Binding Spacing

I know it’s widely held that mounting the bindings further apart “should” provide a more stable stance, but here are some things to ponder in this regard.
When standing on solid ground, clearly the further apart your feet are (within reason) the more stable your stance will be. But this “wide” stance is irrelevant to a skier’s stability for three reasons:

  1. If your feet were bolted to the ground in bindings, you’d have an enormous amount of control over your balance front to back regardless of how close together the bindings were.
  2. A ski isn’t as stable as solid ground. A ski pitches up and down easily when the skier moves their weight back and forth.
  3. The longer the distance from the back binding to the tail of the ski, the more stable the tip attitude will be.

Changing the distance between your bindings just changes how much leverage you have to rock the ski’s tip attitude up and down like a teeter-totter.

If you were standing balanced in the middle of a teeter-totter, would it be easier to rock it up and down if your feet were tight together or spread wide apart? Likewise, the wider your stance on your ski, the more your every move on the ski will affect the ski’s tip attitude. And when the tip attitude changes, that changes the way the ski turns, accelerates and decelerates. This means the further apart your feet are, the more the ski will react to your every move—including the less than perfect moves, i.e. less forgiveness/stability.

It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but the closer your feet are together, the more stable the ski’s behavior will be, the more steady your balance will be, and as an added bonus, the easier it will be to get up over your front foot so the ski can behave the way it was designed to behave.

There are legitimate reasons for some skiers to move their back binding rearward, so the notion of mounting the bindings as close together as possible can seem a bit “old school.” But when in doubt, old school may still be the best school for most skiers.

SkiJay
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