Dec 23, 2016 | By Julia

International snowboarding company Burton has incorporated 3D printing into their newest product launch: an advanced Step-on Binding system which allows snowboarders increased ease and swiftness when snapping their boots onto their board. The improvement could mean more rides per day for boarders, and a much-needed boost for the sport overall.

Many a boarder knows the plight of bending down or sitting in the snow to buckle their boots into their board. The time-consuming hassle has often meant wet hands and frustrating wait times for snowboarders looking to carve fresh snow.

Although step-in bindings have been experimented with for the past decade, popularity never peaked due to subpar performance. Thanks to the efficiency of 3D printing technology, however, Burton developers have been able to generate and refine hundreds of prototypes in a remarkably short time span. After extensive development, the snowboard company has finally released a step-in binding system ready for market. The Burton Step-on Binding will hit retailers next fall, and can be purchased for $250-$400 USD.

the Step-on Binding system by Burton

“We asked the question, ‘What if?’” said Vice President of Product Chris Cunningham. “What if I could save 30 seconds per run?” While that sounds like only a small advantage, a 30-second difference for each run could add up to a whole extra trip down the slopes each day, and up to hundreds of extra runs over several years.

Those numbers are especially significant for industry heavyweights like Burton, who have seen snowboarding numbers peter out over the last decade. Climate change, increased pricing for lift tickets, and improvements in skiing technology have all led to slow growth for snowboarding in the last ten-plus years. A report from SnowSports Industries America shows minute growth in the number of active snowboarders between the 2011-2012 season and last winter – a very slight increase from 7.57 million to 7.6 million boarders.  

In an attempt to inject fresh life into the waning winter sport, Burton has come out with their new Step-on Binding, which allows boarders to snap their boots quickly and easily onto their boards using a new piece of technology similar to ski binding.

Professional Burton rider Kimmy Fasani says the new binding system gives her the same level of confidence as with her old bindings. “I think sitting down (to get into the bindings) has always been kind of a nuisance for snowboarders,” Fasani commented. “There’s an efficiency there. Now, if you have friends who are skiers, you’re not going to be the guy who’s slowing the crowd down.”

If successful, the new bindings could mean more boarders ripping up the slopes next winter, and in the years to come.


Source: [Denver Post]


Posted in 3D Printing Application



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