Best Snowboard Bindings

Snowboard Bindings - Reviews & Guides For 2020

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Snowboard Bindings buying guide

Eager to experience the thrilling slides on the snow? Wait a second. Have you invested in the right snowboard bindings? The bindings provide you with proper support and grip over the board and allow you to enjoy the sport safely.

While purchasing the gear, you have to look for all the critical elements that define its performance and usability. Gathering all the information on all the characteristics can become a tiresome task. You may not even get the full details and facts.

To reduce the unnecessary hassle, opting for a well-detailed buying guide is a handy option. It provides all the necessary details at a single stop. You can quickly skim through the pointers and funnel down the best product.

So without any further ado, let us start with a brief introduction and then move further into the guide.

What do you mean by Snowboard Bindings? Why do you need them?

Bindings are considered one of the essential pieces of gears after the snowboard that can enhance your snowboarding experience to a great extent.

These bindings create a direct connection with your snowboard to transfer the muscle movements to the board. You need to choose the right bindings, which are perfect for your snowboard.

To have an excellent riding experience, you should make sure that the bindings match your board's style well.

Bindings are essential because they help the snowboard to function correctly. Also, they support you in keeping the feet attached to the snowboard when you are on the trail.

Snowboarding gloves and jackets have paramount importance to increase your protection. Similarly, these bindings play a vital role in improving your snowboarding performance.

Types of Snowboard Bindings

  1. Strap Bindings

Strap bindings are the most common type of bindings available in the market, designed with straps to properly match the board.

The straps ratchet down to ensure the boots are in the right place, and the highbacks are not moving. Strap bindings come up with several adjustable options, and they also provide excellent support and comfortable cushioning.

However, you need to buckle and unbuckle the straps manually, which is cumbersome, and it will take a lot of time if you are wearing gloves. It can also create problems in colder conditions. You can choose strap bindings for soft and hard-flexing boots.

  1. Speed-entry Bindings

Speed-entry bindings are almost the same as strap bindings except that they are built with the reclining highbacks to easily use your boots.

It is very suitable for casual riders. These bindings work with the yoke system to keep your feet stabilized by dividing the pressure evenly across your forefoot.

These bindings are a little heavier but have less board control ability. They are also appropriate for soft and hard-flexing boots.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate Snowboard bindings

Riding Styles

You should always look for snowboard bindings that are appropriate for your style of riding. The binding flex must adjust your riding style.

Besides, you should also know how much binding flex is required for your boots.

If you have soft boots with stiff binding or vice versa, it will not work well. Therefore, you must check whether the binding flex fits appropriately to the boot flex.

  1. Park or Freestyle

If you are one of those riders who spend most of the time in the terrain park, you will be considered a park or freestyle rider.

So, you should select your bindings according to this style to perform comfortably.

These bindings are renowned for their softer flex that provides enough room for errors, easy landing, and makes sure you can tweak grabs firmly.

  1. All-Mountain

As the name suggests, the all-mountain style covers different riding styles. If you are a rider who does all the things more or less, such as powder, parks, grommet runs, etc. it can be an ideal choice for you.

These bindings offer medium flex so that they can be used for all purposes without any issues.

  1. Freeride

Freeride depends on the steps as well as the deeps. It includes powder and speed, which is a little bit challenging.

Therefore, these bindings are designed with a stiffer flex that ensures better response.

They also help in transferring energy to your board in an efficient way so that you can achieve more speed and go big.

  1. Board Compatibility

Another critical factor is board compatibility that you must check while choosing your bindings.

Usually, binding baseplates are designed with discs or bolts which are attached to the binding interface.

You can also adjust them according to your convenience to perform a tricky stance on the snowboard.

You should make sure that the baseplates are appropriate for the snowboard interface that you have chosen.

You will see most of the bolts have a pattern of 4x2 or 4x4. Some boards have diamond-shaped, 3D bolt patterns on the board.

Some boards are also available with the Chanel System that is compatible with the bindings from some major brands.

Size and Fit Tips

It is no brainer that the snowboard bindings you will buy must fit your boots' size. The baseplate should be larger so that it can accommodate your foot altogether.

Also, the bindings should fit the board as well. If your board has a shorter length than the snowboard, you may find it challenging to have good control.

You should remember one thing before making your purchase that the size of the bindings differs depending on the brands, so it will be better to follow the size chart and customer reviews for the right size.

On the other hand, your feet should fit snugly to your boots. You can not determine perfect tightness, and you need to try different settings to get the proper fit.

You should make sure that the bindings are tight enough to prevent slipping of your foot. However, you should choose the bindings which are not too tight and thus you can move comfortably without having any foot ache.

You can also get bindings designed explicitly for women. These bindings have highbacks d dimensions to match the women's boot perfectly.

Flex Ratings

You must consider the flex rating while buying your snowboard bindings. Most manufacturers give a number rating between 1 to 10, where one implies the softest, and ten signifies the stiffest.

