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Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

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richieski
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Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

Postby richieski » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:42 am

Hi all, i'm after your opinions. On what you found best for kiting. I fly c4s and have snowboarded for over 10 years. I am now going to put them together. I tried it once locally on a field with 2 inches of snow cover. My bindings were not positioned centrally and i had too much forward lean. My boots are quite stiff. My leg muscle burnt like never before, and i do alot of gym work. I am looking at getting some flow's so i can have negative forward lean, what are your experiences with these? Also people removing their highbacks, anyone can comment on this. Want to try and get it right before i go out. I know it's personal preference but i always welcome peoples experience.

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Re: Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

Postby crabnebula » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:49 pm

I have Drake bindings but if I had the extra $ I would get Flows.... Which is probably what you'll hear the most from kiters as the access from behind is really nice for kiting!
Also I have my stance a little wide ( one half screw hole) as well as 5 degrees duck... Or angled out from center of gravity

Ultimately anything will work it is just a matter if what you prefer..

Just be aware that more rather then less power is better for kiting with a snowboard as your a little more reliant on the kite to keep up rather then the skiers... With the strong left to right leaning ability....

Have fun!!!!

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crabnebula
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Re: Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

Postby crabnebula » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:51 pm

And yes I took the high backs off and keep things a little on the loose side..

Try keeping your weight on the back foot when riding that can help the fatigue that your feeling...

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Re: Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

Postby Billy B. » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:37 pm

Flows are ok if you have the correct boot( a smaller narrower softer style boot like the kind flow makes just for ther bindings, almost everyone out here rides some sort of Burton, or similar two strap binding. When Cabrinha was pushing flow there were a few pairs around but the have since broke, a common issue with flows. With a Burton binding in the straight up forward lean there is no need to remove your high back, so you get plenty of response for edging, and no discomfort we all ride for hours..

Was a pro snowboard athlete for 15 plus years befor kiting..everyone in the industry frowns on the fit and proformance of flow bindings(base plate flat spot, very stiff lower and upper because of the strap attachment, cable stretch edging on heel side, to much high back wrap that limits lateral movements and durability). flows are really a substandard binding design just so you can slid your foot in from the back, much like a rear entry ski boot vrs a tradition style boot,if you launch yer kite then place you board on then flows have fold down high back. that makes this easier, But no one launches then straps in on snow.. but if you place your board on then launch like the Majority of snow kiters do then. No worries. I ride Burtons in lots of flex for different days, soft for Pow and freestyle days, firm for race and hard snow days. All high backs on.

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Re: Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

Postby bay surfer » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:32 pm

Flows work good like any binding, different feel. Forward lean on none flow bindings can always be adjusted, file plastic off back ridge can give you less. My experience with my flows, is, its a bitch to get the board off on your ass in deep snow hooked up with the kite, and still a bitch with no snow on your ass. Regular bindings release in the front dont have that problem.

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Re: Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

Postby kitesurfrabbi » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:35 pm

billy, while i agree with your statements on the advantages of traditional bindings, for a lot of people the comfort of stepping into flowbindings is a selling feature and the reason why they have sold quite a lot of them during the past 15 or more years (despite the negative aspects you have mentioned).

i was working in the snowboardindusty 10 years ago for a snowboardbindings producer called SP-united. that also were my early years in snowkiting and we had big issues with launching and relaunching our 4 line c-kites on snow and therfor it made a lot of sense to be able to step in and out of our bindings super easily. so that snowkiting background in mind and for actually getting a piece of the pie of the comfort orientated rear entry bindings market that used to be something like 30% worldwide back then. and this big piece of the pie was owned by Flow more or less exclusivly. so we at SP developped the fastec bindings as a mix of both worlds:
http://www.sp-united.com/bindings/

i have been deeply involved it the development of these bindings and actually hold a patent on them (which unfortunately belongs to SP).
we developped these boots as a more performance orientated alternative to flow bindings.
the problem with the flow bindings is that there is no closing mechanism on the anclestrap and therefor the strap needs to be big and uncomfortably stiff to offer good support.
with the concept of the fastec-bindings consisting of two independent straps that can be seperately adjusted, the binding can be fitted much better to any boot then the Flows ever will be able to.

this video pretty much illustrates how the bindings work:

http://www.vimeo.com/13959813#

these bindings have been a big financial success for SP in the past few years but i had left the company right after the first version hit the market.
so by pimping them here i unfortunately derive no financial advantage at all.

i agree, with the new easier handling kites, the advanced ease of use these rear-entry bindings are offering for snowkiteing isn't that necessary any more as it used to be, but still, it comes in handy when you don't have to feed toothstraps through buckles and pump them until you're locked in you bindings. and i actually now favor the more locked in feeling i can have with a fastec binding for snowkiting anyway.

