2012-2013 Binding Review

15 Oct, 2012

Snowflakes have fallen, resorts have opened and all the 2012/2013 gear will be hitting the slopes soon! Each year I get the opportunity to ride and review gear before they hit the shops. Eventually this list will be expanded but here’s the collection of bindings I was able to try out so far!

So far I’ve ridden 14 bindings, 8 men’s and 6 women’s models. Each review is judged by the same standard and for the majority of reviews I used my own boots.

If you have a specific binding you would like to be reviewed please request it in the comment section.

About me as a snowboarder:

  • I’m coming up on my 19th season snowboarding.
  • I am majority freerider (I ride trees, powder, steeps, groomers, natural terrain) and I ride halfpipe. I’m progressing my park experience with boxes/rails.
  • I am 5’6″ and typically ride a 156cm for my all mountain board, my powder board is a 161cm and my park board is a 151cm.
  • I am a regular rider with a 22 inch width, +15, -15 stance angles.
  • I wear size 8 womens snowboard boots and feel comfortable riding both men’s and women’s bindings.

My opinion is only my opinion…of how these bindings rode. Take it as you want.

2012-2013 Binding Review

This list goes by brand alphabetically, to read the full review click on the name.

12-13 Burton Genesis

Overall Impression: The Genesis binding is new for 2013 from Burton. It’s designed with all the components that make a successful Burton binding but with a new hammock hi-back that helps give you more support and flex. Combined with the hinge, it gives you good flex from the binding down to the board.
Honesty Box: This is one of the newer bindings techs out for 2013, having an inner highback on the highback designed to give you more support and flex from the highback. I actually liked the concept and wish I could have ridden it with the women’s Escapade binding but the men’s Genesis was still a great choice for trying out the tech.

Retails for: $299.95
Best for: New tech can always be fun, more support and flex in a great concept from Burton.

12-13 Flux GM30

Overall Impression: The Flux GM30 bring the bling to the mountain with an all mountain finesse. Comfortable, responsive and fun to ride in – that’s the GM30 bindings. Flux has always been a very comfortable binding choice and the GM30?s continued with the trend. Super padded straps, good padding on the footbed and ultra comfort for the ride down the mountain. Built for the mountain, these bindings offer a stiffer highback so you have added response for carving, riding and support.
Honesty Box: The GU30’s are definitely more my style of riding, responsive and comfortable for the mountain. They take the best of Flux and bring it to the women with a supportive ride for mountain charging.

Retails for: $199.95
Best for: A comfortable, stylish, all-mtn women’s binding.

12-13 Flux DMCC

Overall Impression: The Flux DMCC is built for mountain destruction with a high level of response combined with lightweight technology. Definitely meant for a more freeride specific rider wanting to rip the mountain one turn at a time.
Honesty Box: Normally during demo days I don’t keep bindings on for multiple boards but with the DMCC bindings I kept them on for two boards and got a good mix of riding in with them. With the impressive Ride Buckwild, the bindings added to the board response. With the Lobster Freestyle Baord, the bindings were the response and the board wasn’t enough. It was a good test of response to board ratio. Overall the bindings offer good precision riding and can add to the board underneath but they can also do all the work if you need them to, too!

Retails for: $359.95
Best for: Men’s lightweight meets aggressive response.

12-13 GNU B-Free

Overall Impression: The B-Free bindings are a great choice for the female all mountain rider who doesn’t want something that’ll throw them off. It’s a good consistent, supportive binding that makes strapping in super easy.
Honesty Box: I ended up riding these bindings with the GNU Ladies Choice and the bindings held up even though the board was more aggressive than them. They were capable of riding fast and hard but without throwing you off the mountain at times.

Retails for: $229.95
Best for: Quick access in a supportive, comfortable binding.

12-13 K2 Auto Formula

Overall Impression: The K2 Formula bindings are a popular binding in the K2 line for dependability, solid all mountain riding and stacked traditional features that work and ride well. For 2013, the Formula gets some upgrades but continues to be the same consistently good binding it has been.
Honesty Box: I had high expectations for the K2 Formula bindings because they had such a positive reputation for a all-around/freestyle binding. They met the expectations and delivered all mountain riding to really suit the board I was on (Lib Tech Attack Banana). I never felt like the bindings couldn’t handle anything I threw at it.

Retails for: $199.95
Best for: Male’s seeking a solid all-mountain binding.

