There is no shortage of articles and videos about installing SNS bindings onto skis. I watched a few such videos, and all of them were missing precision. Some said that the binding needs to be aligned at the ski’s balance point, others – 1 cm behind it. Most instructions don’t specify the drill bit diameter, and those that do, disagree with each other. It took me a while to locate the official word on installing the bindings.What you are looking for is a PDF file called Salomon Technical Manual Nordic. I only found the 2011 edition in a downloadable form, but there is a 2014 edition that can only be viewed in the browser. I am sure that the main concepts stay constant year to year. For example, all bindings in the 2011 edition are specified to have screw diameters of 6.3mm.
I am not going to duplicate the information found in many other online instructions, but will concentrate on what I thought was missing. My takeaway from reading the PDF were two points:
- The binding needs to be aligned 1 cm behind the balance point of the ski, not on the balance point, like many online instructions recommend. One explanation of this that I found was that this helps to keep the front of the ski to the snow when kicking. I have my own theory. The binding itself shifts the balance of the ski – there is more weight in the rear of the binding than in the front. I have mounted the bindings 1 cm behind the balance point, and after the binding is mounted, the balance point shifted exactly 1cm to the rear. Isn’t that pretty cool?!
- The proper drill diameter for mounting Salomon SNS bindings is 3.6 mm, or, for us living in North America, 9/64″. Most instructions suggest using a smaller bit for a pilot hole, but I decided that the main bit is small enough and does not require a pilot hole.
I might get myself into trouble for redistributing this, but here is the 2011 Salomon Technical Manual Nordic PDF file that I used. Scroll down to the “bindings” section.