Snowboard bindings are an essential piece for your snowboarding experience. They serve as a necessary connection between your snowboard and you. So, if you want a better riding experience, your snowboard bindings should match your snowboard and style.
Snowboard bindings attach your boots and board and connect the rider to the snowboard, giving the rider control over the board while riding and making moves— having the right snowboard binding results in better board control and an enjoyable time.
This buying guide will help you determine what style bindings you need, how your snowboard bindings should fit, snowboarding bindings and their compatibility, some recommended brands and the best bindings for beginners. Or, if you have other questions related to snowboard bindings, then this guide is for you!
How to Choose Snowboard Bindings?
Choosing the right snowboard bindings can level up your snowboarding experience and comfort level. They transfer energy and respond to the snowboarder’s body shift for precise control. Snowboard bindings attach directly to the snowboard and transfer the muscle movements to the board. They are the direct interface between a snowboarder and their snowboard.
Your snowboard binding affects your performance; that is why several things must be kept under consideration before making a final purchase, like flexibility, adjustability, responsiveness, comfort, and many more.
A suitable binding enhances the natural flex pattern between the rider and snowboarder and provides all-day comfort. Snowboard bindings are just as important as other parts of a snowboard. Sometimes snowboarders pay attention only to their snowboard and their boots and don’t consider snowboard bindings important. However, bindings are equally important, just like the other snowboarding equipment.
So, which bindings are the best for you? Let’s find out all about choosing the right snowboard bindings, how they work and which style will suit you best.
Starting your Snowboard Binding Selection
Various elements describe a snowboard binding. So, before buying, it would help if you know about the anatomy of a snowboard binding:
Buckles on a snowboard binding give a secure closure by using a ratchet system on a ladder strap. These buckles are super handy and easy to use; even a beginner can use them. They are made up of different materials. Most of the time, lower end binding comprises plastic buckles, and they are super light. However, high-end clips are made up of aluminum and sometimes magnesium that offers the best strength to snowboarders.
The High Back in a snowboard binding is a vertical plate behind the lower calf. They provide support throughout the turns and transfer the energy to the snowboard. They are also available in different materials, a variety of heights, shapes, and flexes.
For beginners or freestyle riders, mostly softer and shorter high backs are recommended, but taller and stiffer high backs are best for professional snowboards. They give more control, precision, and reactivity to the snowboard rider.
These high backs won’t suit everyone because riding is a matter of personal choice and style. Choose what’s the most comfortable for you.
The chassis is the sole of a snowboard binding. It is the central piece that makes a connection with the snowboard. Another name for chassis is “baseplates,” and they come in various materials like plastic, aluminum, and other alloys. Chassis transfers power to the board with speed and accuracy and absorbs shocks, absorbs impacts, and vibrations caused by landing and speed.
A snowboard binding has two straps – the toe strap and the ankle strap. The ankle straps are straight forward, and they loop around the ankle to maintain the boots in position and transfer the energy of the snowboarder’s moves to the chassis. They are padded and specially designed to reduce pressure points and foot pain. On the other hand, toe straps are different from ankle straps.
The footbed is part of the chassis and goes underneath the foot. They are padded with EVA foam to increase comfort and feel.
Heel cups are metal or plastic loops at the base of the high back. They are the extensions of the chassis. However, they can be adjusted backward or forward according to the snowboarder’s comfort level.
Types of Snowboard Bindings and Styles
Snowboard bindings mainly come in two types – Strap-in bindings and Rear entry bindings. In straps, bindings are popular in the snowboarding industry. Under this section, we will cover the following:
- Strap in bindings
- Rear entry bindings
Another binding – the Burton step is another type of binding that came out in 2017. They are well known for quick entry and exit.
Strap-In Bindings are the most common type of snowboard bindings. They consist of two straps – one for the ankle and the other for the toes. This type of binding is best because a snowboarder can adjust the pressure on each one separately.
Strap-In bindings have a fixed high back, and it can’t be sled down or up, but the rider can adjust the angle. Strap-In bindings are relatively slow to handle because the snowboarder has to sit down first to adjust the straps.
The ankle strap stretches around the boot’s top to protect the foot in the heel cup area of the binding against the high back. On the other hand, the toe strap stretches across the boot’s toe and ensures that the toe and ball of the foot securely fit into the bindings. It also avoids unwanted forward or lateral movement.
Strap-In Bindings have various support, cushioning, and price options, making it an excellent choice for all types of riders and skill levels.
This type of snowboard binding is fit for free riders because it can be challenging to enter and exit the bindings while standing on the slope. Moreover, if a snowboarder is concerned about the pressure applied on his toe and ankle, then strap-in bindings are best.
