Wednesday, January 27, 2010

UNION Force Bindings – a somewhat unbaised test

So today I threw on a pair of Union Force bindings on my deck to see what all the hype is about. Yep, I have had a pair of Union’s in the past, but they were first year Force samples which had some sticky ratchets, so i wasn't really backin em.

The setup
Board - Stepchild 158 Powder Sucks
Bindings – Union Force m/l
Boots – Burton Jeremy Jones size 10

To ensure that my test was on point, I mounted up the binders on my trusty Stepchild Powder Sucks deck as I have been ridding this thing all season, and I am super comfortable with the way the board rides.

I usually ride Burton bindings, so the first thing I noticed was that the bindings do take a little time to setup the first time, as pretty much everything is adjustable. Take your time and chill, and you’ll find you can get em set perfectly to your boots.

Strapping in, the first thing you will notice is the straps; super comfy, without being overly soft or huge + the capstrap is easily the best I have ever used. The baseplate is not as cush as it is on the Burton Triad that I usually ride, but at the same time its nothing that would convince me against buying them. The ratchets should also be mentioned, as they are strong and super easy to get in and out of. just a couple o clicks and your in super solid, awesome

I was a little caught off by the zero forward lean in the highbacks. This is probably due to the built in forward lean that Burton bindings come with, so it’s no knock to Union – I just wasn’t used to riding actual zero forward lean. Keep in mind that I hate forward lean, so it actually wasn’t a bad thing.

Riding the bindings for the day, the response reminded me of a Burton Cartel, (albeit with a waay different highback and less forward lean) or a slightly stiffer Burton Mission – I know its wack to compare, but what can you do.

The only thing that bugged me about these bindings was when I was buckling in. I usually strap in standing up, and when pushing the ankle strap out of the way found that it would fall behind the binding, so I would have to reach back and grab it. (please see pic for what I mean) Yeah I know I’m being a bit of a bitch, but I am sure you could put a little thing in the strap to make it not fall all the way back.

maybe my guts too big, but reachin for that ankle strap was tougher than it looks

Overall, I would say the Union Force is a solid binding and a killer option to the endless binding options out there. The straps, ratchets and response is amazing, and the aesthetics are awesome. Seriously, I would probably buy these things just because they look so cool; plus they remind me of the Forum Green pro binding from back in the day. Additionally, the people at C3 are doing good things for snowboarding, so feel good in supporting those that support you. And I’m not kissin any freebee ass here, I paid retail for these things, bitches!


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear they worked well for you! Of course you went and bought a pair after I mentioned I was looking into some... Mine'll be mounted up to the new Nitro on Wednesday (one week from today), though now I may have to get a set of the SL's...

I'll be up on the hill tomorrow, testing the Team Gullwing for the second time (first time was awesome, but was with the little two, so didn't get quite as much testing in as I'd liked). And I'll mention it now: this things FAST! Especially for my slower board (the TMS still has a little more speed, and the extra edgehold is definitely nice at speed). The Gullwing definitely makes for a playful board, while still maintaining a rideable level of edge hold. I can see even you checking it out if it wasn't for the 162 length I picked up!

Now, time to mount up the NRC's for tomorrow.

Oh, by the way, here's some shots of the Ride setup! Haven't had a chance to snap any of the Nitro yet, but will be sure to do so with the new bindings in a week.

Anonymous said...

right on Jeev, i dig that nitro deck - would love to check it one day. you should grab the same unions, you'll dig em. the sl's are pretty much the same, just lighter.

dang, a 162. i only ride that shit if i'm droppin an alaska chute with 4 feet of powder, hah!


Anonymous said...

Just left the shop I'll be grabbing them from, and I'm debating between them and the Data's. I'm really leaning towards the Data's though. Only thing possibly putting me off is the extra $60.

Anonymous said...

don't bother dude, the difference is negligable - save the 60 bones for lift tickets

Anonymous said...

The extra stability is what's swaying me towards them. That, and I just found out I can get them for slightly less than the retail price of Force's! Also, the Pinstripe ones look wicked! Gonna see what looks better with the board and boots on Wednesday most likely, and make the final decision then. Right now, it's looking like the Force's if I can get the same deal as the Data's, though.