There are three different
types of snowboard bindings. There are strap bindings,
step-in bindings, and hard-boot bindings. To an extent,
the type of binding you choose to use will depend on
your riding style.
Strap bindings, also referred to as soft-boot bindings,
are the most popular type of snowboard binding. Strap
bindings can be used for freestyle riding or freeriding.
The basic components of a strap binding are: The foot
straps, the baseplate, and the highback. Most strap
bindings have two straps, a toe strap and an ankle strap.
The day of the three strap freeride binding are pretty
much gone (where a third strap fastened around the shin).
These straps should be padded. There should also be
a ratchet on the ankle strap (and some companies also
put a ratchet on the toe strap) to help snug the strap
to the foot.
Strap bindings also have a baseplate. The baseplate
is the base of the binding. The base can be made of
plastic, metal, or a composite material. Some companies
also make different sized bases to fit different boot
sizes. Many baseplates are padded. The padding acts
as a shock absorber. Also, some companies have added
a toe ramp to the base of strap bindings. The toe ramp
helps add power to the toe-side edge.
The highback is also a feature of strap bindings.
The highback is what provides power and leverage for
tipping the board on its heelside edge. Highbacks come
in different lengths. More power can be applied to the
heelside edge with a longer highback. Also, some highbacks
are padded, for extra comfort. Highbacks can also be
made of different materials, like plastic or other composite
Strap bindings are versatile bindings and can be used
for both freestyle riding, and freeriding.
There are many different types of step-ins on the
market today. Each company has their own version of
how to attach the boot to the board. Despite the different
types of boot to board connections, step-ins either
attach the boot to the board with a toe / heel connection
(like the K2, Ride, or Device step-ins) or a side-to-side
connection (like the Switch, Burton, or Rossignol
Most often the highback for a step-in binding is located
inside the snowboard boot, but many companies have started
to put an external highback on their step-ins. These
external highbacks can be adjusted like highbacks on
Step-ins can be used for either freestyle riding or
freeriding. Step-in bindings are gaining in popularity.
They have become increasingly easier to use, and more
Hard-boot bindings, also called race bindings or alpine
bindings, are used with hard-boots (boots that look
like ski boots). Hard-boot bindings use a camming
lever and a wire bail to hold the boot to the binding.
These types of bindings are highly adjustable. Hard-boot
bindings are used mostly on alpine or carving boards,
and used mostly by snowboard racers and expert carvers.
The three different types of snowboard bindings are:
Strap bindings, step-in bindings, and hard-boot bindings.
Strap bindings are the most popular type of snowboard
binding. But, step-ins are becoming easier to use and
are gaining in popularity, while hard-boot bindings
are used mostly by snowboard racers and expert carvers.