Binding Review: 11-12 GNU B-Famous

14 Dec, 2011


Location: Mammoth Mountain, CA

Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to icy groomers.

Setup: I rode the GNU B-Famous on the Arbor Wasteland with my Vans Veil Boots size 8.

Time to set up the binding: Mounted the bindings up, then grabbed my boots to make sure they fit in the bindings and adjusted the straps to work with my boots. It didn’t take longer than 10 minutes to get them set up and properly fit to my boots.

Fit: I rode the medium B-Famous bindings which fit us women’s 7-9 sizes. I wore my size 8 Vans boots and had good fit in the mediums. The only pressure I noticed was on the front toe strap where my big toe encountered some pressure from the strap. It was only that one spot and barely noticeable.

First Impression: The B-Famous makes all mountain riding quick and easy with rear entry. The backdoor aint bad for girls.

Appearance: I demoed the GNU B-Famous in the black color option (the only color option). It’s a mix of black and dark blue animal stripes/print going on. I think it’s very simple and a safe bet without really any crazy design aesthetics.

Comfort: Good padding in the baseplate and highback on the B-Famous, it definitely helps absorb bumpy terrain. The straps are padded and molded to the boot. Overall they work but not a super padded pillow kind of binding.

Functionality: This is probably what I like most about the rear entry bindings from Mervin. They are functional for rear entry. You have the reclining highback that is easy to unlatch plus as soon as you unlatch the highback, the ankle strap pops unlocked for you so you can easily get out and in the bindings. The only gripe I really have with functionality is after you undue your rear foot, that you need to pull the highback back up so when you skate you don’t keep kicking that rear highback that’s lowered. It takes a second to pull the highback back up for skating but for some reason it’s something that is always on my mind. The straps are easy to adjust and can do it on the mountain without tools. Overall a pretty good functional binding.

Flex: These bindings are built for the mountain so you have a stiffer highback that really handles stability and gives you a bit more response. The binding overall is rated a 7 on the flex scale so it’s definitely not a softer park binding. Both of the straps are sturdier stiffer material and the baseplate has a bit more give so you are secure but still some tweakability in the park.

Response: The B-Famous are built for the mountain and with the stiffer highback, you get good response for each turn and enough padding under the base and highback to help with impact and bumps on the runs.

Toe Strap: The B-Famous bindings feature a inverse seam toe strap with a rubber grip panel that’s built to contour and be form fitting. This is where I could see improvement. I had pressure on the front toe strap but not the rear and it didn’t seem very comfortable but definitely locked my boot into place. It’d be cool to see the material improve in this strap to make it a bit more comfy and padded.

Overall Impression: It always takes a couple runs to get used to rear entry highbacks. Once you get past the adjustment period, it’s quick and simple to get in and out. The GNU Snowboards bindings are even easier because once you unlock the highback, the ankle strap pops up so you can maneuver out of the binding without issues. Overall the bindings are a great choice for all mountain riding, very capable and responsive for women.

Shay’s Honesty Box: I definitely could have kept riding these bindings throughout the year, they offered good response and quick access. I’d really like to see where GNU Snowboards goes with these bindings in terms of design and aesthetics. I heard from P3 that the toe straps will be improved next year so that’s a plus to see that functionality and design get better.

Ready to buy? Head over to evo for the GNU B-Famous or shop their full line of GNU snowboard bindings

On Snow Photos

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On Snow Video of strapping into the binding

GNU B-Famous Description

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Review Disclosure: I demoed this binding from P3 Snowboard Shop in Mammoth.

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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12 Comments

  1. sorry but this is...
    December 14, 2011

    …crap built by sp just because it is cheaper to produce than bent metal bindings.

  2. Frank
    December 14, 2011

    Cool vid to see in action thanks ;)
    The toe strap for men bindings I think they are different … like the Mutant… could be a better fit?

