Snowboarding Essentials
Main Equipment Bindings

Snowboard Bindings

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.

Reliability

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 yourself.

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.

Fit

Companies usually manufacture their bindings in different sizes e.g. small (S), medium (M), large (L). If you're using
Snowboarding
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.

Performance

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 of fuss.

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.

Comfort

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.

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