Burton Bindings: Re:Flex vs. EST – Which Is Right For Me?
The binding offers the connection between rider, board and ultimately snow and the importance of this piece of equipment should not be underestimated. In store we carry a wide range of brands including Burton, Union, Flow and Ride. Most include a disk fitting with multiple hole positions, thus catering for most if not all board brands. There can be benefit to matching board and binding brand but in most cases it is absolutely fine to mix and match so as to achieve your dream combination.
Being the biggest brand in the business Burton do things a little differently, creating most bindings in two different fits, called Re:Flex and EST. Here we cover the key differences, as selecting the wrong style for your board can be a holiday destroyer.
Re:Flex should be seen as the standard configuration and your go to option if you do not own a Burton Channel board. These bindings are based around the traditional method of attachment, using an adjustable disk under the foot.
As standard Re-Flex bindings come with two different sets of disks, one for use with traditional insert boards and a second for Burton channel boards. Similarly, you will find two different screw sets included in the box:
- 8 x Silver M6 x 16mm for use with boards that have inserts. Of course, in the case of the Burton three hole configuration you would end up with two spare.
- 4 x Black M6 x 13mm for use solely with Burton Channel boards. These are marginally shorter as the channel insert sits proud of the board topsheet. Were you to use the longer 16mm silver versions these would bottom out in the channel and damage your board. Beware!
Re:Flex bindings are thus the perfect choice for those who do not use a Burton Channel board, or those with a mixed quiver including a variety of board brands. When selecting a binding it is always worth taking future considerations into account. For instance, if you own channel board but are considering adding a board with inserts to the quiver it might be worth sticking with Re:Flex bindings so as to eliminate the need for additional purchases.
Burton Freestyle Re:Flex
So why ‘Re:Flex’? Why not call them disk bindings? The challenge with traditional disk bindings is that the stiff binding plate, whether plastic, composite of aluminum, tends to affect the flex of your snowboard. As such, with bindings in place the board has two distinct dead spots that hinder feel and control. In contrast, in the case of Re:Flex bindings Burton have removed material from the base plate centre. In doing so the binding will flex to match your board and have less of an impact on feel when compared with traditional disk bindings.
Since 2005 Burton have been developing a channel fitting in order to move away from the downsides of traditional inserts as a method of binding attachment.
Channel fitting has evolved ever since but as a snowboarder you should have confidence in this revolutionary system, with benefits including:
1) More adjustment opportunity in terms of stance width and boot angle.
2) Quicker adjustment with only two screws to release.
3) Greater board feel because there is only foam between your boot and the topsheet. This allows the board to flex as its designers intended.
4) Greater force needed to rip the binding from the board compared with traditional inserts.
Burton Cartel EST
The development of the complimentary EST binding makes the most of the channel fitting, using just two screws as opposed to the three of four needed with boards using traditional inserts. However, it is important to be aware of the limitation in terms of compatibility, with EST bindings only fitting channel boards. As standard the binding comes with four channel specific screws and locking washers. You will also need some channel inserts, which are supplied with the board itself.
We hope you have found this information useful but feel free to get in touch with additional questions or queries. Even better, why not visit our Leeds based store to view the current range.