With so much buzz surrounding Burton’s new Step On Binding system (read our review here), it’s no surprise to learn that the big B is already working on further applications for their new tech. Sure enough, today came the announcement that they’ll be releasing a hard boot version in 2018.
Thanks to the recent carving renaissance, the once-maligned hard snowboard boot is undergoing a revival of its own. As was the case with the weird shapes craze, Japan is leading the way, and sales of step-in hard boot systems there are currently booming.
By adapting the tech from Step On, the folk at Burton hope that their new take – the Hard On – will soon become the most popular hard boot binding ever.
“As was the case with Step On, the Hard On system is a level up from what the industry had previously offered", says Richard Johnson, Burton’s Head of Product Development. Modern hard boot systems may meet the approval of the discerning Japanese eye, but we expect advancements of the Hard On to really blow them away."
“Features include Ground Reflex Action, which offers unparalleled response by ensuring maximum stiffness just when you need it. Even the most jaded shredder will experience a new lease of life via GRA."
Burton have stressed that the Hard On boots are not just re-branded ski boots, and will appeal to all kinds of rider. In fact, there are two different models from which to choose, with varying levels of stiffness; the ‘Semi’ is roughly halfway between a soft boot setup and full hard boot, while the ‘Rage’ is aimed at the fully committed carver.
"The Hard On is amazing" said Terje Haakonsen. "I've not seen anything like it in almost ten years"
So will they be a hit? Well, word is already circulating that some big-name riders have been out testing the Hard On, and are so impressed that they're putting themselves forward to be part of Burton's new carving-based team. The brand isn't giving too much away though, other than to dispel the occasional rumour.
"It’s true that we’re looking to get some great riders together, including a few well-known names," says Johnson, “although for now, most of the rumours are just that. Talk of EJack, for example, is premature."
Those already among the B's ranks have naturally been closely involved with the testing process. "The Hard On is amazing" said Terje Haakonsen. "I've not seen anything like it in almost ten years."
We’ll have more updates on the Hard On as it develops – in the meantime, the traditional strap on system remains a fine option.