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Does Anyone Still Make Step-In Bindings?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
I'd begin with the caveat that I'm only asking this question out of curiosity, but fortunately this ain't TGR, so I think I'm safe from the threat of major flame-age here...

Are there any true step-in bindings being produced and sold these days? Although I never used them (in fact, by the time I started riding, they were all on their way out), I do remember the Burton Step-In system, the K2 Clickers, the Rossignol step-ins, etc. Haven't seen anything in the stores lately though.

Have step-ins gone the way of the three-strap binding? Or have they been replaced by the Flow-style quick-strap (K2 also produces a similar version of these today)?

Better yet - Does anyone care that step-ins aren't around anymore?

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by iskitoofast4u View Post
Better yet - Does anyone care that step-ins aren't around anymore?
I do! I loved riding Switch bindings, but when I needed new boots couldn't get anything that would work since Switch was gone. Super easy to click in, and for the kind/level of riding I do they worked great.

I have Flow bindings now, which are ok but I'd still be riding Switch if I could have gotten a decent pair of boots to go with them.
post #3 of 53

Bindings

Quote:
Originally Posted by iskitoofast4u View Post
I'd begin with the caveat that I'm only asking this question out of curiosity, but fortunately this ain't TGR, so I think I'm safe from the threat of major flame-age here...

Are there any true step-in bindings being produced and sold these days? Although I never used them (in fact, by the time I started riding, they were all on their way out), I do remember the Burton Step-In system, the K2 Clickers, the Rossignol step-ins, etc. Haven't seen anything in the stores lately though.

Have step-ins gone the way of the three-strap binding? Or have they been replaced by the Flow-style quick-strap (K2 also produces a similar version of these today)?

Better yet - Does anyone care that step-ins aren't around anymore?
For those of us old enough for Social Security, step-ins are a blessing. I'm too old to sit in the snow. I have a pair of Burton step-ins on my Nitro freestyle board and Burton Physics on my Volkl GS RennTiger race board.

For those who like Flow, we have a limited selection of Flow Bindings on Closeout. Once they're gone, they're gone! We also have a few pair of the Rossi step in boots but I can't guarantee all the sizes listed on the site are still available. They're buried in the warehouse at the moment.
post #4 of 53
Bomber.
post #5 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
Bomber.
Yeah, but isn't Bomber's stuff all alpine?

I guess I wasn't 100% clear in my initial post...I was referring to "soft-boot" step-in systems.
post #6 of 53
I still have two pair of Rossi SIS and one pair of Burton SI bindings. I care that step ins are largely obsolete, but I'm planning on switching to a strap binding this year.

Are you asking because you are considering a purchase? Flow and K2 are the only options for soft booters that I know of.
post #7 of 53
Yeah, step ins went the way of the dodo. A good quality pair of strap binders these days are way better than any step-in ever was.

Flow has gotten pretty good. In fact they make some of the best, most responsive binders out there imo. Last year their NXT and Team models were some of the best I demo'd.
Union and K2 have really stepped up to the plate in quality.

Unfortunately none of the companies making step-in binders could agree on a universal system. Straps started out performing advances they were making and they gave up on them. Which is too bad. I think they could have gone somewhere with 'em, but these days no one is making them. Well, the Clicker might still be around in Japan. A few years ago they were still making and shipping that system there.
post #8 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
Are you asking because you are considering a purchase? Flow and K2 are the only options for soft booters that I know of.
Noooo...I was just curious. I have no problem strapping in standing up, so I never saw the need for step-ins (for me, at least).
post #9 of 53
I love my Bomber Step-Ins. Being old and lazy, I've also rigged the release handle with a clip and strap that goes up inside my pant leg and comes out near my hip. I can pull the handle there and release (works great if you're upside down in a tree well too).

F2 Made a soft step-in for a few years, but it seems to have gone away. I think it was called the Joint. Maybe they had a 420 model?

http://www.f2snow.com/2004_5/english...joint_hbx.html

post #10 of 53
I still use the k2 clicker. People ask me about em all the time. Unfortunately the soft boots I have are really getting worn down. Im going to end up switching to straps ins for that reason. I love the clickers and don't really understand why people said they got snow caught in them Ive been riding them for 6 years now and have never had problems with the system, just the boots are starting to crap out. Wish they still had the system.....
post #11 of 53

if anny one has pair clicker or burton si with size 12 boots i will take the much love for step in

post #12 of 53

Yes I have Step-In bindings that I bought about two years ago and they are Burton. They are all over the internet and some are relatively good priced.

