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Gear Review

3 5

Adequate, but could improve

I use these bindings with a Lib-Tech Skate Banana snowboard and Ride Jackson boots. They're pretty adequate, but they could use a little improvement. I like the sturdiness of the base, and the highbacks are sturdy (although after 5 times out on this setup, I'm noticing a little bit of deterioration in the padding at the top of one of the highbacks). My only point of complaint is the plastic ratchets and the lockdowns on the non-ratchet side of the straps. I'm noticing that the ratchets are prone to skipping on the plastic straps when they're tightened down as tightly as I would like (which is pretty damn tight). Looking at the straps that feed into the ratchets, there's a little bit of wear on the teeth of the straps after 5 outings (30 hours) on these bindings. The lockdowns on the non-ratchet side of the bindings aren't very forgiving either. If you have them just a touch too loose, they tend to unlock and loosen a bit on a moderate fall. If you have them just a touch too tight, they're insanely difficult to lock into place.

Overall, I'd say these are decent for a beginning rider like myself, but I have a feeling I will be replacing them with a better engineered binding when I spend a bit more time on the snow next season. I understand that Ride makes upgraded straps and ratchets for this binding, but at $80 for the upgrade kit which includes sturdier aluminum ratchets, I think I may just save my pennies and go for a more solid set of bindings when the time comes.