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Old 01-20-2009, 10:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 08 Burton Cartels - First Impressions, full review tonight

I just got a pair of new 08 Black Burton Cartels in the mail last night and got them mounted on my board. They are replacing a pair of cheap Salomon Force bindings that I got on sale at SportChek when I didn't know any better. I decided on the Cartels because I've read good things about them and have a few friends who have the same model and highly recommended them. I was also able to get a brand new pair of 08's off ebay for half of what I'd get a pair of 09's for here in Canada.

First impressions taking them out of the box:
  • they look great - nice glossy finish compared to the dull matte black of my old bindings
  • they feel solid and well put together
  • they came with baseplates for both 3 and 4 hole bindings, but the 4 hole bindings don't have the same seamless padding as the 3 hole bindings - seems kind of cheap on Burton's part to skimp out on that, but maybe I can get pads from somewhere or butcher some stomp pads
  • damn that highback is tall... it sticks out over the edge of the board when folded down, lucky I got a bigger board bag or it wouldn't have fit!

First impressions while setting them up:
  • loved all the adjustments I could make
  • the screw that you undo to adjust the ankle strap chewed into the material while adjusting it
  • mounting was standard
  • first time I strapped in to test the fit I noticed that it seemed to have a bit more forward lean than my old bindings - I had to wedge my boot back a bit more
  • getting the ankle / toe strap centered was easy

After I got them mounted and adjusted, I strapped in and played around in my room doing some presses and just trying to get a feel for them. What I noticed:
  • very easy to strap into
  • very comfortable - there was no pressure on my toes or my ankle at all and I was strapped in tight - in my old bindings I'd get pressure points that would get really uncomfortable after a while
  • the padding on the bottom of the bindings feel great
  • it seemed to be easier and more comfortable to get up on my tail into a press - I felt like I had more control - maybe this is a placebo effect though

I'm taking them out to ride for the first time tonight and I'll update this then!
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i will be honest, this review is not neccesary lol. everyone buying cartels knows what they are getting. bad buckles, great binding, comfortable, lots of forward lean.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jmacphee9 View Post
i will be honest, this review is not neccesary lol. everyone buying cartels knows what they are getting. bad buckles, great binding, comfortable, lots of forward lean.
Ya. The buckles slip when tightening them. I put my '08 P1 buckles on my '09 Cartels. Works better and no slippage at all.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's my follow up - after a night of riding them on hardpack:

Very comfortable - the cushioning on the ankle strap felt great and the footbeds were nice and comfy as well
No pressure points on my ankle or toe and not loose at all
Didn't notice any issues with the ratchets
Very responsive - all my movements felt like they were smoother and more controlled and I generally felt more in tune with the board

Disclaimer: I'm a second-year rider and this is the first pair of higher-end bindings I've tried out. So I can't say for sure if all the good things are related specifically to the Cartels or more to moving up from a pair of really cheap bindings in general. Either way, it was a huge improvement and I would recommend these to anyone.
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the review. I found your review to be well laid out and informative. It may be because I started boarding about 4 weeks ago. I hadn't planned on snowboarding, but a friend took me along to a local sports store hung over and talked me into buying a cheap 5150 board and bindings. The cheap bindings have two settings, it pinches when its tight or else it's so loose my foot slips out.

I've got a trip this next week to Breck or Winterpark and I have zero intentions of going there with bindings that pinch. I went to look for something more comfortable and the local shop here had a great deal on a pair of 09 Cartels. So I bought a set and and tried it out. I was floored. I couldn't believe the difference. I won't go into details because your review pretty much summed up everything I experienced.

It may be different for riders with alot of experience, but my only regret is being cheap to start off with bindings and wasting money on them. Now I've got a cheap set of bindings that have 4 weeks of usage on them, but they suck so bad I couldn't bring myself to give them to someone to use.
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been riding my 05 Cartels since i bought them. They are the first Cartels series binding Burton ever made and they are the best Cartels since. They are plain black, not showy, have a toe-cap, very strong metal and plastic. the buckles are solid, never had a problem with them.
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