Binding Model: Burton Genesis EST
Binding Size: Medium
Stance and Angles: Goofy, 21in wide, 15/-3
Board Used: Burton Custom Kilroy 154
Boot Used: Burton Almighty
Boot Size: 8
Rider Weight: 155lbs
Conditions: No real new snow so the conditions were pretty firm and light. Hard snow, fast. Mid winter so colder, but it was a bluebird day.
Binding Adjustability: Straps are on tool less bolts that are easy to spin off and spin back on. Highback rotation is done through bolts on frame sliders. Forward lean is on a spin bolt separate from the rotation. The ReFlex discs have to be situated so the holes have micro forward/back adjustment so the binding can’t be micro adjusted for stance width.
Straps: The ankle strap is the new standard in injected construction. The cross strut offers most of the support and the hammock does all the pressure distribution work. The new strap is by far the best toe strap Burton has ever put out. It is simple, grippy, and shaped well. Definitely a major shape improvement over the previous version. The toe ratchets are Double Take and they force the ladders a little further away from the boot than traditional ones. This means that the ratchet gets pushed into the boot a little harder causing a little bit of pressure. The softer the toebox, the more you’ll feel it.
Ratchets: Double Take ratchets have a lot of climbing power on the spiral and are a lot less likely to strip. I rode the 2018 Malavitas for a full year and never had an issue with ice build up under the locking teeth inside the ratchet, but I have seen it happen. I don’t think it’s really all that common, but something to think about if you frequently deal with iced up ratchets where you live.
Highbacks: The 3 piece highback is definitely the call out on the Genesis and what really sets it apart from everything else out there. The initial piece you contact is a bit softer and designed to give and flex with your boot. Attached to that, and sandwiched in between the inner and outer pieces is the spring. It is anchored in a way so that as the inner frame moves with our boot, the spring is always in position to drive any energy you give it into the stiff outer piece. That outer piece is stiff. Even you you get a little bit of flex and movement out of the inner back, the highback as a whole is actually pretty stiff and responsive. The layered construction just takes the edge and bite off. So they’re stiff, responsive, but very smooth and comfortable to push into.
Binding Flex: The frame is built with 45% glass and uses Burton’s ReFlex frame tech. The stiffer glass does help a bit to keep things responsive underfoot, but I’ve not really ever found the stiffer layup to be that much more noticeable over the slightly softer 30% layup. What small stiffness gains you get in the glass, you loose in the Hinge frame. Overall the Genesis sits just above middle of the road in the all mountain scene with a supportive but somewhat moveable feel underfoot, and a locked down but smooth feel in the upper with the Hammock strap and 3 piece highback.
Ride: Smooth feeling underfoot with good padding and natural canting. The AutoCant footbeds allow the medial side of the boot so sink in easier than the lateral side. I’ve never found it overly noticeable just cruising, but through chop and on harder landing it feels nicer on your knees. The EST variant of the Genesis has the Hinge in the frame that offers a little bit of lateral flex in the frame. I have been on both sides of the fence with this one. On one hand, it provides a little more capability to get your weight over the tips and offers a little bit more skate style snap, but it can also take a bit away in the power and drive department since some the effort you’re putting in gets waisted on flex instead of directly going into the board. EST bindings provide a ton of board feel and honestly the truest board flex you can get on channel equipped boards.
Rider in Mind: High end and smooth riding everywhere on the mountain.
Personal Thoughts: I really don’t have any major complaints about the binding, and they offer plenty of power and response to get the job done on most all mountain or lighter duty freeride boards. But for some reason they just kind fall flat for me. They might just be too smooth. Which sounds a bit ridiculous to say, but I like a bit more feedback in what I’m riding. They definitely perform, and are definitely smooth bindings.