When you’re snowboarding, you want every piece of equipment to function properly. The last thing you need is movement in your feet or bindings! But are snowboard bindings supposed to move?
Snowboard bindings are not supposed to move whilst you’re riding. Movement in your bindings can be dangerous and indicate underlying problems with your gear. There are a number of possible causes and it’s important to address the issue quickly.
Let’s dive into everything you need to know about snowboard bindings… and how to stop dangerous movements!
What Makes Snowboard Bindings Move?
When your snowboard bindings move whilst riding, this is annoying at best and unsafe at worst. If they loosen to the point where they throw you off your board — well, you can imagine what might happen.
If your snowboard bindings are moving in a way that bothers you, it could be due to one or more of the following.
- Loose screws: If you fail to tighten your screws properly, the bindings will not hold on to the board. The bindings may loosen and cause accidents.
- Screws not cross-threaded: The screws that hold the bindings to the snowboard should be properly cross-threaded to prevent jams. Jams occur when the binding bolts or screws aren’t correctly aligned with the threads of the receiving nut or hole.
- Temperature fluctuations: Low temperatures cause the bolts and screws to shrink, high temperatures cause them to expand. So when temperatures fluctuate while you’re riding, the bindings will expand and contract constantly, causing them to move across the snowboard.
- Old hardware: Like any other equipment, old snowboard parts vibrate a lot, which causes bindings to move. Specifically, these vibrations can loosen the screws and bolts, potentially throwing you off your board if left unaddressed.
- Improper sizing: if the boot and binding sizing doesn’t match up, you’ll inevitably have a lot of movement.
Your bindings may not seem as important as, say, your snowboard itself. However, if you leave the above issues unaddressed, you might end up compromising your comfort and safety as a snowboarder.
Fortunately, I’ll tackle how to address the above issues in the next few sections.
How Do You Stop Snowboard Bindings From Moving?
It is difficult to completely stop snowboard bindings from moving as some causes (like vibrations and temperature fluctuations) are beyond your control. However, there are ways to significantly reduce the natural loosening of your bindings and ensure they stay tight for long periods.
Let’s take a look at some of the safety checks you should do. Here’s the best ways to stop snowboard bindings from moving.
1. Confirm the Screws Are Not Cross Threaded.
Cross threading occurs when the bolt’s and nut’s threads don’t align, causing them to cut across each other. This usually happens when you don’t correctly place the screws into the holes. Cross threading also happens when you over-tighten the screws.
Take a look at the screws themselves and also the screw holes in the board. Try out other screws if the ones you have look suspicious.
2. Tighten the Screws Properly.
If the bindings are still moving, the screws are likely not properly tightened. To fix this:
- Place the bindings in their designated locations.
- Get a proper screwdriver. The key is to avoid using anything smaller than a number three screwdriver. Otherwise, you’ll experience loose bindings or screw heads that have cammed out.
- Using the screwdriver, insert a screw through the binding plate and into the tapped hole.
- Turn it slowly counterclockwise until you feel a subtle bump.
- Screw it clockwise once, making a complete turn that threads the screw or nut a little but not entirely.
- Repeat the above until all screws are tightly bolted into their respective tapped holes.
- If the bindings continue to move, remove all the screws and realign them.
3. Use a Thread Locker!
This stuff works miracles. If you’ve done the above and your bindings are still moving, you may need to add a thread locker to firmly hold your bindings to the snowboard. This method works best with snowboards that have damaged screws and tapped holes.
When you buy brand new bindings, you’ll notice that they come with screws that have colored tips at the end. These tips are usually blue and are designed to hold them in place. They work by increasing the friction between the screws and tapped holes to stop bindings from moving.
Eventually, these thread lockers disappear after the snowboard is screwed and unscrewed multiple times. When this happens, you need to buy another thread locker bottle.
I recommend picking up some Loctite (on Amazon). It works really well and will address most movement issues.
4. Replace the Hardware.
If you’ve tried to fix your moving snowboard bindings using all of the above and your screws still don’t line up, you may have no choice but to buy new hardware. Initially, try new screws from your local store. Many stores can also replace the screw holes in the snowboard for you if these are at fault.
Some bindings are too old and damaged to be repaired, so your best option is to replace them. Reputable snowboard brands (like these) now produce really high-quality bindings that last for a long time without damage or wear.
5. Check Your Sizing and Compatibility.
Make sure your boot size matches up with the recommended size range from the binding manufacturer. This will ensure a snug fit without needing to over-tighten to prevent movement.
How Tightly Should I Fix My Snowboard Bindings?
Most snowboard bindings have two straps — the toe strap and ankle strap — to hold them in place. When you step onto the snowboard, you need to tighten both straps such that your foot doesn’t move around in the boot.
This may sound simple enough for experienced riders, but beginners may wonder how to tighten the bindings without cutting off circulation in their feet.
Your snowboard bindings should be tight enough to prevent excessive movements while riding downhill. If you’re needing to over-tighten then there is a high chance your boots are too small for your binding size.
If you want to check whether your bindings are the right tightness:
- Try moving the snowboard around in a safe place. Strap in on the flat sections before heading out. Wiggle around. That way, if the bindings loosen again, you can get them back in proper working order without compromising your safety.
- Ask a more experienced snowboarder to help you tighten your bindings. They can probably tell more easily than you can if your bindings are tight enough (And hey: It’s a great way to make a new friend!)
How To Keep Snowboard Bindings Tight.
It’s common for binding straps to come loose when you’re skiing down a mountain, which can get annoying — especially when you do jumps and land with heavy impacts.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s impossible for snowboard bindings to not loosen at all. However, some things can help keep them tight for longer.
- Tighten your bindings in the cold. The cold temperature makes the screws shrink and tighter while you’re navigating the slopes.
- Use loctlite on your screws. As mentioned above, loctite can be a snowboarder’s saviour!
- Check the binding flex. Bindings have different flex ratings depending on your skill level and riding style. Choose a firmer flex rating that prevents your bindings from moving.
- Invest in portable snowboard tool. The moment you feel your bindings loosening, you can stop, check, and fix them as I’ve outlined earlier.
It’s possible for your bindings to move now and then. However, if they move too much, they can cause accidents and injuries, especially downhill.
Ensure that your bindings are firm but not too tight. You don’t want to lose circulation to your toes! Having compatible hardware and optimal screws to ensure the bindings fit also helps.
I hope this resolves your binding movement issues. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.