Binding Model: Arbor Hemlock
Binding Size: Medium
Stance and Angles: Goofy, 21in wide, 12/-6
Board Used: Niche Aether 156
Boot Used: Ride Fuse
Boot Size: 8
Rider Weight: 155lbs
Conditions: Into spring, softer snow but not quite full slush
Binding Adjustability: The straps are on tool less bolts that are simple to screw off get your straps adjusted and bolt them back in. The heelcup is on a bolt-through that isn’t very fast to get adjusted, but it is easy enough. The mediums did fit my 8’s well enough once the heelcup had been adjusted in.
Straps: The adjusters and ladders for the straps are a more pliable plastic than normal. They didn’t seem to be at all “softer” so I probably wouldn’t be worried about durability but the extra flexibility does offer a little more conformability to the straps. Especially the toe. The toe strap is a great shape and build and grips the toe great. The ankle strap sits a little bit low and is just a bit stiff top to bottom. There is a little bit of pressure that comes as you’re driving toe side, but those with not quite as high insteps as I have might not feel any bad pressure.
Ratchets: Gripped the ladders fine and released easy. Nothing to speak of.
Highbacks: There is a little bit of a play torsionally in the highback and just a hair of flex straight back. But its a straight highback with true zero stock forward lean with just enough cup to keep everything behind you. It’s a good responsive freestyle flex.
Binding Flex: It’s a sturdy freestyle flex. A little above a mid flex designed with some room to move.
Ride: The X-Frame and mini disc work together to get the energy you put into the frame out to the corners. The whole underside is a rubber pad and you have a full EVA footbed to keep things move. There is a 1.5 degree cant, just enough to make a difference and more comfortable for those not pushing past 23” stances, still good for those pushing past that though.
Rider in Mind: All mountain freestyle
Personal Thoughts: For a year one binding this was really good. There are a few small fitment things they can work on, namely the strap pressure, but the frame design is really good and works well. Flex where you need it and response where you need it.
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*Disclaimer this binding did not change for 2018 so we carried the 2017 review over.*