 

[Spam link removed by Moderator]

post #13 of 53


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post

Yeah, step ins went the way of the dodo. A good quality pair of strap binders these days are way better than any step-in ever was.

Flow has gotten pretty good. In fact they make some of the best, most responsive binders out there imo. Last year their NXT and Team models were some of the best I demo'd.
Union and K2 have really stepped up to the plate in quality.

Unfortunately none of the companies making step-in binders could agree on a universal system. Straps started out performing advances they were making and they gave up on them. Which is too bad. I think they could have gone somewhere with 'em, but these days no one is making them. Well, the Clicker might still be around in Japan. A few years ago they were still making and shipping that system there.

A good quality strap is better than the switch X system? Something tells me you never rode a single pair of strap bindings for 4 season's without a breakage. I can say that about my switches

 When Burton brought a complete piece of junk to market and then used a law suit to leverage Van's out of producing the Switch system Step-in's were finished.

The Flows, K2 Cinch, And Fast tek are the best alternatives available today. All three suffer from the same breakage issues of regular straps and are even harder to repair.

 This is what you get when you let hype drive product development instead of science. Snowboarding has suffered from this almost from day one.
 

post #14 of 53

Sorry but the Switch system was a POS.  Yeah, I used it.  The binding itself was fine.  The bail that it grabbed onto not so much.  5 pairs of Vans boots warranty replaced over the bail ripping out of the boot inserts.  I also had 3 bails just plain break.  A good quality strap binding is way better than the Switch X system ever was.  Try a set of Rome 390's.  In fact, I rarely get a strap to break these days.  Have one set with well over 200 days on them.  I honestly can't remember the last time I busted a strap.   I didn't get 20 on my Switches.  I liked the system well enough too, it just wasn't a durable system.  Vans bailed on it, and it's not due to Burton's lawsuit.

 

You have to judge the Switch binding by the system and the system was flawed.

 

Again, one more time.  High end quality strap bindings right now are way better and more responsive than any step in binding was.  I'm sure a step in could get there but the tech right now is seriously dated.  If some company wants to pour the money into the R&D and make a bomber system, I'm all for it. 

 

4 season's means nothing btw.  Days are what counts. 

post #15 of 53

Sorry for your bad experience with the early switch, I was referring to the later X. (they had in molded bails that did not rip out or transfer cold to your feet as bad.) As too my 4 seasons I was on snow on average probably 4 days a week for four months. Although carrying your days versus seasons statement to the logical conclusion. Days don't mean anything BTW. It's conditions laps and how you rode them that count's.biggrin.gif

You got some inside info on the Burton/ Vans suit I was not privy to? I got my info from a group of business men attempting to purchase the rights to the switch system. Not sure why they would lie about it but I suppose they could have.

Using the words high end and quality to describe the weakest link in a snowboard is dubious at best. Were you one of those kid's who thought baseless and no-backs were the wave of the future?

 Are you riding Uni-track and toe craps now? How about those new urethane high backs that flex like silly putty? Is that what I should be so thankful for? I hear those and skinny jeans are the ticket out west this season.

 Seriously thou, reading back over my original post I sound like  a real @ss hat. Way to sanctimonious on my part. Please accept my sincere apologies. I stand by my personal opinion based on my experience and by extension must respect your different opinion based on your experience.

P.S. I got my second day of riding in for the season today. Things here in the south east have been brutal this week. Hope your riding has been better.

post #16 of 53

I used the Switch system with the molded bails.  In fact I used 3 generations of that system.  Again, the binding wasn't the problem it was the boots.  I really wish they had of continued to research it and go on.  As far as the Burton/Vans lawsuit goes.  They still put out the Switch binding as rental fleets for several years after they gave up on the system.  Vans could have easily of kept going with it, but by that time they had lost the support of any of their riders. 

