Dynafit Release Adjustment Tips and Tricks

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | December 5, 2008      

Part Five in a week of Dynafit. Without you esteemed blogsters commenting on it, I never would have realized that all these years I’ve been setting my Dynafit release somewhat by instinct. I’ve always been certain how the horizontal release scale worked, but for the vertical numbers I’d just assumed the tiny raised plastic hatch marks (ridges) were somehow a scale of 5 to 10, and that the big printed numbers were there to call attention to how the hatch marks were scaled.

Then I looked at the binding and thought about it. Sometimes that’s dangerous. The thinking, anyway. The more I looked, the more confused I got. So I contacted my sources this morning. Yep, the hatch marks are the settings, the big printed numbers just indicate the range of the marks. Check out the photos.

Dynafit backcountry skiing bindings.

Dynafit binding safety release scales. Upper scale is for vertical release, lower for lateral (side).

Dynafit backcountry skiing bindings.

Use a small screwdriver in the upper recess to adjust vertical release. Large bladed screw driver works well to twist lower adjustment barrel.

For ultimate safety, it’s useful to adjust vertical and lateral release values independent of each other. In other words, use a chart to figure out your DIN number, then set your bindings perhaps one number below that. Ski the bindings. If you have an unnecessary release (prerelease) just dial up the binding for whatever mode that release was in (vertical or lateral) and leave the other setting alone. I’ve found that I can leave my Dynafit lateral setting quite low, but need to keep the vertical setting at or slightly above what the DIN chart recommends. For extreme skiing when loosing a ski could kill me, I dial everything up 2 or 3 DIN numbers above my usual, and when on the actual danger terrain I use the touring lock which blocks lateral release up to around DIN 15/18 or so my sources say.

One other thing about adjustments: The space between your boot heel and binding is CRITICAL. It’s 4 mm for TLT models, 6 mm for Comfort/TLT/ST. BUT, do not set this by trying to use a ruler, you must use the feeler gauge included with the binding. See our Dynafit binding FAQ and other articles for more about this.

All this leads to one of the more cryptic bits of Dynafit trivia. What do the “MY” and “MZ” printed on the side of the binding mean? They obviously attempt to communicate which is the vertical release scale and which is the lateral. But, is this some sort of insider Tyrolean engineering thing or what?

So, I emailed Fritz Barthel, inventor of Dynafit bindings. Here is what Mr. Barthel says the origin of the terms is:


This derives from the (cartesic) coordinate system for a boot-binding-ski system that is used in the ISO standards. The z-direction of this coordinate system is pointing “upwards” (direction of the shin bone ) therefore a torque (rotation) around this Z axis applied to the boot is the torque needed for lateral release. The Y direction is “sideways.” A torque around this axis applied to the boot would open the binding in vertical direction.

Thus, “Mz” = momentum (torque) around the z-axis, “My” = momentum (torque) around the y-axis.

(Editor’s note: The confusing aspect of this is that while the Z axis is vertical and the Y horizontal, the marks on the binding end up being the opposite, with MZ meaning lateral release (because this actually means rotation around the vertical axis, and so forth for MY.)

In the standards the release values are defined as torque (and also measured by the TÜV with devices that apply “torque,” also for front release.) E.g., a setting of “8” for the lateral release would mean that a torque of 80 Nm on the boot should open the binding (plus/minus some tolerance). The “forces” to hold the boot then depend on the “lever,” in this case the boot.

That’s why the tables in the manuals compensate for the length of the boot changing the torque. The standard settings end with “10,” everything beyond that value is not covered by a standard. “10” means 100 Nm, which is the equivalent of a bucket of water hanging on a lever with a length of one meter. Imagine you hold your foot horizontally, the lever is attached to the boot and you try to lift the bucket of water through rotating your leg. “20” would mean 200 Nm, nobody is able to open such a binding statically (in slow motion).




67 Responses to “Dynafit Release Adjustment Tips and Tricks”

  1. Chris December 5th, 2008 12:09 pm

    Here’s my guess based on how things generally work in the automotive world:

    “M” actually represents “Moment” (think torque if moment is unfamiliar) and not magnitude. The Y and Z are axes. Usually, the X-axis runs longitudinal, the Y-axis laterally, and the Z-axis vertically. So, “MZ” would refer to a “Moment about the Z-axis”, and this indicates the lateral release since the boot (and heel piece) actually pivots on the vertical axis to release laterally. Likewise, “MY” refers to “Moment about the Y-axis” indicating vertical release since the boot pivots around the y-axis to release vertically.

