Words by Tom Copsey
Bindings are important – as the connection between you and your snowboard they are crucial to your riding experience being a positive one. Stiffness, straps, cushioning and materials vary within the different models so you should have a good look into our lowdown before picking out your next pair.
How to choose a pair of bindings
There’s a lot of choice out there for all kinds of riders and styles on the market. We’ve highlighted a few things you should consider before dropping your pocket money on a new set:
Using lighter-weight, more advanced materials generally leads to improved performance and comfort. Lower priced bindings will certainly get the job done, but won’t have as much attention to detail in terms of impact absorption, strap shape and comfort, or responsiveness of the baseplate and highback.
When it comes to the flex and responsiveness of the bindings, how and what you will be riding plays a large part. Pow cruisers, jibbers or mellow park riders will benefit from the tweak and feel of softer flexes, while if pro-lines, icy superpipes or critical lines float your boat you’ll want the immediate response stiffer models provide.
Bindings often have a lot of scope for adjustability, and it’s important that you make use of this to get the best performance out of them. Forward lean and highback rotation are the more obvious ways to experiment, but you should also tinker with the baseplate length, extension of gas pedals and the length of straps to get the best binding/boot connection possible.
Hitting big booters means exposing your joints to a lot of pressure which can be reduced by proper cushioning in your bindings. Even if you’re happy to just lap the slopes, better padding can give you a smoother, more vibration-free ride.
If you want to be as quick as humanly possible some brands offer rear entry bindings so you only have to slip in, fold up the highback and you’re ready to ride. You need to re-adjust them from time to time, but certainly not every time you step in and out. Look out for Flow, Gnu, Apo and SP bindings if speed is of the essence.