In 2005, the engineers at Salomon took a step back to reassess snowboard binding design. A binding serves two necessities. First, it needs to literally keep you on board. Second, it needs to provide toe-to-heel support, so as you lean from edge to edge while turning, the heel strap and highback help provide response as you press on them. With the first necessity being a given, what else could they tweak?
Salomon noticed something that had been overlooked since the inception of the modern snowboard binding: restricted lateral flex due to rigid binding heel hoops. Their workaround involved implementing a cord that wraps from the toe area of the binding, around a malleable heel cup, and ties back in at the toe of the binding. This iteration retains the toe-to-heel responsiveness we’ve come to expect out of a binding, but in turn, introduced a much softer lateral (side-to-side) feel. If you like things surfy and tweaky, Salomon’s Shadowfit bindings are right up your alley. Specifically, the District Pro, with its responsive two-piece heel strap and 12-degree canted highback, blends the best aspects of exciting edge-to-edge response when you want it, with a playful, surf-like feeling in your feet. – Mike Basher
“WHILE SIMILAR TO A TRADITIONAL TWO-STRAP BINDING IN THE PUREST SENSE, YOU CAN SEE THE CUSTOMER’S SYNAPSES START FIRING WHEN YOU PUSH THE HIGHBACK DOWN AND SQUEEZE THE HEEL CUP TOGETHER. SHADOWFIT IS SUCH A UNIQUE FEATURE, AND ONE THAT WE’VE REALLY GOTTEN BEHIND IN THE PAST FEW SEASONS.” – Spencer Timkey, The Boardroom Ellicottville, NY