The Burton Malavita has been around for a while. It’s got a stiffer high back than the Cartels but to us feels like there is a little less response edge to edge. Conversely it has more buttering power/response so it’s your call on which one has more appeal to you.
The Burton Malavita EST is a for Burton boards only binding but if you do ride only Burton boards I’d strongly suggest getting this. You have a better flex under foot for better buterability, more pop with ollies and a little bit better edge to edge response. We prefer the Malavita Restricted EST better because of the winged high back but it’s really just splitting hairs over sub levels of excellence when it comes to buterability.
The 2016-2018 Burton Malavita has the same general ride as the 15 but a few minor to mid level upgrades.
- The new ankle strap is much more thin and it’s got a really good feel to it. It’s got the same asymmetrical style to it as the old Malavita ankle strap but with the same material as the Genesis Ankle strap. It really fits around the boot well.
- There is a new toe strap that didn’t work very well with the demo model because the rubber was too stiff but the production models are much better and really conform around your toe. It’s a little better than the old toe straps but it doesn’t really do as much feel wise as the ankle strap does.
There is no real change to the overall ride but the change to the straps just makes the binding feel a little more streamlined.
The 2015 Burton Malavita is very similar to the 2014 except it’s got the relatively new ratchet system and the straps fold out easier so its easier to get in and out of your boots.
Riders: James, Peter, Kyle, Jimbo,
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Nike Kaiju, DC Judge, Burton Ambush,
Boards: Burton Process Flying V, Burton Whammy Bar, Burton Super Hero, Burton Custom Flying V and a few other boards I can’t remember.
The 2014 Burton Malavita EST is pretty much the same binding as the 2013 model. There were a few minor tweaks but not enough to really notice a change in the ride. Still a great binding though and that hinge tech really makes a board pop. This video has the winged high back that use to be with the restricted model but this year they have one color that has the winged high beck with the Regular Malavita EST and no Restricted Malavita EST this year. We prefer the winged but all are good.
Adjustability: Burton bindings are very easy to customize to your boot and they have a lot of options to tweak the bindings.
Comfort: Very comfortable and they fit a wide range of riders.
Heel-Toe Response: These are a little better edge to edge but not that much. Because you are only riding Burton boards with the Malavita EST’s you don’t have to worry too much. I wouldn’t put them on the Custom or Custom X but they will do fine with just about any continuous rocker, flat to rocker or hybrid rocker shape they have. S-Rocker is questionable but I’d rather be on the Cartel Limited or Genesis.
Tip-Tail Response: Now tip to tail response is just exceptional. It has a very limited dead spot so it makes Burton boards flex underfoot incredibly easy. The Restricted model is even better in this area because of the winged high back. Now here is the thing with these bindings that just isn’t there with any other non-est binding right now. They have a hinge on each side that’s kind of springy. It really does add some extra spring to your Ollie. It’s a shame this is limited to just Burton boards because there are a lot of good boards out there these days.
Boot Support: Pretty locked in on the outside but there is some freedom on the inside and the over all feeling is pretty middle ground. Support where you need it and a loose feeling where you don’t.
Ratchet System: Top notch. You generally don’t have issues cranking em down or undoing them after.
Shock Absorption: The Malavita EST has a nice thick canted foot bed that absorbs a lot of shock. If you aren’t into this you can get a thinner 5mm foot bed that gives you a little more board feel and it feels more skate like.
2013 Burton Malavita EST- Same great binding from 2012. It’s hinge tech and all around ride was refined but it didn’t have the large leap in performance as the Re:Flex models did. So there is one feature here that is unique to any other binding company and even more specific unique to EST bindings only. It’s called hing tech and it has a very unique feature. There is a springy hinge at the base of each side of the heel loop at the base. It gives you added ollie power and makes any Burton board you ride ollie higher than a regular binding.
2012 Burton Malavita EST- The Malavita is one of those bindings where it’s hard to quantify Burton’s response rating of 6. We feel the edge to edge response is more like a 3 but longitudinal response is not a 10 but a Spinal Tap 11 (insert Nigel accent). If you own a Burton board and are looking for bindings that will allow you to flex your board longitudinally as well as generate more pop the 2012 Malavita EST or Malivita EST Restricted binding is the best choice you can make. There is nothing else out there with technology like the Hinge and this is another excellent innovation from Burton. That being said Burton pisses us off by only allowing this tech on the Malavita EST. Where is the love for the new Malavita Re:Flex Binding?
We tried the 2012 Malavita EST’s with a few park focused Burton Boards and all of us couldn’t get over how springy they were. At first we thought is was the board but then trying the same boards with a different binding told us what was really happening here. The marketing hype is pretty accurate here. We weren’t sure how the hinge tech would play out on edge to edge transitioning but it felt pretty responsive and could do ok on the mountain. Despite our love for these bindings we still wouldn’t throw these on the Burton Custom X but we loved them on the Burton Joystick. The only issue we have is an unanswered question about the longevity of “The Hinge” system on these bindings. Since no one knows we can’t say it will give out or not but time will tell and pretty quickly because these are going to be popular this year. On top of the new hinge tech the bindings still has pretty much the same ankle strap, toe strap high back and foot bed which we really liked in 2011.
If you are like us you won’t care that much if they only last for 100 or so days because it’s pretty awesome tech that truly improves your game. If you are a frugal snowboarder who only blows a wad every few years on new gear then I’d wait a year to get more user feedback.