Had a few year old pair of Hitchhikers with the double elevator bar and the Burton lean adjustment. The Surge's are a big upgrade. The single bar elevator with the whammy bar is much better, although it's still pretty tight and hard to move with a pole. The biggest improvement is the lean adjuster unique to Spark. Dial in the ride-mode lean adjustment once, then it's just flip and go. So great.
The Spark R & D Surge has relished any abuse I could dish out. After over 100,000 vertical feet of touring in a couple seasons the Surge is still holding strong. This is hands down the best binding setup I've ever had. Combined with the Spark pucks, the Surge gives a super solid board connection with superior feel and performance to a normal snowboard binding. The Surge will also not break and leave you hanging being somewhat repairable in the field. With a third of the parts of the competitive brand, this is a simple, bomber binding that is easy to maintain. (Keep those screws loc-tight!) Simply put, the Surge has taken me over the river and though the woods to ride some of the most extreme lines without fail.
Venture Odin 164