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Leo 02-09-2011 01:48 PM

Brief Review: 2012 Union Force
Hey guys, so I finally got an opportunity to demo some Union bindings... The 2012 Force.

Alright, let me just start out by saying this is completely unbiased. And of course, this is all just my humble opinion.

These were by far the worst bindings I demoed the entire test fest (two days, around 16 boards). I'm sorry, I just don't get the hype. Sure, they are light, but they weren't substantially light. And the feel, just felt really cheaply constructed. Nifty colors though.

So I have heard from numerous Union lovers that the 2012 line-up has a much needed toe strap upgrade. My thoughts? Really? Are these really an upgrade? Because the bottom lip of the split toe strap didn't even touch my boot. And to be fair, this was the same case for my riding partner David Z. We both have different size boots and brands so it's not a fluke. We both had to go old school and rock the toe straps on top of the toe rather than over.

The ratchets... I can't say much other than they are horrible. I literally had to pimp slap them to release. Cranking them down also felt really sticky. It just wasn't smooth.

I demoed these on a Skate Banana and didn't like the setup one bit. The Force offers nothing in terms of dampening or comfort. Response was okay and it got me down the mountain.

I'll do a more thorough review soon, but I just felt compelled to mention this right now because of all the hype around these bindings.

If you like em, more power to you. I know I'll never purchase a pair at least until they redesign the wretched toe straps and ratchets the correct way. I can give you a long list of much better bindings in the same category.

I demoed Flux RK30's as well. You want good bindings and can't decide between those or Forces? Go with the RK30. I liked those so much that I put them on 4 of the 16 boards I demoed.

Honestly Union... Even Rossignol has a much better toe strap than you. At least their toe straps hug my boot for dear life. Same story for Salomon as well. Two really ski heavy companies design better snowboard toe straps...

mbesp 02-09-2011 01:59 PM

hmm that is weird that the rachets gave you so much trouble.

Leo 02-09-2011 02:01 PM


Originally Posted by mbesp (Post 372970)
hmm that is weird that the rachets gave you so much trouble.

Not just me bro... my partner in shred too. His particular set was worse on the front foot. After cranking the toe way down, he needed help releasing it.

mbesp 02-09-2011 02:03 PM

haha man that sucks, well maybe i'll be reconsidering my plan to pick up a new set next year.

Meatball707 02-11-2011 10:31 AM

Thanks for the review! I've been riding some older Union Inverters, sweet binding, made in Italy from 06/07 only thing wrong with them is the buckles, other than that they're like brand new and the it's the buckles really aren't screwed up just one of them has an issue with the spring so it flaps around a bit. I used to love Union, but noticed that they switched to China for manufacturing and kept the design process in Italy, maybe that switched years ago, but I'm not sure. To me they haven't changed much of anything on the Force, I guess the If it ain't broke don't fix it is working for them now, but from what you're saying it seems like they only made changes to the straps, and are adding more models to the line like the contact pro, and Atlas. I personally have looked into Raiden Bindings due to the lack of change from Union, I wanted to ride something different. I will say Union does have the best customer service I've ever experienced, ladders got stripped out after the first season, told em and I got a brand new set, and it was my error as a newb cranking the crap out of em.

Leo 02-11-2011 10:40 AM


Yea, I do highly recommend that you venture out of Union. You might be surprised. I think a lot of the hype is from people who have only tried a couple of bindings and brands. Union might seem like the best thing on Earth when you haven't tried other bindings.

I used to think Flows were the best thing ever until I demoed tons of bindings. I still really love them and I will continue to buy them, but they definitely aren't the best binding out there. Well, no binding is actually lol. Just saying that there are other binding that make me just as happy. :)

snowjab 02-11-2011 11:33 AM

so no new toe straps or just new and still bad. Im not a fan of the current toe straps.

Leo 02-11-2011 11:37 AM


Originally Posted by snowjab (Post 374274)
so no new toe straps or just new and still bad. Im not a fan of the current toe straps.

Well, I can't say for 100% certain because it might fit your boots better, but it sucked for my friend and me. Worst toe strap and ratchets out of the plethora of other bindings we demoed. We shared the same thoughts about the bindings overall as well. Just many other bindings we would rather own.

snowjab 02-11-2011 11:40 AM

I like the weight and how simple of a binding it is but toe strap is something i was never a fan of. the ankle strap to me is one of the most comfy. Simple is good i guess but the looks like something that shouldve been designed in the 80's

Smokehaus 02-12-2011 08:27 PM

I haven't touched a pair of 2012 Forces but I did not find the problems you did in my 2011 pair. I must check out the new ones now to see whats up.

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