2013 Top Binding Picks

Due in part to injuries, schedules, and while we’re at it Satan ass raping Mother Nature and not giving us a prevalent season we weren’t able to review nearly as many bindings as we would have liked. Even with all these adversities we still managed to get out and ride a decent amount, especially the ones that had the new tech. Here’s our picks for what stood out as being excellent for next season.

Kevin’s Pick


Being a strong advocate to anything he can tweak out in it was only natural that the Flux DMCC Lite stood out. Here’s what he had to say, “I could ride these every day on every deck I own and be happy. As stated already I still want Flux to do something more with top end shock but these are a binding that I will recommend. And they’re crazy light.” Honorable mention goes out to Switchback as a strong contender but more testing was needed, especially with a highback. The standout turd of a binding goes to the Gnu Mutant, Kevin was not impressed.

Ted’s Pick


Ted’s an interesting person to have test products due to his sometimes overly analytical take on things. The best way to sum it up was that the Salomon Rhythm and the Salomon Cypher somewhat tied for him in terms of being a pick due to him finding some subtle nuances. Though the binding he found to not be up to snuff was the Salomon District with the new shadowfit technology.

Avran’s Picks
I’ve ridden a ton of bindings over the year and there’s definitely some that stand out more so than others. This year was probably the first in about five years that I personally cut down the amount of bindings I personally reviewed. Sad for you guys but sometimes you need to step back to re-evaluate how things are done. Luckily enough though I did manage to ride some new tech and see how it stands out from the crowd.

First and foremost the best new binding for 2013 that I’ve personally ridden is the Now IPO. Sometimes new tech comes out with a wow factor but the actual practicality just doesn’t exist, this was not the case with these. The review speaks volumes. The second best bindings I rode were the Salomon Holograms with the new Shadowfit tech. While Ted wasn’t down nor had he ridden the original Relay’s I saw the definite improvement and this is how Relay should have been done. As always there has to be a binding that just sucks so much it can’t escape being mentioned as a turd, this would be the Bon Hiver’s. Sorry fella’s but they just don’t work as well as they should, hopefully 2014 they’ve improved.

Just to break it down for everyone here’s what’s good:

Hopefully this helps you with choosing what you’ll be strapping to your feet this up coming winter. Next winter I promise more binding reviews.

69 Comments

  1. Dj says:

    This is really good. So when are you guys going to post your top board picks?

  2. Ethan says:

    Any idea of the release date and pricing on the NOW IPO?

  3. tim says:

    So Angry, which binding company(s) have consistently impressed you over your career with their quality throughout their entire line?

  4. It varies from year to year and things can change so drastically from one season to the next. My standard for the longest time was the K2 Formula before they changed the mold jumped it up in price and then trickled the old design down to the Indy. Rode 390’s on and off for a while.

  5. Eastcoastkillme says:

    This review is pretty biased did you even test any other bindings beside Salomon. I mean cmon The title should have been best bindings made by Flux and Salomon.

  6. We rode what we could this year it was a shit year. Next year there will be more, hopefully.

  7. Gary says:

    what are you opinons on union bindings

  8. bisteinee says:

    Hi angry,
    didnt know where to post it… so posting it here.
    I am a beginner/advanced snowboarder,
    riding mostly pists and a bit of powder, if possible.
    I have
    Board: Nitro Team Camber (155)
    Boots: Nitro Anthem (27,5)

    Which binding should I buy?

    Burton Cartel “Restricted”
    Nitro Raiden Phantom
    Nitro Raiden Blackhawk
    Nitro Raiden Zero
    Union Force
    Rome 390 “trippy”

    Thanks.

  9. How are you a beginner/advanced? You’re either one or the other. I would probably go with the Phantoms or 390’s.

  10. Bisteinee says:

    Well… it is going to be my second season on the board.
    I am able to do my turn and have a good ride on the snow.
    Nevertheless, I still need to practice for being more “easy going” or getting familiar riding both sides…
    So what I meant was “not beginner like beginner-beginner, and on the way being an advanced…”

    I could get the Rome 390 trippy for around 135 Euro. Which is pretty good I think…
    but I find reviews which says it is meant ro be a park oriented binding, which means too soft for my purpose?

    And the Phantoms (around 160 Euro)?
    Are they going to be too stiff for me (as a still learningrider)?

    Thanks for the info.
    Cheers.

  11. bisteinee says:

    most honest comment ever!
    Thanks.

  12. Dan says:

    I’m deciding between the raiden zeroes, union contacts, and union sexton pro models. I’m looking for a mid to lower mid flex park binding with very good dampening for icy east coast landings. Which of these or any others would you suggest to go with a lib tech box scratcher and thirtytwo prions?

