In need of a new pair of snowboard bindings and not sure where to start? The Whitelines Test Team has once again been out in the mountains, putting 2019/20’s binders through their paces – everything from slushy park laps, dreamy powder lines and laid out carves has gone down, and now we’re bringing you our expert opinion on what bindings are best for what riding.
We’ve included all your favourite brands (Burton, Salomon, Union, NOW, Bent Metal, only to name a few), but also had the pleasure to try out some less known brands that haven’t quite made a name for themselves yet. Whether you’ve already got your go-to brand or are looking to explore all the options, we advise you to not only choose them based on their outer appearances. Bindings are the crucial interface between you and your board, so don’t forget the importance they play to your riding.
“Bindings are the crucial interface between you and your board, so don’t forget the importance they play to your riding.”
Like choosing a new board or a new pair of boots, you really ought to go for a model that complements your riding. If you’re more at home in the park than charging down gnarly backcountry lines like Travis Rice, you might think twice before buying his signature bindings. When choosing a pair of bindings, the following factors should be taken into consideration:
The Flex is determined by both the highback and baseplate. If you’re a beginner or a park rat, you want to keep an eye out for the softer bindings as they are more forgiving and easier to manipulate on jumps and rails. Those looking to charge on either piste or pow, or looking to hit the big kicker lines, are usually better of rocking a pair of stiffer bindings (which often include carbon), as they offer more support and quick response too.
It goes without saying that your boots need to be compatible with the bindings, so it might be worth taking the boots with you when trying out a new pair of bindings. Even if your old bindings are a size M, another brand M sized binding might be just a tiny bit smaller, resulting in your boot being cramped in the binding, thus making your feet cramp. They don’t need to be of the same brand, but make sure that the straps connect easily across the top of your foot whilst cranking tight enough, and that the whole setup feels snug with no awkward gaps.
“If you’re a beginner or a park rat, you want to keep an eye out for the softer bindings as they are more forgiving and easier to manipulate on jumps and rails”
Once you’ve managed to get both the flex and fit right, you can start thinking about other features you’d want from a binding. Cushioned footbeds, plush paddings, hardwearing buckles or lightweight materials are all factors that can be included in your decision making.
Just about every binding out there will offer some kind of customising option to dial in specific performance characteristics. These can range from the simple forward lean adjustments right through to reversible straps, tool-free interchangeable highbacks, and cant adjusting in the footbeds and highbacks. It’s really up to you how deep into the rabbit hole you’re prepared to go.
Even if all the bindings nowadays are of extremely high quality, they can still break. Whether it’s due to your aggressive riding or spending more than 150 days on the hill per year, it is good to make sure that you can get a hold of spare parts easily, so that you aren’t left duct taping the bindings to the board.
Scroll down to view all the best snowboard bindings, or skip to a particular brand using the links below