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.
On Snow Photos
Ride Bandita Contraband Description
Review Disclosure: I rode this binding at a demo day.