Non-Burton 4 Hole Pattern
Let’s start out simple. The 4 Hole Pattern is what you’ll find on any non Burton snowboard. It’s referred to as a 4 Hole Pattern, because although the board has more than 4 holes, only 4 screws are used to mount each binding. Boards with this pattern will work with any binding of any brand except the Burton EST bindings. The Burton EST bindings are specifically designed for the Burton Channel System which we will get to a little later. As you can see below, regular Burton disc bindings (non EST bindings) will work with 4 Hole Pattern boards. These bindings will come with the appropriate discs for mounting. Again, any non EST binding will mount to any normal 4 Hole Pattern Snowboard.
As you can see from the diagram below, the Burton 3-D Pattern looks a little different than the normal 4 Hole Pattern. This 3-D design is used exclusively by Burton, and uses only 3 screws in a triangular pattern to mount each binding. The discs on normal Burton bindings are made to accommodate this, and therefore Burton disc bindings (non EST) from any year are the ideal match for any board with a 3-D Pattern. This means that those Burton disc bindings you picked up from a few years back will still work with any new Burton 3-D board. Again, EST bindings will not work because they are designed specifically for the ICS Channel. Trying to match a non Burton binding to a Burton board? In some cases it is possible with a compatible disc from your binding manufacturer. Bindings from Flow, Ride, K2, Forum will work the 3-D Hole Pattern and in most cases come with a compatible disc. If you have a different brand you want to use with a Burton board and don’t know if it will work, you can contact us for help or call the manufacturer for a compatible disc.
Pre 2011 Burton Channel (M5)
Now this is where it can get confusing. A few years back Burton came out with ICS which stands for Integrated Channel System. This is, in Burton’s opinion, the most direct connection from your board to your bindings. This allows the binding to flex with the board, gives you unlimited adjustability and most importantly allows your bindings to transfer energy to your board in the most effective and efficient way. The Burton EST bindings are made to work exclusively with the channel system. These bindings utilize a screw on the inside and a screw on the outside of the binding which are then screwed directly into the channel. These bindings do not have discs and again are ideal to be used with Burton ICS boards. Now, there are two forms of ICS that Burton has created. The first form was called M5, however for the 2010-2011 season Burton came out with a new version called M6. While we will get to M6 in detail a second, it is important to know right now that there is a difference. So how do you know what channel system your board has? If you purchased your Burton board previous to the 2010-2011 season, and it has a channel, then it is M5. If you purchases your board during the 2010-2011 season and it is the new current model then it has M6. If you aren’t sure you can always contact us or Burton themselves. Now, again when choosing a binding for your M5 ICS Burton board, it is important to remember that Burton EST bindings are ideal. Regardless of what year your EST bindings are, you should use the M5 hardware that came with the board. If you don’t have this hardware anymore you should contact Burton and order replacement hardware. If you have Burton disc bindings (non EST) you can still use them, but you will need a retro disc to use with the M5 hardware that came with your board. This will allow you to mount the bindings to the channel, but within the disc. Lastly, you may have non Burton bindings that you wish to mount to your Burton ICS board. Keep in mind that using any non EST binding defeats most of the purpose of the ICS system, but in some cases it still can be done. To do this you must contact the manufacturer of your bindings and ask if they have a compatible M5 disc. You will also have to use the M5 inserts that came with the board as well.
Burton Channel (M6)
Lastly, we have the newest option available, the M6 Channel. Burton updated their ICS system to include a wider channel which allows for standardized hardware. What does this mean for you? It means that Burton has improved the performance of this system as well as the ease of use and compatibility of it. Basically the system now works with more of a variety of bindings. To start, the 2011 Burton M6 Channel works best with 2011 Burton EST Bindings. You simply you use the M6 hardware that came with the board, and the bindings mount from the outsides into the channel. Pre 2011 EST bindings will work, however only with the use of the M6 Transition Kit. These can be ordered for free from Burton directly. If you purchased 2011 Burton disc bindings, now with of the use of the new M6 channel, you can actually mount these using the M6 hardware that comes with the board. The disc included with the binding along with the new M6 hardware is all you need. Burton disc bindings that are pre 2011 however will need the M6 Transition Kit which can again be ordered from Burton for free. Trying to use a non Burton binding on a 2011 ICS board? It can be done with some manufacturers. Ride and Flow are a few of them, however you should contact your binding manufacturer for a compatible M6 disc and screws .You’ll also need to use the M6 inserts that came with your board.