A snowboard binding serves as your boot-to-board connection, and choosing the right binding means the difference between having fun and feeling furious. Most bindings are comprised of a highback, adjustable ratcheting straps, and a baseplate that’s either four-hole or Channel compatible. Additionally, every binding model is offered in a variety of sizes—it’s vital that your boot size matches the binding size. Also, keep in mind that every binding has a flex rating from soft to stiff (rather from 1 to 5) and most bindings are designed for park and freestyle, all-mountain riding, or big-mountain riding. Stiffness is often a matter of personal preference and a reflection of the terrain you ride.
Every snowboard binding is rated on a one-to-ten flex scale. Aim for the comfort and forgiveness of a softer flex (1-3) if you’re a beginner or like a more flexible feel for riding park, and shoot for the control and support of a stiffer flex (3-5) if you’re strong, experienced, or into riding big, fast lines.
Make sure to buy a binding in a size that matches the size of your boot, otherwise the straps won’t hold your boot correctly. Similarly, if you have a board with 4x4 mounting pattern or Channel compatibility, you need a binding with the same.
Ride park? Look for a softer binding with some shock-absorption built in. Ride the resort? Look for a binding with a strap design you’re happy with (you’ll be using it a lot). Ride big mountain? Go stiff, strong, and (probably) expensive.