    Like I said, just a guess, but it makes sense to me.

  2. Mark December 5th, 2008 12:28 pm

    I have been skiing dynafit bindings for about 4 seasons now, and have been very happy with them for the most part. I had been having some minor trouble with pre-releasing problems, so I had the release tolerances tested at a shop here in Boulder; they came back perfect. So I slowly dialed up the dins (both vertical and horizontal). This past spring I had dins set to 9.5 (10 is what the charts recommend for me). Then, returning from a ski descent of Toll, I had an awkward fall in some deep soft snow. My left binding released easily in a horizontal plane, but then I fell directly over the tip of my right ski, putting extreme pressure on the vertical release of the right ski, which never broke free. The result was a third degree strain (tear) in my right calf, followed by an extremely painful 1.5 mile exit, then two weeks of not walking and now six month later I am still feeling some pain and weakness when flexing that calf. I’m getting ready to ski again but I will definitely be lowering the vertical release din setting before doing so. Just thought I would share this story and see if anyone had any thoughts or recommendations.

  3. Sam Reese December 5th, 2008 1:45 pm

    I thought for some reason that M was for modifier, as the spring is constant, you change the spring’s properties by modifying the pre-load on the spring.

  4. GeoffA December 5th, 2008 3:15 pm

    I had my bindings mounted by a shop that tests the actual DIN. They found that the vertical release had to be set +1 to get the proper release characteristic. They told me that if I adjusted them that the +1 is approximately constant. I’m small and light so my DINs are at 6.5 and 7.5.

    As for the naming convention, Chris’s guess seems pretty good to me.

  5. Jonathan Shefftz December 5th, 2008 3:45 pm

    Just to confirm: are you calling the “ridges” or the “valley” the hatch marks?

  6. jerimy December 5th, 2008 3:50 pm

    I think it would have to be the ridges: 6 DIN settings (5-10) and 6 ridges. Where as there are 7 valleys.

  7. Lou December 5th, 2008 4:05 pm

    Jonathan, you sure keep me honest! The ridges, my friend. I’ll edit the post to reflect that. Lou

  8. AK Jack December 5th, 2008 9:51 pm

    Thankyouthankyouthankyou. Great post on D-fit release beta!

  9. AK Jack December 5th, 2008 10:05 pm

    TO MARK:
    Did the same thing, but got a grade 2 calf strain in my layman’s estimation. Only missed about a week of powderplay. I ski about 90 days/yr; 1/3 each front country, backcountry, and alpine – my alpine (big Salomons) would have definitely double ejected, but one of my D-fits did not in my incompetent creek crossing in a whiteout..

    Same solution, relaxed vert release. I went a little overboard and prereleased (& banged my knee.) As a 25+ yr 2-planker AND Dynafit ROOKIE, I’m hangin’ in there with the D-fits cuz they’re light (even if semi-releasable.) Trying to take Lou’s advice: Don’t fall.

  10. Lou December 6th, 2008 8:39 am

    Guys, please don’t call a binding “semi releasable” unless you call every binding that term. A constant stream of ambulances comes off the ski hills around here, and the orthopods all have toys such as private planes, all because of people using their “sem-releasable” alpine bindings and various AT bindings. I know of injuries that have happened over the years on virtually every modern AT binding, for example.

    I’ve hurt myself on everything from nordic racing bindings to alpine bindings, with plenty of injuries on AT bindings mixed in there.

    Binding release in general is primitive technology that’s basically been the same thing for decades, and they don’t release at every angle nor do they always release at a low enough force to prevent injury. That’s just the reality of the situation.

    AT bindings have their release pluses and minuses. For example, I’ve never been impressed with the lateral release of the Fritschi. It always seems to have too much friction, and not much elasticity. Dynafits have an incredibly smooth and elastic lateral release, but the vertical release doesn’t have as much elasticity as bindings with over-center pivot heel unit such as Fritschi and Duke.

    For example, Duke allows your heel to move upward just over a centimeter before you go past the point of no return and release. Dynafit allows upward travel of around 3 millimeters before you pop out vertically. In my opinion, this difference in elasticity means some skiers may need slightly higher or lower vertical DIN settings on a given binding, depending on their style of skiing.

    And some skiers do seem to need really high DIN numbers no matter what binding they ski. In my opinion that’s fine when you’re drinking the wine of youth, but is not sustainable for a long lifetime of skiing.

    The difference also makes the bindings feel different when you ski them. For example, the incredibly solid and precise feel of the Dynafit might in part be due to how little your heel moves up and down when you ski, as compared to a binding with more elasticity/slop.

