How to Buy Snowboard Bindings
A Comprehensive Guide to Buying Snowboard Bindings
Introduction: Snowboard bindings are an essential component of your snowboarding setup, as they connect your boots to the board and play a vital role in transmitting your movements to the snow. Selecting the right pair of bindings is important for comfort, control, and overall performance. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to help you find the perfect set of snowboard bindings.
- Determine Your Riding Style: Understanding your riding style is critical to finding the right set of snowboard bindings. Different styles of riding, such as all-mountain, freestyle, urban, or backcountry, have specific binding features that cater to their respective needs. All-mountain riders may prefer a medium flex well-rounded “do everything” binding, while freestylers may prioritize a medium-soft flex for a balance of stability and maneuverability. Urban riders tend to gravitate toward light, loose, and forgiving bindings AKA “surfy bindings”. Backcountry/Big Mountain enthusiasts will opt for stiffer bindings that offer better response and control for going HUGE.
- Consider Binding Flex: Binding flex refers to the amount of stiffness or flexibility the bindings offer. It is generally categorized as soft, medium, or stiff. Softer bindings provide more flexibility, allowing for easier turns and are more forgiving for landing freestyle tricks. Medium-flex bindings strike a balance between response and comfort. Stiffer bindings offer increased power transfer and stability, ideal for high-speed carving and backcountry riding.
- Binding Compatibility: Ensure that the bindings you choose are compatible with your snowboard's mounting system. There are two primary mounting systems: the traditional 4x4 pattern, updated 2x4 pattern, and the Burton Channel System. Most bindings are designed to fit both systems, but it's important to double-check compatibility before making a purchase.
- Proper Sizing: Choosing the correct size bindings is crucial for optimal performance and comfort. Binding sizes are typically indicated by the boot size range they accommodate. Ensure that your boots fit snugly into the bindings without any overhang or excess space. Refer to the manufacturer's binding sizing chart to determine the appropriate size based on your boots.
- Adjustability and Customization: Consider the adjustability features offered by the bindings. Most (if not all) bindings on the market allow you to adjust the ankle strap, toe strap, highback rotation, and forward lean. These adjustments enable you to customize the fit and feel of the bindings to suit your preferences and riding style. Experimenting with different settings can enhance comfort and improve your overall riding experience.
- Read Reviews and Seek Expert Advice: Before finalizing your purchase, read some reviews from reputable sources. Reviews provide valuable insights into the performance, feel, durability, and overall quality of the bindings. Additionally, consult with knowledgeable staff at your local snowboard shop or seek advice from experienced riders to gather more information to make an informed decision. Remember, there is no “best” binding, snowboard equipment is subjective to the individual rider, pick something that will work for YOU!
Conclusion: Investing in high-quality snowboard bindings that match your riding style and preferences is critical for a comfortable and enjoyable day on the mountain. By considering factors such as riding style, binding flex, compatibility, sizing, adjustability, and advice from the homies, you can make an informed decision when buying snowboard bindings. Now stop reading this article and go get some laps in!