SP Fastec Bindings (http://www.sp-united.com/) are rear entry however the ankle strap also has a buckle and the new 2011 models also has a ratchet. So similar to the K2 CTX/CTS bindings but a lot lighter and the high back folds all the way down not just 45 degrees.
You can set them as tight as you want without compromising entry and exit. I have the SP Fastec Troopa and now as of last night a pair of 2011 SP Fastec Brotherhoods.
Fast in ..high back up and then ankle strap buckle locked.... off you go.
Fast out...high back down and ankle strap automatically unlocks.... out you come.
SP's presence in the US has dwindled in the last couple of years. I used to rock a pair of the SP Destroid bindings maybe 5-6 years ago, loved those things but couldn't find any more SP stuff in the US after that...
I have only been using them for a few weeks. Very comfortable, very quick to get in and out of and very light. Lots of support with the troopa model, the high back is very rigid. On the Brotherhood it is asymetrical and provides a different sort of feel, great for freestyle.
My local shop is the importer/dealer for SP Fastec in Australia and they are flying out the door.
Apparently the company has made big om,provements over what they used to be like a few years back. Even the differences between the 2010 and the 2011 models it is easy to see the improvements and development going into them.
If you are concerned about weight and quick entry then I would say the Ride Contrabands. All of the other options are typically heavier than the standard style binding. They do take more time to get dialed in when you fit your boot to them, but once you do there are no pressure points and your foot is held in place. Even with the toe strap on my Nitranes ripping last year (ride sent out modified replacements) I still love them. So much so that I am going to pick up another set up this year. I am planning on picking up a set of the Optimo's this year. The improvements that they made on this model should make the setup much easier.
Another thing that not everyone has is the canted footbeds, If you have not tried them you should stand in a pair. I was able to extend my stance out further and feel more comfortable.
so those SP's are being sold here in the US under the GNU umbrella. The Agro is the top of the line and the next model down is almost identical but not as "Green" or something. I'm going to see if I can find a set somewhere here in NY. The reviews from last season were mixed. Shannon did a test over at Shayboarder.com last season and said the set up time compared to the Flows or K2 Autos was much longer and more complicated but that they were very comfortable and definitely responsive.
lisevolution, the set up is pretty straight forward and quick. Also it is tool-less
But if you screw it up... the bindings will cause you some grief.
- undo both toe cap and ankle strap.
- place boot in and raise high back
- place top cap over toe and slide adjustments down until it touches boot.
- lower highback and remove boot.
- take the toe strap in one notch on each side and lock down.
- place boot back in binding and raise highback
- close over ankle strap, adjust as necessary to get strap centered over ankle and with the corect amount of tension
Done. From now on nothing more to do. Your bindings are ready to use.
Now, if you adjust your toe strap in too much you will find the heel of the boot will catch on the high back when it is lowered because you have effectively pushed the boot too far to the rear in the binding. The toe strap is not meant to apply lots of pressure to the toe of the boot. Obviously if the toe strap is slipping off then look at adjusting only one side in a notch or half notch.
The other thing you can do wrong is dial in too much highback forward lean. I made this mistake and ended up squashing my boot too much and caused me some foot pain on the ball of my foot. I compouned this by letting out my toe strap and that cause my boot to sit too far forward in the binding. I then started to get toeside drag on turns. A simple adjustment back to something more reasonable in the forward lean and all was right with my world again.