Burton, Flow, Drake snowboard bindings to name but a few - so many to choose from. We can help you cut through the hype. First off, forget the brand name and look at what you actually need. Bindings hold your feet in place on the snowboard . You can not ride a snowboard without a set of bindings . You need to make sure of three things: 1) They fit your snowboard boots 2) They fit your board 3) They are right for you
Further down this page you will find advice on how to mount your snowboard bindings onto your snowboard and how to set the angles for riding. We also discuss the pros and cons of Strap Bindings versus Step-In bindings, like Flow bindings .
1. Select Bindings to Fit Your Boots
Snowboard Bindings come in different sizes which fit different boots sizes. We individually quote the size of every pair or snowboard bindings listed on our site., so you can be sure they will fit your boots.
2. Select Bindings to Fit Your Board
All snowboard bindings are mounted onto the board via a base plates (1 for each binding) and 2 sets of 4 screws which are also supplied with the bindings . Every snowboard manufacturer in the world uses the same system – with the very notable exception of Burton who have their own unique base plates and 3 screw system . If you have a Burton snowboard you will either need to either use Burton bindings or buy a set of Burton base plates to fit your non-Burton bindings. You can do this for most makes of binding. We stock these in our Bindings Spare Parts Department . If you have Burton Bindings and want to mount them using 4 screws onto another make of board it should be no problem because all Burton bindings either come with universal mounting plates (to fit both systems) or 2 set of plates. If buying second hand , make sure the bindings come with one or other of these solutions.
3. Select bindings which suit your style of riding
As a general guide, higher end more expensive bindings tend to be stiffer and therefore more responsive and are more suiatble for more advanced riders. Cheaper bindings tend to be softer and more forgiving and best suited to beginners. There are 2 main types of snowboard bindings (Strap and Step-In) but you may come across some others so they have been listed here too.
70% of the UK market. Designed to be worn with almost any type of ‘ soft’ snowboard boot (make sure you do not buy step-in or hard boots ). You literally strap your boots in place using 2 sets of straps with ratchet style buckles .
29% of the UK market. As the name implies, you step into the bindings and your boot automatically gets held in place. There are lots of different proprietary systems which have been developed by the different manufacturers. The most popular are made by Flow . Unlike almost all other step-in systems, Flow step-in bindings do not require compatible snowboard boots – you can use almost any ‘soft’ snowboard boots just like you can with strap bindings. This is NOT the case for most other step-in systems where you must make sure the boots are compatible with the bindings. Ever wonder why Flow are the market leaders?
Strap Bindings versus Step-Ins - The Debate
There is much debate about which style of snowboard bindings are right for which style of riding – check out the debates on some of the snowboard forums, then make your choice. The main advantage with step-in bindings is the convenience. Simply put your foot into the binding and a locking mechanism locks it into place. A quick release mechanism releases your boot when you are ready to walk. As a beginner, this is super-convenient because you will need to step in and out of your bindings on many, many occasions throughout the day. It saves you sitting down in the snow to put your bindings on and off. Not only can this be very tiring but your arse can get cold and wet and, if you have taken a few heavy falls, you may not want to sit on it at all! Many advanced riders and instructors use step-in for similar reasons. On the downside, there is a sizeable majority who simply think step-ins are not cool. The rational argument, in favour of strap bindings, is their simplicity. Some also argue that they give you a greater feel for and control over your board. It is, however, hard to generalise about this because the differences are subtle and every kind of step-in and strap binding both have their own unique characteristics. For example, some bindings are softer and more suitable for freestyle, whilst others are stiffer and more suitable for freeriding. This applies equally to Flow bindings and to strap bindings .
2% of the UK market. Designed for use with hard boots . This type of binding tends to be used on alpine, carving, race snowboards and are rather specialised. They also get used by a lot of the dry slopes when you rent a snowboard but are not popular with most people.
Very cheap, very rare and not very good. The sole of the rider’s boot is placed in direct contact with the snowboard deck because the binding has no base plate. The sole of the boot is therefore a few millimetres lower but this can cause toe and heel to drag where your boots overhang the edge of the board. These bindings are difficult to adjust (stance angle/width) but some halfpipe and park riders prefer baseless bindings because it enables closer contact with and feel for the board.
