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Understanding the Types of Snowboard Bindings

November 17, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 84

Understanding Snowboard Bindings

You have the boards! Now here comes the fun of picking the proper bindings! "How important are the bindings?" you may ask. Well, bindings are critically essential for your snowboards because they will ensure that your snowboard boots are securely attached to your boards, safely and comfortably. Not everyone has the same style of riding so the type of bindings you might need will differ from others. Choose the one that fits your riding style, and of course, your fashion. Make sure you purchase your snowboard boots first before buying the bindings as you will need them to find the right fit for your bindings. Choosing a binding simply boils down to which is more important to the rider: convenience of stepping in versus the additional control you gain. Whatever you chose, make sure that you know how to get in and out of them before you head out to the slopes.

There are five types of snowboard bindings: Strap Bindings, Step-in Bindings, Flow-in Bindings, Plate Bindings, and Baseless Bindings.

Strap Bindings

The Strap Binding has three parts: Base Plate, Highback Plate and the Straps. The baseplate is a contoured one and this catches the soft boots. The Highback is a vertical plate rising perpendicular from the baseplate and this secures the heel of the feet and the backside of the lower legs. The straps are located at the front of the binding which holds the front side of your feet and ankles. Each strap-in binding is mounted to the board and once you are strapped in, your feet are locked to the snowboard and the only way to get off is to release the straps manually.

Alpine riders and Freestylers prefer different styles of Strap Bindings. Alpine riders usually go for the taller and stiffer hogbacks for greater control and defined edge grip while riding in warp speed. Freestyle riders, on the other hand, prefer the shorter backplate to achieve sustained maneuverability and more flexibility.

Step-In Bindings

Step-in Bindings are far more convenient than Strap Bindings because they make securing yourself to the board easier - Step-in Bindings let you simply step down and latch into it. However, they have faded in popularity recently because they are not very functional. Additionally, Step-in Bindings make for a lesser control on the slopes and do not offer as much support so riders have a harder time pulling off tricks with these bindings as compared to the Strap. When it comes to speed, Step-in Bindings can give you an extra kick.

Step-in Bindings have three parts: base plate, back plate and the step-in mechanism. Step-in Bindings work well with soft boots. Keep in mind though that this narrows your boots and bindings selections since they have to be step-ins.

Both Freeride and Freestyle riders can use Step-in Bindings.

Flow-In Bindings

Like the Strap Bindings, Flow-in Bindings also incorporate a strap mechanism. It has a reclining mechanism that allows the back of the binding to unlock and recline down for easy entrance of the foot. Flow-in Bindings is a combination of the control of the strap binding and the ease of the step-in systems. This combo is gaining popularity due to the aforementioned benefits. One downside though is that Flow-in Bindings are harder to adjust than strap-ons.

Flow-in Bindings have three parts: base plate, back plate lever and tongue. These types of bindings also allow for the use of soft boots.

Plate Bindings

Plate Bindings is also known as Hard-Boot bindings and has three parts: base plate, steel bails and a lever. This binding combines stiffer bindings and hard boots giving the riders more control over the board and high-speed riding and snow carving. The boots are firmly strapped into the bindings by a simple flip of the lever.

Alpine racers who always long for that extra edge and grip control usually prefer Plate Bindings.

Baseless Bindings

Baseless Bindings should only be used by riders who already mastered the slopes. Baseless Bindings, as the name implies, does not have a base so the boots are placed in direct contact with the snowboard deck. The absence of the base is supposed to enhance the "feel" of your board's flex. The main downside of this type of binding is its difficulty of adjusting and the "toe drag" it causes riders with large feet.

Halfpipe and park riders prefer baseless bindings due to the quicker edge response that it provides.

John E. Edgar is a writer who specializes in sports and outdoor activities. You can check out his latest website at Rossignol Snowboard, where he provides unbiased product reviews and descriptions to help you with an informed purchasing decision for buying Rossignol snowboard, including their boards with the Magtek, Amptek and Magne-Traction technology, and much more.

Source: EzineArticles
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