  13. You looking for more of a jib binding?

  14. Dan says:

    Yeah, I know the sexton is the clear choice for a jib binding but I’ve heard some okay reviews and some really shitty reviews so I’m not sure

  15. I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of Union. I think the Raiden might be more up your alley.

  16. Dan says:

    I picked up some of the Drink Water Raiden Zeros yesterday, rode them today and loved them. Thanks for the help homie

  17. JB says:

    SO whats your beef with Union? My buddies have the Contact Pros and they love them; but Im certainly not eager to jump on the band wagon. It seems like you default to the 390’s… Can you breifly compare and contrast them if you have the time? – JB

  18. Lets see how about the fact that “new colorways” are the new tech. The fact the toe straps slip, the ratchets are weak, highbacks are flimsy, there’s no dampening, the heel cups slip, and my personal favorite hardware that doesn’t stay tight ever and I’m not just talking about the disks. Honestly I prefer the K2 Formulas.

  19. JB says:

    ask a question, get an answer! Thanks dude!

  20. MW says:

    I am looking for some new bindings to throw on a proto, I do lots of steep tree runs, powder and freestyle up the whole mountain.
    I am looking for something solid and responsive enough to do technical stuff while being playful enough to make an occasional pass through the park as well as tweak out my airs.
    I have happily ridden cartels until now just thinking about mixing it up.

    I live in Japan and I can only get hold of a limited number of brands (in large sizes).
    Raiden and NOW are out (sadly), I was eyeing up some K2 company IPO (found some in my size) the cartels are always there. Solomon are pretty available here, any thoughts?

  21. Company might work or the Formula from K2. I’m a fan of the Formula. Salomon makes some great stuff as well you could check out the Boss or the District.

  22. RGR says:

    I’m looking for bindings for an arbor westmark -2013 153c. I do more steep runs with occasional park – most of the riding with this board will be out on the east coast – aka normally poor conditions – ice skating – etc.
    Im looking for a solid light comfortable binding – responsive enough for faster runs while sturdy enough to go a bit bigger this year. 6th season -still fresh but I can hold my own – can always improve though you know.
    Rode -happily Burton Un Inc – Cartel EST.

    Was initially going to buy flux ds30’s – changed after reading kevin’s review.
    Considered DMCC but wanted to be sure.
    Don’t know if it helps but will also ride with 32 team2 boots unless any better suggestions…

  23. I think it’ll match up.

  24. Perro121 says:

    What is your opinion of the Rome Targa’s and the new Flow NX2 SE?
    I ride all mountain, not much of a park rider. Just came back from Jackson hole and was looking to upgrade my bindings (currently on Cartel’s) for my next trip to whistler in Feburary. Any feedback is appreciated.

  25. Perro121 says:

    Have you tried the K2 cinch bindings?

  26. Cinch sucks, Nx2 SE’s need some work, Targa’s aren’t bad.

  27. Nas says:

    I just bought the UNION CONTACT PRO last week and boarded with them during the weekend and was not satisfied. They lack adjustments on the heel cup, toe strap is hard to release and it damaged my boots. I have a NEVER SUMMER COBRA, which bindings do you recommend? Thanks

  28. Why would you have ever put a Contact Pro on a Cobra? That doesn’t even make sense. Go look at something in the stiffer end of the range from any company to compliment that board. I personally would recommend the Raiden Phantom, Rome Targa, K2 Company/Formula or others along those lines.

  29. Nas says:

    I know what you mean, I followed the wrong advice. I never felt comfortable riding the whole weekend and now I know why. Thanks

  30. Z says:

    Got any binding recommendations for a Arbor Westmark board? I do about 80% park 20% mountain.
    I currently have Union Contacts, no complaints, but they’re on my first setup so I have nothing to compare them to.

  31. More jib or more jump?

  32. Z says:

    I’d say a good combo of both, probably a little more jib. Jumps up to about 35′.
    I love rails and tweaking grabs most.

  33. Check out some of the Flux line like the Rk30’s to the SF 45’s there’s got to be one in there that will let you tweak the shit out of grabs and flex into the board on presses.

  34. Z says:

    Thanks for your help!
    Keep up the awesome product reviews!

  35. miked27 says:

    K2 formula or Burton mission? I’ve been using my 07 formulas since they dropped and love them but with all the new tech out I think its time for an upgrade. Looking for a playful ride with quick response, which would you recommend? thanks

  36. Smitty says:

    DMCC Lights or Switchbacks on a Proto for park riding, mostly jumps. Are the lights stiff enough for bigger hits?