Rear Entry Bindings
Rear Entry bindings are also known as speedy entry bindings. These bindings are highly specialized and strive to blend the control and support of traditional strap binding with a quick and easy use that is linked with strap-in bindings.
Snowboard brands like Flow and GNU are the most known manufacturers of rear entry bindings. Rear entry bindings look like strap-in bindings at first because both have two independent toe and ankle straps. But the most exciting characteristic of back entry binding is its hinging and folding characteristic that allows for easy entry into the snowboard bindings.
However, one of the drawbacks of rear entry binding is that they are not easy to adjust, like strap-in bindings, and the level of fit and support is also lower in Rear-entry bindings.
Rear-entry bindings have unlockable highbacks that let the feet slide through; however, strap-in bindings don’t have this.
This allows easy entry and exiting while standing up, and a rider wouldn’t need to adjust the strap more than once.
Snowboard Bindings and Compatibility
Snowboard bindings and compatibility are essential in finding the best and suitable binding for any snowboarder because any binding that does not fit your snowboard is not of any use. Like snowboards come in different options, bindings also come with various options for mounting.
There are different mounting options and hole patterns on each snowboard compatible with different types of snowboard bindings.
Here are four central binding mountain systems that most snowboard brands use, and the good news is that most systems are compatible with each other.
Four Main Binding Systems
Binding mounting systems have different patterns of holes drilled where the bindings go. These pre-drilled holes allow the snowboarder to screw the bindings onto the board.
Different brands give different stance options in terms of width, length, angles, and bindings position across the board’s width:
System 1: 4 by 4
This mounting pattern is not that typically used nowadays because today, most boards have a two by four design. There are two rows of holes in this system that are 4 cm apart, and there is a distance of 4 cm between each hole in each row. Moreover, there are three holes in each row.
System 2: 2 by 4
This mounting pattern is like a four by four system, but the holes are only 2 cm apart. Moreover, there are usually six holes in a row. This binding system allows more stance with the width options than the four by four design.
System 3: Channel System
In the channel system, bindings are attached to a track insert, and then they can move along that track until a snowboarder gets a desired position for the binding and then screw it in place.
The Latest Burton snowboards use channel system bindings.
System 4: 3 Hole (3D)
This mounting pattern uses three screws to mount the bindings just in a triangular way. If you have ever use Burton snowboards, you must have seen this mounting pattern, but nowadays, all new Burton snowboards use the latest channel system described above.
However, the first Burton snowboard uses the three holes (3D) system.
How To Choose Snowboard Binding Size?
Choosing the right size of snowboard binding is another essential part of selecting binders because bindings connect the snowboarder and snowboard. Bindings help in transferring the energy from your muscles to the snowboard so you can ride and make your moves.
The size of the binding affects the effectiveness and efficiency of that energy transfer.
But why choose the right size of snowboard binding:
- For the right size of snowboard
- For the right size of snowboard boots
Snowboard bindings have available sizes like Small, Medium, Large, or Extra Large. It is vital to choose the accurate size of snowboard binding for snowboard boots. For this purpose, always check the size chart to analyze what size you want.
After analyzing the size chart, it is also necessary to check that the snowboard bindings fit your boots. You can do this by placing your snowboard boot in the binding and check that boots do not hand excessively off the bindings.
Bindings have different sizes, and unfortunately, there is no rule of thumb for which boot size fits which binding size. For instance, a small size binding in one brand might fit a size 12, but it needs a medium-sized binding for another brand.
In some cases, a specific snowboard boots size fits two different binding sites. For instance, a Burton Men’s snowboard binding with a length of 8.0 includes both a small and medium-size binding.
How Much Should I Spend on Snowboard Bindings?
Snowboarding is an expensive snow sport, and if you choose it as a sport, you must know the costs that come with the equipment, safety gear, and clothes. When it comes to snowboard bindings, many people don’t know how much to spend on this type of equipment and what to look for.
Here are some of the factors that will be helpful when searching for the right snowboard bindings:
As with all products, there are high-quality bindings and lower-quality bindings on the market. We recommend buying high-quality bindings made of long-lasting, durable materials.
Obviously, you don’t want to get a new pair of bindings every season. To avoid this, always spend on a quality product not made of plastic or those that have a weak design. A useful tip before any kind of snowboarding gear is to always read the reviews before making a final purchase.
Snowboard bindings have a wide price range from as low as $50 up to $500 at the high end. Although snowboard bindings are essential equipment, we recommend choosing a durable and robust binding, which mostly comes at a higher price. However, if you are a beginner, you don’t have to spend too much on snowboard bindings because high-end bindings are for more experienced or professional riders.
