The Rocker Binding is a new snowboard binding design that pushes the envelope for lateral flexibility. It has been ridden over the last 2 years by roughly 20 riders. The design is still being developed and fine-tuned, but we want to make the binding available along the way to allow riders to tell us what they think of the design and help us to make improvements. Two unique features are present in the current design.
The first feature is a hinge beneath the baseplate. This provides lateral flexibility (X-rotation) to a much greater degree than current binding designs. The hinge allows free motion anywhere between 5 and 10º of rotation. This creates an extremely fluid ride like skating or surfing. Some first-time riders have said it made the board more difficult to control, and we're not sure if this is a true characteristic of the binding or simply an adjustment phase.
There is a trend among manufacturers to increase the lateral flexibility of their bindings.
The second feature is a third strap around the shin of the rider. This is like the 3-strap designs of the 1990s. The third strap provides extremely responsive toe edge turns. Used on its own, the third strap can greatly reduce the lateral flexibility of the binding, and the increase in toe edge support may not be worth the loss of lateral support. But the lateral flexibility of the baseplate hinge enables the possibility for the return of a 3-strap design.
The third strap is currently a longer term goal. To fully realize the potential of the strap, boots would have to be redesigned. The third strap eliminates the need for support in the boot. As a result, boots used with a 3-strap binding could be made to be extremely flexible and would only have to provide insulation against the cold.