17/18 Surge Splitboard Binding – Blister Review
One of the things that I have always liked most about Spark splitboard bindings is the simplicity of their design, particularly in transitioning between ride and tour modes. I spend quite a few days in the backcountry in the harsh climates of Alaska, and that has made me an advocate of simplicity — simple designs seem to last longer, endure more punishment, and can be relatively easy to service. While performance is sometimes sacrificed by creating a simpler, more user-friendly platform, the Surge executes this balance of simplicity and performance very well.
New for the 17/18 Surge binding is its “Pillow Line” strap. Made of a relatively hard (compared to the Karakoram Air-Form straps), semi-elastic plastic, the straps shave a lot of weight off the 16/17 Surge. While it might not be solely due to the new plastic straps, the new 17/18 Surge has a stated weight that’s 125 g lower than the previous version. Although the straps lack padding, they contain small “pillow” indentations that mold around the boot very well and remain surprisingly comfortable on long trips. The pillow structure gives the harder plastic the ability to mold well while remaining stiff, responsive, and (hopefully) more durable.