BURTON MALAVITA BINDINGS REVIEW
Entry system: Classic
The Malavita was apparently developed initially at the behest of former Burton team rider Keegan Valaika, who started buying up old highbacks with wings on eBay and attaching them to his new bindings. He apparently reckoned that it was easier to properly press his board with something to lean against. Keegan has now parted company with Burton, but the binding has stayed, proving popular with their current crop of team-riders and with the general public.
This year’s model features Burton’s “re:flex” baseplate, which is designed to allow you to feel the natural flex of your board beneath your feet. On top of that it’s got a sophisticated footbed which features ‘B3 gel’ for added cushioning, helping you soak up heavy landings without hurting yourself. The footbed is also canted, meaning it’s set at an angle – this is a fairly common feature on bindings these days, designed to make the standard duck-foot stance on a snowboard feel a bit more natural. Basically, if your feet are at a slight angle your knees get knackered out less quickly. Canted footbeds also give you a bit more material to push off when you’re popping an ollie. In terms of flex, this is towards the stiffer end of the spectrum but it’s by no means aimed at freeriders – at least not exclusively. Rather it’s designed to suit advanced freestylers, whether that’s guys hitting sizeable rails, pipe riders or people hitting backcountry booters. That said, its responsive flex would also suit anyone who likes going fast. Our test team repeatedly mentioned how “solid and supportive” the Malavita felt, and how easily it handled high speeds and heavy landings.