I'm going to give you a little insight into our buckles.
1. We invented the self retracting buckle which first appeared on our 1995 binding line. One of the engineers on that project was Paul Maravetz. He's also largely responsible for the Burton Custom and Balance boards models. Now he's the co-owner of Rome snowboards and their principle board engineer. He's an incredible engineer and phenomenally nice guy.
2. Starting in 2002, 10 buckles produced out of each production lot, per hour, are put through a cycle test at -20 degrees F. They are cycled 5,000 times by a machines that we engineered and then made because we can't walk into a hardware store and buy a machine to test the things we make.
An average snowboarder rides roughly 7 days a year. They take 10 runs per day. And they cycle the lever 4 times before taking each run. That means in an average season half of the buckles (due to the front boot strapped and being cycled less) we make see 280 cycles.
After that testing, we have a crew of on-snow testers that will ride each binding model we make from between 40 and 200 hours. Some even up to 900 hours.
Some folks, as our customers or potential customers, ride more and some less, but our buckles are tested to not fail for 17 seasons and not break.
Some do and we totally get that. That's why we have a spare parts department that determines the failure rate in the field (real world environment) and places spare parts into resort and city shops to a replacement can easily be found.
Why? Because we know that a buckle get's touched more than any other component that we make. The more something gets touched, the more prone it is to failure.
3. the issue that tokyo_dom is experiencing is due to this:
- the metal lever is attached to metal teeth in a single component. the tongue is a softer polymer call TPU (thermo poly-urethane). The metal, a cast molded 6061 Aluminum, is wearing the teeth on the TPU tongue because the users hand is twisting the lever a little bit. It's common and it's not that big of a deal. In fact it basically happens with every buckle and tongue combo in the industry.
So, our upper binding models over $200.00 US Dollars have a dual component buckle where the barrel of the buckle (which had the teeth) is plastic, polycarbonate to be specific, and operate somewhat independently of the metal lever. As the teeth on the barrel and tongue (TPU Ladder Strap) are both a plastic, it is less likely to wear either part.
This buckle which is featured on all Burton Bindings above $200.00 USD, has more parts, enough that we can only afford to put in on higher end models due to how many parts it has.
All that said; i'm sorry you feel like our craftsmanship below a Cartel is shoddy or sub-par. But it's tested to the exact same standards as our highest end bindings and have been for over a decade.
Should you have any further questions, I'd gladly have a conversation with you about what specifically in the product that we make is felt to be sub-par assuming that this is not a faceless and uneducated comment based on your thought or thoughts / opinions towards the brand i'm employed by and not the quantitative quality of the product that myself and my team make.
Burton Bindings _ Product Manager
Last edited by BurtonBindings; 01-23-2013 at 07:34 PM.