It’s a strap binding, it’s a step in, NO! It’s a Bon Hiver! Trying to pronounce it will be your first hurdle with product line. Saying it like the musician, Bon-E-Ver? You’re in the ball park. If your wind pipe blows out a Bon-Hive-Er, well we are all at the same stadium. The company website and voicemail will be your announcer for today’s ball game, as they pronounce it both ways. Confused yet?
Magnetic Snowboard Binding
Well keep the confusion going, approaching the set up procedure with a slightly altered mind frame is likely going to make you forget about the lengthy set up time. The bindings come with a freebase binding plate. It’s massive, has all these wings on it, and wicked magnetic. Didn’t even have to grab the mounting hardware screws, hover plate over the box¦..it picks up the mounting hardware box. Its stout, if you stick the entire freebase plate to a large, flat, metal surface, well you’re on your own.
WARNING: Do not place on washer/dryer doors, removal will result in scratching.
Set up time will differ depending on stance direction. If you ride regular, you just dodged a bullet; goofy riders get your screw drivers. The freebase plate needs to be on the back foot, so that means all the straps have to come off, high backs removed, and swapped out between the frames. Having a larger foot (size 11 or above) and a goofy stance will lead you into a full binding overhaul (heel cup adjust) and staring at a scattered series of parts. Might want to have a go with the release system prior to hitting the hill; the directions don’t tell you how to release them. There is only so much you can put on a 5X8 note card.
WARNING: Do not place binding in freebase plate prior to mounting, removal requires heavy torque and leveraging. Do not see note card for removal.
We made it through the warnings (Phew), on the hill, and ready to make it a good day. Hope you didn’t forget your stomp pad! The back binding (that releases from the freebase plate) has a rigid plastic bottom and minimal grooving for tread. If you think a lift dismount without a stomper and conventional boot/binding set up is squirrelly¦..give this one a rip. Super slippery and it murders the top sheet; trying to save a slip out literally resulted in denting my top sheet. Cover those graphics and pad it up; but don’t look in the box, you don’t get one. If you are looking for a work around, implement what the proprietor did. Place bumper stickers between your bindings (preferably Bohn Hiver) over the entire top sheet. Check out his board on the set up video located on the website, the stickers are scuffed and scratched out like crazy. It’s a testament as to what happens with prolonged use with this system.
WARNING: See paragraph above.
The key and appealing feature of the system is: you can remove your rear foot from your binding and lock back in without messing with straps. I mean the message from the website is simple, ditch your friends while they are all still strapping in¦..guess they’re not really your friends then. Realistically though, we all know on a crammed six person chair you are NOT locking that rear foot in, unless you want to be THAT guy. Space is limited as it is and you normally have a flat section to kick through after the lift anyways. Having a big metal binding on your foot does not help the kick stroke either. If you crank your bindings, your back foot WILL get sore; it’s always strapped in. Normally having the back foot out of the binding provides relief, even loosening the front a little while waiting in line and riding the chair is a welcome break. So why do you need to be strapped into your binding while you have to wait in line anyways? What if you are hiking off the end of the chair, you have to lock it in first THEN un-strap it? Hmmmm.
WARNING: Don’t be THAT guy.
– Base plate pad has no padding and does feature any canting
– Considerable flex difference between rear and front binding (one has a massive plate, one doesn’t)
– Adjustable clip on straps faces wrong direction (comes loose of the strap is flexed too far inward)
– Black knob on straps offers zero release functionality
– You’ll bend over farther to release binding plate then conventional straps (in case you have flexibility issues)
– Straps are mildly padded and cause circulation loss
– Ice will collect in plate and prevent locking in (chipping required)
– Bindings have had a recall in the past (due to premature release)
– Spare parts? How can you fix it on the hill if something breaks¦
– Thinner aluminum disc than Ride bindings, which have been know to bend/warp
– How will this work in deep snow?
– Cost, 350 smackers
WARNING: Do not release prematurely.
It’s the Showcase Showdown, Bob Barker looks at you and says Pass. What’s really being achieved with this system? There’s PLENTY of time to loosen & tighten straps (what’s it take, a minute? Max?), you can’t lock in the back foot unless you’re on a chair lift alone, still need to sweep snow out of the base plate (like a regular binding) before stepping into it, AND you bend over farther to release them¦.
Stay safe out there, be with your friends, and keep progressing.