Generally, there are two styles of snowboard bindings – Strap-In and Rear-Entry style bindings. The first one is the most common binding style that most snowboard riders prefer. However, some snowboarders also like the rear-entry style bindings for which special boots are needed.
Snowboard bindings play an essential role in a better snowboarding experience, but most people don’t consider them necessary as they think about snowboard and boots only. However, we can imagine you just want to ride your snowboard and have fun, and you don’t need or want to know all the ins and outs about the snowboard binding, like the science behind its working. However, as mentioned earlier, we recommend that you know enough about bindings to understand what things to consider before choosing a pair of bindings.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you have a low budget, you can also buy second hand, used gear for a reasonable price.
Coming back to the question of how much I should spend on a snowboard binding? Well, this totally depends on what you can afford and what you are willing to pay for your gear. Always try to find the gear that matches your capability and budget.
Why Quality Snowboard Bindings Matter
A good quality snowboard binding matters because it is essential to the snowboarding experience and performance. A snowboard binding has moving parts on which a snowboarder relies from the beginning to the end of every run. When there is snow all over the mountains, the quality and use of snowboard bindings begin to show their actual value.
Quality and performance both vary within different snowboard brands. One great thing about snowboard bindings is that they can be easily be transferred from one snowboard to another with only a few exceptions. Besides that, high-quality snowboard bindings are also durable and will last a long time, so spending a bit of extra cash on high-end gear will eventually save you money in the long run.
Benefits of Choosing a Snowboard Binding With Excellent Quality
Following are the benefits of choosing a snowboard binding with excellent quality:
- Better ability
- Shock Absorption
- Easy Entry/Exit
- Boot Support
Most of the snowboard bindings tend to have a medium flex ranging from 4 to 10 (1 being the softest and 10 being the stiffest). A freestyle or beginner snowboard rider goes for a slightly softer flex that ranges from 1 to 6 out of 10. However, a professional snowboard rider chooses a binding with a stiffer flex that ranges from 7 to 9 out of 10.
Better ability is about the snowboard binding flex working together with the snowboard when a snowboarder is on the hill doing stunts such as tweaking grabs and a butter. Here, a binding with softer flex works very well. However, there are also other factors on bindings that are responsible for a better movement. A snowboard binding with better quality has a better butter ability.
Adjustability is one of the factors by which we can determine the better quality of a snowboard binding. A snowboard binding with more adjustability can fit boots easily.
Another benefit of a good quality snowboard binding is that it has the ability of shock absorption. It is an excellent asset for those snowboard riders who like to include freestyle riding techniques. However, even for a beginner, shock absorption is essential for doing “easy” jumps or tricks.
A snowboard binding with shock absorption is soft and gel-padded, giving a more comforting feeling than the hard unpadded plastic ones.
A good quality snowboard binding is easy to use. A snowboarder can quickly enter and exit their snowboard binding and has sturdy, good, durable quality.
Every snowboard rider wants comfort on the slopes. Not depending upon the riding style, whether you are a freestyler, beginner, or professional, you want a comfortable snowboard binding.
Comfortable snowboard bindings have the following things:
- The bindings’ straps need to mold around the snowboard boots because no one wants any pressure points while riding.
- ·The shock absorption, as mentioned earlier.
- Whether the snowboard binding has canted footbeds or not. These canted footbeds angle the feet inwards slightly. This aligns the hips, ankles, knees, which will reduce fatigue and provide comfortable rides.
Another benefit of good quality snowboard bindings is that it provides the support of a snowboard boot. Snowboard boots have an essential role in holding the feet in place, and the bindings have a role in keeping the boots in place.
Recommended Brands For Snowboard Bindings
Here are some recommended snowboard binding brands:
Burton Cartel Snowboard Binding
This snowboard binding is already voted the best binding of 2021. These bindings are built for more control on all-terrain, achieved through the use of single material baseplate construction.
Burton has created this binding to support snowboarders in a comfortable and adaptable environment. These bindings have an excellent flex rating for freestyle snowboarders and feature materials that includes aluminum levers and steel bases.
- Single-component baseplate construction.
- Single component high back construction.
- Smooth glide buckles.
Camp Seven Summit Snowboard Binding
Camp Seven Summit snowboard bindings are specially designed for challenging terrains. These bindings are affordable but don’t compromise in quality. They are designed to give the rider support with straps that feature gel-padded ankles and toe caps for the riders’ comfort.
Camp Seven Summit snowboard bindings are the lightest type of Camp Seven binding, and they are very durable. These bindings also include toe ramps made with adjustability and can be worn in two ways – over the forefoot or toe cap style.
- The brand’s lightest snowboard binding with durability and strength.
