snowboard mounting patterns diagram

Snowboard Mounting Patterns Explained [2024]

by Fraser

Before you start cutting fresh tracks this season, you need to understand the equipment. But hey, that’s what I’m here for!

Today we’re going to look at the various snowboard mounting patterns. These determine how your bindings connect to your board (and which bindings are compatible). 

The good news?

Most snowboard bindings are now compatible with all mounting types (with a little help from conversion discs). 

Let’s dive right in!

What Are Snowboard Mounting Patterns?

Snowboard mounting patterns are the arrangement of holes on a snowboard where the bindings are attached. These holes are pre-drilled into the board by the manufacturer and are designed to accommodate different styles of bindings.

There are four main types of mounting pattern:

  1. 4 x 4
  2. 2 x 4
  3. The Channel System 
  4. Burton 3D (3 Hole)

You’ll need to know which mounting system your board uses in order to find compatible bindings, so pay attention!

4 x 4 Hole Patterns

The 4 x 4 is the OG snowboard mounting system. As the name suggests, it features two rows of holes spaced 4cm apart vertically and horizontally. 

This was previously the most common pattern, but has been phased out over the last 5-10 years. You’ll therefore only find it on used snowboards (and some kids’ boards). 

4 x 4 hole snowboard mounting pattern diagram

Pros:

  • A tried and tested mounting system!
  • Super stable and reliable  

Cons:

  • Minimal adjustability 
  • Difficult to find compatible bindings these days

2 x 4 Hole Patterns

The standard 2 x 4 (or 4 x 2) hole pattern is arguably the most prevalent in the snowboarding world.

It features two rows of inserts spread evenly across the board. As they are only 2cm apart, there’s space for significantly more inserts than on a 4 x 4 pattern. 

This gives the rider much more flexibility in terms of stance width and stance setback. Most brands (except Burton) utilize this pattern, and it’s therefore compatible with almost all binding brands.

Pros:

  • Compatible with almost all brands of snowboard binding
  • Allows more stance width and setback options 
  • Cheaper to manufacture, keeping board prices down 

Cons:

  • Not quite as customizable as the Channel system

The Channel System

In the pursuit of ultimate customization and weight reduction, Burton introduced the Channel system.

Instead of multiple holes, this mountain systems uses two channels which run lengthwise. The bindings can then attach using special hardware.

the channel system snowboard mounting pattern diagram

This design provides unmatched stance adjustability. Riders can literally move their bindings to any point along the channel for a personalized fit.

Despite this, the Channel system was not popular when first introduced. Rather, it was seen as a money-grabbing move by the Burton corporation. Why? Because it forced anyone with a Burton board to buy their proprietary bindings.

burton channel system

Fortunately… the Burton Channel system is now compatible with most major binding brands, provided you have the right hardware.

Pros:

  • Allows an almost unlimited choice of binding angles, stance width and stance setback. 
  • Reduces snowboard weight 
  • Removes binding discs, providing excellent board feel

Cons:

  • Only available on Burton and Endeavor snowboards (for now)
  • More expensive to manufacture 
  • Harder to set up than 2 x 4 options 

Burton 3D

The now defunct Burton 3D pattern, utilized exclusively by Burton, features three rows of inserts arranged in a diamond shape.

This design is less common than it used to be, you’ll only really find it on used snowboards (and a couple of kid’s boards). You’ll now need specific Burton bindings or a conversion disc to use this system.

Pros:

  • Slightly more customizable than 4×4 patterns 

Cons:

  • Outdated 
  • Only compatible with pre-2014 Burton bindings (unless using a conversion disc)

Why Does Your Mounting Pattern Matter?

The mounting pattern directly influences your stance and riding options. For example, the old-fashioned 4 x 4 mounting system often forced riders into overly wide or narrow stances. 

Newer mounting options were invented to address this issue. You can thank the snowboard gods for 2 x 4!

Mounting system choice also impacts the responsiveness of the board; some patterns (the Channel) provide a more direct connection between the rider and the board.

What is the Best Snowboard Mounting Pattern?

The best mounting patterns allow for optimal comfort, control, and customization.

For beginners, a standard 4×2 hole pattern might be the best starting point. This is due to their widespread availability and compatibility, plus their ease of use.

The Burton Channel system, on the other hand, can be a great choice for more experienced riders looking for unmatched customization.

Snowboard Binding Compatibility

Finding compatible snowboards and snowboard bindings is actually easier than it looks. 

Most binding brands now include additional discs (or universal discs) which are compatible with all mounting types. Those that don’t, often sell after-market conversion discs. 

The table below outlines snowboard binding compatibility by brand. 

Binding Brand 4x2 OR 4x4 Channel 3D
Arbor ✓* ✓* X
Burton Reflex ✓* ✓*
Burton EST X X
Burton Step-Ons ✓*
Fix X
Flow
Flux X
GNU X
K2 X
Nidecker
NOW ✓* X
Ride X
Rome ✓* X
Rossignol X X
Salomon X
Union X

*Arbor: Compatible with 4×2 and Channel system. Models using mini-discs (Cypress and Hemlock) aren’t compatible with 4×4. 

*Burton: Reflex bindings require a separate conversion disc to work with 3D mounts. When I last checked, Reflex bindings do come with an EST (Channel) conversion disc. 

*NOW: Most models come with a channel compatible disc. You can buy one separately from NOW if needed. 

*Rome: Most high-end models come with a Channel compatible disc. Check before you buy. 

Check Compatibility Before You Buy!

As much as I try to keep the above table up to date, it’s always worth checking the product description before pulling the trigger. 

snowboard binding compatibility

Brands have been known to switch out their discs last minute, especially during the decline of 3D snowboards.

Snowboard Binding Conversion Discs

If you already bought the wrong bindings for your snowboards’ mounting pattern, don’t panic!

It can usually be fixed with a simple conversion disc. Most binding manufacturers now make their own.

For example,  Burton’s 3D and 4×4 conversion discs.  

Snowboard Binding Systems Video

If you’re looking for a video explanation, here’s a great one.

Final Thoughts

Understanding your snowboard’s mounting pattern is super important. Each pattern offers unique benefits and customization options. Choose wisely!

Plus, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a bright-eyed newcomer, taking the time to understand mounting patterns will deepen your appreciation for snowboard tech.

So, the next time you look at a snowboard, you’ll know exactly which bindings you can pair it with!

 Happy shredding!

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