How To Mount Marker Kingpin Ski Touring Binding – Do It Yourself

Post by blogger | September 29, 2015      

Homebrew backcountry skiing binding install tricks and tips, mount Marker Kingpin yourself!

Marker Kingpin with WildSnow paper template. Instructions below may appear complex, that's because we tried to be complete. Experienced mechs can do a much simpler abbreviated process.

Marker Kingpin with WildSnow paper template. Instructions below may appear complex, that’s because we tried to be complete. Experienced mechs can do a much simpler abbreviated process.

Disclaimer: By using these mounting instructions and templates for ski touring bindings, you agree to not hold, its owners or associates liable for anything. We provide no support or help with using these instructions — you are on your own. Leave comments and questions below, but no guarantees for response. These instructions are based on using a paper template. Download and print at least 4 copies as you’ll scissor them apart in order to place on ski to locate binding heel and toe. If you’re new to ski work slow down and do a practice mount on a pair of dumpster skis or a 2×4.

Key with most tech binding mounting, including Kingpin, is to correctly set your distance between toe and heel unit. Kingpin has a fairly large boot length adjustment range in the heel unit, about 3.5 centimeters. This makes the binding somewhat forgiving in where you place the heel unit, but you still need to get it within range. Instructions for doing so are buried below.

Tools and materials:
– Handheld screwdriver with #3 pozi-drive bit, mandatory, do not attempt to use phillips.
– Electric drill with sharp 5/32 inch bit or special ski bit (see notes below).
– Electrical tape, clear office tape, masking tape, and of course some duct tape.
– Sharp center-punch, with associated hammer.
– Straight steel or plastic “yardstick” type ruler.
– Tape measure.
– Fine point Sharpie type marker, color to contrast with skis.
– Epoxy, one-hour type prefered.
– Scissors, blank paper and paper punch

Wildsnow paper template (jig) for Marker Kingpin

Step 1 Make sure you know where the mounting mark (aka “sole midpoint”) is on your backcountry skiing boots. It’s usually a small vertical line, arrow, or triangle molded into the side of the sole about midway between heel and toe. If your boot isn’t factory marked, simply make a mark half the distance between toe and heel. Enhance the mark with your Sharpie.

Step 2 Find the boot mounting mark on the skis; usually a small triangle or line that’s at the midpoint of where you would imagine a boot sitting on the ski. Be sure you get the correct mark — if in doubt ask a shop rat or contact manufacturer.

Step 3 Using a marker pen (Sharpie) extend the boot mounting mark across the top surface of the ski. Eyeball this using a straightedge. If you feel challenged, you can align the skis with the edge of your work surface and use a large framing square to make the marks square to the skis. The idea here is to make an easily visible mark on top of the skis, for referencing the boot and paper template positions.

Find the boot position mark on your skis, intended to correspond with  a mark on your ski boots known as 'sole center,' simply the point midway between boot heel and toe.

Find the boot position mark on your skis, intended to correspond with a mark on your ski boots known as ‘sole center,’ simply the point midway between boot heel and toe.

Step 4 Install a Marker Kingpin binding toe unit on a boot and place backcountry skiing boot on ski. Align boot sole midpoint mark with ski mark. Carefully press the binding toe down on the ski and mark the center of the front pair of screw holes (you are using the binding as a marking guide). Remove boot and binding from ski, make a couple of left-right marks across the ski showing the positions of the screw holes. Align your paper template with these marks. (THIS METHOD ELIMINATES THE NEED TO FOOL AROUND WITH MARKING THE “PIN” PIVOT POSITION, an ancient holdover from mounting nordic bindings.)

Step 5 Now the origami begins. Print the template (download links are at beginning of this article), and make sure it prints at 100% scale and that your printer doesn’t change it from 100% scale.

Scale of the paper template is easy to check. Print a template and simply set your binding on the paper, if the holes line up you’re good, if not, play around with your printer settings. Also check by measuring the scale check box printed on the template. Our templates are aligned to the ski by matching a longitudinal (tip/tail) center line you draw on your skis. Used correctly, it’ll result in a mount that’s more accurate than a mechanical binding jig.

Step 6 Make super-accurate center marks/dots (left/right) on your skis, about 12 inches forward and behind your binding toe and heel unit locations. These marks are important so take your time. You can make left/right center marks by eyeballing a ruler and double checking, or by using a drawing compass to measure from the edges, but our favorite method is to simply use folded paper as pictured belows:

Using paper folding to find center of ski, left-right.

Using paper folding to find center of ski, left-right. To find center using paper, simply wrap a strip of paper around the ski, crease it over the sharp steel base edges, remove and fold in half using the edge marks as reference, then place back on ski and use the crease to locate center. While simple, work carefully (mainly, mark the spot on your ski where you place the paper, as moving it towards the tip or tail will throw things off because of the ski’s varied width.

Connect your ski center marks with a straightedge, Sharpie an accurate longitudinal center line. The idea is to create a long mark down the center of each backcountry ski in the binding mount area (in the tip/tail direction). Be sure this mark is long enough to go well past the mounting area of both front and rear binding units.

Step 7 Cut the sides off your paper templates so the screw location marks are near the paper edge, same for the template center line. The trick here is to align the paper with the marks you have on your ski. Line up the center lines, and line up the front screw locations. Take your time, and tape the paper securely to the ski.

Template cut narrower and slightly shorter, positioned for front Kingpin screw holes.

Template cut narrower and slightly shorter, positioned for front Kingpin screw holes. Arrow on template points towards the ski tip.

Step 8 Now the moment of truth. First, use a sharp finely pointed object to divot the paper template on the exact screw location marks, this mark helps locate your center punch by feel, as center punches are sometimes too thick to visually locate. Next, using your your sharp center-punch tool, lightly dimple the ski at the exact center of the screw marks. Remove the paper jig. Remove template from ski.

Step 9 Set the binding toe on the ski, use the screw holes as windows to check how your center-punch dimples line up. If they’re all good, punch them again. If necessary fudge a few by re-punching slightly off. Be aware you are depending on the paper template being aligned with the center-line you drew on the ski.

