Stick around snowboarding long enough you start to see trends come back and everyone jumps on the bandwagon like it’s the next big new thing. Sometimes it’s a great idea that really needed to be brought back especially with the advancements in materials and technology, while others the benefits remain to be seen. It’s this last statement with where I sit on the reintroduction of winged highbacks.
I remember when Salomon did them in the 90’s touting that it gave superior edge control when driving through hard carves. Personally I didn’t buy into it back then due to the fact it looked like a bolted on pile of shit that would have no added benefits and probably fold under any pressure being put on it. Now technology makes things look a bit more sturdy than 2 pop rivets on a cheap piece of plastic.
So here’s the question what do these wings supposedly do for riding performance? Well according to Burton, “It boots lateral support for increased leverage and control when pressing, buttering, and spinning.” Technine seems to have a similar description albeit a bit more thug about their highback, “The new Scrub Hook highback takes an idea as old as highback bindings themselves, reconfigured for the new generation of riders and their needs. The Scrub Hook is made for increased leverage and street cred.”
So increased leverage seems to be the main theme here. Now I’ve felt the added leverage from time to time when I’m directly in either a Burton or T9 bindings sweet spot. But I had to be directly in the sweet spot to get that added benefit any other time it didn’t seem to do anything and just acted like a normal highback. But you would think something like this you should feel it working at all times. I will say when pressing with the T9 Scrub Hook when you get directly over the nose or tail and push the outside of your leg right into the wing you can feel it and it changes how you lock in to presses.
One thing I would love to try is reversing the highbacks so the wing is on the inside and see if that cups the calve muscles more when you bend in for nose and tail presses. I was put on to this idea from one of the bHappy riders that it makes pressing a lot different. Theoretically it makes sense but as I haven’t had a pair of winged bindings land in my lap with enough time to dial this in I’ve had to pass on the opportunity.
So who is riding winged bindings past or present? What do you think of them?