Binding Model: Burton Cartel
Binding Size: Medium
Stance and Angles: Goofy, 21in wide, 15/-3
Board Used: Arbor Clovis
Boot Used: Ride Fuse
Boot Size: 8
Rider Weight: 155lbs
Conditions: Late season after some good snowfall with pockets of untracked snow leftover.
Binding Adjustability: Typical Burton stuff. Tool-less bolts on the straps, forward lean is a spin dial in the highback, two positions to mount the ankle strap to the frame, 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 Getta 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 ReFlex and the differing highbacks have a much larger effect on overall stiffness than the slight difference in glass content. ReFlex takes some braking in. Day 1 these will feel stiffer than day 20. It’s a nice ride though and only effects the flex laterally. End of it all, just above middle of the road.
Ride: ReFlex requires there be little to no plastic under the toe and heel so the binding can flex. This also means that you get solid foam/gel from your boot to the board. They ride smooth underfoot. ReFlex does have a noticeable positive effect on the deadspot helping to keep your board flexing less interrupted.
Rider in Mind: Everyone. This is THE CATCH ALL binding.
Personal Thoughts: The Cartel is classic. It’s like the Custom of bindings. If you want new bindings and are just overwhelmed with everything out there and just fed up with all the marketing and nonsense and one shop kid says this binding and the next says that one sucks and you want this one and the third says something entirely different and smells like skunk and probably doesn’t shower and said ‘bro’ 8 times too many and you’re just done, get Cartels.
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This binding was loaned to us for review from Burton Snowboards marketing department.