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.
On Snow Photos
On Snow Video of strapping into the binding
GNU B-Famous Description
Review Disclosure: I demoed this binding from P3 Snowboard Shop in Mammoth.