Snowboard bindings fasten your feet to your board are an integral part
of your set-up as they are responsible for transferring the
energy of your movements to the snowboard. In some ways, they
are even more important than your board itself.
Before purchasing your snowboard bindings, you'll first want to
decide whether to go with Strap-In or Step-In Bindings.
The other factors to consider when deciding on the set
of bindings which are right for you are listed below.
Consider the fact
that bindings are made of numerous moving parts which are under
constant pressure from your body movements during your ride.
With this in mind, it would probably be a good idea to invest in
bindings which are high in quality, at least in terms of the
robustness of the materials used, even if it may cost a little
more. The last thing you need is to have your day ruined by
your bindings breaking down or, worse still, potentially injuring
Look for sturdy and strong, preferably metal, ratchets and bolts.
Not all plastic is bad, but some have been known to become
brittle in the extreme cold.
Having some form of warranty from the manufacturer (usually
12 months) is also a good idea apart from also having access
to suppliers who can provide you with replacement parts
should you need them.
Companies usually manufacture their bindings in different
sizes e.g. small (S), medium (M), large (L). If you're using
strap-in bindings, you'll probably want to
buy your snowboard boots first (see Boots)
and then purchase bindings with a matching fit. If you're using
step-in bindings, you'll have to buy both boots and bindings together
to make sure they are compatible.
Stiffer snowboard bindings provide better responsive control which is
something you'll generally want. The trade-off, however, is
usually an increase in weight. Many top technical freestyle
riders prefer a softer system which provides for a greater
margin of error and better recovery during a rough landing.
Ease of Use
If you're using strap-in bindings, what you'll probably want to avoid
is spending unnecessary time
out in the snow fidgeting and fumbling with straps which are
difficult to use.
Having large and fat ratchets on the toe and heel straps will
allow you to quickly and easily get strapped in with a minimum
If you're using step-in systems, make sure the interface for
stepping straight into your board is fast and easy.
Also check how prone the insertion points and release mechanisms are to being rendered ineffective
from a build-up of snow.
If you're into freestyle riding with plenty of death-defying jumps, you may
prefer to look for snowboard bindings with well-padded straps as well
as cushioning or dampening systems to help absorb the impact
of your landings.