Automatic bindings? That’s right! One ratchet, two straps. You do the math!
I got a chance to get in to a pair of K2 National bindings, and have been most pleased. I felt new levels of control, even on my old haggard board. They offered all-day comfort, and gave instant response in both railing turns and snapping quick ollies on the fly.
K2’s Auto chassis runs a cable from the ankle strap through the base to the toe strap, tightening both simultaneously with one ratchet. I must admit, I was a little skeptical at first. I’ve never had a problem operating two ratchet straps per foot. But these aren’t just convenience binders. The Auto function keeps you locked in and feeling good, preventing the infamous toe strap slip. Getting them on and off does require some getting used to. At first, I would often trip on the toe strap when taking them off. After a handful of runs, I adapted a foot twisting motion to help my boot in and out of the toe strap that worked fine.
I love the Harshmellow padding on the baseplates. This keeps the ride smooth, but with 3 degrees of inward canting, remains ergonomically friendly and responsive.
My favorite thing about these babies is that they offer a lot of freestyle mobility, considering they are so responsive. Usually freestyle fun means a mushy feel, while freeride chargers were stiff and pissed. The Tweakback urethane highback is tall and solid, but moves laterally with ease for super boned out grabs and a wonderful sense of freedom. Isn’t that why we snowboard? For freedom?
These bindings are great! After riding the same brand of bindings for 20-plus years, it is refreshing to find other stuff out there that I really enjoy riding. K2 has been doing snowboarding right for decades and it all adds up in this advanced foot binder.