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Non-release bindings or Release bindings or Snowboard boots and why.

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  • Non-release bindings or Release bindings or Snowboard boots and why.

    Just want to know what you skiboaders thoughts are on these and why. Snowboard boots and bindings for comfort, non release cause you’re a traditionalist or release bindings for convenience and safety?

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum! I have used all three and they all have their pros and cons. I like Snowboard boots and soft boot bindings for their comfort but you give up some control over your boards,safety release and step in convenience.
    I like non release bindings because of their light weight and ultimate precise direct connection to the boards but you give up safety release and step in convenience.
    I like the Spruce release binding system because of it's step in convenience and safety release but they are heavy and you give up some of the precise control of a non release binding.
    Boards :
    Blunt Xl, DLP, Spliff, Condor, Rockered Condor , Slingshot, Sherpa, Icelantic Shaman
    K2 BFC 100 Grip walk sole , Dynafit CR Radical AT boot, Ride Insano Snowboard boots
    Zero Pro Non release Binding
    Modified Receptor Backcountry Bindings (Bill Version and Slow Version)
    Spruce Riser with Attack 14 GW /AT binding
    Custom Risers with Fritschi Backcountry Bindings (Jeff Singer version 1, Bill version)
    Rocker and Sbol Soft Boot Bindings.


    • #3
      I second the precision and control as being a major factor in riding with non-releasables.

      I'm a non-release fan all the way, and while they are less safe in certain aspects (in terms of higher forces to the legs in a bad twisting fall), I see them as being safer in other aspects, depending on your riding style and the conditions. I ride fast in steep, ugly terrain, and one of my big fears when I used to ski (decades ago) was accidental binding releases. In other words, releasable bindings, while safer in crashes, can also cause crashes that wouldn't otherwise happen. For myself, that makes the decision easy. With non-releasables, I can sometimes tuck and roll when I've got the time to react to a crash, and come back up on my feet to ride it out. Even when that doesn't happen, I'm usually able to get my boards below me in a slide and stop myself instead of doing the human toboggan all the way to the bottom. If you wipe out above a cliff or trees on a steep slope, that might make the difference between life and death.

      I've bent binding plates from hard riding, so I'm sure I'd be racking up a lot more crashes and injuries with releasables. Your mileage may vary. If you're just getting into the sport, or more likely to be cruising the groomers than barreling down the darkest corners of your resort, releasable bindings might be a great option.

      If you go with non-releasables, try to keep your feet together during a fall. I've not had any binding-related injuries or discomfort from pressure on the outer edge of the board, but did feel the potential for damage if you catch an inner edge and twist your leg outward during an extremely pathetic, slow motion fall (I had actually come to a stop first and then... I don't even know, just a pure klutz fallover). Catching an inner edge with high force could probably do some tendons in, but that's literally the only time I've had that issue come up.
      Push the Possible


      • #4
        Let's look at this from a medical point of view first. Injuries on skiboards are low. Medicins de Montagne states a probability of 0.9 per 1000 skier days (as compared to long skis which are 2.2 per 1000 skier days. There is also enough data to show that most skiboarding injuries are in the lower leg. What we don't have is enough actual data that differentiates between release and non-release bindings, although we can reasonably assume that most lower legs injuries with skiboards are non-release related and in the park. The medical data is one dimension that affects a person's personal preference to a type of binding.

        The next couple of viewpoints have already been captured nicely by Steeps' personal preferences and I would like to elaborate a bit on that.
        • The first of those is that people like the hard boot non-release binding because they feel more connected to the skiboard. This is especially the case for park riders.
        • The second is that is the avoidance of premature release. For most people this is not an issue, but for very steep, backcountry terrain it is sometimes better not to have a release and take the injury-risk that comes with it as compared to a release which could lead to more serious injuries from tumbles etc in a steep rocky gully. For this same reason people on long skis would ratchet up the DIN release to 12+ on alpine bindings or lock down the pins on a tech-pin bindings so they cannot release. This is what @Steep argues for in his case. The counter-argument to this is that if you are going to ride in an area that is avalanche prone you would actually want the skiboards to release in the case of being caught. These two points are a bit more extreme and might not apply to a lot of people.
        The last point about non-releasable is take Steeps' advice about falling and keeping your feet up at first until you are in a position to take control of the fall. THen you can use the roll to get up and continue in the momentum or use the edges to stop.

        People that ride release bindings will do so for a various number of reasons:
        • Teenagers on skiboards should use release bindings as their bone structure are no fully developed.
        • People who have a history of injury will typically prefer release bindings.
        • Other people who would like to minimize the risk of injury and for which the tighter connection of a hard-boot non-release binding is of little value.
        • People who ride skiboard longboards for which non-release is a non-option due to safety. (There is a difference of opinion in the industry as to what the maximum length is for non-release safety. Rvl*8, Spruce, Eman consider that to be 110cm, whereas as Summit is happy to have non-release up to 125cm).
        (BTW I fall into the third & fourth categories and I tend to regularly ride in the "darkest corners" of my local resorts, although having seen his videos I probably don't ride as aggressive).

        Finally there is also the issue of the Soft Boot Trap. From something that I wrote recently I quote:

        People like to move across to skiboards, because they are lured by the idea that they can ski in comfort. They are tired of ski boots that hurt them and the fact that they struggle to walk in ski boots. Skiboarding in soft boots are a bit different to normal skiboarding and takes some getting used to. Advanced skiboarders find the transition a lot easier than newbies. This is mainly attributed to the fact that skiboarding uses some different techniques as mentioned before and by switching to skiboards and soft boot bindings simultaneously can lead to suboptimal experience. Some people have been put off from skiboarding, and some have even picked up some injuries. I have personally seen someone sprain an ankle on their first day on skiboards with soft boot bindings. If you are brand new to skiboarding, then it is better to start off on release or non-release bindings using hard boots.

        (If soft boot comfort is of high importance to a person, it might be worth to investigate soft boots in hard shells as an option eg. Apex, Envy or Dahu.
        Current: '20 Spruce Slingshot 119s, '20 Spruce Crossbow 115s, '18 Spruce Osprey 132s (touring), '21 Rvl8 SII 104s, '21 Summit Invertigos 118s
        Also: '11 Allz Elaila 94s, '12 Rvl8 Rockered Condor 110s, '15 Spruce Osprey 132s , '18 Spruce Crossbow 115s
        Previous: Gaspo Hot Wax 84s, Mantrax 98s, Summit Nomad 99s, Spruce Yellow 120s, Eman Uprise 104s