Binding setup options
Hey, so I just bought a 2011 Ride Machete 161w. A tidbit of info is that I've spent most of my snowboarding life searching for the powder out of bounds and otherwise or building a kicker and spending the afternoon hitting it up. My only board was a 162 Rozzy Nomad - which is a great board for pow considering it's technically a beginner board. I bought the Machete because I want to progress in my riding to add a freestyle element to my riding style.
My local hill doesn't have a half pipe, but I'll be visiting one or two other resorts this year that have one. Never tried it so not sure how I'll like it yet. My hill gets dumped on a lot and has the steepest/longest fall line in Canada. It's for this purpose that I'm going to suit up with the Rozzy for the big dumps, but I need a binding setup that will both allow me to ride deep powder if I need to or adventure in the park/half pipe scene. I have a relatively stiff setup right now and I ride rather aggressively, lol. Stance is currently +25/+15 as I've found that even after riding a heavy day of powder on the 2000 Rozzy, I virtually never have excessive pain compared to what I hear from some others. The stance is big with this I'm guessing.
I do intend on minimizing the aggressive stance angles when I take the Machete out this year and it will be my board for 9 out of 10 days. Likely more of a +15/-5 so I can handle switch better. I'm hoping that I can find a stellar binding/boot setup that will allow me to spend half a day in 50cm of snow and then hit up the terrain park without missing a beat. Usually more like 30cm dumps, so I'm exaggerating to get the point across, but I'd really like to not have to switch to my Nomad on the pow days, considering it's an 11 year old board/binding setup.
To clarify, my riding style will likely dictate that I spend about 75% of the time hitting steep and deep and building out of bounds kickers. The rest of the time I intend on getting down with the jibbing, butter boxes, half pipe and w/e else comes my way.
What binding setup would you all recommend given this scenario?
Do I grab a medium flex All-Mountain binding or grab a super stiff all-mountain freestyle binding? How much does having a soft binding really affect things like jumping/jibbing? Am I going to have a nightmare of a time trying to do freestyle type tricks if I don't have a freestyle or park/pipe binding?
Just to be clear, I don't go off 30 ft cliff drops, I just ride steep n deep. Need a binding that can handle this well with the Machete and hopefully be able to handle a trip through the terrain park nearer to the bottom of the mountain.
Just for some insight, I had my sights set on Ride Rodeo bindings because they seemed stiffer than many of the other freestyle oriented bindings. I really like the looks of the Ride Ful boots, but binding is more important. Just don't really know how it's going to hold up when I'm ripping down a crazy chute. Of-course the binding technology I have been using until this season was over a decade old, so maybe a loose freestyle binding is going to be even better than an all-mountain stiff setup from 1999, lol.
What bindings would you choose for my current style with my best description of future progression?
I was in the same situation as you so far as riding in old gear but last season my boots started to fall apart after my first day and needed replacement. Didn't have a lot of options for stores to visit or from the boots they had, but got the 2011 Ride Ful (in neon orange, nonetheless). I'm huge on comfort which is why I didn't look online and the Fuls are as cozy as everyone says they are. I don't remember talking much to the sales guy about stiffness, probably because there were so few options to pick from in the first place, but I was surprised to learn this was a "freestyle" boot. I'm almost 100% freeride (groomers, trees, powder, crud, moguls, anything not park or vertical ice) and these boots were such a huge upgrade over my old ones I still find it baffling. So comfortable, adjustable, warm, no binding slip, and THE CONTROL??? I had figured "how big a difference could boots really make, and what can you change and improve on boots?" but the first couple turns in these gave me a spiritual awakening. It was like what I imagine Neo felt at the end of the Matrix (first and only good one) when everything slowed down for him after he came back to life - suddenly, everything before seemed so imprecise and slow and I couldn't figure out how I had been able to do anything before these boots.
I'm still deciding on a new board and bindings for this season and I don't know jack about binding stiffness or even how other boots compare, but this longwinded story is my vote of assurance to you that these boots did a great job on everything I threw at them and I don't think you'd be disappointed with them.
Two weeks until I'll have a chance to get up this season, can't wait...
I do LOVE the look of the Ride FuL boots, but there's an issue. Now this may sound corny or may not make sense but I was in the shop last week doing a preview of all the different bindings and I'm not sure I'm a fan of Ride's bindings. The ratchets are not solid enough to last long, especially under cold conditions and aggressive mount/dismount from board. The piece that allows you loosen the binding feels very flimsy, as if it could break very easily or malfunction if it got wet and cold/frozen. When tightening the binding I noticed that the ratchet wasn't as consistent and smoothe of a transition from setting to setting.
What I did notice was that the ratchet for the Burton Cartel EST was very efficient. The ratchet never slipped when tightening and felt solid to grasp while the release to loosen the bindings was built for season(s) :P
I believe that if I go with a Burton Binding then I have to buy burton boots and the Burton bindings on the Cartel are just too well made not to purchase. Ratchet ability in the cold is super important. More so than weight or flex, lol, to make my point.
Gotta admit that the Ride bindings do look sick though. I just like to buy style, but style with quality that will last longer than a season. I still use shoulder pads and an old sweaty t-shirt from 15 years ago to play hockey in, lol.
You are looking for a medium flex binding given that you intend to use them for all mountain and park. what is most important about a binding is fit and comfort. I'll assume you have a big boot since you are riding a wide board. If so, I recommend the Union Force in L/XL. This binding fits big boots very well. In addition, the Force takes up the smallest footprint on a board given your boot size. This means you'll minimize your flat spot under your bindings and have better board flex. The heelcup is adjustable so you can dial in your stance.
A lot of people like the Cartels, and Union Forces have gotten a lot of love on these boards. I've seen a lot of recommendations for the Rome 390 Boss and Targa. Most boots and bindings will work with each other so you don't need to get the same brand for both, just make sure your boot fits the binding you choose.
I'm in that same $700 gift to myself versus rent and bills next month conundrum. What can I get for a gently used kidney these days?
sounds like the rome targas are right up your alley
I did like the Union bindings and had mentioned needing to find Burton boots because as I understand it, Burton bindings must go alongside burton boots. But they're the exception.
Also read a thread on this forum pertaining to the 390's and someone mentioned they're quite soft compared to anouther binding - actually this may have been the Unions. I'll have to drop into the other shop this week and checkout Rome gear. Meh, any binding will do considering I'm using 12 year old Salomon all mountain bindings made completely of plastic.
I know that people who have my board are loving the cartel and union binding, but what style of riding do these guys partake in. There in lies the issue because what may seem super stiff to an all day park rider, may not do the job on a steep descent. I have to face the facts though, can't have my cake and eat it too. Maybe get blessed in my choosing of a binding based on just fit.
-Not a lemon product clearly Salomon - GOOD JOB!
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