Snowboard and binding compatibility is a really important part of finding the right bindings, for obvious reasons – getting bindings that don’t fit to your snowboard aren’t going to be very useful!
Below I will outline the 4 main binding mountain systems (2 of which are now not very common) used by snowboarding manufacturers and then show which brand’s bindings are compatible with which brands of snowboards.
The good news is that most systems are compatible with each other – and if not, you can often find base plate disc attachments that allow them to be compatible.
The 4 Main Binding Mounting Systems
Different binding mounting systems have different insert patterns. By that I mean that there are different patterns of holes drilled where the bindings are to go. These pre-drilled holes allow you to screw your bindings into your board.
Some systems will give more stance options than others in terms of stance width, angles and the position of the bindings across the width of the board.
Binding System #1: 4 x 4
This insert pattern is now very uncommon – most boards now come with the 2 x 4 pattern (or the Channel if a Burton board). The exception to this is some cheaper boards and youth boards which often still come with a 4 x 4 pattern.
The first is simply known as the 4 x 4 system. Aptly named for the two rows of holes that are 4cm apart and there are 4cm between each hole on each row. There are usually 3 holes per row.
Both the 4 x 4 and the 2 x 4 systems use 4 screws for mounting bindings.
Binding System #2: 2 x 4
The next one is the 2 x 4 system. Similar to the 4 x 4 system except that the holes on the rows are only 2cm apart. This allows for more stance width options than the 4 x 4 system. There are usually 6 holes per row.
This is the most common pattern for non-Burton boards.
Binding System #3: 3-Hole (3D)
All new Burton snowboards now use the channel system. However, if you buy and old Burton board it may still have the old 3 hole (3D) system.
Most snowboard brands use the first two systems. However Burton has used a couple of different types. The first of the Burton systems is the 3D system.
This system uses 3 screws to mount the bindings (in a triangular pattern).
Binding System #4: Channel System
Burton’s new (well not that new anymore as it’s been around for a good while now!) mounting system is the channel binding system (now used on all new Burton snowboards). Bindings are attached to a track insert and then can move along the track (a.k.a. rail or channel) until they are in the desired position and then are screwed in place.
You can have virtually any stance width you want with this system. You can also move the binding up and down width ways so that you can vertically align your bindings on the board.
Your bindings also flex really well with the board because there is minimal hard contact between the board and bindings – meaning that there is virtually no dead zone.
Burton EST bindings are designed to work with the channel system but other bindings will work with it to if they have the right base disc.
With all these different mounting systems you would think that it would be a difficult task to find bindings that are compatible with boards.
Fortunately most binding manufacturers create either universal discs that can be used on any system or they offer separate disks that you can buy to make your bindings compatible with a particular system.
Check out the table and notes below to see brand compatibility.
|BINDING BRAND||2 x 4 OR 4 x 4||Channel (Burton)||3D (Burton)|
* Arbor: Arbor bindings are compatible with the Channel system. All of them as far as I know but double check. Some Arbor bindings have mini-discs (Cypress and Hemlock) – the mini discs aren’t compatible with 4 x 4.
* Burton: You now need a separate pair of discs for Re:Flex bindings to work on 3D mounting patterns. They don’t come standard anymore. 3D mounting patterns are rather old now though and there aren’t many boards still with them.
* Flow: As far as I can tell, all new Flow bindings are compatible with the channel, but double check if you’re looking at some of the lower end models. This wasn’t always the case though, so some older pairs might still need a separate channel compatible disc.
If you’re flow bindings aren’t compatible you might need to get their Channel compatible disc. Best bet is to contact Flow to make sure you get the right disc for your particular bindings.
* Flux: As of the 2021 models, Flux bindings now come with their “multi-disc” which is compatible with the channel (as well as 2 x 4 and 4 x 4).
For previous models, you’ll need separate discs to make Flux bindings compatible with the Channel System or 3D system.
Flux used to provide this at no charge and as far as I know they still do – but even if it costs, it’s not too much. Best bet is to contact Flux to see what you’ll need and where/how to get it.
* GNU: GNU Freedom, Cheeter & B-Real Bindings come Channel compatible but you have to get a separate disc for the GNU Pysch & B-Free. I believe they also have separate disks for the 3D system. Whether they still have those or not, I’m note sure, as that system is getting rather old now.
* K2: Most K2 Bindings are automatically compatible, as far as I know all of them, but always pays to double check. Some older models weren’t compatible and you’ll need to get K2’s compatible disc set. Some K2 Bindings have mini-discs which won’t be compatible with 4 x 4, but not many boards are 4 x 4 these days. But some boards now have setback inserts that require 4 x 4 compatibility.
* NOW: Not automatically compatible with the channel. Need to get separate discs, but separate channel discs are available from NOW.
* Salomon: Salomon’s universal binding discs will allow their bindings to fit on any binding mounting system including Burton’s channel system (post 2011). Most new Salomon bindings come with the universal disks – the Salomon website says “available with all bindings $149 & up” which is a large majority of their bindings. At time of writing they only had one pair that was less than $149.
* Rome: Most new Rome bindings come already compatible, but some of the lower end models don’t and some older models don’t. If you’re getting new high-end Rome bindings, you should be good for the channel. For 3D you’d have to see if you can still get a conversion disc.
* Ride: Ride’s new bindings (in 2021 they brought out a whole new line A-10, C-10, A-8, C-8 etc) are all compatible with the channel. Some older model bindings are but some aren’t and you may need to get Ride’s convertible disc set to make them compatible.
* Rossignol: As far as I know none of these are compatible with the Channel and I couldn’t find any disc converters for Rossignol bindings – doesn’t mean they don’t exist but maybe harder to find. Best bet is to contact Rossignol before buying to make sure.
* Union: – Union bindings come with either a mini disc or universal disc – Union Mini discs only work with the 2 x 4 and the channel system and won’t work with a 4 x 4 mounting pattern – but these are the 2 most common systems nowadays, so unless you have an older board you should be fine with this). Note however, that some boards now have setback inserts that require 4 x 4 compatibility. Union bindings that have the universal disc are compatible with 4×4, 4×2 and the channel.
** As boards with the old 3-hole (3D) mounting pattern become less and less common, binding companies will be less likely to accommodate this pattern in their discs – so if you have a board with a 3-Hole (3D) pattern it pays to double check with the binding manufacturer that the bindings you are looking at will be compatible or have a conversion disc available that will make them compatible. The same goes with 4 x 4.
A majority of boards will have some version of the 2 x 4 pattern these days unless it’s a Burton board, in which case any new board will come with the Channel system.
If you have or are getting an older board you may end up with something with a 4 x 4 pattern or a 3-hole (3D) pattern. Most 2 x 4 discs can accommodate 4 x 4 (but not all – e.g. Union’s mini disc).
Burton’s old 3D system is being accommodated less and less as these boards slowly drift out of circulation – so you probably want to double check to see if the bindings you are getting are compatible if you have a board with a 3-hole (3D) pattern.
If the brand of binding that you are interested in is not in the table above, or you are not sure if the particular model is compatible, it is best to contact the binding manufacturer directly. They will know if their bindings are compatible or if they provide a disc accessory which makes their bindings compatible. Most should have one or the other but it pays to check.
Thanks for reading
Thanks for reading and I hope this has helped with your research into the right snowboard bindings.
If you have any questions or comments please use the comments section below.
If you want to learn more about how to choose the right snowboard bindings, check out the following page.