    Bottom line is yeah, if you’re falling you’ll eventually find out an angle and force that your binding _doesn’t_ effect a release for. Cripes, you can blow out a knee or pull a muscle hiking without skis…

    Someone said a while back on another thread that if everyone was more careful with their DIN settings, the epidemic of ski injuries would take a dive for the better. I agree with that. Again, the bindings are not perfect, but it is IMPORTANT to ski with the lowest DIN possible, and if you’re falling more than a few times a season, don’t expect the odds to be in your favor.

  11. Graeme December 6th, 2008 3:59 pm

    Lou, any word on whether the presence or absence of brakes affects the vertical release DIN?. It is clear how the springs can be changed or the DIN adjusted for the lateral release, but no mention in all I have seen of vertical release. Are you aware of any formal testing of vertical release with/without brakes?

  12. AK Jack December 6th, 2008 5:52 pm

    Sorry, Lou. You’re right, all bindings are semi-releasable, even the ones that aren’t designed to release at all (had a few mechanically fail, come open, & pull out of the ski). In my case with Dynafits, it was human error on my part in setting my Dynafits that yielded the ‘semi-release’. By semi-release, I meant one binding released and the other binding did not – post fall inspection revealed that one of my MZ settings was slightly higher than the other.

    I’m still really liking my Dynafits. As a free-heeler until last spring who made the move to AT, I needed more education on how they work. And your wonderful blog (and an Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking tech) really helped educate me. Thanks, again. Jack

  13. Lou December 6th, 2008 7:34 pm

    Hey Jack, thanks for being here!

  14. Lou December 6th, 2008 7:38 pm

    Graeme, I don’t think it makes much difference in vertical as the brake kind of retracts at a certain point with very little upward force. It’s more of a concern because of added friction for lateral release. Most people don’t pay much if any attention to this, but it’s worth considering if you run higher than normal DIN. I guess the FT12 is already calibrated for this, as it comes with brakes.

  15. Graeme December 7th, 2008 3:02 am

    Thanks, Lou – I was sort of presuming this to be the case, in the absence of other info, but its nice to get it confirmed. I am actully using a couple of sets of last year’s FTs, DIN 10, but I have removed the brakes from one set which is an ultralightweight setup.

  16. Mark December 9th, 2008 2:26 pm

    Thanks for the info Lou. I know there is no perfect solution, just looking for suggestions and expertise. As I have entered my late 30’s I do try to keep my falls/season in the 2-3 range, seems like I just got a bit unlucky during this one awkward fall. I’m still worried about my injured calf, so I plan to lower the din on the vertical releases. Otherwise, I love the bindings and will stay with them, I’m just always looking for a better/safer setup, or any ideas from those more experienced than myself.

  17. Lou December 9th, 2008 2:42 pm

    I’d just fine tune that DIN, and realize no binding is perfect.

  18. David December 22nd, 2008 2:55 pm

    One more vote for a lower setting on the vertical release. Had some experiences where I thought the vertical should have released, but it didn’t. No injuries though.
    This was when using the same setting on both lateral and vertical, and the lateral released just the way that I wanted to. Now I go about 1.5 step down on the vertical setting.

  19. Bill December 30th, 2008 12:31 am

    I’m looking at Dynafits for the first time. Is the lateral release pivot point heal based? Meaning in alpine bindings and on my Naxos, the toe pivots for a lateral release. Looking at your article, it appears that the pivot for the Dynafits is at the heal.

    BTW, great articles and videos on the Dynafits. They have been most helpful.

  20. Lou December 30th, 2008 7:14 am

    Bill, heel mostly but a bit in the toe as well, a very smooth lateral release. See our index to many Dynafit binding articles, and be sure to use our search function as well.

  21. Jason Gregg February 21st, 2009 10:10 pm

    I was just dialing up my vertical release DIN on my TLT Verticals up to 10/max and when I tried to back off half a turn the screw sort of stripped. Now the head of the screw is all the way backed out (all most flush with the rear surface of the heel piece) and the DIN is at the minimum. Do you think this is repairable or covered by warranty?

