A lot of snowboarders just see their binding as some thing that attaches them to their board; their main focus when buying them is the colour and whether or not it matches their board and boots. While there is nothing wrong with having a blinged out all matching set up you still need to think about you ability and style of riding when picking out any of your bindings.
There are probably as many different brands/styles of bindings as there are boards but when you break it down they all are made up of the same three basic components of highback, straps and baseplate.
The baseplate is the building block of all bindings. It is he main part that attaches your bindings to your board. Baseplates are made of aluminium, reinforced plastic or glass-fibre.
The highback is the part of the binding that lets you engage your heel edge. Stiffer highbacks give you more response.
Your straps are what keep your foot in your binding. Binding straps have changed quite a bit in recent years they have become a lot more comfortable than they were back in the day. Check out Burtonand Ridebindings.
Step in bindings are like the Marmite of the snowboard world you either love them or hate them, but I wouldn’t knock them till you’ve tried them. A lot of beginners some times find themselves having to sit down to do up traditional bindings and they find that straps and ratchets can be a little awkward and clumsy till they get the hang of them. While experienced riders find they don’t get the same level of control and response from a step-in that you get from a traditional binding but there are a couple of brands that have overcome this little problem. Over the years many different methods have come and gone but the one that has stuck firm is the rear entry step-in they’re not an entirely true step-in but they have out lasted other step-in methods and are the step in of choice for non-pros and pros alike. Check out K2 Cinchand FlowBindings.
What you need to think about when buying bindings is where and what you’re riding.
Typically beginners and jibbers need bindings that have a nice bit flex the same as their board. If your trying to perfect your turns or trying to dial a kinked rail that last thing you want to do is catch an edge or hang up, it’ll only end in tears. These kind of riders should look at the Burton Custom, Ride Beta, K2 Cinch CTC (step-in), and the ladies should have a look at the Burton Stiletto, Ride LXH, and the K2 Cinch Tryst (step-in).
All Mountain Freestyle riders tend to go for something a little stiffer that has a bit more response but still with enough give to hit the odd rail or tree jib. Good All Mountain bindings are the Burton P1, Burton Mission, Burton Triad/Triad EST, K2 Auto and K2 Cinch CTS (step-in), and the ones for the ladies are the Ride VXN, Burton Lexa, and the K2 Cinch Vette (step-in).
Freeriders who want to have precise response for carving up the piste and backcountry at high speed need to look at stiffer bindings. You’ll find that these bindings have stiffer base plates, highbacks and sometimes have slightly higher highbacks. If you looking for ultimate control have a look at the Burton CO2, Burton Cartel, and the K2 Auto Ever.
More experienced riders might mix and mach boards and bindings you can also achieve a great all round set-up by mixing boards and bindings. You don’t have to ride flexible bindings on a flexible board and vice versa. For example you could ride a Burton Fix snowboard (which is quite soft) with a Burton Cartel EST binding (which is quite stiff), this would give you a really fun All Mountain Freestyle set-up. The same goes for your boots. At the end of the day it all comes down to the individual rider.
If you have any specific questions, please give us a ring for advice 7 days a week on 0191 232 3561.
Outdoor sports are potentially dangerous. This guide is offered for guidance only and you should seek advice from a qualified person if you are unsure about any aspect of your equipment or outdoor skills.