Walking uphill can be a real slog. Regardless of the ambient temperature, you’re sweating the entire time you’re out there. Forget about catching your breath the entire day, and when it comes time to change over to form the cool-ass snowboard you’re all excited about, you end up clipping some bear traps onto it and rattle your way down the mountain. This is because most splitboard bindings are like 90% aluminum and aluminum is rigid.
Burton’s Step On Splitboard Binding provides the opposite of this experience. Well, except all of the sweating. The engineers at Burton retrofitted a standard Step On chassis to a Spark R&D plate, which then slides on your board’s pucks. The result is an interface that rides just like a regular, more forgiving binding, which actually makes your splitboard ride less like a splitboard, and more like a snowboard.
The whole system is a game changer with few moving parts. The toe ramp articulates to lock and release the binding from the uphill mounts or engage with the pucks for downhill, and a with a simple twist, a five-sided block can be rotated from walk mode to any of four different forward lean settings. As a whole, the experience is incredibly light, quick to use, and unnoticeably comfortable (this is a good thing). Splitboarding isn’t NASCAR, so a few seconds here and there in the change-over from uphill to downhill probably aren’t going to equate to a lot of extra time accessing the goods, but with these, everything is just so much easier, efficient, and enjoyable. Kind of makes you want to go walk up a long hill. – Mike Basher