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How to Mount Telemark Bindings to Skis

Step 3: Measuring Binding location

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Deciding where to put your telemark bindings on a pair of skis has no hard and fast rules. If the skis are telemark skis they may have a pin line marked, or if they are alpine skis they will have a boot midsole line on the skis. I find if the manufacturer’s recommendations are available they tend to work out best. However it is fun to measure our more than one position and move the boot around on the ski until one fo the positions looks best. I did this in the process below, and I'll explain my decision making process below.

If the ski has a boot mid sole making the first thing you need to do is to measure your boot midsole. To do this measure the sole of your boot from the end of the duck bill to the end of the heel. From this number subtract 15mm (for the duckbill) and then divide the remainder by 2. The boots below were 317mm long from duckbill to heel. Minus the duckbill they have a sole length of 302mm making the midsole 151mm from the pin line. I like to mark the midsole on my boot for later on in the process.

If you want to measure out chord centre measure the ski from the tip of the ski to the tail, if the ski has a square tail. If the ski is a twin tip measure from the tip of the ski to the end of the running surface instead of to the tail of the ski. Divide the chord length of the ski by two to calculate chord centre.

measure bsl measure chord centre 1
Measure your boot midsole Measure chord from the tip of the ski
measure chord centre 2 measure chord cnetre 3
down its length to the tip of the tail, or the end of the skis running surface

Now with these numbers you can measure out some mounting positions. For boot midsole measure your boots midsole length forward of the centre line marked on the skis. This is the boot midsole pin line you will match your template up to if you use this method. To measure out chord centre measure the chord centre distance back from the tip of the ski to make your pins on chord centre marks. Measure the marks on each ski from the ski tip and make sure the marks are on the same position on each ski. Finally stand your skis against a wall to make sure your markings are on the same position on each ski.

mark our midsole & pin lines check lines
Midsole, Pins on chord centre and pins on midsole markings Another shot of first tracks goodness

After measuring and checking your pin lines it comes time to decide where to put the bindings. Most of the time chord centre and boot midsole will work out putting your binding in roughly the same position. If there is not much difference I normally yield to the manufacturer’s recommendation. With these skis there was a large difference, midsole was 5cm forward of chord centre. Before removing the alpine bindings I put my old alpine boot into them and the manufacturers mark matched the midsole of my boot well so I went with the manufacturer's recommendation. If there is a big difference you can cut your losses and go in the middle, or chose a point in the range of measurements. As a general rule putting the binding a bit further forward will improve hard snow performance and putting the binding further back will improve soft snow performance. Remember to check one more time your chosen line is on the same place on each ski.

Step 4: Mark out screw holes

Once you have chosen and checked the location of the pin line you want to use to mount your bindings against put your template on the ski and line it up with your centre line and your chosen pin line. Use a hole punch and a hammer to tap a little indentation in the top sheet of your ski for each hole. The indentation will help you keep the drill steady when you start the hole.

Reader Tip: Ziggy, a poster on the ski.com.au backcountry forum suggests,

"One tweak I do is to photocopy the mounting template onto an OHP transparency. Use that to mark the drill points just with a compass point and follow that up with an automatic centre punch. The template easily lasts over several skis."

place template on centre line hole punch hole locations
Line up the template against the centre line and your chosen pin line. Use a hole punch to mark your holes in the top sheet

Next remove the template and draw little circles around each hole punch mark. This will help compare skis and check your holes later. Use the hole punch again to make sure you have made a good indent into the top sheet.

draw circles around holes repunch holes without template
Draw circles around the hole punch marks Use the hole punch again to make sure the marks are deep enough

Line up each ski next to each other to check your holes are in the same location on each ski.

check holes
Check your holes are on the same place on each ski

Contined on page 3