2010-2011 Binding Review

05 Oct, 2010


Winter is just around the corner which means all the 10-11 gear will be hitting the slopes soon.  Each year before the season begins, I get to test and try out different gear to review.  Eventually this list will be expanded on but here’s the collection of bindings that I was able to try out for 2010-2011 so far.

This review will be updated throughout the season as I demo and test more 10/11 bindings. Each review is judged by the same standard and for the majority of reviews I used my own boots (some exceptions).

If you have a specific binding you would like to be reviewed please request it in the comment section.

About me as a snowboarder:

  • I’m coming up on my 17th season snowboarding.
  • I am majority freerider (I ride trees, powder, steeps, groomers, natural terrain) and I ride halfpipe.  I’m progressing my park experience with boxes/rails.
  • I am 5’6″ and typically ride a 156cm for my all mountain board, my powder board is a 161cm and my park board is a 151cm.
  • I am a regular rider with a 22 inch width, +15, -15 stance angles.
  • I wear size 8 womens snowboard boots and feel comfortable riding both men’s and women’s bindings.

My opinion is only my opinion…of how these bindings rode. Take it as you want. If you are looking for more binding reviews, go here

2010-2011 Binding Review


This list goes by brand alphabetically, to read the full review click on the name.

10-11 Burton Lexa

Overall Impression: The Lexa’s give women that all-mountain, ride everything binding that is comfortable and able to ride at any level. It’s a forgiving comfortable ride that isn’t overly responsive but still makes a day full of fun.
Honesty Box: The Lexa’s are always that binding I ride with Burton boards because of the variety of riding it can handle and it always does the job for me. There’s no bells and whistles…it just is a good binding. There’s only a couple bindings out there that I use solely at demo days, these are one and the union forces are the other.

Women’s
Retails for: $249.00
Best for: Women seeking a comfortable progressive binding for all levels

10-11 K2 Auto Agogo

Overall Impression: I had a great time with the auto agogo’s, they were a perfect match for the fastplant for shredding with. Every time I ride the bindings I’m impressed and rarely have any complaints, this time took more adjustment but once dialed I was set with the bindings. They can handle the mountain with enough response and make the ride super comfortable down the mountain. The auto tech makes getting in the binding fast.
Honesty Box: The auto agogo’s have been a favorite of mine since they came onto the market, solid women’s binding that handles wherever you take them and easy! If there’s one thing I purchase based on how they look after how they ride, it’s bindings and the agogo’s are gonna be purchased by me for next season.

Women’s
Retails for: $179.00
Best for: Quick & easy but built for a woman who rips

10-11 Ride Bandita Contraband

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.
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.

Women’s
Retails for: $199.00
Best for: Super fun women’s binding for park but can handle out of the park

10-11 Rome 390 Boss

Overall Impression: The legacy of the 390’s is about a solid freestyle binding but one that can handle the entire mountain and with the new tech they definitely added to the legacy by making it that much better. The new cant system gives you a range of options from maximum to zero and the asymetric system adds to your natural alignment with the highbacks. The new VROD baseplate has some added advantages, I found it helped for Overall they’ve improved the classic 390’s and if you want canted the boss’s give that extra option.
Honesty Box: My size 8’s were on the smaller end for the 390’s but it still gave me a good feeling on how they’d ride but I definitely would love to try the madisons with the VROD but unfortunately they don’t have the asym or canting so it’s a tough choice. The 390’s definitely won me over and while the madisons would be a better fit, the 390’s have too much good stuff to pass up…how come the men get all the good stuff?

Men’s
Retails for: $230.00
Best for: Men’s freestyle built to charge and destroy the mountain

10-11 Rome Strut

Overall Impression: The struts continue to be the all mountain ride everywhere binding from Rome and for women offering up good comfort with great response. On turns you can really hold your heelside carve thanks to the highback and the comfort from the straps gives you a good ride all day long without pressure.
Honesty Box: In the past the struts were a bit too responsive for me but I’ve warmed up to the binding and found them to be a solid women’s binding for those wanting more response on the mountain.

Women’s
Retails for: $180.00
Best for: A female rider wanting more response on the mountain

10-11 Salomon Celeste

Overall Impression: I like when companies describe bindings how they are, the celeste’s are a match to what Salomon says, lighter forgiving binding that can range from freestyle or freeride depending on the rider. Comfortable all around and no complaints on the toe strap or ratchets with this one.
Honesty Box: My one dislike has been the toe straps from salomon because I’d find them slipped off after a run in the past…but this time I didn’t have that happen so they were an improvement and overall a good binding, I wrote down in my note that the “bindings were great!” so definitely an improvement that won me over.

Women’s
Retails for: $229.00?
Best for: A female rider needing a more forgiving  progressive binding

10-11 Technine Elements

Overall Impression: The elements binding gives women riders a comfortable all mountain freestyle binding with enough response to handle the mountain, but good comfortable easy flex to take it into the park. The elements is part of the women’s pro series, designed to give women the same comfort, response and reliability from the men’s bindings but designed for women.
Honesty Box: I’ve ridden Technine bindings before, always super comfortable but never the right response level for me. I like having some stiffness in the highback and enough response that the binding can help make the ride a bit quicker. The Elements definitely won me over for the good range of in-between comfort and responsiveness in a binding.