Chuck that sharp bit in your drill. (Using a sharp drill bit prevents the bit from wandering sideways while you drill.) Place a screw in a binding hole as if it were already in the ski, and use the protruding screw as a gage to to figure how deep you will drill. Tape a depth stop to the drill bit by wrapping tightly with electrical tape to create the stop. Drill the marked skis with minimal pressure, so you don’t mash the bit through a ski. If you’re new to the game, consider only drilling one pair of holes at this time.

Step 10 Lightly screw the toe unit onto the ski with two screws. Snug down the screws but don’t tighten aggressively, as you’ll be removing them again for final glue and tightening, (don’t use a power drill to torque screws unless you’re a tool ace).

Step 11 This step is a double-check. Snap a boot in the binding toe that’s screwed to your ski. Mark a center dot on the heel of the boot with your Sharpie, below the metal tech binding fitting, using the center of the tech fitting screw as a reference. Drop the heel of the boot onto the ski, and center the boot heel left-right by matching with the tip/tail center mark you drew on your ski in previous steps. (The idea here is to get the boot heel and binding toe-unit centered on your ski, mark everything well, and be able to keep rechecking it.) Carefully

Step 12 Remove the boot carefully without moving the binding toe. Study the screw holes. Several will usually line up perfectly. Install additional screws into those first. Do NOT heavily tighten the screws as you’ll be removing them again later for glue and final torque. Repeat. Snap the boot into the binding toe, drop the heel, and use the boot as a lever to nudge the binding so that the heel lines up with your center mark (while you do this, pull the front tab up to lock the binding in touring mode, so you can thrust the boot side-to-side without it popping it out of the binding). Keep repeating this process until the screws are snug, and the heel is lined up.

Step 13 What you did above was practice for the main event. Remove toe unit and all screws from ski, work epoxy into the screw holes, then repeat the process above to get your boot heel lined up perfectly with the center marks on your skis. Tighten screws. This is your permanent mount for the toe unit.

(Note, a more tedious but fool-proof process is to only drill one pair of holes at a time, and redo center punching if necessary to align boot with ski center. Also be aware that boots are not perfect, so check alignment with both boots and don’t fret if you find a millimeter or two of difference in terms of how the heels line up with the ski center line. If there is a discrepancy just average it out. In our case, we usually just grab one boot and go as we’ve found these discrepancies to be minimal in 99 out of 100 cases.)


Okay, you’ve got both skis mounted with your kingpin binding toe units, the screws are glued and tightened, boot heels line up perfectly with your ski longitudinal center marks.

Step 1 This part is a bit tricky, but will turn out perfect if you are perfectly careful. The challenge is making sure your Kingpin heel unit is mounted the correct distance behind the toe unit.

) SET BINDING HEEL TO “SKI” MODE USING THE “FLIPPER” SWITCH THAT SLIDES THE HEEL UNIT FORWARD AND BACK. Not doing this will result in a completely wrong set of heel unit holes drilled in your ski.

) Binding toe is screwed to ski, heel of boot drops down and aligns perfectly left/right with your ski longitudinal center mark.

) Grab your pozi screwdriver and adjust Marker heel unit so the boot length adjustment is midway between the forward and back extremes.

) Cock (open) heel unit by pressing cocking lever down until binding opens into the same position as if you had the binding “open” so you could step in before skiing. Again, BE SURE THE MODE LEVER IS SET TO “SKI.”

) Set binding heel unit on your ski.

)With boot snapped into toe unit, drop heel of boot into the binding heel unit.

)Position heel unit so it’s LIGHTLY pressed up against boot heel. AGAIN, DO THIS WITH BINDING HEEL IN “OPEN” CONFIGURATION.

)Mark fore/aft position of heel unit screws.

With boot attached to ski at the toe unit, slide the heel unit up to the boot heel and mark the screw positions.

With boot attached to ski at the toe unit, slide the heel unit up to the boot heel and mark the screw positions. No need to jam things together here, just be sure the boot is lightly touching the heel unit, or has about a millimeter of space. You fill fine-tune this once the binding is screwed to ski.

Step 2 Lift the boot heel up out of the way and remove binding heel from ski. Using a straightedge draw Sharpie marks left-right across the ski, corresponding to the for/aft screw marks you just made.

Step 3 Grab one of the templates you printed out, cut it down so it’s slightly narrower than your ski, and cut the ends so the center-line on the template goes to the edge of the paper. Note the “5th screw hole” that the Kingpin heel unit requires. Locating the forward 5th hole as well as the 4 rear heel unit screw holes requires using a complete WildSnow paper template for each heel mount. This is all fairly obvious once you get going — and you can always print out more templates. Interestingly, with some mounts the 5th screw hole ends up on the ski boot center mark. Yes, interesting, but don’t use the 5th hole as a locator of any sort, just drill it where the template says to drill (after you verify location by setting the heel unit directly on the ski and observe all intended holes lining up with the actual physical binding heel unit.

Step 4 Place the paper template on the ski (remember to orient it via the “tip of ski” arrow on the template). Center the template left/right using the tip/tail line you drew in the center of your backcountry skis, and line up the forward screw line with that on your ski. Tape template to ski.

Step 5 Drop the boot heel down onto the ski and slide the heel unit back into place. Look down thorough the screw holes in the heel unit, and make sure they seem to line up nicely with those in the template.

If all looks good, remove the heel unit, lift the boot heel, check the location of the template to make sure it didn’t move, then center punch the screw holes.

Remove the paper template. Make another visual check. When satisfied, center punch all holes more aggressively.

Step 6 Drill the holes per drilling instructions in part one of this guide. To figure out which screw to place first, use the same process as the toe: Drop the boot heel onto the ski, place the heel unit into position, and eyeball which screw hole lines up the best. Get the boot out of the way, and place that screw first. Bear in mind you’ll need to adjust the heel unit boot-length setting to access the rear pair of screws. Put in only two screws at this time.

With two screws holding the heel unit you can now do the final alignment test. Gently drop the boot down and make sure the boot heel visually centers in relation to the binding heel unit.

Step 7 Remove all heel unit screws, place some epoxy or other type of ski binding mount glue in the holes, and run the screws back in. When placing the epoxy, wipe all excess off the top skin. If any oozes under the for/aft adjustment unit of the heel, it will harden and prevent fine-tuning.

