Binding Review: 12-13 NOW IPO
09 Feb, 2012
Location: Winter Park, CO
Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to softpacked groomers.
Setup: I rode the NOW IPO Bindings on the Arbor Swoon with my Vans Ferra Boots size 8.
Time to set up the binding: JF Pelchat was on hand to make sure the bindings went out with good fit for the sizing options he had at the demo. He took the time to get mine dialed in and also matched the bushing flex to the board I was riding so it was a better match.
Fit: I tried the NOW IPO bindings in the medium size which fit my boot for sizing, the toe strap and ankle straps were centered just fine.
First Impression: Props to JF for his hard work on NOW bindings that helps connect you to the board and absorb the terrain.
Appearance: The NOW IPO bindings come in two choices for 2013. There is the white version and the black version. Overall a pretty simple looking binding with the NOW logo, branding and design. I rode the black version and was fine with the appearance of the binding.
Comfort: The NOW IPO bindings were good on comfort. Good padding in the ankle strap, baseplate and highback. The straps I could see improvement on in the coming years but for the first year it’s a good start.
Functionality: NOW Bindings focus on transferring the energy to the edges on your snowboard taking a cue from skateboard trucks to get the results. The NOW binding features a hanger to move on a similar axis as a skate truck and the link of that axis is called the kingpin. Bushings help reduce chatter and dampen the ride down the mountain. The result is less work to get to the edges and a more comfortable dampened ride. With NOW bindings you can ride them with or without a highback. The highback is stacked on the heelcup and creates a flush surface between the two and your boots.
Flex: With the bushings, you can adjust the hardness levels and elevate the flex on the binding. JF used softer bushings on my bindings to help suit the board better and create a bit more forgiving ride down the mountain. With the stacked highback and heelcup, the flex was interesting to ride. It felt more connected to my boot and I’d say overall it was medium flex, not a soft binding and not the stiffest binding I rode of the demos.
Response: It was noticeable in the binding design and response in a different position than normal. The flex hinge highback helped dampen chatter and eliminate calf-bite. I noticed that the response from the binding came more lower than normally on a highback, it came from the flushcup which rides higher on the boot. Overall the binding was still responsive just with a lower area for response, you didn’t get it from the highback as much. Good support on the lateral side of the binding.
Toe Strap: The IPO bindings toe strap didn’t look like much but it did a good job of molding around my boot on the upper portion and on the lower portion, it gripped so the toe strap didn’t move while riding. I could definitely see room for improvement here to be a better strap that fits a variety of boots better.
Overall Impression: The NOW IPO bindings are designed to deliver the dynamics of a skateboard truck to transfer energy from the straps to the bushings and onto the board. The end result is a binding that lets you do less work and keeps you relaxed and comfortable on the mountain. It moves with your boot for a better connection on the mountain. It’s a creative binding in terms of the technology, the Flex hinge highback to eliminate calf-bite and dampen chatter, the kingpin to help energy transfer, the changing of the bushings depending on flex and energy levels and the asym highback design.
Shay’s Honesty Box: I wasn’t really sure what to think about these bindings till I got them on snow. Now that I’ve ridden them, the concept of energy transfer, connection and shock absorption is there. It made for a couple fun rides down the mountain, responsive and helped dampen the conditions. Is it mindblowing? I doubt most people would notice the difference but it’s a rad concept and JF has put his heart into it. It’s good to see something new coming out for snowboarding bindings.
Ready to buy? Head over to evo to shop their full line of 2012 snowboard bindings until the 2013 bindings come in.
On Snow Photos
NOW IPO binding Description
Review Disclosure: I demoed this board at the SIA On-Snow Demo at Winter Park, CO.