NOW O-Drive

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The weight-to-response ratio in the O-Drive bindings is tough to beat. They ride as light as any bindings on the market, but the responsiveness provided by the tall, wraparound carbon highback is second to none. The asymmetrical shape corresponds with riders’ leg angles and is pre-rotated five degrees to better align with the snowboard’s edges. Testers couldn’t get enough time in Trenchtown, saying the O-Drive allowed them to trench heelside turns like a cleaver cutting into room-temperature butter. That powerful bite equaled raging edge control, and it seemingly got better as speed increased. Testers found that a little bit of forward lean goes a long way. They also noted that having a hex screw to secure the forward-lean post made on-mountain adjustments tough without a tool on hand.

The ankle straps are sleek and strong, and can be flipped on the fly from a freestyle setting to a freeride setting. Not that these are considered freestyle bindings—not with that highback. The toe strap is meaty and covers the boot toe in a strong wrap that stays secure rather than creeping up over the boot. Skate Tech remains a key component of NOW bindings. In simple terms, major components of the system mimic both the function and description of skateboard trucks. The Hanger (essentially the chassis) transfers energy input from the straps to the bushings and onto the edges of your board. The idea here is that NOW bindings transfer more power to the board with less work. Testers bought into it, saying the performance spoke for itself. Even if they couldn’t “feel” the pivoting action, the superior edge control was obvious.

Price: $499.00
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Product Type



Freeride Bindings



Manufacturers URL


RAD: Supercharged Skate Tech distributes power from edge to edge. BAD: Foam around the carbon highback began to peel.

Product Showroom




Good Wood


Bang For Your Buck




Guide Year


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RAD: Supercharged Skate Tech distributes power from edge to edge. BAD: Foam around the carbon highback began to peel.

Tested And Approved 2017 Presented by

Best snowboard gear of 2016-2017? We've got you covered. Going into winter, we want to know what gear can be trusted when put through the wringer. But testing over 500 boots, bindings, goggles, gloves, helmets, splitboards and powder boards, and other backcountry gear and accessories in every snowy corner of the country was a massive undertaking that the TransWorld staff couldn't handle alone. So we sent the latest developments in snowboarding goods to our team of testers spread across the country. With so many unique features in the lineup and different opinions from each tester—both compliments and complaints—there was plenty worth discussing. Some gear broke. Other pieces spoke volumes to functionality and durability. So here you have it: the most inclusive, all-encompassing gear test in snowboarding. If it's in here, it's been beat up and bent every which way – and tested, and approved.

Meet Our Testers:

Adam Broderick

As Gear Editor at TransWorld SNOWboarding, Broderick spent last season directing tests around the country when he wasn't testing gear himself. He administered the Good Wood board test, powder board test, and backcountry test, while leading the glove test and coordinating the others, plus editing all Gear Guide text. He is the point of contact for all things gear-related at TWSNOW.

Mike Horn

Mike Horn's first backcountry pack had bungee cords for snowboard straps. That's a far cry from the innovative gear he tested in his Crested Butte backyard this winter. Mike's been writing about snowboarding for a decade-plus, and he tends to get crusty when reviewing gear that's not quite up to snuff.

Devin Silverthorne-Lillie

A New Hampshire transplant, Devin's Ice Coast roots provide superior edge awareness, and with Breckenridge's Park Lane in her backyard, she practically falls from bed to her board. She put freestyle bindings on trial in and out of bounds—from frozen mornings to spring slush, backyard rail jams to sidecountry booter sessions.

Billy Brown

Billy Brown covered new tech for this year's guide. The California native grew up riding the terrain parks in South Lake Tahoe, but for the past few years his career as a freelance editor has allowed him to snowboard around the world—from heliboarding in Whistler to riding post-storm powder in Valle Nevado, Chile.

Alex Showerman

A freelance writer based in Vermont, Alex took his powder hunt on the road last winter. He schlepped freeride boots, backcountry boots—and enough shells, puffies, and base layers to open a small gear store—around the globe in search of snow in locales like Vermont, Wyoming, Colorado, and Iceland.

Morgan Tilton

Reared in the San Juans of Southwest Colorado, as soon as Morgan could walk her dad strapped her in, and Telluride Ski Resort became her babysitter. Over the past 13 years, snowboarding has taken her through Wolf Creek's whimsical powder days, USASA Slopestyle Nationals, and the cliff-riddled backcountry of Colorado and Wyoming.

Heather Hendricks

From the jagged peaks of Jackson Hole and the Canadian Rockies to the overt opulence of Aspen, the steeps of Alaska, and the striking faces of the La Sals, our contributing editor spent the season traveling to summits near and far. Heather toted along a bin full of boots and tested them all along the way.

Chris Brunstetter

From loitering shop kid to 22-year industry insider, Chris has spent most of his life in the snow and skate industries in Utah, even experiencing firsthand the rise and fall (and second rise and fall) of Forum. He tested freestyle boots and bindings in the man-made and natural parks at Brighton, Snowbird, and Jackson Hole.