Step 8 Fine tune your boot length “forward pressure” setting (BEWARE, doing this incorrectly is the source of many problems with ski bindings). This is done with Kingpin by placing boot in binding, with both heel and toe clamped into downhill mode. You then turn the black boot-length adjustment screw until the head of the screw is flush with binding housing.

Final adjustment of Kingpin ski touring binding for boot length is done by turning adjustment screw until screw head is flush with binding housing.

Final adjustment of Kingpin ski touring binding for boot length is done by turning adjustment screw until screw head is flush with binding housing.

Step 9 Set release values (DIN). With Kingpin (as with most “tech” type bindings) all safety release settings are done at the heel. Vertical release is the upper screw and number scale near the top of the cocking lever. Lateral (side) release is set via a screw that’s somewhat hidden under the heel lift flippers when they’re in the stowed position. Based on our testing and the fact that Kingpin is TUV certified to DIN standards, Kingpin should perform for you at your normal release settings. Nonetheless, use caution when first skiing the binding in case you need to tweak your settings.

Drill bits: Ski shops use special drill bits for drilling skis, usually 4.1 mm diameter for skis with metal layers, and 3.5 mm for skis without metal. If you mount a lot of backcountry skis, it’s a good idea to buy a selection of special drill bits from an outfit such as SlideWright. Along with such bits, buy a threading tool (tap) to thread the holes. In my experience, it’s okay to use the slightly larger 5/32 inch (3.9) mm) drill bit as suggested above, without a tap. If you do so, especially with non-metal skis, just be careful as you twist the screws in so you don’t over-tighten them and strip the holes, and use 1-hour epoxy in the holes since they’re slightly oversized. With skis that have a soft core and minimal binding mount reinforcement you can use the slightly smaller 9/64 inch (3.5 mm) drill bit size which is quite close to the standard ski drill size of 3.6 mm. To remove epoxied screws, lightly heat with soldering iron before twisting out, don’t use 5 minute epoxy as it’s brittle. Pozi screwdriver bits are also available from SlideWright, and mandatory if you want to do a decent job. Please see our article about ski drill bits.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


79 Responses to “How To Mount Marker Kingpin Ski Touring Binding – Do It Yourself”

  1. Alex K September 29th, 2015 1:31 pm

    This is a terrible idea. I’ve seen so many home mount jobs go bad with even the most basic of bindings. Never mind a high tech touring specific. If you just spent $800 on bindings, spend the extra $65 to have a marker dealer mount them for you. Proper jig and techs are worth it. Don’t forget to bring a 6 pack of your favorite local brew as well!

  2. Lou Dawson 2 September 29th, 2015 1:48 pm

    Alex, point taken, perhaps the lengthy article communicates your point (grin). On the other hand, people all over the world DIY their ski touring bindings with good outcome. It’s not for a total tool novice, but a person who’s good with their hands and knows how the binding functions (e.g., fit heel with it in ‘SKI’ mode) can do a practice mount, then do a real mount with 100% success.

  3. Jim Milstein September 29th, 2015 2:15 pm

    Not so sure about that, Alex. I had a reputable local shop mount my Vipecs with QuiverKiller inserts, then later discovered that some of the inserts were not epoxied into the skis. Easily fixed, but why pay for an imperfect mount? I can do better, and, from now on, I will.

    Lou’s instructions are excellent. I would add some about proper drill and tap technique, especially when installing threaded inserts. A drill press makes holes that are plumb easy. The same drill press with the drive belt disconnected assures perfect tapping. If you have a good eye and a steady hand, you can wing it.

  4. Seth Schmautz September 29th, 2015 7:16 pm

    I agree with Jim. Have had a local and very reputable shop botch a mount (2mm off to one side on both skis). It takes me a lot longer than simply affixing the jig, but I’m as accurate and I know that the job has been done correctly. Plus, I get better each time!

    The key for me is the practice mount (as Lou states). I have several “test” skis and hole-y 2x4s to make sure the real mount is correct. A friend of mine gave me the best piece of advice on home mounts – after you’ve done all of your measurements and you’re about to punch the topsheets or drill your pilots, put the bindings on and eye-ball it. You can tell if your binding is off by 1-2mm by eye, and although it probably won’t be able to tell when you’re skiing, you’ll see it every time you step into your bindings (which might be worse for guys like me).


  5. Andy Carey September 29th, 2015 7:36 pm

    I agree with Jim Millstein. I have had our highly regarded regional backcountry “pro shop” blow the mounts on both Dynafits and Markers and even on a liner fitting. Another shop that I had switch Marker alpines out for Barons said “Who in the h*ll mounted those bindings?” When I told him he was shocked. It is like they say on the BMW motorcycle site I frequented when I had one: “If you want it done right, do it yourself; you spent too much money on the equipment to have some yahoo screw it up.” Mounting is not rocket science. The necessary tools cost less than one mount and much, much less than one incorrect mount. I must say I have not had issues with mounts by Cripple Creek, Skimo, Backcountry, or Bentgate.

    That said, with this article where is the 50% off coupon for Kingpins so I can afford to put them on my Moment Bibby Pros?

  6. Lou Dawson 2 September 29th, 2015 7:36 pm

    Good stuff Seth, thanks. Another key is getting that longitudinal (tip-tail) center line super accurate and thin, which eliminates compound error. Lou

  7. Wookie September 30th, 2015 3:36 am

    Alex – Its important to support good shops – so if I can, I’ll let them do the job. Surprisingly however – they often don’t WANT to do pure service-jobs around here.

    People on this site tend to be fairly dedicated, and as a result, many of us have multiple pairs of skis, and sometimes many bindings of various builds and ages. Often – I’ll find myself mounting an old binding to a new ski – or swapping a binding for a different boot, and I’ve found that if I didn’t buy the binding, boot and ski as a set at the shop – they don’t care to do the mount either. Of course – they don’t say so – but I’ve been quoted 120 Euros for a simple binding mount. That’s the same as saying no nicely.

    Why do I write all this? If you are a first timer – there is no reason to be afraid. Anyone can do this – especially with great instructions like these – and if you take your time and double-check everything – you’ll be fine.

