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I recommend that you don't get Burton SI. I got them last season, and while they never come undone and feel quite secure even for jumps and stuff, they're not comfortable and they're a hassle in many ways.


To get a good interface with the board, you have to crank down on the boot strap so that you end up with numb toes which defeats my purpose in getting them. There's also a lot of pressure on the part of your foot nearest the linkage, and it begins to hurt after lunch.


Getting in and out of the bindings in powder is a nightmare too. (But you should never ride in powder in Japan anyway as it goes against traditional Japanese culture and you will be seen as a troublemaker.) Trying to find the little release clips with both hands in six feet of powder is enough to make you scream. Once you've found them, getting out is not that easy either.


Of course if you never ride in powder, they're a breeze to get in and out of, and you can click in on the move too. But they're still uncomfortable.


For me, that leaves Flows. I'd really like to try them, although there seems to be a bit of a reappraisal going on in another thread here.


Strap bindings are out - they cut off my circulation and the straps get ice in them and slip.

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while not a big fan of anything K2, i did sneak a preview of next years line-up, and one thing which caught my eye was their bindings. eek.gif


they`re a hybrid mix of flow, and strap-ins. you can enter from the rear (my fav. point of entry), or yacan go tha traditional strap-in. they don`t appear to be as troublesome as flows. i.e. lots of fiddling around `til ya find tha right setting for you.

ya have tha convienience of step-ins, and tha comfort of stap-ins.


if i didn`t like my bindings so much i`d probly get a pair...

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Cayote, it has a lot to do with pers preference and what you're used to. I doubt there is any system that is completely trouble free (i.e. every system has some advantages and draw backs). I've had SI for two seasons now and would recomend them to most casual riders.



You can step into them stright off the lift and slide away with the skiiers while your stap-on budies are sitting on their arses.


You can skate along and step in on the move.


No dangly bits to catch on things when skating.


They are usually very easy to get into and out of, with no dangly strappy things getting in the way.


They hold very well and are almost as good as stap on systems for responsiveness.


Becuase the boots don't have any bits sticking out, you can remove your ankle strap and use your boots with stap on bindings. Handy for the times when you're renting a board.


Not really a Pro, but worth mentioning is that whilst SI are not the easist to get into or out of in powder, they are probably no more difficult that any other binding system. All systems would require you to clear away the snow, flow binding have the flappy back thing that you need to flip up, which (from the very few times I've seen them in action) seem to be equally problematic. I honestly haven't experienced any problem using SI in powder and when I've had to take my board off, it has been fairly easy to set the board up and climb on and step in. It does take a little balance, but it's not a fatal flaw with the system.




Almost impossible to release when there is upward pressure on the system. If you find yourself facing down the slope and the board caught up in something above you, it will nearly impossible to release yourself without assistance. But then, maybe this is just another risk of riding off piste alone.


Probably the worst thing and this would be the same with most step-in type bindings and maybe flow's big advantage is that you need to have the boot quite tight to avoid heel (and toe) lift. The ankle strap helps reduce this a bit, but you still need to spend the day with your boots done up up quite tightly which can be very uncomfortable until you get your boots just right. The top end versions of the boots with their extra padding help a lot in this regard.


The gear can freeze. Once one of the locking tumblers got some ice inside and wouldn't stay open. Not sure how often this happens, but the only way to fix the problem is to let the binding thaw out. Luckly it happened late one afternoon, so very little slope time was lost.



As I said above, it really is pers preference. I bought my system after two days of renting strap on gear and so pretty well learnt to ride with SI. For me, the ease of getting around the mountain more than makes up for the drawbacks.

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I like Burton SI bindings and I don't have any trouble in powder at all. Eapecially the new PSI with rachet mechanism and bigger toggles, it is now easier than ever to get in/out. The only con is if you like front/aft control, SI can be sloppy as they hold the sides of your boots. The one I certainly do not recommend is Shimano Clicker/rapid fire. In poweder they are so prone to clog up and you need to blind insert your toe clip. Almost all of my friends ditched this and went to either Burton SI or straps.

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IM, when you wipe out in powder, and you're half buried and on your back (maybe this doesn't happen to you...) you don't find that removing your foot evenly from the binding so that the projections don't catch is a challenge?


I also find that the reverse operation, when powder is flowing all around and into the binding, takes a good deal of coordination. I notice that a certain Australian friend who also has SI likes to get stepped in by leaning heavily on the shoulders of somebody sitting down to strap in. Without that handy aid, it can be a lot harder to get in.


S'what I find anyway...

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> roll my foot out


That's generally what I end up doing.


Not that deep powder is proving too much of a problem for me at the moment. \:\( Can someone please remind me why I moved down here?


> indicates a remarkable lack of coordination

No it indicates a load of bloody cheek. Yes, he is definitely Australian.

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I have a barely used pair of 2003 Burton Ion HD boots, and a brand new pair of 2004 PSIs used only twice sitting on the floor in my house.


