"Yeah mate, it's carbon, so it's the best." Hands up if you've ever heard that line, or similar, in a snowboard shop? But why is carbon so good? Or even, is any one material better than the rest when it comes to snowboarding?
No, of course not. Just like with any sporting equipment, nothing is just 'the best'. Instead, just like anytime you're choosing your gear, it mainly comes down to compromise as well as selecting what's right for you.
"Carbon fibre, aluminium or plastic, no binding construction can stand in the way of the Guru!"
Luckily for you, our very own Snowboard Gear Guru - aka Paul Vines - is here to de-mystify all the catalogue speak and tell you exactly what the difference between all these baseplate materials is and what that means to you. Carbon fibre, aluminium or plastic, no binding construction can stand in the way of the Guru! Unless it's got some fiddly bits that is...
We prepped three bindings for Inspector Vines to peer at: the hard-charging, carbon NOW Drives, the park-friendly, plastic-fantastic Vimana Scandos and the Rome Katanas - a blend of plastic and aluminium that comes with added adjustability, good enough to make it into our esteemed Whitelines 100!
If you can, it's worth getting out and demoing as many different bindings as possible before you throw money down on them. As the conduit between you and your board, they make a huge difference to the level of control, tweak and comfort you'll get whilst riding. It's all down to personal preference, and sometimes a binding's recommended use (park, all mountain or powder) might not suit you. For example, this very author rides or seeks out powder roughly 100 days a year, but absolutely hates stiff bindings. Soft park bindings are much better suited, though he'd rarely be found in a park!
So watch the above, listen and learn, but go out and try some to make your own educated opinion on what you need this winter!