Binding Review: 12-13 Union Charger
07 Feb, 2012
Location: Winter Park, CO
Snow Conditions: Hardpacked to softpacked groomers.
Setup: I rode the Union Charger on the Jones Flagship Carbon with my Vans Ferra Boots size 8.
Time to set up the binding: This was the second setup of the day and Parker took care of it, he’s a magician when it comes to demos and turning the screws.
Fit: I rode these bindings in the M/L size which fit the width of my boots and were adjusted to fit the length of my boots with the heelcup coming in a notch. The straps did fine with my Vans Ferra boots.
First Impression: These bindings are the stiffest in the Union line and no joke. Be ready for response and charging the mountain.
Appearance: The Chargers are sleek when you look at them. The full carbon highback is breathtaking and arguably makes you bow down to how it handles. I like the mix of orange with the binding on the ratchets and baseplate and heelcup.
Comfort: The padding in the baseplate and toe ramp help cushion the ride. It’s still a lightweight binding and from what I noticed with the Jones Flagship Carbon board, there’s not as much dampening to totally pillowtop the ride down the mountain. The straps are comfortable and very form fitting to my Vans boot.
Functionality: The Union Charger bindings come with a carbon highback for response, carbon injected dupont zytel base with a lifetime warranty, the heelcup is CNC machined to reduce weight and maintain strength. The straps are a 3D connect ankle strap for comfort and distributing pressure, the toe strap is a all new open toe strap. Magnesium buckles and a aluminum cage. Dual density toe ramp padding and grade 8.8 hardware. Basically the binding is built tough, it’s lightweight and will take what you give it.
Flex: Carbon, that one word goes hand in hand with stiffness. The Charger is the stiffest Union binding, the highback is Carbon so it’s ultra responsive and stiffer flex with very little give. The base is a carbon injected dupont zytel so it doesn’t have as much flex in the movement of the binding. The straps are super comfortable and have the most movement in the binding.
Response: I thought I knew what response was but no I didn’t…cause response is the Chargers middle name. Super stiff carbon highback and stiffer carbon injected base made for a responsive lightning quick ride down the mountain. The smallest amount of movement and the binding was already doing it and the board was on it. This was the most aggressive binding I’ve been on and it was exhausting to ride because you really had to be on your game for this binding.
Toe Strap: The Chargers feature the open toe strap design which don’t slip and grip my boot pretty good on the mountain. Sometimes it takes finding the sweet spot but for the most part, they can be adjusted to fit just fine. The straps were super comfortable and the toe strap was supportive.
Overall Impression: The Union Chargers are built for a responsive mountain rider who knows how to take aggression out on the slopes. They aren’t an easy bindings, they are hard and will push your riding on the slopes. I found them to be a perfect match with the Jones Flagship Carbon snowboard, a lot of carbon that made riding more aggressive on the mountain.
Shay’s Honesty Box: A whole lotta carbon under my feet. That was the game plan and a scary one with the Union Charger bindings but honestly they matched the board completely. The Chargers were the stiffest binding of the demo, the most aggressive and the most responsive but they are built to be that way. Light for the lifts, hard for the mountain and a binding that could kick your ass if you weren’t up to riding it.
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
Union Charger Binding Description
Review Disclosure: I demoed this board at the SIA On-Snow Demo at Winter Park, CO.