Being active outdoors, especially during winter can be a bit challenging. Winter sports like snowboarding are often your only viable option, and while it takes a bit of time to get the hang of it, sliding down the slopes can be quite fun and beneficial for you. As you already know, snowboarding helps improve your balance as it requires the strength of your whole body to maneuver the board. This, in turn, strengthens your core muscles, as well as leg muscles. You can burn calories and lose weight when snowboarding and improve your overall cardiovascular health. Snowboarding is a sport that can make you more flexible, while also being good for the joints, bones, and mental health. You can ease stress and anxiety, which can also help improve your mood. Snowboarding increases self-confidence, even if you’re just starting out.
But none of this would be possible if you don’t have the correct gear. While the board would be the most important one here, mens snowboard bindings are something that many newbies seem to forget about.
How to Select Snowboard Bindings
Snowboard bindings are the link between your snow boots and snowboard, meaning they can make or break your experience. The impact they have on your riding comfort can change the way you ride the board.
Bindings Come In Different Mounting Variations
The places where bindings to the board are called the mount. There are two different types of mounts you can attach mens bindings to – 4×4 and channel. 4×4 binding mounts have been the industry standard for a long time now. They feature multiple holes drilled in the board (usually up to 12) on which you fix the binding with 4 bolts. The downside of this system is that it doesn’t allow you to experience the natural feel and flex of the board.
Channel mounts are CNC machined mounts that are placed along the centre of the board. This type of mount allows snowboard bindings for men to be used without a baseplate. Usually, there are no holes here, just a long line on which the binding is mounted. This allows for free positioning which improves board feel and flex.
Suitable Flex Level
Talking about board flex, the board flex level should be the same as the bindings as well. Bindings come in three flex levels – soft, medium, and stiff. All bindings are rated on a scale from 1 to 10 representing their flex level, just like boards and boots. Mens bindings with soft flex are more common for beginners as they give you more leeway when landing and maneuvering around.
Medium flex bindings are ideal for people who want to ride on different types of terrain and have a little bit of experience sliding down the slopes. Stiff bindings are used by the most experienced of snowboarders since they allow for a more responsive ride which is beneficial when going down at high speeds. With stiff bindings, you get the highest level of control over the board.
A Variation of Styles
Just like there are different types of flex levels there are different styles of bindings. Traditional bindings are strap-in bindings that are made for soft snowboard boots. They fasten with an ankle strap and a ratchet buckle system. Step-in bindings are what you get if you rent your snowboarding equipment at the resort. These bindings are made so you can get in or out of them with little to no effort. They generally have some type of pint that allows the bindings to strap in when you put your feet on the binding. Although convenient, many riders complain about step-in bindings being too loose. The need for convenience and security sparked a new wave of bindings called quick-entry bindings.
The most common quick-entry are Flow and K2 Cinch. Flow bindings are a type of quick-entry binding that uses the support of traditional bindings combined with the convenience of step-in bindings. You simply just pop down the highback and slide your boot in, then pull the highback back up and snap it in place.
K2 Cinch bindings for men are similar in design to Flow bindings, but K2 Cinch bindings have a latch that the rider unsnaps and pulls down instead of one large strap. Further, K2 Cinch bindings have a toe and an ankle strap just like traditional bindings do. The two straps rise to form the frame which makes it easier to get into the bindings.
A Proper Fit is Crucial
When it comes to the fit of the bindings you need to get a feel. The right binding will make your boot fit snugly into it. With the straps secured and ratchet sitting midway through the track, your boot should have enough room to flex without swaying. You should also consider getting a binding with a footbed. The cushioning will make for a better fit as it will match the profile of your boots as well as reduce the pressure on your knees, helping you make more pop.