2013 Switchback (NoBack) Bindings Used and Reviewed

The idea of using a highbackless binding isn’t anything new it’s just more people are feeling that it gives that skate-like or surfy feel when sliding around the mountain. Since Kevin our resident binding tester is a strapping young lad or lady depending on who you ask he was willing to sacrifice his body for the cause and went out to test these new bindings that don’t have a highback.

Binding: Switchback (noback)

Board Used: Signal OG Flat 151

Stance: 22 wide 12 neg 12 goofy

Boots Used: Flow Hylite 9

Weight: 155

Location: Winter Park

Conditions: End of the day starting to freeze slushiness

Adjustability: These things have it. Literally the only time you need a screwdriver is getting them on the board. Everything else is completely tool less. Even the removal and installation of the highback/cup-pad is tool less. You just drop it all the way forward and pull it out.

Toe Strap: They look a bit cheap. No way around it. They do however grip very well and were super comfortable, never slipped and stayed locked. I actually liked them a lot. The ankle straps have that same “chintzy” look as the toe strap, but again they ended up being really well designed. Comfy and all the support you would need to match with the way the rest of the binding felt. And again, really comfortable.

Highback: …uhhh, I guess I’ll give a small spiel on nobackness here as this seems the most appropriate place for it. Well if you want highbacks they do come with but in their place you also get a foam spacer so you don’t have to re-adjust the binding between highback and noback. I’ve ridden nobacks before and the foam spacer is a nice thing to have. It deadens the heelcup bite a bit, but if you already have broken spines in your boots the noback thing may or may not even be comfortable. Overall nobacks are fun for a jibby ride a super skatey feel.

Binding Flex: I rode these sans rubber gasket adding to the jibby feel of nobacknessage. Doing so lessens your footprint and lets the board flex more. It’s a one piece poly frame and works well for what they designed it for, a mid flex park binding. With the smaller footprint of the missing gasket they felt softer side to side and made for some major tweakage. Super skatey. You get thin EVA on top of the full poly frame, enough dampening for the generally jibby park rat but sending anything deep you’ll feel it. It is a full length pad though so you do get some distribution with the vibration and no doubt having the rubber gasket installed will do even more for chatter.

Ratchets: A bit of a problem with them being samples and all. The teeth were a bit rounded and had a bit of a hard time gripping. It’s a first year product so something like this I suspect will be fixed. They released well and really just had a good feel overall.

Rider in Mind: Rider that uses the same binding noback and with highbacks. Also the little kids that want to play part swaps with their friends since all the parts come in an array of colors and are all interchangeable.

Personal Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by these. So far the consensus is they either look super clean or kinda playschool-cheap, either way they ended up just solid. Solid is really the best word to describe them. For a first year product they are pretty well thought out and anything I might have added or changed is getting tweaked. So overall I think they’ve done a good job here.

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6 Comments

  1. EchelonSnow says:

    Thanks for the review; this has been one of those products that I couldn’t wait to hear someone review. I fall on the “they look great” camp; minimalist and uncluttered instead of being covered in pictures of blowfish and Emo cut-marks.

  2. e says:

    These things are pretty cool, easy to switch parts out. Never rode it with their hiback that has no forward lean adjustment….not sure if that thing is good or not. Props to them, they did a great job, especially on a first year binder.

  3. Kevin says:

    e,
    They’re chaning the mounting piece in the binding for the highback to allow for some forward lean adjustment. I think it’s going to be stock on the whole line but I could be wrong. You could probably email Switchback about that.

  4. Nate says:

    One of the most interesting and significant things about Switchback Bindings is the way they are sold in the shops; They are designed to be purchased in separate parts. This way you get to mix and match your colors however you want and getting replacement parts is as easy as going down to your local shop and grabbing one. Leave it to the guys at Yeahforit! to design another industry changing product!

  5. Switchback to your old binders says:

    I have tried Switchbacks and was not impressed. The ratchets are very weak. It doesn’t take much at all to release the straps. I went off a small cliff drop and the toe straps came off both bindings. Took those back and they insist that I try another pair it had to be a fluke. The second pair the ankle straps kept loosening just cruising around had to keep tightening them. I went to strap in for the final run of the day and the ankle strap will not catch and hold at all had to ride down one foot. The bindings are actually comfortable when they are working. If you are willing to spend $250 and change the ratchets out you may be pleased as long as you never have to contact the company. I was given the phone number to get my problem straight from my local shop, Switchback acted like I broke a chain of command set in place by god himself. It was like pulling teeth to get anything taken care of…..buyer beware!!!

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