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Jason, the only reason I would personally recommend a softer boot is that the part of the binding that covers your foot is a single rigid piece and not two separate flexible ones. The hate posts above that obviously came from the same person... are a little uncalled for. You can put these on the regular way or from the back, you have the choice (although the front is a bit tough to get into), and if you have any sense of balance at all, the one second it takes to get into these is more than enough on any slope. Usually the faceplate is not an issue as you dont touch it unless you get into these from the front.

When I rocked flow bindings in the past, an issue I had is getting out of them, as you have to be standing or go down awkwardly on your knees. Some of my friends praise the k2 cinch bindings as you have a combination of straps and the flow ez back. (in my opinion there are a few too many moving parts to make them reliable, but that is just a personal opinion)

Also bootwise, make sure that the sole of the boot at the back has a smooth transfer from the boot to the sole. I say this because I ruined a perfect pair of Liquid boots with my flows because they tend to get caught on the part of the sole that sticks out.

The banana is the ATV of snowboards. Any terrain, any surface, it kills it. Groomers, even when its icy get destroyed by the magnetraction, and in pow, the banana butters straight through. I dumped my burton custom for a banana, and never been happier. Its a pretty flexible board, so if you are looking at tougher hardcore terrain, you should check out some stiffer boards, but generally, the skate banana works no matter where you shred.

If you want bindings that go with the board, Mervin makes bindings called BENT METAL BINDER MACHINE that are coloured the same way as the lib tech boards. Their website isnt updated with a lot of the styles, but for example, you can get the bindings with the same toxic green pattern as you see on this years banana. They are a little rugged looking, but so far Mervin has earned themselves a good name making some of the best boards, so why not bindings.