Switchback first appeared back in 2011, and attempted to shake up the binding market with a modular system. Every individual element, from the stiffness of the highback to the colour of the baseplate, can be tweaked to your preference. At the same time, they’ve always sold pre-prepared setups that offer a unique focus, such as their pro models for Halldor and Eiki Helgason.

The Switchback Heater binding is another example of this. While most Switchback combos have a seperate baseplate and footpad, here the two are combined to reduce weight and improve boardfeel. Rubber between the baseplate and the board helps to dampen chatter, but there’s less of it at the front and back to ensure that you still get plenty of response when your board is on an edge.

"The Switchback Heater is a bona fide freestyle binder, built for hits of all shapes and sizes"

Depending on how you prefer to set them, both the ankle and toe straps can be moved between one of two positions - higher up the boot for more powerful riding, and lower for loosey-goosey. The straps themselves are the ‘Miller’ version, which is padded with extra-comfy foam that perfectly conforms to your boots. A little less rigid than the alternative, the Miller is the better choice for freestyle.

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As for the highback, the Switchback Heater is kitted out with a smaller ‘midback’ version that also favours more spontaneous riding in the park. The material that’s there will work for you during high-speed turns, but don’t go jumping out of Alaskan helis with these. The large cut-out section increases the flex in all directions, as well as reducing weight, so the potential for big tweaks is off the scale.

The Switchback Heater is a bona fide freestyle binder, built for hits of all shapes and sizes. Stick ‘em on a park board and start ticking off the tricks, safe in the knowledge that this will always do what’s required. And hey, if there’s a part that isn’t working for you, just change it!

Tester's Verdict

Mike Brindley - whitelines.com

These slightly stripped-back Switchbacks paired up perfectly with the Bataleon Global Warmer. The tool free adjust makes them quick to set up, and predictable, even straps hold you in place.

When you’ve got them on, you know they’re there, but you’re also fully assure that they’re not going to let you down at any point.

"The mid back offers enough support but plenty of freedom too"

The mid back offers enough support but plenty of freedom too. You never get that calf pressure coming through the top of your boot, but there’s still the power for a fair bit of speed.

If you’re leaning away from the high-octane end of snowboarding, and want to go down the technical/playful side of freestyle, these should be top of your list.

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Trade Secrets

Cleay Perham - R&D, Switchback

Although Switchback is mostly known for its fully customisable modular binding system, there’s been a lot of demand over the past few seasons for our own take on the perfect park binding. This is how the Heater model came into existence.

We designed it to match perfectly with the Bataleon Global Warmer, one of our high-end park boards, and the smaller size of the midback provides the perfect combination of support and freedom.

but of course you can always buy some extra parts and instantly upgrade this binding for bigger lines. That’s the beautiful thing about the Switchback system.