Hello and welcome to my Burton Diode bindings review. In this review the Diode’s will be assessed for how well they perform as bindings for freeriders.
Bindings: Burton Diode
Smart rating score: 93/100
Flex: Stiff (8 out of 10)
The bindings will go through SnowboardingProfiles.com’s freeride bindings smart rating system and be rated out of 100 so you can get a quick idea of their performance. Keep in mind this isn’t an exact science but should give you a pretty good idea of how well these bindings will perform for freeriding.
What the Review will Look At
Specifically the Diode’s will be rated on:
- Boot Support
- Shock Absorption
O.k. Let’s take a look at the details.
Flex & Responsiveness
Flex and responsiveness go hand in hand. It’s not always necessarily the case that bindings with a stiff flex will be super responsive but this is normally the case.
The Diode’s don’t disappoint. Their stiff (8/10) flex offers up great responsiveness – so you can rest assured that your bindings will respond sharply when needed bombing through tree runs, chutes, rocky obstacles and the likes.
This response of course also depends on your boots and your board. The Diodes (whether you go for Re:flex or EST) should really bring out the response of your board. So pair them with a great freeride board and boots and you’ll be happy as!
Also adding to that responsiveness and to make you feel nice and snug and locked in the Diode’s have great boot support.
They are super adjustable so you can set them up pretty much as tight or as loose as you want but if you are looking to get locked in to minimize the loss of energy transferred from your feet and legs into the board, then the Diode’s will certainly enable you to do that.
Burton pretty much always do a good job on making their bindings really adjustable, especially on their high-end bindings (where the Diodes are definitely classed). Usually they have mostly tool-less adjustments too.
The Diode’s are no different. With tool-less highback, toe strap and ankle strap adjustments, plus the ability to rotate the highback, these bad boys can be tweaked to fit any riders foot and tweaked on the fly at that.
Freeriders love that backcountry – and why wouldn’t you? – endless interesting terrain, no crowds and the adventure of the unknown.
However, all that does mean you will be carving through some real rough stuff at times and landing off some steep lips and natural jumps. So you want your bindings to absorb a fair bit of that shock – especially for those older rider’s amongst us!
The Diode’s are like super-heroes when it comes to shock absorption so your joints will be well looked after and your comfort levels greatly increased to boot.
The other thing that makes shock absorption so important in freeride bindings is that you may have to sacrifice some shock absorption in your boots (to gain more traction) for all that hiking. This means that your bindings need to take up the slack where shock absorption is concerned.
As well as the shock absorption qualities as mentioned above, the Diodes add to the comfort of your ride in a couple of other ways.
- Light as hell!: Whether hiking in the backcountry or riding the lifts, a lighter binding can really add to your overall comfort of your day. It also means that not too much extra weight is added to your board making it easier to manoeuvre.
- Great Straps: The straps are soft and evenly distribute pressure reducing the chance of pressure points – another tick for comfort.
Getting in and out of these should be quick and easy. Whilst not as easy as good speed entry bindings they are the next best thing in terms of speed.
Like most Burton’s they have a solid smooth ratchet system – and the Diode’s use double take buckles so it’s really quick and easy to ratchet those straps tight over your boots.
The 2016 model includes the new technology that was introduced on the 2015 model, that allows the ankle strap to open up wide and not bounce back over the binding so you can get in quickly and not risk standing on the strap (see video above for demonstration).
Upgrades for 2016 Model
Essentially the same great bindings they were in 2015 with a couple of minor upgrades – it’s hard to improve on near-perfection!
- New upgraded toe strap
- Upgraded “springy” section to the front of the footbed (if that makes sense!) – see vid above for a better explanation
- New colorway (this thing belongs in black! But they’ve added some extra design features to the all-black model from last year)
O.k. let’s see how the Diode’s scored overall. Check out the table below for the different areas where the Diode scored its points and the total points.
Note how different factors get more points allocated to them. This is based on how important I think those factors are for freeride bindings.
I have included scores for both the Re:Flex and EST versions – whilst they are very similar they will feel slightly different due to the way they are mounted onto the board.
Burton Diode Re:Flex Smart Rating Score
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
Burton Diode EST Smart Rating Score
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
That’s by far the best score I’ve seen for a freeride bindings! In fact out of the 31 freeride bindings that I looked out the next highest the Burton Diode EST with 88.5 points. Check out how the Diode Re:Flex came out as #1 in my list of the best men’s freeride bindings.
Value for Money
The Diodes have a recommended retail price of $419 (USD).
So they’re not the cheapest on the planet but, unlike some highly priced bindings, you get a super high-tech, high performing, almost space-age binding. So in this case you get what you pay for.
Freeride bindings do tend to be more expensive than freestyle and all-mountain bindings and this isn’t always justified, but for what you get with the Diodes, it is in this case.
Thanks for reading
Thanks so much for reading and I hope this review has helped in your binding hunt.
If you’re looking for more freeride binding options check out my top 5 freeride bindings list here.
If you have any questions or comments or any personal experience with the Diode’s please feel free to leave a comment in the comments section below.