Binding Model: A-10
Binding Size: Medium
Stance and Angles: 21.5 Wide 18 Negative 15 Goofy
Boot Used: K2 Thraxis
Boot Size: 10
Board Used: K2 Cool Bean
Rider Weight: 200lbs
Location: Copper Mountain
Conditions: High visibility gray skies, some wind, warmer temps, a little snow on top of firm fast corduroy.
Binding Adjustability: There’s flip cams on the toe and heel strap for length adjustment. The heel straps sit on a slide track on the heel cup so you can move them forward or backwards to position them better on the instep. The heelcup is adjustable as well to better center your boot. There’s 2 placements for the highback as well as a forward lean adjustment. Finally there’s the toe ramp which you can slide forward or backward.
Straps: The straps are very minimal in their design. The heel strap has a foam piece with a harder plastic exoskeleton. This gives it some rigidity but allows for it to contour to the instep well. I like that there’s a small flex point in the adjustment strap that allows it to flex out of the way for when you strap in. Now the toe strap doesn’t have a shape that will fit most boot shapes. It does an OK job of fitting the boots I was in but I would have liked to see a bigger cut out, otherwise it did its job. One thing I’ll note is it seriously reminds me of old school over the top straps from back in the day. Maybe this is what they’re going for?
Ratchets: While the ratchets climb well and stay locked in I will say that right out of the box they do need to break in a little. They tend to be a little sticky when you try to feed the ladder into the mouth and it does get easier as the day goes on, but I was still having some issues with it at the end of the day. The one finger quick release works well and you never have to worry about that.
Highbacks: They’re stiff and responsive that’s for sure. You have a very minimal shaping to them which makes them fit most boot shapes exceptionally well. The forward lean can’t be adjusted on the fly as it does have a set screw so if you’re someone that likes to add a few clicks here or there you lose that spontaneity.
Binding Flex: The overall flex is rigid and that’s to be expected. Aluminum isn’t as flexible as composite. This gives the binding a more powerful ride and better drive into the board. You’ll notice that while there is a little lateral play that’s only due to the plastic disk and the way the base tray is made.
Ride: While the footbed does a decent job of dampening you still notice more chatter in these than their composite counterparts. This gives it a slightly more lively feel.
Rider in Mind: High end hard charger.
Personal Thoughts: I’m not a fan of aluminum baseplates. There’s just a level of micro vibrations I want deadened and this doesn’t do it. I will say that this is a very responsive and powerful binding. When you drive into it, it reacts with force and lets you know that you’re driving the board. But you also lose a little bit of the play which if you like that you may not be inclined to ride these. Then again this is Rides stiffest binding so what do you expect. I do not like canted bindings and these have 3 degrees which at first I didn’t notice but at the end of the day my knees felt it. If you ride a wider stance this may not be an issue but for those of us that are in the sub 22 inch range it may not give a natural alignment.