Snowboard Bindings Buying Guide
Often overlooked but vitally important to your snowboard set-up snowboard bindings deliver power from your body, legs and feet into the board. A good pair of bindings will allow you to control your board with ease, keep your feet comfortable and absorb vibrations.
It's important to think about what style of snowboarding you prefer, the terrain you will be tackling and the board/boots you currently use when choosing bindings.
Each of our bindings have technical descriptions and expert comments that you can cross reference with the information below to help you understand the characteristics of each one. That way you can see which one is right for you and how you want to ride.
Snowboard Binding Anatomy
This part of the binding supports the back of the boot providing a stable platform. There are several different style of highbacks:
Wingback - it has wings that wrap around the top of your boot for extra support; useful for presses and rails.
Lowback - smaller in height than a normal highback it allows for more freedom of movement but sacrifices support.
Asymmetric - these highbacks are specific to the left and right foot. They work more efficiently than a standard symmetric highback by being able to pick up a rider’s energy transfer quicker.
Carbon Fibre - replacing glass fibre the carbon increases both response and control.
All of the binding components attach to the baseplate and this in turn is fixed to the snowboard.
Acts as cushioning for impacts and the contour of the footbed matches boot profiles - creating a better fit. Some footbeds feature canting - the footbed lies on a slight angle reducing pressure on your knees and helping generate more pop./li>
Helps to holds your boot in the binding and transfer power into the baseplate.
Adjusts the angle of the highback to your natural stance. A large forward lean angle drives the binding to react quickly to your movement whilst a small angle supports tweaks and grabs.
Stops your heel lifting out of the binding when you are turning.
This strap sits over or on top of your toes adding support.
The ratchet tightens the ankle and toe straps locking your boot into the binding.
Made from hardy plastics they allow you to make micro-adjustments to the fit of ankle and toe straps.
Snowboard Binding Flex
The flex of your bindings should be the roughly the same as your boots and snowboard (you can see the individual flex ratings on the binding descriptions - 1 being the softest and 10 being the stiffest). For example - if you have stiff bindings and a soft boot you will find it difficult to transfer power from your boot.
If you have a snowboard and binding that have a similar flex they will work as one, granting the rider better control, consistency and feedback.
The highback, baseplate, heelcup are made from softer materials (i.e urethane) that can flex more on rails, tweak and grabs. Because the binding is less sensitive to movement you have a little be of leeway if you don’t land completely straight off a kicker and it is more forgiving for beginners who are not as precise actions.
Aimed at those who want to ride all the terrain a blend of performance and forgiveness ideal for intermediates.
Stiff materials are more atuned to your movements providing a responsive ride for when you are going fast and need ultimate control. Expert snowboarders who are riding big mountain freestyle lines and huge features tend to choose stiff bindings.
Most snowboards come with a 4 x 4 insert pattern on them. This mounting system has been the industry standard for a long time with great success. Four bolts fix the binding and to the board giving a solid connection and driving power directly into the board. One downfall of this system is that the footprint of the baseplate which is in contact with the board reduces the natural feel and flex of the snowboard. In recent years the area in contact with the board has come down in size, greatly reducing this problem.
CNC machined along the centre of a board, channel systems remove the need for a baseplate, with two screws on the outer edge of the binding fixing it to the snowboard. The binding can be moved up and down the channel till you find the perfect preference for your stance. This customisation and lack of baseplate greatly improves the feel and flex.
Currently Burton and Endeavour snowboards are only two brands that use a channel system.
Snowboard Binding Size Chart
It's important to get the right size binding for your boots to avoid pressure points or a sloppy fit. Snowboard boots that are the same size can have different widths or lengths depending on their construction. The best way to check if the bindings are the correct size is to bring them into one of our stores and test them out. Look out for gaps between the boot and binding, if they spill over the sides, or excessive overhang at the toe or heel.
|Men's Binding Size||Men's Snowboard Boot Size||Women's Binding Size||Women's Snowboard Boot Size|
|Small||5 - 7||Small||1.5 - 4.5|
|Medium||7 - 10||Medium||4.5 - 7.5|
|Large||10 +||Large||7 +|
Other resources you can consult are manufacturers' size guides, however this will only be accurate if you use their bindings and boots.
How Should Snowboard Bindings Fit?
- Your foot feels comfortable in the binding (no pressure points) without being sloppy.
- There should be enough support and cushioning with some feedback (being able to feel the terrain).
- The binding can naturally flex with the snowboard and boots (without swaying) – they are all working as one.
At the end of the day, everyone has a personal preference to what bindings they have in their set-up. We recommend demoing bindings at one of our slopeside stores (Tamworth, Milton Keynes, Braehead or Castleford) and trying out a few different pairs on the snow. That way you know how each one feels and you can get always get more advice from our experienced in-store staff.
Take a look at our other buying guides
Snowboard Buying Guide
Choosing the perfect snowboard can totally transform your experience on the snow. Going from a hire snowboard to your own will allow you progress faster and enjoy it much more.
Snowboard Clothing Buying Guide
We take clothing seriously here at Ellis Brigham because it doesn’t matter how much you’ve spent on a shiny new hardware set-up, if your clothing sucks, so will your riding day.