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Someone finally gave Clew bindings an honest review, and there’s a lot to unpack

Are Clew bindings worth it?

Clew bindings hero image
Clew bindings hero image CLEW / CLEW

Scroll through social media, and chances are your favorite influencer is telling you just how great Clew bindings are. If you didn’t know better, you’d think Clew had totally upended the snowboard bindings market, creating a binding that can do it all, no matter what your use case.

This assertion always left us scratching our heads, though. We’ve paid close attention and noticed many of these influencers weren’t always using Clew bindings in their videos. If these snowboard bindings are so amazing, why not use them exclusively?

Another online snowboarding personality – sort of an anti-influencer, if you will – recently took to YouTube to discuss Clew bindings. His take is, umm, not good for Clew.

We encourage you to watch the full video below, of course, but The Angry Snowboarder makes some strong points for why Clew bindings are probably ones you should skip.

A few takeaways from his review:

  • Clew bindings have plastic bottoms that will scratch your snowboard’s top sheet
  • Screws are cheap on Clew bindings
  • The mounting plate is warped
  • Clew bindings have a stirrup, but it’s slippery to walk around in
  • You can’t adjust Clew bindings on the fly
  • Some components are easily lost, and it can mean the binding becomes generally difficult to use as a result
  • Clew binding straps and release tabs are poor quality
  • The highback makes lateral movement difficult
  • The clips holding you in place come unhinged fairly easily
The Clew Freedom 1.0 Snowboard Binding Review

Perhaps the most damaging assertion made is that Clew bindings are really no better than rental bindings.

We’ve been dubious of Clew bindings for some time. While we won’t take one negative review as the single source of truth, The Angry Snowboarder makes a ton of great points in his video that are worth noting before you drop $500 on bindings.

I will also point out that we have not tested Clew bindings ourselves at The Manual. We have requested snowboard bindings several times from Clew, which has so far refused to make a pair available for an objective review. Considering Clew instead chooses to offer bindings to social media influencers – who can be paid for positive coverage and inclusion in content – but won’t offer its product up for objective testing, we’re inclined to pay closer attention to The Angry Snowboarder than we will influencers when it comes to Clew bindings. (The Angry Snowboarder purchased the clew bindings he reviewed.)

The only other account we see that has tested Clew bindings is The Good Ride; though he is a bit kinder to Clew than The Angry Snowboarder, he points out many of the same issues. There’s a lot of grumbling about Clew in forums around the web (Reddit, etc.), but almost no objective reviews. This is telling.

The Angry Snowboarder… angrily… advises that you not purchase Clew bindings. We can’t say that as we’ve not tested them, but it’s not the first time we’ve heard this sentiment. Taking a step back and acknowledging The Angry Snowboarder is pretty objective (even though he’s grumpy!) and that our requests for bindings from Clew were met with a counter-offer that was akin to paid influencer marketing (which we did not accept) and we’re inclined to believe Clew is a lot more marketing than muscle.

If you’re looking for honest reviews of snowboard binding systems similar to Clew, check out our review of the Burton Step-On system, and keep an eye out for our incoming Nidecker Supermatic review!

Nate Swanner
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nate is General Manager for all not-Digital-Trends properties at DTMG, including The Manual, Digital Trends en Espanol…
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