100 Day Perspective: Union Team Forces
09 Nov, 2011
100 days is the true test of wear and tear on snowboard gear. It determines whether a company builds gear for the 100 day rider or builds gear for the average snowday rider. Over the past couple years, only a couple products have made the 100 day test. After 100 days, they get the perspectives post to identify how they look after so many days, how durable they are and what the wear/tear looks like. It’s not so much a usual review but it is a judge of quality.
Last fall, I received the Union Team Force bindings to use for this season. The Union Team Forces received over 100 days and were my main snowboard binding for the season. The only time I didn’t ride them was demo days and testing days for other brands. These bindings were production models so the same that went out to everyone else and that was a noticeable improvement in quality over samples.
These are the original ladders/ratchets that came with the bindings. No issues on skipping or sticking this season. They’ve continued to work all winter long.
I only had one issue with hardware this winter. On my left binding, a screw came loose and the toe strap came off during hiking this summer. Everything else remained intact for the winter. I didn’t have issues with the screws loosening over use but I still made sure they were tight before riding (with the exception of the late season summer shred).
Other than a couple scrapes on the heelcup on both bindings, the highbacks have held up without the top portion of the highback coming undone or any breakage. There is some wear/tear on the inside padding that I discuss below.
This is the biggest different from production to sample bindings that I’ve noticed. In the past sample bindings would wear on the straps but these production bindings showed no signs of wear/tear on the straps.
Right Binding Straps
Left Binding Straps
The padding in both baseplates has remained intact. Other than some leftover dirt from the summer riding, the baseplate is in great shape with nothing wrong.
It’s always different with different brands. Sometimes it’s the highbacks or the straps, sometimes something completely different. On the Union Team Forces, the wear/tear was on the lower inside portion of the highback. It looked like the glue holding the material started to wear quicker where the boots constantly move in and out of. This was evident on both of the bindings (left foot and right foot) but more noticeable on the right foot (I’m regular, so my spare foot).