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Bindings

Burton Step On 2020-2021 Snowboard Bindings Review

  • Price: £230, $250
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Flex: 5/10
  • Entry System: Classic

The Bent Metal Joint is a versatile mid-flexing all-mountain option that marries high tech with high performance to create your dependable daily driver binding.

Bent Metal use their signature Flex Drive Plates, which are built much the same way as a snowboard, with a core sandwiched between multiple layers. They do exactly what it says on the tin- they flex underfoot, and drive power to the edges of your board, rather than create a dead zone across the width. You can switch out the Flex Drive Plates for softer or stiffer versions to really cater to each riders individual needs, they’re available via the Bent Metal website and are super easy to swap out.

“They do exactly what it says on the tin- they flex underfoot, and drive power to the edges of your board”

The top strap is Bent Metal’s Mobility Ankle Strap, it’s lightweight and malleable so as to fit around your boot instead of creating a pressure point over the arch. A central cutout shaves precious grams and allows it to bend around lumps and bumps rather than push down on them. The toestraps are minimalist in design, but offer a good amount of support up front, without being bulky or awkward.

The Nylon Highback sits with a flex rating slap bang in the middle, it’ll be great for playful cruising and mellow laps with your buddies. The cutout near the top both reduces weight and enables a flex point, and even better it’s a handy carry handle for hiking lines or traipsing through the carpark.

“For an access all areas binding at a really reasonable price, you can’t say much fairer than the Joint”

The forward lean is adjustable via Bent Metal’s classic cube design, and the plates can be manoeuvred to better fit your boot length. If you’re looking for something with a bit more beef, you’d do better to check out the BMBW Solution, but for an access all areas binding at a really reasonable price, you can’t say much fairer than the Joint.

Tester’s Verdict 2019/20

Ryan Van KesterenWhitelines

“I rode the Burton Step On Bindings in combination with Burton’s Swath boots for one day, primarily on piste with a few side hits along the way. I was excited to give these a go, I had heard a lot of good things about this new game-changing technology and I couldn’t wait to experience righteous feeling of sailing paste my friends while they’re scrambling to fasten their straps. Which came true straight away, getting my foot into the binding was super easy and you can do it on the move with very little practice. After exiting certain lifts I could even start my run without having to stop at all, at least until I decide to wait for your mates.

However, once I adjusted the high back to have more forward lean it was a slightly more difficult to fully lock my foot in. I was using my first heel side turn to fully engage both clicks, which was fine on piste but I wouldn’t have been as confident riding powder without fully locking my heels down before dropping in. After testing these bindings I did some research and found out you can move the footbed forward to eliminate that problem. So I would recommend allowing some time to set these up perfectly for your style of riding.

“It was impressive to feel so secure without having any visible straps”

Getting out of the binding is also really easy in the right conditions. All you have to do is release the back latch and twist your foot. But, when I wasn’t in the best conditions I actually would it a bit more difficult to release my foot than a tradition binding. If I was already sitting or kneeling and I wanted to take my board off I found it really awkward to twist my foot out of the clips. I also didn’t find it as intuitive as a traditional binding to release my foot before I had to a stop as the twist motion could send you of course.

The ride feel was good, it was impressive to feel so secure without having any visible straps. The heel fixture works particularly well and eliminates any chance of heel lift between the boot and the binding. The only downside is an occasional click from within the fixtures that sounds like your foot has come loose mid-turn although it definitely hasn’t, which can be quite un-reassuring to begin with.

I liked riding these bindings and there are definitely advantages to Burton’s Step On system, but also a few new quirks that would take me a little while get used to before I could fully enjoy strap free riding.”

Tester’s Verdict

Sam McMahonwhitelines.com

“I came into snowboarding from skating, and as such have never really liked stiff bindings. I like to have some freedom in my feet and feel able to move my weight around without having my calves pinned to the highbacks. It’s almost like the Bent Metal guys could see me coming when they made these with a soft, urethane highback. ‘Urethane?’ I cried. ‘But, that’s what they make skateboard wheels with!’

“I really like the way it seems to focus support on either side of your foot rather than right down on it”

Whilst the ‘Bi-Axial Calcium Fibre Drive Plate’ is a bit less comprehensible, there’s no doubt that these do have that skate feel to them. Very comfortable, and with a nice lateral flex that doesn’t impede the toe-to-heel response, they were great for absorbing trannys and getting tweaked out during slashes and airs. When paired with a reasonably stiff boot, soft bindings don’t have to mean beginner or jib – they can be a lot of fun!

There’s no padding on the ankle straps but the kind of ‘webby’ structure they use instead does a great job of molding to your boot shape, and I really like the way it seems to focus support on either side of your foot rather than right down on it. Honestly, they’re good enough that you’re not really aware of them until you have to unclip, exactly as bindings should be.

The cube is still so clever that it’s almost a shame it’s for adjusting forward lean. I could be wrong, but who does that much adjustment on the fly? If Bent Metal made a splitboard binding down the line, maybe to go with those Lib boards, then this would be a winning feature there.

All in all, if you’re into soft bindings, there’s little to fault and a lot to love about these.”

Tester’s Verdict 2018/19

Tom Copseyonboardmag.com

“The inherent physics of being locked in by the heel cleat and the two forefoot clips, means there’s a tonne of drive and response powering you through turns whichever boot you choose.

“I can now report that after several days’ riding in deep, light Laax pow with them, they definitely work in fresh snow”

Getting in/out hasn’t changed since year one so everything we wrote about the pros and cons of the system still stand, however I can now report that after several days’ riding in deep, light Laax pow with them, they definitely work in fresh snow. Perhaps not quite as well as regular bindings in such conditions, but I had no harder time getting in after hiking around than my two-strapped compadres.

Though the jury might still be out for apex-level shredding, for regular-level riders whose feet fit the boots, like the idea of convenience and don’t mind dropping the cash required for the system, they are perfect.”

Tester’s Verdict 2018/19

Matt Higsonsnowboard-asylum.com

“This system is worth it for the head-turning and jealousy of your mates when you get off the lift and nab the first line of fresh before them.

“Once you have mastered putting your heel into the system first, it’s very easy to get in and out”

I’ve been riding the Step-On bindings with the Burton Process and they’ve worked flawlessly. Once you have mastered putting your heel into the system first, it’s very easy to get in and out, and feels very secure when you’re riding.

Only downside – if you don’t fit a Burton boot you’ll struggle…. Not a problem for me, I’ve always ridden them.”

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