Binding Review: 09-10 Union Contact

24 Dec, 2009

Location: Loveland, Colorado

Snow Conditions: Bluebird sunny skies and hardpacked groomed runs.

Setup: I rode the Union Contacts on the Rome Postermania with my Bonfire Geo boots size 8.

Time to set up the binding: I set it up so it was normal time since I’m familiar with the Contacts.

Fit: I just had to make sure the straps were adjusted to my boots properly before taking them out on the snow.  When I ride union bindings, I rock the M/L size of bindings which fit the width of my size 8 boots and they aren’t too tall of a highback for my boots.

First Impression: The softness and lightness of these bindings is always fun on the groomer days and playing around.

Appearance: They remind me of those orange and white ice cream cups in the appearance, I miss the solid orange but it’s fun to have the white/orange color combination.

Comfort: The straps were comfortable to my boots and didn’t offer any pressure points or weird spots when riding.  The baseplate is padded so absorbs some vibrations when riding and makes for  a super comfortable ride.

Functionality: Contacts are just like any other binding except they offer less binding to board contact so you have a truer flex.  The ankle strap you can adjust without a tool but the toe strap you need a tool still.  They aren’t anything crazy for technology other than the less board contact and that’s only noticeable when you take it to snow.

Flex: Definitely one of the softer bindings on the market, overall softer flex which makes riding in them really mellow and fun to play with.   When it comes to freeriding with the binding, it won’t really push you or hold you into turns but overall it is meant to be a freestyle binding and focused on the park riding.  The contacts are still one of the softest bindings I’ve ridden out of all the bindings.

Response: The Contacts aren’t meant to be a responsive binding, they are super forgiving and you won’t find yourself in a turn you weren’t meant to be in.  The contacts have a softer highback which I think is the softest I’ve ever ridden, you almost feel like you have nothing back there to hold you into a turn.  The ankle strap gives you more support when you need it.

Toe Strap: The Union Contact toe strap you can rock as convertible or over the toe.  I tend to rock them over the toe which really covers the whole toe of my boots.  The Union toe strap is one of the major components to getting fit right with your boot and making sure it won’t move when riding.

Overall Impression: The Union Contacts are one of the softest, lightest bindings out there for those who want a park friendly binding that also gives less contact to the board so offering a better binding flex.  With the softer flex you really absorb the conditions and chop on the mountain and I felt best in the park with them or playing around with butters.  I didn’t notice anything major from 08-09 to 09-10 on the union contacts.

Shay’s Honesty Box: Last year I ended up going with these bindings after trying with them and while I loved the lightweight and softer flex, in the end I needed something more responsive and stiffer flex to handle the entire mountain so I went to the Forces.  I still enjoy riding the contacts especially for groomer days when I’m taking it easy since they are a fun binding to ride but I wouldn’t ride them 100% of the time since I’m not a park rat 100% of the time.

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

On Snow Photos

Union Contact 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!

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  1. Brek Leines
    December 24, 2009

    The only thing I wish union would do in the m/l sized mens bindings is offer the more forward leaning toe strap to make more of a toe cap rather than to strap. the m/l womens and the mens l/xl both have that option.

    Also make it so the ankle strap bolts arnt always coming loose.

    and on the sl’s and mc’s to not have the front eva bushings glued to the binding.

    other than that though i heart union!

  2. December 24, 2009

    The eva has to be glued on the SL and MC as the whole base is machined and that’s the only way for us to keep it attached. I know it’s kind of a pain in the ass to move the toe strap setting on the L/XL’s but…that’s the price you got to pay for the weight savings. Take a cresent wrench and give your ankle straps a extra turn. Mine never come loose.

    Merry Christmas guys.


  3. Justin
    December 24, 2009

    Gigi Ruf swears by these and he’s a big mountain, free riding experimental boarder. Again it probably comes down to the principle of individuality and specificity. What works for one person, may not work for another.

  4. Brek Leines
    December 24, 2009

    Thanks Johan, I think i might just go with some lock tight haha. I figured that was the reason for the eva to be glued, i think you could move the toe strap easier if there was a lil bit bigger slit in the eva but then again i just ride em not design them.

    But im curious whats the reason for not having the alternative toe option on the mens m/l bindings? Like do you lose strength?

  5. December 24, 2009

    Definitely Justin good point, each rider has their own preferences on what they like. Personally the contacts are too soft for me, I want a more responsive binding when riding that’s why I go for the Forces over the contacts.

  6. Dave
    December 27, 2009

    I replaced the toe-caps on my Union Contacts with the Burton Ultra Capstraps and it makes a world of difference. Together, they are the perfect park binding.