Top 5 Snowboard binding issues and solving them on the mountain

Bindings get some serious abuse and its really frustrating when things go wrong. Here are a few tips to help make your holiday as stress free as possible when strapping in.

1 — Iced up footbeds

It can be very easy for the snow to slowly build up on your base plate and start to give you grief during the day. I always clean the footbed before I strap in, but even with that snow can slowly build up. If that does happen you can use the racket from your heel strap to dislodge the snow.

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2 — Getting into your bindings while standing up

I aim to never sit down to put my board on. It’s way too much effort to get back up. To solve this little problem I end up strapping in standing up. This however can be a drama for some as they try to balance on one edge. One way to help you achieve a graceful binding entry is to create a small shelf in the snow. That way you can more easily balance and you will not slide away as you lift your foot into the spare binding.

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You can do this facing up or down the slope. I find moving along a little rather than just creating one shelf with one stab of the front foot will help create a larger more stable platform for balancing. Once you’ve had a few attempts you’ll start to figure out what angle of shelf to create and how deep it should be.

3- Screws loose?

Bindings have to deal with so much stresses on them that its not surprising that something will eventually work loose. You’ll need to get into a habit of checking your kit on a regular basis to avoid something dropping off when you least need it.

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Screws coming loose is a common thing. To help avoid this you can scrape a small amount of snowboard wax on the threads of any suspect screws or use a small amount of plumbers tape to help create a little more friction and reduce the loosening effect.

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4 — Cable ties

It does not happen often, but every now and then something will break on your bindings. One way to save on a major slope drama is to have a few heavy duty cable ties in a pocket or rucksack. That way if anything does happen you can at least make it to the nearest rental shop or lift tower where you may stand a better chance of getting things sorted. The most common is a ladder cracking in very cold temperatures after you step on it strapping in.

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5 — Iced up rackets

In the depths of winter if your board is coming in and out of the cold there will be some residual moisture within the ratchet. This can sometimes result in the ratchet not gripping on the ladder and you cannot do them up. The key with this is to do the binding up while keeping pressure with one finger on the plastic grip that slides over the face of the ladder.

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The other extreme is bindings not undoing. Someone might have done them up really tight and they just do not want to release by hand. I find a sturdy kick of the ratchet upwards in the same direction you would be undoing it will often release it.

Hopefully you will not encounter too many of these issues, yet if you do you’ll stand a better chance of dealing with it effectively.


James Streater is the head coach and owner of Maverix Snow Ltd, providing year round snowboard instruction, coaching and personal development. He is part of a select group of professionals who hold the worlds highest snowsport qualification ISTD. Follow him on Instagram @maverixsnow