Bindings are an essential piece of equipment for every snowboard setup. They keep your feet connected to your board and transfer power from your legs to turn and maneuver it. There are several main styles of snowboard bindings.
I’m a certified snowboarding instructor, and I have experience using many different types of gear and equipment. I’ve used every style of snowboard binding in my years on the mountain.
This article will explain all of the different types of snowboard bindings while also explaining some key similarities and differences. The goal is to help you learn what might the best option for your needs or preferences.
Let’s get after it.
I’ll list out all of the main types of snowboard bindings in the sections below. If you are a beginner, you should just use the traditional strap-in style until you gain more experience and develop a preference.
Bindings are important but are also a fairly individualized choice. A lot of riders can’t tell the difference between similar bindings. If that sounds like you, just go with an option in your budget and match your ability level.
1. Strap-In Bindings
The most common type of snowboard binding is strap-in bindings. I’d say you’ll see this style on over half the boards on the mountain. It’s the traditional strap system and remains very effective with today’s modern equipment.
Strap-in bindings hold your foot in place with two straps that go over the top of your foot. One strap sits higher on your foot and goes over the ankle. The other goes more over your toe area. Together, they provide a secure fit that allows for quality power transfer and control.
Both of these straps have ratchet-style buckles that allow you to get a secure fit. Once you place your feet in the bindings, you can pull down on the strap, and the ratcheting system will make sure they don’t slip or loosen up.
Strap-in bindings have a high-back which is a piece of material that goes up over your lower leg and calf to keep your feet braced in addition to the straps. They also have a base plate that provides some shock absorption and a way to mount the bindings on the board.
The high-back on strap-in bindings is designed to stay in one place. You can adjust the angle of it, but it usually takes a tool to complete the job.
Strap-in style bindings are preferred by many riders because they are really easy to use and provide a solid fit over your entire foot. You can also separately adjust the two straps for a customized fit.
The downside is that they can take a while longer to step into than the other styles of bindings.
2. Rear-Entry Bindings
Rear-entry bindings are another commonly seen style of snowboard binding. They are also known as speed-entry bindings, and they allow you to step in and secure your foot very quickly.
Most rear-entry style bindings will only have a single strap. It will still have two ratches to adjust the firmness on your toe and ankle, but a single piece of material will cover the entire top area of your foot.
The high-back on a rear-entry style binding functions differently than a strap-in style. It bends back to allow you to place your feet inside the bindings quickly. This means you don’t need to worry about attaching multiple straps and speeds up the entire process.
This folding highback will typically have some sort of locking mechanism that allows you to go from the supported position to the open position quickly. The design feature is the key to the entire binding system.
Rear-entry bindings have the obvious advantage of being faster to get into and out of. They are very easy to use, and a lot of riders like them for this reason. You also don’t have to adjust the toe strap more than once, which is pretty convenient.
The downside is that you don’t have complete customization of the strap since it’s one piece. The system also isn’t as intuitive and straightforward as strap-in bindings.
3. Step-In Bindings
The third type of snowboard bindings you’ll see is step-in. This style is much less common, but some riders like them because they are pretty convenient. All you do is step onto your board, and your boots will lock in place without an actual external binding.
Older models of step-in bindings require special boots that are compatible with the style. That creates some limitations to using your boots on different boards. These boots are also stiffer because you need the extra support without straps and a high back.
Some step-on models have a normal-looking binding that doesn’t have a strap. These can give you a little more support than traditional step-in bindings.
In all honesty, I don’t really like this style of binding and wouldn’t recommend them. They are convenient and easy to use, but I think you make a pretty severe tradeoff in terms of support and control.
Here are a few quick answers to some common questions relating to snowboard bindings.
What is the difference between snowboard bindings?
The main difference in snowboard bindings is how they hold your feet. Strap in bindings have two straps that go over the top of your feet. Rear entry bindings allow you to step in and then tighten things down. Step-in bindings click onto your board with less hardware.
How do I choose snowboard bindings?
If you are a beginner, you should just go with a standard strap-in-style binding. Experienced riders will find that they probably have a preference for what style of binding they like the most, but it’s difficult to say what is best for you if you don’t already know.
What are the best snowboard bindings?
Check out this list of the best snowboard bindings to get a good idea of some of the top models currently available. As long as you get an option that matches your ability level and is well-made, any on the list can work.
What are the 4 types of snowboards?
The four main categories of snowboards are all-mountain, freestyle, freeride, and powder. They all have differences in shape, flex, and other considerations that make them stand out for their intended riding style.
- Best Beginner Snowboard Bindings
- Best Park Snowboard Bindings
- Best All-Mountain Snowboard Bindings
- Best Women’s Snowboard Bindings
If you have the opportunity, you should explore different styles of bindings to see which ones you prefer. I like to use traditional strap-in-style bindings almost always, but I know plenty of riders who like rear-entry better.
Also, remember that once you decide which type of binding you like the best, you’ll also want to pay attention to different options within that type that matches your preferred riding style.About Lorraine