Switchback Session

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At first glance, the Switchback Session looks like just another snowboard binding. They’re not flashy, though the ghost graphic on the footpad, transparent highback, and other subtle locations adds a cool design vibe. What makes the Session—and all Switchback bindings—unique is that the parts are all interchangeable. Riders can mix and match baseplates, footpads, straps, and highbacks from Switchback’s stock to their exact preference. You can have multiple kits for different snow conditions and terrain. The Switchback system approach also makes it easy to switch out binding parts as they wear out over time, so you can theoretically have the same bindings forever.

We tested the freeride-focused Sessions with the Eames Straps and FL Highbacks. Testers found the highbacks fairly stiff and highly responsive, and the cupped shape provided a nice wrap around riders’ boots. The only thing they didn’t like about the highback was the lack of a forward-lean latch or other fixable system versus relying on the angle of the highback to set forward lean. The Eames Straps are the more responsive of Switchback’s two offerings, and strap length/fit is adjustable without the use of tools. The toe strap is burly with a cupping strap that does a nice job of wrapping the boot toe and staying put. Underfoot, the footpads are adjustable heel-to-toe to accommodate different boot soles, and a small amount of canting helps to accommodate riders with wide, ducked-out stances. For others, the canting adds leverage and relieves pressure on the knees and ankles.

Price: $260.00
Brand Name

Switchback

Product Type

Bindings

Style

Freeride Bindings

Gender

Mens

Manufacturers URL

http://www.switchbackbindings.com

Rad-Bad

RAD: Interchangeable parts provide long-term rideability and durability. BAD: No fixed system for forward-lean adjustments.

Product Showroom

No

Tested-Approved

Yes

Good Wood

No

Bang For Your Buck

No

Guide Year

2017

RAD: Interchangeable parts provide long-term rideability and durability. BAD: No fixed system for forward-lean adjustments.

Tested And Approved 2017 Presented by evo.com

Best snowboard gear of 2016-2017? We've got you covered. Going into winter, we want to know what gear can be trusted when put through the wringer. But testing over 500 boots, bindings, goggles, gloves, helmets, splitboards and powder boards, and other backcountry gear and accessories in every snowy corner of the country was a massive undertaking that the TransWorld staff couldn't handle alone. So we sent the latest developments in snowboarding goods to our team of testers spread across the country. With so many unique features in the lineup and different opinions from each tester—both compliments and complaints—there was plenty worth discussing. Some gear broke. Other pieces spoke volumes to functionality and durability. So here you have it: the most inclusive, all-encompassing gear test in snowboarding. If it’s in here, it’s been beat up and bent every which way – and tested, and approved.

Meet Our Testers:

Adam Broderick

As Gear Editor at TransWorld SNOWboarding, Broderick spent last season directing tests around the country when he wasn’t testing gear himself. He administered the Good Wood board test, powder board test, and backcountry test, while leading the glove test and coordinating the others, plus editing all Gear Guide text. He is the point of contact for all things gear-related at TWSNOW.

Mike Horn

Mike Horn’s first backcountry pack had bungee cords for snowboard straps. That’s a far cry from the innovative gear he tested in his Crested Butte backyard this winter. Mike’s been writing about snowboarding for a decade-plus, and he tends to get crusty when reviewing gear that’s not quite up to snuff.

Devin Silverthorne-Lillie

A New Hampshire transplant, Devin’s Ice Coast roots provide superior edge awareness, and with Breckenridge's Park Lane in her backyard, she practically falls from bed to her board. She put freestyle bindings on trial in and out of bounds—from frozen mornings to spring slush, backyard rail jams to sidecountry booter sessions.

Billy Brown

Billy Brown covered new tech for this year’s guide. The California native grew up riding the terrain parks in South Lake Tahoe, but for the past few years his career as a freelance editor has allowed him to snowboard around the world—from heliboarding in Whistler to riding post-storm powder in Valle Nevado, Chile.

Alex Showerman

A freelance writer based in Vermont, Alex took his powder hunt on the road last winter. He schlepped freeride boots, backcountry boots—and enough shells, puffies, and base layers to open a small gear store—around the globe in search of snow in locales like Vermont, Wyoming, Colorado, and Iceland.

Morgan Tilton

Reared in the San Juans of Southwest Colorado, as soon as Morgan could walk her dad strapped her in, and Telluride Ski Resort became her babysitter. Over the past 13 years, snowboarding has taken her through Wolf Creek’s whimsical powder days, USASA Slopestyle Nationals, and the cliff-riddled backcountry of Colorado and Wyoming.

Heather Hendricks

From the jagged peaks of Jackson Hole and the Canadian Rockies to the overt opulence of Aspen, the steeps of Alaska, and the striking faces of the La Sals, our contributing editor spent the season traveling to summits near and far. Heather toted along a bin full of boots and tested them all along the way.

Chris Brunstetter

From loitering shop kid to 22-year industry insider, Chris has spent most of his life in the snow and skate industries in Utah, even experiencing firsthand the rise and fall (and second rise and fall) of Forum. He tested freestyle boots and bindings in the man-made and natural parks at Brighton, Snowbird, and Jackson Hole.