We recently received this question from Jason, a Blister member:
I am approaching that arbitrary deadline on the DIN charts of 50 years old.
(Editor’s Note: DIN Charts have only three age categories: 9 years & under; 10-49; 50 & over.)
My size, skiing level, and boot size have me at 9.5. Next year when I turn 50, according to the DIN charts, that value should drop to 8.
That seems like a big jump down. The way I ski and where I ski (Alta mostly) 9.5 has worked well for me.
What are folks really doing now? How did they arrive at 50 years old as the time to start cranking down the DIN values in the first place?
I ski fast….really fast. I get it, as I age my bone density will take a hit. But it seems there is a bigger risk to premature release at speed vs protecting against a broken leg. I am in good shape. (Great actually when I look around at some of the fellas my age.)
I just want to know what a real consensus is. I’ve asked a few of the old guys at Alta, and they are all over the map.
I just wanted to know if you guys have better optics on this and give me some guidance. Thanks.
Note on DIN Settings
Your DIN setting is calculated based on your:
- Boot Sole Length
- Ability Level
The higher the DIN setting, the higher the force required to release from your bindings.
Calculating Your DIN Setting
Warning: Ski binding safety should be set and checked by a qualified professional. Use these calculators for reference only:
My (non) Answer
I personally don’t have any general guidance or guidelines to provide on this, so I’ll just reiterate that your DIN setting should be determined by a qualified professional.
But the original question was to try to get a “real consensus,” so I am putting the question to all of you, and I’m interested to see the range of responses.
A Couple Quick, Obvious Points
(1) We don’t need to say this (do we?) that you shouldn’t be trying to impress your friends by how high you run your DIN. Nobody cares how tightly you tie your shoes, and nobody cares how high or low you run your DIN. DIN settings are simply about preserving your knees — or your life — in a crash.
(2) There are a few legitimate reasons why skiers might choose to run their DIN (a bit) higher or lower than recommended. I think one of the reasons why an advanced skier might choose to run a little bit lower than normal — especially if they tend to run their DIN several points higher than recommended — is if they are coming off an injury, or simply aren’t skiing at full strength — so, for example, their quadriceps, hamstrings, and / or the surrounding musculature of the knee are not as strong as they have been in the past.
(3) As for an answer to the original question posed above? Should Jason dial down his DIN just because he has crossed that 50 threshold? I think the safe answer here is to follow the chart, unless you really have good reason to think you are just as strong or stronger than you were last season (you are still strength training, still doing barbell squats, etc), and have benchmarks by which to assume that the surrounding musculature of the knee really will be able to hold up in a wrenching crash.
Your Thoughts / Practice?
It’s time now to hear how some of you handle the issue of DIN settings — when you stick to the charts, and what factors might lead you to deviate.