Q & A with George from Union Binding Company

18 Nov, 2008

George Kleckner is the man behind Union Binding Company. He’s the guy doing the branding, marketing and product design of the bindings.

So when I started getting questions regarding Union bindings, he’s the man I turned to for the down and dirty Q & A to elaborate on your questions.

Shay: Which binding is the lightest in the Union lineup?

George: Force MC – 710 grams. It’s the lightest men’s binding on the market.

Shay: How do Union bindings allow for true board flex?

George: We have minimized the direct contact from binding-to-board. This is especially important in the heel area of the binding, because it alleviates “dead spots” under your bindings. It also alleviates pressure points where most board breakage occurs.
Shay: Does every model have less than 100% binding direct contact to the board?

George: Yes. The Contact has the least amount (19%), but even our Stage II base has minimal direct contact. This is the number 1 thing that makes Union Bindings ride different.

Shay: What are the similarities and differences between the Contacts and Force bindings?

George: Similarities are fit and comfort. The main difference between the two, is the Force baseplate is quite a bit more stiff. The Force also has higher highbacks, and leans more towards an all-mountain binding.

Shay: The Forces have a tapered design on the highback, how does that affect the rider?

George: The tapered design gives you 100% support straight back when you need it (landing jumps, traversing, euro carving, etc), but it also allows the highback to have some twisting movement, which is nice for tweaking out your favorite food grab.

Shay: Why on this years force, contact, and trilogy, does the fabric on the toe strap not cover the whole strap?

George: The new design allows the toe strap to cover the toe box much better for those who prefer to wear them Baltimore style.

Shay: Early Contacts had a mesh toe strap, why didn’t that toe strap come to production?

George: We changed it for a couple reasons. Overall the mesh wasn’t bringing much to the table. It was hard on the boots, it was heavy, and not very durable. Easy decision.

Shay: How adjustable are Union bindings?

George: 100% adjustable to everything unless you’re name is Shaquille O’neil.

Shay: Any new binding colors in the future?

George: We’re pretty stoked on dreamcicle orange right now.

About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. Anonymous
    November 18, 2008

    What does Baltimore Style refer to? Thanks!!

  2. martinboards
    November 18, 2008

    Damn Shannon, I just want to let you know that I think your blog is pretty frickin rad. I am baffled at how much content you continually generate and at the same time very happy you have so much. Keep up the good work as I look forward to reading new stuff here

  3. Shayboarder
    November 18, 2008

    Baltimore Style is rocking over the toe/cap strap style. Burton and Technine invented the cap strap around the same time, Burton’s cap strap and Technine’s Baltimore Toe Strap mean the strap is fitted over the front of the toe.

  4. Shayboarder
    November 18, 2008

    Thanks Martin!

    I baffle myself sometimes and am stoked people have found it rad and come back for more. I’ll keep up the work, season is upon us and got some good things in store.

  5. Anonymous
    November 19, 2008

    the technine baltimore strap was the first to market toe-cap strap. burton jumped on it-as theirs was supposed to be a late to following season release. burton tried to sue t9 to stall their first to market… due to burton’s “man corp” power, both parties settled on sharing the patent.

    …and your velcome.

  6. Anonymous
    November 19, 2008

    Yes, it’s called Baltimore style because Justin Hebbel was the first one to do it. He’s from Baltimore.

    Justin rode for Technine, Burton copied it, and Flux somehow has a patent for it.

    Go figure.

  7. Anonymous
    November 19, 2008

    Thanks for the explanation peeps. I knew the Baltimore had to be there for some reason. It’s funny that the last comment mentioned Burton suing another snowboard company. I was reading an article about how Burton sued a few snowboard companies (Don’t know who) who came out with a 3 hole bolt pattern in there snowboards. The story came from an interview with Mike Olson from Lib/Gnu and Mike sent Burton a picture of Lib with a 3 bolt pattern they put on their boards a year or so before Burton started claiming it, and Mike told Burton that they should be ashamed of themselves. Based on the story Burton received money from some snowboard companies for copying their patent, but never sent another thing to Mervin for the 3 bolt pattern, because Burton knew they didn’t invent it. (Don’t have an internet site or reference of this story, so take it as you want, but I know I read it) The reason I mention this is that Burton pisses me off a lot of times. I just feel that even though they put a lot into the sport, they ruin it at the same time. I think that if it were up to Burton everybody would be riding a Burton board and every competition would be called the Burton Open. I had the opportunity to talk to Pete Saari at the Stack Footy premier in Seattle this year, and I made a comment about other companies jumping on the reverse camber band wagon that Mervin has marketed and produced more than any other company within the last 2 years. Pete was hating on anybody, and was actually stoked on companies thinking outside the box, and was stoked on boards (regardless of who makes them) being better to ride for the consumers. I guess my point is that Burton seems to act like nazis sometimes in the snowboard world, and other companies let their product sell their boards for them with quality, innovation, creativity, etc without forcing it on the consumer. This is just my opinion, and NO I DONT WORK FOR MERVIN.

  8. Anonymous
    November 19, 2008

    Detroit auto industry=soon-to-be burton.

  9. Anonymous
    November 19, 2008

    Fight for the little guy!

  10. Shayboarder
    November 19, 2008

    Behind the scenes of all the companies are cease and desists and patent violations. Lawyers are making bank off the snowboard industry…it’s nothing new.

    For example, Never Summer using “recurve camber” in the beginning which was wording used on the Lib Skis…resulted in a cease and desist to NS from Lib this year…to not use that wording anymore. Also mentioned was that the rocker patent would be looked at to see if it crossed into libs reverse camber patent.

    So while it might go that companies are fine with it…behind the scenes, they might not be. Lib is owned by Quik…you gotta admit that Quik might not be as openminded as Pete about other companies making money off their patent.

  11. NCPsales ! ! ! !
    November 19, 2008

    hey, patent this !

  12. Anonymous
    November 22, 2008

    just got these and rode them today. best bindings ever hands down. Regardless of the comments on the Force SL, these aren’t just for minibiking. they ride amazing at high speed and perform way beyond my Cartels from last year. Plus they are made by cool dudes and not a mega corp. GO UNION!!! I’m a lifer!!!

  13. Anonymous
    November 28, 2008

    scooped a pair of force MC .. wow these things are incredible. Union for life!

  14. Shayboarder
    December 01, 2008

    Awesome congrats on the new bindings!