Alpine snowboard bindings are plate bindings that are much stiffer than the common strap bindings found on most snowboards. The bindings use a variety of different mechanisms to keep the boot in place. The traditional is a set of bails and a toe clip. Other step-in systems like the Intec system have also become popular. Some manufacturers also have their own proprietary step-in systems. Stances are set up at much steeper angles, that is, much more forward facing, than the freeriding style. Typically angles range from 50 to 65 degrees. In addition, some riders use cants to further refine their stances.
Soft snowboard bindings are your direct connection to your snowboard, transferring your muscle movements to your board. If your snowboard bindings are well matched to your board and style, you'll have a better riding experience. Snowboard bindings can fit into different style categories. As important as it is for binding flex to match your style of riding, you should also determine the amount of binding flex you would want according to the flex of your boot. It would not make sense to have a stiff binding and a soft boot or vice versa. For the best results in tailoring your ride to fit your style, make sure that the flex of your bindings matches closely to the flex of your boots. Snowboard soft bindings can be divided into two general categories:
- STRAP-IN BINDINGS - These are the most common type of bindings. They usually use two straps (one above or across the toe and one across the ankle). Strap-in bindings offer plenty of options for support, cushioning and custom adjustments. They are suitable for all styles and conditions of riding.
- REAR-ENTRY BINDINGS - These are also called Speed Entry Bindings. They have a hinged high back that drops down like a draw bridge allowing you to simply step into the binding. In addition, the hinged back promotes quick and easy access in and out. No more making your skier friends wait for you. Rear-entry bindings are usually preferred by more comfort-oriented riders.