Binding Review: 09-10 Forum Shakas

09 Dec, 2009

Location: Loveland, Colorado

Snow Conditions: Bluebird sunny skies and hardpacked groomed runs.

Setup: I rode the Forum Shakas on the Youngblood & Destroyer with my Bonfire Geo boots size 8.

Time to set up the binding: It was decent amount of time, not quick but not super long to get it dialed up for me.

Fit: I was worried about the highback being an issue with my size 8 boots and the height being too much but once I got on snow I didn’t feel it in the back of my leg so it was not as tall as I thought it would be to impact me.  The width was fine for my boots.  Overall fit was decent on my boots.

First Impression: Visually I thought they looked like a bastardized frankenbinder.  But once I rode it, it felt a lot better than it looked.

Appearance: The whole rasta look is something I don’t get or like, honestly it’s probably one of the ugliest bindings I’ve ridden this year.  I’d definitely prefer the black model of the binding without the ugliness.

Comfort: They weren’t uncomfortable but they didn’t win me over with comfort either.  The ankle strap had a good amount of padding to it and there was some in the highback to help cushion.  The baseplate padding had the most and made for a comfortable below boot feel.

Functionality: Depends on how you like at it, personally I think when you add more parts to a binding it can become an issue if the consumer doesn’t know how to fix/use them.  During riding with the shakas, they were functional just like a normal binding and I didn’t have to do anything different on the slopes.  The ratchets worked and weren’t anything noticeable to rave or hate about.

Flex: The Shakas were the center of the road all mountain freestyle binding, mid-stiff highback that wasn’t soft nor overly stiff and responsive, stiffer lateral flex side to side in the binding.  It felt a lot better when I rode them on the Destroyer Chillydog, than on the softer Youngblood.

Response: The Shakas weren’t overly responsive but you could hold an edge on the monster highback and really carve into the snow.  It was easy to ride them edge to edge and with the stiffer lateral flex you didn’t feel like you had to watch out for your ankle on the slopes.

Toe Strap: Forum uses the throwdown strap which I found had no issues with conforming to my boot.  I didn’t have the toe strap slide or move when riding and felt snug every run.  Easy to unstrap and step out of.  The toe strap was okay on the comfort, it did it’s job and didn’t have any pressure points.

Overall Impression: When I first looked at them it just looked like a variety of extra pieces thrown together to make a binding but once I took it on snow it felt connected and felt like underneath my boot that I was riding a snowboard without a binding there.  As an all mountain binding they did a solid job, decent response and flex for riding everywhere but still just middle of the road.  I wasn’t wowed to the technology but I did feel the flex more noticeably.

Shay’s Honesty Box: I wasn’t sure what to think about these bindings and I reserved judgement till I got on snow with them and felt how they rode.  The first time I took them out with the Youngblood it was a bit too soft for me overall but I liked the bindings, when I paired them with the Destroyer it felt a lot more stable and I got a better feel for the bindings and that it felt very connected.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the 2011 version of the Forum Shakas or shop their full line of Forum snowboard bindings

On Snow Photos

Forum Shaka Description


Review Disclosure: I rode this binding at a demo day.

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!


  1. Zach
    December 09, 2009

    Stupid. Ugly. How does this hinge even make sense. Shouldn’t it hinge (if it should hinge at all) 90 degrees in the other direction (so it is flexing with the board as the board flexes torsionally)? Do I have it wrong? If not, how does this make any sense? How does this make anything better. Just looks like a gimmick.

  2. Brett
    December 09, 2009

    I’ve been curious about whether the Shaka or the Union Contact would be a good fit for my Lib Tech TRS BTX. Seems like you weren’t really blow away by the Shaka. Any thoughts on the Contact?

    Keep up the good work!

  3. David (aka Kimchi)
    December 09, 2009

    These bindings are decent, but I’m not really sold on the hinge. I honestly can’t tell the difference… and you lose stance options since you have 4 singular holes instead of channels or overlapping holes to tweak your stance.