    And: drink the six-pack AFTER – not during. (a common ski-shop issue)

  8. Lou Dawson 2 September 30th, 2015 7:38 am

    Oh, and step 9, set the release values!

  9. Greg Louie September 30th, 2015 8:27 am

    Thanks for the tutorial and template, Lou! I have a feeling it will come in handy this season.

    I agree with the DIY sentiment – even though I know many excellent ski techs, I don’t think any of them thinks my gear is as important as I do.

  10. Terry Ackerman September 30th, 2015 2:38 pm

    Per usual, nice article Lou. Thanks for the nod.

    As noted above mounting your own bindings is not for the feint of heart AND it is also NOT so complicated that competent DIYers can’t assume the risk and do it themselves. For many, finding someone to mount bindings is not an option and doing it themselves is their only practical option. Practice first and measure thrice.

    (FTR, We’ve revised our site and have now in the process of overhauling and better integrating our tips into the main site. This will be a good article, among others, to link to from our Binding Mounting tips section: )

  11. Lou Dawson 2 September 30th, 2015 2:56 pm

    Thanks for chiming in Terry, I’ll activate your link, forgot to do it… Lou

  12. XXX_er September 30th, 2015 3:05 pm

    “And: drink the six-pack AFTER – not during. (a common ski-shop issue)”

    For mounting Alpine or AT I drink coffee only but for mounting telemark drinking beer never seemed to be a problem

  13. Lou Dawson 2 September 30th, 2015 3:14 pm


  14. swissiphic September 30th, 2015 4:12 pm

    re: xxx’ers comment…..ahhh, so THAT’S why so many tele bindings tore off of skis!!! mystery solved!!!

  15. XXX_er September 30th, 2015 4:56 pm

    Seriously there were only 3 or 4 screws so IME one could do a mount before getting too drunk but there is no way I would try to freehand a fixed heel binding while drinking beer and since I am so over telemark jokes this season … someone else will have to

  16. ZB October 1st, 2015 2:39 pm

    Any tips for testing the release thresholds before actually skiing the binding?

  17. Lou Dawson 2 October 1st, 2015 3:14 pm

    Hi ZB, Perhaps take ’em to a ski shop and put them on testing machine? And then there is always the carpet test, when you twist out of the binding using leg power, as well as doing an upward-forward release by jerking your boot heel upward and forward. Imprecise but experienced skiers know how the carpet tests should feel.

    I also like doing a test on workbench that involves pushing the boot heel or toe to instigate side release, and placing a pry bar under boot heel to instigate an upward/forward release. Latter is crude, but tells you if the binding actually releases (I’ve found a few that did not, both in upward as well as side, usually due to defective boot fittings.)

  18. ZB October 1st, 2015 3:40 pm

    Cheers, Lou. Yep I meant just a sanity check. The ski shop can do a measured test on their fancy machine.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 October 1st, 2015 3:53 pm

    Clear. For sanity check put them on the carpet and the bench. Lou

  20. Mike Marolt October 2nd, 2015 11:10 am

    Well, given I’ve botched my own mounts, and had reputable shops botch as well, I am going to just let Lou mount all my skis in the future. haha. Guy is as good with tools as anyone I know.

  21. Anders October 5th, 2015 4:38 am

    Thanks for the great guide, Lou.
    I am thinking of replacing my F12 Tour on my Volkl BMT109 with a pair of king pins. Does anyone know if that will cause problems in regards to the srew pattern?

  22. Lou Dawson 2 October 5th, 2015 8:51 am

    Hi Anders, you can see those screw patterns in a photo in this blog post:

    I don’t think it’s a problem, you might have to slightly customize the Kingpin heel unit position and you can move the toe forward or back a few millimeters without any effect on the ski performance.

    Main thing with these binding swaps is you need a good technician who can spend a bit of extra time on the mount, as just clamping a jig on the ski and drilling the “factory” mount position isn’t always ideal.


  23. Tom F October 6th, 2015 2:24 pm

    I’ll be setting up some Kingpins on a pair of V8’s using Binding Freedom inserts. Any advice as to using Kingpins with inserts? It’s going to be a tricky install as I’m going to mount the bindings slightly duck stance, which the dealer can’t do.

    A Marker employee was at our local ski shop over the weekend and he advised to use the screws included with the binding even when using inserts. Is that what folks have been doing, or are they sourcing their own screws when using inserts?

    Binding Freedom advises they won’t have screws suitable for use with the Kingpins until at least next year, while Quiver Killer says they do have screws for sale which work with Kingpins.

  24. Terry Ackerman October 6th, 2015 2:51 pm

    Hi Tom,
    I mounted G3-IONs onto a pair of V8s and Charger BCs with Binding Freedom inserts. I would image the Kingpins would be straight forward as well. I’d recommend a test mount on a board first, then mount the Kingpins without the inserts on the skis, test drive, then install the inserts. What kind of an offset are you expecting to deal with to get your ‘duck stance’?

    Do you have screw measurements or images with calipers? M5 ss machine screws are readily available in a variety of heads (phillips or hex), but not pozi’s, but could suffice until the posse’s are available.

  25. Lou Dawson 2 October 6th, 2015 2:52 pm

    Tom, I’d go with whomever has insert screws that are guaranteed to work with the bindings.

    The Marker employee sounds like he needs to get informed. You can’t put a regular binding mount screw into an insert designed for machine screws. Wouldn’t even be close. The employee probably was thinking you were talking about helicoils designed for regular binding screws.

    Perhaps Quiver Killer or Binding Freedom will chime in here? First one to comment gets the sale (grin).

    Only thing I’d add to the normal process is put a bit of something between binding and ski to prevent binding shifting, double sided carpet tape perhaps. Use reversible Loctite and keep those screws at proper torque. Many possible failure points with insert mounts.

    Oh, I’d add that it works best to simply mount the bindings with regular screws/holes first, then enlarge the holes for the inserts after you’ve skied the bindings a few times, so the hole alignment ends up perfect.


