This binding is not for the faint of heart. For the guy or gal that runs stiff boots and loves a stiff splitboard binding, the Spark R&D Surge Binding was designed with you in mind. A burly, big mountain crusher binding designed by Spark R&D. Find out more in my Spark R&D Surge Splitboard Binding review below:
Spark R&D Surge Review
According to Spark R&D’s website, the Surge is :
preferred by our bigger, more aggressive riders
I couldn’t agree more. I weight 155lbs and ride light on my feet. So when I first mounted these bindings on a 14″ powder day they were a little harder than I expected to ride. The flex of the binding was not as forgiving while wearing a pair of snowboard boots that were on the softer side. So I went back up the next day with a different pair of much stiffer boots, the Vans Pat Moore Infuse, and instantly noticed the binding performed 100% better. If you plan to run the Surge Binding be sure you also have a pair of stiff boots to match.
Spark Surge vs Arc
One of the main difference between the two bindings comes in the form of the baseplate. With the Surge, you get a solid baseplate whereas with the Arc you get a baseplate with holes cut throughout the bottom. The Surge is going to be heavier and stiffer with this design thanks to the added material. Whereas the Arc is on the lighter more flexible side. For the hard-charging big mountain rider that’s out splitboarding big peaks in the Park, the Surge is a solid reliable binding.
Even the new Pillow Line Straps on the Surge are much stiffer than the Arc bindings. The Surge’s top strap is one Tough-looking strap. Odds are it will be impossible to ever damage this piece of the binding (or any part of your Spark’s for that matter). The toe strap which can be used over the boot or as a cap also uses Sparks Pillow Line technology. Once locked into place with these 2 straps your foot ain’t going anywhere.
When it comes to ascending on your splitboard, Spark R&D added their popular Whammy Bars to the Surge Binding. The Whammy Bar allows fast access to your climbing wire and can easily be activated with the basket or handle of your pole. No more leaning down or fighting gravity to get your climbing wires locked into place.
The climbing wire is built into the Surge Binding and has 2 settings, although I always find myself using no climbing wire or the highest one. Getting to the in-between slot takes a little bit of finesse. Just don’t let your Canadian bros see you using your climbing wires or they most likely will give you a hard time.
The T1 system really locks the binding into place with the toe ramps. You won’t have to worry about the binding going sideways on the way up the way some of the pins have in the past after repeated use. Once to the top of the run, it’s super quick to switch over with these bindings, see the video below:
Then the real fun begins.
Ask anyone that splitboards what bindings they’re running and most likely the answer will be Sparks. There is a reason the splitboard community has gravitated towards these bindings. They offer unparalleled durability and a simple foolproof interface to use. Everything from setting these bindings up, to touring and riding is simplified thanks to Spark R&D’s continued involvement, development and forward thinking towards splitboarding.
It will be fun to see what the future holds for Spark R&D. For now, the Spark R&D Surge ($415) is their best Big Mountain Splitboard Binding available.