Hello and welcome to my Burton Malavita EST snowboard bindings review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Malavita EST as freestyle bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Malavita EST a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other freestyle bindings.
Binding: Burton Malavita EST
Flex Rating: Medium
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium (5/10)
Rating Score: 91.1/100
Compared to other Men’s Freestyle Bindings
Out of the 17 men’s freestyle bindings that I rated:
Overview of the Malavita EST's Specs
Check out the tables for the Malavita EST’s specs and available sizes.
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
Who is the Malavita EST Most Suited To?
The Malavita EST is a great option for anyone wanting a freestyle binding that's on the stiffer side for bigger features - still medium flex - but a bit more stiffness in there vs a lot of freestyle bindings. But still with great board feel and butterability.
Also great as an all-mountain binding - particularly if you're looking for all-mountain with great board feel and if you incorporate a good bit of freestyle in your all-mountain array.
Not for beginners but fine for intermediate riders - and up of course.
The Malavita EST in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Malavita EST are capable of.
Binding: Burton Burton Malavita EST 2020, M
Date: April 14, 2019
Conditions: Great vis first thing but started closing in and then snowing 10:30. Then on and off throughout the day. But vis was never terrible – in patches good and in patches OK.
Groomers were quite smooth and fast, especially compared to the day before, which was nice.
Nothing crazy in terms of fresh snow, but 1cm (0.5") overnight and few more than that in the days leading up - some fresh patches still to be found.
Relatively cold with a little wind, but not much - wind not as strong and not quite as cold as the day before. -4 with wind. Still pretty cold for April 14th!
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 560mm (22″)
Board demoed with: Burton Flight Attendant, 156
Baseplate Length: 24.3cm (9.57”)*
*measured on the top side of the footbed
Highback Height: 20.2cm (7.95”)*
* from bottom of heel cup to top of highback
Height from Bottom of Baseplate to top of Highback: 26.5cm (10.43")
Usually I test everything on the same board (currently Rossignol One LF 2018) but since I can't test EST bindings on that, I had to get creative.
I wanted to re-test the Flight Attendant, so I rode the Flight Attendant with my regular testing bindings (Malavita Re:Flex), to test that board (under normal testing procedures). Then, since I had just gotten the feel of the Malavita Re:Flex on the Flight Attendant, I then took the same Flight Attendant but rode the Malavita EST on it (and the Cartel EST after that). This gave me a good comparison against how the Malavita Re:Flex felt on the Flight Attendant.
Burton simply rates them as medium, which is pretty accurate overall I would say, but doesn't paint the full picture. The overall feel is very much medium, but the highback is a little stiffer than medium. The baseplate is softer, which explains the overall medium feel.
I rode the wingback version of the Malavita EST. Not sure if that had any effect on the response at all. But I did notice there was a touch more response than the Re:Flex model. Nothing drastic but just a bit more in there.
Vs the Re:Flex model, I felt noticeably better board feel and just easier to press. Getting that direct comparison to the Re:Flex model was great - and the ESTs had the best board feel that I've felt. I don't usually feel anything with better board feel than the Malavita Re:Flex (sometimes equal to, but never better) but the EST model has it over them (which is why I'm now going to have to downgrade the board feel on the Re:Flex model a little, when I update the review for that model).
Felt like it gave the same amount of pop as the Re:Flex model - which is pretty good overall for the Malavita. I've ridden some with better pop - but I'd say 4/5 for pop.
EST bindings are highly adjustable - and have some advantages over the Re:Flex model (as well as a couple of disadvantages).
Heel Cup: No
Stance Width: Infinite adjustments. EST bindings are the most adjustable going around in terms of stance width.
Highback Lean: Yes - tool-less
Ankle Strap Position: No - this is something that the Re:Flex model does have, that the EST doesn't
Ankle and toe strap length: Yes, though I haven't met a binding that doesn't
Gas pedal/toe ramp extension: Yes
Highback Rotation: Yes
Compatible with: Only the channel. So this is another way that it's not as good as the Re:Flex model - the EST version has to be used on a board with the Channel.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
The Malavita comes in at around 4:38
There's less padding in the footbed than there is with the Re:Flex version. It's not drastic, but there is certainly a bit of shock absorption sacrifice going on vs the Re:Flex model. Still decent and still has that B3 gel in the heel, but just down a notch.
Same smooth Burton ratchets as you get on most of their line.
Overall a small drop in comfort vs the Re:Flex model, but still nice and comfortable.
Ankle Strap: Same, nicely conforming ankle strap as the Re:Flex model - didn't notice it on at all, which is a good thing.
Toe Strap: The 2019 model saw a nice new toe strap and that continues with the 2020 model.
Canted Footbed: Yes
Padded Footbed: Not as padded as the Re:Flex model but still decent
Highback: It has that hammock back which really helps with calf-comfort. Didn't notice any kind of calf pressure from it, so that gets a tick from me.
The EST model doesn't have (not that I've ever been able to see) the ankle strap position options that the Re:Flex model has - so not quite as good in that sense - you can opt for a higher ankle strap position to get a bit more support there. But the support generally is pretty good, but just a little step down from the Re:Flex in that sense.
This isn't something that I have in my ratings for freestyle bindings, but worth mentioning anyway.
Price/Value for Money
They're not the cheapest on the market, and certainly pricier than the average in this category, but you get a lot of performance for that price - and they don't look as pricey when you match them against other's with a similar flex. The majority of the bindings I rate in this category have a softer flex and softer flex usually means cheaper price.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall, the Malavita EST is a great binding for those who are pairing with a channel board and want a binding for all-mountain/freestyle riding that have as good as I've felt board feel/butterability.
Vs the Re:Flex model, not as good for ankle support or shock absorption but better board feel, and just a touch more response.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Malavita EST, or if you are ready to buy, or if you just want to research prices and availability, check out the links below.
If you want to check out some other freestyle binding options, or if you want to compare how the Malavita EST's compare to other freestyle bindings, then check out the next link.
I’ve been using these for a few seasons now. They are great, except the toe buckles tend to freeze and break. It’s a problem specific to double take buckles. The spring mechanism that releases the ratchet tends to freeze. I had it happen three times over the course of two seasons. Once while heli boarding in B.C. Throw the board in the basket of a helicopter and everything freezes. Then you strap in and the spring breaks, preventing you from unclipping. And then when you do, you can’t strap in again. I had to use a ski tie strap to hold my foot in the binding for the next run until I could get back to the lodge and get a replacement buckle. Pain in the ass and caused a 15-minute delay at the top of a glacier while the helicopter circled.