There are two main types of snowboard bindings that most people ride these days.
Within those two main types there are a number of different varieties – for example different flex, different materials, different lengths of high-back plus differences in the straps and base plates.
There are also different types of binding mounting systems on snowboards that may only be compatible with certain bindings. In most cases you can get special base plates that will allow compatibility.
This article discusses the two different broad types. If you want to learn more about sizing your bindings, choosing the right flex for your style and ability and compatibility with board and boots check out the article at the link below.
Also check out the link above to see which types (out of the two types below) are suited to which type of rider.
The Different Types of Bindings
There are two main types of bindings – strap-in bindings and speed entry bindings (a.k.a Rear Entry Bindings). There are others but they are rear these days and highly specialized.
If you want to learn about different types in terms of styles (e.g. freestyle, freeride beginner etc) click the link below.
These are the most common bindings you will see on the market and on the mountain.
There are two separate straps on strap-in bindings which are made up of an ankle strap and a toe strap.
The ankle strap, as it sounds goes across the ankle and the toe strap sits either on top of the toe of the boot or wrapped around the front of the toe of the boot.
The advantage of having independent straps like this is that you can adjust the pressure of each strap completely independently to suit how you like it.
Strap in bindings have a high-back that is fixed – i.e. it stays in one place. (Of course you can adjust the high back-angle on a strap in binding so that it leans forward a bit or is more upright – learn more about setting up your snowboard stance here but you can’t open it right down like with the speed-entry)
Getting in and out
To get in and out of a strap-in binding you need to undo the straps to allow your boot into the binding.
Whilst you can with some practice do this from a standing position most people sit down to strap in. Having to strap in and, for most people – particularly beginners, having to sit down to do it means that this system is slower than the speed entry system described below.
Pros and cons of Strap-In Bindings
- Completely Independent adjustment of toe and heel pressure
- Easier to strap in when sitting down (which may have to be done if you are strapping on a steep slope for example).
- Slower to strap in than with speed entry
- Harder to strap in standing up
- Have to adjust the straps each time you strap in
Speed Entry Bindings
Speed entry bindings (a.k.a rear entry bindings) are less common than strap-in bindings but are becoming more common and do have their advantages – i.e. the speed of entry.
There is usually only one strap on speed entry bindings. This strap covers both the ankle and the toes. It kind of looks like there are two straps because there are usually two distinct sections of the strap.
You can adjust them separately so that you are able to adjust the pressure separately for both toes and ankle.
However, adjustments to the ankle strap will have some affect on the toe strap and vice versa.
There are some speed entry bindings with independent toe and heel straps.
The high-back on speed entry bindings is like a draw bridge.
Like with the strap-in high backs the angle of the high-back in its ‘locked-in” state can be adjusted to different degrees of lean forward – or adjusted back to be completely upright.
The difference with the speed entry system is that the high-back can be “unlocked” so that it swings back (opens up) to be almost completely horizontal. This is what allows for speed of entry.
Getting in and out
Getting in and out of a speed entry binding is easy. To get in you simply unlock the high-back and open it up allowing you to place your boot in. Then you simply close the high-back over the back of your boot and lock it in place.
You only really need to set the straps once at the start of the day and then for the rest of the day you can get in and out of them quickly and easily.
It is easy to do this standing up – in fact, it is more difficult to do sitting down. With practice you can sometimes strap in on the move and sometimes coming straight off the lift!
Some of the higher range speed entry bindings even have a system where the strap lifts up at the same time as the high-back swings back making it even easier to get the boot in and out.
Pros and cons of Speed Entry Bindings
- Quick and easy to strap in
- Can strap in easily without sitting in the snow
- Set them up only once at the start of the day
- Set up feels the same throughout the day
- Adjustment of pressure on toe and ankle not completely independent
- Can be tricky to strap in sitting down (when it’s necessary)
- Takes a little more to learn how to set them up initially
Over to You…
Hopefully you now know more about the different types of snowboard bindings than you did before. If you’re in the market for bindings and would like to learn more about choosing the right bindings check out the link below.
If you have just bought bindings and are looking for advice for your stance setup check out the next link. This covers stance width, binding angles, high-back angles plus finding out if you are goofy or regular and whether or not you want to have a centred or setback stance.
If you’re looking to learn about the different snowboard binding style types (e.g. freeride, freestyle, beginner etc) check out the link below.
If you have any questions or comments leave them in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to answer them.