Hyped: NOW Wildcat Binding
Founded by JF Pelchat and with a roster including Devun Walsh, DCP, Romain De Marchi, Jeremy Jones, Frank Bourgeois, among others, it’s safe to say that NOW makes bindings of choice for all-mountain freestyle. NOW’s Skate-Tech chassis is still one of the most innovative features in binding technology, adjusting with the rider’s weight to transfer energy directly to the edges without losing power between turns. The limited edition Wildcat binding is made from top-shelf materials and just about everything visible (and some only feel-able) reminds you that this binding was designed from the ground up. From the tool-less strap adjustment tabs being little NOW logos to the strap ladders also having little logo hits, there are tons of reminders that JF Pelchat and the crew at NOW had their hands on every piece.
Think big spins followed by tight turns on steep slopes. Or, surf the snow. The Wildcat comes with an additional back, called a highcup, which is essentially a mini highback except only a couple inches tall. Swap the flex hinge highbacks with highcups to “retrofit” your bindings, as Pelchat says, and experience a more playful, laid-back ride. Ankle strap padding is cush and underfoot dampening is a dream, with the baseplate cover offering total foam cushioning from toe to heel. For the rider who is looking to hit the whole mountain, the NOW Wildcat is given all-star ratings.