The snowboard bindings you see in store consist of multiple important components:
The straps are there to hold your snowboarding boots in place, keeping them snug in the bindings. The materials and designs have improved a lot and today’s bindings are increasingly more comfortable and supportive while eliminating the nagging pain of pressure points.
Ankle strap: wraps securely above the ankle. It is larger and without it, the bindings would fail.
Toe cap strap: sits on the front of the boot, wrapping over the toe box enabling a comfortable and stable position. This particular strap helps to align the foot for better placement in the heel cup, which gives more response to the board.
Traditional toe strap: this can be found on the lower-end bindings and simply holds your boot in place. It cannot be used as a toe cap strap.
Hybrid toe strap: which can be used in a traditional style over the foot or tilted forward in order to use it like a toe cap strap.
One piece is the most common on rear entry bindings and bindings for kids. It is basically one giant strap that covers your boot from right before your ankle to just before your toes.
The large, plastic binding feature that envelops your calf is known as the highback, which is designed to increase support and control. In particular when you’re leaning backwards into a heel-side turn. Short highbacks are ideal for freestyle riders because of the mobility needed to perform tricks. A tall highback works well for all-mountain snowboarding or freeriding because it provides added control during high-speed and sharp turn. Short highbacks come to just above your ankles while tall highbacks reach further up the calf. You can adjust the highback to your personal riding preferences. Bindings with no highback provide a more skate-like feel, allowing for more mobility in your ankles and a looser board control.
This is the main connection between the bindings and the snowboard’s surface. Baseplates are made with either metal or plastic and feature different strength-to-flex ratios. Deciding which material is actually right for you is a matter of personal preference. Go for a plastic baseplate if you like a bit more give or choose a metal baseplate if you prefer the firmness or hard surface underneath your feet. Good bindings will also have some form of padding on the top and underside of the baseplate. This not only adds comfort but also dampens the force of a hard landing. Some bindings have a small amount of tilt in the footbed that angles your stance and knee position slightly forward for a more natural ergonomic stance.