Burton Diode EST
So, I happened across a pair of these bindings for well below MSRP (sub 175) a few months ago from an undisclosed shop and I'm only reviewing right now—so here goes!
Ridden with 2011 158 malolo/2012 150 nug w/ sz. 9.5 Nike Zoom Force 1's @ 15/-12 for about 12 days (10 on the lolo and 2 on the nug).
They're light. The build quality is impressive. I own a pair of Union SLs and Flux DMCs/DS45s and as much as I love them—out of the plastic they had scuffs/molding flux/inconsistency on 'em right off the bat while the diodes had no such blemishes. I guess this sort of thing is expected from a $399 binding but it made me a bit giddy. They're super light. Hand flexing the highbacks was nigh impossible. The padding on the single carbon blade makes a weird sound. Did I mention they're super duper light?
Fit perfectly. Burton has the best ratchets (smoothest actuating) in the business and their cap strap is great, though not as good as flux's—in my humble opinion.* The straps have no tool adjustment and are very comfortable despite the lack of material—it's odd they're very flexible with a good amount of give despite the hard charging nature of the bindings themselves. EST has great stance options—but the compatibility does suck ass. Basically, I enjoy the positioning variation of ESTs and I think the strap feel rivals Flux in plushness.The only thing bad I can say is that it was a chore adjusting the highback though, no FLAD so it was kinda like the Flux DMC's except with a bit more adjustment range.
Laterally, they've got surprising give in the straps and spring in the base. The hinge tech adds a bit not only in terms of movement but also ollie power/rebound. Really the hinge was the main reason I was really interested in these. Helped me make super ollies on my nug that already weighs nothing! From back to front they're stiff as hell.
Response and Ride:
Very responsive—the combo of the stiffness in some places and give in other places make for very responsive but also very smooth bindings. I feel like they turn very smoothly and ultra quickly but aren't psychic think-and-turn quick like unions or dmcs and I think it's the flex in the base ameliorates the harshness and sudden nature of quick turns/carves. Mainly, the highback is serious business while the rest of the ride qualities were a party.
The shredbed 3.0 is good but I honestly prefer cantbeds or thinbeds on ESTs. I don't really see the point of using EST bindings for greater feel when it almost feels like I'm wearing 2000s asian girl heels under my boots—okay that's a little facetious but 3.0 beds are thick comparably to thinbeds and cantbeds. I'll say the stock cushioning isn't bad though and provides great shock absorbing but I feel that these are already comfortable enough without the weird polka dotted footbed.
Yeah, they're overkill. Whatever. They're nice though. Worth $399+? No... well, maybe? I'd still say no—unless you're a drug dealer. If you're planning to get them, get them now before they mark them up again and sell them next year.
*I actually prefer the release mechanism on the Union Ankle Strap, the toe release is a pain in the ass though...
My highback cracked first day of use, I got a new one and now it has started to crack aswell. Also the little pads that seperate the highback from the heel cup will not stay on, they last a few days before falling off and changing your forward lean. I find myself having to scrape snow off the footbed almost every time I strap in, the little circle indents seem like they were engineered to trap snow and hold it.
All in all they feel awesome but they have a few flaws and are not durable at all.
I bought non est diodes the minute they came out at a sample sale in Denver a while back.
I concur with the review:
responsive--- the highback is VERY stiff.
comfortable = great straps and buckles.
Forward lean is complete nonsense -- It take forever to get right and is pretty much impossible to change on the fly ---(Maybe this has changed as I an early sample before they went public)
I don't ever touch my lean, so it's not a problem.
All in all, a solid, aggressive freeride binding.
What B really needs to do is bring back the CO2..
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