  26. Terry Ackerman October 6th, 2015 3:20 pm

    ..and FTR, the Kingpin Jigarex plates are due in a week or two…

  27. Tom F October 6th, 2015 3:54 pm

    Terry- I’ll probably have the left binding offset only a few degrees, while I’ll offset the right by 15-20. I have an old ankle injury on the right, and these are the angles my feet default to as normal when in a skiing stance.

    I first tried this somewhat-duck-stance when I mounted my NTN (now Freeride) bindings. I couldn’t turn the right foot out as much as I’d like as the skis (Atomic RT 86) were too narrow. Won’t be a problem on the V8’s…

    I’m surprised that more people don’t try a slight duck stance mount. Yes, you can’t reverse left/right anymore, but the few degrees outward on my left ankle feels so much more natural than the straight-ahead mount on my old alpine skis. With the duck stance mount, my knees stay in a neutral position throughout a knee bend, as opposed to diving inward.

    I may be able to borrow a jig to mark the holes. Not sure how hard that will be to do quickly while mounting the bindings splayed out.

  28. Lou Dawson 2 October 6th, 2015 4:15 pm

    Tom, you’d have an easier time IMHO doing the splay if you start with adjusted center lines and use paper template. Using a mechanical jig will involve shimming the centering grabbers on the jig, which sounds way fiddly to me. Lou

  29. Terry Ackerman October 6th, 2015 4:23 pm

    I agree with Lou. If you need help drawing up angled templates or at least a ‘protractor template’, let me know.

    This alignment is messing with my little brain. Seems like you could get two skis tracking and bending in all kinds of angles and directions! ;-0

  30. Lou Dawson 2 October 6th, 2015 4:37 pm

    Thanks Terry, let’s keep attention on the duck foot mounting issue, it’s been burning for a while now, might even try it myself so I strain a different cartilage area in the knees.

    Thing is, you can get some duck splay simply by paying attention to boot fitting, everyone should keep that in mind.


  31. Terry Ackerman October 6th, 2015 4:52 pm


    I’d love to hear a boot fitter’s view on this and how much you could tweak the alignment within the shell and sole. It does seem like you could cook and pad a liner to moderate at least a handful of degrees.

    Some are concerned about resale on skis and mounts. If it is out of a normal alignment, the resale value would go down.

  32. Lou Dawson 2 October 6th, 2015 6:04 pm

    Terry, last time I looked I _am_ a boot fitter (grin). But I limit my client list.

    Seriously, with some boots and feet you can do quite a bit of “duckfoot” angle tweaking.


  33. Tom F October 6th, 2015 6:24 pm

    Terry – I’d love a bit of help with angled templates. What’s the best way to reach you?

    I’m not concerned with resale. I’ll keep and ski my skis until they’re so out of date they have no resale value. I have some K2 Unlimited VO’s in the garage that I might ski early this season, and some Tua Montets MX…

    I have read in other places (TGR maybe?) about working with canting the foot inside the boot as a means to take up some of the angle a person might want to splay their binding mount. It seems to me that this is just avoiding an easier/more direct way to deal with the issue, which is to mount your binding duck stance.

    Not sure if many readers here are road cyclists, but I ride in Speedplay pedals on the road bike (and Bebops on the MTB…) to allow my feet to splay and find their natural position. I do ride SPD cleats on one set of pedals, and of course I angle out those cleats. Seems like its common for cyclists using cleats without much float to mount their bike cleats at an angle rather than straight ahead.

    I guess it’s just rare with skis as relatively few folks mount their own and it’s much more of a pain to measure and accurately do the job?

  34. Terry Ackerman October 7th, 2015 7:18 am

    Hi Tom-Simply click on my name or ‘Ski Snowboard Wax Tools’ link to the right.

    Good analogy on the pedals. I do prefer the float and used to angle my road bike pedals but now use Mtn Bike pedals.

    More and more people are mounting their own bindings. Up until this discussion, precise center line alignment has been the focus. Offline is unique and it’s starting to sound like the best option for you is to fit your boots first to see about moderating some of the shallower angle issues. A few degrees is not a lot in a boot. (I use Varus wedges and they help my knees a lot.) Then, see where you are at with your knee alignment before drilling skis offline. Maybe you will be best served tweaking the mount on one ski vs both??? Practice on scraps or old skis first to see how it goes.

    I can easily set up a paper template with whatever angle(s) you want to mess with relative to your BSL.

  35. Terry Ackerman October 7th, 2015 7:26 am

    Lou-Sorry, I forgot. (I have good memory, but it’s short).

    Can you provide BSC to a forward and rear screw line for the Kingpin? If not, I can measure the Jigarex plates when they arrive.

    For those interested, here is a Boot Sole Center gauge paper template:

  36. Lou Dawson 2 October 7th, 2015 8:16 am

    Hi Terry, I’m not sure I understand the question.

    The distance from boot center (BSC) to the front and rear binding unit depends on the boot sole length. In my mounting instructions, we get around needing measurements and numbers by simply sticking the binding toe on the boot, setting the boot on the ski in the correct spot, and marking the binding screw hole locations to reference for placing the binding paper template in the correct forward/back position. Thus causing the boot to locate perfectly. It’s so easy and simple.

    Binding heel is then located using the boot heel as a reference.

    Am I missing something here?

    Thanks, Lou

  37. Terry Ackerman October 7th, 2015 8:51 am

    Hi Lou-I should have also asked to provide your BSL.

    In theory, if I know the distances from the BSC to the toe and heel screw line, relative to a BSL, I can draw an adjustable or custom template. If you provided this data, I can send you a test template if you’re game.

    In Tom’s case, I could then add a ‘protractor’ relative to the BSC & his BSL and he can rotate it as he sees fit.

    After last year’s pain getting the ION template vetted and dialed relative to existing holes in a ski, I agree that simply using the binding toe on the boot for tech pin bindings to locate works well. I’m also dealing with bindings that do not have tech pins to assist and a universal approach for templates (like Jigarex) is better overall. (I also have a large format printer for single sheet printing to perfect scale from a CAD application.)

    FWIW, here’s the G3 ION template:

  38. Tom F October 8th, 2015 5:16 pm


    I don’t see any advantage to trying to take up some of the angle within the boot, assuming I’m willing to take the time to install the binding myself and don’t care re. resell value. Am I missing something?