  22. Lou February 22nd, 2009 2:22 pm

    Jason, it’s repairable, but I don’t work for Dynafit so I’m not clear on warranty issues. You’ll have to contact them for that…

  23. Jurek March 14th, 2009 10:58 am

    Hi Lou,
    In one of your posts you wrote about removing the inner spring as a method of moving down the range of the lateral release settings. Did you measure the value by which the DIN setting decreased after that trick?
    I bought Verticals FT12 recently, and because of my rather low weight (65kg) and the torn (a year ago) ACL I’d like to decrease the lateral release force below DIN 6. To determine the force change obtained by removing inner springs I did the following test: one of the heel units (the one without modifications) set for DIN 6, and from the other removed the inner spring and dialed such value to have subjective feeling (twisting heels units manually) the forces in both heel units are the same. The value was about 7.5, what means that removing the inner spring decreased DIN value by about 1.5. So setting 6 on the scale, without the inner spring give us DIN about 4.5
    Do you think I am right? Regards from Poland.

  24. Lou March 14th, 2009 7:12 pm

    Jurek, one has to ask, if you only need DIN 6 or below why in the world did you buy FT 12 bindings?

    As for how much using one spring lowers the DIN, I don’t know the number but my feeling was that it lowered it quite a bit, at least 1.5.

  25. Jurek March 15th, 2009 2:29 am

    Thanks for the answer, Lou. Yes, I rather should have bought Verticals ST or one of the earlier models, but I hit the FT for a good price. And from the other hand – they are beutiful…

  26. Cameron April 19th, 2009 1:28 am


    I am having a problem with my dynafit comforts releasing while in the touring lock mode. While skinning some steep slopes they have been popping out while the front tab is pulled up and locked. Do you have any recommendations?



  27. Lou April 19th, 2009 5:56 am

    Cameron, what boots, body weight and conditions? Any chance either the toe sockets were icy or dirt packed, or that you had ice in the pocket under the binding toe wings? Does this happen any conditions, any day? And how often?

  28. John May 7th, 2009 9:13 am

    I have a set of FT 12 bindings on Atomic RT 86s. The instructions call for 6mm of heel clearance. At 6mm I can flex the ski up to the point where the pins pull out of the boot heel fairly easily. My main concern is overflexing the ski in the other direction, say while dropping into a chute, and pushing the boot out of the front mechanism. At 4mm I can get pretty close to simulating this.

    The relationship between vertical release setting and heel clearance is readily apparent.

    What heel spacing do you guys run on your FT 12s?

  29. Lou January 4th, 2010 7:11 pm

    Jim, I usually do not add the pack weight, as the chart is only a guideline, and it’s better to start light, pre-release if it’s going to happen, then adjust up. Just remember when you’re in the fine tuning stage not to be skiing anything where a pre-release would kill you.

    Also, I’ve found it advantageous to adjust lateral and vertical independent of each other. They both don’t need to be the same number.

  30. Jim January 4th, 2010 6:28 pm


    When you look up your DIN number on the DIN chart, do you add the weight of your pack to your skier weight? In other words, if your pack is 40 pounds, do you add 40 pounds to your skier weight? I hereby release you of all liability for any comments you make on this subject.


  31. Jonathan Shefftz February 3rd, 2010 4:54 pm

    After a couple years of pondering, I finally measured the new Vertical ST/FT adjustment shim (with the little ball) versus the old Comfort shim — I was always wondering whether the new shim was thinner, or just *seemed* thinner b/c of the different shape.
    So with digital calipers:
    — old = 5.89 mm
    — new = 5.42 mm
    The exactly figures are subject to slight differences in measurement technique, but bottomline is that the new shim is about half a mm thinner than the old.
    This brings up the question, should the Vertical ST/FT be set to a tighter gap than the Comfort, or should both bindings be set to the new shim, or is the new shim less accurate, and/or is half a mm not worth worrying about?

  32. Simon August 29th, 2010 6:37 pm

    Hi there,
    Recently with winter back in full effect I’ve been back on the touring ski’s and exploring the backcountry. I have been frustrated and puzzled on why my toe-piece on my tlt comforts are pre releasing. Firstly when applying toe pressure downwards and watching as the two “pins” slide out from there seating and openinf up as if to remove to boot from the binding. This also happens when in uphill mode and kicking the edge into the hard wind packed crust of sun crust. I hev ended up locking the toe piece into full lock touring mode and skiing out. Not ideal and a good recipe for knee reconstruction had things go wrong! After some time, it began to create a small slot on the Scarpa spirt4 boots and i brought this up with Scarpa who had no reslove and kindly repleced them. For 2 weeks of touring the boots went well and performed as they should, but now have began to do the same thing. I thought Ice maybe so I have been very cautious to clear and clean the sloes and pin holes before clipping in. I also tried removing the excess plastic grinding it lightly. I think this helped but even dry with the ice factor removed, testing in my home I still experienced pre release. I have heard a few other stories about the Scarpa Spirt4-Dynafit combo causing this problem amongst other industry users, but no reason nore resolve. I have searched the internet, and this site, which I think is great! Can you help me shead some light on this problem. Thanks!


