Mounting Ski Bindings.... It's pretty easy when you do it everyday and you have the proper tools to do so. Mounting your bindings properly is very important. If you've noticed when you pick your skis up after an adjust or mount; the tech or shop kid always goes over the bindings with you and shows you that everything is in working order. We don't do this because it's fun and we like to hear ourselves talk we do this because your safety is important.
System skis with integrated bindings are easier to mount or maybe I should say harder to screw up because there isn't any drilling. When we drill into a ski we don't do it free hand and we don't do it with a paper template either. We buy jigs from the manufacturer at a couple hundred bucks a piece. In the image below you can see what they look like.
Proper drilling is the reason we use these things we call jigs, you don't want to miss-drill and you don't want to drill through the ski (that would suck). We also want to make sure that we're drilling the toe and heel piece in the right spots for you specific boot. In the image below you can see a little line in raised plastic on the boot, that's the boots midsole.
When you are adjusting the jig to the length of the ski boot, you want that marking to line up with the mid sole marking on the binding jig. In the image below you can see the little marking on the jig.
Once you have those lined up and the jig position locked in place, it's time to place the jig on the ski, but where? On the ski there is a similar marking like on the ski boot or on most freeride skis there is a reference.
If you are using the ski all-mountain or don't have a preference mount at zero. Zero means factory recommended or not mounted forward or back. Some skiers have a preference as to where they like to be mounted and it can and usually does differ from ski to ski. When in doubt, ask!
So after all that explaining it's finally time to drill your skis! There are a variety of bits you can use, but the most commonly used bits are the 4.1 x 9.5 used for skis with metal in the core, the 3.5 x 9.5 is good most wood or composite core skis to prevent stripping and the 3.5 x 7 is used for all junior skis and skis that are thinner then an adult ski. We buy our bits from Montana but you can also get them from Wintersteiger.
Once your holes are drilled, make sure you get any of the excess/loose wood out of the holes so your ski bases don't dimple when you put the screws in, this is a common mistake. After that put a little bit of wood glue in each hole then your good to start mounting your bindings on your new skis.
If this seemed like a lot of information, is a little overwhelming or you don't have any of these tools; do yourself a favor and have a shop mount your skis. Now you know a little bit about what goes into mounting your skis. It's important that it's done properly so you and everyone around you can be safe on the mountain.