Binding Review: 10-11 Ride Bandita Contraband

09 Mar, 2010

Location: Winter Park, Colorado

Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to bumpy to icy conditions on the mountain, flat-light riding conditions.

Setup: I rode the Ride Bandita bindings on the Stepchild Salary Man with my Vans Veil Boots size 8.

Time to set up the binding: These bindings require effort to make sure they are adjusted properly before you even get on snow and the rep made sure I was dialed in but it was quicker than the last time.

Fit: Compared to last time I rocked the bandita bindings in Rome boots, they fit my Vans boots much better and I felt more secure in them.  It could have been all mental but for some reason they finally felt snug and on-point which made a world of difference in trusting them when I rode them.  There was no problem with the fit of the highback and I never felt the contraband V-strap slip when riding or move around.

First Impression: I can get used to a pink thong around my feet because the binding works for me this time, not bad at all!

Appearance: Usually I think pink on girls bindings is super cheesy but the Bandita’s were fun in the pink colorway.  They were bright and the ankle strap had enough black that I enjoyed the color option.

Comfort: The ankle strap is a new balance core for this year meant to offer enhanced flex, comfort and response.  It wasn’t as padded as last year but it also allowed more flex from the ankle strap and it was pre-curved to match my boot which was centered was comfortable on my boot with no pressure points.  Good padding underfoot from the wedgie footbed that helped absorb rougher terrain and comfortable for my natural alignment.  The lux lite highback has some padding but the shape is comfortable and matches well to women’s boots including mine.

Functionality: The contraband system is meant to be quick and easy, just tighten the ankle strap and the toe strap tightens so you are good to go.  Once adjusted properly it’s very functional and keeps you in the binding during riding.  If you need to adjust on the go, the tool-less adjustment on the ankle strap to help you center it better.

Flex: The majority of the flex comes from the highback and baseplate so you feel stiffer forward-back than side to side which has more play and flex.  The new ankle strap has more flex from last year and the combo of that with the stiffer highback, gives you a binding that can play in the park but also hold a turn down the mountain.  Overall it’s still on the softer side but with a highback that holds the control.

Response: The highback holds the control with these bindings, it’s where all the response comes from and when you first step on it, you notice the stiffer flex from there that helps you get down the mountain.  With the combo of the new ankle strap, I found the highback to be ideal for flex this year and offered enough response that it wasn’t overbearing but it felt more secure riding these bindings.  Any tough spots with the binding were helped through with the wedgie bed and definitely noticeable for the rougher terrain from the blah conditions on the mountain.

Toe Strap: The Ride Bandita contrabands features the contraband V-strap which really you don’t feel when riding.  It holds your boot in place and secured to the ankle strap, it offers minimal support but you also don’t have to worry about a toe strap cutting into your toes or hurting you with this strap.

Overall Impression: Meant for the quick park rider who makes lap after lap dialing those tricks.  The banditas offer a stiffer more responsive highback combined with softer more forgiving straps that the combo together allows for a binding to ride park but also charge down after the park.

Shay’s Honesty Box: The last runs of the day should have been the shittiest runs with the mixture of being sick, cold, tired and the conditions were flat light/blah.  However the combo of the Stepchild Salary Man and Ride Bandita bindings were ideal, it made me completely forget all those other things and gave me the best ride of the day for fun, all around handling and comfortable.  They made me want to keep riding even though the day was done.  The Bandita’s won me over, they handled the mountain in crappy conditions and I stopped fearing that my foot would come out.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the Ride Bandita Contraband or shop their full line of Ride snowboard bindings

On Snow Photos

Ride Bandita Contraband Description

Review Disclosure: I rode this binding at a demo day.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. March 09, 2010

    !!!!!!!!!!! ARRR ME NEED THESE BINDINGS!!!!! contrabands will come to me next season..somehow.. good review, makes me want them more

  2. March 09, 2010

    Martin, sweet you are considering the men’s options. I really want to try the men’s contrabands with the webbing to see how I like that. Bandita’s were a favorite at the demos this year, in fact them vs the auto agogo’s are a hard choice for me.

  3. zhangger
    March 20, 2010

    My boyfriend has these webbing. The webbind does not help in any case. In his opinion, it made it worse. The webbing is purely for cosmitic purpose. It is on the wrong side. He end up cutting the webbing. 🙂 The wedgie is cool technology. I bet there are a lot of other companies who is going to come up with this type of footbed next season. I got two pairs of 09 banditas. I don’t need to say more how much I loved them. hahha. It does take a while to install, but once it is dialed, it is awesome. I feared that it will be sloby, but with the wedgie, it works great. My feet has never been that happy without any pressure points.

  4. Meg Wallace
    September 10, 2010

    Just wondering what size i should get, i ride in 32 Lashed size 8 and DC phase also size 8. The bandita comes in sizes 6-8 or 8-11 i believe. Should i go for the bigger or smaller?

  5. September 11, 2010

    Meg, I believe I rode the large’s but I’d see if you can take your boots to the store that has the bandita’s to size them and make sure you pick the right size or if you buy online, go with the bigger and buy from a store with a good return/exchange policy.

  6. Meg Wallace
    September 22, 2010

    Thank you, much appreciated, ordered them online and now impatiently waiting for them….. and snow.

  7. September 25, 2010

    Meg, awesome! When you get them make sure you take the time to adjust them properly to your boot.

  8. sunny
    February 02, 2011

    Between the 390 boss and contraband, what would you recommend? I’m 5 ft. 7 inches 140 pds. I love it all on the mountain…jibbing (small amounts with switch riding), trees, pushed around powder, icy, hardpack and still be able to lay down some sweet arcs coming into the lift line (oh, and feel safe railing down a Gold Hill chute).
    Here’s the rub, I hate messing with my binding every time I get off the chair. My husband has the Rome Targa with the auto strap and it makes it sooooo easy to get in. I’m super lazy and just want to ride! I love the idea of the auto strap. Do either of those bindings that I mentioned have that easy laziness factor?
    Thanks in advance,

  9. February 28, 2011


    Sorry for the delay, missed this comment. I’d actually look into the K2 Auto Agogo bindings for you with the ease factor, you just have to tighten the ankle strap and the toe strap tightens or look at bindings like Flow, K2 or Roxy that have the quick entry system. What’s your boot size?