    My AT boots are La Sportive Spectres with a BSL of 284mm. I’ll try to think of to measure the angle I’m looking to splay both bindings over the weekend.

  39. Terry Ackerman October 9th, 2015 4:24 pm

    Hi Tom
    A few quick thoughts:
    -You obviously can do what you want. Experimenting sounds like it might be best to answer your own questions.
    -Will you ever want to borrow, demo or rent other skis using your boots?
    -Is hiking or walking better as is or would there be any benefit by tweaking the foot alignment relative to your boots?
    -For every 5°, it’d take a little over 3/8″/10mm of offset at the opposite sides of toes and heels in your boots to get some splay. Would wedges help with knee alignment?

  40. JRD October 13th, 2015 12:04 pm

    If you use an electrical tape “collar” on the bit, make sure to check it after each hole! Surprisingly, I had the tape loosen halfway through a mount and drilled through a ski.

    Great instructions. I’ve mounted seven pairs of skis using Lou’s advice and no problems (other than the hole stated above).

  41. Lou Dawson 2 October 13th, 2015 12:26 pm

    Wow JRD, sorry to hear that. Here is the deal with the electrical tape “collar”, put quite a bit of tape on the bit, tight, and tape all the way up to the drill chuck, don’t press too hard on the drill while drilling, and yes check after each hole. They sell collars that fit on with a setscrew, but those can slip as well. Best is a ski bit from SlideWright… Lou

  42. XXX_er October 13th, 2015 4:27 pm

    Yeah I’ve had the tape slip so I’ll tell you the foolproof method which is to buy a bottle of wine with a cork , open the bottle & set it aside to breath.

    Dill a hole down thru the middle of the cork, slide the bit up/down till the exact amount of bit you want is protruding from beneath the cork, using a washer between the chuck and cork is a good idea so the cork doesn’t wear the cork, now tighten the chuck

    there is no way to drill thru the ski cuz if the bit loosens it will just slide up into the chuck , a side benefit is you can hold on to the cork while drilling to steady the drill

    mount your binding and sit back to enjoy a glass of wine!

  43. Lou Dawson 2 October 13th, 2015 4:53 pm

    Xer, NICE! I’ll do that next time and add a photo to the mount how-to! Lou

  44. XXX_er October 13th, 2015 5:07 pm

    I forget where I stole this idea from, I have found it to be fool proof but make sure to drill before you drink !

  45. Terry November 2nd, 2015 12:38 pm

    Tom F stopped by Saturday night and I gave him a ‘Splay Protractor’ he can use to measure various angles relative to his feet and desired alignment options. For those interested in this topic, here it is, combined with our Boot Sole Center Ruler:

    This topic is intriguing and please let me know any thoughts and ways to improve this ‘tool’.

  46. Tom F November 17th, 2015 3:14 pm

    I mounted the Kingpins a bit splayed out (duck stance) over the weekend using Binding Freedom inserts. I figured I wanted 6 degrees of outward rotation on my right foot, but only was able to fit 3 degrees due to the narrowness of my old skis (Atomic RT86) and the overall length of the Kingpins. I also mounted the left foot a degree or a degree and half angled out.

    Terry – the only improvement I can see so far that would be nice would be to use a clear laminate of some kind rather than paper for the printouts. After making a long centerline on the skis, I used a scratch awl to hold your protractor/Kingpin template at the center point and rotated the template to the desired angle as measured at the center line.

    As the paper is opaque, it was a little hard to verify I had the center point of the template lined up with the center line/ski center point of the skis. I had to lift the template up and peek to verify the template was positioned correctly. After a couple of uses, the awl put a hole in the paper that began to grow slightly.

    A clear template that I could see through to verify that the “pivot point” of the template was in the right place would make placement easier, and the clear plastic would also be more durable.

    I previously had a 2-degree outward offset to the RT86s using Rottefella NTN Freeride bindings. Once I ski my old skis a bit early in the season and see how I like the new angle, I’ll do another splayed mount on my new Voile V8s. They are wide enough room for a much larger angle.

    Anyone else considering a non-standard mount should definitely get in touch with Terry. In general, if you’re going the the trouble of mounting your own bindings, it’s not much more effort to adjust the mount angle.

  47. Clyde December 16th, 2015 11:14 am

    Mounted a pair yesterday using your template and instructions. Went well…a two beer task. If you are careful, about a quarter of the steps can be eliminated. There’s really no need to drill, tap, screw, unscrew, epoxy, screw; just drill, tap, epoxy, screw. The one caution I would add is the rear two screws of the heel unit are too long and should be ground down a millimeter or two to prevent dimpling the bases. Really surprised that’s still an issue! They have to be screwed down tight to provide clearance for the sliding strip and that requires slightly lifting the Walk lever to get the heads through the cutouts.

  48. Ryan January 11th, 2016 8:58 pm

    Following up on the Franken-binding discussion; Ive heard people speculate (dream wildly/foolishly?) that a Beast 16 toe and a Kingpin heel might be the ultimate binding for touring/inbounds hybrid use. Or maybe more accurately the ultimate binding for touring that skis closer to an alpine binding as far as elasticity and pre-release goes. In this crazy mixed up binding world how does a rotating toe piece like in the beast affect release if combined with a kingpin heel? Would it make it more or less likely to release?

    Just trying to wrap my head around this from a theoretical and physics standpoint. I do have beast 16s and kingpins which conveniently have the same color scheme…
    Might this be one binding to rule them all? (other than the fact that two expensive and functional bindings have morphed into one hyper expensive binder?)

  49. Lou Dawson 2 January 12th, 2016 6:41 am

    Ryan, I’ll chime in. A couple of basic engineering principles and binding thoughts about the frankenbinding ideas.

    1. When you change one thing in a machine it changes at least one other thing, but often many things.
    2. Accidental release is a bigger problem with ski bindings than that of providing release to attempt prevention of knee and leg injuries (though the latter is still problematic.) Thus, you start combining different toe and heel units, how exactly are you going to a.)test them to be sure they would actually protect your leg from torque, and b.)not prerelease when run at the settings that would protect your leg? Human guinea pig? And even then, it’s just one person doing the testing…
    3. Sure, a person could combine nearly any tech binding toe and heel, set all the release settings to 12, and probably not have any trouble staying in the binding. But why not just screw you foot to the ski and carry a cordless drill to change modes? Modern Frankenstein is most certainly assembled using cordless tools!

