Bindings went through an interesting evolution to say the least. In the beginning, there were no bindings. You just rode on top of the snowboard and that was it. Then came a scramble to create grip on the topsheet. One of the first methods was via industrial staples. Yup, a couple of row of staples were what gave the rider grip, but still no bindings. Then there were dots... plastic dots. Soon after companies were making plastic blocks with ripples for traction. Still a far, far cry from modern snowboarding bindings. Snowboaders were starting to realize that, as boards got wider, an attachment to the snowboard was needed.
One could argue that the first legitimate snowboarding bindings were the bungee cord. The rider was attached to the snowboard via a bolted down bungee cord over the foot to work as a snowboard binding. There were plenty more innovations that followed that created the evolution of bindings. We’ll just fast forward and say they ended up as the binders we all know and love today.
Types of Snowboarding Bindings
Freestyle Bindings: Freestyle snowboarding bindings are more forgiving with their softer flex. The intention here is to give the rider unrestricted freedom over tweaking out their bag of tricks. It’s all about the cushy straps and tweakable highbacks in these snowboarding bindings.
All-Mountain Freestyle Bindings: All-Mountain Freestyle bindings are typically medium to mid-stiff in flex. The flex is versatile for all-around riding. From park laps to tree runs, all-mountain freestyle bindings will deliver tweakability and responsiveness respectively.
All-Mountain Bindings: All-Mountain bindings are your stiffest of the stiff. Stiffer snowboarding bindings are going to deliver maximum response. You even think about an edge and you’ll get on it. All-mountain snowboarding bindings are ideal for the rider looking to charge the challenging lines.
Quick-Entry Bindings: Quick-entry snowboarding bindings are the rebels of the binding world. The pioneer of this market is Flow. However, there are several different brands doing their version of quick-entry bindings. Flow’s bindings feature a highback that drops down, allowing you to kick your foot in. You then pull the highback back up and lock it. Flow has a unique cap style strap that minimizes pressure points. K2 has their Cinch line which fuses Flow’s drop-down highback idea with traditional straps in snowboard bindings. K2 also has an Auto line where the toe strap tightens as you ratchet your ankle strap. GNU’s bindings are similar to K2’s Cinch line. If quick-entry is your thing, you’re definitely not without options.
4 Hole: This is the standard snowboard binding mounting system. The snowboarding binding mounts via 4 screws in a square pattern.
3D: The 3D mounting system is exclusive to Burton. 3D compatible bindings mount to the Burton snowboard via 3 screws in a triangle pattern. Not all bindings are compatible with this system so make sure you double check.
The Channel: Another Burton exclusive mounting system that utilizes two screws that are found on the outside of a Burton EST binding. This means NO binding except Burton EST bindings will fit on the snowboard. This technology enables a very quick setup and eliminates the need for a baseplate. The combination of Burton EST snowboarding bindings along with one of their Channel snowboards gives the rider an unparalleled boardfeel.