After they are clicked in (I stress AFTER cause they aren't that easy to step into), they are very good IF


I am on groomed slopes OR


I'm in the snow park OR


I'm having a good time in deep powder but havent fallen down or gotten stuck either of which would require me to take them off.


They are a pain in the arse to step into in deeper powder...and I fell into a tree well at Hakkoda last year (using 2003 PSIs) and being a 42 year old and all alone, thought I might have a heart attack getting the damn things off.


I keep putting them back on my board thinking "I'll get the hang of them" but then half way through the day, take the board back out to the parking lot and put my flows back on.


Unfortunately, my flows are much much faster to get into and out of, so the PSIs will continue to sit on the floor for now.

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Even in deep powder, I can typically snap my right foot (Im a reg.)right in while standing up (even with my pack on )provide I set up the board correctly - just like everyone else. I see friends with straps seem to have more problems as most of them have to sit down to stap thir foot, and end up stuck in the powder(cant get up). I guess this is a preference thing since I never used strap or Flow, so I can't say how others work.

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RIJ - Interesting to hear about the problems you're having. I have basically the same gear that you have but with all the good things everyone says about flows, I' keen to give them a go next season. One of the tumblers on my bindings seems to be leaking lubricant and as it was the one that froze I reckon next year I might be due for a gear change.


How does the responsiveness/comfort of the flows compare with the SI system? Also, how do you find getting into the flows in the deep powder? I guessing you're not using your HDs with the flows, is that correct?

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Ocean: For me, that leaves Flows. I'd really like to try them, although there seems to be a bit of a reappraisal going on in another thread here.
with your love of toys, I'm surprised you don't already have a pair. ;\)
Why don't you talk to the distributor and see if he'll let you demo a pair.
That's how I first got into them here in Oz and I was allowed to use a demo pair for a few days when I smashed into a tree in Niseko and the Japanese distributor shipped new parts up for me. Great guy. \:\)

I've been riding them for 8 years and they've improved so much in that time.
Comfort, ease of use and support/performance are the reasons I love them.
Could never get the same support with 2 straps without crunching my feet.

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Last year, until the spring on one of my PSI levers broke, I didn't have any problems on groomed surfaces - I could step in pretty easy and loved them UNLESS, I was in deep powder situations that you encounter on ungroomed slopes. Pushing down on the binding trying to step in simply resulted in the board pushing down into the snow. Sometimes it was so difficult, folks with straps were well on their way before I was ready. My wife, who has flows was always quicker in the powder. As stated by others, I also had problems taking them off if I wasn't standing on them - situations like a tumble into a tree well where the only way you get out is by taking the board off...


After the spring broke, I could still step in but it was a pain in the butt cause I had to do it carefully to keep the mechanism from collapsing before my boot got in.


Anyway, I took my PSIs to my dealer who took them back for repair under warranty. We were mostly riding at Hakkoda so I decided to get a pair of Flows to try while the PSIs were being fixed. I fell in love with the Flows instantly. They are just as responsive as my PSIs (though my meager 3 seasons of experience might be flawing that opinion), and are as quick to get into on groomed slopes, and 10 times easier to get into and out of in powder situations. Flows can actually be "stepped into" while on the lift too if you are flexible enough to reach down and pull the hi-back up without falling off the lift. That way you can board right off the lift like skiers do...One thing I like about the flows is I can slide my back foot into the binding to help support the board so all of its weight isn't on my left knee. Of course you can simply put your foot under the board too but that ends up slightly twisting my knee and puts pressure...I used to play a lot of volleyball, so my knees appreciate the ability to slide my foot into the Flow binding while on the lift...


BTW - Burton chose to give me a set of 2004 PSIs instead of repairing my 2003s. Then after I picked them up in November, they recalled them cause of a problem in the mechanism. The few times I have used them this year, they have not been as easy to step into as last years model. I can't see any difference - maybe its the way I have them set up, but there are times I have enough difficulty stepping in that strapped boarders are gone before me - and thats on GROOMED slopes too!


From a comfort perspective - there is no difference IMO. I use K2 Boa laced boots with the Flows. If Burton had a Boa laced HD, then I would get that so I could use one boot with either binding. I plan on getting a Fish powder board next year and I'll put the Flows on them. Then I'd probably put the PSIs back on my Custom to use on groomed slopes. One Burton shoe to use with both bindings would be nice...


There are cons with Flows too though - the hi-back doesn't fold flat so it always gets hit by the lift chair - my hi-backs are carbon fiber so they are chipping as a result. And the Flows are WAY heavier than the PSIs. They are also broader, making the board stiffer. The added stiffness, combined with the weight make it hard to do ground tricks, and to get air without a ramp of some sort. I should add that mine are Board X bindings so they are probably designed to do that...


I do wish I could make the PSIs work - all this talk has me wanting to put them back on again...

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What! You're getting a Fish! Sounds like you're having problems with too much powder. You better get your flyboy friends to air freight some of it down here, or there'll be car bombs going off in front of the US embassy in Tokyo.


You know all about my home-WMD as well I presume...

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