12-13 K2 Auto Agogo

Overall Impression: The K2 Agogo binding is built for all mountain riding, from freeriding to park laps and for the woman who doesn’t wanna wait for the boys…she’s ahead of them. The auto system has been used for years and offers a easy quick way to strap in. Overall a favorite binding still and continues to be a good choice for all over mountain riding.
Honesty Box: I really appreciate board combos when they completely match the binding setup. That was the Highlite and Agogo, even though the Agogo aren’t overly responsive and the Highlite could be more demanding…it still handled eachother pretty good. The Agogo’s have kept up with the charging K2 women and delivers a fun easy all mountain binding.

Retails for: $199.95
Best for: A female rider wanting a quick all-mountain binding.

12-13 NOW IPO

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.
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.

Retails for: $289.95
Best for: New tech in a skate-inspired mountain binding.

12-13 Rome Mob Boss

Overall Impression: The Mob Boss binding is built around customization and comfort. With the Yes I Can’t System, you can tweak the binding to be canted per your comfort or natural flexing feeling. The Can’t in the Back gives you a highback that allows you to adjust the angle to be more natural to your angles on the mountain. The Mob Boss continues to keep the same feel and flex of the original Mob last year but with a couple upgrades to make it a bit more Boss friendly.
Honesty Box: Last year I tried the Mobs and really liked them but didn’t pair them up properly. This year when I tried the Mob Bosses, it was totally suited to the board underneath it with the Hammerhead. The combo meant a really good feeling binding, suitable for the ride underneath it and taking advantage of the Boss mentality.

Retails for: $219.95
Best for: Men wanting a customizable and comfortable mountain binding.

12-13 Salomon Absolute Premium

Overall Impression: The Salomon Absolute Premium bindings offer up an all mountain binding for the women that’ll give you response and good turns down the mountain. Very comfortable, built for quickness and can handle a variety of riding.
Honesty Box: I’ve been waiting a while (a couple years to be exact) for Salomon to upgrade the toe strap to a design that would stay on the toe of my boot. Finally it’s here. I rode multiple boards with these bindings and no slippage at all. It was great to finally see the new improvement in the right direction.

Retails for: $229.95
Best for: The upgraded Salomon Absolute bindings have finally been improved and offer a great option for all-mtn.

12-13 Union Milan

Overall Impression: The Union Milans are a perfect example of progression for women. They’ve been upgraded, overhauled and are built to last for progression. Designed to handle the entire mountain, from park to peak laps. They are supportive without being overly aggressive and built to be all about comfort on the mountain.
Honesty Box: I was impressed with the Milan and the changes they’ve made over the years. It’s a great binding that’ll last women riders years and continue to help them advance to the next level. It’s also one of the women’s bindings that stand out the most for 2013 in terms of design and colors.

Retails for: $179.95
Best for: For females wanting a fun progressive binding.

12-13 Union Contact Pro

Overall Impression: The Union Contact Pro bindings are Gifi Ruf tested and approved as his pro model binding. Designed for a powerhouse of riding styles, this binding delivers a consistent ride for the mountain. The binding helps with dampening and board feel so you don’t feel as bounced around on the mountain.
Honesty Box: When I first rode the Contact years ago, I liked it but it ended up being too soft for me to ride all the time. However with the Contact Pro, that definitely eliminated the fear of softness with a binding that has the same components but delivers more power and precision than relaxing ride. I had no problem riding it with the DOA and it was very consistent for mountain riding.

Retails for: $219.95
Best for: Gigi’s binding delivers more power and precision for mtn riding.

12-13 Union Force

Overall Impression: The Union Forces are Union’s popular all-mountain binding. Built for consistency and dependability, the Forces continue to offer up good all around response and handling from the park to the pow.
Honesty Box: The Forces have been my go-to binding for years since I’ve owned them and spent many winters on them. They are dialed in my opinion. Once the straps are adjusted properly, I can just focus on the board and the bindings just enjoy the ride and make it better.

Retails for: $199.95
Best for: The always popular Force continues with all mountain riding.

12-13 Union Trilogy

Overall Impression: The Union Trilogies are built for high performance women’s riding, from freeriding to big mountain to all-mountain freestyle. They offer a stiffer, more responsive binding for the women to compete with the men and charge the mountain just like them.
Honesty Box: Normally during demo days, I try out a bunch of different bindings but when it came to two of the top women’s boards, I found that I wanted the same binding for both in order to match the style of both boards. The Union Trilogies were the ultimate women’s binding to match the Jones Mothership and GNU B-Pro boards. The bindings were a complete match to the aggressive freeriding and response those boards offered.
Retails for: $199.95
Best for: Women wanting an all mountain binding.

12-13 Union Charger

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.
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.

Retails for: $330
Best for: Lots of carbon built for response and aggressive riding.

Missing a review? Here’s last years reviews:
2011-2012 Binding Reviews.

About the author


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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