Whether or not to install ski binding lifts - also referred to as binding shims or lifter plates - on race skis is a question asked by junior and adult racers of all ability levels - from USSA to Masters to FIS. Peak can install binding lifts on most of the race skis we sell, including Atomic Race Skis, Head Race SkisFischer Race Skis, Nordica Race SkisRossignol Race Skis, Volkl Race Skis and more. To understand if you need binding lifters, let’s start with what they are and what they do.

What are binding lifts and what do they do?
Ski binding lifts are thin plastic shims that are inserted underneath a binding and on top of a race plate. By raising the binding further off the ski, binding lifts create more distance between the bottom of a skier’s boot and the snow. This extra height gives a skier more leverage, and allows him or her to create greater edge angles without booting out. Essentially, binding lifts allow a racer to get their feet further out from underneath them in the apex of a turn. The further out from underneath a racer their feet, the greater edge angles they create, and the more power they drive to the ski. See the image below for an example of when binding lifts would come in handy.

Do I need binding lifts?

We recommend binding lifts for high-level USSA and FIS racers. In general, we suggest binding lifts for U-16 and older athletes who are skiing at an advanced level. If you find you’re booting out during training or racing, it’s probably time for you to lift your race bindings. While binding lifts may be appropriate for some elite, younger athletes, many junior bindings are not compatible with binding lifts.  

How much binding lift do I need?

USSA and FIS regulations limit the height from the bottom of the ski to the bottom of the boot to 50mm. Because of this, the amount of lift installed underneath a binding will vary depending on the thickness of the ski and binding. Depending on the ski and binding setup, we generally install between 3-8mm of lift to achieve the FIS/USSA limit of 50mm. 

On what skis should I install lifts?

Once you decide to lift your setup, we suggest you install the same lift to all of your skis for each discipline. For example, if you have two pairs of slalom skis, you should install the same lift on each pair of skis so they ski consistently. While we recommend binding lifts for GS and SL setups, we generally don’t lift Super-G or downhill skis. Since speed skis are generally thicker than GS or SL skis, they are often close to the 50mm FIS/USSA limit without the need for lifts.

Should I install binding lifts myself?

Binding lifts should be installed by a certified binding technician. Because the amount of needed lift will vary depending on the ski and binding thickness, the installation process is unique to the specific skier’s setup. Installation often requires changing out stock screws for longer ones that ensure the right depth of penetration into the race plate. At Peak, we have a lot of experience installing lifts. Let us put that expertise to work for you!