I'm back to looking at traditional bindings.
I'd looked at K2 Cinch and GNU bindings, and there are still too many compromises to justify the convenience. I know my opinion on my negative experiences riding Flow bindings in the past aren't popular here - I'm not going to invest good money on something that has disappointed me in the past.
Don't get me wrong - the NX2 looks great, might actually feel like a traditional binding, but there's still some maturing to be done with all rear entries.
So at any rate - save for the one trip I'll be making to Colorado this year, I primarily ride a skate-style, jibbing around a very small resort with little vertical, and play in the park area. Board is a GNU Park Pickle I've had for 3 years now, and love it.
I don't really rely on my highbacks to get my back edge in the snow, for years I even rode with cut-down highbacks when that was the big thing back in the 90's. Apparently that's even coming back again. I at least don't want them to get in my way, any more than I want a rigid boot (holy crap it was hard finding a boot that didn't feel like a ski boot, throwing me around! Nasty!)
I'm considering the following:
- 2013 Burton Custom restricted re:flex
- 2013 Burton Mission re:flex
- 2013 Flux RK30
- 2012 Flux DS30
- Union contact pro
I've always loved Burton hardware for being indestructible. And there comes part of my concern... I like the theory of the re:flex bases, but playing with it in the shops, it seems a little flimsy. The heel component that pops out is all that holds the toe component from moving, and there's some very small bits of rubbery plastic that bind those parts together. Also, while it seems there's lots of heel cushioning, that could also mean it'll compress over time. It seems pretty soft. And the ankle straps just seem so-so, I don't really know how comfortable they will prove to be. I know I'll love the ratchets.
I'm neutral between the custom and mission... the custom is a little more freestyle oriented, but the mission seems a little nicer, both I'm sure will ride fine.
Flux is new to me, there's a local shop about an hour away that I haven't gotten to yet. High recommendations from some of my buddies on the west coast. The RK30 is intriguing to me with a urethane highback.
I found a deal on last year's DS30 for about the same price, or less, and have heard that is a good freestyle binding as well, even though it doesn't have a urethane highback. My concern with either Flux is maybe the opposite of the Burton re:flex base - the criticism I've heard is that the heel area isn't cushioned enough. Sounds like their ankle straps are really good.
I've seen Union around, and ignored them, for years. But the Contact Pro looks decent. My local Zumiez in the mall had them to check out. Seem solid, the cushioning under the base seems intriguing, seems like they'd flex at least decently, although the highback seems pretty rigid. Ankle straps seem like they'd be comfortable, like they'd spread the force out, rachets seem good.
EDIT: Read a review on the ankle straps that some people find them uncomfortable. A comfortable ankle strap is one of my highest priorities - I'd rather not pop my binding on my front foot every ride up the lift.
Anyone have any thoughts on these?