Adjust and mount your Burton snowboard bindings properly, and you’ll enjoy the highest level of performance and a consistent feel that will take your snowboarding to the next level. Ignore these important steps and you’ll never achieve your full potential as a rider because you won’t have the perfect connection to your snowboard.
Setting up your new Burton bindings is not hard to do, especially if you’ve chosen the Burton EST/ICS system. Just follow these seven steps and you’ll be dialed in to start shredding right:
1) Get the right tools for the job.
2) Adjust your toe ramp.
3) Adjust your binding strap location.
4) Adjust your binding strap length.
5) Mount your bindings correctly.
6) Adjust your highback rotation.
7) Adjust your highback’s forward lean.
It’s that easy. And once you’ve got your bindings set up right, making slight adjustments to tweak your stance or riding style is easy. So let’s get started.
1) Get the right tools for the job
I once fixed a series of oil leaks on a 1984 Subaru wagon with duct tape because it was a powder day and my crew needed to get to the hill in time to share in the fresh tracks. But I can’t say that car lasted much longer than that one season.
Similarly, you can use a snowboard tool to make all the adjustments you’ll need to make to your Burton bindings, but that doesn’t mean you should.
Instead, you’ll want to invest in a pair of decent full-size Philips-head screwdrivers, size #2 and #3. Full-size screwdrivers will give you the torque and reach you need to make all the adjustments we’ll go over in this article without damaging the screws that hold your bindings together.
(Of course, you’ll want that portable snowboard tool when you’re out riding, just in case something comes loose or you need to make minor tweaks on the hill.)
Keeping a little Loctite around is also a good idea if you want a non-permanent way to be sure your screws will stay locked in position solidly, use the Thread Locker Blue for this application.
2) Adjust your toe ramp
You’ll want to complete steps 2 through 4 before mounting your bindings to your board, so don’t start worrying about your stance width and angles just yet.
Instead, take your boots and put them in the bindings. Look at the fit.
The toe ramp should stay in contact with the boot as much as possible (and should never extend out past the end of the boot, ever). Not all foot beds are adjustable, if your foot beds do not have adjustments then move to step 3.
To adjust the toe ramp location on EST bindings, take your #2 screwdriver and remove the screws that mount the footbed to the baseplate of the binding (underneath).
Next, holding the footbed, press out the locking mechanism for the toe ramp with your screwdriver. This will allow the toe ramp to be repositioned to better fit your boot.
Set the toe ramp to the new setting and lock it back in place in the footbed. Then reattach the footbed to the baseplate of the binding with the screws you removed earlier.
For non-EST bindings just pop the toe ramp loose and set to the desired position.
Double check with your boot strapped in the binding again to ensure solid boot-to-footbed contact.
3) Adjust your binding strap location
Put your boots back in your bindings and, starting with the toe strap, take a look at how the straps fit over your boots.
The toe strap should be able to hold your boot down without slipping off the end. With Burton bindings, there are two toe strap-mounting locations to choose from. As a rule of thumb, if you moved your toe ramp all the way (or almost all the way) forward, you’ll probably want to choose the forward toe strap location. And vice versa. Just pop it out of position and pop it back into place.
The ankle strap should ideally form about a 45-degree angle when strapped over your boot, so it’s pulling both down and backward equally. For most boot-binding combinations, the center hole will meet that need. But if you need to adjust where the ankle strap mounts to the binding, take your #2 screwdriver, unscrew the screw that holds the strap, then move the screw and lock bolt either forward or back and screw it back together.
4) Adjust your binding strap length
Start by pulling the bolts off your binding straps. Then put your boots into the bindings.
Starting with the ankle strap, center the strap on your boot while feeding it strap into the adjustable ankle slider. Make a note which hole lines up with the bolt location.
If your straps are brand new, choose the bolt location that makes the strap a bit shorter if you have to error one way or another — as your strap breaks in and stretches, it will fit perfectly.
Make sure that the ratchets on the other side of the strap aren’t maxed out (i.e. they can still pull the strap tighter when the strap is centered), and if they aren’t, lock down the strap in the bolt location you chose.
Repeat the process for the toe strap.