Snowboard bindings come in varying degrees of stiffness. Bindings with a softer flex are ideal for freestyle riding because they are more forgiving, allowing you to stomp big air landings without breaking your ankles! They are also ideal for beginners because of their more forgiving nature. A stiffer binding, however, gives greater response and control - with a minimum of body movement. Stiffer bindings are ideal for freeride and for riders who like to ride fast on and off piste. With a stiff binding, whatever energy you put into a turn, you getback in terms of a quicker, sharper reaction time. As a beginner you would be better off going for a slightly softer flex binding because these are more forgiving when you make a mistake. More advanced riders will appreciate the responsiveness of a stiffer binding. Unfortunately, these stiffer bindings tend to be significantly more expensive - but they are well worth it.
A high back is that part at the back of the bindings that support the back of your boot. The highback is what gives you the leverage over the heel side turns. You can adjust the responsiveness of the bindings by adjusting the forward lean on the bindings. Its best again to experiment on the amount you use.
Forward lean is used to adjust the responsiveness of your heel turns. You should experiment yourself to find the best amount for you. Using a greater angle gives you better leverage, which is particularly helpful for backside airs in the half pipe, or riding hard packed snow. Having less of an angle gives a looser feeling, allowing for a smoother more forgiving turn, this however does mean you will need to put more effort in if you want to quickly change direction. Look for bindings which offer tooless forward lean adjustment.
The toe ramp is what allows you to do the toe side turns. On most bindings these are also adjustable, allowing you to decide whether you want sharp turns or shallow turns. The toe ramp moves your feet up from the board allowing you to get more leverage over the toe side of the board, and also reduces toe drag for riders with big feet.
For maximum performance its best to try and centre the strap over your boot. You want to ensure that when you tighten your bindings, the strap doesn’t bottom out. You will also want some additional teeth left on the straps, that way you won’t have the problem of the bindings being too big for your boots as they wear in or as the binding straps stretch slightly through use.
There is no right or wrong when it comes to setting up the angles on your bindings. The only hard and fast rule is that you should experiment and try different angles until you discover what works best for you. Make sure you carry a snowboard tool so you can do this quickly and easily whilst out riding. In general those that prefer freeride tend to ride with forward facing angles, such as 0 to +9 degrees on the back foot and between +15 to +21 degrees on the front. Forward facing angles will naturally turn your hips and shoulders forward, giving a comfortable position for riding in the forward direction, for riding at speed and for travelling down those narrow blue and green runs. Boardercross riders and racers may ride with very extreme forward facing angles as high as +21 on the back foot and +48 on the front. If you like to straight line it down a mountain, try increasing your angles.
If you are into freestyle and want to ride your board in both directions, a duck or frog stance is often preferred. This is where one foot points forward and the other backward to give you similar control when riding in either direction. Try +/- 15 degrees on both feet or, if you only ride backwards now and then, -6 on the back and +15 on the front. It is up to you to experiment.
Most snowboard bindings allow the angles to be adjusted in 3 degree increments.
How to Mount Snowboard Bindings onto Your Snowboard
This is actually a very simple process. We found it much more difficult writing it down than learning to do it.
1) Determine whether you are regular (left foot forward) or goofy (right foot forward). If someone pushes you in the back, which foot do you step forward with to prevent yourself falling over? If it is your right foot you are probably goofy.
2) Place your back boot in the back binding (left boot/binding if you are goofy, right if you are regular) and keep it handy. No need to put your front boot in your front binding at this stage.
3) Identify which is the front of your board. The screw holes are usually mounted slightly closer to the back of the board. The pictures and writing on the board are the correct way up when you stand the board on its tail.
4) Place your board flat on the floor
5) Stand on the board with feet a comfortable shoulder width apart - you need to stand centrally relative to all of the screw holes.
6) Note which screw holes your feet are closest to and step of the board
7) Place the back boot/binding where your back foot had been on the board. The boot/binding should be facing 90 degrees ie sideways across the board. Ensure that the toe and heel overhang (overhang is normal) of the boot are about the same on either side of the board.
8) Whilst holding the binding in position, carefully remove your boot making sure you do not move the binding.
9) Whilst maintaining the bindings position relative to the toe and heel edges of the board, slide it up or down the length of the board just a centimetre or two until the large circular hole in the centre of the binding is aligned over a set of 4 screw holes (3 in the case of a Burton board).
10) Place the binding plate onto the binding with the long cut outs (for the screws to go into) aligned across the board rather than length ways. Lightly screw in 2 of the 4 screws and washers to hold the binding in position
11) Repeat for front binding
12) Set your angles. Most bindings or binding plates have the angles marked in 3 degree increments. 1 notch on the binding or binding plate therefore = 3 degrees, then screw in tightly all 4 screws and washers, taking care to ensure the toe and heel overhang remain in balance.