Binding Review: 10-11 Union Flite
12 Feb, 2010
Location: Winter Park, Colorado
Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to icy conditions on the mountain, flat-light riding conditions.
Setup: I rode the Union Flite’s on the Capita Black Snowboard of Death (and other boards) with my Vans Veil Boots size 8.
Time to set up the binding: It was the first binding of the morning and we made sure the heelcup fit was spot on so it took a bit longer to setup.
Fit: The M/L binding size works with my size 8 women’s boot but often making sure the heelcup is moved forward for a better fit. The flite’s fit fine with the width of my boot and I could have adjusted the toe strap to be a better fit to my boot. The highback fit well with my boots and I didn’t notice any pressure from the highback to my calf’s.
First Impression: A very easy forgiving lightweight ride for the mountain
Appearance: I was riding the black colorway which has a hint of gold to it, I found the bindings simple in the color choices and with the combination of the BSOD it matched up well together. The board did the talking, the binding just looked good on top of it.
Comfort: The Flite’s have a contoured ankle strap and toe strap with a hollow center so it can mold to your boot better. I found the new ankle strap nice in the fact it was premolded to the shape of the boot, decent comfort but mostly good support on the boot and the toe strap didn’t have much to it but secured my boot in place, I mostly rocked as convertible even though I would have preferred over the toe. Highback was softer, with some padding to help with boot comfort. Padding underfoot on the baseplate cover to help absorb some rougher terrain/landings.
Functionality: Unions are set up to be very user friendly functional, easy tool free adjustments on the ankle strap and toe strap doesn’t take too long with a screw to adjust (wish it was tool free though). Forward lean is quick adjust but I didn’t need to adjust it so it was fine setup as is.
Flex: The Flite’s were an easy ride to get into, softer highback didn’t make them a responsive binding but with a good sturdy underfoot feeling. The straps offered the stiffer flex (mostly the ankle strap) and overall it was a good mix. I never felt the bindings couldn’t handle freeriding but they weren’t overly responsive either, just enjoyed the ride…along for the ride feeling.
Response: The Flite’s aren’t a super responsive binding, freestyle influenced and softer highback makes the response a bit more forgiving, minimal on the mountain. I found it a really easy forgiving binding all around from the flex to straps, lightweight and just an easy ride that wouldn’t put you into turns or on edge when you didn’t want to be.
Toe Strap: The toe strap has a hollowed out center, making it so you can fit snugly with your boot when riding and not worry about the toe strap slipping. When I rode it the first time, it needed better adjustment but later on during the demos, it felt better when I rode it a second and third time with my boots. It’s sturdy with not much padding and just does the job of holding your boot in.
Overall Impression: Overall the flite’s were definitely one of the lighter average bindings I was on during the demo’s. It was exactly as described, all around pipe, park, powder freestyle design influenced. During the couple times that I rode the bindings, they were an easy ride with good support (not responsive) that could handle freeriding to playing in the park.
Shay’s Honesty Box: I think these bindings will be popular for those who want the forces or unions but with a toe strap that works for them better…because not everyone likes the union toe strap. I personally find the toestrap on unions fine for my boots and so this new toe strap was nice but I don’t really need it. The Flite’s were an easy to love binding, how easy it was to just ride them. Personally the forces are still my choice for binding, but the flite’s were definitely a consideration.
On Snow Photos
Union Flite Description
Review Disclosure: I rode this binding at a demo day.