Snowboard Bindings Explained

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Great and comfortable binding are vital for any level of snowboarder. The job of the binding is to connect your feet to the board, so each and every movement of your feet is relayed into the board. If you are looking at getting a new snowboard setup, stop and consider your binding options carefully as it is a very important decision.

Strap-in Bindings

This type of binding consists of a contoured base plate which a rider places his or her boots directly into, with straps that go over the top of the boots, fastening the rider to the board. At the rear of this base plate is a vertical (Highback) which comes up behind the calves/ankles. In the front you will shave 2-3 adjustable straps which are used to secure the rider to the snowboard. The sturdiness of this setup ensures a comfortable  and secure ride, with quick and easy access to get the bindings on and off.

The height of these “Highback” can vary depending on the type of riding being undertaken, taller back plates will suit the downhill alpine rider for greater control; freestyles will require a shorter, more flexible back to enable fast a varied turns. Just choose the high back thats right for you ride!

Step-in Bindings

Common in older hire boards, and to be honest are often scoffed at by a more experienced rider,  there are a few advantages which cannot be overlooked. Generally used with a slightly stiffer boot for support of the ankle, the user slides the boot in from the top and click the boot in the base plate. Once hooked in the rider is quite secure for the decent, although the main problem is the lack of responsiveness a rider receives.

When choosing a board with step in bindings, remember one thing, you will be severely limiting your options in a pair of snowboard boots!

Rear Entry Bindings (Flow Bindings)

Flow bindings are the easiest snowboard bindings on the market to get in and out of – even easier than regular step-ins. Just recline the high-back, slide your foot in and snap the high-back up and into place. They are also compatible with any soft boot – a huge advantage because it lets you choose from a wide variety of boots to find the best fit. (Regular step-in boots and bindings must be purchased in tandem to be compatible with each other.)

The only downsides of the flow in bindings are the are a little difficult to adjust, choose your stance and board position carefully because taking them off and readjusting on the board again can be a bitch! Going home and decide the roof rack is the best spot for these? Forget it they don’t fold well.

Overall, they are great in certain situations. Park riders will love them for their quick turnaround time, log hill riders may loath their inflexibility, are they really for you.

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September 22nd, 2010

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