I just purchased a pair of Salomon Q98 skis and Marker Baron bindings for accessing snowkite sites that require a short to moderate skin in from the road, and seek advice regarding binding placement position.
I'm an expert downhill skier and have good skis for that, so these will be almost exclusively for snowkiting. Setting the bindings back from the standard position was advised by the ski shop if planning to ski lots of deeper or heavier snow.
However, the weighting dynamics of snowkiting are completely different, and I often find myself weighting backwards to counteract the kite pull. Also, when landing a boost into deep snow I shift back to prevent crashing over frontwards.
It seems that setting the bindings farther back would be advantageous for snowkiting, but can't find any info on that. Any advice is appreciated.
I have never mounted a non-park ski with a reward bias for kiting. Unless your skis are crazy short and you aren't getting enough lift in the front, even with the rocker maybe I would consider it but then you do so at the loss of tail.
In terms of weighting dynamics for myself I ski the ski the same way I would if on the hill. You shouldn't be too far in the back seat on the kite any more than without a kite. Your weight should be out, not back.
I would mount them to the factory spec. I ride the same ski with a Duke and mounting to the mid mark on the ski has worked fine. Unless you are trying to alter the swing weight for air tricks then if anything you would mount forward to make the swing weight more neutral. But the Q 98 isn't that kind of ski.
From a shop tech perspective I can't imagine why the shop would recommend setting the binding back. Unless again, the ski is on the shorter side and because the 98 is a little narrow under foot and can use some help to get planing in the deep stuff. In that case maybe a cm back could be beneficial. Bear in mind if the shop guys aren't kiters they may have the impression that kiting is akin to water skiing in terms of forces. Which, sure I can see their logic.
Ideally, for me, I want my skis to function on a kite the same way they function on the hill. If stopping powder I tend to land centered, shift my weight back briefly as I power up but then shift back to driving the cuff of the boot.
I've played with moving the mounting point by way of demo bindings. Just to see how things worked with a forward or aft bias. Being rearward more than a cm didn't feel good at all. But maybe it's just me.
Score yourself a demo ski and try that before you do it permanently to your own stuff if you can.
Another factor to consider is how the ski will skin. Too much weight at one end or another can be problematic for skinning steep lines as it's hard to get even pressure to engage to total length of the skins.