Should you use step in snowboard bindings? Find out & learn the best step in snowboarding bindings with reviews of the K2 Clicker, Burton PSI, & Switch Special X.
In the late 1990′s, step in snowboard bindings were all the rage with riders. As it turns out, this was mostly because of the novelty of the items: they were new products, made with a new technology that would allow for a much easier process of securing snowboard boots to snowboards.
Over the years, though, they’ve proven to be somewhat lacking in the department of overall control and security.
Many major snowboard binding manufacturers have sold these products, but most of them have discontinued their lines. This goes to show that sometimes universal fads run their course of desirability fairly fast.
Still, step in snowboard bindings are still available today, even if they’re a little bit more difficult to find. For beginner riders especially, it’s certainly worth your time to see what the fuss is all about. Some people find that their performance and advantages remain relevant today.
If you’re new to the sport, or are simply looking for a new system with which to ride the mountain, it would be a good idea to at least become acquainted with step in snowboard bindings. You never know, these may be just what you were looking for all along.
Should You Use Step In Snowboard Bindings?
The first question we need answered is this: what the heck are step in snowboard bindings?
Bindings are the systems by which your boots stay connected to the board. A good binding system will not only attach your feet securely to the plank, but will also allow you to control its performance with varying degrees of ease and skill. Different types of boarding require different types of bindings. Among the many styles of bindings available, there’s:
- Strap snowboard bindings
- Rear-Entry snowboard bindings
- Folding high back snowboard bindings
- Step in snowboard bindings
The most popular of all are the strap snowboard bindings, which allow you the greatest variety in how securely your feet are bound to your board. The downside is that every time you put on or take off strap snowboard bindings, you have to sit down, loosen, and tighten the straps independently. The other three types allow you to engage your board while standing, a convenience that’s definitely attractive to riders who like to get down to business as quickly as possible.
Step in bindings allow you to, well, step right onto your board and lock your feet into place with great ease.
This sounds like a great thing, right? They’re easy, convenient, and totally speed up the pre-riding experience.
Well, there are some people who have qualms with step in bindings, even if some people love them. To give you a better idea of what we’re talking about here, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of step in bindings.
Advantages of Using Step In Bindings:
- Convenience — Who wants to waste riding time by sitting down to strap in to a pair of bindings? No one! With step in bindings, you can be free to hit the park the moment you get your lift ticket.
- Ease of Use — All you have to do is step right into the bindings, hear the click, and you’re good to go. These are super easy systems to use, especially for beginners who have plenty of other things–like staying on their feet while going down the slopes–on their minds.
- Price — Step in bindings are, in general, far cheaper than any other type of system on the market.
Disadvantages of Using Step In Bindings:
- Availability — Most step in binding models are no longer being made today. You can still find plenty of them in secondhand markets, but you’d be hard-pressed to locate them in the mainstream stores and websites.
- Control — Even with the models that feature highbacks, you simply don’t have the same control over your board with step ins that you do with strap or rear-entry bindings. This is especially true of riders who like to tear up the snow parks.
- Clogging — No, we’re not talking about dancing around in wooden shoes. Clogging refers to the amount of snow–especially when riding powder–that can jam up the works, making it necessary for you to sit down anyway to clean out the system before you’re able to step in.
The Bestselling Step In Snowboard Bindings
If you think step in bindings are they way to go, here’s a little primer concerning which ones you might want to be looking for. These are three of the bestselling step in bindings on the market today.
Burton PSI Step In Bindings
Burton Snowboards is one of the top companies in the world when it comes to snowboarding equipment, and this system is one of the best of their kind. These Burton snowboard bindings also feature a built-in highback, too, for added control.
K2 Clicker Plasma Flat Step In Snowboard Bindings
The K2 Clicker is one of the most popular step in bindings ever produced. K2 Snowboards is a trusted brand that has been around since the beginning of the sport, and these are well-made devices. One disadvantage: they don’t feature highbacks at all.
Switch Men’s Special X Snowboard Bindings
This is one of the few step in bindings that are still manufactured today. Switch may not be the biggest snowboarding brand name in the world, but they still produce fantastic binding products, including this modern step in model.