Snowboard bindings are an important part of your snowboard setup, because they hold you and your feet in place on the snowboard. It is also through snowboard bindings that you achieve support and stiffness due to the highback (the part behind your calf) and the baseplate which is the bottom of the snowboard binding. Most of all snowboard bindings are traditional two-strap setups with an ankle strap and a toe strap. They have adjustable highbacks and a turnable plate or disc in the centre of the baseplate that attaches the binding to the snowboard.
The snowboard binding systems
All snowboards come with premade holes for screws. Most of the brands that make snowboard bindings make snowboards that use 4 screws (the standard system). An exception to this rule is Burton snowboards that use a two-screw "slider-channel" on most of their models (also called EST). This gives infinite adjustment possiblities. Make sure you know, which system your snowboard uses. Most bindings come with several different discs that make them fit the different binding systems.
Snowboard binding straps
There are three types of straps:
- The toe cap strap that is placed on the front of the snowboard boot for a comfortable and stable fit. This strap also helps keeping the foot in place in the heel-cup, because it is placed out on the tip of the boot to attain more direct contact with the snowboard.
- The traditional toe strap that is often found on cheap bindings merely to hold your snowboard boots in place. It can't be used as a toe cap strap.
- The ankle strap which is placed over the ankle to hold the foot safely in place. This strap is bigger and softer and it is an important part of the snowboard bindings
Highbacks and baseplates
The highback and the baseplate transfer the energy from your movements into the snowboard. Stiffer highback and baseplate gives a faster and more direct grip, but can also lead to fatigue and leg cramps, so if you are new to the sport or only have limited experience and ride a lot in the park, you should therefore choose snowboard bindings with a softer flex.
The size of snowboard bindings
The size of your snowboarding bindings should fit the size of the snowboard boot, and they generally come in small, medium and large. The correct size will hold your boot safely on the snowboard binding. A general rule of thumb when you are choosing binding size is:
- Small = Men: size 36-41, women: size 34-36.5
- Medium = Men: size 41-44, women: size 36.5-40
- Large = Men: size 43+, women: size 40+
If the straps don't fit perfectly when you unpack your new snowboard bindings, there's no need for worrying; they are adjustable. The most important thing is that your snowboard boot fits inside the width of the snowboard and within the heel-cup.