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Snowboard Bindings

Buyer's guide

Pro Advice

For me, bindings should compliment your riding style. If you ride aggressively choose a stiffer binding or ride a softer binding if you want a more forgiving ride. Customise your bindings for a perfect fit without pressure points.

Manuel
Manuel
Skate & Snowboard Buyer

Afsnit 1

How do you snowboard?

When looking for a new pair of snowboard bindings, you should ask yourself, ‘How do I ride?’ A beginner, for example, will have different requirements to an intermediate, park or freeride snowboarder.

How
do you ride?
  1. Beginner
  2. Intermediate
  3. Freestyle
  4. Freeride

Comfort and support

If you are completely new to the sport or have spent a couple of weeks on snow, you could be considered a beginner. When you are progressing, it is important to be comfortable. These bindings are more flexible, making it easier to turn.

Beginner snowboarders at our Obertauern Snowboard School

Intermediate and all-mountain

As you improve as a rider, so might your scope to explore the whole mountain. For faster, more aggressive riding over varied terrain, you need a different binding to when you were learning. An all-mountain binding is stiffer for riding the whole mountain. Versatility is key here. All-mountain bindings are comfortable wherever you want to ride.

Freestyle and jib

If you spend all your time in the park jumping kickers (freestyle) or riding rails (jib) you should look for a binding which compliments your style. Freestyle bindings are lighter and more flexible. The lightness helps you spin in the air and flexibility allows you more leverage over the binding to perform grabs. The highback will also be shorter and the footbed more padded.

Freeride

If your Snowboarding has taken you the direction of powder snow and exploring the backcountry, there are bindings for that too! Stiffer more supportive bindings will allow you top-level response so you can rip powder and steep lines with maximum confidence.

Afsnit 2

Which flex snowboard bindings?

In snowboarding, we often discuss ‘flex’ or ‘stiffness’ in regards to equipment. What does this mean with regards to snowboard bindings? The flex refers to the materials and construction of the Bindings. These come together to make a binding which can be either soft, medium or stiff. Most snowboard manufacturers grade their snowboard bindings on a scale of 1-10, so we have included the numeric values as well.

  1. Soft
  2. Medium
  3. Stiff

Soft: flex 1-4

Softer flex snowboard bindings are made more flexible materials. These bindings are great for beginners as they are a little more forgiving. Also, a more flexible highback is easier to make heelside turns with. Freestyle and jib riders often ride with softer bindings for a couple of reasons. Firstly, like beginners, they will appreciate the more forgiving ride, particularly when going for bigger landings. Secondly, the flexibility allows more leverage over the bindings to perform presses and grabs.

Blue Tomato Team Rider Dominik Wagner using soft bindings to slide a rail

Medium: flex 4-7

Medium bindings are ‘just right’ for many riders. An intermediate rider will like the added support and control which these bindings give. An all-mountain rider can appreciate the versatility of binding which are more supportive but not too stiff. More aggressive freestyle and jib riders will even like the ability to go bigger off features.

Blue Tomato Team Rider Felix Widnig going off a kicker with medium bindings

Stiff: flex 7-10

Some people want it a little harder. If you are riding fast on piste and lying deep carves into the snow, you will appreciate the added control. Equally, if you’re freeriding on big mountain terrain, these bindings will help you when you need it the most.

Group of men walking to go freeriding with stiff snowboard bindings
Afsnit 3

Strap-in vs rear-entry bindings?

One of the clearest differences in bindings doesn’t actually concern function so much as convenience. There two main types of snowboard bindings.

Choose
a style
  1. Strap-in
  2. Rear-Entry

Strap-in bindings

The tried and tested, traditional binding for snowboarding. The boot is secured by two straps, one over the ankle and one over the toes. Every time you want to take a lift or skate you have to undo these straps, then fasten them again when it’s time to ride. Two straps do, however, provide the best performance and foothold. With two separate straps and a fixed highback, you have a massive amount of customisation available as all parts are customisable.

