Ride SPi Review
So I've had these things out three times now, so I think I've got enough for a decent review at this point.
Day 1 - A - Basin after a couple inches of snow overnight.
This day was pretty discouraging all around. I accidentally picked a double black run for my first run on these bindings, and it didn't turn out too well. I tried some blues and blue/blacks after that to try to get used to them a bit more. They were a bit squirrelly at first compared to my Ride EX bindings, but I could immediately tell the response on them was way better. Just when I was really starting to feel it, I caught a huge rock that put a pretty nasty core shot into my deck, so after that I was pretty pissed off and decided to call it a day.
Day 2 - Vail on a somewhat warm day.
This was the day that made me fall in love with these bindings. Went straight back to Blue Sky Basin and pretty much did everything that part or the mountain has to offer. Bumps, Blacks, Trees, etc. I was super impressed with how well these bindings handled bumps in the trees. At first, I was actually turning too soon on my front side turns, which is kind of a good problem to have on steep bumps. Once I adjusted to that I was shredding this stuff like never before. I even hit a few back natural jumps and a couple small cliff drops and the landings were insanely easy and soft. I was also a little worried about the binding release on the ankle straps of these bindings, but it wasn't really a problem once I had them out on the mountain.
Day 3 - Breckenridge on another somewhat warm day
I pretty much picked up where I left off on the previous day at Vail and tore up some more tree runs and steep bump runs in the morning, and even took these bindings for a quick spin over some jumps in the terrain park on the way down at the end of the day. Mind you, I'm not really much of a freestyle guy, but I felt pretty comfortable hitting a couple kickers on these bindings. I wouldn't recommend them for a park rat kind of riding style, but if you're just going to hit a couple jumps on your way to the bottom of the mountain they're great. They also handle really well at speed, even when that god damn skier almost killed me by veering all the way across a catwalk that I was riding at about warp speed.
Overall, I'd say if you're looking for a good freeride binding that has really good response, I'd at least take a look at the SPi. I really want to try them out on a powder day to see how they handle, so hopefully I'll get lucky this week. If so, I'll add to this thread.