How to Choose Snowboard Bindings
Looking to pick out a new set of bindings? Snowboard expert Alex Dolan guides us through the top things to consider when buying a new pair of snowboard bindings.
In this article, I’ll explore everything you need to know to pick out the perfect bindings for your new setup. Of the three essentials of a snowboard setup (Board, Boots, and Bindings), bindings are often the most overlooked. A great pair of bindings can make a big difference in the overall comfort and feel of your snowboard. Not to mention, a bad choice in bindings can cause major problems on the mountain.
Here are the top factors you need to consider when buying a new pair of snowboard bindings:
Size: Does my boot fit properly in my binding?
While there is no standard for binding sizing, all bindings are manufactured based on US sizes. Most bindings are sized: Small, Medium, and Large. Some are sized: Small/Medium, Medium/Large, Large/Extra-Large. Often there is overlap in the sizing. For example, a Medium binding may fit sizes 8-10, while a Large binding in the same model will fit sizes 10-12. So, if you are a size 10, both Medium and Large are the right size. This gives the consumer more options when stock is limited.
Once you have your snowboard boot size, you can move on to picking out your snowboard bindings. You want to make sure that your boot will fit in your binding and also that your binding will fit your board. As long as your board is sized to fit the size of your boot, this should not be a problem.
Here is a great binding size chart provided by Snowboardingprofiles.com:
Men's Snowboard Binding Sizes (by US Men's Boot Sizes)
The easiest way to check on the binding size you need is to ask your Curated.com expert, who has access to all manufacturer specifications and has size charts readily available.
Flex: How soft or stiff should my bindings be?
Snowboard flex also does not have an industry standard, but most of the time, it is rated on a 1-10 scale. 1-4 is soft, 4-7 is medium, and 7-10 is stiff.
Choosing binding flex is all about personal preference. Before you decide what flex you want, you’ll need to ask yourself two questions: “Am I a beginner, intermediate, or advanced snowboarder?” and “How much will I be riding in the terrain park?”
Generally, it is recommended that beginners stick with a softer binding that is more forgiving. An intermediate rider will want something with a medium flex that will offer more stability at high speeds and on varied terrain, while still providing some flexibility for “Oh $#!%” moments and less muscle fatigue. Stiffer bindings are mostly reserved for advanced riders who are bombing the steeps and dropping cliffs (you know who you are). It is also worth noting that heavier riders may also want something more stiff, because they will naturally flex the binding more than lighter riders.
You can pretty much forget everything I said above if you plan to spend all of your time in the terrain park. Park riders typically prefer softer bindings that offer more forgiveness on sketchy landings and overall a more playful feel. However, those who consider themselves “park riders” typically don’t spend 100% of their time in the terrain park as natural terrain can often make some of the best freestyle features. In which case a medium flex binding is probably the preference.
I’m sure many of you are thinking “Woah, this is a lot to consider,” but try not to overthink it. Don't make bindings the most important decision. Most riders on the mountain probably prefer a medium flex binding and most bindings out there have a medium flex rating. If you want to find the perfect bindings for you, reach out to a Curated Snowboard expert for free, personalized recommendations. The main thing you want from your binding is to keep your feet attached to your board so that you can keep slippy sliding down that mountain and keep having FUN.