Ahead of the curve

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Abstract

The first “snowboard” was built in a garage back in 1965. Since then, the sport has developed and so have the products we use. Snowboarding has gone from the local sled-slope to multiple disciplines in the Olympics. In spite of the huge success of the sport, there’s still problems concerning equipment that haven't been solved. One of those problems is getting in and out of a binding. This is an issue that developers have tried to solve for decades. With over 20 years of experience as a snowboarder, I seized the opportunity to develop a binding that I myself would love to ride on.

Inspiration and Method

I were inspired by the history of snowboarding, its culture and heritage. While trying to create something new, but yet recognizable. In addition to my own experiences, I also found inspiration from the interviews and discussions I had with snowboarders. I did interviews with beginners to professionals, from different ages and disciplines within the sport.
The interviews were part of my research, were I also looked in to different existing bindings, materials and also ways of strapping on things from other areas of products.
After the research I had enough inspiration and knowledge to start the ideation phase, with sketching, prototyping and reconnecting with users. That ended up in a concept that I felt confident to develop further and that answered my question of how to make snowboarding more convenient.

Result

The result is a binding with greatly improved convenience, that can be recognized from the classic and also most popular “two-strap” binding. It gives the rider the possibility to strap on as hard as they like, while only using one hand. I kept the classic “hatch-straps”, added a cable strap for fine adjustments and both straps are connecting to the binding with a car seat belt buckle style bar on the inside of the binding. That can easily be released with a two-finger grip. And with hinges on the outside of the binding. To easily fold the straps to a position where they don't disturb the rider.
In addition, it has improved durability, due to the way the straps works. Which causes less stress for harder riding people, and less money spent on broken equipment for beginners and intermediate riders.