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.

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

On Snow Photos

Union Force Description

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

About the author

Shay

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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18 Comments

  1. dominic palarchio
    April 09, 2010

    i rode the danny kass pro models which are basiclly half forces and half contacts.my season was 100 days in michigan riding park. theese bindings are great to use, very comfortable, 0 pressure points, and they have great vibration dampening. the buckles never once locked up on me like some would(burton toe buckles).

  2. DDR
    April 09, 2010

    so, how’s the ’10-’11 NS Evo, any changes? (or is a full review popping up soon?) 😉

  3. April 09, 2010

    Dominic, sweet DK is one of the bindings I want to try from Union. Awesome to hear you love yours!

    DDR, it’s next on the review list…no changes though other than graphics for 10-11.

  4. JT
    April 09, 2010

    I love the blue color way they are releasing.. HAWT!

  5. April 12, 2010

    The DK is a little bit better as the Forces because of the heelcup-adjust. everyone who uses the adjustment of heelcup knows what i mean, DK has 3 holes, Force one long…
    Information from Union: Pros are using the DK Version of the heelcup adjustment.
    also the toestrap positioning at the M/L size Forces is not so good compared to the Contact. Their will (news from ISPO)/should be a redesign in 11/12 bindings.

    There will be a franken binders version of the new forces colors… *thumbs up*

  6. tweaker
    May 28, 2010

    Hi shay!

    I’ve ridden a couple of different pairs of forces this season and the contacts, it seemed like all had problems with the ratches coming undone and not being able to tighten them enough, do you know if they have fixed this for the 10/11 bindings? And as MASL mentioned with the holes for the highback, are there three holes or one long hole on the 2010/11 ones?

    Thanks alot!

  7. August 31, 2010

    Hey Shay,

    I have mens 09/10 9.5 Thirty Two Ultralights. And was wondering what size of Unions I would need. I’ve seen a sizing chart and it said M/L 6-10 and L/XL 10+. I would go to a shop myself, but there isn’t one around me, without driving forever. What I’m worried about is all the straps being maxxed out with the M/L and toe wiggle in the L/XL. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

  8. lee
    September 02, 2010

    I have 9.5 Salomon boots and the straps aren’t maxed. You should be just fine with a medium.

  9. Boaz-b
    October 06, 2010

    Do those bindings fit on the system of Burton, not EST, but like on the Clash and Bullet. Because its not 4×2.

  10. lee
    October 06, 2010

    Pretty sure union binders can go on any board. If you want to put them on a channel board you need to het the special disc.

  11. Boaz-b
    October 07, 2010

    Yeah I know, but i didn’t meant the channel, but holes · :··: · like this.

  12. lee
    October 09, 2010

    Yeah boaz. I was just saying that they can go on either in case anyone else was wondering. Sooooooo mount em up!!

  13. Boaz-b
    October 10, 2010

    Haha sorry. Thanks for your help :D.

  14. Caroline
    February 25, 2011

    I want to buy my husband new bindings (all mountain- he does some jumps but won’t be spending his time in a park, mainly likes a bit of off-piste but not a crazy rider!) for his Burton Guru board. Do you recommend the Union? Also, he’s got a size 9 boot, not sure if M/L or L/XL is better?
    Any advice appreciated.

  15. spekter
    February 25, 2011

    if you have a boot size smaller than US mens 11 you should go with the M/L. the toe strap is big for any boot under, and tends to place extra pressure on the rachett directly over your small toe. Over all I think its a great binding for almost any style or conditions.

  16. lee
    February 25, 2011

    Caroline….the force bindings are amazing. M/L will fit a 9 just fine. They are the do all binding of the line. Sounds like they would be perfect for how he rides.

  17. February 26, 2011

    Caroline, definitely agree with the others! Your hubby would be fine on the M/L.