2008 Flow "The Five" Binding
Stance: 22 Wide, +5 Back +15 Front Goofy
Conditions: Early season, snowmaker snow + a few centimetres of natural pow.
Boots: 2008 Thirty-Two Lashed size 9
Board: 2009 Neversummer SL-R 158
Cost: 156 canadian dollars
These Flow bindings are the "upper end of the lower end". These were my first time ever on a pair of Flows.
I bought the large because my boots tend to fit large bindings very well... and the size chart shows 9 as the upper end of medium. This was a minor mistake as the five baseplate in large is quite a bit bigger then I expected. While it didn't affect the overall performance much I would suggest mediums even if you wear chunky boots.
The second problem I had was the bindings shipped with bolts that were too short! One of the bindings I ordered (I ordered 2 pairs) came with replacement bolts, the other didn't so had to buy some slightly longer ones. The binding that had the replacement came with a warning card saying the bolts were too short which then explained why I couldn't get them to screw in
I followed the instructions for setup that came with em.
My first time putting these on was difficult. The biggest problem is the highbacks wouldnt stay down.. so I had to balance on one foot while holding the high back down with the foot I was trying to put in the binding.. then slide it in.
Forget it on a hill! Man so much for being faster it took me literally 5x the time to learn to get these on as my normal straps, lol.
I just don't see how you could get these on if you were stuck on a hill in pow.
I did get to the point where I could get my foot in quick, but the highback popping up was HUGE pain in the butt.
Another major problem was the highback latch. It was extremely hard to open, and hurt my hand after a while of getting in and out, it jabs right into the palm of the hand. It seems so stupid that they'd make it this hard to open.. I guess it has to be like that so your foot wont get out.
The bindings felt good once in, no single pressure points... however my first few times I did them up way too tight and cut off the circulation in my foot. Which a regular strap in, this would just be a matter of bending over and clicking the latch.
Unfortunately with the fives the toe strap part is not a quick ratchet latch, it is a plastic snap latch that is literally impossible to loosen when your foot is in and it is jammed with snow.
Being someone who likes to adjust their bindings on the fly this was a problem.
The top have a normal plastic ratchet but it is still hard to open once snow gets around it.The force of the binding being snapped in put pressure on the straps so it was impossible to fine tune once on the hill. Also the latches have to snap back in place, fumbling in the cold with tiny snaps is quite frusterating.
After a while I just settled with the bindings being too loose which felt better than having the circulation cut off.
The overall flex and feel of the bindings was great, no probs there, just everything else together makes me rate these bindings low.
I would suggest if you go for Flows, invest in the higher end models that probably don't have these issues.