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.
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.
Retails for: $249.00
Best for: Women seeking a comfortable progressive binding for all levels
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.
Retails for: $179.00
Best for: Quick & easy but built for a woman who rips
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.
Retails for: $199.00
Best for: Super fun women’s binding for park but can handle out of the park
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?
Retails for: $230.00
Best for: Men’s freestyle built to charge and destroy the mountain
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.
Retails for: $180.00
Best for: A female rider wanting more response on the mountain
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.
Retails for: $229.00?
Best for: A female rider needing a more forgiving progressive binding
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.
Retails for: $219.00
Best for: Female riders wanting an all-around binding for comfort & response
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.
Retails for: $175.00
Best for: Men wanting a super comfortable all-mountain binding
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.
Retails for: $159.00
Best for: Men wanting a great progressive binding from the beginning to the end
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.
Retails for: $199.00
Best for: A rider who wants a binding to handle the entire mountain.