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mr.splitboards Tech Tutorial: Binding systems

Which system suits you? And important tips for promotion

by Eliane Droemer • 01/01/2022
Why is the walk mode not for walking, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the different binding systems and how do you find your way around the range of special softboot bindings for splitboards? To find out more about the differences between the systems, we asked someone who has been dealing with splitboards more than anyone else for around 20 years: Simon Graf from Splitboards Europe.

Advertising // This post is part of an advertising partnership between mr.splitboards and PowderGuide. It is a so-called advertorial, which was created in coordination with mr.splitboards. // Advertising

Simon, would you please introduce yourself briefly?

I am a ski touring guide and owner of Splitboards Europe. I have been instrumental in shaping the distribution of splitboards in Europe. I have lived from and for splitboards for over 20 years. On the one hand, I sell the material that has passed our product test, on the other hand, I introduce over 400 guests to our beautiful winter sport every season with my team. That's why I've been known as mr.splitboards for a few years now.

So you normally pass on your knowledge at camps and trips, which wasn't possible last winter 20/21, so did you have the motivation to graphically illustrate the binding systems?

In a way. I've been listening and watching how the splitboards and bindings work on the mountain in all conditions and with all demands of different snowboarders for a very long time - and I'm also partly involved in the development. My overview is based on my many practical experiences with various guests on the mountain. You can see the quintessence in the Tech Tutorial below in the video and on the next page.

Before we get to the different systems, please briefly explain your statement: the walk mode is not for walking.

Today's splitboard bindings have a function that often causes confusion and can even significantly worsen the ascent. With all modern splitboard bindings, the highback can be set to either ride mode or walk mode or negative angle. In walk mode, the highback is angled backwards so that the soft boot is no longer in contact. The majority of our customers now activate this walk mode in the parking lot before every ascent - it's also called walk mode.

"If the highback is in walk mode, the boot shaft loses the most important connection to the splitboard ski."

But that doesn't make sense for two reasons. Firstly: Snowboard soft boots are very flexible at the front. The shaft, on the other hand, can NOT move backwards, i.e. negatively! Sure, it should offer stability during the backside turn.

But what happens with the highback in walk mode is that you now lose the most important connection from the boot to the splitboard ski. The shaft is no longer in contact with the highback. The boot only transmits the power via the toe and ankle strap and that is clearly not enough for good edge hold.

Secondly: The boot has a lot of play and rubs unnecessarily on the heel cup (strap around the heel) or on the binding. We have customers whose boots are destroyed after 10 tours because of this.
The walk mode may work to a certain extent if you are walking out of a flat valley - in other words, in the rarest of cases.

But where it is guaranteed to cause problems is as soon as it gets steeper and/or you have to traverse. At the latest in the switchback slope, you have zero control over the splitboard halves if the boot shaft and highback are not in contact as in ride mode.

So: Don't reduce your power transmission and edge hold on the ascent with the walk mode, but simply always leave the highback in the ride angle. Then you have automatically saved a handle. There is even a third strap for an extra good connection between the highback and boot shaft.

Thanks for the tip. Now to the advantages and disadvantages of the binding systems. How can you differentiate between the systems?

In the beginning there were the pucks. Back in the winter of 1999/2000, you could equip your splitboard with a normal soft boot binding based on Voilé pucks. The disadvantage back then was the weight. A slider plate from the Voilé system and a standard softboot binding weighed approx. 1.2 kg per foot! For comparison: Current splitboard bindings such as the Voilé Light Speed weigh 750 g per foot and a Spark ARC Pro 560 g. But the basic function is exactly the same as it was over 20 years ago. Therefore, you can basically differentiate between the puck-based bindings like Voilé or Spark and those with their own mechanical mount, as you can see below.

Video of the Tech Tutorial:

On the next page you'll find detailed explanations of the different binding systems --->

Photo gallery

This article has been automatically translated by DeepL with subsequent editing. If you notice any spelling or grammatical errors or if the translation has lost its meaning, please write an e-mail to the editors.

Show original (German)

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