MOST VERSATILE BINDING IN THE WORLD?
We’ve heard the marketing hype: More comfortable, better snowboard flex, infinite setup options improved board feel. The Burton EST bindings are indeed one of the best on the market currently, HOWEVER, I believe that I may have found quite a fundamental problem with the current design?
I first bought EST bindings in 2012 as due to a damaged (and slightly crooked) ankle so need to be very exact with my binding angles and stance widths which seemed to make EST the perfect solution.
At the time I never found the setup that comfortable and always felt slightly out of alignment, but I put this down to being relatively new to snowboarding and the setup being different to what I was used too riding. Eventually I sold the whole setup and returned to a traditional 4 hole design.
THE GAME IS AFOOT WATSON!
Fast forward and yesterday my new Burton EST Malavitas turned up with a Nug 154. Fuelled with the same excitement as’a kid at xmas I unwrapped everything, set it up and stood back to admire the new ride…….
Low and behold the right binding looked to be crooked. Cursing myself for rushing I rechecked all markings and alignments where everything read +18 -18 with a 23 inch stance, however it still looked wrong. Taking everything apart a second time I very carefully aligned the bindings and made sure the locators were all in the slots, but still it looked wrong.
MATHS WILL BE OUR SAVIOUR.
While it could have simply been my eyes I decided maths would settle this dispute, so armed with my ruler, protractor, calculator and Pythagoras Theorem I started the setup once again.
My +18 -18 stance actually turned out to be +14 on the front and -19 degrees on the rear! This is quite a large disparity and after speaking to others it appears I’m not the only one questioning the locating disk angle display accuracy. Following a detailed analysis of the baseplate the problem seems to originate in the moulding of the EVA footbed and the cut outs for the locating disks not being symmetrical between both of my bindings.
CAN WE FIX IT CAPTAIN?
Granted not everyone will agree that 4 degrees makes much different, but if you’re like me where the wrong binding angle causes significant foot, ankle and knee problems then I’m sure you can appreciate my pain… literally! Also if you have setup OCD then you’re on the same page too.
The EST system is great but when adding the ability to adjust a setting by 1 degree increments it surely doesn’t take much more effort to ensure it provides an accurate measurement!
It may not be high on their priority list but I’d like to think this is a simple fix for Burton. Simple and minimal retooling linked with higher quality control of the parts issued would solve the issue and make the bindings that have all the attributes to be the best be quite simply that. Until then I’m unsure I could recommend them to someone requiring a precise binding setup.