Some like ’em stiff, some like ’em loose, but whatever your preference, bindings are something you want to forget once you strap in. After making our rounds at the tradeshow, we identified five pairs coming out next season that we’re especially hyped to ratchet into.
Salomon’s unique ShadowFit concept that employs a flexible heelcup to allow for more lateral mobility gets an overhaul for the coming season. Overall, the system is stiffened up. But the bindings in the ShadowFit lineup--District, Defender, Hologram, Quantum, and Mirage--see new straps and/or highbacks as well. In the case of the District, the highback is significantly thinned out, creating an overall lighter binding.
The Union Strata is a new addition to the brand’s ever-evolving lineup. Where a typical baseplate is layered--the bushing and baseplate glued together--the Strata uses a direct-injected one-piece system. The material is more rubbery than what we’re used to seeing used for this application, creating an especially damp ride that riders from Jacob Krugmire to Bryan Iguchi are backing.
Strap into the Poison, and you’re standing on air. Nitro’s Dual Air dampening system puts, you guessed it, air, below your toes and heels, but an adjustable aluminum heelcup and fairly rigid highback provide plenty of power transmission. Nitro calls the Poison “the perfect blend of response and comfort”--a phrase used so often it’s become all but meaningless, however, in this case it actually seems to apply.
The Rome Crux and women’s equivalent, the Flare, are a new binding offering from Rome that brings top-of-the-line tech to a binding with lower sticker shock. The bindings feature UnderWrap, where the heelcup ‘wraps under’ the toe of the binding--a design intended to increase edge-to-edge power while allowing torsional flex. Both models also employ Rome’s minimalist single-injection heelstraps.
Bent Metal Logic
Bent Metal has a made a hell of a comeback since their realaunch in 2016. The Logic is a minimalist option backed by one of the realest in the game, Sean Genovese. What’s equally cool about this soft-flexing freestyle-oriented model is that it features Geno’s art. If you think strapping in is lame, maybe this is the binding for you.