park bindings guide

How to Buy Park / Freestyle Snowboard Bindings

If you’re looking to buy a pair of park / freestyle snowboard bindings, you’ve come to the right place. This is a quick guide to help you find the right set of park / freestyle snowboard bindings.

Here is an infographic to help you learn what to consider when shopping for park bindings.

What are Park / Freestyle Bindings Good For?

Freestyle bindings have a softer, more flexible construction, which allows you to tweak or press your board in ways that a stiffer binding cannot. The additional flexibility is perfect for park riders who want to perform tricks like butters, presses on rails, or spins. This is because a more flexible binding allows for a greater range of motion and maneuverability than a stiffer binding would offer to the rider.

Also, softer freestyle bindings are comfortable and forgiving to learn to snowboard with, so they are a good choice for beginners, even if you don’t plan to learn tricks for a few months.

Check out our best park snowboard bindings guide to see which bindings we recommend for this season.

What Should You Consider When Buying a Park / Freestyle Snowboard Bindings?

Look for freestyle bindings that have a lighter overall weight.

The heavier the binding, the heavier your snowboard will be, and the heavier your board is, the more challenging it will be to maneuver your board for jumps and presses on features. Lightweight bindings can significantly improve your ability to lift and control your board in the air or while jibbing on park features.  

Softer, flexible bindings provide easier maneuverability for park riding.

The binding’s flexibility is a critical factor when it comes to choosing a park or freestyle snowboard binding. Freestyle bindings often have a flexibility scale from 0 to 5, where 0 means the bindings are very flexible or “soft,” while 5 means the bindings are very rigid or “hard.” Softer bindings offer more maneuverability to tweak your tricks for jibs and grabbing in the air while hard bindings offer more response for carving and stability for landings. The goal is to find a binding that offers the right balance for how you like to ride most often. 

I recommend going with a softer, more flexible park binding if you are new to park riding or hitting small to medium features. You can stiffen up your park bindings as you get more advanced and start to hit the larger features in the park.  

Know the difference between park bindings made for jibbing vs jumping. 

When choosing park snowboard bindings, it is important to consider the type of riding you will be doing the most. If you plan on doing a lot of jibbing, you will want a binding with a mini disk and features that allow the bindings to flex against your board. This will give you more freedom of movement and make it easier to perform tricks. If you plan on doing a lot of jumping, you will want a binding with a full or normal-sized mounting disk that offers more rigidity. This will give you more stability and control when landing jumps.

Look for park bindings with adjustable features to help you fine-tune your stance. 

Look for bindings that offer easy-to-use features that allow you to adjust where you stand on the board and the length of your straps. Every rider’s body is different, so it’s important that you can customize your bindings’ settings to match exactly where you need to stand on your board comfortably.

Look for park bindings with some shock absorption. 

Landing jumps in the terrain park can be harsh on your joints. Bindings that offer an additional level of shock absorption can make a significant difference in your overall comfort and safety. Additionally, a binding that provides some absorption can help your legs from tiring out quickly, which can help you ride longer, allowing you to progress faster. 

Look for bindings that are simple to get in and out of. 

Park riders will often need to unstrap and hike a feature repeatedly for practice, so finding a binding that is easy to get in and out of is essential. Look for freestyle bindings with well-reviewed ratchets.

Your park bindings need to be comfortable. 

Spending hours in the terrain park perfecting your tricks requires you to be comfortable. Make sure your bindings offer soft padding and are explicitly designed to keep you comfortable during your sessions. 

Durability: A Must-Have for Park Riders

Park riding can be rough on your gear. Look for bindings made from durable materials like aluminum, carbon fiber, or high-quality plastic. Investing in durable bindings ensures they’ll withstand the challenges of park terrain.

Finding the Right Size

Getting the right size bindings is crucial for a secure and comfortable fit. Consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart and consider your boot size when making your selection. Proper sizing ensures your bindings work seamlessly with your boots.

Get the best park binding for your budget or buy it used. 

It’s equally essential that your bindings fit into your budget so that you can still have money to actually go snowboarding. Park bindings come in various price ranges, so look for a binding that fits your price range, or consider buying a higher-end model from the Facebook Marketplace.  

The Summary

  1. Prioritize Lightweight Park Bindings:
    – Choose freestyle bindings with a lighter overall weight.
    – Lighter bindings make it easier to maneuver your board for park tricks and jumps.
  2. Consider the Binding’s Flexibility:
    – Opt for softer, more flexible bindings for park riding.
    – Flexibility scale from 0 (soft) to 5 (hard) – find the right balance for your riding style.
    – Beginners and small-medium feature riders may prefer softer bindings.
  3. Jibbing vs. Jumping Bindings:
    – Know the difference between bindings for jibbing and jumping.
    – For jibbing, choose bindings with a mini disk and flex features to make it softer (more flexible).
    – For jumping, opt for bindings with a full or normal-sized mounting disk and a stiffer / harder flex pattern.
    – If both jibbing and jumping, look for a binding with a medium flex pattern.
  4. Adjustable Features:
    – Look for bindings with adjustable settings for stance, forward learn, and strap length size.
  5. Shock Absorption Matters:
    – Consider bindings with shock absorption for comfort and safety.
    – Helps reduce joint strain and fatigue during jumps and landings.
  6. Get Park Bindings That Offer Easy In and Out:
    – Choose bindings that are easy to get in and out of.
    – It is important for park riders who need to unstrap frequently for practice.
  7. Comfort is Key:
    – Find bindings that have soft padding for added comfort during long sessions.
  8. Durability is Crucial:
    – Find bindings that are reviewed to be durable and come with a warranty on their baseplate.
  9. Find the Right Size:
    – Look at the manufacturer’s size chart to make sure you get the right size for your boot.
  10. Budget Considerations:
    – Find the best park bindings that fit your budget or consider buying them used

Conclusion

The right pair of park snowboard bindings can be a game-changer for riders who live in the the terrain park. Their flexibility, durability, and comfort make them an ideal choice for those who want to push their limits and master new tricks. Remember to consider key features like flexibility, compatibility, and adjustability when making your selection, and don’t forget to stay within your budget.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Can I use park snowboard bindings for all-mountain riding?

A1: While park bindings are optimized for park riding, they can also be used for all-mountain riding. However, if you primarily ride outside the park, you might want to consider all-mountain bindings for better performance.

Q2: Are speed entry bindings harder to adjust than traditional strap bindings?

A2: Speed entry bindings are designed for quick entry and exit, but they can be adjusted similarly to traditional strap bindings. Some riders find them easier to adjust, while others prefer the customization options of strap bindings.

Q3: Do I need a specific type of boot for park bindings?

A3: Park bindings are compatible with most snowboard boots. However, it’s essential to ensure that your boots fit snugly within the bindings for a secure and responsive ride.

Q4: How often should I check and maintain my park snowboard bindings?

A4: It’s a good practice to check and maintain your park bindings regularly, especially if you ride frequently. Inspect them before each session and perform more thorough maintenance at least once a month during the season.

Q5: Can I replace parts of my park bindings if they wear out?

A5: Yes, many binding manufacturers offer replacement parts, such as straps and buckles, to extend the life of your park bindings. This can be a cost-effective way to keep your bindings in excellent condition.

Q6: Is a softer binding better for riding in the park?

A6: Yes, most of the time. Softer bindings are preferred for park riding because they provide the flexibility and maneuverability needed for tricks and terrain park features. However, if you are an advanced rider tackling massive jumps, a stiffer binding may be more suitable. Stiffer bindings can offer additional stability during high-impact landings, but for most park riders, a softer binding is the way to go.

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