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Have Burton Finally Cracked The Step-In Snowboard Binding?

First look at Burton's new 'Step On' system

Chocolate pizza. Bathtub moonshine. The sight of Batman and Superman punching each other for three hours. Some things seem like a great idea on paper, only to end up a monstrous disappointment.

For a long time, you could also file step-in bindings in that category. While everyone wanted a quicker transition, few were happy with the extra stiffness and weight that a step-in system entailed. They certainly had their fans – a few dusty setups unearthed in the shop I worked at back in 2010 were snapped up by fanboys for an eye-wateringly large sum – but the consensus was that the two-strap system was still the one to beat.

However, that could be about to change. Burton have announced a new ‘Step On’ system for 2017. Our colleagues at Onboard spied Terje trying it out in Riksgransen last spring, and with the big man speaking highly of its performance, we knew that we’d better expect a comeback.

Burton's SI range of boots and bindings, as featured in the Boardwise 1999/2000 catalogue
Burton’s SI range of boots and bindings, as featured in the Boardwise 1999/2000 catalogue

The B last dipped their toe into the market with the SI system, which used clips at the side of the boot to connect it to the binding. Unlike some of their competitors, their system used a traditional highback which allowed for a softer-flexing boot. Still, it remained a niche, and the line was discontinued in 2004.

“So, do they really work as well as a conventional binding? The testers we spoke to certainly seemed to think so”

While SI models were certainly quicker to get into than a conventional binding, that was really their only positive trait – this time around, Burton have much greater aspirations for the Step On system. The idea was to create something that’s just as comfortable, supportive and lightweight as what we’ve come to expect from Burton bindings, but with the added bonus of quick entry.

No mean feat, but one they feel that they’ve finally cracked. Regardless of your riding style or ability level, they reckon you’ll get on famously with these.

So, do they really work as well as a conventional binding? The testers we spoke to certainly seemed to think so, reporting that the weight and stiffness issues that dogged many step-in variations of the past have been well and truly banished with the Step Ons.

If they really do work as well as a regular two-strap system, it’s exciting to think of what the more creative riders out there will manage to do with the Step Ons. Alex Andrews has already given us a taste of what to expect – perhaps the door will be opened to a whole new world of skate-inspired one-footery.

We’ll be having a razz on these at the earliest opportunity, so stay tuned for our verdict.

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