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The burton freestyle binding was the first binding I owned for my first Burton snowboard. I chose them because they were the cheapest avaiable but was suprised with the quality. I've now upgraded to the Burton cartel bindings on my new board and these are a massive improvement in terms of build.
== The Bindings ==
The burton freestyle binding is a device for attaching your boots to a snowboard. The bottom of the binding is permenantly attached using 3 srews into a compatible style of snowboard (I know Burton, Salamon and libtech boards accept the binding configuration but I think other arrangements are available where these bindings would not fit).
The bindings are available in small, medium and large to suit UK foot sizes 2-7, 5-8 and 9-12 respectivley. I wear size 12 boots and found that my large bindings only just fit my boots. There is not a lot of free space on the ends of the straps when connected making it a bit fiddly to put together in snowboard gloves.
Each binding consists of a main footplate, a rear ankle support which folds down when not in use and 2 straps for binding your feet into it. The height and angle of the ankle support is adjusted using the ratchet mechanism at the join between footplate and the support. I find that the angle is not as variable as on my cartel bindings, but managed to achieve a comfortable position for my feet.
The two straps go one around the top of your foot and one around the ankle. These should be tight to transfer as much of your movement to the board and the tightness is achieved with a ratchet type clip which can be made very tight. The straps are adjustable in lenght meaning that you can get them to fit your feet well.
== In Use ==
The Burton freestyle binding has a flex rating of 3 (out of 10), this means they are quite solid but have a bit of flex. Being a lightweight design I think the rating should be slightly higher as they do noticable flex when you shift your weight on a turn. The extra flex makes them comfortable, but means you don't get the instantaneous response on a turn of more rigid bindings. The flex means they are quite forgiving when you don't quite get it right so these are ideal for beginners or learners (as I was when I bought them)
Doing the bindings up is easy, but as I said above I do find them a bit fiddley without removing my gloves. I think this is down to the quality as my cartel bindings are far easier to operate although they cost more.
After a day on the slopes I haven't found these any more uncomfortable than other bindings I have hired or owned.
== Build and Quality ==
The bindings are made for a polycarbonate meaning they are stong and durable. In my opinion the plastic feels thinner than other bindings and they do not feel as sturdy as the more expensive bindings.
Over the three years I used these for the straps on both bindings did break and I had to replace 2 clips and one toe strap. I found it very hard to find replacement parts without buying a complete set of replacement straps and ended up using whatever spares I could get hold of in a snowboarding shop.
== Price ==
The bindings sell for about £115 from online retailers. This is at the cheaper end of the market but they are a reaonable quality for the price.
== Summary ==
If you are serious about boarding I would recommend spending more on the cartel bindings (around £180) as they are noticably better in comfort, build and use.