Editor’s Note: This feature is presented by our partners at Nidecker.
Snowboarding, in all its perfection, all the unhindered freedom it creates, has long tried to solve one simple riddle: the step-in binding. The one drawback of our great pursuit, perhaps, is the fact that after each lift ride, we have to bend over and strap in, or sit on our butts, wrestling and wiggling to stand and shred, wasting precious energy.
But the step-in binding, until now, has generally required some form of proprietary boot, so the entire setup needs to be replaced to use a given system. That just changed. Enter the Nidecker Supermatic binding, a step-in system that fits any snowboard boot on the market and allows for ease-of-entry without sacrificing on performance.
The Supermatic is a super-easy binding to step into. The baseplate fits any snowboard and is manufactured using a hardy nylon/fiberglass mix. This is the crux of the binding. Here, the ingenious heel pedal pops up while the hiback reclines backwards, allowing for that ease of entry. Simply slip your foot into the binding and the hiback flips back up and locks into place.
When you’re ready to exit, bend down and click the release lever to slip out. The Slip-N-Grip plate is also important to mention here – it allows a fluid slide of your boot across the base as your foot enters the binding. Wet or thick snow can also be removed easier as your toe slides across the plate. Definitely an underrated feature of the Supermatic.
Hints for Using the Nidecker Supermatic Binding
Another key to the Supermatic is the straps. The unique web-like design creates a really secure feel and provides comfy support across the whole foot. Adjusting both the ankle and toe strap properly will really improve your riding experience.
When you’re setting your bindings up for the first time, start by centering the straps across the boot using the quick release levers on the inside. Then crank the Locking Slap Ratchets down (just like tightening a regular binding) and lock them in place using the button on the buckle. This way, your strap position will stay the same every time you step in and out from the back.
I found that leaving the ankle strap looser helped with ease of entry and exit, and made the binding much easier to navigate in general. Thanks to the web-like pattern, they feel more secure than traditional straps, even when they aren’t cinched down hard. That looser fit gives your set-up a surfier feel, too.
If you find yourself in dicier terrain, don’t be afraid to ratchet those straps down for a tighter fit. That’s the beauty of Supermatic: you can use them as a traditional binding whenever the situation demands it, like deep pow or steeper slopes.
The Verdict on the Supermatic Binding
The Supermatic binding is easily one of the most versatile binding systems you’ll find out there. Ideal for quick groomer laps and easily adjustable for more varied terrain, the Supermatic’s high-quality design is built to last and sets a new benchmark for the step-in scene.
I used these bindings with a Nidecker Sensor board, a super fun, softer ride that made a great companion to the Supermatics. It took me a bit to get my personal system dialed, but once I had it adjusted correctly, I was really able to create a fit I could trust.
The snow conditions weren’t ideal for my testing, (dust-on-crust in the backcountry) but the Supermatic made for a super-secure feel when I really needed to use my edges to control speed. Full disclosure: Nidecker is a partner with The Inertia but the general feeling on these bindings in the greater snowboarding community is that Nidecker has spent the last four years creating a game changer. Search around online and you’ll find similar sentiments.
The Supermatic comes in a number of fitting options for riders of all sizes, and again, the binding goes with any modern snowboard available and most any boots. They certainly were a revelation for me.