Strapping in with a Union Binding

Rear-entry bindings

Tired of freezing your arse off, while sat down slowly cranking up your bindings? Well, we’re tired of waiting for you! With a rear-entry binding, it takes a fraction of the time. Simply slide your feet into the binding, then pull up the highback, close the lever and you’re good to go. When it’s time for a chairlift or skating, the binding releases again from the back and your boot slides easily out.

Jones snowboard with a Flow rear-entry binding
Afsnit 4

How should my bindings fit?

Your bindings should fit with your snowboard and your boots. Here we break down what this actually means. How to get the best-sized binding for your boots and whether your chosen binding fits with your favourite snowboard.

  1. Sizing and fit
  2. Compatibility

Sizing and fit

Your Boots and bindings should fit together, that goes without saying, but how? First, you should buy the right size - every binding on our webshop has a corresponding size chart. Make sure to order the proper size, so if you have a boot in EU size 42, you can order a binding M which has a range of sizes 41-44. Even if you do order the right size of binding for your boot, further tool-free adjustment is available on the straps to get it perfect. A well-fitting snowboard binding should grip your boot all over with no gaps: your boots should fit snuggly in the heelcup of the binding. If you have chosen the right size, your toes shouldn’t protrude too far over the edge of the binding.

Union Force Binding and Burton Ion Boot fitting together perfectly

Compatibility with your snowboard

Equally as important as fitting to your snowboard your binding has to fit with your snowboard. There are two different systems for mounting snowboards, the traditional and channel systems. The traditional system uses as a 12 pack of inserts which you attach four screws into through the binding disk. The channel system is a CNC’d rail which you attach two screws to. The channel needs either a special EST binding, from Burton or a special disk. Nowadays most companies included such a disk for free with their bindings. If you choose both a Burton snowboard and binding an EST binding offers the best board-feel and most stance options.

Burton snowboard, boots and bindings all fitting together via the Channel system
Afsnit 5

The parts of your binding

Here are different snowboard binding components and why they are important to you.

Parts
of your binding
  1. Highback
  2. Baseplate
  3. Footbed
  4. Straps
  5. Disks
  6. Heelcup

Highback

The highback is responsible for transmitting your power during heelside turns and manoeuvres. So if you’re doing it right, half of your turns will use your highback. A stiffer highback which comes further up your calf is better for freeriding and aggressive riding. A shorter more flexible highback is better for freestyle and jib riding as the extra flex allows you to tweak out grabs and is more forgiving. In a rear entry binding it is the highback which folds down allowing your boot in. Most Highbacks now rotate a little and have forward lean adjustment to match you stance and legs.

Union Force Binding highback

Baseplate

The baseplate is the frame of the binding. Everything on the binding is attached in some way to the baseplate. Aluminium or glass filled nylon is commonly used for baseplates as they are designed to be durable and responsive. After all, all your weight goes through the baseplate.

Union Force Binding baseplate

Footbed

The footbed is the direct connection between you and your bindings. Its functions are cushioning and power transmission. Usually made from foam the footbeds take a large amount of the shock absorption. For more comfort footbeds are canted, so the angle slightly outwards so your knees are aligned better. Footbeds can also have a ‘gas pedal’, where the toes of the raised up for better power transmission.

Union Force Binding baseplate

Straps

The straps hold you in the binding. Normally there are two: one over the ankle and one over the toes. The ankle strap holds you in the heelcup of the binding and is usually padded for comfort. The toe strap is little less padded and helps with toe-side turns. All of the straps on bindings are adjustable so you can position your straps to fit your boots perfectly.

Strapping in with Burton Bindings

Disks

The disk is the direct link between you, your bindings and your snowboard, so in short, it is pretty important! Depending on the manufacturer of your bindings they might look and feel differently. The key here is adjustability, you want to be able to fit with any insert pattern and have any stance you desire. Thankfully now manufacturers either have disks with multiple mounting possibilities (4x4 and channel) or supply multiple disks for different systems with their bindings. The exception here is Burton EST bindings, which only fit with Channel snowboards.

Heelcup

The heelcup holds your heel in the binding. It can be made in the same mould as the rest of the base plate or made separately. A separate heelcup can be adjusted to fine tune your kit. A separate heelcup is often made from aluminium.

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