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Old 03-10-2012, 06:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Should I order the Union Contact Pro or the Union SL?

Hey

I've had several snowboarding trips now and just got my first two boards - I need to choose bindings to go with them.

I picked up an Endeavor Colour (limited edition Addict white camo )158cm for park and a 161cm All Mountain board for charging, also by Endeavor.

I weigh 14 stone at 5'9". I've done a lot of other board sports and am pretty heavy built, so mainly enjoy carving hard and bombing it down fast, but have also started jumping (which I'd like to get bigger at) and doing a little park. Less interest in grinding. Love powder too!

Union really appeal to me in every sense, from level of technology to aesthetics. Budget's not an issue, in fact I'd rather get a pair of bindings for each board if that's really necessary, than make too much of a compromise.

So, I should prioritise a fairly solid binding for speed and carving - all mountain.. But some capacity for landing jumps would be good too - bear in mind my weight as well.

The one that immediately appealed to me was the Contact Pro. I do have to admit - in part - to the red/white looking badass! Would this also be good for charging, or is it to soft?

The SL also looks good and I understand it to be more solid.. How does it compare?

If the advice is to get a perfect mountain binding and look at a specialist park one later, I'm open to that too..

This place seems to rank both fairly similarly.. Although says both are All Mountain, which should fulfil my criteria?

http://snowboard-bindings.findthebes...on-Contact-Pro

Planning to order in next 48 hours so advice would be appreciated swiftly!

Cheers, Alex

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Old 03-10-2012, 06:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The Contact Pros and the SL are going to feel totally different. The Pro's have a wide flat highback that allows for a lot of movement where as the SL curves more. The Pro's also have more cushioning than the SL.

My personal preference would be the Contact Pro's but i like the freedom of movement. Im more of an All-mountain freestyle guy. Park,(including rails and jumps), Groomers, Tree runs. Looking for natural hits. If you want to just bomb slopes i would go for the SL. The Pro's could do it but they arent going to be as supportive.

**EDIT** Just to add. If you want a more supportive do it all binding i would look at the Atlas
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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rdot84 is half right.

I own the SL's and the Atlas. I have many friends who ride the Contact pro's. Here is my take.

The SL baseplate is very stiff and responsive. The Contact Pro baseplate has a lot of play because of it's limited contact on the board. The SL rides tight, the Contact Pro rides loose. The Highbacks are essentially the same, with the Contact pro being more flat but stiffer, and the SL having an assymetric curve but having torsionally more flex. Both allow for generous lateral movement.

I personally don't like the Contact Pro because I think it's only ideal for park/jibbing because it adds a lot of torsional flex to the board and doesn't offer the response I like for charging the rest of the mountain. The Atlas has a little more flex in the baseplate than the SL, and is more ideal for all mtn freestyle and aggressive park riding. If you want a binding that can handle aggressive charging, I highly recommend the SL.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. For the impressive work Union seem to put into developing their products, it's surprising they haven't devised a chart or clearer information to distinguish between each of their models!

I'm going to have to think harder about whether I try and aim for a binding that does-all, like the Atlas, or chose the SL for all-out charging and later get the Contact Pro for park..

Is that a fair grasp of my choices? Do you really think the Contact Pro will struggle for stability when charging? (the SL seems harder to get hold of in the UK)

Also, I actually have a pair of Endeavor Stealth bindings in the post from Canada that I ordered to match the board, before doing more research and discovered the more impressive-looking Union bindings.

Do you think there is much chance the Endeavor binding would hold up to any of these Union bindings, or should they go straight on eBay?

Stealth Endeavor Snowboards

Thanks again!
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Old 03-10-2012, 01:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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They have quite a few videos on youtube explaining the different tech between bindings in their line. As far as the Contact Pro lacking stability when charging, it really comes down to personal preference of the overall feel of the binding.

As far as the Endeavor bindings, I don't know anything about them. One thing I do notice that I don't like is the flat ankle strap. Most companies have a contoured shape to fit into the crease of the boot. That's a big thing for me when buying a binding. But if you like them, ride them. That's all that matters.
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah I watched all the videos, which certainly clarified the relationship between different Union models using similar base plates - but didn't directly distinguish each range against another.

I'm actually starting to think that, as the Ltd. Edition Colour board for park is my serious investment in terms of cash, then it makes sense to get what seem to be the best-matched bindings for it (the Contact Pro).

Apart from a quick 3-4 trip to France in April if business goes well, it's my local snowdome I'll be at until the beginning of next season anyway, where I'll be going down to park nights.

I'll experiment with the Contact Pros on my mountain board, but it's likely I'll pick up the SLs too..

From experience with other hobbies, whenever I've picked an inbetween model to cater for two needs, I've invariably found that when I look to get another, I wish I'd have got the ideal model for one extreme, so I could get the opposite and have both perfect, so have to sell the inbetween anyway!

So, in conclusion, you reckon the SL and the Contact Pro would be quite a compimentary pair?

Cheers
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey, so I've been toying with ordering both the Contact Pro (150) AND the SL (180) tomorrow.. for a combined cost of about 330...

Or, I found the Force 2012 in White for 105!

You seem to rate this one quite a bit.. More responsive than Contact Pro, but also ok for landing some jumps?..
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Old 03-11-2012, 08:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The SL is a very comfortable do anything all mountain binding. Plenty responsive, but with the new Atlas baseplates and straps you don't feel like you have bindings locking down your feet. Contact Pro's aren't designed as a park binding, as Gigi put the pieces together to make these. Light weight, real shock absorbent baseplates, comfy straps and a flat highback that is cut out so you can hold on to the heel loops while hiking up steep shit, and not have the highback destroy your hands. Contact Pro's are super light too.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi, following a lot of debate, I decided on the Union Force in the end.

My thinking is that I've just got my first two boards (158 RC Park and 161 cambered All Mountain) and am in the process of learning and understanding the boards and their differences, so don't want to introduce another variable in the forms of two bindings with more specialist style.

The Force seems to be well recommended and divide less opinion, being regarded as a good all round binding that I can use on both boards.

As I get familiar with my boards, I can then decide if I want to tighten or loosen either of them by getting more specialised bindings - which will also likely be by Union.
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Old 04-03-2012, 08:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Just to say I've taken my Endeavor Color with Union Force bindings on for a spin and love it! When I got the box open on these Forces I was blown away by the finish and build quality, just getting them setup and adjusted for my massive feet was interesting!

Feel so firm once I'm in them too. Can't wait to find a reason to get another pair of Union bindings down the road!
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