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Old 03-04-2014, 05:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default NOW Drive/Select vs Union Contact Pro or Burton Genesis

Hi folks,

As is tradition this time of year, I am looking at the end of season deals and giving into temptation to pick up some new gear. To be honest, I don't need new gear, but I think its pretty fun to try out new stuff.

I've been waiting most of the year to pick up a set of the 2014 Union Contact Pro bindings. I have the previous model and really like them, but I was curious about the dampening (damping?) offered by using the mini-disc and all that eva foam. It looks super cush.

Then I recently started looking at the NOW binding lineup. It looks like a pretty cool design. At first I thought I wouldn't like that rocking motion, but after watching some videos, the rocking motion looks less dramatic because of the bushings.

So what are your thoughts on the NOW or the Contact Pro. of the NOW bindings, I'm undecided on the Select or the Drive. What I like the most about the Contact Pro I currently have is that I don't feel like I'm fighting a binding. My foot is just strapped in with no pressure points and feel like I have total control in all conditions. I'm hesitant on the Drive because its described as a Stiff binding where I have a preference for a medium stiffness binding.

One thing I just noticed about the NOW bindings is that you can't adjust the heelcup like on Burton bindings. Which is why I listed the Burton Genesis bindings in the title. I rode a pair of those in size medium this year and couldn't sell them fast enough. I think part of the problem was that I didn't like the sizing. I'd rather have a large. But overall, I just didn't feel like I could get enough pressure on my heelside turns through choppy snow. I'm a size 10 and prefer to size up to Large. Will I be swimming in the NOW Large? My Union bindings have an adjustable heelcup so I can fit the binding to my boot.

Also, just to help paint a better picture. These are going to go on a Gnu Impossible. I'm out in the PNW and I ride this board when there's not much new snow, when its icy, groomers, when its chopped up, and on the medium/small features in the park. It may see action on my Capita Ultrafear from time to time also. That would most likely be on groomers or in the park.

soooo, NOW Select/Drive or 2014 Union Contact Pro?

-joel
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Might be a good time to pick up a set of Drives if you want mid-stiff. Yes they say stiff but next year the highback on the current drive is going on to the select, and the drive is getting a higher stiffer highback, there is also a carbon fiber HB option. So I'd consider it more of a mid stiff considering they will be hella stiff next year.
I think you will be fine in a L with a size 10, the heelcup is pretty narrow so it should hold your boot just fine

I own the drives and I do like them a lot but I do wish they were even stiffer, the highback does twist laterally pretty easily, but are pretty solid front to back. Guess I'll be shelling out again next year.

The only "advantage" of the selects is being able to remove the highback, but since it's not 1992 anymore I don't really get the hype about that. Then again I'm not an urban park rat so...
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My Cartels have served me well, but they don't have much time left in them. I'd like to replace them after this season, and I'm wondering how the NOW Drives compare. Online reviews are a mixed bag, but it seems like they work as advertised. So, has anyone spent a season on the Drives? Do they hold up to hard riding? Will my heel fit in the heel cup (I hear it's narrow)? How does the flex and response compare to the Cartel? Are they comfortable to wear all day e'ry day?

Between teaching and free riding, I'm on my board most of the day about 120 days a season and I can't afford new gear very often. I am drawn more to steep/technical lines and trees than park, but I do it all. My current setup is 06 Rome Anthem 159, Burton Cartels, Burton Driver X boots.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have the Selects and the Contact Pros. If you need a binding you can fold over then the Contact Pros will be it. Otherwise the Selects are such a higher quality piece of gear it's ridiculous. They are super well built and a little heavy, but they will put your game on blast. I love these things in the park, I get an extra foot at least of pop with these bindings and the padding is awesome off of bigger booters. I have never noticed the plate technology. JP gave me some recommendations on the bushings and he was spot on. Ironically I have seen a bunch of guys killing it in the park this year with the Selects. I stumbled upon them completely by accident, not a binding I would normally be interested in as it seems marketed as a freeride product. I also love the tight heelcup it lets you really snap the shit out of spins, super responsive.

Faster, higher, harder - the Selects

Super forgiving, flexy - the Contact Pros
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the comparison. You're talking 2014 contact pros, correct? What do you mean binding that can fold over? does the highback not fold down on the Select?

Which do you feel has a more damp ride? Or is that what you mean by super forgiving?
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah 2014 Contact Pros. The bindings are nothing alike. The Pros are in my opinion a straight up park binding, super forgiving meaning the binding has a lot of lateral flex to save your ass on sketchy landings etc. The Selects are way stiffer (metal heelcup) but still super fun and responsive. Damp isn't my favorite word with bindings but the Selects are more solid, and cush feeling than the Pros. If you aren't riding park get the Selects.
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Old 03-09-2014, 05:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I plan on using these bindings everywhere except on pow days. I have a different board with Union Atlas bindings for that. So, they'll see lots of groomers, chunder, not so deep pow days. They'll run the park in the Spring time which is kicking in for this month. And when I say the park, I'm talking small/medium jumps and maybe some boxes. I'm not so good in the park, but I do want to learn some spins. Also, it seems the Selects aren't easy to find locally, so I'm looking at the Drive or the IPO. I've been more interested in the Drive because of the asym ankle strap.

I've like the flex of the previous Contacts. Maybe I'll stick my Atlas bindings on my Impossible and see if I like a stiffer binding on that board.

Truthfully, I have been leaning towards the Contacts Pros because they're cheaper, but I keep coming back to the NOWs because I want to try the new tech.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I wouldn't overthink it personally. Both good bindings. Main difference is the Selects are more responsive, poppy, and cushioned. (And less soft and flexible)
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