new equipment for the season? You may have to.

This Week

We have another reader-submitted report on ski hill Incidents and Accidents. This time, it was a self-inflicted injury, stemming from improperly adjusted bindings. Interesting how we forget to adjust to changing physical capabilities as well as our DIN settings. If you have a story to tell, please try to follow the suggested format and send to [email protected]

Jonathan Weisel offers thoughts on the value of ski grooming at XC ski areas and why it is worth a fee to support excellent conditions, routings, and consistency. He bursts several myths about XC that most people assume.

Where?

Veteran journalist Mike Roth helps us remember to make a loud announcement of intent when we passing downhill skiers. It’s a way of being safe; why don’t we hear “On Your Right” more often? He review the Skier’s Code of Responsibility here.

Finally, we have a mystery photo this week of a very early T-bar, the very first in this particular state. Name the state, name the ski area.

That’s it. Thanks for reading SeniorsSkiing.com. Please tell your friends and remember, there are more of us every day and we aren’t going away.

13 Comments

  1. Good article on DIN and ski bindings. As a past manager of a ski shop in Vail, I turn down the tension on my bindings at the end of each season. Doing this allows the springs (and bindings) to function as designed.
    Even with the above, I would recommend replacing bindings that are over 10 years old.

  2. Addressing the article regarding the 10 year binding issue.

    We had an old pair of Atomics that our son had been using while he joined us for a week in Colorado. After the 1k mile drive home we unpacked all our gear and found the binding on one of those skis was in pieces. A large spring had broken during transport, releasing several other pieces of the mechanism. I would hate for anyone to have been coming down the mountain on them when that binding came apart.

    Seems that 10 year rule may be on target!

    These skis are over 10 y

    • There were certain Atomic bindings that were recalled because the heelpiece was prone to breakage. Sport Chalet replaced the bindings under warranty. The first time I used them the left heelpiece broke spontaneously, sending me to the ground at ~40 mph. No injury, but a real nuisance. Either Sport Chalet lied about replacing them or Atomic sent defective bindings. SC went out of business soon after, but I will NEVER buy an Atomic product or even accept one as a gift.

  3. Great idea. Is that a pic of Esther Williams? Is so, that T bar would likely be at Sun Valley.

  4. Avatar Connie Grodensky says:

    My husband dealt with this problem year before last when our local ski shop said his bindings were on their last legs. So, end of season sales, new skis and new bindings and he is skiing like a new man! This is a GOOD thing, believe me–safety first on the slopes–and he is skiing better on his new skis with his new, safe bindings, so it was a blessing in disguise.

  5. Has anyone EVER had a binding fail due to age? I’ve used yard-sale skis (well-chosen, of course!) for decades, and the only problem I’ve ever had was with the Atomics I mentioned previously.

  6. Regarding bindings failing due to age, yes I believe I have had one and seen several others. In all cases it was the material that failed, especially plastic parts. Not being a materials engineer, I am assuming the plastic breaking when I stepped into the binding it was due to age and the metal binding I saw fail had cracks through it.

    Now these binding were from the 70’s & 80’s mounted on skis of the same vintage. The equipment was pulled from an attic and attempted to be skied on as a lark for a retro day at a local area. In hind site, the retro equipment is probably better left to just clothing.

  7. The yearly updated DIN binding list, does not need to be made public, as it would be very misleading. Just because a specific binding model is still considered serviceable, does not mean it still meets DIN.

    Wear and tear could have made the binding unserviceable! This would show up during the yearly binding inspection and function testing. It is also recommended that bindings be re-inspected mid season, of the ski is involved in a crash.

    • It just means that official people are willing to touch them. I’m OK with that. Since I buy ALL my skis at yard sales I’d like to know about the bindings before I buy.

      It may be noted that the only bindings I’ve ever had a problem with (in 30 years; I started skiing when I was 45) were the Atomics I mentioned previously, which were BRAND NEW FACTORY FRESH and installed by the Sport Chalet presumed-expert.

      Hiding information from users in order to protect them is NEVER a good idea, especially since half the population is subnormal and therefore incompetent to tell the other half what to do.

  8. REI won’t even adjust your bindings, regardless of age without subjecting them to a torture release test where they bend the ski about half way.

  9. A few years ago I tore an MCL when a toepiece released improperly due to weak springs. They were old bindings that I’d harvested and re-used, certainly more than 10 years old. That was my introduction to the 10-year concept, which does make sense. I was due to leave on a heli-skiing trip the next day, so I bound it up in a hinged knee-brace and off I went. Fortunately, an MCL can heal on its own.

  10. Avatar Mike Bradley says:

    Interesting… as a former patroller and instructor I have three rules I follow to stay safe and healthy on the slopes… Rule 1.. for start of the season.. three days on the greens, three days on the blues before trying the black and blues.. Rule 2.. anytime there is a two week gap after the warm up week.. one day on the greens and one day on the blues before the black and blues.. Rule 3… Always take a half hour break at 2 PM for a hot drink and a granola bar so the body has fuel for that last critical hour on the slopes.

  11. I’ve owned Helm of Sun Valley ski shop in San Mateo, California for 37 years and have never heard of a “DIN” list. I’m pretty sure you are referring to the manufacturer’s List of Indemnified Bindings.

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