  33. Sarah January 8th, 2012 12:29 am

    I recently took my new Radical ST’s to a resort to test them out. I set the DIN to 4 as my downhill bindings are set to 3.5 (never had problems at this setting) and the minimum on the ST’s is 4. I also double checked online for recommended DIN and I got answers from 3.5-4 (I’m very short & light!)

    When I skied with DIN 4, the ST’s released any time I tried to make a turn. I put the DIN up to 5 and had no pre-release. My guess is that perhaps when I set the DIN to 4, I was under by a smidge which would have given me DIN 0 (it was also just one binding that kept pre-releasing).

    My problem is that I think 5 is too high for me and I’m worried that they won’t release if I do fall and I’ll injure myself. I’d set them back at 4 but I’m concerned that they might pre-release again when I’m on something more serious and I’ll lose a ski or hurt myself.

    I was wondering if you have any knowledge of how the bindings perform on their lowest DIN setting? II can’t help but wonder if they pre-released due to the binding not working optimally at it’s lowest setting or the adjustment needed for it to catch at 4 being finicky.

    I’m new to the Dynafit setup so I was hoping you might have some insight.


  34. Tony S. January 8th, 2012 12:17 pm

    Spray the tech fittings and toe piece with “Pam” or Silicone spray. Step into the bindings, do several “false touring strides” and then lock down the toe lever. Then put the toe lever back to ski position. This will make sure there is no undetectable ice in the toe fittings. You should also carry a little nail or something to stick iin the toe fiittings for after you have been bootpacking for a while. I am convinved that most new users underestimate the affect just a tiny amount of ice can have. It happened to me too but folllowing these steps gives me 100% confience I am in the binding properly.

  35. Greg Louie January 8th, 2012 2:02 pm

    @Sarah: What Tony S. says is absolutely true, and many tech binding users do these things habitually (I don’t always do the “lock” thing, but use it as a check sometimes to see if all debris/snow is out of the system). However, you shouldn’t assume the release value numbers on the bindings are the equivalent of alpine bindings – they typically don’t perform equally, especially in terms of elasticity.

    Not that I recommend doing this, but many people set tech bindings a number or so higher than their alpine bindings – especially for vertical (upward) release.

  36. Sarah January 8th, 2012 10:41 pm

    I’m not sure that the problem this time was ice in the toe fittings though I did have that happen the very first time I took them out touring. It was extremely frustrating so thanks for the tips – I’ll be sure to try them out to avoid wanting to throw my skis in a creek 🙂

    Just wondering though, should the bindings perform just as well on their lowest setting (4) as they do for the midrange? I’ve had issues with other gear (crampons) not performing optimally when cranked to the smallest setting.

  37. paul January 15th, 2012 2:45 pm

    I had the problem with pre-releasing yesterday and just found this blog while looking for a solution. What excellent information! Yesterday was very cold and I made the mistake of taking the skis into the lodge while warming up. I’m guessing that snow melted partially and then refroze as ice under the toe wings when I went back out. There may also have been ice in the boot sockets. I have looked everything over on the bench and the DIN settings have not changed. I’m hoping I’m good to go without any further adjustments necessary.

    Here is my question though. If I want to use a spray, what is the best option? I would worry that PAM, being vegetable oil, would build up and stiffen up in the cold. Wouldn’t silicone spray be the better option?

    Thanks for the great resource.

  38. Dan January 15th, 2012 4:16 pm

    I’ll add to the chorus about my experience of pre-release on the radical st’s (on every turn). I doubt it was moisture since the skis were taken from the car and put on in a pretty dry area. In full lock out of course there was no problem. I’m skiing them with Maestrale’s. I had the DIN on 9 (and I weigh 145 ilb). I’m not here to beat up on the bindings but just to if perhaps there might be another insight on the problem. In the meantime I don’t recommend getting a feel for them at Silverton given present bullet proof conditions.

