Binding Review: 09-10 Flow NXT-ATSE
27 Jun, 2009
Location: Keystone, Colorado
Snow Conditions: Overcast/Bluebird with hardpacked groomers to a mixture of conditions.
Setup: I rode the Flow NXT-ATSE’s with the Flow Era and my Rome Vamp size 8 boots.
Time to set up the binding: Longer than average to make sure the bindings were adjusted to my boot and set up properly. With Flows you really need to dial them in or the ride won’t be the same.
Fit: No gaps on the width of the binding and with Flows I feel comfortable riding the men’s binding in my size 8 women’s boots. My boot was snug in the heelcup without any movement and the highback was aligned with my boot height, no discomfort on the highback to boot fit.
First Impression: The Special Edition NXT-ATSE’s might take over the regular edition.
Appearance: There’s a lot going on with the NXT-ATSE’s in terms of colors and design. But I don’t think it looks bad, I liked the crazy print and design it has going with the mix of words across the binding. The chrome ratchets are pretty sweet as well and shine in the sunlight.
Comfort: Flows are built around being comfortable without any pressure points thanks to the powerstrap. With the baseplate and highback, you get extra padding and comfort where you need it.
Functionality: Flows are quick rear entry bindings, easy to get in and out of after your adjustment period. I appreciate what Flows are and it’s super easy to get your boot in them, pull up the highback and lock them in place. This time with the NXT-ATSE’s I like having 2 mini ratchets better than the current NXT-AT’s which have 4 mini ratchets, on the medial side of the binding you don’t have ratchets like previous years making it less hassle on those ratchets coming up or coming undone. I’m still on the fence about the baseplate with rocker but I was riding a rockered flow so it was meant for that, I wonder how it’ll do on other boards.
Response: The NXT-AT series is the all mountain series giving a mid amount of response, it won’t be too aggressive that you find yourself turning when you didn’t mean to and the flex of it allows for freestyle fun and good lateral flex.
Power Strap: With the Flow power strap you hardly notice it when riding because the pressure is distributed over a wider area, less pressure in certain spots and the strap is comfortable. I had no problem with it fitting to my Rome boots.
Overall Impression: Each year Flow is consistently improving the bindings, the NXT-AT’s over the past years have increasingly been solid and easier for the user. The special edition NXT-ATSE’s that I rode had an improvement that I liked, not having ratchets on the medial side of the binding where they could catch on something and just having that be less of an issue. Ratchets on the one side where you could adjust easily. Another addition is the new baseplate for the NXT series, a forged aluminum baseplate with rocker which was something I was iffy about how it would ride and with a rocker board but I didn’t notice it being something I disliked, just wonder how it’ll do on other boards. It’s flow’s answer to a more natural flex of the board to binding.
Shay’s Honesty Box: Flows are definitely quick to get in and out of once you have them dialed. I’m lucky that during demos they get set up perfectly by the rep (awesome Greg) and I don’t have to worry about them being off when I’m riding. At the same time, Flows aren’t really my style of riding. I enjoy riding in them but I’m also quicker at regular bindings and feel more comfortable in regular binding, just my preference. I also think it’s just getting used to one binding over time.