The Burton Malavita binding looks almost the same as the 2013 but the 2014+ models have a little better edge to edge response. It’s still better with easier turning boards but now days it can handle a little more board.
2014 – 2016 Burton Malavita Review
The 2016 Burton Malavita has some changes to the toe and ankle strap. The ankle strap keeps an asymmetrical like shape as the old model but uses the material of the Genesis ankle strap. So it’s got a really good feel to it that I like better than the older strap. It doesn’t really change the ride too much but I definitely prefer this strap over the old strap. The toe strap sucked at the demos and the rubber was too stiff to really conform around the toe. However the production model’s rubber is much softer and it really wraps around the toe. I’d like to see a little less rubber on the sides as it really extends out down towards the sole of the boot when cranked properly down. So while I loved the new ankle strap I was a bit ambivalent to the toe strap. I think it grips a little better than the older one but I’m not totally in love with it like I am with the ankle strap. So other than the improved feel with the straps the ride is very similar to the 15 and 14 models
The 2014 and 2015 Burton Malavita have better response edge to edge than the 2013 model. The 2014 and 2015 are very similar except for a few minor tweaks. For example the 2015 has an ankle and toe strap that folds out easy so it’s easier to get your boots in the binding. It’s also got the newer ratchet system that is even better/faster than the older system.
Riders: James, Peter, Kyle, Jimbo, Eli, Mary,
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju, DC Judge, Nike Zoom Ites, Burton Ambush, Burton Hail, Burton Ruler,
Boards: Rome Agent Rocker, Gnu Riders Choice, Gnu Space Case and many other boards.
Adjustability: All Bindings in Burton’s line are really great when it comes to adjustability and the Burton Malavita is no exception. All the key parts like the ankle straps and toe straps are tooless but I’d like to see the screw for high back rotation be as well. The Burton Malavita is very easy to dial out.
Comfort: Very comfortable and it integrates well with many different boots.
Heel-Toe Response: The 2014 Burton Malavita and up offers more edge to edge response and it gets you closer to bindings like the Cartel. This is a good improvement and it’s still a smooth feel. The 2014 bumped the rating up from average to good making it work with boards that require a little more work edge to edge. It’s still best with more freestyle focused boards but now it has a little more snap edge to edge. Even though the high back is pretty stiff it just doesn’t feel that snappy or as responsive as it’s flex.
Tip-Tail Response: The Burton Malavita is really solid for buttering and there is a good amount of natural flex lengthwise and a little extra leverage with the large outer part of the asymmetrical ankle strap. The Restricted version has better tip to tail response.
Boot Support: The Burton Malavita is pretty supportive on the outside and a good amount of freedom for movement on the inside.
Ratchet System: Like all high End Burton bindings the Burton Malavita ratchet system is excellent.
Shock Absorption: The Burton Malavita is good as it gets for absorbing shock. Your body feels less of the snow below you. With a good board it should create a nice barrier between you and the snow.
The Burton Malativa 2013-2011 is one of the better jib to freestyle bindings out there for softer flexing/easier turning boards. It’s about as close as a 4 hole binding can come to est and really makes the board flex easier length wise. Many people think this is an all mountain binding but it isn’t. It makes freestyle boards better but doesn’t have the same response as the Burton Cartel Limited, Burton Cartel or Burton Genesis.
The 2013 and below Burton Malavita’s response doesn’t match the flex. We find this becomes more challenging edge to edge when the boards get stiffer. With a softer flex these bindings own it but when the flex get’s into the medium side of things the response becomes a little more sluggish edge to edge.
2013 Burton Malavita Re:Flex
So things changed this year with the Malavita Re:Flex and it’s a huge improvement over the past models. The new base plate stepped up re-flex technology to a new level making the feel under foot the same or very close to how an est binding rides. The Malavita is still not as responsive edge to edge as the Cartel Line but it’s a little better than last years. The tip to tail flex is much better and a huge improvement over the 2012 model.
2012 Malavita Re:Flex
The Malavita Re:Flex and Restricted Malavita Re:Flex are pretty awesome bindings but they are missing “The Hinge” Tech that makes even lifeless boards have some pop. Still the Malavita Re:Flex models will add more flex under foot and definitely improve the ride of any 2, 3 or 4 hole board out there. We found the Malavita to be an great freestyle binding and it is one of the better bindings for softer flexing boards out there.
Regarding Re:Flex Tech: Re:Flex Tech really changes the way the board rides for the better but it has one minor issue that should be addressed. Most 4 hole Discs can be aligned tip to tail or heel to toe but the Re:Flex Disc can only be aligned heel to toe. This isn’t a big deal because most align heel to toe but some like to turn their discs side ways to reduce or increase their stance width to a size that the binding holes won’t allow. If you do this make sure your board has the stance width you desire.
The 2011 Malavita Disc
We tried the EST and Non EST bindings. Although the EST definitely has better flex under foot the choice for us was the regular Malavita so we can ride other boards. We’ll be looking forward to the upgrade to Re:Flex tech which should happen in 2012. The Malavita feels very much like the Burton Cartel but has a bit more of a freestyle ride. You get a good amount of support if you decide to ride around the mountain at higher speeds but we still like other Burton bindings better for this. You do get great response for a freestyle binding. The high back is unique looking and also does a good job giving you extra control when you are leaning out of the binding. That being said it has a similar flex to the Cartel. We love the asymmetrical ankle strap and feel it really helps you get a good tip-tail flex out of any board that you want to. The Malavita is very comfortable as any high end Burton binding. They also made a very comfortable heel pocket that has excellent shock absorption. Instead of a hard plastic/fiberglass plate around the ankle it has a rubber like bottom that has EVA foam and gel on top of it so it allows more flex with the binding and more comfort. The Adjust-ability for both bindings is the same as every Burton binding which is excellent. We have to say we’d like to see every binding have the ability to adjust the high back angle like Burton allows with all bindings. The toe straps have also improved a lot over last year. The 2010 toe straps had a lot of complaints of coming loose and being hard to adjust. They just didn’t seem to grip the toe very well compared to previous toe straps and this was not like Burton to release something like this to the public. This year they were fixed and do a great job like the old 2009 bindings did. There aren’t many bindings that have the ability to flex a board laterally like these. So if you are looking for a bit more freestyle board control than the Cartel then this is a good choice.