Snowboard Buyers Guide
Snowboards bindings are the only thing that keeps you attached to your snowboard and picking the right pair is important for having a good time on the hill. The main things you should think about when picking your bindings is your riding style, ability level and what type of hole pattern your board has. This will help determine a lot of factors like Stiffness of the binding you need and the style of binding you need.
There are lots of bindings out there and some brands have different systems that they think work better. Here are a few examples:
Ratchet in bindings
Ratchet in bindings are the most common binding made. They use a toe strap and an ankle strap to attach you to the base of the binding which is then screwed into the board.
Flow bindings use a reclining high back which allows you to leave your straps fully adjusted to speed up strapping in and ensure a perfect fit every time. Flow bindings alos use a different strap that covers the entire top of your foot to distribute pressure evenly. These bindings are great for kiteboarders because of how easy and fast they are to put on, even with one hand.
All bindings will come with a flex rating usually between 1-10, 10 being the stiffest and 1 being the softest. Softer bindings are usually made with plastic and little or no extra materials for strengthening or padding. Stiffer bindings are mainly made out of strengthened plastic, metal, carbon fiber, etc.
Different riders will be better of with different bindings, knowing your ability level will help you decide the stiffness of your bindings.
Beginner riders are usually better off with a softer binding, softer bindings are more forgiving and less straining on the legs
More advanced riders tend to look for a stiffer binding because it will react immediately with your movements but be less forgiving if you make a mistake. Some advanced riders may also prefer a softer binding for riding in the park or just have a preference for them.
Your riding style and the terrain you want to ride will help you decide what bindings to get.
Beginners are just learning to snowboard. Softer gear is better for beginners because it is the most forgiving when learning and puts the least amount of stress on your legs. This will ultimately make for a better day on the hill.
All Mountain Riders
These are snowboarders that ride everything that the hill has to offer. The best style of binding for an all mountain riders is a medium to medium stiff binding, this way they will be stiff enough to go fast with but not to stiff for trees or park.
These are snowboarders that ride that are riding park and hitting side hits. Soft medium/medium bindings are better for these riders because it will give them a little forgivingness when land tricks, this way they will be stiff enough to go fast with but not to stiff for trees or park.
Riders looking for going fast and making fast turns will want to get stiff - stiffest bindings. When you are riding at high speeds you'll need a stiff responsive binding that will transfer all the energy you can to the edge so that you get a nice clean turn. Otherwise.
Disk Mounted Binding
Disk mounted binding are how almost every binding is mounted to the board. In your box you should have 8 screws and washers and two mounting disks, the disks are placed into the hole in the base of the binding at the angle your decide to use. The binding angle is set by moving the disk clockwise or counter-clockwise you should see numbers and an arrow on the disk and the binding, this way when the binding is mounted it will be angled (notice in the image above that the binding is slightly turned but the disk is straight, this is about 15%). Tighten the screws and your ready to ride, when you decide to change your angles you will have to remove your bindings completely and repeat the process.
EST Mounted Binding
These bindings are made by Burton and only use two screws per binding, The way you attach these bindings to the board is a little different too. To attach EST bindings to a channel board you start by removing the rubber stoppers at the end of each channel closest to the middle of the board. This will allow the bolt to slide into the channel, place two bolts in each channel and replace the rubber stoppers. The washers will move around freely. Place the binding on top of the bolts lining them up with the slots on the outside of the binding. Now you can move the binding around freely before you screw it in and adjust your stance and angle. You can see the degree and stance through the window in the binding foot pad. Once your satisfied with the position of your binding tighten the screws and your good to go. The reason Burton designed the EST is for a better board feel. By moving the screws to the outside of the binding, reducing the amount of plastic under the foot and replacing it with foam they created a binding that is able to flex with the board. Another really cool feature about them is that you are able to adjust your stance with your feet in the binding on the go!
2 x 4
2 x 4 hole pattern is the most common in snowboards. It offers a little bit more of an option for your stance on your snowboard.
4 x 4
4 x 4 hole patterns is similare to the 2 x 4 pattern except it skips every other insert, which gives you 4 options for binding placement.
The channel is a mounting system that Burton designed to make your board and bindings flex better together. The channel is inset in the board and there is one per binding, each board comes with bolts that slide into the channel and can move freely until the screw is tightened in to them. These boards work best with Burton EST bindings but can work with almost every binding available now some may require the purchase of an extra mounting plate.
The 3D patter was also made by burton and works with almost all bindings.