 

High end quality?  What else am I supposed to use?  Burton makes crap boards and they make some great boards.  Same thing goes for bindings.  There are cheap crappy ones and there are more durable high performance bindings on the market.  If you buy a cheap crappy binding and it breaks, what did you expect?  Switch had their cheap models too, for which I was not comparing.  That is why I used that statement.  If you buy crap, you get crap.

 

Going on 10 days for the season this weekend.  All powder days.  No complaints here.

post #17 of 53

Man, could I rant and rave about this topic... I'll try to not be too obnoxious.

 

I've been snowboarding for over 25 years (not a typo!), I have degrees in science and engineering, and I taught snowboarding for three years in a resort on Mt. Hood, Oregon.  Additionally, I was on the original PSIA Snowboarding Steering Committee in the late 1980s.  I'm a middle-aged snowboarder, and I've witnessed the growth of the sport on a first-hand basis. 

 

Granted, some of the step-in systems are terrible.  K2/Shimano, Burton, Rossignol, and others have made some attempts in this direction, but they've all failed miserably.  The first and second generation of SWITCH bindings weren't very good, either. 

 

However, I'm absolutely convinced that the last generation SWITCH step-in binding was the best design ever invented.  (These were the A-99, Team-N, and Special-N models.)  Don't take my word for it; ask any adult you see using SWITCH bindings, and they'll tell you the same story. 

 

Here's another bit of evidence:  Industrial Design magazine gave its annual award to SWITCH Manufacturing for the N-Type binding in 1999. 

 

So what happened?

 

Vans bought SWITCH around 1998 or so, and and then Vans/Switch was purchased by V F Corporation in 2004.  VFC owns brands like Lee and Wrangler Jeans - stuff made cheaply in places like China and India. 

 

V F Corporation almost immediately gave up on step-in bindings/boots.  Why?  It had nothing to do with performance, convenience or safety; rather it was a purely economic decision.  Cheap, made-in-China, plastic, strap-in bindings can be manufactured for something like US$20 - even the "high performance" models.  Boots... maybe US$50, tops.  The SWITCH step-in mechanism was precision machine manufactured for about US$60 in the mid-1990s, so probably over US$100 today.  Compatible boots were much more expensive to produce, too.  So, if you're a giant company that can sell bindings or boots for, say, $100 to $300, you're going to go with the cheapest cost: plastic, strap-in, nonsensical, cheap Chinese junk instead of expensive-to-produce step-in bindings and boots.

 

I've been using, buying, selling and trading SWITCH bindings and compatible boots since Vans quit making them around 2004.  Mostly I do this via eBay, but quite a bit of swapping between SWITCH enthusiasts goes on via word of mouth and/or Craigslist.  There exists a rabid sub-culture of (mostly middle-aged men) SWITCH enthusiasts who are fanatics; I've known some guys who simply gave up on snowboarding after their irreplaceable SWITCH bindings/boots finally gave out (and they tried strap-ins a few times).  I have a couple of cases of the Team-N bindings and a few boxes of compatible boots packed away in plastic in my garage.  I'm part of that insane sub-group.

 

If you're interested in further discussion and/or swapping/buying/selling SWITCH stuff, feel free to contact me at

 

Best wishes for a great snow season to everyone!

 

Martin

Tahoe, NV/CA

 

P.S. I have a couple of hundred days on my 2004 Vans Flyaway (SWITCH-compatible) boots, and I easily get 100-150 days out of a set of SWITCH Team-N bindings.  This is robust equipment.  I've never had any component - which the exception of laces - fail in any way whatsoever.  Cheers!

 

 

Edit (cirquerider) email address removed.  Please use the PM system or site email.

post #18 of 53

Why don't all of you Switch enthusiasts get together and buy the design back from Vans? Stranger things have happened.

post #19 of 53

Actually, that's not a bad idea; I've spoken with other Switch Enthusiasts (SEs) about this very project.

 

Unfortunately, none of us seem to have the time and/or money necessary to get involved in starting up this project.  The terrible economy isn't encouraging us, either.

post #20 of 53

Funny, I was just looking up my old PSIA "snowboard skiing" manual last week...

 

I get asked about step ins on a regular basis when I'm teaching.

 

Roughly how much $$$ do you figure it would take?

post #21 of 53

Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinTahoe View Post

 

....I've been using, buying, selling and trading SWITCH bindings and compatible boots since Vans quit making them around 2004.  Mostly I do this via eBay, but quite a bit of swapping between SWITCH enthusiasts goes on via word of mouth and/or Craigslist......

