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-   -   Salomon Relay Pro Bindings (Soft/flexible heel cup technology!) (http://www.snowboardingforum.com/snowboard-reviews/4131-salomon-relay-pro-bindings-soft-flexible.html)

captainowns 02-22-2008 02:38 AM

Salomon Relay Pro Bindings (Soft/flexible heel cup technology!)
 
http://images.the-house.com/sal-relay-dark-08-zoom.jpg

Well I just got the steal of the century on these bindings, so I couldn't turn them down. These bindigns typically go for $170 or so, but I managed to pick up a pair of bindings that were used for display, for $60!

For those not familiar with the technology behind these boots, they use a fabric/flexible metal combination for the heel cup. They then run a steel cable up to the back of the highback, and afix it to the base, with adjustable forward lean. This means that for heelside turns, you have the stiff rigidty that you need, however flexibility side to side is vastly increased. Despite the amount of materials used in this process, the bindings remain amazingly light weight, and fit great! I used these bindings to replace a pair of modified drak super sports (with burton toe caps), and they were significantly lighter, and even more comfortable in fit.

I took the binding out riding this past wednesday, and I was REALLY stoked to get on it. At first it was interesting to have a setup as light as I have (I rock a forum warrior 160 board), because over the bumps I could certainly feel the additional chatter from the reduced weight. In the first run I attempted a butter over this plateau feature on the side of the trail, to not much success. Buttering is certainly not impossible in these bindings but different. Typically you just shift your weight over the nose or tail to butter, and the bindings side to side ridgidity automatically places you in a butter. As these bindings have minimal lateral support, you have to lean AND pick up your foot intentionally. It was different at first, but I quickly adjusted to the difference.

As far as general riding goes, the setup is amazing. It fits better than most bindings. Traditional freestyle oriented bindings will strap lower over the heel of your feet, to allow for lateral movement. These bindings howeve can strap DIRECTLY over your heel to hold your foot in, without reducing lateral movement at all, due to the fabric heel cup. Because of this, the binding resulted in less foot cramping, reduced heel lift, and as expected increased lateral movement (TWEAK THOSE GRABS!)



I rode pretty hard with this board all day. In the park I was hitting the largest tables stomping backside 3's and 5's with ease. I jumped in the super pipe and chaged some crazy airs, and the bindings road as good as I could have asked for the whole time. While no piece of equipment is going to really make you ride THAT much better, I found these bindings didn't hinder my riding at all, unlike other bindings sometime painful/heavy designs.




So, maybe it was just the AMAZING spring like riding I had this past Wednesday, or maybe these bindings really are just freaking amazing, but I had an amazing time on them, I think they kick some serious butt, and I'm stoked on them.



PS: Anyone want to buy some super ghetto drake super sports? hahaha.

Mr. Right 02-22-2008 12:10 PM

I like the looks of that heelcup design, definitely not like anything I've ever seen before. I should get a buddy to buy some and let me try em :D

killclimbz 02-22-2008 12:40 PM

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I've been using the Relay pros on my bc setup. The heel cup is comfortable and I honestly don't notice any performance difference with the flex. The biggest bitch with Salomon I have is their damn ratchets like to jam up when you try to release them. Otherwise, it's been a super solid binder. I just got a set of Union Force DLX's. I am debating on setting them on my bc setup or resort ride. If I do the resort board, I am going to have to wait until next week to try them out.
Decisions, decisions...

Mr. Right 02-22-2008 12:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by killclimbz (Post 37839)
I've been using the Relay pros on my bc setup. The heel cup is comfortable and I honestly don't notice any performance difference with the flex. The biggest bitch with Salomon I have is their damn ratchets like to jam up when you try to release them. Otherwise, it's been a super solid binder. I just got a set of Union Force DLX's. I am debating on setting them on my bc setup or resort ride. If I do the resort board, I am going to have to wait until next week to try them out.
Decisions, decisions...


Wouldn't they be more of a decoration at your house then? I don't think I've ever read a post by you talking about being at a resort :laugh:

killclimbz 02-22-2008 01:05 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Right (Post 37845)
Wouldn't they be more of a decoration at your house then? I don't think I've ever read a post by you talking about being at a resort :laugh:

Hahaha! Actually I do have around a half dozen or so days at the resort. Believe it or not, I have a season pass at WP/Copper. I try to use it as little as possible. For me the truly epic days happen in the backcountry. Resort days are fun etc. But the days you get those OMG pictures are always backcountry.

Mr. Right 02-22-2008 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by killclimbz (Post 37848)
Hahaha! Actually I do have around a half dozen or so days at the resort. Believe it or not, I have a season pass at WP/Copper. I try to use it as little as possible. For me the truly epic days happen in the backcountry. Resort days are fun etc. But the days you get those OMG pictures are always backcountry.

Damn, I've got something like 70 resort days this year and about 65 of them are at Loveland. Only maybe 3 days backcountry (kind of, Loveland pass and some hiking up in Evergreen). I want to rent a sled at some point and go see what Geneva is looking like. I love that place. I've only done minor hiking at Berthoud, some of that stuff up their looks intense.

livelyjay 03-19-2008 09:28 AM

Nice write up. Depending on how things go with the Ride RX I just bought, I might end up returning them and getting the Relays. I have some super old SP3 bindings (8+ years old) and they ratchets on those stick when releasing them as well. Funny how they haven't improved the ratchets at all.

captainowns 03-19-2008 12:23 PM

I'm on day god knows what of riding them now. They work pretty good. They are last years salomon relay pro's though. They're ungodly light weight. The only thing I have to report different is that I have knee pain a bit more after riding unlike before, but then again I'm riding an ungodly amount of days and the park hits just keep getting bigger.

livelyjay 03-19-2008 12:37 PM

Ungodly lightweight sounds good to me. My Salomon SP3 bindings are ungodly heavy. I highly doubt bindings would contribute to knee pain. It's probably all the abuse you are laying into your legs. If you beat up on your leg muscles too much then the impact will start moving into your joints as the muscles aren't strong enough to absorb it. Hit up some Ibuprofen before and after you go, then ice afterwards. Also stretch before and after your go as well. Do all that and I bet your knee pain will go away. You're lucky you still have snow to run on, it's all gone here.

Any ways, what's the difference between the Relay Pro and the regular Relay bindings? Is it just materials and how customizable they are?


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