Binding Review: 10-11 Union Force
09 Apr, 2010
Location: Winter Park, Colorado
Snow Conditions: Hardpacked snow conditions that softened up during the day with bluebird skies.
Setup: I rode the Union Force bindings with the Never Summer Evo and Smokin PYT with my Vans Veil Boots size 8.
Time to set up the binding: Average time for the Forces. I grabbed them from Union and set them up on the Evo and PYT myself.
Fit: My Vans boots in size 8 fit fine in the M/L Forces with some adjustment to making sure everything fits properly. The straps worked but I could have adjusted them better for riding. The width of my boot works fine in the men’s binding, the highback height works with my boot height and overall the fit works for me as a rider .
First Impression: These are one of the brightest bindings I have seen at the demos, so easy to spot on the mountain and a very popular choice at the demos.
Appearance: The 10-11 Force line is my favorite color option, the brights come out to play with their yellow and blue colorway for next year. They still have the signature black/white but the blue just wins me over. I ended up riding in the yellow pair which stood out on the mountain. It was so easy to spot the Forces during the demo day, bright simple sleek designs that are a classic beauty.
Comfort: I’ve always found the Forces to be a comfortable binding, enough padding to absorb bumpy terrain from underfoot when riding and good padding on the highback. The straps got an upgrade, I noticed the ankle strap being a bit more comfortable in the padding against the boot, just looked like more padding in the strap to help secure and snug it around your boot.
Functionality: When you first look at the Forces they look pretty basic and simple for bindings, tool-less adjustment on the ankle strap but still need a screwdriver on the toe strap. Easy to adjust the binding overall, from the heelcup to the baseplate. The highback has the multizone flex which is what I enjoy, stiffer stronger towards the bottom and a more forgiving, softer flex towards the top. It makes it a very stable binding that you can play with in the park or take the mountain on.
Flex: Designed to handle the whole mountain, the Forces have that mid flex that isn’t too soft or stiff. The stability and stiffer flex from lower on the binding, in the highback to the baseplate that helps make the binding capable of handling the mountain. Then the upper flex of the highback, helps bring the easy riding tweaking and softer flex for the park laps. The lateral flex gives you enough leeway to take it easy but it still holds you secure. The bindings allow the rider to control the flex, if you want to charge it’ll let you and you’ll get more response out of them but if you want to take it easy and just ride.
Response: The Force is all rider driven for response but it isn’t an overly responsive binding in how it handles the mountain. It’s more enjoy the ride but it’ll give it to you when you need it without surprises. The softer flex on the top of the highback lets you enjoy the ride without getting quick response but if you need to drive the board into a heelside turn you can really lay them down and hold into that highback to get it.
Toe Strap: The Force toe strap definitely needs to be adjusted to your boot so it won’t slip on the mountain. There’s a sweet spot with it that I’ve come to know and how I personally rock the binding. For 10-11 the toe strap gets a better gripping on the inside that touches your boot and it helps eliminate the slippage on the mountain. Overall good comfort, no pressure points on my boots and is there to give support while holding me into the binding.
Overall Impression: The Force is that all mountain, do everything binding that is meant to last 100 days. It’s been my binding of choice for the past two years and I keep going back to it because it is comfortable, it works and it makes a day on snow always happen. The upgrades this year to the force happen to the straps, the inside of the toe strap material is meant to grip your boot better and the ankle strap is smoothed out and bit more comfortable to the boot. It still rides the same as the last year’s Force just with slight upgrades that add a bit more comfort/functionality to the binding.
Shay’s Honesty Box: This year at the demos I went back to my go-to setup, the never summer evo with forces to give me a break from the other gear at the demos. I just wanted to make some laps on something I knew, but could also handle the mountain. The Forces are that go-to binding for me, they just work for my riding and I enjoy the time in them. The bright colors are an added bonus to me but I will say, the forces were the most seen binding at the demos.
On Snow Photos
Union Force Description
Review Disclosure: I rode this binding at a demo day.