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Kitesnowboarders can rejoice in the advent of two new binding technologies available this winter. Burton and K2 both offer new hybrids that will eliminate difficult decisions when choosing Strap In vs. Step In.

The convenience and ease of entry and exit of step in bindings when managing a kite in unsteady winter winds is invaluable. Just step down on the binding and click in VERSUS sitting down, getting your foot back in the binding, getting the strap fed into the ratchet, and getting it tightened down. The performance of step ins are limited however in that they do not allow for quick adjustments that rachets on strap ins provide. Traditional two strap bindings also give the rider a more responsive, solid, locked into the board feel (especially on the slopes), but can be cumbersome.

Both of the new hybrids solve these issues but are very different designs.
The K2 Cinch is similar to the Flow with entry from the rear via a fold down highback. Where K2 has improved this concept is by replacing the single, difficult to adjust front flap with two traditional straps with ratchets allowing for quick micro adjustments on the fly. The Burton Fusion is a completely fresh take that features a plate that is strapped onto the boot by two ratcheting straps. The rider can walk around with the plate on (it is textured with a tread) and then engage the plate into the highback mechanism on the board.

Both the Fusion and the Cinch can be used with any boot eliminating system incompatabilities.

I have been a die hard Strapper Inner but have been worked at times getting in and am fired up about putting both these binders to the test this season.
Warning!!!! Try before you buy. These systems work well enough on the shop floor but differtly in actual use. Having tried the cinch last season and spoken to those that have been on the fusion, I can tell you this: The cinch's highback dosn't recline nealy far enough to get your boot in easily, I ended up having to strap in the traditional way, and that was without a kite. Forget about it while flying a kite, not happening. It only goes down about half that of a Flow binding and the straps keeps moving around, where a Flow strap stays in position, also the straps tighten when your foot is out so you have to adjust it everytime you put your foot in, the flow is always at the setting you last rode it at. Other than that it is way complicated with a ton of parts, and no advantage of having a more comforatble and supportive strap like the Flow. Either go standard 2 strap or Flow, both are much more simple in design, work well, proven over time and you will end up straping into your cinch the traditional way anyway, guaranted. I was told the fusion works well as long as you are on hard snow, the quote I was give by the shop guy who rode it was "forget about getting in if there is any new snow at all". Apparently any snow build up and you are screwed, same as with the older step-ins.
other than that it works.
I did hear the same thing about those cinch binding, that they're hard to get in because of the smaller opening. Never tried or even seen a pair in real life, so who knows.

Got some Flows last year, and I was really happy with them. Excellent support and great for quick enter and exit. Great design all together. I definitly recommend those.
Geat information from the guest on the K2"s. I just took a look at them and Kyle refered me back to this post. I was wondering if the highback folded back far enough for the boot to fit in with out trouble. It deffinetly looked limited.

I have owned a pair of flows for a few years now. They are great bindings with spectacular performance but there are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing a pair. First not all boots work well with them so make sure the back of your boots are straight all the way down to the heel. If they are like the Northwave Heels where they stick out a little the highbacks on the bindings will get stress cracks and break. Second under no circumstances get the carbon highbacks I have replaced mine twice even with the proper boots they still had problems. Even with the problems I had with my Flow's I would still recommend them. They are a great company who stands behind thier product. Every time I had problems they found a local dealer to fix them on the spot so I never missed a day of boarding because of them.
Will Burton boots work with Flow bindings?

Thanks - Skip
Yes, Burton boots work fine. I'm currently using Rules and there are no issues.
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