A slope inclinometer used to be the skier’s macho meter. Is obsession with DIN numbers the new gauge? Is the max DIN of a binding any indication of quality or durability? Is a “DIN 12″ skier better than a “DIN 6″ skier?
What we skiers call “DIN” is a standardized and calibrated rating of how “stiff” the release of a binding is set to. The term comes from a German standards organization, more here.
The maximum DIN number of a given binding is NOT a rating of binding quality. We’ve seen a trend in using the number this way, and we’re going to repeat the truth every chance we get. Having a higher DIN can be useful if you need stiff release tension because you’re bigger or ski aggressively and inadvertently pop out at lower numbers, but higher max DIN is NOT a general indicator of binding quality or durability (other than the manufacturer optionally building the binding stronger to cope with stronger springs).
Also, skiers are assuming a binding with higher maximum DIN is somehow more resistant to unintended release (prerelease) — no matter what DIN the binding is set at! Or worse, they’re assuming they can blithely crank up to a higher DIN to prevent prerelease — with no consequences.
Worst of all, I’ve heard skiers sharing their chosen DIN setting like it rated their skill level.
It’s extremely important to know that the elasticity range, return to center force, anti friction mechanics and general engineering of a given binding is equal if not more important to binding retention and performance than the DIN setting.
Be it known: If you’re needlessly setting your DIN numbers at the max you might indeed get something to brag about over beers, that something being the new macho meter you bought for your orthopedic surgeon — his private jet.