 

 

AWESOME!!   I was just browsing through Martin's inventory on eBay, then I googled my way here.

 

I too, am one of those thirty-something-age guys who can't bear to think of riding my board without my circa-2001 setup (Switch A-88 bindings, Vans Axel boots, and Sims Project Hex 158 board).  This setup has been with me through thick and thin.  I'm not sure how one of these setups could "fail", as discussed above....  my setup has seen 10 years, maybe 80 days total (I don't live in the mountains)....  rocks/trees/ice/parks/steeps in JH, Utah, Whistler, Colorado, etc...  and aside from the odd thread pulling out on the boots, or the bail screws getting loose on a boot now and then, the bindings are always rock solid.  Sorry to see you go, Switch.  frown.gif

 

A flawed system?  I'm sure its not perfect, but I've never had a failure, and I'm probably not the only one.  Plus, I never EVER have to try to exit a chairlift with one foot out, and while other riders are stopped (strapping and ratcheting), I'm already riding away.  In the end, its about enjoyment...  and I don't enjoy straps.

 

Thanks for all the effort, Martin.  :)

 

 

 

post #22 of 53

Gentlemen!!  Let me introduce myself---although I just realized this forum is several years old.  Either way, I'm one of those middle-aged snowboarders who exclusively uses Switch bindings / boots.  For nearly 12 years, I have used every Switch binding available and have some of the old-school Van boots that have perfectly molded to my feet!!  Never had one problem or issue, other than a busted boot string.  I can't imagine using any other type of binding now that I'm so used to "clicking in" on the lift and I'm half way down to hill before my kids!!  I ride an old-school Burton Dragon which was the fastest and lightest board of its time.  Not sure what else is out there now, but I will be using switch as long as my boots hold up!!  My set-up is the AX-9s with the N-series Vans.  This provides enough control and stability to do jumps, free-style, free-ride, you - name - it!!  I'm no professional, but when you see the older guy pass most of the young 20 somethings, thats' probably me!!

 

My experience with Vans / Switch is perfect. Not a one complaint, period!!  That's coming from 11 seasons, 4 of which were in Colorado (Loveland, Keystone, Breck, Winterpark, and A-Basin).  Now I'm in AZ and don't get to go that often, but when I do, its as easy as "click, ride, release" and do it all over again!!  Never spent one minute on my butt trying to loosen or tighten straps.

 

I'm a size 11 so, if anyone has some decent switch boots, let me know!!

post #23 of 53

I have some Switch bindings and Switch-compatible boots, but they're going fast.  If you're interested, contact me at Switch.Snowboarding@gmail.com 

 

Most of this stuff I've put on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/switch_snowboarding/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p2897


Edited by MartinTahoe - 11/6/11 at 12:05am
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by ez2remember View Post

Gentlemen!!  Let me introduce myself---although I just realized this forum is several years old.  Either way, I'm one of those middle-aged snowboarders who exclusively uses Switch bindings / boots.  For nearly 12 years, I have used every Switch binding available and have some of the old-school Van boots that have perfectly molded to my feet!!  Never had one problem or issue, other than a busted boot string.  I can't imagine using any other type of binding now that I'm so used to "clicking in" on the lift and I'm half way down to hill before my kids!!  I ride an old-school Burton Dragon which was the fastest and lightest board of its time.  Not sure what else is out there now, but I will be using switch as long as my boots hold up!!  My set-up is the AX-9s with the N-series Vans.  This provides enough control and stability to do jumps, free-style, free-ride, you - name - it!!  I'm no professional, but when you see the older guy pass most of the young 20 somethings, thats' probably me!!

 

My experience with Vans / Switch is perfect. Not a one complaint, period!!  That's coming from 11 seasons, 4 of which were in Colorado (Loveland, Keystone, Breck, Winterpark, and A-Basin).  Now I'm in AZ and don't get to go that often, but when I do, its as easy as "click, ride, release" and do it all over again!!  Never spent one minute on my butt trying to loosen or tighten straps.

 

I'm a size 11 so, if anyone has some decent switch boots, let me know!!

