Binding Review: 08-09 Union Force SL
18 Nov, 2008
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Snow Conditions: Snowing with hardpacked groomers to icy groomers to fresh snow on the runs.
Setup: I rode the Union Force SL bindings with a variety of snowboards and my Vans Omni Focus boots.
Time to set up the binding: Average
Fit: At the time the fit felt fine, the toe strap seemed pretty big for my boot size but I had no problems with staying in the bindings and aligning the straps.
First Impression: I needed a solid pair of bindings to try out as I demo’d companies without bindings…and Force’s were the first choice to rock for the day, I knew they’d be issue-free.
Appearance: They look good…hands down. Black with red spiderweb stitching on the straps, clean design from highback to baseplate. Nothing too flashy, no extra bullshit crap that you don’t need on bindings, just good looks and simple but quality design.
Comfort: Starting from the highback to the straps, pure comfort. I had no problems with the highbacks being too tall for my boots or not comforming, they were fine and the straps while the ankle was narrower still offered the support I needed. Padding in the baseplate to absorb any rougher landings.
Functionality: Very easy to adjust, whether it’s the straps or the highback forward lean, can do it without a tool. I didn’t have any issues with the ratchets when I was riding them and I spent most of the day on them.
Flex: Having come from the contacts with the softer flexing highback to the medium flexing feel of the forces, it was a good transition and made riding everywhere a lot easier on me. I could rely on it for heelside turns to hold me in each turn. There’s still good lateral give to the bindings and you get support for toeside and heelside turning.
Response: This is where the Force won me over…and why I’d ride the bindings everywhere…I have the contacts but man I could ride these all day and never feel like I had to work overtime to get response out of the binding. That was the step above the contacts for me…quicker response from them. Easy to initiate, good absorption on the little 180′s and ollies I did…just a fun, do everything binding.
Toe Strap: I had to get it dialed and it was only one run where it slipped on me because of how I placed it. Other than that, once I had it placed right with my boot I was fine the rest of the day.
Overall Impression: I rocked these bindings on a couple boards to use for testing since I left my bindings at home on the demo day. I really liked the response they had with a stiffer highback than my contacts. I rocked them all over the mountain and felt comfortable with them most of the day. I spent a lot more time on them by choice compared to other brands I could have rode.
Shay’s Honesty Box: I like my contacts for being as soft and light as they are but I pretty much keep them to easy days freestyling or pipe…but man I wish I had the Forces to ride everywhere and the Force SL’s are light as well.