After you’ve dialed in your toe strap bolts, you can cut off the excess toe strap material that may be hanging out of your toe straps. Just be sure to leave one to two extra holes for future adjustments and added strength. Also be sure to put the toe strap back into the correct toe strap location that you chose in step 3.
5) Mount your bindings correctly
Burton bindings with the EST (Extra Sensory Technology) system are unique in that they allow for infinite changes to the three critical adjustments all riders will want to make when mounting their bindings: stance location/width, rotational angles, and toe-to-heel position.
Non-EST bindings allow for similar adjustments, but don’t offer the micro adjustments that EST bindings mounted to a Burton ICS (Infinite Channel System) board do.
A) Stance location and width:
With EST bindings on a Burton ICS board, pop the channel locks out of the board, drop in the channel hardware, then put the channel locks back in.
Make sure the mounting guide on the bottom of the footbed drops into the groove of the ICS channel.
Look through the guide window to adjust for the stance width you want. Burton snowboards, and most other manufacturers, will print what the “reference” stance width is and whether that is centered or not.
Generally, if the board references a centered stance, it’s a board with twin construction that’s designed to perform the same forward or switch. Freeride boards with a directional shape will often have a reference stance set back from center.
Whatever you have, set up your stance width and location to your liking (it may take some playing around to figure out what you prefer).
If you’re mounting your bindings on a non-EST/ICS board, you’ll have to use the mounting plates and screw holes available to approximate the stance width and location you want to the best of your ability.
B) Rotational angles:
Burton EST bindings allow for infinitesimal changes in rotational angle for each foot, whereas traditional binding mounting plates offer rotational adjustments in 3-degree increments. Just remember that 0 degrees means the binding is perfectly perpendicular to the centerline of the board, and positive degrees mean the toe of the binding moves toward the nose of the board.
Again, you’ll want to play around with your rotational angles until you find the setup right for you. As a rule of thumb, freeriders typically have a larger front foot angle and little to none in the back, whereas freestyle riders usually ride duck-footed, with a positive angle in front and an equal negative angle in back.
C) Toe-to-heel position:
An often-overlooked adjustment, properly centering your binding over your board will make a big difference in your ability to make smooth toe- and heel-side turns.
Holding your binding steady (in the proper location for your chosen stance width/location), put your boot in the binding and move the binding forward or backward until the boot is centered (i.e. the toe and heel of the boot should hang off the ends of the board equally).
Note: If the toe ramp of the binding hangs off the end of the board when your boot is centered, you may be riding a board that’s too narrow, assuming your binding is the correct size.
D) Lock down your bindings:
After all your adjustments are set up, use your #3 screwdriver to screw down the mounting bolts to the channel hardware for EST/ICS systems, or screw down the mounting plates in the appropriate holes for traditional bindings.
6) Adjust your highback rotation
The most commonly overlooked adjustment available on Burton snowboard bindings, you’ll want your full-size #2 screwdriver for sure on this one to get the right amount of torque without damaging your highback.
Start by loosening the two screws that attach the highback on either side of the heel cup just enough to get some movement.
Next, rotate your highback until the center point on top of the highback is as close to parallel to the side cut of the edge of the board at the binding location as you can get it (not so it’s parallel to the centerline of the board).
When the highback is properly positioned in reference to the side cut of the board, pull the highback back into the heel cup, then tighten the inside screw first, followed by the outside screw.
After locking in the proper rotation, make sure your highback still pivots smoothly and doesn’t hang up when folding down.
Repeat the process for the other binding.
7) Adjust your highback’s forward lean
With Burton bindings, the F2 setting — which should put you in a good athletic stance and provide quick reactions to heel pressure — will generally be where you want to start.
For jibbing, you’ll probably want the least amount of forward lean possible.
Halfpipe riders will want a bit more forward lean.
And freeriders and all-mountain riders should start with F2 and adjust for personal preference from there.
Forward lean is a simple adjustment that you can dial in on the slopes as much as you want, so feel free to play around to figure out what works for you.
Summing it all up
Adjusting your bindings is all about personal preference. And Burton bindings, especially the EST/ICS system, allow for almost infinite tweaks. So take the time to set up and adjust your bindings the right way from day one and then play with your setup from there.