How to Choose Snowboard Bindings
Whether you’re buying a snowboard for the first time or thinking about upgrading your equipment, choosing a pair of bindings can be tricky. There are a lot of options out there, and getting the right pair is integral to your experience on the mountain. Snowboard bindings serve two primary purposes. First, they keep your feet securely attached to the board. Second, they allow you to flex the board and initiate turns. The better your bindings fit, the better they’ll be at accomplishing these two purposes. Follow the steps below on how to choose snowboard bindings to get started:
- First, narrow down your options. Strap-in bindings are the most common. These provide a very secure fit but take a little extra time when strapping in before each run. Step-in bindings are similar to ski bindings; just step onto the connection plate and you’re locked in. Although this design can save time, the mechanisms can potentially get clogged with snow, so keep that in mind. Rear-entry bindings make strapping in even easier with a reclining high-back but still offer the stability of adjustable straps.
- Next, choose from all-mountain bindings (good all-around choice for a variety of terrain), freestyle bindings (more flex and shorter high-backs for performing tricks) or freeride bindings (stiffer overall design for enhanced control on steep, challenging terrain).
- Finally, choose a binding size. Most models come in small, medium and large sizes. Each size will accommodate a range of boot sizes. When shopping on our site, you can see these size ranges when hovering over the size selection buttons.
Snowboard Binding Tips
- Most beginners will benefit from choosing an all-mountain board and all-mountain bindings with a medium flex rating. This combo is versatile enough to perform well on most terrain, including occasional ventures into the terrain park and sidecountry. Later, if you decide to upgrade to a freeride or freestyle board, you can always upgrade bindings also.
- The majority of modern snowboard bindings have tool-less adjustments on the straps, which allow you to customize the strap length for an optimal fit (no special tools required). When strapping in, your feet should feel firmly secured in the bindings with no free play. With strap-in and rear-entry bindings, your heel should feel secure against the heel cup after tightening down the ratchets. However, the straps shouldn’t be so tight that they feel painful. If your feet start feeling numb or pins-and-needles, try loosening the straps one or two notches.
- Some riders like to loosen the straps slightly in between runs, which gives your dominant foot a break from the pressure as you ride the lift. Just don’t forget to re-tighten them before you start your next run.