The right ski binding is even more important for freeriding than for other winter sports disciplines. Why? Because off-piste conditions are rough. Because under fluffy powder snow, rugged rocks and roots might hide. What’s more, the bindings must also be able to withstand the speed on steep lines.
So, freeride bindings are a crucial safety factor when skiing in the backcountry. The binding is responsible for transmitting power to the ski. It provides stability and must release at the right moment to prevent injury. If it also fits your skiing style, your skill and fitness level, you have found the perfect binding for freeriding ...
All this sounds very complicated? Don’t worry, it’s not – provided you know the facts and who can help you choose your freeride bindings. Our RENTertainers have summarised the most important know-how for you on this page. And at the INTERSPORT Rent shops, our experts are there for you personally.
And now: Let’s dive deeper into the matter of freeride bindings!
That always depends on several factors: body weight, skiing style, preferred speed and terrain. If you want to tackle remote powder slopes, for instance, it’s worth choosing a hybrid of freeride bindings and touring bindings with walk mode. If your focus is on long, fast descents, you’ll do well with pure freeride bindings.
Ski bindings for freeriding are designed to take a bit of a beating on steep descents. After all, falls and hits are as much a part of off-piste skiing as powder snow and adrenaline. The more robust a binding, the heavier it tends to be. Increased body weight and speed also require increased stability.
However, extra weight can become a bit of a disadvantage if you often walk longer distances with your freeride skis and have to carry them on your back.
Freeride skis with touring bindings? That’s possible, too. Freeride bindings with integrated walk or touring mode are the best choice if your journey to the summit starts at the mountain station of the lift. You are similarly flexible with downhill-oriented touring bindings. Either way, you’ll need additional climbing skins for ascents and to reach even remote slopes.
Tip: If you decide on a pin binding suitable for ascents, you will need special freeride or touring ski boots that are compatible.
The Z-value is a crucial aspect in choosing the right freeride ski bindings. It defines the release range and answers the question: What maximum force must act on the binding for it to release? The higher the Z-value, the later the mechanism opens.
Factors such as your weight, height, the sole length of your ski boots, your age and your skiing style all determine which Z value is right for you. A Z-value table can be used to find the right value. Online calculators and apps can help as well.
Tip: Since the Z-value has a direct impact on your safety when freeriding, you should leave the adjustments to an expert.