Snowboard bindings are the things that connect your boots to your board.
They’re a small but essential accessory and they come in two main types: stiff and soft/flexible.
There are some notable differences between the two, with one often favored by beginners and the other more popular with the pros.
So, what type of snowboard binding is right for your ability level and experience, and what are the differences between the two?
Snowboard Binding Types
Snowboard bindings have three main components:
- Highback: A plate that rests against your Achilles and gives you more control over the tail of your snowboard. The higher the highback is, the more control you should have.
- Baseplate: Stretches along the bottom of the snowboard binding and is often attached to the board with bolts.
- Straps: The straps on a snowboard binding are what keep your boots attached to the board.
As far as the actual snowboard bindings are considered, they fall under two categories: stiff and flexible (soft).
Flexible snowboard bindings are by far the most common and are often seen on beginner boards. As the name suggests, these snowboard bindings provide a greater deal of flexibility and are great for absorbing shock.
Softer bindings are very forgiving and will give the rider more freedom when tackling halfpipes and terrain parks.
Stiff snowboard bindings typically have much bigger highbacks, along with extra straps. They are stiffer and not always suitable to beginner or intermediate riders, but stiff snowboard bindings allow for more precise control, as well as quick turning.
Stiff snowboard bindings may be a little more expensive, but they can make a big difference to pro riders.
Summary: Soft vs Stiff Snowboard Binding
Not sure what type of snowboard binding is right for you?
Flexible bindings are often the best choice for freestyle snowboarders and complete beginners. They are safer, softer, and provide some much-needed control for riders at this level.
If you’re an advanced rider looking for a taller highback and a sharper ride, check out stiff bindings instead.
And remember, it’s not just about the bindings. You also need to think about the length and width of the board, along with your snowboard boots. All of these things can impact how responsive the board feels and whether or not it suits your riding style and level.