When you want to go big in the park, you need to have the right equipment to help you do it right. Bindings are an essential part of that. Even if you’re just getting started with park or freestyle riding, good bindings are always necessary.
I’ve been teaching snowboarding as a certified instructor for the last decade. I often have students who focus on park riding and have experience with many different park bindings.
The Burton Malavita EST is the best park snowboard binding of the year. These bindings are fully focused on high-flying and hard-charging freestyle riding.
In this post, I’ll show you a few of my other favorite park bindings to help you make a good buying decision and make the most of your season in the park and beyond.
Pick your line, and let’s crush it.
- Who Should Get This
- Top Park Snowboard Bindings
- How to Choose The Best Park Bindings
- Useful Tips & Resources
- My Verdict
Who Should Get This
If you live for the thrill of big jumps and learning new tricks, there’s a good chance you spend the majority of your time on the mountain in the terrain park.
To develop your skills and push yourself to the best of your abilities, you need to have the proper snowboarding equipment to help you get there. Good park bindings are crucial for any snowboarder who wants to get good at park riding.
If you’re a casual park rider who only ventures inside the lines every once in a while when snow conditions are questionable, another binding style may better fit your needs.
Top Park Snowboard Bindings
Here are my top picks for park snowboarding bindings this year.
1. Best Overall: Burton Malavita EST
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Freestyle focused, hinge baseplates, very responsive, zero lean highback, lightweight
- Flex: Medium
- Style: Strap-In
- Cost: $$$$
The Burton Malavita EST is my top choice for the best park binding for a good reason – these are fully intended to help support all of your freestyle pursuits.
They come with a medium flex that gives you responsive control when you need to dig into a takeoff but are forgiving enough to let you stomp big landings and hit other features with ease.
The EST system is designed to be lightweight, and this is made possible by removing some material and inserting cushioning in its place. This, combined with a Hinge Baseplate, helps reduce fatigue and offers excellent impact absorption.
The highback is a zero-lean canted design that helps you stay engaged and ready to huck in the park. I like this feature quite a bit and think it’s very effective.
These bindings are pretty expensive and are not a budget option.
2. Best for the Money: K2 Lineup
- Best for: The Money
- Key features: Tool-less adjustments, Perfect Fit toe strap, canted footbeds, tripod chassis
- Flex: Soft
- Style: Strap-in
- Cost: $$
For an affordable option that will still help you crush any line in the park, look no further than the K2 lineup. These are a practical option that can work well for a variety of ability levels.
I like the tool-less adjustment design of the Lineup. You can pop off the ankle straps and adjust them with your bare hand if you need to. This can be great when you are dialing your park set up just right.
Canted footbeds help you stay in a good riding position that feels natural and intuitive. This can help reduce fatigue and let you ride longer.
A turnable tripod chassis baseplate is another cool feature. It’s designed to flex with your foot and help generate effective power transmission.
These are on the softer side, which can be a downside for aggressive riders or in the halfpipe.
3. Best for Durability: Nitro Team Pro
- Best for: Durability
- Key features: Strong construction, responsive, air dampening system, canted footbed, Vibram strap elements
- Flex: Medium/Stiff
- Style: Strap-in
- Cost: $$$$
The Nitro Team Pro is an excellent option if you want a durable and aggressive park binding. These can be a good choice if you focus on the halfpipe and want a little more support.
They come with an air dampening system that adds a significant layer of cushioning for high flyers. It absorbs energy very effectively.
Board saver technology, which involves rounding the baseplates’ corners, helps keep your board in good shape and limits any potential damage.
Vibram rubber material built into the toe strap is super strong and durable for long-lasting performance.
The Team Pro is definitely a little stiff compared to most park bindings, and it is also expensive.
4. Best for Versatility: Salomon District
- Best for: Versatility
- Key features: Versatile performance, three-piece baseplate, composite construction, canted footbed, Kevlar quickwire
- Flex: Medium/Soft
- Style: Strap-in
- Cost: $$$
The Salomon District is a versatile binding that will give you good park performance and let you venture outside to other areas of the mountain when you want to.
These have a medium flex that is forgiving yet supports more demanding conditions. They also have a composite construction that is strong and durable.
The 3-piece ShadowFit Baseplate includes a flexible heel loop and gives you a very natural fit that is supportive without compromising comfort. Kevlar quickwire lacing gives you more support and adds to exceptional power transfer.
These aren’t an exclusively park-specific option, but they will work for any freestyle rider.
How to Choose The Best Park Bindings
Before you buy park bindings, consider the following factors to help you make the best choice.
Your Riding Style
If you are looking at the bindings on this list, you are more than likely a freestyle or park rider. However, if you do not know your riding style, you might want to explore other binding options before committing to a park-focused design.
These bindings are great for the park due to a softer flex and increased cushioning. Even though they rock in the park, their specific attributes mean they are not the most versatile option for other places on the mountain.
A binding’s flex relates to how much movement the binding allows when fully strapped in and ready to go.
For a park binding, you want a softer flex that will allow for more play. It is also important to get a model that will be forgiving when you put it under large amounts of stress.
Park maneuvers require you to move your body and board in ways that don’t happen in other situations. A softer flex helps make that happen.
Straps and Fasteners
There are several different types of straps and fasteners to choose from when it comes to snowboard bindings. The one you end up going with depends on your personal preferences and your riding style.
Almost all park bindings (and all of the options on this list) are strap-in bindings. That means they feature two straps with ratcheting buckles that go over your feet.
Such a setup is ideal for the park because it allows for increased flexibility while also creating a secure fit for both performance and control.
Here are a few quick answers to some common questions about park bindings and park riding.
What makes a good park snowboard?
The most critical factor in a good park board, in my opinion, is a twin shape. You want to be able to hit a feature and land switch. A directional board can somewhat limit what you can do in the park, so I always go with a true twin option.
Is rocker or camber better for Park?
Rocker is a better profile feature for the park. You don’t always need to generate as much turning or speed, and rocker gives you the ability to butter, slide, spin, and land. Most park boards have a little bit of both.
How do you set up snowboard bindings for a park?
This can be a personal preference, but most park rats will set up their bindings pretty much dead center on their board. This gives you equal balance when you are riding regular or switch and allows for easier maneuvering in the air.
Useful Tips & Resources
If you want to have a snowboard set up specifically for park riding, you want to keep some factors in mind when you mount your bindings. You don’t need a lot of forward lean, and you’ll want to be able to ride switch often.
That means a fairly centered mounting position is ideal. It’s also common for park riders to use a duck stance with their mounting position. For that, your toes should point out and away from each other.
If you want some good tips on how to set up your board and bindings for the park, check out this video.
Also, remember that you can adjust your bindings slightly while in the park by either bringing tools or using some that are available on the mountain.
Riding in the park can be an endless amount of fun, especially when the snow conditions aren’t great in other parts of the mountain. If you want the best pair of park bindings to keep you company, the Burton Malavita EST is my recommended choice.
Whether you’re in the park to perfect a high-level maneuver or simply learn the basics of how to make the most of the terrain park, these bindings will all help you do so easily and effectively. All of them will help you take your riding to the next level.About Lorraine