Getting started with a hobby in snowboard can be both a rewarding and daunting experience. Before hitting the slopes there is certain gear that must be purchased. Figuring out which equipment is vital and which can be saved for later is the important part. Fortunately only a few pieces are absolutely necessary for a good snowboarding trip, one of them being snowboard bindings. Besides the board itself bindings are the most important piece of snowboard equipment a rider can have. They are what secure the feet to the board and keep the rider in place, allowing for maximum control both on the snow and in the air. Without properly sized and well-made bindings a trip down the mountain can be miserable.
Fortunately bindings can be found in a number of styles, sizes and brands at any snowboard shops across the country. They are a universally carried product and most people will be able to try out various kinds to find exactly the pair they need at any shop. The biggest factor in bindings is the fit. They need to strap onto the feet and ankles snugly and comfortably. Even when the rider is leaning to extreme angles the binding should not be loose on the lower leg but should remain snug and not allow the foot to move around any. This should be true at every strap from the toes up to the shin. The straps should also secure tightly and easily for both fastening and unfastening while wearing bulky snow gloves.
There are also added features to many higher-end bindings that most riders will want to look for depending on their needs and skill levels. Just about every snowboard brand makes bindings to go along with their product lines including GNU, Technine, Flow and more. All of these manufacturers incorporate advanced comfort and control features into their bindings. Stiff high-backed ankle supports, metal ratchets to lock in straps and even custom-molded insoles are all features that riders will learn to appreciate as they advance in snowboarding skill. The key is to try on several types and brands to get a feel for what these features do and how they react on the feet. Just like trying on any shoe, after a few pairs it will become apparent which are comfortable and worth having and which are simply not right for a particular rider’s skillset and needs.