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Ride El Hefe 2015 - 2012 Review by The Good Ride
The Ride El Hefe keeps adding a little new tech to their line every year and it’s a pretty solid binding.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. No one is perfect and we do make money from the “Where To Buy” links below, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
2014 Ride El Hefe Changes.
1. It has a new high back and new chassis. They kept the canted footbed tech called wedgie from last year and we like this tech. It keeps your hips, kees, etc. more in line and also helps to create more leverage on the outer parts of these rocker or hybrid shaped boards. 2. The Ride El Hefe has a new ankle strap that is bigger on the sides. This adds a little more support but doesn’t have the 2012 tech that allows you to adjust the flex. It was a cool feature but the 2013 Ankle strap is far more comfortable. We prefer the new ankle strap.
3. The coolest thing is Ride created a mini disc mount. Now there is a reduced dead spot underfoot and as a result, there is more responsive. Most of the binding doesn’t touch the board now which makes for great edge to edge as well as tip to tail response.
Flex: Pretty stiff and not very giving. 2014 in some ways makes the flex feel stiffer and more snappy thanks to the Carbon Fiber but the Urethane also makes it feel less ultra mega stiff like 100% carbon fiber high backs often feel.
Adjustability: Ride does a great job with adjustability and it’s very easy to dial out most of your binding without a tool.
Comfort: The ankle strap is bigger than most of the ride bindings but it’s also one of the more comfortable we have tried with Ride. Also the rest of the binding surrounds your boot without causing pressure points for most riders.
Turn Initiation: Pretty quick. Not super snappy or smooth but in between and it can handle any board you throw at it. It felt like the boards I tried with this were more responsive than they were before putting these bindings on. The minimal contact with the board and mini disc do a great job getting the board edge to edge.
Buttering: Not bad but I felt the best part about it was the edge to edge response. To me its right on the border of great and as usual Jimbo had no problem getting any board he was on with these things to butter. Well except for the Greats. That board is stubborn with anything. The mini disc and having the rest of the bindings contact minimized it makes for a pretty easy binding to butter and press most boards.
Boot Support: Very good support that locks in the boot pretty well.
Ratchet System: Pretty good but It didn’t feel as strong and perfect as other bindings did at this price level. Still, it didn’t seem like they would break.
Shock Absorption: Super cush and combined with the cant the Ride El Hefe offers up good fatigue reducing ride for most people.
Ride El Hefe Images
Ride Company Information
Ride El Hefe User Reviews
150 dollar quality for the low price of 400 bucks
First off the good:
The straps are great, super comfortable and solid.
Now the bad( or just meh):
For 400 bucks I expected the chassis to be anodized aluminum, what I got was painted. The paint started to chip off on day 1( on the back bindings).
The hardware is cheap. I striped a screw in the baseplate just trying to adjust it when setting them up for the first time. I used the proper size Phillips head and a hand tool( not a screw gun). I had to use a tap to get it out and replace it.
The footbed is sloppy....the way it mounts to the binding is very similar to a flow binding, but not tight and you can feel it slip around under your foot.
The forward lean requires a tool ( not a big deal but for 400 bucks I expect better) and the highbacks don't rotate.
The disk is aluminum as is the baseplate, which caused the back binding hardware to loosen and gave me disco foot after 2 runs.
All in all the ride they offer is pretty good and they are extremely light, but the bottom line is that for them money I'd look elsewhere. Burton, Bent Metal, and Union all offer better features , better build quality and the same or lower prices.
My suggestion... if you want aluminum bindings, buy a set of sparks,burton hitchikers or Karakoram bindings and solid board pucks...they're all made in the USA and are waaay better quality and you can splitboard with them.
Ill start with the good. I like the binding i was having problems with my feet with my old binding but with these i could ride all day without stoping which is nice. super resonsive binding it rails out turns.
Now the bad. Dont buy these if you have multiple boards and want to switch back and forth cause at first its almost like the hardware isnt long enough. if you want to take the binding off losen all 4 screws a half turn before losening one completely cause if you dont that last screw becomes almost impossible to take out. The wedgie foot bed after the third time I changed it, the washer thats connected to it came out. The washer makes sure the screw cant fall out, not a huge deal but could be if you loose the screw.
Now this could me my fault but my burton bindings lasted a bit longer, on the el hefe's the ladders for the rachets started to strip after the first day. i tighten my binding till it cant go any more so might just be me but like i said before my burton ladders seem to last longer.
Overall, I dont dislike the bindings but there are things I really don't like about them
Long term update
So I've gained a bit of weight since my last entry, probably equal parts muscle and fat - hey I like to eat and train. On to the update.
Reading my review back from a year ago I feel it is spot on still and one of the weaknesses has proven really troubling, the Wedgie footbed. It is held onto the binding with a single, fiddly screw and during riding it seemed to shear some thread from the top of the screw hole, making the footbeds unusable on that binding.
I can probably have the aluminium screw hole rewelded and tapped but in the meantime I have purchased some 2014 Burton Malavitas and 2014 Burton LTD bindings to use while I figure out who can do this repair for me.
I hope Ride address the Wedgie system with something more elegant and less vulnerable to an issue like this, these are top of the line bindings that let me down big time while I was riding.
2012 version review
Been riding with these now for 3/4 of the Australian season on 4 different boards in all conditions except waist deep powder (which we almost never get in Australia).
2013 Salomon Sabotage 154
2011 Libtech Lando Phoenix 157W
2006 Hammer Twilight 161 (split tail camber)
2013 Jones Solution Carbon 161
First of all, the bindings make riding all of these boards that much more fun. I have a bias towards stiff and aggressive boards but I've ridden the All Mountain Freestyle Sabotage more than the other boards this season and they work great too. At times they might be a bit too responsive for the Sabotage, but that's ok for me.
I love how easily I can control the stiffer boards in my quiver, my riding has reached a new level this season and I attribute a lot of it to these bindings.
The biggest downsides are the mini disc / wedgie system and the lower frame of the bindings. The mini disc / wedgie system is great but when you have to swap the bindings over to another board it is a bit of a pain, particularly if you need to tighten it up on-mountain as you have to remove the wedgie footbed with a screw driver before tightening the screws on the disc. The other issue is that the frames on these things seem to be tearing open my boots. I might be able to adjust them to not tear them up so much but it is becoming worrying.
I also often end up with the toe straps beneath my board when I have to one foot / skate along but this is manageable as long as I remember to do so.
Overall I am really happy with these bindings due to how good they are to ride with. Not perfect but they are brilliant where it counts in my opinion.
Unsure about the weight?
Not a review as such but some feedback. I just bought a pair of 2012 El Hefes yesterday and popped them on a scale to see how much they weighed. They came in at 1.066 kg without the discs.
I had a pair of 2012 K2 Cinch CTS bindings nearby and I put them on the same scale and they came in at 1.053 kg!
Unsure about the Feather weight rating now?