Binding Model: Burton Cartel EST
Binding Size: Medium
Stance and Angles: Goofy, 21in wide, 15/-3
Board Used: Burton Custom Kilroy 154
Boot Used: Ride Fuse
Boot Size: 8
Rider Weight: 155lbs
Conditions: Some really good recent snow. Sendy and soft fresh snow everywhere!!!!!
Binding Adjustability: Typical Burton stuff. Tool-less bolts on the straps, forward lean is a spin dial in the highback, and two slotted positions for the toe strap in the frame.
Straps: The ankle strap is a stiffer version of their hammock. It only has a single cross band compared to the Genesis with two, but the material the hammock itself is made of feels stiffer. It’s still very comfortable but feels like it offers a little more support. The toe strap goes back to the Gettagrip Cap from the Super Grip. Technically this is a downgrade, but I have never had any issues with the Gettagrip and I have felt like the Super doesn’t really fit any boots out there as seamlessly as the Gettagrip does. So in my opinion this is actually a welcome “downgrade”.
Ratchets: The 2017 Cartel had the Doubletake ratchets that have garnered a love/hate relationship with a lot of riders out there. On one hand they pretty much never strip and offer lots of power, but the mechanism is more prone to icing and the parts are harder to find. Going back to the classic and bombproof ratchets was a smart move in my opinion. The Cartel is the snowboarders binding, and most of us like simple stuff that’s easy to replace if it breaks, and isn’t likely to break in the first place. These ratchets have proven themselves over the last decade or so. I’m happy to have them back honestly.
Highbacks: Classic middle of the road with a bit of torsional give. The type of highback that will never let you down, and is never in the way. Super classic feeling.
Binding Flex: Burton will still claim this is stiffer than the Malavita, I will still firmly deny that. The frame may have a bit more glass in it, but the Hinge and the differing highbacks have a much larger effect on overall stiffness than the slight difference in glass content. Speaking of Hinge, is allows just a hint of lateral flex in the frame to account for EST binding mounting points being just outside the foot. 99.9% of riders find it awesome. It allows for a bit more body roll into the tips and feels just a bit more skatey. I’m the 0.1% that isn’t really a fan. To me it makes the binding feel lazy. But again, I’m the only person I know that doesn’t like Hinge. Seriously, the only one. Overall with everything put together it puts the Cartel in the range just above middle that appeals to just about anyone out there.
Ride: EST Bindings provide the most board feel and feedback out there. Nothing but foam under your foot. It’s actually really nice and smooth. And I think they still make the Sensory Beds you can buy aftermarket that are about ⅓ the thickness if you really want maximum board-feel without going full baseless.
Rider in Mind: Everyone. This is THE CATCH ALL binding.
Personal Thoughts: The Cartel is classic. It’s like the Custom of bindings. Riding a channel board and have no clue what bindings you want, but you know you want EST, you’ll probably like the Cartel. There’s nothing you really won’t like.
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This binding was loaned to us for review from Burton Snowboards marketing department.