  39. Tony S. January 15th, 2012 10:36 pm

    Try several flase strides in touring mode, lock them down hard in touring mode, then put them back to ski mode. Even pop it off then back on really quick to be really sure. Spray the toe piece and the fittings with a silicone spray every few uses. If I take these steps, I find they stay on as good or better than any binding I have ever tried, and that’s only at 8 and I’m 6’1″ 175, not slow. I have pre released out of many a binding including Dukes set higher than that, so I am pretty amazed so far with that aspect of these, even on hardpack. I think you are pre releasing that much its either:

    Tiny bit of ice in the toe sockets, inserts or boot is off (crooked), mount is off, heel gap spacing not set right. I think you can’t underestimate how exact the tolerances have to be for the dynafiddle to work, but work they do if all those things are right on. I know a girl that’s a buck 20 and 5’2″ and doesn’t ski hard, hers are mounted just a little off and she can’t ski without em locked. I think this is why Lou stresses getting the mount and the heel gap very precise. Any deviation there and they could be unpredictable. As for me, if I don’t take the ice steps every time I step in, they will come flying off.

    Hope that helps someone.

  40. Lou January 16th, 2012 5:11 am

    Yes, if you simply can not stay in the bindings something is very wrong. Would be so with any binding on the market… Another thing to check is how the boot interfaces with the binding at the toe, sometimes the plastic or rubber of the sole is pressing against the “wings” of the binding, preventing them from closing properly on the boot toe fittings, or pressing them open in a turn. If in doubt, take them to a professional (who is actually a professional, not just a guy with an apron on.)

  41. Jon February 1st, 2013 9:44 pm


    I just got a pair of the speed radicals and trying to adjust the lateral din release with the big screw but I can’t figure out what it is referenced to. There are no marks on the screw itself, so I’m guessing you must line up the screw notch with the din numbers on the side? but is this from having the big screw screwed at the way out or all the way in?

    Thanks for any help!!

  42. Lou Dawson February 2nd, 2013 6:56 am

    Jon, just refer to the photo above. Radical is the same. You line up the rim of the big screw with the marks on the housing. Should be obvious.

  43. Andy February 12th, 2013 2:26 am

    ok, I was thinking to but new ski touring equipment 🙂
    I am not the best off-piste skier in the world and I go up the slope in a slow
    manoe, I guess I am perfect !

    At the moment I have Atomic off piste ski’s and Nexus 02 bindings – which everybody sez are heavey.

    Everybody seems to think that the Dynafit bindings are good and are much lighter.
    However some people think that the Dynafit bindings will not release aswell as normal ski touring bindings, with front and back release systems.

    Given that I am not the best skier coming down and I do not want to get knee problems …..

    My question is does anyone have any advise for me on what I have said, ie will the Dynafit bindings let me out in a safe way to save my knee, when I get into a bad situation coming through the trees ?????

    I know that my normal Nexus 02 bindings, will function like normal apline bindings to release me, giving me the best chance to aviod damage to my knee etc.

    Any help would be appricated, maybe not the just give up statements !!!

  44. Andy February 12th, 2013 2:32 am

    Further question:
    does the weight of the binding/ski/boot make more of a difference when going up hill than the weight carried in the rucksack ??

    ie, if you are going to take up additional weight, does it slow you down more if it is in the rucksack or on the boots, or no difference.

  45. Lou Dawson February 12th, 2013 6:07 am

    Slows you down more when it’s on your feet, of course, but the effect is not easily defined since the ski somewhat glides or slides with each step. Also importantly, really big heavy setups can eventually hurt you from overuse injury if you really tour them (not just hike a few hundred yards for some sidecountry). Lou

  46. Dan February 12th, 2013 10:31 am

    @Andy: Old US Army studies say that 1 pound on your feet is like 6 on your back. I believe those studies were related to hiking (or marching?) in mountainous terrain…not exactly applicable to skiing, but in the ballpark.

  47. Andrew February 28th, 2013 1:00 pm

    Quick question Lou,

    I’ve got a pair of Vertical FTs that I’ve been using for the past couple of seasons. I was curious if its okay to take off the brakes to lose a little weight/hassle for big spring tours and add a leash?

    I wanna say I’ve heard/read doing so can decrease the lateral release by 1 “release value.” Correct? Anything else I should consider?

  48. Jay July 5th, 2013 8:35 pm

    i purchased some dynafit vertical ft 12 bindings and am not sure what to set the vertical and lateral din settings at?
    I am 75kgs, 190cm tall, boot sole length is 324mm and are a type 2 skier (preferring average speeds and somewhat difficult runs).

    any help would be appreciated,



  49. Bar Barrique July 5th, 2013 9:23 pm

    Jay; I set my Dynafits at the same settings as the DIN settings on my alpine bindings. At the very least, it is a good place to start.