In general, the flex rating works like:

  1. 1-2: soft
  2. 3-5: medium
  3. 6-8: stiff
  4. 9-10: very stiff

However, the flex rating may differ from one binding to another. Softer bindings can be appropriate for freestyle and all-mountain snowboards where stiffer bindings are ideal for freeride to get quick responses.

  1. Soft

For softer bindings, highback, heel up, baseplates are designed with softer materials so that they can flex well to support rails, tweaks, and grabs. Due to its forgiving nature, it can be the right choice for beginners.

  1. Medium

If you want to ride all terrains and look for performance along with forgiveness, you should go for medium flex.

  1. Stiff

Stiffer flex is ideal for a responsive ride. With this flex, you can achieve speed and have maximum control at the same time. So, it is mostly preferred by the expert snowboarders for freestyle.

Straps

Binding straps are essential for keeping your boots securely in one place, transmitting power to the board that will maximize your performance.

  1. Toe Cap Strap

These straps are found on the front side of the toe box, which helps pull the hem back in the heel cup and thus increase comfort.

  1. Traditional Toe Strap

Usually, these straps are placed on the lower-end to secure the boots in the right place. You can use them as toe cap straps too.

  1. Hybrid Toe Strap

These straps can be considered as the toe cap straps. You can find these straps in the traditional style.

  1. Ankle Strap

Ankle straps are useful to provide power and response to the snowboard bindings. It means you must have the right fit to achieve maximum performance.

  1. One-Piece

These straps are commonly found on youth and rear-entry bindings. One-piece straps offer full coverage from ankle to the toes.

Channel System

The channel system is found on almost all modern snowboards that are very useful for stance variations. So, you should know this system in detail to get the best performance from the gear.

There are two slots integrated to the board, which are placed parallel to the board's edge, and it is called the Channel System. It helps to attach the bindings to the snowboard.

Due to this Channel System, you can slide the bindings depending on the length of your snowboard. It will allow you to have customizable stances.

Some available brands are offering high-quality flex for the channel system, and thus they can provide maximum comfort.

So, when you are going to choose your bindings, you must check whether they are compatible with the Channel System or not. Most of the binding companies design their products having the Channel System binding compatibility.

Moreover, you can buy a universal disc separately if your bindings are not Channel compatible.

Components of Snowboard

  1. Highback

This is a vital part of the snowboard bindings that provides support to the back of your boot. You will find different types of highbacks, including –

  • Wingback

As the name implies, it is designed with wings that cover the boot top to provide additional support. It can be helpful for presses and rails.

  • Low Back

It has a smaller height than the regular highbacks. Though it allows you to move freely, you will not have any extra support.

  • Asymmetric

These highbacks are specifically designed for the right and left foot. They are also more efficient than symmetric highbacks because they can transfer energy quickly.

  • Carbon fiber

Carbon fiber replaces glass fibers, but it offers better control and response.

  1. Baseplate

Every binding component is attached to the baseplates, and they remain fixed to your snowboard.

  1. Footbed

It provides comfortable cushioning for any impact. The contour should match the boot profile correctly for a better fit. Canting footbeds can be an excellent option to create more pop and reduce pressure on the knees.

  1. Heel cup

Heel cups are also crucial for the bindings because they help to hold the boots into the bindings, and thus they can transfer power to the baseplates.

  1. Forward Lean

Forward Lean is used to adjust the highback angle to the natural stance. With a larger forward lean angle, the bindings can respond quickly according to your movements, where small angles are suitable for supporting grabs and tweaks.

  1. Ankle Strap

The primary purpose of using the ankle cups is to prevent the lifting of your heels out of the bindings when turning. It will provide more stability to your heel and ankle.

  1. Toe Strap

Toe straps are also the same as ankle straps, but they are usually placed over the toes or on the top of the toes. Toe straps also increase the support to ensure good performance.

  1. Ratchet

The ratchet is mainly used to tighten the ankle straps and toe straps, and thus it helps to lock your boots into your bindings.

  1. Ladder

The ladder is built with strong and durable plastics, so they come in handy for micro-adjustments. Therefore, it plays a vital role in getting the right fit of the ankle straps and toe straps.

Binding Quality

It is needless to mention that bindings are an inseparable part of the snowboard, and they are crucial for a good snowboarding performance. These bindings have to take a lot of abuse when they are in use.

Some bindings come up with moving parts that work effectively initially, but they are not compatible with cold weather. In such cases, you will understand the importance of choosing the best quality bindings.

The bindings' performance is closely related to their quality, and it varies from one brand to another. So, you must determine what you exactly want from your bindings.

Most of the bindings can be transferred from board to board, which means you should go for the most reliable bindings to ensure that they will last long.

With a view to that, you should look for some specific items, including aluminum buckles, supportive straps, padding under toes and heels, etc. You should consider the base plates designed with solid plastic, aluminum, or other composite materials.

