We do a lot of reviews on snowboard gear and other product to let you know how we thought it rode/functioned. Today I’m giving you a review of 80+ days on Union Force bindings. I’ve beaten these things from riding, teaching, and even throwing my snowboard. I’m not normally kind to my gear, especially my everyday workhorse. So how have the bindings help up for me so far?
Stance: Regular 24″ 15/-18
Conditions: All Of them
Bindings: 2014 Union Force
Board: Marhar Liftem and Arbor Coda Camber
Functionality: I haven’t noticed that these bindings have gotten any softer. They are rated by Union a 6/10 on the stiffness scale. I could control my Arbor Coda Camber when I rode it at ABasin and it is the stiffest board I have ever been on. The base plates haven’t broken or warped. If you do break a set, they are guaranteed for life. The straps still keep me secure, even with the wear that is showing on the toe straps. I’m actually somewhat surprised the toe straps haven’t broken. They have worn quite a bit, but are still holding on well. The highbacks are going strong after forgetting to drop them a few times when getting on the chairlift. I won’t say this will be every persons luck, but it has been mine so far.
Looks: I abuse my gear. The fact that these don’t look absolutely horrible is somewhat surprising. You can see the wear on the heelcups from the cant adjustment. You can also see the wear on the toe straps I mentioned earlier. I suspect this is a lot of why Union changed the toe strap design. The looks are less than appealing but I’m still happy with the bindings. The metal Union badges on the baseplates are long gone. I remember when one came off, no idea about the other.
Comfort: Even with the amount of time I’ve been in and out of these bindings, they are still comfortable. I expected them to lose some of the dampening in the footbeds and I just don’t think it’s happened. I’ve never felt a harsh landing in the park with these unless it was my own damn fault. At the same time, they are still super responsive. The only time an ankle strap becomes uncomfortable is if I wrench on them too hard. Making top to bottom runs on my Arbor Coda at A Basin for 4 to 5 hours never gave me trouble.
Overall: I’m going to put in another season on these. They are relegated to my instructing board and the abuse will continue. If they ever do happen to fail, I’ll update this post. If you want a binding that will hold you in place, stand up to your abuse, and not break the bank, Union Force is where it’s at. I’m actually so happy with Union, that I just received my 3rd set of their bindings for my quiver. It’s actually the same binding that most of the instructor staff at Cannonsburg Ski Area rides. I may even buy a set of the Carbon Fiber FC bindings.