- Gel padded ankle and toe cap.
- Full-length EVA base pad.
- 15 percent glass inclusion baseplate with EVA padded footbed.
Burton Malavita Snowboard Binding
The Burton Malavita snowboard binding is one of the best bindings available in the market, with several color options matching their bindings with other equipment. They have a canted living hinge that never restricts the snowboarder’s movement.
These bindings have ASYM hammock straps that can be adjusted according to any individual boarding style. However, the double-take buckles on the toe and ankle strap build a fast and simplified way to get ready to board.
- Canted high back design.
- Specially made for freestyle riders.
- Single-component baseplate construction.
- Improved board flex.
Flow 2021 Alpha White Stormtrooper Snowboard Binding
The Flow 2021 Alpha White Stormtrooper snowboard bindings are convenient and constructed with reclining high back composition and flow’s power strap. That’s why they are easy to get on and get off. These bindings use technology tactics to lessen the impact and vibrations that snowboarders feel while riding. It is designed with a flex uni back so that a snowboarder gets a custom fit for the boarding style every time.
Salomon Pact Men’s Snowboard Binding
Salomon Pact snowboard bindings are made with EVA padding, composite buckles, and a high back. They also include a 3D prime ankle strap, lock in toe strap, and straps that can be adjusted without any tool. It uses Blaster Tech and Shadowfit in their gear.
Union Contract Pro Men’s Snowboard Binding
The Union Contract Pro Men’s snowboard binding is best for freestyle riders. They are designed with mini-disk and forma straps. These bindings are best for park and mountain riding as they are cushioned with thermoformed EVA to keep more of the snow and vibrations during the ride.
5th Element Stealth Convertible Strap Snowboard Binding
The 5th Element Stealth Convertible Strap snowboard binding is affordable for those riders who want quality on a budget. It has a toe strap that contours the boots to fit the binding perfectly. It also contains a padded base plate and single component high back that gives comfortable and smooth rides. It has a soft flex rating that accommodates every rider with different styles.
What Are The Best Snowboard Bindings For Beginners?
A nice set of bindings can make a massive difference in the snowboarder’s performance. Here are the best snowboard bindings for beginners:
Union Flight Pro
The Union Flight Pro snowboard binding has every feature that a beginner needs. They deliver a quality ride with performance because it features a medium soft flex that bends and keeps the rider under control. Other features of the Union Flight Pro include thermoformed EVA padding on the highback/baseplate for extra comfort and shock absorption and a limited lifetime warranty backed by a quality company.
- Medium soft flex for beginners.
- EVA padded high back and baseplates.
- The base disc loosens after some time.
Flow Alpha MTN
Flow Alpha MTN is one of the great bindings for beginners. They have a rear entry design that makes it easy for beginners to get into and out of their bindings. These bindings are available in different sizes like small, large, and medium.
- Rear entry style.
- Available in different sizes.
- Comfortable with a padded high back and base plates.
- LSR ratchet straps.
- Some snowboard riders don’t like the rear entry style.
Burton Custom Snowboard Binding
The Burton Custom is another top-performing binding for beginners. It is a trusted and well-known brand in the snowboarding industry that comes with years of research and development. It has a soft flex that makes bindings light and durable.
- Soft flex that is great for beginners.
- Playful and fun.
K2 Yeah Yeah Snowboard Bindings for Women
This is one of the best and stylish snowboard bindings for women on the market today. It’s an easy to use and adaptable binding. Besides being lightweight, they are comfortable and provide the rider with excellent stability.
- Lightweight due to the one-piece baseplate.
- Comfortable and stable due to the customizable footbeds.
- Easily adjustable strap which forms to the shape of the foot.
- The highback reduces pressure on the legs.
- For all types of terrain and conditions.
Ride KS Snowboard Bindings
These trendy, awesome looking bindings do not only look great, but they are also great for beginners due to their soft flex and comfortable footbeds providing stability as well. The straps have a strong grip, which will lock your boot in tightly. The Ride KS is a very durable binding, especially if you maintain them well. It’s very user-friendly, so ideal for a beginner.
- The footbeds’ slight angle aligns the ankles and knees, providing comfort.
- Thick ankle strap padding to even the pressure across the foot.
- Aluminum, durable buckles.
- The framework has a built-in stance correct heel cup.
- Not suitable for a low budget.
Snowboard bindings are an essential part of a better, safer, and more comfortable snowboarding experience, but still, some people don’t value them. This snowboard bindings buyer guide has covered all the aspects that a snowboarder needs to get through before making a final decision about which binders to choose.
Choosing high-quality snowboarding equipment will help you advance your skill level, perform well, and enjoy your snowboarding adventure even more.