Christy Sports – Snowboard Binding Buying Guide
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT SNOWBOARD BINDINGS
Choosing the right pair of snowboard bindings can be tricky. Understanding the information found in this buying guide will help you make the right purchase. The most important thing to consider when buying snowboard bindings is picking a model that suits your riding style. Bindings vary in stiffness, features, and materials. There are also a few different systems available to attach your boots to your bindings. Matching these different performance and comfort features to your personal needs will help you pick the right bindings.
The flex/stiffness of snowboard bindings is usually rated on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the softest and 10 the stiffest. Much like boots, proper binding stiffness is related to rider height, weight, ability level and riding style. Softer flexing bindings are usually more appealing to freestyle-oriented riders. The forgiving flex allows them to cushion landings, tweak out grabs, and press butters more easily. Soft flex bindings are also more appealing to beginner riders because their forgiving nature will help prevent unexpectedly catching edges. Stiff bindings are very precise and reactive. They transfer power more quickly and allow riders to dig deeper carves and slash harder turns. Aggressive all-mountain riders often prefer the precision and support of stiff bindings. Intermediate flex bindings offer a happy medium of these qualities and can be a well-rounded choice that will work for anyone.
Mounting System and Strap System
Almost all snowboards made today use a standard insert pattern and will work with any modern binding. There are a few exceptions to this, however. The Burton Channel system is a proprietary mounting system found on certain Burton boards. Many, but not all, modern bindings will work with this system. If you have this style of board, be careful to confirm compatibility when selecting bindings. Some older boards also have different insert patterns. If you are buying new bindings for an old board, it is important to confirm compatibility. The easiest way to do this is bring your board to a Christy Sports location and ask an expert there to recommend a binding that will work for you.
Most modern snowboard bindings use the conventional two strap system. There are a few exceptions to this that are designed to increase comfort and ease of use. The most common are rear-entry bindings like Flow and step in bindings like the K2 Clicker or Burton Step On. Rear-entry bindings are designed to be easier to use by reducing your time strapping in at the top of the lifts. They can be used with any normal snowboard boot. Step in bindings work almost like a ski binding, with the bottom of the boot locking into the binding using a cleat system. Specific boots are necessary to be compatible with this style binding.
Binding size varies by brand. Most offer a small, medium, and large size, and some offer XL and XS sizes as well. When purchasing a binding, you will want to buy the size that corresponds with your snowboard boot size. Consult the size chart of the brand in question to make sure you select the proper size. If you are right in between sizes, we recommend going with the smaller size.