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Which Flow or step-in bindings please?, snowHeads ski forum
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Which Flow or step-in bindings please?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Asking on behalf of Mr G... He has long ridden on a pair of Amp 5 FS, which he loves but has decided that it's time for a new pair. He wants something similar in terms of stiffness and 'feel'. He rides mainly on piste (Europe), maybe a bit of mild powder, doesn't do park or tricks or 'fancy stuff' (as he puts it). He's a reasonably competent and fast boarder these days, and quite a big and heavy chappie with huge feet. Rides a long and pretty stiff old Burton (3D hole) board (Cascade I think). Will be used probably 4 weeks a year + indoor sessions.

He's looking at Flows because he knows them, but wonders if there's other suitable makes/models?

Anything to avoid?

Don't have to be new; will buy 2nd hand if they're available, or year + old models. He doesn't want to pay stupid money.

He's been pointed towards Flow Fuse as one option. Suitable?


Many thanks for any input.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Mate of mine swears by SP S.Lab Ones, for that type of riding, they're pretty stiff.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I have the Flow Fuse AT 2014, upgraded from Flow FL-5 2005. While it rides a bit higher, they are more comfortable than anything I've had before. I prefer the 'one strap' it gives a more closed in feeling. I'd take that over the toe straps and double straps.

All the newer flows have a double ratchet system so you can step in or do it the traditional way. Getting out of powder with step-in bindings was always a challenge thankfully the newer Flow bindings address this.
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I have the Flow Fuse GT Fusion 2015 (my first flow bindings) I really like them, they aren't too stiff but pretty responsive. Flow say they are All Mountain, but I only really use them on piste and a little powder too, I no longer "bounce" so the park is out for me.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Just getting some Flows for Xmas after many years using Burton Step ins (and regular bindings. )
Have used Flows once and loved them. Will report back in a few weeks time.

With the Burton SI, the boots were very stiff and pretty uncomfortable, while I can use regular softer boots with flows.

Both handy, but regular straps are now dead easy to use.
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Ive used some Head ones where they have a proper toe strap/cup and the back isnt adjustable and you ratchet in the heel stramp even though its fixed, they some seem too bad.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I quite fancy the K2's after a few years on flows. They appear to give a better range of adjustment which my flows lack.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I started using the K2 Cinche bindings, but they are huge and don't work on narrow boards too well, then got my first set of Flows' , the M9's. Really liked them as stiff with good support, but not canted. Am still using them on my Head 170 board when going to the indoor centres, 5 years old and still like new. Have subsequently bought the NX2 AT's with the (supposedly)more flexible high back and cup, which I have on my Tanker 200. I then bought a set of NX2 GT's which have the same base plate, but the forged heel cup and high backs. Both of these are canted at 3 deg and are very comfortable on both feet and knees. The GT's are rigid enough for euro carve style carving down the piste while the AT's are as good. Yes they are expensive, but they are so easy to get in and out of coming onto or off the lifts, takes a few seconds to slip boot in and lift the locking catch up, before setting off, none of this struggling to do you bindings up after every dismount.
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I had some k2 cinch bindings and was quite disappointed with them. I thought they scuffed up and looked shabby very quickly. I also tended to sit down and put them on normally, as I could never get the binding done back up properly and comfortably using the rear entry system.
Can see the benefits and dry slopes, indoor etc, but not on long mountain runs.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
One other reason I like the Flows is the power strap binding over the top of the boot, it doesn't impinge on the boot toecap, squeezing the toes down which gets painful quite fast.

The NX2's have a lot of adjustment now, heel cups can go up, or back, or forwards depending on boot size, heel backs can move sideways, or up and down, depending on riding style, and forward lean adjustment is easy too via the clip strap. They are far more adjustable than the older M9's.
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I've just got some NX2s and very happy, so quick to get in from the lift. Most of the time I can slide off a chair and keep going which is handy when I'm with skiers.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Just an update - he bought a new pair of Flow Fuse - apparently pretty much the stiffest, though not the super-duper aluminium ones: but still an awful lot lighter than the Amps.

