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What To Look For In Snowboard Bindings
Most snowboard bindings look similar at first glance, but the pair of bindings you choose can greatly impact how you perform and advance as a snowboarder. Finding the right pair of bindings relies heavily on your preferred riding style, comfort needs, boot size and even the snowboard you plan to ride.
This guide will help you pick the perfect pair of bindings, so your setup is fine-tuned for top performance.
Choosing Your Binding Response Rating
Similar to snowboard boots, bindings are available in varying levels of stiffness or flex, which is known as their response rating. Bindings with low-response ratings are softer with more flex. They're more forgiving on tough landings and allow riders a greater margin of error when learning or performing tricks in the terrain park.
Bindings with high-response ratings are stiffer and offer riders more precise control of the board. High-response bindings allow freeriders and all-mountain riders more accurate turns at high speeds.
Binding Mount Types
Bindings are attached to your snowboard by a standard disc mount or Burton EST mount (extra sensory technology).
Disc mount bindings work with a number of hole patterns that allow riders to customize the angles of the bindings as well as the width between them.
Disc bindings come in 4-by-4 hole patterns, 2-by-4 hole patterns for more stance options, and diamond-shaped 3-D hole patterns that can be found on older model Burton snowboards.
Newer Burton snowboards feature the Channel System, which allows riders to drop two bolts into a channel and slide the bindings to the exact angle and width desired. EST bindings are ideal for boards with the channel system but will not work with non-channel snowboards. However, standard discs will work with the channel system when using a Burton M6 disc conversion kit.
The highback is the back plate of the binding that rises from the heel cup to the lower calf. It provides stability and power on heelside turns.
Beginners and park riders prefer softer and lower highbacks that provide more flexibility and forgiveness, while riders who demand more speed, stability and control prefer stiffer and taller highbacks.
Forward lean is a term that refers to the angle of the binding's highback, and it can be adjusted on the rear of the binding. The more the highback is adjusted to lean forward, the more responsive the binding becomes.
Binding baseplates affect the stiffness and comfort you feel from the base of the binding. Baseplates are equipped with different types of cushioning to aid in shock absorption, and some bindings feature a removable footbed over the binding baseplate to provide additional comfort.
Binding Straps that Last
Binding straps keep your boots attached to the bindings and ultimately your snowboard. Bindings with high-quality straps cost more, but they'll also remain durable and reliable season after season.
Magnesium buckles are lighter and more durable, but if you don't want to spend top dollar, aluminum buckles will remain strong and ratchet properly for multiple seasons.
Finding the Perfect Fit
Bindings are available in sizes to fit varying boot sizes. Brands often size their bindings differently, using a S-M-L or S/M, M-L, L-XL that fits a range of boot sizes. Contact us online, over the phone or stop in our Chicago location just south of Wrigley Field. Continue with more resources below to help you understand more about snowboard boots.