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5 Terrible Snowboard Binding Ideas That Will Never Catch On

WTF? Surely if you tried these they'd break your legs?

Photo: XON Bindings

In the beginning there was the snurfer. Then came metal edges, cambered profiles, sandwich construction, banana tech, flying v etc. etc.

As snowboarding has pushed forward technically and creatively technology has evolved with it, changing how and where we ride.

With all of this innovation it’s no surprise that snowboard gear occasionally throws up some ideas that are way, way out of the metaphorical storage solution.

Especially when it comes to bindings.

Bindings for the fashionista

Ever wanted to snowboard in high heels? No, neither have we, but that doesn’t seem to have put off fashion label Balenciaga, who have crafted these leather and chrome monstrosities.

In what must be one of the biggest triumphs of style over substance, the Spanish designers have cornered the incredibly niche S and M snowboarding market.

It’s not clear whether they’re shoes inspired by bindings or bindings inspired by shoes, but we’ll eat our stripy winter beanies if anyone can actually make it down the mountain in a pair.

Nutcase rating: 9/10

Likelihood of ever catching on: 1/10

The bindings that read how you ride

Like the lead in to some cheesy 80s sci-fi movie, the Japanese are at it again sticking computers in strange places and creating what must be the world’s first blue tooth binding.

The XON Snow-1 bindings, produced by Tokyo based tech company Cerevo, are among the most sophisticated pieces of kit you can currently strap on your feet.

Fitted with load sensors, an accelerometer and bluetooth 4.0 these futuristic boot fixers stream data about your stance, board flex and speed straight to your phone.

And the information can be overlaid on videos you shoot too, letting you see exactly how you’re riding.

With a projected price somewhere between $400 – $600 (£270 – £400) these bad boys also come fitted with LED strobes which according to the website: “Easily jumps into other people eyes.”

Because the one thing you want when you’re perfecting your style is to be surrounded by blind skiers who have been dazzled by your techno boots.

Nutcase rating: 7/10

Likelihood of ever catching on: 1/10 rising to a 3/10 in Japan

Bindings with a twist

Have you ever had that sickening feeling you get when you’re belting down a mountain and suddenly realise that your bindings are loose?

You’re hovering right on the edge of control, and just the tiniest shift in balance is going to send you arse over tit down the slope, probably breaking your ankle in the process.

 

Well that’s exactly the feeling that Swivel bindings attempt to replicate. No, we’re not sure why either.

Yes, these genius pieces of engineering allow your feet to rotate on the board, so you can risk your life, your legs and your teeth every time you strap in.

Somehow they’ve managed to make them look like they work in the odd snowboard/kiteboarding hybrid video above.

But we’d challenge anyone to take a pair of these and stomp a halfway decent-sized booter without crying at least a little for their mum.

Nutcase rating: 6/10

Likelihood of ever catching on: 3/10

A new angle on bindings

We know snowboarding has been borrowing from skateboarding its whole life, but that doesn’t justify these.

Pivit Bindings claim to give snowboarders the freedom of skaters creating “maximum lateral flex” so that you can bone out your favourite tricks with ease.

What this means in reality is that you have a set of hinges where normally your feet would fixed solid to the topsheet of your board.

The style possibilities might be intriguing but the thought of both knees being able to move further apart makes this sort of horror story seem more likely…

Nutcase rating: 7/10

Likelihood of ever catching on: 2/10

Bindings you don’t have to think about

Remember step-in bindings? They were shit. But their total lack of success hasn’t stopped someone else trying to save you burning the two calories it takes to bend down and strap in.

Introducing Instinctive Bindings, who claim to have created the ultimate in hassle-free binding technology (cos you know, ratchets are such a hassle) – one that clamps down onto your boot as soon as you step in.

It might sound like a good idea, but a closer look at the product description reveals a fatal flaw: “Once the user enters the binding they trigger the mechanism that clamps the unistrap shut”

That’s right, you’re stepping into a contraption that grabs onto your foot and is designed to withstand any sort of high impact – basically tiny plastic bear traps.

We have no idea how they set the sensitivity on these things but we can’t help thinking that the spring loaded mechanism looks like something they’d dream up for the Saw movie franchise.

Yep, once you get these puppies on there’s no telling how you’re going to get them off.

Nutcase rating: 6/10

Likelihood of ever catching on: 3/10

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