Once you have bought your boots, snowboarding bindings should be next in line when you are upgrading your set-up.
Like boots, snowboarding bindings aren't exactly the most exciting of purchases...If you're like me then at christmas you would much rather a snowboard shaped present wrapped up under the tree.
That said, a well researched, suitable pair can make a huge difference to your riding. If you pick the right ones you will be more comfortable for longer when out riding and won't believe how much more responsive your board feels...this article is here to help you make the right choice.
Unlike boots, there is no reason you can't buy your snowboarding bindings at an online shop. Infact, it has it's benefits. Due to the nature of the web, you tend to find a larger selection online than you would it a regular shop. This means you are more likely to find the ones you really want. Once you know which ones you want and the binding size that will fit your boots then you are good to go.
Taking a few minutes to learn about your snowboarding bindings before you buy will help you a lot the next time you hit the snow. You will end up with bindings that compliment your riding style and experience. Take a look at the points below and then get yourself to your local shop or get a suitable pair of bindings heading to you in the post.
As with any piece of kit, you should decide what you want to spend before you head out and shop in order to prevent you from getting excited and blowing too much cash on top of the range gear. Entry level snowboarding bindings can be found for under ?100 ($160 usd), a reasonable price. Top of the range ones can reach a price of around ?250 ($400 usd). One thing to bear in mind when shopping is that cheaper bindings are normally softer and forgiving making them better for park and freestyle riding...I guess park rats and beginners get a good deal here and have a bit more beer money to spend.
Decent mid range bindings will set you back about the same price as middle of the road boots, around £150 ($210 usd).
The type of riding you do most will play a large part in what bindings you go for. Softer bindings are normally worn for freestyle and park riding. As softer bindings are a bit more forgiving on your technique, they are also good for beginner riders as they won't punish you as much for every little mistake you make.
If you are a rider with more experiece or you prefer more aggresive, deep snow, faster riding then stiffer bindings may be more suitable. They will be more stable at speed giving you more control. They will also be more responsive which also helps when riding fast.
When buying bindings ask the shop assistant about the flex of the bindings and make sure it is suitable for you. If shopping online, there will be some kind of measurement to tell you how flexible the binding is. Make sure you keep an eye out for this!
Depending on the manufacturer how bindings are built can vary a lot. Take a look at this guide on snowboard binding parts to see how bindings can differ and what this means for you, your riding and the choice you make when buying.
Depending on what make of boots you have and what size they are, The size of the bindings you need to buy can change from manufacturer to manufacturer. For some reason binding sizes vary between companies which can make things pretty difficult when picking a new pair. To make it clearer take a look at the snowboard binding size chart. This will help you navigate the confusing subject of what size bindings to buy. Essential for those of you who intend to buy your bindings online.
As with boots, the weight of bindings tends to go down the more expensive they become. The exception can be when they are super padded, pushing the weight up a bit. With stronger materials around these days bindings are much lighter than they used to be which is good for all of us. A trick companies use is cutting material from the highback and the baseplate in order to shed as much weight as they can. Keep this in mind the next time you go binding shopping.
If the answer is yes then you may have a smaller amount of bindings that you can choose from. Burtons ICS system on their boards is a channel designed to give you infinite stance width options. However, the bindings that will fit these boards tend to be (yes, you guessed it..) Burton bindings.
I have never tried them myself so I reserve judgement on their performance. It does seem to me though that this is like when apple sell you an iPod and then expect you to pay more for the charger. There are a few sets of bindings around that will fit a Burton ICS board but they are few and far between. If you own a Burton board, make sure you check your prospective new bindings are going to fit before you part with your hard earned cash
We hope this information on snowboarding bindings has helped you out. If you have any questions about the types of bindings available and want to know more then please drop us an email through the Contact us page.