Despite the way it looks when you see an experienced rider carving down the hill, snowboarding feels unnatural to everyone when they’re first learning. As a result, most beginners will jump on anything that makes their learning experience a little bit easier.
Step on bindings are a great way to make snowboarding more approachable for beginners, but that doesn’t mean that only beginners should ride them. To shed some light on step on bindings and who should ride them, the ASO Mammoth team has listed the most important things to know about step on bindings below. Check it out and see if step on bindings are right for you!
How Step On Bindings Work
None of the information below will be helpful if you don’t understand how step on bindings work, so we’ve briefly broken down the process here.
Step on bindings have a base and back like a normal strap binding. However, instead of straps that you use to secure your feet to the board step on bindings use clips on the side and heel of the boot that lock into the bindings. No cranking a strap. No sliding your foot in. No straps at all. Just stepping and locking into your board.
We should note that because of the unique binding and boot design that make step on bindings work, you must buy boots and bindings made by the same manufacturer. In this case, that means that if you want step on bindings you will have to buy Burton.
They are Extremely Convenient
If you’re a snowboarder who has ever had to have your skier buddy wait up for you at the top of the lift so you can strap in, then you will immediately appreciate step on bindings’ convenience. The fact that you can ride off the lift and step into your binding in a few seconds without ever stopping makes step on bindings extremely convenient for snowboarders of all skill levels.
But Snow and Ice Build Up Can Be Frustrating
You have to give a little to get that convenience though.
If snow or ice get into the gaps where the bindings and boot connect, you will have to clear it out so that the system can properly lock. Burton has designed their gear to keep snow or ice out of their bindings, but it is worth considering before you make a decision on step on bindings.
They Allow Little to No Movement
The step on system works so well that boots do not slide or wiggle at all when engaged with the binding. For some riders, this means that their gear just became much more responsive. For others, it means that they are losing flexibility needed for their style of riding.
Whether the lack of movement allowed by step on bindings is good or bad comes down to personal preference, and if you’re a beginner then you won’t even notice the difference. However, experienced riders will notice the lack of movement on their first run with step on bindings for better or worse.
They Take Time to Get Comfortable
Whether it’s the fact that you don’t have to strap in at the top of the run or just the physical action of stepping into your bindings, it will take every rider a little time to get used to step on bindings. Whether you stick with them or demo them for one day is up to you, but before you buy new snowboard bindings try something new with step on bindings to figure out what is right for you.