2012 Union SL Binding
My woman bought me these for christmas so I'm almost obligated to like them.
Ridden with 2012 163 Bataleon Undisputed & 2012 157 Capita Totally FK'n Awesome sz. 9.5 Nike Zoom Force 1's @ 15/-12 for about 2 weeks, (half and half). Rode in all conditions ice, hardpack, powder, slush.
Light for Unions. Considerably lighter than forces. Highback is almost urethane flexy, easy to twist. Primer ("battleship") grey was a bad choice, they feel unfinished. The straps have some weird suede feel on the outside. The accelerator pedal and padding feel nice.
Fit terribly at first—let me qualify that though, my boot wasn't fitting well, all straps were maxed even though M/L is supposed to work for 9.5s. They sucked, foot pain, pressure points, etc. I ended up switching my straps by buying some extras L/XL off a friend and then they fit perfect, I honestly think the strap is way undersized for the binding; they could have just as easily cored the shit out of it even more and kept the same comfort level. After switching the bindings were perfect, the base is just the right size for my ZF1's though it's a tight squeeze around the heel. As for adjustability, they're unions—tool required adjustment, one position for the ankle strap and two positions for the toe strap. I honestly love the ankle strap disengagement on unions and I don't really have too much trouble with the toe buckle... most of the time.
It's a wonder of modern snowboard technology that these bindings allow such flex and still respond very well. Laterally, they provide good mobility while the torsional flex on the highbacks is equal or better than a pair of freestyle bindings.
Response and Ride:
These bindings are scapels with very quick responsiveness which is a bit boggling considering the flex—it's almost think and move responsiveness. I think the ride is impeccable, very good with easy edge to edge and effortless turn initiation that gives boards a lightning quick feel to them.
It's weird how much they took out of the binding in material and the SL's ability to still maintain dampness and shock absorbtion. They've got a way more comfortable ride than forces and border on burton shredbed shock absorbtion.
If you can get them on sale, please do. They're great—unless you're on the border of sizes. Top 3 all mountain binding, forreal.
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