Our Favorite Snowboard Bindings: 2016-17
Eliminate connectivity issues.
Without bindings, we’d be snow surfing (and probably in a world of trouble.) From two-strap to easy access, there’s a world of colorways and tech options for you to choose from.
In terms of progression in snowboard hardgoods, bindings are what constantly push the envelope in how we think about connecting our feet to our deck. We’ve come a long way since Rossignol Step-Ins, and the “feet holders” (as Tyler loves to refer to them as) we’ve got at The Boardroom are at the forefront of said tech progressions. Traditional two strap lets you hammer your foot down, while Fastec (from Gnu) is an easy access, backdoor entry system. Before we get to the choices of #TeamBoardroom, let’s take a look at some of the tech.
As the industry’s leader, Burton continues to bless us with incredible innovations in binding tech. Let’s start with something that’s included all the way down to the pricepoint, entry level Freestyle — Re:Flex. The Channel System with an EST binding is proprietary, so the B developed Re:Flex so you can get the same amount of feel underfoot on a traditional 4-hole patterned snowboard. The Hammock Strap is a bendy, form fitting ankle strap that molds to your foot, while Double Take gives us teeth on the front and back of our ankle/toe straps.
Fastec is like Flow, but way better (duh, we’re biased.) A drop down highback allows for easy access into the binding, and a buckle that flips up allows your foot some actual room to get in. When you pull the highback up and lock it into position, you hammer the buckle down and BOOM! Ready to rip. Quick, clean and efficient. Now, some Gnu bindings like the Freedom and B-Free offer buckles on both the toe and ankle for micro adjustments.
Not to be forgotten, Salomon’s binding program has a ton of innovations that you definitely need to check out. ShadowFit is a soft heelcup/energy transfer concept. A soft heelcup form fits to your particular boot and isn’t as rigid as some other bindings, while Kevlar Quickwire distributes energy laterally. Don’t think of a soft heelcup as something bad — the Kevlar makes up for it, bouncing the energy side-to-side while you’re riding.
The #TeamBoardroom Picks
Evan’s pick: The Burton Malavita
“My favorite snowboard binding? The Burton Malavita. Reason being, the Malavita is built for a blend of riding types and styles, but was made with freestyle riding as its primary focus. This binding has the perfect amount of stiffness for charging all mountain, tree runs, and the steeps, but also the perfect amount of softness and responsiveness for jumps and rails. Also, the technology included in these bindings makes for a much more enjoyable riding experience, for example the hinged Asym Hammockstrap armed with double take buckles featuring insta-click.”
Tyler’s Pick: The Bent Metal Transfer (NEW!)
“Favorite binding was so hard, because Burton definitely knows how to make a killer binding in some super rad color ways. But my fav this year is going to be The Bent Metal Transfer. I rode this binding at the industry On-Snow Demo at Stratton last year and was instantly impressed. The Transfer has a unique footbed created by Mervin Manufacturing that gives it a tight and responsive feel – there’s actual snowboard core material in it. So cool. The energy transfer is so direct. It makes linking turns even more fun. But it still had enough flex for some fun in the park as well! With a nice highback and forged aluminum ratchets this binding is pretty light too. Simple and Fun!”
Sam’s Pick: The Burton Lexa
“Comfort, meet style. The Lexa works wonders on the hill, given it has Re:Flex, the Gettagrip cap strap, the Hammockstrap and so much else to talk about. Snowboard companies have gotten way smarter — women’s bindings have a lower highback (because we have lower calves) so it’s easier to manipulate the binding for more control and performance out of the board. Not to mention, the colorways are absolutely gorgeous.”
Spence’s Pick: The Salomon Defender/Burton Cartel
“Ok, ok. I know we were only supposed to pick one, but I couldn’t resist. Love both of these binder machines way too much. First, the Defender. We tell people not to sleep on Salomon Snowboarding, and this is a great example. The Defender uses ShadowFit — the premise being there’s a softer heelcup that moves and grooves with you while you’re riding, but staying responsive using a Kevlar wire wrapped around the heelcup.
Now, the Cartel. The B added the Hammockstrap this season, which is one of the greatest binding innovations in snowboard history. I mean, this baby is COMFY. And in terms of value, it’s tough to beat out a Cartel ($280) — so much tech and really great colorways.”
The Boss’ Picks: Freedom/B-Free from GNU
“Easy in, easy out. Fastec is great for being able to step off the lift, put your boot in the binding, pull the highback up, snap the buckle down and rip. Gnu has been constantly tweaking Fastec since they came out with them over 10 years ago, and now they’re to a point where the performance is really great. Metal trays aren’t too stiff, and the Asym straps mold over your feet. Micro buckles to adjust on the fly, and you’re ready to go.”