By Zack Landen EBS Contributor
The art of snowboarding began to surface in the 1970s, and began to skyrocket into a powerful subculture in the ‘90s. Since then, there’s been constant technical experimentation with the equipment. The snowboards, bindings and boots aren’t what they used to be, and the industry giant Burton Snowboards is digging deep into the past to change the game once again.
I remember my first snowboard setup when I was 14 years old—having been on skis for many years, I was immediately drawn to a particular type of bindings that allowed snowboarders to step into their bindings like skiers, and quickly get moving at the top of the run.
“Step in” bindings were a new trend, catering to those who were looking for a more convenient way to become connected with their board. But after a few years most brands had parted ways with the concept, struggling to master the construction. However, the people at Burton have revisited the idea, attempting to correct any flaws that may have existed before.
Burton is calling their new system “Step On,” and plans to release it to the public for winter 2017-2018. As someone who has grown accustomed to using traditional ratchet bindings without issues, I was skeptical when Burton unveiled their new technology.
I had the opportunity this winter to try on a pair of the Photon Boa Step On boots and pop into the new system. I was blown away by the amount of support and response from the lightweight, strapless setup. I recalled my old step-in bindings as bulky, heavy and difficult to operate, but Burton’s new system doesn’t have any of those concerns.
While it may not be enough to permanently move many snowboarders away from a two-strap binding, it’s a perfect option for those who are seeking an ultimate level of convenience met with functionality and performance.
Price to be announced, burton.com
Zack Landen manages the retail outlets at Big Sky Resort, including Big Sky Sports and the Burton Store. He has spent nearly a decade working in snow sport retail operations. If you can’t find him in the shop, you’ll most likely find him taking hot laps on Shedhorn with a crew of equally passionate powder hounds.