Had 6 days' use in Austria on piste and he's very chuffed and impressed with them: a lot more responsive than the old Amps and very much lighter per se, though he still thinks that the old Amps are a brilliant binding (his words) for his board. They've made the board more responsive.

Only grumble is that they're quite a bit tighter to get into, and he has to loosen and tighten down the top foot strap/cover, so not really as easy pure "step-in" as the old Amps and the ratchet adjusters keep getting knocked when taking off/putting on so there's a bit of faffing around after the lift, etc (so at least it's not just me adn my ski boots!)
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
What size boot has he got @Grizzler? Reason I ask is that the default position of the top powerstrap is governed by the settings of the cantilever screws that lift or tighten the power-strap. I am size 12 boots, so for my boots to work in the xl binding, I had to unscrew the pivot screws and push /position them as far back as possible, this lengthens the arc, raises the power-strap higher and makes getting the boot into the binding easier. Another trick is at the beginning of the day to smear some snow on top of the boot before sliding in, makes it less sticky for the rest of the day. Once my lead foot is in, the lock tabs on the power-strap go down and locked, never had a problem of the flicking up, but I seldom lock trailing straps, haven't had them come loose yet.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thanks for that @tankerdriver.
He's an M30, UK 11-12 depending on boot.
He hasn't reset them from standard as there isn't a paper instruction leaflet to that end, and although he was told that there's instructions on Flow's website, when we looked there wasn't anything (or the link had gone or something; can't remember).
He says that he's going to have a play with their adjustment before the next trip, so thanks you for your suggestions.
The sensitive lock tab issue is only on the trailing foot which comes out when on lifts; the permanently-locked foot is fine, I believe. Tabs are just easy to knock when re-fitting the foot in before starting off again.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Grizzler I still have my instruction sheets for the NX2 AT's if you DM me an email address I will photograph them and mail them to you.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Tankerdriver - Most kind, Sir. Have, I hope, sent you a message.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
How about Bon Hiver bindings:
Freebase - 30 second demo by Bon Hiver from Bon Hiver™ Freebase Binding Sy
https://vimeo.com/61029350

Ok, ok, I know this is very "self serving" as it's my company, but they're the perfect hybrid between strap and step-in without any compromise to the performance. They are bindings that you strap in once for the day and then use a magnet-assisted mechanism (for alignment) to lock in for the rest of the day (on or off the lift). You can ride any boot you want and they're incredibly responsive. Don't hate me for the shameless "plug!"
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@bonhiver,
Hi, your binding looks interesting but see it got a bit mixed reviews a while back. Did you guys do anything to reduce the weight that seemed to be one of the main complaints?
Is there anywhere these can be tested before possible purchase? ( I live in the UK )
Thanks
Mitch
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@Mitchell,
Thanks for the interest in our bindings. First off, we don't have any retail partners in the UK where you can test them, but I have a solution. Go to your local shop and have them contact us at info@bonhiver.com from a valid company email address. Then, have them simply provide us with the shop address and we will ship them a binding, free of charge. All they need to do is display it in their stores and let you try them out. THIS OFFER GOES FOR ANYONE AND ANY SHOP OUT THERE BY THE WAY (until we run out of demo inventory of course!).

Second, regarding the mixed reviews, please keep in mind that those comments are from reviewers that tested them ONCE and made judgements before REALLY using them or how to use them. Like all new technologies and products, there's a learning curve, so they needed to give them a real shot to understand them before judging. Here's feedback from an actual customer that emailed us on just three weeks ago that displays this point:

"Man I have to say you did something right with these bindings! I've been using them for 2 days now and already love these 13 series. The first day was a little tricky crashed once cause I didn't get it locked in all the way ha. Day 2 was perfect I love being able to just go right off the chair. They work perfect! Tons of people have asked me about these so hopefully I'll send you some more customers."

