If you're into split boarding and don't know about Spark R&D then don't skip this post. It's a quick review of their Magneto bindings and the advantages they have over regular bindings for split boards.
For those of you who don't know, a Split Board is a snowboard that splits in half so you can use it to tour in the backcountry like skiers do. Yes, skiing is pretty gay but turning into a skier to access more pow is a lot easier and faster than getting skootch leg (watch this, it's classic!).
I started getting into split boarding last year and used regular bindings, which are great bindings but inferior compared with the Spark Magneto.
Here's the major difference between Spark bindings and any regular bindings:
To use regular bindings on a split board, you have to use metal sliding plates which are awkward to use, add a significant amount of weight to your setup and give a really weird feel when riding. Look closely at these 2 photos, on the left is the Spark Magneto binding and on the right is a regular binding mounted to a split using the metal sliders.
Look closely and you can see that the Spark binding has a lot less mass & lies far more flush with your board which ends up giving you a better feel when riding more like what your used to with a regular board binding setup.
2) Ease of Use:
When split boarding you have to change the orientation of your bindings from the snowboard position to the touring position every time you switch from riding to hiking. Your bindings are normally locked to your board using a metal pin. With the new Spark bindings there is no longer a need for a metal pin. It now works more like a clamp that locks your binding to the board. It's a hell of a lot more simple, easier to do with your gloves on, quicker and you can't lose anything in the snow. Overall a way better design than traditional bindings. Look closely at the photo on the left, the lifted black piece at the front is the clamp. The photo on the right shows a traditional pin used to secure bindings to a split board.
This video gives a better look at how the Spark Magneto bindings work:
I'm very impressed with the Spark Magneto bindings. They are far superior that what I was using before. I'm 100% positive that you will be stoked on them compared with any traditional bindings mounted to a split board!
For more info, check out their website: