The post Why Are Snowboard Binding Screws Still So Terrible? appeared first on agnarchy.com.

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Snowboard Iskola

When we first published our article “Common Mistakes Setting Up Snowboard Bindings”, there was some good conversation. And largely, it led me to realize that snowboard binding screws suck. Once upon a time, Philips style screws were great because anything is better than a flat head screw. But now there are hex head screws, torx screws, etc. So why aren’t we using those for snowboarding instead?

All of you have seen the dimples in the base of your snowboard from over tightening screws. You’ve even felt the dreaded disco foot of your screws coming loose, which is what made you over torque your screws in the first place. I even saw a lead shop tech tighten someones screws so tight to stop the disco foot, that they had to cut the screw heads off to remove the bindings later. While that was just bad binding design and an “everything is a nail when all you have is a hammer” sort of shop tech, it still happened. Trash your old binding screws, they suck. Buy you some hex head screws, because it’s the cheapest board upgrade you’ll ever buy to give you that feeling of being a cool tinkerer.

Hex Head screws, newly installed on my Rad Air Tanker.The first advantage, and maybe the most important of hex head screws, is no more stripped screw heads. A lot of people don’t even realize there are different sizes or types of cross slotted screws. People just aren’t exposed to the environment to know this, so any screw driver that kinda fits is the right one. But with hex heads, you have to use the right size. Either the driver fits, or it doesn’t. This way you don’t wind up with screws that look like the ones below.

Even with proper care, cross slot screws wear out more quickly than hex head.

And if somehow you do wind up stripping one of these out, there’s still a solution. Anyone who has spent a lot of time around hand tools is familiar with the idea of driving an over-sized torx bit into the head and carefully backing the screw out. While this requires some hammering and is probably still not good for your equipment, at least you can get the screws out. And if you really duffed up, there is still the trusty old die grinder to let you turn your screw into….a slotted screw for a flat head screw driver. 

The best part though, is snowboard binding companies can put out torque specs with hex heads. Cross slot screws are so susceptible to camming out that you can’t measure torque ratings. Don’t lie and act like you’ve never slipped a posidrive out of the head of a screw as you were over tightening it, stripping all the material out. This is an exaggerated version of “camming out”. And with that pesky design flaw gone, you can use torque specs to make sure you’re not ruining the core of your snowboard. Did you really think you weren’t pulling the binding inserts out of the core of your snowboard? That’s what those dimples are from.

Bontrager 4mm torque wrench factory set to 5nm.

If you want to claim dirtbag snowboarders won’t torque their screws to spec, mountain bikers do. Carbon fiber is expensive and no one can just afford to go buy a new bike. If they could, their bike wouldn’t cost more than their car. Bike companies make single size single setting torque wrenches for this reason. No one wants to break their $5,000 carbon frame because they over tightened the screw on their seat post. Snowboarding has an opportunity to sell a new product now, and it’s one that will actually improve the experience of snowboarding. Especially if you’re riding mini discs. They don’t even have to design it since many bike companies already make them. If you can rebrand Kinco Gloves and sell them for three times the price….why not torque wrenches? (Please don’t over price these. This pastime is getting too expensive as it is.)

One Ball Jay pocket snowboard tool
This is my foldable One Ball Jay pocket tool. And there is enough room to still have a T3 driver for when I need to adjust bindings of my guests/friends.

You can also be an early adopter. These screws are just an M6x1, 12mm long, flat head socket cap screw. They sell these at most hardware stores for under a dollar a screw. Then you need a 4mm hex bit to tighten them. If you’re using a pocket tool with interchangeable bits, you can slot the 4mm in and replace the T3 cross slot driver. Good to go for on hill repairs. Bontrager even makes a 4mm torque wrench set to 5 Newton Meters that you can toss in the glovebox and forget about until you’re looking for your registration and insurance.

If you don’t want to deal with finding them at the hardware store, Bomber Online sells sets of these screws already. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows anything about the hardboot carving world.

For binding companies, it also allows more screws on the binding to be 4mm hex heads. Which means fewer tools to adjust bindings making it easier to actually do all those pre-ride screw checks that no one does, and still wont do. But seriously, upgrade your screw game so you don’t keep holding back your buddies by being the one with the disco foot.


The post Why Are Snowboard Binding Screws Still So Terrible? appeared first on agnarchy.com.