 

 

 

I do have some Switch-compatible, size 11 boots for sale; contact me at Switch.Snowboarding@gmail.com 

 

Thanks,

Martin

Tahoe, CA/NV 89410

 

 

post #25 of 53

I was doing a search on step-ins out of nostalgia and that prompted me into joining this site. I jumped on the step-in bandwagon late and had some of the Marker/Santa Cruz bindings with the boots to match. I also demoed Switches a few times and although they were convenient the lack of lateral flex, stiffness walking about, and lack of customization made me throw in the towel. I love gadgets though and after a decade and more thinking back to when I could snap into my binding right before sitting down on the lift. I have a pair of Flows but, although they're comfy and responsive, they can be a PITA to get in to sometimes and I'm almost to the point of ditching them. Bon Hiver's, http://bonhiver.com/, seem nice but I wish I'd had a chance to try the late model Switch bindings with the highbacks.

post #26 of 53
I'm hoping a knowledgable boarder may be able to enlighten me on the best approach for settling the following dilemma.

My 12 yr old boards ( I ski). He's going this weekend with friends so we needed to get a new set of boots fast. We found a new pair of rosignol boots his size being sold on craigslust and picked them up. They are step ins and the step in rod interferes with his new bindings. We were told if that happened to just remove the plate. Two of the screws on each boot were taken out by the previous owner, but the other two screws were stripped. I can probably find someone to drill them out, but they won't be able to go back in. Is it worth it for my son to try the clip in bindings? If we get the plate with clip in rod removed do we need some sort of filler plate. Did we just buy the wrong boots and have to chalk it up as a loss and start again?

Thanks!
post #27 of 53

Wow - that's confusing.

 

I'm not the handiest guy on the planet, but if I was trying to stick Rossi step in boots into a regular strap in binding, I'd just unscrew the plate and be done with it. If I could not unscrew the plate, I'd be tempted to just saw off the protruding rods vs drill out stripped screws. But either approach should work.

 

As to using the Rossi step in bindings that go with the boots, I'm biased. I rode those bindings for years and loved them. If the bindings had highbacks (the rentals had the highbacks built into the back of the boot), that's what I would ride, with the only downside (in my book) being that the age of the gear would make reliability a gamble. Still, my recommendation is that your son would be better off using a strap binding.

post #28 of 53

i have 5 pairs of vans step ins switch system snowboard boots neww in the box i got them at an auction and need to get rid of them .

i have search and searched  till now on info about them . i called a snowboard store here in kansas city and they told me that what i have i will not

be able to get rid of   i have men sizes 7 through size 9 if you want to contact me my number is 913-514-4686 my name is jason http://kansascity.craigslist.org/spo/2748132144.htm

 


Edited by bigcheese32 - 12/11/11 at 3:09pm
post #29 of 53

 http://kansascity.craigslist.org/spo/2748132144.htmi have some vans step in boots which are the switch technology read my post i have size 7 through 9 mens

 


Edited by bigcheese32 - 12/11/11 at 3:10pm
post #30 of 53

Hello everyone,

I always had huge problems strapping my boots on the bindings (don't know why: I am not obese nor senile, but I can't draw breath while leaning forward) and for this reason I basically avoided snowboarding for some 15 years and switched happily back to ski. I saw some years ago a snowboarder with a step-in system ( here in Italy it seems the step-ins had very limited market penetration), but when I looked for them, everyone told me they didn't exist anymore. A couple of days ago I found a stock shop selling the Original Sin version of the Rossignol step-ins: these bindings have highbacks integrated with the binding itself and the boots have an integrated strap that improves the "thightness" of the boot.

While the purchase was simply a no-brainer, because it is my only chance to use a snowboard again and I paid only 200 euros for new o'sin boots, bindings and o'sin 3800 snowboard, I am now wondering if it would be wise to buy a backup for everything, since those gears are probably among the only ones left unsold in the world and they are quite on the cheap side  biggrin.gif. I still hadn't the chance to test them ( I will do that on friday, I hope) but they seem quite sturdy and responsive after a "carpet test": is this impression correct? Shall I buy another set of binidings and boots for the future? 

 

thanks,

Marco

 

PS: Sorry for any mistake, this is not my mother tongue ;)


Edited by Qoelet - 12/19/11 at 4:04am
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