Burton makes some of the best snowboarding equipment in the industry. Their EST and Re:Flex bindings are both great options, but they are different enough to have pros and cons that can make one option better for your riding style, ability level, or preferences.
I’m a certified snowboarding instructor with years of experience on different types of gear and equipment. I’ve used both the EST and Re:Flex bindings, so I have a good idea of how they differ from one another.
In this post, I’ll show you the pros and cons of both of these binding options to help you make a good decision as to which one is best for you. They are both high-quality but have different performance attributes.
Let’s get rolling.
EST vs Re:Flex: Initial Considerations
Both EST and Re:Flex style bindings are popular with many riders for their quality performance and durable construction. They are the two main offerings in the Burton binding lineup, and the brand offers multiple models within these two categories.
The biggest thing to know before we get started on a more in-depth look at both of these binding styles is that EST bindings will only work with snowboards that have a Channel mounting system.
This means you might not be able to use the bindings on a non-Burton board because the Channel system is not very common with other brands. Re:Flex bindings are a bit more versatile with that in mind because they can be mounted on other boards.
Burton EST bindings are designed to work with the Channel board system, and they work well on Burton boards that have it. This makes it very easy to adjust the stance of the bindings because you can change width and angles really quickly.
EST bindings mount into the channel system outside your boot and feet, which is a pretty unique style. This can provide you with more comfort because there are no screws or hardware underneath your feet when you ride.
You’ll get durable hardware and construction with any EST binding option you choose. They are built using quality materials that will last a long time and can withstand damage due to riding hard in cold winter conditions.
If you are a progressive freestyle rider or are a fan of Burton gear, the EST bindings are a great option to explore. They give you innovative performance and an excellent board feel that you might thoroughly enjoy.
- Very comfortable fit and feel thanks to the mounting screws being located on the outside of the foot.
- Excellent board feel allows you to get solid power transfer and remain in control of the board at all times.
- Channel system compatibility gives you a wide variety of stance setup options – many more than other types of bindings.
- They are very easy to mount.
- You can make binding adjustments easily on the fly.
- Strong and durable construction that is built to last.
- They only work with the Channel mounting system, so you are limited to what boards you can use with the bindings.
- Does not have as much shock absorption as other bindings because there is less material underfoot.
Burton Re:Flex bindings are more of a traditional style binding than the EST. They are designed to be used with nearly any type of mounting system. They can be used on 3 and 4 hole mounting patterns, as well as the Channel system.
With that in mind, a Re:Flex binding will give you more possibilities in terms of what board you can mount them on. You can use these bindings on a non-Burton board or use them on multiple boards pretty easily.
They are also well designed and ruggedly built. You can expect quality performance when using these bindings, and they are built to last. You will notice more material underneath the foot area than the EST, limiting board feel but increasing shock absorption.
Re:Flex bindings are great for anyone who wants a little more versatility and the ability to use their bindings on nearly every kind of board. They are a great all-around binding, with more of a traditional style.
- Multiple mounting style compatibility including three holes, four holes, and the Channel system.
- Can be used on other brands of boards and not just Burton models.
- More material underfoot translates into added shock absorption.
- Strong and durable construction that is built to last.
- Suitable for all ability levels.
- If mounted on the Channel system, you won’t have as many stance and width options to explore as the EST.
- Less board feel and touch control because of added material underfoot.
- Not as technically designed or innovative as the EST.
A cool thing about the Re:Flex bindings is that they can be used with the Channel system and more traditional mounting styles. The only issue is that you won’t get as versatile of a stance setup when mounting them into a channel system.
Which Binding is Better?
Ultimately, it comes down to what you are looking for in a binding. They are both great bindings and will work for any style or ability level of rider.
If you love Burton equipment and don’t think you’ll ride another brand, I would suggest getting the EST bindings. The Channel system is fun to play around with, and the added board feel with the outside-the-foot mounting gives you a little extra control.
If you want the ability to mount your bindings on different models of boards, you’ll want to go with the Re:Flex. They have added versatility because they can work with just about any mounting system, including the Channel.
The truth is, you can’t go wrong with either option. Which binding is better comes down to how many boards you want to use them with and if you want to experience the innovation created when using the Channel mounting system.
If you have the opportunity to rent both styles of bindings before purchasing, that can give you a good sense of the differences between the two as far as performance and feel go. If you are a beginner, you won’t notice much of a difference.
EST and Re:Flex bindings are both solid choices that are well made and can get you down the mountain effectively. They are slightly different in design and mounting compatibility, so keep that in mind when deciding which is better for you.
Do you like EST or Re:Flex bindings better? Let us know why in the comments below!About Lorraine