Thor VonRippington Posted January 7, 2010 Report Share Posted January 7, 2010 My two cents on TD3 Sidewinders... I got to ride the Sidewinders for several weeks last spring and it took all of two turns to be completely stoked. To me, the Sidewinder is hands down the biggest improvement to carving... EVER. It's even bigger than metal boards and the new school shapes (which I happen to think are amazing improvements). Keep in mind... the Sidewinder isn't for everyone. I know there are plenty of folks who love their TD3s and would not want any more lateral movement than they offer (some would like even less movement). Like any piece of equipment in this sport it is still all a matter of taste and what you have become accustom to while riding. As some of you know, I have been riding bindings with 5mil bails for twenty years or so. I tried all the 6mil options (as well as step ins) and just found them to be too stiff for my free carve taste... I NEED lateral movement. After extensive testing of everything I could get my hands on (of both 5&6mil bails), I settled on the Ibex binding. There were other 5mil bail options that had a similar (and in some cases better) ride quality, but I found them difficult to use with my set up. Until the Sidewinder came along, I have always liked the seven degree toe and heel cants (lift, at extreme angles) that come with the Ibex bindings. I realize this is totally old school for cant setup, but just what I have become accustom to... point being... this review is basically TD3 Sidewinder vs. Ibex (which are the same as Burton Race Plates). For the sake of comparison, I am 200lb aggressive carver. I use the Sidewinder with blue E-Pads and yellow E-Rings. The first thing I noticed was how damp the Sidewinder rides. The Ibex has little dampening properties and the Sidewinder absorbs much of the shock to make for a comfortable and smooth ride... allowing the edges of the board to track better. This is due mainly to the E-Ring. I run the yellow E-Ring which is the dampest option... but has little to do with the lateral flex. The lateral flex of the Sidewinder (which comes from the E-Pads and hinged toe and heel blocks) is similar if not the same as the Ibex or any 5mil bail binding. I can make any movement and get to any body position necessary to keep the board tracking smoothly in all snow conditions. The big difference here is the power and precision that the Sidewinder produces during a turn. If you clamp a board with an Ibex binding in a tuning vice and pull upward on the toe or heel, you will see there is a lot of play and movement in those directions (different than lateral flex which is side to side). This is not the case for the Sidewinder. There is no movement in the toe and heel in an upward direction and this translates to more power and leverage (torque) in the turn. This lack of movement also allows for a much quicker and precise transition from edge to edge. Add all of this to the beefy construction that Bomber is known for and you have yourself the best alpine binding being offered on the market today for those that want lateral movement. As an added bonus, I can now play with infinite cant and lift angles to find a more powerful stance and setup. There are only two down sides I can find to the Sidewinder vs. Ibex. First being the weight... going up the lift I want the foot rest down. I don't know the weight difference between the two bindings but it felt significant at first (some would say a little weight can lend to a smoother ride and I certainly didn't notice a problem while riding). The other was getting my back foot locked in... I ride UPZ boots and the angle of the heel bail on the back foot gave me trouble (not the case for other brands of boots). Again, this did not affect the ride in any way... just difficult to engage. I didn't become a better rider just by throwing a new school shaped metal board under my feet. But... I can say my riding improved quite a lot just by upgrading my bindings... even on the first few turns the Sidewinders were under my feet. The Sidewinders are free carving turny gooey goodness. Thanks Fin! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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