Bindings are simple in essence. All they do is connect your skis to your boots. What makes choosing a binding complex is the amount of options available to you. If you have been to your local ski shop or spent time on your local ski trails then you have probably heard the terms NNN, SNS, Prolink, Turnamic, IFP and NIS. But what do these mean for you when you are shopping for skis?
To get started, NNN and SNS are both referring to different binding/cleat systems. In the past, NNN was the system used by the majority of cross country ski manufactures and SNS was a system used by Salomon and is not compatible with NNN. Determining if you need SNS or NNN bindings is the first step of the puzzle. If you are going to use your current boots then you will need bindings compatible with those boots. If you are ordering new boots then any system works, but we recommend equipping yourself with an NNN binding because the entire industry is moving towards NNN as the universal binding system and we like to have as many pieces of compatible equipment as possible.
To make things a little more confusing this past year bindings have become even more diverse. Rossignol and Fischer collaborate to make a new binding system, Turnamic, which uses IFP (integrated fixation plate). This system uses a new plate that only accepts their new Turnamic bindings. The good news is Turnamic bindings are compatible with all NNN boots. One advantage of the Turnamic system is the ability to adjust the position of the binding without any tools. Here's a video on the new Trunamic system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhvG3VvhTHs
To those of you with SNS boots, we can still mount an SNS binding over IFP.
Two years ago, Salomon introduced their Prolink bindings. These bindings screw into skis using the same hole pattern as the old SNS bindings. However, Prolink bindings are compatible with all NNN boots.
Madshus and Rottefella are still teamed up and use the NIS binding system. All Rottefella bindings are attached to a ski using a NIS plate. It is a system that allows you to adjust the position of the binding with a small tool. It is compatible with all NNN boots. SNS bindings can easily be mounted over NIS plates by drilling through them.
The SNS Pilot system is still being used today, even on the World Cup; just ask Jessie Diggins how much she loves Pilot. These bindings and boots are not going away anytime too soon but I think the goal of the industry is to emulate the Alpine world where most boots are compatible with every brands ski/binding setup.
Please feel free to contact Pioneer Midwest with any of your binding questions or needs. When you select a ski for purchase and specify NNN or SNS, we will get the perfect binding solution mounted on your new skis. If you have very specific binding needs including ramping or atypical mounting locations, please reach out to us so we can assist you with your needs.