a few brands offer fastec bindings in their lineup. btw. in the USA fastec bindings are offered under the gnu brand-label.
http://www.gnu.com/bindings/?gender=mens

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Re: Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

Postby zob » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:34 pm

I prefer launching first , than puting my board on! :D
I used these for the last 10 years and loved it. Very light (a lot of ABS plastic), boot bit heavier. But since they stoped producing it and my boot started to delaminate,...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO4FUOeIl8U
I think being able to enter your feet from the back is an extra peace of freedom.
I ordered Flow's NX2 SE (2013), and just got them yesterday. Everything should be eassy, plug and play, but it isn't.
Like guys before me mentioned, other boots don't fit best with these bindings. Although NX2's ankle strap moves away when you open the high back, I stil don't have enough space, to freely close the high back, because it jams with the boot. If I adjust the straps to free the closing of the high back, I am already too far towards the toeside.
Stil I think I can make this work without moving the whole binding toward the heal side, by seting up the high back (in the rotation point) to the highest, farthest out position, and slide the cushion up.
One thing that bothers me alot with these Flow bindings is, that the aluminium base plates are REALY HEAVY. They add alot to the weight of the whole set up!
I was also looking at K2 bindings. Same ankle strap loosening sistem as Flow, but they are plastic, so could be lighter. As I mentioned, most parts of my previous bindings were out off ABS, and they took a lot of beating in these 10 years and there aren't any signs of deformation, so I would be comfortable with buying plastic ones, and they come cheaper.

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Re: Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

Postby huge » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:55 pm

Hey,

Resurrecting this old post as I am looking for a snowboard binding to replace my old discontinued step in binding. Initially thought of going towards flow bindings but not sure anymore after reading thisthread. I also want to use my snowboard in the regular ski hill. Is there a kite friendly snowboard binding out there (easy in and out as we sometime have put on the binding with kite in the air) ?

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Re: Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

Postby kitejumping » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:12 pm

My favorite bindings for downhill and kiting are now overdrives, they have a bearing to pivot around instead of using the baseplate as a pivot point so you don't have to make them as tight to have them super responsive on hardpack. They are also full carbon highbacks and super expensive but can bomb runs and carve like no other. On my rock board or if there is inconsistent wind where I want to unclip and skate to relaunch every so often I use GNU Freedoms. They are both rear entry and have traditional straps so you can clip in fast from the back and unclip traditionally sitting down without messing with trying to get the highback back in powder. They are also fairly stiff and responsive for bombing runs. I've never used flows so can't compare to those, but flows seem to be really popular among the kiters where I live.

Edit: The GNU bindings look identical to those fastec ones and I think one of my base plates said fastec on it so I'm guessing GNU licenses it. They work great for kiting.

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Re: Opinions. on snowboard bindings. for snowkiting

Postby edt » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:59 pm

I ride the absolute gnarliest conditions a half inch of snow over gravel gusting from 0 to 40. My favorites are the plain old bindings with the high back, like the Burton freestyle bindings, that have that ratchet. I know a lot of local kiters use the flow and their main reason as far as I can is that they like to launch the kite and then try to get their bindings on, which leads to some amazing cartwheels as they find it nearly impossible to keep the kite in the air and step into their bindings at the same time. So they go for the flow to make it easier. Anyway, what I want to be is locked into the binding 100% solid. Then once I am in the bindings, hop around and launch the kite. If you are an expert boarder you know it's easy to hop around on the snowboard to get where you want even with both bindings in place. Or if you are in deep powder, rig the control bar half suicide then you can have the control bar a few feet away while you put on your bindings and then haul in the control bar to launch. No matter how you set up those flows they don't seem to get as solid of a connection as a regular binding. As for the high back (yeah I know I'm responding to a 4 year old post anyway) when I was first starting out I took them off put them back on took them off, and I figured out the high back is great! As for forward lean that's great. It does force you to put some bend into your knees but that's good too, helps keep you in the proper stance, knees slightly bent, perfectly balanced over the center of the board, both bindings symmetrical in duck position the angle depends on what is comfortable for you. I like what Billy B has to say about the flows. As for legs burning that's not a problem get a couple days of good work in your legs will get used to it.

so in conclusion 1) don't use the flows get them regular kind of bindings 2) get in your bindings first then launch the kite

You never "have to" put on your bindings with your kite in the air. You can always land the kite pull the QR if you have to, get into the bindings and then relaunch.

If you absolutely must launch the kite before you get into your bindings yes you will need either step ins or flows on a gusty day otherwise it's cartwheels all day.

Unless you have perfect powder don't use your downhill board for snowkiting. It's wild out there, rocks, trees, gravel sand, huge ice formations, all of which will gauge out huge sections of your brand new nice downhill board and turn it instantly into a rock board. If you live in the CO tho maybe you do have perfect POW days all the time, but be aware of the conditions don't ruin your good downhill board.


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