just got these last weekend and i wanted to do a little review on them.
149 Bataleon FunKink USA
Ride Alpha (9-11) w/ wedige 4.0 and 2.5
Burton Hail 11US
Ride style: (Snowboard Instructor) Freestyle, Allmountain freestyle, with +/-20% cruising
Extremely lightweight, almost the same weight as the ride contrabands.
Tool-less ankle strap adjustments (rotate the strap to get the square screw loose then pop into a different position for adjustments)
The thin ankle strap seems pretty durable, the main support is the same plastic as the rest of the strap and within the ankle "cushion" is some metal mesh.
Also instead of adjustable allen-wrench bolts it uses permanent rivets
Very smooth ratcheting/releasing compared to my Ride Betas. One ratchet will bring you 4 and a half clicks in, pretty standard for highend bindings. And sometimes* the ratchets did fail to over
tighten (defect or on purpose, im not sure)
And padding on the footbed seems INSANEE, the little gel pockets are about 1.5 inches thick.
On my first run i decided to go straight to the wedgie 4.0. Believe me, you will notice the difference right away.
Youre knees are deffinitely more aligned and comfortable, but the thing you have to watch out for is the flex of your board now.
My theory is that with the regular-flat footbeds, your foot is used to becoming a bit angled when you press or butter. But since you have a canted footbed you need to now get used to having your foot "flat" on that press.
So in short; the first 5 butters i did ending catastrophically because i wasnt used to the angle my foot was on. But its not impossible to get used to so dont take this as a negative, because for you park riders its deffinitely gonna be easier to get that nosepress on the wedgie footbeds than a flat.
Also with the footbeds, i feel i have alittle more drive through my carves and more pop with my ollies.
But enough about the footbeds and back to the actual binding:
The gel toecap is absolutely amazing. I had it on my previous binding and i can say they are 2465256734 times better than the burton toecap just because it really molds to your boot without any pressure points (if its properly fitted first of course)
Same with the ankle strap. Since its thin it actually kindof bends around the contours of your boot and keeps yout foot pretty snug.
With ride bindings, ive experienced that they make it feel like nothing is there, or nothing is literally "binding" your foot, its just a direct feel from your boot to board. <-good thing
On the release of the bindings i didnt run into as much problems as my Ride Betas (sometimes you really had to muscle that strap off), this time it was alot smoother.
On my second run i switched to the 2.5 footbeds and felt a whole lot more comfortable with my buttering while still having my knees more aligned than without.
One more thing i forgot to mention is the flex. Compared to my Ride Betas they are aalmost identical, maybe the alphas having alittle bit more. I also noticed that the whole binding from the highback to the aluminum structured sidewalls (dont know technical term) flexes when you force it.
Overall i really like these bindings, definitely more than my Ride Betas.
I think these will really work well for freestyle riders with a steady balance of jumps and jibs but still has plenty of response to be taken anywhere on the mountain.
As for the wedgies, they take getting used to, but i think the benefits of the canted footbeds are great enough to suffer through some runs to get used to them.