Few would say that the choice of binding is quite as important as the board or boot, but it’s not far off. Simply put, the binding is how you ‘talk’ to the board, and having the best snowboard bindings for you can improve comfort and performance far more than you’d think. Most bindings tend to offer what we call the ‘classic’ two-strap entry system, but rear-entry options still exist and some can even do both. As a rule bindings have become lighter over the years thanks to advances in technology and materials, but there’s still a lot of variation here. In fact, each separate component can differ drastically from one binding to the next. We’ve broken it down to make it a little clearer, but a good binding is more than the sum of its parts; look for demo events near you, so you can try before you buy.
Baseplate – The largest, heaviest part of the binding is the interface between your boot and the board. One thing of which you must be sure is that it’ll mount to your snowboard; most either work straight off the bat or come with a conversion kit, but it’s always worth double-checking. A good baseplate has enough cushioning to dampen chatter, with some offering more than others depending on function and price. Some come with ‘gas pedals’ (adjustable toe ramps), while others feature ‘canted’ footbeds that slope out towards the nose and tail. Whether you want these or not is down to personal preference, so get testing if you can.
Highback – These provide support for your boot when making heel-edge turns. You technically can ride without them, but you’ve got a better chance of finding Lord Lucan than someone who never uses theirs. They come in various degrees of height, weight and stiffness. The shape varies too, some featuring an asymmetrical build that better fits a rider’s leg. If you like ‘forward lean’, where the highback is tilted towards to the toes for more aggressive riding, then make sure the adjustment you need is present. In rear-entry bindings, you can fold the highback down to allow your foot onto the baseplate before snapping back up to its original position.
Straps – in ‘classic’ bindings, these are your way in and out. However, there’s more to them than that. The fatter strap goes over your ankle and thus offers support. How much padding it has, as well as how rigid the strap’s shape is, will affect how it feels when you ride it. Toe straps tend to have less padding but can still vary in flex. It either goes over the top of the boot or over the toe., depending on the brand, although some give you the choice. The straps are fastened with ratchets which can also vary slightly in size, weight and ease of use.
Want to know more? Check out our binding guides below.
Burton Genesis EST Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £290
If you're sick of treading on your straps, and seeking the ultimate comfort binding, Burton's Genesis EST is a strong contender! High end features like their 'hinge' technology allow this mid flexing binding to perform with power while providing extra pop and letting you tweak further. While the 'flex-slider' keeps those straps out of the way when you're stepping in.
Drake Reload Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £180
Super freestyle focussed and the lightest in Drake's range - the Reload bindings are a stripped down construction with 'Natural Cant' footbeds that are especially suited to ducked stances. Some of the best snowboard bindings if the park is your natural habitat.
K2 Lien AT Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £195
All terrain mid-stiff bindings backed up by 'Harshmellow' tech for tidy damping without reducing response. K2's Lien AT are a comfy construction that let you focus on what's infront of you instead of what's going on around your feet. If freestyle's your thing - there's a 'FS' variation too with a slightly softer flex.
NOW IPO Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £215
Skate-inspired bindings with truck-like hangers is the USP behind NOW - and the IPO is their original model, updated for the new season. As you transfer pressure from toe to heel, the central hanger acts as a pivot which allows the moving baseplate to transfer pressure out to your edges. It may sound all new-fangled and complex but Now's system has already got a lot of people convinced that these are the best snowboard bindings going.
Ride Revolt Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £170
Urethane highbacks and a 'Freestyle Core' ankle strap are amongst the features on Ride's mid-flex Revolt bindings. Made for progressive riders who want to tackle the whole mountain, they're built to take on high-speeds comfortably, while retaining freestyle functions and absorbing shock as you go.
Ride EX Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £160
Ride's EX bindings are top sellers in their range - and they're back for this season with a new lighter aluminium 'Edge' chassis. Soft flexing highbacks and a canted footbed for comfort and pop make them great for freestylers - while still packing enough punch for riders who want to take on everything.
Rome Katana Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £220
These Katana bindings are Rome's new flagship model for the 2014-2015 season. A combo of new research and tried and tested tech has gone into their long list of features - which you can read more about through the link below. Highly adjustable and mid-stiff, you might want to consider them if you're really pushing your limits and want the best snowboard bindings to help you on your way.
Salomon Defender Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £190
Another new binding for this season - the Salomon Defender features their 'Shadowfit' heelcup for snug boot to binding interaction - with kevlar wiring implemented in this model to increase response. Big hitters where'er you take them - they're mid-stiff and all about holding your lines.
Switchback WMNS Combo Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £170
If Switchback bindings aren't already on your radar - their fully customisable modular design has become super-popular in recent years. This WMNS combo is a suggested mix of all their parts with a women's colour way and their midback highbacks, which are ideal for smaller riders. If this doesn't tick all your boxes - you can easily swap it all around to create a set of bindings that does.
Union Contact Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £165
Union's Contact bindings are the stripped down medium-flex choice for many riders on their impressive team! The concept is to remove all distraction so you get more of the board you're riding, and barely notice the bindings at all. Asymmetrical highbacks and a soft base are in place for control and feel - and the colour-way shown is the binding of choice for Scott Stevens himself!
Union Milan Women's Snowboard Bindings 2014-2015 £155
Some of the best women's specific snowboard bindings come from Union - and the Milan bindings cover a similar spot in the market to the Contact model. With custom highbacks to accommodate female riders and a slightly softer baseplate, they're mid-flexing and feature a strong aluminium baseplate; and to top things off the straps are tool-free too!