Price

Snowboard bindings have a wide price range, and different price tags offer different qualities. It is very clear that costlier products will have some better features to offer.

You can check the following breakdown of price ranges to find exactly what you need.

  1. Up to $139

You will get entry-level bindings in this range of price. The buckles are made of plastics, and also you will have minimal padding under the heel and toe. The straps tend to be soft.

  1. $149 to $199

Mid-level bindings are available within this range. You will find thicker padding, and the high back makes the bindings absorbent to shock. The straps are a bit stiffer, so they provide a better response. Binding buckles are made of aluminum ensuring better quality.

  1. $200 and more

Undoubtedly, these bindings are of the highest quality. The padding used here is significantly shock absorbent and provides extra cushioning. Aluminum is used to make the buckles, and the straps can be customized to have more support.

Intended Use

Bindings are designed in a way that they can deal with different terrains and riding styles. Generally, they can be divided into three categories, such as All Mountain, Freestyle, and All-Mountain Freestyle.

All Mountain bindings are ideal for normal cruising, carving, etc. As the price increases, the straps, highback, chassis will be stiffer. Padded underfoot helps to reduce vibration and transfer energy to the board effectively.

Freestyle bindings can be used in performing tricks in the terrain park. These bindings offer more flexible straps, so you will have more support than all-mountain straps. Softer cushioning in toe and heel areas helps to absorb shock during landings.

All-Mountain Freestyle bindings have the best qualities from both of those bindings. You are allowed to go anywhere in the mountain by using this binding. Additionally, you can enjoy the playfulness and high speed without having any discomfort.

Durability

You will want to have such snowboard bindings that will last long. Therefore, these bindings are constructed with durable materials to make sure the bindings will have more durability.

However, it is difficult to determine in advance how long they will last because several other factors determine their durability and longevity.

Moreover, the bindings' longevity depends on the frequency of use, weather conditions in which you are going snowboarding, your skill level, etc.

Usually, these bindings can last up to 3-4 years. What you need to do is to maintain the bindings properly. If you can maintain high-quality bindings in the right way, they will serve you the longest.

You can wipe down the findings after using every time, and you should also consider professional tune-ups after every season.

Steps to Install Snowboard Bindings

It is not difficult to install the bindings on your snowboard. You will need some basic tools, and you should know how the board functions.

First, you should have the idea of how to mount disc bindings and EST bindings separately. Then you must check the fit of the bindings.

  1. Fit the bindings

Not all the bindings have the same size, so you must select the right size and do the micro-adjustments in size if it is needed. It will ensure a better fit for the bindings.

  1. Snowboard binding compatibility

Binding baseplates are designed with bolts or discs. Most of the boards have a mounting pattern of 4x4 or 4x2, where some have 3D bolt patterns. You can also find the channel system. You should choose what suits the best for you.

  1. Tools for mounting bindings

Most of the time, you will need a screwdriver and a wrench to mount and adjust the bindings' fit, respectively. You can also consider multi-tools for quick adjustment.

  1. Choose the lead foot.

You must determine beforehand which foot you will keep in front of the board. This foot helps you to fall forward and is considered as the lead foot. If your left foot is the lead foot, then you will have a "regular" stance, but if your right foot is the lead foot, then your stance will be "goofy."

  1. Check the left and right binding.

There are differences between your right and left bindings that can be determined by the curves. You should also check the straps both inside and outside.

  1. Set stance width and offset

You can begin with the center mount screw holes. You will find different types of stance width, binding position, foot angle. It will be better to shorten the stance if you have a bigger board or feel uncomfortable on the quads. You can measure the shin bone to get the right stance width.

The mounting position that is closer to the board center is known as the stance offset. It helps you to turn efficiently and have better control.

  1. Fix your binding angle

Some snowboarders are likely to mount the bindings in the front at a 15° angle, and the rear binding varies within a range from 0° to -6° angle.

FAQs

  1. The bindings of my board are a little loose. Is it normal or not? If not, then what should I do?

If installed correctly, the bindings on your board should not be loose. If you feel that they are loose, you should reattach them as the loose bindings can hinder your snowboarding experience.

Typically, the bindings are screwed into the board. You can quickly tighten them with the matching screwdriver. If you do not have the right tool or are unfamiliar with the process, you can visit the buyer and get them tightened.

  1. I feel my feet too tight in the bindings. Is it normal?

Determining the correct tightness is a tricky job. You have to try some settings before pinning down the best-suited one. Your feet should be tight but not too tight or suffocated in the bindings. Never snowboard with loose bindings as it can land you in challenging situations, which may end in unfortunate accidents.

  1. Which board style is suited for all-round fun?

If you are looking for a versatile board with which you can enjoy the activity on any terrain, opt for the all-mountain snowboard.

Final Verdict

With all the information under your possession, why are you wasting your time here and there? In this guide, we have presented the critical pointers that will aid you in the selection process.

Go through the guide, and strike down the best product and enjoy your thrilling expedition

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