Women’s
Retails for: $219.00
Best for: Female riders wanting an all-around binding for comfort & response

10-11 Technine Mass Appeal

Overall Impression: The Mass Appeal’s were an interesting binding to check out and by accident but they were super comfortable and consistent on the mountain. They offered a good all mountain feel without feeling too soft or too stiff for the slopes. As a men’s binding, I needed a smaller size but was still able to ride them and got in one mini park lap for kicks with them.
Honesty Box: I took a couple runs to get used to the mass appeal’s and actually liked them a lot before taking off the highbacks for the no-back test which was more focusing on slowing down riding than trying the bindings. During the time I did try the bindings, super comfortable with some good response (even without the highbacks) that made for a easy consistent ride down the mountain. Not my style in sizing or aesthetics but I liked how they rode.

Men’s
Retails for: $175.00
Best for: Men wanting a super comfortable all-mountain binding

10-11 Union Flite

Overall Impression: Overall the flite’s were definitely one of the lighter average bindings I was on during the demo’s. It was exactly as described, all around pipe, park, powder freestyle design influenced. During the couple times that I rode the bindings, they were an easy ride with good support (not responsive) that could handle freeriding to playing in the park.
Honesty Box: I think these bindings will be popular for those who want the forces or unions but with a toe strap that works for them better…because not everyone likes the union toe strap. I personally find the toestrap on unions fine for my boots and so this new toe strap was nice but I don’t really need it. The Flite’s were an easy to love binding, how easy it was to just ride them. Personally the forces are still my choice for binding, but the flite’s were definitely a consideration.

Men’s
Retails for: $159.00
Best for: Men wanting a great progressive binding from the beginning to the end

10-11 Union Forces

Overall Impression: The Force is that all mountain, do everything binding that is meant to last 100 days. It’s been my binding of choice for the past two years and I keep going back to it because it is comfortable, it works and it makes a day on snow always happen. The upgrades this year to the force happen to the straps, the inside of the toe strap material is meant to grip your boot better and the ankle strap is smoothed out and bit more comfortable to the boot. It still rides the same as the last year’s Force just with slight upgrades that add a bit more comfort/functionality to the binding.
Honesty Box: This year at the demos I went back to my go-to setup, the never summer evo with forces to give me a break from the other gear at the demos. I just wanted to make some laps on something I knew, but could also handle the mountain. The Forces are that go-to binding for me, they just work for my riding and I enjoy the time in them. The bright colors are an added bonus to me but I will say, the forces were the most seen binding at the demos.

Men’s
Retails for: $199.00
Best for: A rider who wants a binding to handle the entire mountain.

Missing a review? Check out the 2009-2010 Binding Reviews or the 2008-2009 Binding Reviews.

About the author

Shay

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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10 Comments

  1. G
    October 06, 2010

    Burton Escapade EST’s

  2. October 29, 2010

    I pretty much agree with most of that! I’m a Ride girl myself, so I spent lots of time on the new Bandita’s last season. For whatever reason Ride’s what I’ve always been most comfortable with from some old SPI’s to Zeta’s and DVA’s. I think they’re going to put a higher end womens traditional strap binding back in their line for 2011/2012 so thats what I’m hoping for!

  3. lee
    December 26, 2010

    hey, just wondering if you are able to review the ride vxn bindings ?

    looking to get my girlfriend a pair of bindings for her birthday, she’s starting out and am looking for something thats on the responsive and comfort side.

    love to hear your suggestions!

    cheers

  4. December 28, 2010

    Lee, I’ve ridden the vxn’s in the past and owned them in the past. Solid progressive binding for women and a great price! I’d definitely go for them.

  5. ben
    January 03, 2011

    Can you do a review on the 201/2011 Union Contacts? Thanks ahead of time if you do!

  6. March 07, 2011

    Hey Shay,

    Ok, so last season you helped me pick out my Never Summer Infinity, whic I totally LOVE, this is my second NeverSummer and just love it! Now, my issue: My right thigh burns like crazy. I get maybe 6 runs in and then total muscle failure. I have shifted the binding position, but I’m wondering if mabye it’s the bindings themselves. I currently have the Burton P2 (men’s binding). Maybe they are too stiff? Hmmmm…PLEASE… your thoughts because I respect you so much! If you think it could be the binding, what do you suggest as a new set? I was thinking about the Lexa but am nervous because it’s Burton again, or the K2 Agogo. I NEVER ride a park, only open freeride on open runs. Thanks!!!!

  7. March 07, 2011

    Christina, sweet on loving your NS infinity! If you didn’t have the burn before shifting your bindings I’d adjust that back to what’s comfortable and look at your forward lean (that might be too much for your legs). Did you ride the bindings before or is that something new? It could be the highbacks are too high and stiff for your legs/boots. If you want a stiffer more responsive binding, ride dva’s are a solid choice. k2 agogo’s for more mountain playfulness.

  8. Kirk
    November 05, 2011

    Shay, Last year I got a pair of Forum Tramp snowboard boots. I use them with Burton Cartell bindings . My problem is that my feet cramp up reall bad . What do you think might be the cause of the cramping ?

  9. November 05, 2011

    Kirk, it’s either your boots or your bindings. It could be your foots not fitting properly or being too tight. It could be your binding straps being too tight around your boots. Did you have the issue with your old boots? Can you pinpoint the location of the cramping better? It might mean trying the boots with different bindings to see if it’s the bindings or the boots.

  10. L.E.D.
    November 06, 2011

    Kirk, I’ve had this problem. I adjusted my stance,angled my front foot towards my nose more. Also got a pair of insoles,superfeet. Also quit cranking my straps down so damn tight. You really don’t need that if your boot is tied up and fitting well.