With winter around the corner, for some that means getting lights out, decorations, sweaters, and thinking about hot drinks and the holidays. For others, that means getting out the snow gear and prepping for some awesome times on the slopes. For those who are snowboarders, it is never too early to check the board to ensure everything will be ready to go. One of these things is the bindings. If yours are worn, it is time to get those replaced before you hit the slopes.
For every snowboarder, having a good run means having a board that works with you and fits your needs. From the board to the bindings, everything must work together or it will be a very long and potentially unenjoyable trip from the top to the bottom of the run. The first thing that should always be checked is the bindings. If you need new ones, here are some things to remember and to be on the lookout for when deciding on the best snowboard bindings for you.
- Fit – if your boot doesn’t fit, then that means your boot can slip and you will find yourself eating snow very quickly. Check that when you look at bindings to make sure your boot fits snugly. The best suggestion is to take your boots with you and that can help figure out the best binding you can use.
- Style of Binding – there are many styles to choose from and picking the one that is best for you can be tricky. There are basically two types to pick from – strap-in bindings and rear-entry bindings or as most call them, speed bindings. While you might want to go with the speed bindings, that might not be the best option. Do some research on these bindings and determine based on your experience and needs which is best for you.
- Flex – It is very hard to ride a snowboard being rigid and standing straight up. No matter how good you are, this isn’t something anyone would want to do for a long period of time. That is why flex is important. The amount of flex that a binding can give will help you determine how much maneuverability you have with your board. When going downhill, being able to maneuver is vital and so is being able to move your board. There are different kinds of materials that can flex and for most beginners, using softer bindings allows for more forgiveness, whereas the harder materials can allow for more experienced riders to land harder tricks if they want to.
- Compatibility – a key component is the binding and matching it or making sure it is compatible with your snowboard is vital. If you find a binding that works for you and isn’t compatible, then you can use it. The good news is most bindings come in different sizes and for different whole layouts, so finding one that fits and is also compatible shouldn’t be an issue.
- What kind of user – most bindings can be used for most riders, but this ties into the flex more than anything. If you are a free-rider, then looking at ones for all-mountain type riding might not be useful to you. Look at what type of snowboarding you like to do and then decide based from there on what would be the best bindings to look at.
While this isn’t an in-depth and comprehensive guide, these five steps will help you not only find the right bindings, but also give you the ability to hit the slopes with confidence in knowing you can shred the sloped with ease and have fun doing it.