The idea of building a binding from design concept to working production model in three months is a bit extraordinary, yet Switchback managed to do that. For 2014 there were a few design tweaks that have helped it function a bit better. Here’s our review of this relatively new binding.
Board Used: Arbor Blacklist
Stance: 22.5 Wide 18 Negative 15 Goofy
Boots Used: K2 Thraxis Size 10
Location: Arapahoe Basin
Conditions: Overcast with the occasional bit of sun poking through. The snow was able to freeze the night before making it firm and quick. Near the end of the day it started snowing again.
Binding Adjustability: This is the binding that was designed for adjustability and customization. Other than the disk you do not need a tool to change or adjust anything on this binding. You also have the option of highbacks, winged highbacks, and no backs. This essentially makes it a three in one binding.
Straps: These are some of the most plush straps I’ve ever used in my life. That heel strap has so much girth to it that you can drive into a carve as hard as you want. The toe strap reminds me of the original Technine Toe Caps except not as crappy it’s just so conforming to the toe box of the boot.
Highbacks: These had two options. No Backs and Highbacks. Here’s the thing with their highback you can adjust the forward lean right where it snaps in to the frame. It’s easy and keeps the unnecessary forward lean adjuster off the back of the highback. They did their job and were fairly supportive with just enough give to allow you to tweak them. Now the no backs were a little different. It’s essentially a piece of foam that keeps you centered in the binding so you don’t have to readjust the straps or disks. I did notice that you do sacrifice a slight bit of control but gain a lot more play for jibbing and buttering.
Binding Flex: Depending on how you set this up is how you can tweak the flex. With the highback on I would say it’s more all mountain freestyle but with them off it changes over to being more freestyle oriented. I will say that the base tray is one of the dampest I’ve been on and just lessens the vibrations you might feel.
Ratchets: These never stuck or slipped. When you’re dealing with a new binding company in the first few years this can either make or break them. There was never a worry that these would do their job and they were so easy to release.
Rider in Mind: The all mountain guy that likes a lot of customization in their bindings.
Personal Thoughts: Last year I didn’t get to ride these which was a huge regret of mine. But man after getting on them for this year I can safely say I’m super impressed and could see myself riding these daily. The level of customization is amazing you essentially have three bindings in one depending on what configuration you go with. The support these provide is astounding.
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