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Bindings

Switchback Session 2017-2018 Snowboard Bindings Review

It’s not often that a binding causes a stir. Despite constant updates and tweaks it remains – unfairly, some might say – the most overlooked item of snowboard hardware. When Switchback first launched, however, its modular system (change your parts, change your colourways, lose the highback altogether if you like) was a genuine breath of fresh air.

“The rigid framework of the AERON base makes edge changes lightning fast”

They’re not resting on their laurels, though. This year sees a major upgrade to the baseplate design, and the Switchback Session is one of the models on which it features.

The AERON base uses a process called ‘overmoulding’ to apply super-strong forged aluminium within the lightweight nylon heelcup. The two materials are fused together in such a way that they’ll never let you down, leaving you with a binding that’s as dependable as it is comfortable.

The aluminium runs along the sides too, creating a rigid framework that makes edge changes lightning fast. By targeting the metal in these crucial areas, the guys at Switchback have ensured the Session is no heavier than it needs to be. The size of the binding disc has been reduced also, allowing your board to flex more naturally than before.

“The FL highback is suitable for more aggressive riding, with a fairly rigid flex from top to bottom”

Naturally, steps has been taken to ensure that the rest of the Switchback Session works well with the AERON base. The FL highback is suitable for more aggressive riding, with a fairly rigid flex from top to bottom. There’s a little more give from side to side, however, so it’s not a one-trick pony.

The highback also locks into position on the heelcup, preventing you from having to flip it up for every hit when you’re hiking a feature, and has Switchback’s signature cut-out design that reduces unnecessary weight. As for straps, this model features the Eames straps that are a little more responsive than the alternative Miller versions.

The Switchback Session only comes in two sizes, but it’s so customisable that you can achieve the perfect fit for any boot size up to UK13 (US 14, EUR 48).

Tester’s Verdict

Andrew Duthie – whitelines.com

“Prior to this year, I wouldn’t have chosen Switchbacks as my go-to binding. However, the new-look Switchback Session is a seriously impressive model that is a definite step up in quality from what came before.

“The new-look Switchback Session is a definite step up in quality”

Right from the off these feel lighter than Switchbacks of old, and less bulky. At the same time there’s no trade-off in comfort, and as for performance they are responsive and comfortable enough to gun it all day long.

The benefits of the various adjustable elements can’t be overstated – even the chronically impatient should make the time to get these fine-tuned, as once you crack it there’s nothing you can fault. The ratchets are butter-smooth, too.

I’d implore anyone who didn’t think much of Switchbacks in previous years to give the Session, or any of the other new models featuring the AERON base, a fair shake in 2017/18.”

Trade Secrets

Danny Kiebert – Creative Director, Switchback

Personally, I like my bindings to flex with my boot, but there are riders who can never get enough response out of their highback.

That’s who we made the Session for.

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