Are they so perfect to the point that you nail it day one? Nope, but it only takes another day before you've mastered them to get them working "perfect." As for the weight, we put them on a diet and shaved off about a full pound (about 1/2 a kilogram) with the latest version, so now they are on par with any binding out there.

Anyway, I hope that helps Mitch! As I said, go to your local shop and have them drop us a line. Then we'll have a binding out to their shop ASAP and we'll give you a heads up when it hits their floor.

Have a good winter!

Brendan
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@bonhiver,
Sounds like a plan; giving it some more thought wouldnt the 'base' of the free binding damage the board top sheet if you were coming off a chair ( not locked in) or scooting across some flat terrain?
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@bonhiver, Do you mind if I ask a question too? Your video certainly sells it, the idea of just riding straight off a chair seems brill.

The only thing I'd be interested in is what it's like for riding switch, where your back "unlockable" foot is now your front foot - does that give any issues with coming loose or is it just the same as riding your normal way?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Looks like there is a release lock under the toe, so to release the binding off the baseplate you have to unlock it before it'll untwist, when it's locked in place it'll be like a traditional binding so shouldn't come loose.

First time I've seen this and it looks like an interesting system. Out of interest @bonhiver, have you approached any of the usual binding manufacturers to license the attach/detach/locking system for them to use on their branded product yet?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Kingofthec,
You can do the 'riding straight off a chair ' with flows once you get the feel for them. Went over to regular bindings from 'flow' ( burton cartel) this winter but after recent trip to Austria have decided to go back to 'step in/rear entry' type as really miss the ease of these type of bindings.
Doesn't 'sound' much of a faff when fans of regular bindings 'break down' the process of strapping in , but in my world ( some fused disc's + arthritis in spine ; both from childhood accidents ) its a major nuisance & would rather do without it .............so I will !
A true step in/step out would be a god send Smile
Cheers
Mitch
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Mitchell wrote:
@bonhiver,
Sounds like a plan; giving it some more thought wouldnt the 'base' of the free binding damage the board top sheet if you were coming off a chair ( not locked in) or scooting across some flat terrain?


Not at all! The bottom actually makes NO marks on the top sheet of the board. Take a look at my white board with the black bottoms of the bindings... not a mark:

https://www.facebook.com/BonHiverSnowboarding/photos/a.193399900718798.49491.135734423152013/1019972324728214/?type=3&theater[/img]
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Kingofthec wrote:
@bonhiver, Do you mind if I ask a question too? Your video certainly sells it, the idea of just riding straight off a chair seems brill.

The only thing I'd be interested in is what it's like for riding switch, where your back "unlockable" foot is now your front foot - does that give any issues with coming loose or is it just the same as riding your normal way?


Hey @Kingofthec, thanks for the question. The answer is absolutely not! I actually ride about 60/40 regular/goofy and it has no impact at all. Here are two videos so you can see it in action:

Bon Hiver™ Freebase™ Binding System - It's Always A Good Winter Somewhere from Bon Hiver™ Freebase Binding Sy
https://vimeo.com/30863349
https://vimeo.com/62748328

The first video is an edited session when we were summer riding out in Mt. Hood, Oregon (and that was the prototype back in the day!). The second video was taken in Loon, NH and is just some unedited video of me lapping runs. Hope that helps, but let me know if you have more questions. Thanks!
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Richard_Sideways wrote:
Looks like there is a release lock under the toe, so to release the binding off the baseplate you have to unlock it before it'll untwist, when it's locked in place it'll be like a traditional binding so shouldn't come loose.

First time I've seen this and it looks like an interesting system. Out of interest @bonhiver, have you approached any of the usual binding manufacturers to license the attach/detach/locking system for them to use on their branded product yet?


I like the way you think Richard! Actually, we have broached the idea with a few other big brands and, as much as they don't want the "tail to wag the dog" (after all, we're the little guys on the block), a few smart ones (completely objective here of course), have expressed interest. We'll see how that pans out!
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