Spark R&D Magneto Bindings Review

Spark R&D Magneto Splitboard Binding

The Spark R&D Magneto Binding will forever change the way you look at splitboarding and the way skiers think of splitboarders. Thanks to the new snap ramps you can forget about using those clunky old metal pins that loved to freeze and now simply snap your bindings into place. The changeover from touring to ride mode and ride to touring mode can now be accomplished in record time, how does 30 seconds or less sound?

Spark R&D Magneto Review

I have had the absolute pleasure of testing these bindings since the middle of last winter and can say without a doubt that the Spark R&D Magneto Splitboard Binding is the best thing to happen to splitboarding in a long long time. The Spark team developed these bindings to work in conjunction with the tried and true pucks and has added their own climbing wires that are built into the base of the binding. The Magneto binding is lightweight, powerful and built to last.

Spark R&D Snap Ramps

Snap Ramps are a game changer, anytime someone sees these bindings in action their jaws literally hit the floor. When touring and ready to remove the bindings all you need to do is simply lift up on the toe ramp and the binding will pop off. It’s really that simple! A don’t be worried about the binding popping off at the wrong time as the Spark crew sat in their shop and at SIA last year opening and closing the locks, even after thousands of repetitions the snaps always held into place.

To get the bindings back on the board for riding you just slide them over the pucks and then push down on the toe ramp to engage the lock on the snap ramps.

Even putting the bindings back into touring mode is easy thanks to Spark’s Side Lock Touring Bracket. The bindings fit into the bracket by sliding into place from the left or right side. Push down on the toe ramps again and the binding has locked into place.

High Backs

Spark R&D Magento Binding high backs have a great flex allowing total control over your board for a comfortable surfy fit and feel. While the heel cups are made of solid metal that connects directly to the base for when you really need to power into a turn. The bindings feature forward lean adjustments from 25 degrees to -5, however, I have not had the need to adjust these while touring or riding.

Climbing Wires

What’s great about these bindings is they use their own climbing wires that are built into the bottom of the binding. There are two heights available to use 12 and 18 degrees which are simple to engage with your ski pole for steep climbs and just as easy to put back down for flat spots. Each set of Spark Magento’s come with a special Heel Rest that works in conjunction with the climbing wires. According to Spark, this helps to take stress off your top sheet and keeps the wires from collapsing thanks to the ridges built into the Heel Rest.

In an effort to save weight Spark eliminated part of the base by creating a cutout design on the Spark R&D Magento’s. Not only does this make the base lighter it drastically improves your ability to shed snow from the bindings. I like to tap the bases against each other and am amazed at how easy the snow comes off both sides.

Overall Impression

Spark Magento’s are available in three sizes and colorways. Small, Medium and Large and your choice of black, blue or green if your the type of person that likes to color coordinate your kit. The bindings will surely sell out this season (currently sold out on Spark’s website) All Spark R&D bindings are handmade at the Spark factory in Bozeman, MT by people that snowboard in the backcountry. I can’t say enough about how great these bindings are and just how incredibly fast your transitions will become. Your skier friends will thank you for getting a pair and your snowboard friends will be insanely jealous!

Spark is no longer making the Magento Binding ($275).  For something similar checkout our Spark R&D Surge Binding Review for a stiff all mountain charger.

Spark R&D Magneto Binding
5 / 5 RATING      

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About the Author

Mike Hardaker
Mike Hardaker grew up surfing and snowboarding in Orange County and followed his love of surfing to Hawaii before eventually moving to the mountains to concentrate on snowboarding. When not on a board, Mike worked for Snowboarder and later oversaw TGR's online publication. He went on to found Mountain Weekly News where he is still CEO and Editor in Chief. Mike spends most of his time splitboarding in the winter months and backpacking throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in the summer.

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