    4. In the WildSnow mod shop I’ve probably got more tech bindings of more different vintages and models than just about anyone. I keep looking at trying some weird frankencombos, and due to above points I keep feeling like doing so would probably be good click-bait, it’s somewhat of a time waster when we’ve got a pile of amazing gear that’s sitting there waiting to be skied on, tested, and blogged about.

    5. Yet, I might just do it when I get into a mouth breathing gear blogger phase, longing for blog traffic, begging for clicks. Seriously.

  50. swissiphic January 12th, 2016 10:47 am

    Hey Lou; re; frankenbindings….you have experience…you have tools…you know the factors involved; click bait or not, why not try to build your own tech binding? preferably a 3.0 wide heel pin spacing, forward lateral release with elasticity, etc… I’d click on your blog till the cows come home for every daily update! 😉 Seriously.

  51. Jim Milstein January 12th, 2016 1:13 pm

    And while we are imagining Frankenbindings, I suggest using the Vipec toe pieces. That way you could get lateral release at toe and heel, the best of both! Save the tibia and save the knee. Maybe.

    Didn’t you always want to be a manufacturer, Lou?

  52. Eluder February 17th, 2016 10:56 am

    You guys need to edit Step 8 “Fine tune your boot length “forward pressure” setting (BEWARE, doing this incorrectly is the source of many problems with ski bindings). This is done with Kingpin by placing boot in binding, with both heel and toe clamped into downhill mode. You then turn the black boot-length adjustment screw until the head of the screw is flush with binding housing.”

    Because of the carbon crew track the Kingpin forward pressure should be adjusted with the boot out. Then just click the boot back in to recheck. Doing it as you have described can result in a $650 paperweight.

  53. Lou Dawson 2 February 17th, 2016 11:19 am

    Eluder, that’s how the Marker guys were doing it when I was in Chile… and at ski shops… but I’ll do some editing to make it clear that one needs to be careful.

    Can you clarify the procedure? Are you suggesting that the boot be placed in the binding in downhill mode, then the boot removed each time you want to turn the length adjustment screw, perhaps turning it in increments of one rotation at a time? Boot in, boot out, boot in, boot out and so forth?

    Thanks for any clarification.

  54. See February 18th, 2016 12:00 am

    Forward pressure adjustment with the boot in the binding never seemed like a good idea to me. If the screw track really is carbon, even more so.

  55. Eluder February 18th, 2016 10:12 am

    Hey Lou,

    The tech manual describes it as you do. To counter it our Marker rep said ignore the manual because the carbon track is more susceptible cross threading and damage. His instructions:
    1. Click boot in to check forward pressure.
    2. If readjustment is needed remove boot and then adjust the forward pressure screw.
    3. Re-click boot into binding to check forward pressure. Repeat as necessary.

    Obviously Marker would cover the binding under warranty if you were following there instructions. That being said no-one likes to not be able to use their fancy new touring sticks. Other than the toe pin issue which seems to be solved, this is the only other thing that I have seen go wrong on these clamps. Lets just say the user may have been ham fisted but the track did break while the boot was installed.

  56. Tom F February 19th, 2016 5:12 pm

    I can’t imagine a problem adjusting the forward pressure with the boot in the binding, assuming you have the binding already close to the correct position to begin with.

    When I mount my Kingpins, I use the screw to move the rear of the binding forward so that the boot visually seems to be in the right position. This also verifies that the screw and the slots on the sliding track are aligned. It’s usually only a half turn or so to get the forward pressure right once I click the boot in. Note: I have my Kingpins mounted on Binding Freedom inserts, so I “remount” them whenever I change skis.

    Unrelated question: what’s the best adhesive and method for regluing a top skin to the ski? I have some Atomic RT86’s where the top skin keeps peeling back from 1-4″ from the tip. Each season I try a different epoxy, which works for a month or so. This year I tried the Hardman/Double Bubble blue I used to glue in my inserts, and it doesn’t seem to adhere well to the underside of the top skin at all.

  57. ETHAN Davis November 1st, 2016 1:26 am

    Wild snow did a great job with this none of my local shops would mount them but take your time and it’s a cake walk I used the smaller size bit and some epoxy but I found this powder guide link with a whole bunch of binding templates including a better kingpin enjoy.

  58. Jonny December 6th, 2016 9:12 pm

    Hi, guys! Great job done with this article, thanks! Just one question:
    Do someone know is there difference between 15/16 and 16/17 Marker Kingpin screws position, and due this- difference in the templates? Can I use the same template for the new generation 16/17 (just got one)?
    Thank you!

  59. Dan December 21st, 2016 4:49 pm

    LOU: Thanks for the guide. Great stuff.

    JONNY: I just mounted up some 16/17 Kingpins with this template and it’s all good. My Kingpins seem to be missing the toe aligning nubs that earlier Kingpins seem to have. Maybe they’re gone for 16/17?

    EVERYONE: Here’s a tip some may find useful. Instead of clicking the boot into the toe piece and eye-balling the fore/aft alignment between the boot center and the ski center, what I did was transfer the boot center mark to the template.

    So I clicked the boot into the toe piece and then measured the distance between the center mark and one of the rear screw holes. Then grabbed the template and measured that distance back to transfer the mark. Hold the modified template up to the boot/toe piece to verify. Then you can set the boot aside and align the toe.

    Overall not a big deal but if your center mark is hard to see or if you don’t like eye-balling the center you might do a little better like this.

  60. Dennis March 7th, 2017 1:26 pm

    With regard to epoxy the best stuff I have ever used and continue to use for 20+ yrs. setting screws in skis and filling blow sidewalls, even filling core shots that go to metal or internal material, it’s the slow drying epoxy you get at supply stores for coating the wraps on carbon fiber and bamboo fly rods. You don’t want the coating on a $700 rod blank to crack and peal, yuck. Takes a warm room and at least overnight for the stuff to set. Best stuff in the world, there are a number of brands just be sure it’s labeled as flexible when dry and for fly rod wrapping. And no, I have never had a blown side wall repair blow out again. Stuff is tough will hold snake guides on a saltwater rod while you fight a #300 tarpon or sailfish.

