Expert Review: Kemper Freestyle Snowboard Bindings · 2022

Published on 04/26/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the snowboard bindings, which I tested for one day in February of 2023.
Tyese Messerman, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Tyese Messerman

Photos courtesy of Tyese Messerman

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard bindings, which I tested for one day in February of 2023.

My take

The Kemper Snowboards Freestyle Snowboard Bindings are a great choice for any man or woman rider looking for some color pop and a reliable all-mountain binding. While considered “freestyle,” they come in at a 7/10 stiffness, so they are a solid choice whether cruising the park or bombing the groomers.

About the gear

  • Model: Kemper Snowboards Freestyle Snowboard Bindings
  • Size: S/M
  • Burton channel compatible: Yes
  • Mini disc: No

About me

  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 130lbs
  • Experience: 23+ years of snowboarding

Test conditions

  • When I tested these: February 2023
  • Days tested: 1
  • Board: Kemper Apex
  • Boot: Salomon Ivy Boa
  • Where I’ve used it: Washington
  • Terrain: Groomers, park, uneven terrain through trees

How they perform

Durability
5/5
Weight
5/5
Adjustability
4/5
Boot Adjustability
4/5
Buttering
4/5
Comfort
4/5
Responsiveness
4/5
Shock Absorption
4/5

What I was looking for

I was looking at bindings that were good for all-mountain riding but more focused on a freestyle vibe. I was also looking for something with minimal moving parts, so there was less chance of losing a screw or something breaking. Simple, affordable, and comfortable were my top three priorities.

Why I chose this gear

I was out testing some bindings when I got to try these Freestyle Snowboard Bindings by Kemper Snowboards. I would say they are a good bang-for-the-buck binding choice, and they have a very unique style and colorway that some riders will be very drawn to. There are not a lot of moving parts on these bindings, so they felt very durable, and the straps were lightweight and comfy. They provided a good mix of flex for freestyle riding while still being very supportive for all-mountain terrain. I looked at a few other bindings in a similar category to these. I checked out the Fix Yale Bindings and also the Bent Metal Axtion Bindings. The Fix bindings were an especially simple design with a lot of adjustment capabilities, and the Bent Metal had some features specific to Bent Metal, like the Cube on the highback to adjust the lean quickly. Overall, I think someone would go with the Kemper bindings for the unique colorways and the simple yet durable designs.

What I love about it

  • Binding adjustability: Adjustments are easy and tool-free, and the straps can be set to whatever length is needed with a simple tab that can be opened and closed quickly. They only come in two sizes, so they also fit a range of boot sizes.
  • Stance adjustability: These bindings are compatible with the four-hole mounting system, so plenty of stance options are available. Very average in this category as far as allowing for different stances similar to most bindings on the market right now.
  • Comfort: I found these bindings to be surprisingly comfortable. They have Memory Gel Ankle Straps, which fit over my boot flawlessly, providing a lot of support with no pressure points or problem areas.
  • Shock absorption: I would say these absorb an average amount of shock. They are not the dampest bindings I have ridden by any means, but they have a thin amount of rubber underfoot and rubber on the highback to dampen the heel.
  • Responsiveness: The Kemper Freestyles have a great amount of response, in my opinion. These bindings had a poppy and responsive feel that helped make quick turns through trees, carve the whole mountain, and hit some jumps. They hit a nice balance between being stiff and responsive but still comfortable for park riding.
  • Ease of turn initiation: These bindings are just nimble enough to make quick turns, even at slower speeds. I went through some moguls and some trees, and I felt like I could initiate turns pretty effortlessly with these.
  • Buttering: They’re not the softest out there but still allow for some easy buttering and playful riding.
  • Straps: The ankle straps are the memory gel straps which I found really comfortable and grippy. They are low profile, so they felt pretty lightweight and didn’t cause any pressure points. The toe cups fit around the toe of my boot nicely, and I didn’t have any problem with it moving up or down on my boot.
  • Buckles: The buckles were easy to use, I could get them on and off quickly, even with gloves on, and the ladders were smooth and never came undone when I tested these.
  • Durability: I would say these feel very durable. They are a pretty simple design, so there isn’t a lot that could easily break. The ratchets and straps seem durable and tough, and Kemper even offers a lifetime warranty on their baseplates and heel cups.
  • Weight: Overall, these felt pretty lightweight yet sturdy. They provide great support without adding undue weight to the board. It’s easy to catch air and not feel weighed down while using these bindings, and on the lift, they don’t seem too heavy when the board is hanging from one foot.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Carving: They don’t inhibit carving but are not so stiff that they make any board excel at carving. They do great for all-mountain riding, but I wouldn’t put them in the top freeride category.

Favorite moment with this gear

I had a great day with these bindings in Washington. While riding at a small resort, the groomers were the perfect amount of packed snow for a fast day, while the snow in the trees softened up for some fun adventures off-piste. At the bottom of the main lift area, there were three perfect jumps, so instead of having to choose to do the park or go for speed, the jumps were a great ending to every run. Couple all of that with great friends, and it was a day to go down in the books.

Value for the money vs. other options

I think these bindings are a great bang for the buck. Compared to the other options I checked out—the Fix Yale and the Bent Metal Axtion—they were between $10-$40 cheaper at MSRP and often go on sale later in the season. So these sit at a very affordable price point for a supportive, durable, comfortable binding.

Final verdict

These could be a great option for any intermediate to advanced rider looking for a mid-stiff all-mountain binding that excels in the park. They have bold and fun colors, are durable, and the straps are very comfortable and supportive without having any pressure points on the top of the foot. With no frills attached, these are great bindings for an all-mountain freestyle rider.

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