Bindings are what connects your snowboard to your boots. They also transfer energy from your feet to the edges of the board and lets you control where you are going. Bindings come in many different styles depending on what your level is and what kind of snowboarding you want to do. That is why there are a few things to consider before you buy snowboard bindings for yourself.

Different binding styles

The flex and style of the binding should be tailored to your own skill level and the terrain that you ride. It should also be very similar to the flex your boots for optimal performance. Most manufacturers share the same 1-10 rating system for flex – 1 being the softest and 10 being the stiffest. Generally speaking these ratings are:

  • 1-2 Soft
  • 3-5 Medium
  • 6-8 Stiff
  • 9-10 Very Stiff

A good rule of thumb is that the stiffer the binding, the more unforgiving it is. If you are a freestyle rider you might want a binding with a short and soft highback for a more forgiving ride with easier recovery. Softer flex also makes for easier landings on a big jumps and rails. If you are an advanced snowboarder and enjoy more speed, or ride lots of powder lines, you might to buy snowboard bindings with a higher and stiffer highback. This will give more response and power from edge to edge.

Bindings can be roughly divided into four different styles: all mountain freestyle, freeride, powder and freeride/splitboard


All mountain bindings are the most versatile of the four and they range from soft to medium flex. If you spend most of your time at the park or doing big jumps – go for a softer flex. If you enjoy carving at high-speeds and bombing hills – buy snowboard bindings with a stiffer flex.

Powder, park, pipe and big mountain. This binding can do it all!


An easy to use binding with a soft flex. Great for beginners and riders that prefer a forgiving and easier maneuverability. Pipe, park, jibbing, rails and all sorts of tricks – this binding is for daredevils that see the mountain as one big snow park.


Freeride bindings are stiffer for more power transfer from your boot to your board’s edges. Best used for backcountry in deep snow and high speed.


Powder bindings are freeride bindings’ close relative. Both are for advanced riders and offer stiffer flex for better maneuvreability. However, bindings for powder snowboarding are designed for slightly wider boards that float more efficiently in deeper snow.

Make sure your binding, board and boot are all the right size and compatible with each other before spending all of your hard-earned money.

Snowboard binding components

Snowboard bindings consist of straps, baseplate and the highback.


Traditional toe straps are usually found on low-end models and they simply hold your feet in place and should not bee used in the same way as toe cap straps.

Toe cap straps wrap over the toe box and locks your heel in providing a snug fit, which creates a comfortable and responsive feel to the board.

Hybrid toe straps can be used like toe cap straps and traditional ones. Thus, giving you more options to choose from. However, be sure that you are adjusted properly.

Ankle strap secures your ankle onto the board and is usually larger for more comfort and that good ol’ locked-in feel.

One piece straps are basically a single huge strap that holds your feet in. They are usually found in speed-entry bindings and provide ease of use but at the expense of weight.


The baseplate connects your bindings to your board and they come in various different materials. Stronger and stiffer models offer better durability and control but are also more expensive. Baseplates also have canting under the footbed that provides an ergonomic position for your stance.


A highback is the slab of metal/carbon fiber/plastic that supports your calf and achilles heel and controls the heel side of your board. Soft and flexible highbacks are intended for park riders and beginners, whereas tall and stiff highbacks are aimed for experienced riders, because they offer more response and better control. Highbacks can also be adjusted to lean forward for a more aggressive stance.

Strap bindings or speed-entry bindings?

Strap bindings are the most versatile and widely used type of snowboard bindings. Just as their name suggests, they have two straps that hold your boots to the board. These bindings have lots of options for adjustments ranging from more supportive and cushioned straps to lighter bare-bones styled models. Although these changes might seem minor at first, they can make or break your experience on a board when it comes to comfort and performance. So make sure you do your research before you buy snowboard bindings for yourself!

On the flipside, these bindings tend to take more time when buckling and unbuckling the straps. However, most brands already have designs that make it possible to adjust your bindings even with your gloves on.

Speed-entry bindings are similar to strap bindings, but with the exception that they have reclining highbacks for quicker access. Just step in and you are ready to go! Speed-entry versions are mostly used by recreational riders who are seeking for ease of use instead of the lightest and most responsive models out there.

Compatibility between bindings and boards

The snowboards’ mounting systems or hole patterns vary greatly from brand to brand. Most bindings and boards are compatible with each other and some manufacturers even ship their bindings with a universal disc to fit with other brands.

Finding the right match between bindings and boots

Snowboard bindings come in sizes Small S/M, Medium M/L and Large L/XL. The most important thing is to find the right size according to your boot size. We suggest you take a peek at your binding manufacturer’s website to be sure what size you need. Boot size aside, the fit has to be good with your bindings.

A good way to test this is to strap in! A nice rule of thumb is that the straps should not cause you any discomfort and your toes should not hang out of the baseplate too much. Note that your straps should not be too long either. Your heel should be nicely locked in to the highback and not sway from side to side. You should be able to flex your boot in a normal way.

Do your bindings tick all of the boxes? It’s a match!

Did our snowboard binding buyer’s guide teach you anything new? Let us know in the comments. 

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