If you’re shopping for a new snowboard, it’s easy to overlook differences in binding technology,
because after all, they are just there to keep your feet attached to your board, right? Wrong! While this might have been the case a decade ago when strap-in bindings were the only option, today there are other types of bindings that might suit your unique riding style better.
If you are baffled by the array of snowboard bindings that are available out there, you’re not alone! 3 Rad Kids walks you through all you need to know about snowboard bindings in this handy guide!
Let’s break it down:
Snowboard bindings are an integral piece that has a direct impact on your riding experience. Since bindings are a direct connection to your snowboard, they transfer your muscle movements to your board. If you match your snowboard bindings with your board and style, you’ll enjoy a better riding experience overall.
There are two types of bindings to choose from with different flex, material, and lengths to choose from. The two types of bindings are strap-in bindings and speed entry bindings.
Strap-in bindings are the traditional binding set up and are the most common bindings that you will see in the ski shop or on the mountain.
Strap-in bindings have a high back that is fixed, but its angle can be adjusted so that the binding leans forward or is more upright, depending on your preferred snowboarding stance.
Two separate straps make up the strap-in binding: an ankle strap, and a toe strap. The ankle strap goes around the ankle, and the toe strap sits either on top of the toe area of the boot or wrapped around the front of the boot. With this setup, you can adjust the pressure of each strap for comfort and added stability.
Strap-in bindings can be harder to strap into when standing up, which can make it slower to strap into your board, but overall, these traditional-style bindings are a popular choice for all kinds of riders.
Speed Entry Bindings
Though less common than strap-in bindings, speed entry bindings are becoming more popular and have the advantage of, you guessed it: speed.
There is usually only one strap on speed entry bindings that covers both the ankle and the toes. These can be adjusted separately so you can adjust the pressure for both the toes and the ankle. The high back on speed entry bindings is similar to a drawbridge. Similar to strap-in bindings, the angle of the high back can be adjusted to different degrees to lean forward, or completely upright. The difference here is that with speed entry bindings the high back can be unlocked so that it swings open to be almost completely horizontal. This is the feature that allows for speed of entry.
Getting in and out of speed entry bindings is quite easy. You simply unlock the high back and place your boot in, then close the high back over the back of the boot and lock it in place. Easy! One of the most convenient aspects of speed entry bindings is that you only need to set the straps once at the beginning of the day. Plus, you can do this all while standing up.
Related Reading: Finding the Best Fit: Snowboard Boots
Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for snowboard bindings:
Ability Level + Flex Rating
When purchasing a pair of bindings, you need to keep your ability level in mind and check the flex rating, as these are the two most important factors. More experienced riders may benefit from a medium or stiffer flex, which improves energy transfer to the board, as well as easier landings from jumps. Beginners should choose a soft flex which allows for better control and maneuverability at slower speeds.
You’ll want to choose a binding that directly correlates to your skill level. You should have a comfortable ride without sacrificing any board control.
Just as important as matching your riding ability, you want to purchase bindings that match your riding style. For the best results, it is recommended that the flex of your bindings closely matches the flex of your boots.
Park or freestyle boarders who generally do a lot of tricks in the park should choose softer flex for easier landings and the ability to tweak grabs.
All-mountain boarders do a little of everything, they carve the slopes, float through powders, and do tricks in the park. For this kind of riding, bindings should have a medium-flex.
Freeride boarders generally spend their time in steep and deep powder-filled terrain. Their bindings should have a stiffer flex for better response and energy transfer when going fast and big through powder!
Snowboard Boot and Binding Compatibility
Snowboard bindings come in traditional sizing, small S/M, Medium M/L, and Large L/XL. It is essential to have the right size bindings and the right size boots, so always check to see that size binding you need!
It is easy to check if a binding fits your boots. Place the boot in the binding as if you were going to strap it in. The boots shouldn’t hang over the bindings, and the straps shouldn’t be painful when tightened or have leftover slack. The heel should fit snugly into the binding, and the binding should allow the boot to flex.
Snowboard bindings come with different options for mounting as there are a variety of mounting options and hole patterns on different snowboards. Most patterns will be compatible with each other, but make sure you check before buying your bindings. Plus, most brands nowadays have universal discs that will cover different types of mounting holes.
Further Reading: Finding the Best Snowboard for You
Get Out in the Snow with 3 Rad Kids
Ready to take on the snow this season but need some new bindings to make the most of these snow-filled days? Make sure you have bindings and boots that fit well and are comfortable! Apply for our easy lease-to-own options and get the best bindings out there for a fraction of the cost. You just pay a small weekly fee! Get out there in the sun and snow with 3 Rad Kids. Your adventure starts here!
image courtesy of neversummer.com.