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Bindings

K2 Lien FS 2016-2017

UPDATE: Check out our review of the 2017/2018 K2 Lien FS here

We’ve done extensive testing of the K2 Lien FS binding in each of the three years that it’s been available, and it never disappoints. Middle-of-the-road flex combined with plenty of customisation make this a binding for just about any rider, on any mountain, in any conditions.

Present and correct as ever is the ‘Tripod’ chassis that the Lien FS has featured since day one. It makes direct contact with your board at only three points, via three urethane discs (two at the front, one at the back) which have excellent shock-absorbing properties. They allow the foot to move laterally – if you’re forgetting your high school biology, that’s from side to side – which comes in handy during surfy turns in the powder on one of K2’s ‘Enjoyer’ boards. If you want to dial the lateral movement back a little, a pad can be slipped between the binding and the board to level things out.

“Present and correct as ever is the ‘Tripod’ chassis that the Lien FS has featured since day one”

The highback of the K2 Lien FS has been re-jigged for 2016/17, and is now approximately 15% lighter. As it’s a freestyle binding (if you were wondering what the ‘FS’ stood for, there’s your answer) you get enough give to tweak your grabs, but it won’t let you down as you charge towards a kicker. The toestrap is also new; the large cut-out section means that it’ll conform to any boot, and it’s about as minimalist as is possible for a toe strap to be. Calling it ‘Perfect Fit’ might seem a bit cocky, but it really works and is a definite improvement on last year’s version.

The ankle strap is a lot more substantial, because it needs to be. It’s chock-full of soft material that keeps you locked down with zero pressure points. The footbeds are canted by three degrees for added comfort, and there’s plenty of EVA to soak up the knuckle when you come up short.

If you prefer gnarly backcountry lines that blow your hair right back, the Lien AT may be more your speed. For everyone else, however, the K2 Lien FS is hard to beat.

Tester’s Verdict

Sam McMahon – Whitelines

I personally love a lot of lateral flex in a pair of bindings, it allows for a lot tweakability and a more surf/skate feel from the extra freedom of movement. Whilst the Lein FS has this in spades, it’s still very responsive toe-to-heel, making it a personal favourite for a few years now.

This is due in part to the tripod chassis that lets you transfer weight around the footbed more efficiently, and for once with a piece of snowboard tech you can actually feel it work!

“For powerful riders that still like to play, these are about the best things you can strap into!”

The new toe strap – though it does look a bit minimal – does a great job of adapting to your boot shape, making you feel really ‘locked in’ to the board and providing a heap of confidence. I couldn’t feel a great difference between this new highback and the one on my pair from last season, but if anything that’s a good thing – for powerful riders that still like to play, these are about the best things you can strap into!

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Selected for The 2016/17 Snowboard 100

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