Whats up everyone! This is my first post, sorry if I'm overly nerdy. I have a pair of the Now Selects and Iíve been riding them pretty much all season here so far in Utah. I mostly ride at Brighton, which is pretty sick for every type of riding you want to do.
First off, I am so down with Now bindings. I didnít think much of bindings until I got these. As far as I was concerned, they were pretty much all the same, it just depended on the flex of the binding. There's some fancy crap on some bindings across the lines but generally speaking they are the same concept. I feel like the Now bindings are a completely different concept and bring a better, more natural way to ride.
I ride a Rome Reverb 149 or 151 for the park and a Burton Stone Hut 150 (SICK) and a Juice Wagon 153. Iím a smaller dude, 5í6Ē 140 lbs.
I rode with the highback on the first day and it was great, but it felt like the highback was kind of in the way. I put the flushcups on with the medium bushing on my Reverb and rode with them. From the very first run I knew that was without a doubt they were the best binding Iíve ever had. Last season I was riding Burton Malavitas which were also sick, but nothing compares to what I feel when I ride now/Now. <<ha
The Now bindings do have a narrow heelcup, but it also sits a little higher than other bindings, pinching your ankle in just the right way. It is a little narrow throughout the binding as well, but I have a pair of K2 Maysis boots that are a size 9 that fit just fine with a comfortable pressure on the middle of my foot.
The first thing I noticed is the surfiness of it. It really made me mellow out my ride. I became way more relaxed on my board, a kind of feeling Iíve wanted just rocking heels to toes down a groomer. I felt like I could flex my ankles a lot more and the medium bushings gave a smooth response. My heelside turns are way better than theyíve ever been, and it feels very natural. With the flushcups, I feel like I am transferring the energy directly from my ankle, and using my glutes, quads, and hamstrings mostly (I work out a little) I put the energy directly to the edge of the board and grip up so well. I can pull out of a heavy heelside landing so much smoother than ever, even when my butts almost on the ground! Even better was that when I want to get aggressive and really bomb groomers, take tree laps, or hit the side hits, the response is there with control and form. Theyíve kind of retaught me how to ride properly, which I already felt like I just relearned when I went back to camber after riding flat/rocker boards for 4 or 5 years. This brought everything together for me.
One of my favorite things about them too is the shock absorption. Iíve had a few hard landings this season, and I definitely felt a major difference than any other binding Iíve had. Itís made me much happier and more aggressive as a rider because I tore my ACL a couple years ago and I've never really been the same. I do still hit everything from park to bombing groomers and airing rollers to cliff drops (nothing super heavy but the base has just filled in here, the season hasnít been the best up until the past couple weeks but now itís epic!) and every landing is smooth.
I put the soft bushings in and tried them out as well. They were fine, but I preferred the mediums. I put the hard bushings in when I took out the Stone Hut and Juice Wagon, which were mainly pow days. The hard bushings were definitely what I wanted in the pow, especially with the Stone Hut being a wider board. It was a subtle difference, but it helped. I was able to really haul in the powder while maintaining such a surfy ride.
I donít feel that Iíve lost anything going to the Now Selects with flushcups. I can see the only way that MAYBE highbacks would be something Iíd consider would be if I was trying to step my spin game up. Iíve been pretty happy just doing mellow grabs and rotations, and a cork here and there. You may not be able to really spin as hard as you would with a highback because there's nothing really to load. In that circumstance, the Drive highback would probably be sick.
Overall, my style has improved and Iím way more confident and in control of my riding. I am definitely getting another pair next season. My girlfriend is sold on them too! Sheís been riding the Switchback bindings with no highbacks for about a month now and she loves the feel too. I tried the Switchbacks with the highbacks as a demo a couple years ago and they were fun even with the highbacks. I bet theyíre also a great binding and fun without highbacks, I think there is just more to the Select than a binding without a highback.
Although Now bindings are awesome I also feel that camber and stiffer boots with an articulated cuff also played a part in edge hold and response. That being said, they all compliment each other well perfectly for me!