  61. bk December 3rd, 2017 6:16 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I’m having Kingpins mounted this week. Considering removing the brakes. Is that very involved?

  62. Christian December 3rd, 2017 10:20 pm

    bk, from my research (but haven’t done it yet) it looks like the thing to do is purchase and swap out the brake assembly with a brakeless afd platform

    The issue is that the brake assembly screws also serve as mounting screws to for the binding, so they go into the ski; so it’s probably not something you want to swap out on a regular basis. I’ve just decided to live with the extra 90g since I’ll be using mine about 50/50 in/out of bounds.

  63. Christian December 3rd, 2017 10:29 pm

    …note that the afd pad is an integral part of the release in the binding (like afd pads in toes of most alpine bindings) so I’d really recommend not just simply removing the brake… which is maybe why they have mountings screws going through it.

  64. Lou Dawson 2 December 4th, 2017 6:58 am

    BK, when first introduced they did have a version without brake but I don’t see it anywhere as current product, if that’s the case then sad.

    As for removing brake, not recommended as alluded to above you end up without a proper AFD as well as your heel support height being wrong.


  65. bk December 4th, 2017 5:23 pm

    Ok thanks Lou, and Christian for your thoughts.

  66. See December 4th, 2017 7:32 pm

    That afd pad looks like a great solution for people that don’t want brakes. Are they widely available? Are they sold individually or do you get 2 afd’s?

  67. Lou Dawson 2 December 5th, 2017 8:24 am

    Good find on that Christian, thanks for sharing! Lou

  68. JON FALABELLA December 19th, 2017 6:24 pm

    I gave up years ago on shops. Even reputable shops screw up (on a regular basis when it comes to my mounts….). I can tell you stories…. So I mount all of my own bindings with inserts and just mounted Kingpins with this template in DPS PURE3 skis. I did notice that your template is missing the fifth screw hole for the heel plate. I ended up spotting it after mounting the heel plate but it added several extra steps. So, THANKS for providing these templates for the DIY folks like me. Appreciate it every much.

  69. Lou Dawson 2 December 21st, 2017 1:11 pm

    Hi Jon, yeah, that fifth screw is easy to locate using the heel unit, everyone, just drill the other holes first, attach heel with a pair of lightly tightened screws, mark 5th screw location, and so forth. I’ll see about adding the screw location to the template, but don’t hold your breath as I’m maxed out with projects however small. Lou

  70. Jerome January 25th, 2018 9:01 pm

    First timer, everything went super well. Way easier then I thought seriously I’ll never mount skis in a shop ever again. The templates were accurate exept for the fifth screw that didn’t line up. After I punch the holes I drilled In the punch holes with 3/64 drill bit before doing the 9/64 holes. I thought this was it easier to make straight holes. Thanks a lot. Next step, putting inserts

  71. Nick February 21st, 2018 9:01 pm

    Just about been driven insane trying to print the mount template to scale. Default Windows PDF reader prints it too small. Tried using Photoshop Elements which prints it 3% too big. Tried everything I can think of in Elements to rescale it and ended up with about a dozen prints all 3% too big. Grrrr!

  72. Lou 2 February 22nd, 2018 6:50 am

    Hi Nick, sorry to hear that, assuming you’re in Windows try first going in reverse, before you even open the file, by going to Printers in Windows “Devices and Printers” , then right click on your printer and carefully explore all settings. In my case, with a Brother printer there is an options to set all scaling to “off” which is the key for me, along with being sure to print at 100% as well as checking all other settings.

    If you’re trying to modify the source file to compensate for the printer scaling, that way lies madness though it might work, eventually.

    Best, just work with your printer settings and your software stack. Perhaps download Adobe Acrobat Reader and try it for printing the PDFs. You might be opening the PDF with your web browser, in my experience with Chrome Browser the built-in PDF viewer is crippled.

    And they say AI is just around the corner. Perhaps they can start with making a printer that actually works.

    Please let us know what you figure out. I might do a blog post specific to tricks for printing to 100% scale, that could be linked from all our binding mounting content.


  73. Nick February 23rd, 2018 6:55 pm

    As it is a pretty simple mount pattern I decided to mark it up on the skis without a template. With a bit of care worked out fine.

  74. Lou Dawson 2 February 24th, 2018 9:41 am

    Nick, it is indeed entirely doable to use the binding as the template. I’ve found that making a center line on the ski still helps with this, as taking time and perhaps mounting the toe first with only one or two screws, and only drilling those holes first, and doing the same slow process with the heel, lining-checking everything with a boot as the process moves along. I’ve also done a very quick version of this when time was of the essence, and seen ski techs in Europe do the same during demos. I’ve even seen bindings mounted without drilling holes, just jamming the screw in, but that’s quite iffy and of course not recommended! Lou

  75. atfred February 24th, 2018 10:08 am

    That’s why it takes my shop thirty minutes to do a mount, and me more like two days!

  76. XXX_er February 24th, 2018 11:24 am

    ” Nick, it is indeed entirely doable to use the binding as the template. I’ve found that making a center line on the ski still helps with this, as taking time and perhaps mounting the toe first with only one or two screws, and only drilling those holes first, and doing the same slow process with the heel, lining-checking everything with a boot as the process moves along. ”

    This^^ for the once year I might do a mount I don’t bother with a template, I do the lay out on masking tape and use the binding for the template, the big question is where do you locate the toes and heels fore/aft but its not that hard to figure out … just go slow

    probably works better than that guy who down loads a template & drills all the holes before realizing something is off

  77. See February 24th, 2018 6:57 pm

    Another good thing about mounting bindings without jig or template is it makes you think about how all the parts fit and work together. This can be a major benefit long after the job is done.

  78. See February 24th, 2018 7:01 pm

    (Assuming you don’t screw it up.)

  79. Jeff February 26th, 2018 7:16 pm

    This question might sounds bit dated, but is the kingpin compatible with bellowed boots like the Scarpa F3? Love my F3s, need to switch out my tech binding and want to keep using the F3.

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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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