SWITCHBACK HALLDOR HELGASON PRO BINDINGS REVIEW
Entry system: Classic
Switchback bindings launched onto the market in 2011 and made a splash. In fact, it reminded us of nothing more the impact made by the brand’s parent company Bataleon when they first released their Triple Base Technology boards almost a decade previously. Like Bataleon, they were focussing on simple, eye-catching primary colours. But like the company’s boards, it wasn’t the bindings’ appearance that really had tongues wagging, it was their design.
The engineers behind the project had taken the concept of tool-less binding adjustment to its logical extreme, producing a binding made entirely of plastic components that snapped together like Lego. And like Lego, you could mix up the different components in different combinations. With the ‘no highbacks’ riding trend gathering steam, a binding where you could simply pop the back out seemed like the perfect product to launch. Now in their third season in shops, Switchback’s bindings have evolved slightly. The basic principle of multiple interchangeable combos is fairly similar, but they’ve introduced some new components as well as new colours. This onefor example is the Halldor Helgason pro model, which feature a winged highback designed by the man himself to wrap around your ankle give extra leverage when pressing and support when stomping heavy landings.
Other options include an asymmetric highback (featured on Eiki Helgason’s pro model), a ‘mid-back’ or even a no-back attachment. In terms of customisation, these are the dogs then, but what are they like to ride? Well, our test team were suitably impressed. Whitelines deputy editor Tristan kept a pair with him for most of the test week. He said: “The flex is sort of mid-soft, so they’re pretty good for almost anything. Great for general freestyle and messing about. Not as light as some more expensive bindings maybe, but so, so comfortable, and above all, easy to setup and go.” So that’s a winner then.