  50. Lou Dawson July 5th, 2013 9:34 pm

    Jay, yes, generally you use the same setting arrived at from the DIN chart as well as what works for you with alpine skis. If you’re large and ski aggressively, sometimes going one number higher on the vertical release is necessary because the bindings do not have much vertical elasticity. Lou

  51. Miranda December 22nd, 2013 4:52 pm

    I was testing out new Dynafit One boots and used (2yo) skis with Dynafit TLT bindings, as preparation for a touring trip. Skiing groomers to try out the set up and get dialed in. Runs 1 and 2 went great, but it was a weird day with icing conditions – scrape the goggles stuff.
    I took the skis off to go to another area, and put them back on – pre-released 4 times in 15 mins, just skiing along la-di-da; each time was mid-turn at slowish speed with edge pressure on both skis, and inside one released. Putting them back on, the bindings seemed not to be solid on the front pins when lateral pressure was applied but I couldn’t see any reason why.
    I have checked the binding settings and all seems okay for my weight and height (and equal to my normal DIN = 5 – older female – midweight). I couldn’t reproduce the pre-release after I got home.

    Is there some know issue with having ice build up under the toe-piece or boot that will produce this effect??
    Otherwise, I love the light weight of the kit, but now much bruised and humbled.
    Any ideas??

  52. paulie December 22nd, 2013 9:37 pm

    When the same thing happened to me, it was as simple as snow/ice packed into the receiver cups in the boots. It looked like they were seating, but the pins were not going totally to the bottoms of the holes. The solution was to pick the boot heel all the way up and rotate it forward and back a few times before locking down the heels. There are little scraper thingies on the pins that ream the ice out of the cups, allowing the pins to seat all the way. Once I learned that trick (perhaps from this very board) I never had any more trouble.

  53. Jack December 26th, 2013 1:12 pm

    On the whole “semi-releasable” brouhaha: my comment is that there are a lot of soft, dynamic variables in the equation. For example, my experience has been that I never get a late-or-no release *when skiing in a concentrated, focused fashion*. When skiing “focused”, I release off a loaded leg, going fast, and feel no sense of possible injury from the release. When lallygagging around, standing up, thinking about, say, women, and generally looking cool (in my mind) and not paying attention then nasty things happen. Falls are harder; my legs are in bad positions or softly flexed and then strained, etc.

    Thanks for the great description of settings on Dynafit. Very useful data.

  54. Lew December 30th, 2013 6:26 am

    Here’s a question on the lowest settings. My wife weighs in at 98-100 pounds, is an uber-fit 63 year old, and skis in the strong intermediate plus range. According to a shop that just mounted bindings for us, she should be a DIN 3. Is it possible that there’s no binding available that goes that low? We mounted some Dynafit TLT Radical FTs on her skis and they only go down to a 5. I could swap them on to a pair of my skis if we need to (sounds like we do), but is there a Dynafit, or any other light binding that will go down to 3?

  55. Miranda January 5th, 2014 6:04 pm

    The Problem – “pre-released 4 times in 15 mins, just skiing along la-di-da; each time was mid-turn at slowish speed with edge pressure on both skis, and inside one released. ”
    Update: Well, the apparent solution is not the probable (ice), even the likely (poor adjustment).
    I was skiing in new Dynafit One boots, which have the UltraLock top buckle with the little widget knob that inserts into a hole on the back on the boot in the downhill mode. I dropped off boot and skis with my favorite Dr. Dave at the PowMow ski shop – he is a great guy, and superb ski tech. He load tested the set up and established that with the buckle properly closed, the bindings performed fine – pretty much spot-on specifications.
    However, with the top boot buckle UNDONE , he found that the results for vertical release were all over the place, and significantly light (1/2 target value). I haven’t figured out the force diagram, but I suspect this is because the test rig (or your foot) exerts pressure in a totally different way on the binding from what the manufacturers expect, when the top buckle is undone.

    On the day in question, between the runs that went great, and the runs when I got dumped by pre-release, I went on a shuttle bus between two parts of the mountain. My guess is that I banged one boot on the other, or otherwise loosened off the right boot top buckle. Don’t remember. But I do remember that it always seemed to be turns to the right that dumped me!!

    Equipped with this new data, I took the skis/boots back out today, on the same weight setting, and properly buckled, and skied 5 progressively gnarlier runs, finishing in icy bumps, pow, bushes, and crud – no problem at all. I have also shaved back the radius of the sole edge, so there is less possibility of the sole contacting the front binding side-arms, though I don’t think that was a major factor.

    Further note, Dynafit bindings seem to be releasable by stomping hard on the inside ski edge. Tried this with some rental units at REI, on their counter top and it still happened. Apparently this doesn’t cause an issue when actually skiing.