  4. Brek Leines
    December 09, 2009


    if your riding park then I would go with the contacts but if your riding all over the mountain then go with the force! I dont know about the shakas but i would say go somewhere and try to look at them all next to eachother

  5. SuperCollider
    December 09, 2009

    Two words on the hinge: Bolt shear. Hope they came up with a way to deal with it.
    Watch for broken bolts and/or loose inserts next year.

  6. DylanBee`
    December 09, 2009

    Hey guys, I live in Whistler and I’ve got about 22 days of riding (park) with my Black Shaka Brah’s. The black denims really nice looking, and after about 20 days they start to fade looking awesome. Unfortunately the inserts do come loose, too much for me. I’ve been riding Union Forces for 3 years and they are literally the same feel. I paired my shaka’s with my horrorscope and it’s noodly as hell. Another downfault is that the technology of the hinged disc doesn’t make a difference, i don’t remember ever feelin a ‘dead zone’ (flat spot under boots). Hope this helps you. I suggest the Forces for pretty much the same price

  7. calling bullshit
    December 09, 2009

    SuperCollider: bolt shear? Really? You must shred really hard. How is the snow on Jupiter this season?

  8. SuperCollider
    December 09, 2009

    .. Or the screws work loose. Hadn’t thought of that (thanks DylanBee).
    but the board flexes, the hinge flexes but doesn’t compress, so it kind of slides away from the topsheet, pulling the top half of the bolts towards the nose and tail, while the board squeezes the bottom half of the bolts towards each other. On jupiter that’s called shear.

  9. no really
    December 09, 2009

    plaese 2 post pix of broken binding bolts thx

    I’ll eat every broken M6 hardened steel binding mounting bolt in the history of snowboarding…population: zero. comeonbrosrsly

  10. Terry Haakonsen
    December 10, 2009

    you wouldn’t want the binders to flex torsionally with the board, that would give you zero control and probably hurt your feet. if you want zero binding feeling then go noboarding.

  11. December 10, 2009

    Brett, I agree with Brek’s advice. Contacts are pretty soft, Shakas were middle of the road and Forces as well for all mountain riding.

    It’d be interesting to see a whole season with the shaka’s since alot of the concerns are the longevity of the binding. Yeah team riders use them but they can replace them quickly if there are issues. But average riders riding them and seeing how well they hold up would be a good test for sure.

  12. A.
    December 11, 2009

    Why would I want to ride new binding tech when I have a perfectly functional pair of clickers?!

  13. Bruce
    January 12, 2010

    I dont normally post reviews or anything on the internet, but after like 15 ish days of riding I have to say these bindings are awesome but arent durable at all and im talking about mounting bolts and the bolts holding the highback in place.

    I already broke the shoit out of them and am using a skatebolt to hold it in place, and they loose up ever few runs.

    I ride my stuff hard, but not harder than some riders

    setup: park pickle

  14. DylanBee
    January 12, 2010

    Ye Bruce knows what’s up. I ride park so the bolts loosen up just ollieing and spinning so every 5-10 runs they start to get loose, I’ve got 42 days on them now and they’re good bindings if you switch them every season. durability is crap but i’m beginning to believe in the hinge, but whether or not i like that i’m not sure yet. well find out when i’m pumpin over Kong and my back bindings snaps.
    Cheers! Thanks for the stickers Shannon

  15. January 12, 2010

    That’s good to hear the feedback on the durability of them and I definitely wish my reviews could incorporate the durability of gear over time so it’s great to hear these comments on the reviews of people that spend more time on them than I do.

    Definitely the gear I ride all season get the thorough reviews and I write if they don’t make it (cough analog pants soon).

  16. colin
    September 24, 2010

    These bindings kick ass full season on them and i have had no issues with them at all? bolts coming loose? Have any of u ever ridden unions ? They are horrible uncomfortable ,toe strap is worst on the market and they have little to no feel or response not to mention tightening your strap bolts every three runs im starting to think none of u even ride or try different equipment. Burton /forum are the best bindings onthe market in my opinion

  17. March 15, 2011

    yeah 2011 shakas are MUUUUUCHHHH better than the 2010’s, I recommend those for shure.