- The Details:
- Price: £215
- Sizes: S, M, L
- Flex: 9
- Entry System: Classic
A minor step up in stiffness from the Malavita, the Burton Cartel is for the rider looking for something serious. It’s what many a pro trusts to keep them in one piece as they tickle the clouds on their way down a slopestyle course, and can meet the needs of the most obsessive speed-demon.
The response of the Burton Cartel is off the scale, and those who enjoy forward lean will also appreciate the easy-adjust system that’s built into the highback. The highback itself is pretty huge, giving you tons of support and power, and each one is specifically designed for the leg it’s assigned to. This increases the comfort for your calves, and also ensures your movements are translated to the board by the most efficient means possible.
"Both the ankle and toe straps of the Burton Cartel have been upgraded this year"
Both the ankle and toe straps of the Burton Cartel have been upgraded this year. It now boasts the Hammockstrap, a more pared-back ankle strap that’s lightweight but tough as nails, as well as a toe strap that combines different materials to deliver a perfect fit and the support you need. Both of them can be fastened in lightening-quick time thanks to the ratchets that grip the teeth on both sides of the ladder.
It also has a ‘smart’ cushioning system in the footbed that uses two different densities of EVA to better suit your boot. A binding like this has to deliver boardfeel without leaving your bones shaking every time you rider over rough terrain, and this - combined with the B3 gel - ensures the Cartel cuts it in that department.
If your board features standard inserts, the Re:Flex version of the Cartel comes with a disc that works with just about anything. However, those with a channel board should opt for the EST for increased flex and feel - and if you've bought the Burton Process, there's an added colour-match bonus too.
Coming in around the mid-point in Burton's binding pricing structure, the Cartel is a dependable all-rounder that will suit all but the very beginner or very advanced snowboarder.
The biggest change this season is it now uses the spider web-style Hammock strap that was previously only available on higher priced models, and you can feel how this works to provide an even snugger, less bulky binding-to-boot connection when you crank it right down using the super smooth ratchets.
"The boardfeel you get through the massively cushioned EST base pad is epic"
The boardfeel you get through the massively cushioned EST base pad is epic, and the highback is flexible enough to let you tweak out your grabs like it was 1996, but there's enough response to cope with all manner of low-speed cruising to high-speed charging.
Not the ideal choice for dedicated pipe freaks, riders wanting to tackle intense lines or the full-on newbie, but pretty much everyone else will enjoy the Cartel's mix of forgivingness, response and versatility.