Binding Timeline: Part 2 of 3
In the beginning there was an urge to find different ways to get down a snow-covered hill, to be different, and to tinker. This account is not meant to issue bragging rights or lay down who’s-first claims (unless they are widely known,) but it’s an effort to educate and give thanks to the early pioneers who had the ingenuity and took the time to make snowboarding better. This is a simple account of the evolution of the snowboard binding.
[First published in Transworld SNOWboarding, February 2005]
By Dennis Nazari
Photography by James Cassimus
The mid 80s saw the introduction of an oddity called the highback (originally spelled either highback or hy-bak)— the biggest single step forward in the evolution of the snowboard binding. The highback acted—and still acts today—as a leverage point that makes it easier to “hold” a heelside edge and to better control the board. On the heels of pioneers like Jeff Grell and Louis Fornier, several companies were quick to adopt the new idea in 1984. Highbacks were standard equipment on most Burton models for the 1984/85 season. PHOTO: James Cassimus