  37. Eric says:

    Ok so I’m an instructor at an east coast mountain not very large but I ride everyday and I have a proto CT 152 on the way I already rode a friends and fell in love after 30 minutes I’ve been reading A LOT about these NOW IPO and really want them but how do you think it will match up with the proto CT? I’ve never done much home work on bindings as sad as that may sound and I’m riding crappy old burton freestyles on the burton ROOT which is also a fun board but don’t really care for a flat board my friend has the NUG which is way more fun with the rocker! Thanks for any advice you can offer!

  38. Eric says:

    A little but I grew up surfing living down in seaside park Nj so the surf feel that goes with it interests me also

  39. If you’re used to that feel of more ankle play it might match up well.

  40. Eric says:

    Ok thanks always appreciated

  41. Pineapple Express says:

    been riding for about 5 years mostly frankenstein setups, like the guy above surfed seaside for the last 20years give orta ke. onyl bindings ive ever owned were a pair of burton missions from 2004, after this weekend i cant keep riding with them, cracks all over from learning with them/landing on knuckles etc. im riding a155w rome reverb rocker with some dc superpark boots size 12, 99% parkbecause i live on the right coast, i enjoy glades but havent seen much in about 2/3 yearsnow. i’ll hit anything in front of me if i’m going fast, lame to ride by stuff, better on the jumps but love pressing. whatsthe best binding for me? high end and midgrade please

  42. You know a set of Rome 390 Bosses would match up well with that Reverb Rocker. If you want to go a little cheaper the Arsenal from Rome.

  43. Pineapple Express says:

    right on, thanks for the recommendation

  44. Pineapple Express says:

    390 bosses over mob bosses?

  45. Your call it’s unibody vs 2 piece body which changes weight and flex.

  46. sotha says:

    For freeride, mountain freestyle what would you go for:
    Cartels, Flux TT30/SF45, Formula, 390 ?
    Thanks!

  47. Connor says:

    Im looking to get new bindings for end of my first season I want something with an all mountain setting but still does good in the park any suggestions? Secondly do you think the 2012 forum republic might work? Thanks

  48. FYI if you get a Forum binding and something breaks you get a Burton for replacement. I’d say look at something more like the Rome Targa.

  49. Connor says:

    Thanks, what do you think of the Rome 390’s?

  50. Som says:

    How do this year’s Flux DS30 and RK30 compare to the DMCC Lite?

  51. It’s the flex in them that will vary.

  52. james says:

    Dude,just bought 156 Black snowboard of death,intermediate/advanced skill,mountain/park,was thinkin Rome 390 or something from salamon…any ideas??
    Cheers

  53. 390’s or say The Chiefs from Salomon.

  54. Max says:

    Hi Angry

    Love the reviews.
    Riding a lot of powder, like Hokkaido, Japan, on a Capita Party Shark (Charlie Slasher) after a new pair of bindings?
    I’m intermediate/advanced – skateboard background.

    Any thoughts?

  55. How skatey do you want? I’d say check out the Now Bindings.

  56. Max says:

    Thanks.
    Just like to pop ollies and slash around abit.
    The Now bindings are actually what I was considering.
    They’re good?

  57. Mike says:

    Hi i was wondering if you could give me some advice on buying new bindings. I’m an advanced rider and i ride mostly park. Right now my set up is 2013 Never Summer Evo with 2012 Union Contact Pro and I like it, but I’m buying the 2013 Bataleon Disaster for only riding jibs and possibly some street. Out of these bindings which do you think would work the best with the Disaster and my riding style, Flux RK30, Flux DS30, Union Contact Pro, Ride Rodeo, and Flux SR15? Thanks.

    P.S. I like my Contact Pro’s but I’m just not sure how they would ride with this board and in the street

  58. RK 30’s probably since you’re going to be jibbing a ton.

  59. Wicka says:

    Hey Angry. I am an Intermediate rider who is about to start learning in the park and flat tricks etc. I am looking at two boards: Gnu Riders choice and Burton Super Hero. I will still be mainly be out on the mountain. Prob 70 perc – 30 perc. Two questions.

    1) What are the best bindings for each board and what I am after.

    2) What is the best set up of the two and are there other set ups I should get on board.. Just realise that is 3 Questions..

    Cheers in advance because I know you will tell me straight.

  60. Looks like you’re looking more at an all mountain freestyle deck than a straight freestyle one. Each one of those boards has a different camber profile and construction. The Burton will be lighter and more playful in my opinion. As far as bindings you have a ton of options at your disposal. I would say check out the Nitro/Raiden Phantoms or Blackhawks, Rome 390 Boss, K2 Formula, or something like that.

  61. Jake Remore says:

    Angry
    Great, informative site. I am an all mountain rider who favors stiffer boards for speed and I’m looking to replace my 13 year old Ride EX bindings. Since I am more concerned with stability than flexibility, I was looking at the Nitro Blackhawk or Ride Capo. I am open to other suggestions. There are just too many options out there!

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