Why you should carry a snowboard tool
Nothing will ruin your day like an equipment malfunction! Although snowboards themselves are pretty simple pieces of kit, snowboard bindings have lots of separate parts which can come loose throughout the day.
A common problem is that the mounting bolts which fix the bindings onto the board come loose causing the bindings to move around and for you to have less control over the board. Although this is a simple fix with just 2 or 4 bolts which need tightening depending on your brand of board, you will need a tool to fix it.
It’s pretty common that these bolts will come loose after a few days riding, especially for heavier or more aggressive riders who put more pressure through the bindings. Before you head out the door in the morning, it’s a good idea to give your bindings a wiggle and make sure they are on tight and don’t move – it’s easier to fix loose bindings in the warm than when you’re out on the hill and got gloves on. If they keep coming loose then you can add a little bit of LocTite to the bolts to keep them in place.
There are also lots of parts on the bindings which can come lose. Most bindings these days have tool-free adjustments meaning you can tighten bolts with just your fingers. These tool-free bolts are usually found on the strap attachments and highback adjustments, which can be quickly adjusted on the go. But it’s still a good idea to have a tool if things become iced up and can stop your fingers getting too cold!
All ski resorts have tool stations dotted around the mountain, most of these are at the lift stations and there’s normally a tool in the terrain park. However these tools are not much use if you have a major malfunction halfway down a run or worse, if you’re in the backcountry and a long walk from help.
For this reason every snowboarder should carry a tool with them, especially if you are in the backcountry. Snowboard tools are small and lightweight and fold down so you can easily fit them in a pocket or a backpack without any risk of hurting yourself if you fall onto it.
Different snowboard tools for different bindings?
There are plenty of different types of binding out there, from Rear Entry, to StepOn to Burton EST but they all fix into the board with the same size bolts. This means that for most fixes any snowboard tool will do the job. Most tools come with other attachments which might be useful for other fixes or other non-snowboard related jobs, but any tool out there will do the jib 90% of the time.
My Pick of the best Snowboarding Tools
The Dakine fidget tool is a great option for riders who just want a simple tool which is going to do the job. It has enough attachments to fit all parts on all binding so you should never find yourself unable to tighten a bolt.
- #2 Phillips and #3 pose drive
- 3/32 inch hex
- 1/4″ flat head
The Burton EST tool is specifically designed for EST bindings so has just what you need to tighten and fix those type of bindings…plus a tool that everybody needs…a bottle opener. It hinges to 90 degrees to give you extra torque if you really need to crank up your bolts.
- #2 and #3 Phillips head
- built-in bottle opener
- keychain loop
The Burton Bullet tool is is a ratchet tool for all types of binding. The ratchet makes it much quicker to tighten or loosen bolts especially when your bindings are covered in snow.
- #2 and #3 Phillips head
- flat head
- 4mm Allen key
- 10mm wrench
The Leatherman Hail + Style is the tool for every backcountry snowboarding eventuality. This quality machined tool has all the standard attachments for your bindings plus much more. Including a scraper for your wax or a quick base prepare. A carabiner for for abseiling, and pliers for anything requiring a bit of bruit force!
- Spring-action Needlenose Pliers
- Spring-action Regular Pliers
- Spring-action Wire Cutters
- Spring-action Scissors
- Flat/Phillips Screwdriver
- Bottle Opener
- Lace Assist
- Nail File
- Carabiner/Bottle Opener
- #3 Flat/Phillips Screwdriver
- 10mm Wrench