Bindings are perhaps the single most important feature on a snowboard. It is the part of the board that translates the rider’s commands into movements that the board makes. When choosing bindings it must be done so carefully, by taking into account three important features. They are flexibility, fit and features. The following are a brief description of the three.
Importance of Flexibility
The flexibility of the binding will be decided by what type of materials are used. Some are made of plastics, metal or composite materials. In other instances, it can be a combination of all three. In general, softer bindings will be made with plastic and are easier to handle. This is why most beginners start off by using softer bindings. Stiff bindings are generally worn by more advanced riders because they give instantaneous handling of the board, whereas softer bindings are slower to respond, but will be more forgiving when bad landings are done.
Features can include many things and are important to pay attention to if looking for best all mountain snowboard bindings. This is partly because different models will include smaller things to their design, even though overall most models will have more similarities than differences. Entry systems are perhaps the most important aspect of a binding and most designers will opt for a two strap system. Some companies will have a single strap system. The size of the straps can differ in fit, size as well as padding. Last but not least, a popular option is the cap-strap binding. This type of strap fits at the end of the boot as opposed to on top of it. Whatever strap you opt for, be sure to get one that doesn’t require tools such as screw drivers to attach. Another option is the flow binding. A flow binding will have a folding high back feature. High backs are usually made with stiff materials such as composites and aluminum. Of course, it goes without saying that before deciding on features, you always need to try them on before deciding on one. Never assume that one type fits all when it comes to straps.
How good is the Fit?
As with shoes, bindings come all sorts of sizes and shapes. Each one is designed to fit a particular boot size. It is difficult to over emphasize the importance the fit must be between binding and boot. It is that important. It will be the difference between a bad riding experience and a great one. In most cases, bindings made by different companies will fit boards from other companies. There are of course exceptions, therefore think of this when purchasing a board or binding. It’s not uncommon for people to buy a particular binding because they liked it so much, only to find that it won’t fit their board. Most of them come in four sizes; small, medium, large and extra-large. Whatever brand, whatever size or whatever style of binding is chosen, the important thing to remember is that a good binding is an integral part of the snowboarding experience, no matter what the individuals experience level.