SNOWBOARD GEAR GURU – What Makes A Binding Baseplate?


Bindings… They’re just there to hold your
feet to the board right? But not all bindings are made the same way. The three principal materials for binding
construction are carbon, aluminium and plastic, and each of these gives the binding a different
feel. So what we’re gonna do is have a look at
one of each of these and see how that works. The first binding we’ve got today is NOW’s
carbon O-Drive. To get a better look, we’re going to take
each of them apart. Carbon fibre is the kind of material you’re
more likely to find on a Formula 1 car than you are in a snowboard binding, and there’s a good reason for this: it ain’t
cheap. For the equivalent amount of material, carbon
fibre is both lighter and stiffer than either aluminium or plastic so if you’re looking for a responsive binding
that’s also lightweight then this is your material of choice. So, what do we mean by responsiveness? Responsiveness is the speed at which your
energy is transferred from you to your board, and with a carbon fibre binding, which is
extremely stiff, this happens really quickly. If you’re Travis Rice that’s great, but
if you’re just learning to snowboard this probably isn’t the binding for you. So if you’re a beginner or a jibber looking
for something softer… …look for a plastic binding, like this Vimana
Scando. Plastic is the most versatile material used
for binding construction, it allows for pretty much endless possibilities
when it comes to design shape. But what about stiffness? Well, thanks to different kinds of plastic fibres,
we can make anything from Danny Dyer soft all the way up to Bruce Lee hard. One advantage of plastic bindings is that
they’re cheaper to produce, so it’s a much more accessible binding for
everyone out there. Whilst not being quite as light as carbon,
it’s still pretty lightweight and it’s going to reduce the amount of chatter
transferred to your feet so it’s going to be more comfortable as
well. One way to increase the performance of a plastic
binding is to combine it with metal, and one such example of this… …is this: the Rome Katana. I can’t take it anymore apart than that! Rome’s Katana combines the added strength
of an aluminium heelcup with the response of a plastic baseplate, allowing for a degree of tweak and flex for
comfort. As you can see on this particular binding
the heelcup wraps underneath the baseplate for added response, and bindings like this
can be almost as stiff as a carbon binding, but not quite as harsh. One advantage of these types of two-piece construction
is that they’re more adjustable. The heelcup on this one can be slid in… … and out to dial in the perfect fit for
your boot size. However the disadvantage is that there’s
more parts to break and they can be heavier than some other types
of construction. That’s it for our video on baseplate materials, And if you have any questions, you know where
to stick ‘em!

Antonio Breitenberg

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