  3. Frank
    December 14, 2011

    Will not say is crap… SP bindings do have good success in Europe… that is wise from Gnu to license like Nitro do as well from SP… They have been doing for pretty long now with lots of upgrades and padding over the years etc… I am sure they are as good if not better convenience against Flow etc… Plus they are light, it is a nice feature when you live in a small resort with short slope (in and out 25 times during the day and over… this can be convenience) ;) But I am agree Bent Metal looks good too this year…

  4. Lem
    December 14, 2011

    The board on your Flux review and this review is the Blacklist. Are you reviewing both boards?

  5. Peterborough
    December 15, 2011

    I always wondered what the manufacturing story on these bindings was. Very interesting – thanks folks. And no, I won’t be buying these or Bent Metals, despite my love of Mervin (just don’t see the build quality I’m after). Great review, Shay.

  6. December 15, 2011

    Lem, yep the blacklist review is coming up today!

  7. Dirk
    December 16, 2011

    I just mounted a pair of Mutants, and they look fantastic. I’ll have a few days riding on them soon. Build quality looks good. Base plate is dampened fairly and it all around looks strong. A few days riding and I will have a better read on how they really are. I understand that people might be skeptical of the plastic baseplate Street’s, but these look more solid than other bindings I have had. Hopefully I am right.

  8. Elias
    December 17, 2011

    I always like these step-in-from-the-back bindings since the regular 2 straps ones are abit annoying when I keep stepping on the straps when putting on, I was using the K2 cinch CTC before, just sold it in order to get a 2012 Cinch CTX and I have high hopes for that. However the weight is always a problem while we are aiming lighter the better, newly introduced to Hong Kong, Gnu ‘s bindings seems to be another option for me. 1st they look pretty, 2nd, slightly lighter then the K2 Cinch, 3rd, not as pricy. Haven’t tried my GNU Park yet but really looking forward to see which one’s better, K2 Cinch or Gnu. The pop-up ankle strap is another beauty of these bindings, definitely will make stepping in/out a lot easier. Gnu wasn’t popular in HK, but i didn’t realise so many people dislike them. After all their snowboards are good~ Thanks for sharing you review, Shay.

  9. Frank
    December 17, 2011

    Elias,
    Also you can look at SP bindings since it is the same as Gnu (license from SP Binding).
    http://www.sp-united.com

  10. Elias
    December 20, 2011

    Fank, Great advise. Thanks. I’ve seen their ads on gear guide but since I’ve never even touched them, I dare not ordering them from abroad, didn’t notice if they are identical to GNU’s. Good to know~~ at least I’ve got 1 more option in future (even just for patterns and style.)

  11. tdc
    December 21, 2011

    my GF and myself have been riding Gnu rear entry binders for going on our 3rd season, Choice for me and B-Famous for her. she was coming from K2 cinchs (she hated) and me from Burton Cartels (loved). we both couldnt be more satisfied. from a comparison standpoint, my Choices feel very similar to the Cartel’s i was rocking prior.

    from a durability standpoint, i suspect that my 6’1″, 210 lb frame (former college running back) puts a lot more stress on equipment than most people. from charging on piste, to buttering and pressing in the park, to dropping in the BC, i have yet to experience a durability issue.

    dont think i have seen it mentioned, but the tension release buckle on the ankle strap is genius. it releases pressure while on the chair, and allows for more flexibility in the park, all with the flip of a finger…

  12. Epic
    January 12, 2012

    I hate ratchet buckle bindings, dont matter which brand cause you have to sit in the snow to strap in (sucks when your frinds are on ski thingies), also the buckles are a pain with gloves on, i could go on…

    Then i tried out some FLOWs they work ok but are not that good either, they break and stuff loosens up after some time…

    Then SP was next for me to try out…. Just wanna say that i love my SP sLAB.one from 2011 pricy (others top models are to) but well worth it.
    We are all different so no bindings are perfect but try them out if you get the chance, you won’t regret it.

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