To Mount Binding
1) Obtain binding mounting template.
2) Place a pencil line (PBLine) on template, parallel to template
pin line, PB distance behind template pin line mark.
3) Obtain ski, locate PBLine at CRS; Accurately square binder
to ski tip-to-tail center-line (details not included here, see
Doc's binding mount article); Center-punch holes; Drill, clean
(& perhaps tap) ski per binder manufacturer's specifications;
fill holes with water proof white glue (wood glue) or epoxy;
mount binding and repeat for other ski.
Due to the number of steps involved in the
above procedure, it is easy to see why typical ski shops are
not interested in using this method. This may be unfortunate
for the free heel skier using free heel bindings on alpine skis
or any other skier, for that matter.
A Q&A Sesh
Q: What is your experience with this mounting
A: I've been mounting our personal free heel
boards this way for about 10 years. I've personally experimented,
over the years, with various free heel mounting positions on
about 20 different alpine boards. I like Center Ball @ Center
Running Surface the best.... I note that this almost always closely
agrees with the traditional alpine mark. I have friends who race
(free heel) that generally confirm the CB @ CRS method.... I
also know some good skiers that suggest it's trivial.
Q: I presume that this method usually results
in a binding placement forward of the traditional "pins
on chord center". is this true?
A: Yep, the skier is typically mounted 15
to 25 mm forward of center cord.
But this depends upon the various variables including foot, boot,
& ski design.
Q: Volkl has used a "Boot Tip" mounting
mark in the past instead of "Center Boot" in an attempt
to address this issue. What do you think of this method?
A: I think the Volkl boot tip approach is
ok, but I note that my newer Snow Rangers have gone back to a
boot center mark. I suspect the variability between boot-tip
mounting and center-boot mounting is about the same. I generally
think the most accurate method for mounting free heel on alpine
boards is to mount center ball at center running surface....
Thus, with the boot tip mark on your Volkl's, you could mark
the location of center ball using a medium size alpine boot and
then compare that to center running surface.... I suspect you
will find the two nearly the same; If not then I say the ski
mfg has designed that ski different from the norm and you should
respect the mfg's design (ie. locate center ball of your tele
boot at same place as center ball of the avg size alpine boot)....
that gives you a warm fuzzy to 'back-in' to the free heel binder
mount.... Which will result in center ball controlling the mount;
This is often significantly different from center-cord mounting.
Q: I have in the past found that mounting
forward of CC tends to make the tails feel stiffer, on tele boards
this is less of a factor but on alpine skis mounted for tele,
with their already stiff alpine oriented tails, does this present
a problem when you use this method?
A: Ah... you've experimented! Problems?...Maybe
on some models but I have not had problems. We (... free heel
friends) mostly parallel (using plastic boots) and that may tend
to make us less sensitive (I'm 5'10, 150 pounds, typically ski
200cm). Again, I suggest free heel bindings ideally be mounted
on alpine boards according to the ski mfg's directions...This
typically results in the CB @ CRS method.... not the Center Cord.
Q: What do you feel are the advantages of
mounting using this method?
A: I believe most ski mfg's suggest mounts
as accurate as reasonably possible. Adjustable bindings are made
to make moves of 1/8" or less. The question becomes why?
Q: Are their any skiers, in some situations,
who you feel might be better off
using the more traditional methods?
A: Maybe traditional tele boards are designed,
at least in the past, to CC mountings. Again, the ideal situation
is to mount where the ski mfg specifies for free heel. As you
know, that info is not always readily available. Also, many ski
shops (probably most) are not interested in going through the
more detailed procedure of CB mounting. I've had some traditional
single camber and double camber free heel boards which were mounted
at pro shops way back when... but I can't recall if they are
CC (probably are).... They definitely don't ski as sweet as today's
stuff. My tele racing friends mount CB or even more forward ...
but they are typically turning alpine designed boards.