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Burton Step On - Hands On Review

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BURTON STEP ON - Hands On Review:

We all know the concept - A snowboard binding that is as quick to use as a ski binding. No straps, No fuss. Just step on and go. But how do they perform? Can you really have a binding with the same performance as a traditional high end binding but without the straps? Our test team tried them out in Austria to find out!

How They Work:

The Step On Bindings work with a selection of Burton Step On Snowboard Boots. Unlike ordinary boots these have 3 fixing points that connect to the Step On bindings. There are two tabs at the front of the boot, either side of the toebox, and one bar attachment on the back of the boot. The rear attachment locks into the highback and the two front tabs click down between small wings on the Step On base plate.

To release, there is a small lever on the highback that unlocks your heel. As you lift your foot the front tabs change angle enough to release as well. 
It's really simple to look at, but makes a very strong connection to the boot. 

How They Ride:

The ultimate test - Use these to ride as hard as you can from the top of the glacier to the lift station. 
Two of our team tried these on different snowboards over the varied terrain of the Hintertux upper slopes. The conditions were powder in the side country, hard packed pistes with icy sections, down to a bit more slushy by the base station. 

The biggest compliment we can say is that within a minute you forget your riding a Step On binding!

The Step On Bindings behave just like a regular binding. Riding through everything we could find, the binding flexed and responded just like a normal Burton boot and binding. No play or loosening, just forgot about them and rode.

The Step On boots range comes in several different models with a range from medium to stiff boots. There's two factors that are worth mentioning here:
1- The bindings have a highback. This takes the strain during heelside turns and means that Burton don't need to add reinforcement to the boots.
2- Since there's no straps, the flex of your boot pretty much dictates how responsive the ride will be. 

Keeping the boots flexing the same way as a regular snowboard boot allows for a totally familiar feeling in the ride. One of the factors that made it so easy to get along with the Step On system!

Setting Up:

Our most frequently asked questions were: "What about icing up?" and "you spend ages clearing them out right?".

Icing up is something that all previous attempts at step on style bindings have had an issue with. Ice in the mechanism or snow compacting into all the working bits. The Burton Step On system has it's mounting points on the sides of the boot, above the sole, which means any snow drops off the points rather than settling into them. As for clearing the base plate of the binding, honestly it's no different to quickly flicking the snow out of your regular binding. Probably quicker than a binding with straps in the way. 

Potentially, the only noticeable difference would be that you have to press down to clip in - this may affect those on very steep faces or in chest deep snow, but in reality is no different than when a skier has to push down to secure their heel.

Summary:

After a bunch of runs over some really fun terrain we can safely say "It works brilliantly!".
The Step On system is speedy and responsive, and when you're riding it behaves like a regular high performance binding from Burton. It does what all bits of snowboard technology should do; lets you concentrate on the ride. 

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