If you have decided to try the sport of snowboarding, congratulations. You have chosen a sport that is not only enjoyed by participants from coast to coast, but around the world. There are even Olympic competitions for snowboarding, so there is literally no limit to where you can go with the sport. However, it is important to understand your gear fully before even thinking about hitting the slopes. Arguably the most important piece of snowboarding gear is your snowboard bindings.
Your snowboard bindings are what attaches your snowboard boots to your snowboard, and without them, you or your board would very easily go flying when doing tricks. Because of that, you need to know how to strap yourself in and make sure your bindings are secure.
Choosing the Board and Bindings
Before you ever begin to strap on a snowboard, you should make sure that you are using the right type of snowboard for your style of snowboarding. There is no such thing as one type of snowboard that can do everything, so you need to choose the right one.
Once you’ve chosen your snowboard, you need to make sure it’s the right size. How tall you are, how much you weigh, and how big your boots are all have an influence on the size of board you need, so if you aren’t sure, you should consult an expert fitter. If you’re buying your board in-person, you shouldn’t have any issue finding someone to help you size your snowboard, but it can be trickier when shopping online.
The bindings on your snowboard should be in what is called a “duck stance,” where the feet are angled away from each other. The bindings should be positioned with the front binding at a 15-degree angle, and the rear binding at between a 0 degree and a -6-degree angle. After making sure that your bindings are mounted correctly, you should make sure that your boots are fastened in the bindings securely.
Fastening the Bindings
When most beginners strap on a snowboard for the first time, their first inclination is to begin by sitting down. This is usually not a good idea for two reasons: first, getting up once you have strapped on your snowboard is a lot of work, and second, you will usually end up with a cold and wet rear end. Instead, find a flat area to put on your snowboard and make sure that your snowboard is sitting on the base side.
Also, try to keep one of your feet on the board since snowboards laying on snow or ice have a tendency to run off by themselves when not being attended. You should also make sure that you are not attempting to fasten your snowboard bindings in an area where others are trying to get through for their turn on a run.
Now it’s time to actually put on your snowboard. You can accomplish this by following these steps:
- Free all the straps on your snowboard by lifting the tab of each buckle. Next, pull out each ladder.
- Check the surface of your snowboard to make sure it is free of snow and other accumulated debris. Whatever might be there, wipe it off with your glove or a brush. Allowing snow or other debris to remain on the footbed will prevent you from securely fitting your foot on the board.
- Once the footbed is cleared, select your dominant foot and place it with the heel against the highback. Make sure that your heel fits snugly against the highback. This might take a bit of wiggling or a tap with your fist.
When your foot is securely in the binding, slide the ladder into the buckle and tighten the ratchet. This should not be so tight that your foot will pop out of the binding, but should not be so loose that your foot slides around in the binding. Now you need to do the same thing with the toe strap.
Most snowboard bindings are secured with either a disk or a clip fitting to identify and fit your foot into. They also make it easier for you to complete the fitting.
Ready To Shred
Now that you’ve got the right board and your bindings are secured, you can finally hit the slopes. Have fun, and enjoy that fresh powder!