Bindings aren’t quite as crucial as a well-fitting pair of boots or an appropriate snowboard, but they can still make a world of difference to your day. It’s really not a corner worth cutting, especially when you consider that a decent pair of binders will last you a while.
Heavy bindings are to be avoided, but fortunately even lower-cost models are relatively light these days – and those at the techier end of the spectrum often impossibly so. Also, the process of getting in and out should always be quick and easy, so you spend less time faffing with buckles and more time riding.
“Serious freeride bindings tend to feature stiffer components, while jib fiends will want one of the flexier options”
Most important of all comfort; you’re going to spend all day strapped into these, remember. Straps should be supportive and well-fitted, and the baseplates should strike the right balance of cushioning and boardfeel. Of course, only you know what works for you, and it’ll depend a lot on what kind of snowboarder you are.
There are plenty of specialist models out there; serious freeride bindings tend to feature stiffer components, while jib fiends will want one of the flexier options. Then there are the all-rounders that can handle everything, some of which allow you to fine-tune their characteristics on the go.
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All photographs by Sami Tuoriniemi – click any image to enlarge
Production: Tom Copsey / Andrew Duthie / Tobias Grünwald / Sam Oetiker / Sami Tuoriniemi