Platinum Picks: Bindings
We’ve come a long way from the bear traps of old. At this point, if your bindings are uncomfortable you are living in the dark ages and have more important things to worry about…namely, the plague. If, however, you are a part of this fleeting generation and demand the highest performing, futuristically functional bindings on the market, then you are in the right place. Hand chosen by a race of super shredders from the future, these bindings exemplify radical advances in design and technology found nowhere else this moment in time. Eradicating the lesser life forms since ’08, these are THE PLATINUM PICKS.
|Burton Escapade EST
The binding of choice for Olympians Kelly Clark and Hannah Teter, the Escapade EST is truly gold medal worthy. Burton’s top of the line women’s binder is no failure, designed with the gel SuperBED for a cushioned and comfortable feel while riding and stomping landings. Developed and structured specifically for women with Burton’s signature True Fit technology, the Escapade EST is complete with the sturdy Real Mesh Hi-Back, conforming easily with any boot.
Smooth Glide Buckles for simple lock and release are also a highlight. The EST version of the Escapade is exclusively constructed for Burton’s Channel system, available on most Burton boards. The combination of EST and the Channel lend the rider a truer flex and the simplest stance adjustment options without having to remove the binding from the board. With sleek styling and untouchable tech, the Escapade EST is an option worth exploring
If you are down with the future, heed the Prophecy. Burton has done it again, proving that there is no such thing as a level playing field as long as they’re involved. Burton’s newest slopeslaying connective device comes equipped with a one- of-a-kind technology called Re: Flex. While traditional baseplates were ridged, this one actually flexes in the middle, bringing you an astounding 71 percent closer to the true flex and feel of your snowboard. Integrated into this is the fullBED cushioning system that in all reality will make you want to land flat; it’s that damn soft.
On the back end, the Dual Component Living Hinge Air Mesh High Back is a lot to take in. An easier way to look at it is that Burton eliminated calf bite in the 90’s; these days their highbacks work with your snowboarding in ways few can comprehend. Their biggest benefit? The Prophecy is compatible with ALL boards, not just Burton’s.
|K2 Cassette LTD
The Cassette LTD is the newest addition to the K2 line, and a colorful one at that. Featuring the new TweakBack Asym Highback, the Cassette LTD boasts a freestyle-specific flex, center spine for heel-side response and a Thermo- Formed EVA Calfpad for maximum freestyle flexibility, stability and support. Thanks to the new Women’s Caddy Ankle Strap, every boot fits perfectly.
The EVA padding provides comfort and durability. The disc bindings are multi-compatible and the Aluminum EZ Feed Lite-Speed Ratchets make snapping in and out of these babies a breeze. Top it all off with a flashy colorway designed in collaboration with Nikita, and the Cassette LTD is the perfect binding for the girl who’s looking for the next best thing.
In recent years snowboarders have begun to reap the same benefits of the wonder polymer urethane that skateboarders have lived and died with for decades. In the Hurrithane’s case it is used in the highback, or what K2 has aptly renamed the TWEAKBACK due to the pliable nature of urethane. What does this mean? In terms we can all understand–maximum freestyle flexibility when tweaked side to side, yet incredible stability when engaged in turns.
In short, the TWEAKBACK was engineered to bend one way but not so much the other. If you have ever boned out a melon grab or crooked out a nose press, you can understand this benefit. The Hurrithane promises to add substantial gain to your degree of tweak. Proven comfort with a traditional strap design and the team favorite Pro-Fusion Chasis round out K2’s best park binding.
|Ride Optimo Contraband
It’s not like ratcheting two straps is a real pain in the ass or anything, at most your looking at maybe a five second delay, but that’s not the point of the Contraband series of bindings from Ride. The reality is that this single strap system works for those riders looking for maximum side to side flex like better than anything else in the industry. With this technology brought to the high end world of the Optimo, new features like the aluminum Contra Flex Chassis design and Agro V-Strap, your tweak appeal not only went up in value but now you are locked in to a super light binding like never before.
Added Wedgie Footbeds provide canting, or a slightly offset angle where you put your boot down, adding much needed power and response to park riders who often rock a wider stance. Strap in and actually hear the Optimo speak to you, “Squeak, squeak, tweak.” That’s binding for, “We’re shredddding!”
|Spark R&D Blaze
With the advent of splitboarding, entire mountain ranges are opening up with each passing season. Spark R&D in turn has engineered split specific bindings to match the progression of this rapidly growing sport. With response unlike any other in this niche industry, the Blaze is some next generation business. A full half pound lighter than their best binding last year, the Blaze is a key component to your backcountry kit where bulk and weight are your main
The minimalist design allows more avenues for snow to escape rather than ice up, and highbacks employ two key backcounty assets — simplicity and comfort. Switching from shredding to touring has never been easier, with custom made bushings that tightly hold the pin in place, eliminating awkward clips altogether. Compatible with the standard Volie interface system.
Union’s Force-MC binding may very well be the strongest binding ever produced. How can we make such a bold claim? Something called Metafuse Nanotechnology. Assuming you don’t know what that is, what we’re dealing with here is some NASA shit. Working with matter that’s 1/75,000 the size of a human hair, the heelcups are coated with metal alloy that strenghthens the aluminum beyond the realms of human logic. If that means anything, it’s
that they WILL NOT break on you.
Beyond that, the Force MC’s simplistic design forgo any spells of trickery and employs the proven performance of a machined core baseplate and Asymetrical/Symetrical Highbacks for a stable, lightweight binding that is good to go for seasons on end. This is your no BS binding that allows the rider to charge park to powder in total confidence without wondering what kind of hype is going on between their boots and board.