    Conclusion – mystery solved – Make sure you do up your boots when skiing downhill in Dynafit bindings!!

    thanks for all comments and ideas.

  56. Chamonix January 9th, 2014 5:38 pm

    I had a nasty “re-release” with Vertical Sts, on my new Nunataq skis today. I have been slowly ramping up my speed, skiing hard pack snow, in big carving turns for the last few days. Really like the ski, too. Boots are Scarpa Rush.

    End of day, I went up the tram at JP (first clue?) then stepped out side to put skis on. When I put on the binding I carefully check for snow/ice buildup under the toe mechanism. Then I engage the pincers, and before I stomp the heel I swing the ski back and forth a bit to clear out the cups.

    Well after cruising a narrow tree lined chute, the run opens up and I picked up more speed. Smooth groomed surface, no real bumps to speak off.
    Suddenly BAM one ski popped off, followed by the other. I slammed down on my hip, and tore a big chunk out of my helmet when the visor hit the hard snow.

    So what happened? When I tried to put the skiis back on, as soon as I weighted the ski (icy side slope) it kicked right off again. It wasn’t like that at the top of the mountain.
    Finally I had to lock out both toes to ski the next steep pitch. Later on the lower sections I went back to ski mode at the toes. No problem.
    I still don’t understand what happened,
    a/ why the ski popped off
    b/ why I couldn’t get EITHER ski to stay on, after the fall.

    any ideas? Thanks

  57. Joe August 22nd, 2014 1:48 pm

    Hi Lou, do you know if there is an applicable mechanical inspection standard for touring bindings, or are folks applying the alpine standard? BTW – glad to have found WildSnow.com – great site! Thanks, Joe

  58. Lou Dawson 2 December 6th, 2014 11:06 am

    Someone was asking me about the custom tool I made for the Dynafit type rear spring barrel monster screwdriver slot. I swear I did a blog post about that, if anyone remembers seeing the post let me know, I can’t find it! Thanks, Lou

  59. See December 6th, 2014 12:01 pm
  60. Lou Dawson 2 December 6th, 2014 12:46 pm

    See, what would I do without you! I guess I’d better edit that post and make it more search friendly. Thanks, Lou

  61. See December 6th, 2014 5:36 pm

    You’re welcome. Happy to help.

  62. Greg Louie December 6th, 2014 7:30 pm

    Here’s mine, made from a Milwaukee #48-22-2000 bottle opener (~$10) It’s gently rounded at the tip because the inside of the Dynafit cap is slightly concave:


  63. Jin December 28th, 2014 10:50 pm

    It seems that GeoffA, who posted a comment near the top, has it backwards about compensating for vertical release values.

    If I understand correctly, vertical release should be set about -1 relative to lateral release (NOT +1 as GeoffA suggested) according to the graph in this article : https://www.wildsnow.com/15123/tech-binding-release-testing-acl-broken-leg/
    under Part 4: Vertical (Forward/Upward) Heel Release

    Someone may want to redact GeoffA’s comment in the name of safety.

    From the article:
    ” [Vertical release on touring tech binding] consistently tests higher than the ISO standards would expect.

    This is consistent with values we see in shop tests. So before you jack up the vertical release on your tech binding on a whim, consider for a moment that it could already be higher than you are led to believe by the numbers printed on the binding.”

  64. Mike February 28th, 2016 6:27 pm

    I want to adjust the lateral release on my Dynafit TLT Speed Radical.
    Is the large “barrel” the actual adjustment screw for lateral release, or is it just a cover I remove to access the adjustment screw. If the barrel is the actual adjustment it seems counter-clockwise would increase the setting, which does seem backwards to me.

  65. Lou Dawson 2 February 28th, 2016 7:27 pm

    Hi Mike, the large “barrel” is a threaded cap that compresses a spring, rotate clockwise to move it in and compress the spring. Not sure where you’re getting the feeling you’d go counter-clockwise to increase, you might want to examine your angle of view (grin). Lou

  66. Mike February 29th, 2016 4:24 am

    Thank you so much for the kind reply.It is most helpful.

  67. VT skier January 3rd, 2017 9:10 am

    Off topic a bit, but I had this nylon tab that surrounds one of the heel pins on my Speed Turn break out, or fall out. Heel pin is now loose, won’t hold boot in heel.
    Trying to find someone who can replace this part, as heel is probably out of warranty.
    Don’t want to have to buy a whole new binding set.
    Any ideas? here is a picture of the missing part of heel.

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