Binding Model: Flow NX2 Fusion
Binding Size: Medium
Stance and Angles: Goofy, 21in wide, 12/-6
Board Used: Niche Theme 157
Boot Used: Ride Fuse
Boot Size: 8
Rider Weight: 155lbs
Conditions: Late season spring conditions
Binding Adjustability: The heelcup/highback assembly is bolted the the lower frame at the back. It’s a bit time consuming to get it adjusted out if you need to as you have to pull the straps off in order to get to the bolts, but it is an adjustment you should only have to make once. The straps are on cams that are easy enough to pop. The forward lean is a spin dial on the back of the highback lever, spin it up for more, down for less. Flows take more time to get set up right than a standard two strap binding, after a few years riding them I’ve found that following this pattern seems to work best to minimize any adjustments you might need to make on hill: Highback forward lean, toe portion of the strap, ankle portion.
Straps: The Fusion strap holds in a boot just as well as a normal 2 strap, but actually gives more effective strap area to distribute the pressure. The straps basically disappear on the foot. They’re super comfortable and work well to drive energy forward on your toeside.
Ratchets: The ratchets aren’t really meant to be used as your primary entry, the highback is. So they have a little bit of a rough release, but they do climb well. The release levers can lock in place to keep the straps from moving on their own when your boot isn’t in the binding. If used as your primary entry the locking part can wear out, but it’ll take probably a full season to do it.
Highbacks: The upper panel is nylon with a little bit of give to keep everything comfortable and the lower is a stiffer nylon to provide as much support and response from the cable as possible.
Binding Flex: The aluminium base provides a very sturdy feel underfoot with a lot of support. The nylon heelcup has a little more flex than a full aluminium one would so you do get a little bit more lateral play. Overall it comes in as a supportive chargeable all mountain flex.
Ride: The underside of the frame has a 3d shape that lifts the corners of the binding and there’s a full length urethane pad. It does a lot to kill any of the possible harshness you’d get out of the aluminium base. The urethane pad reaches all the way to the heel in 3 spots that offer even more dampening and shock absorption. That with the 2.5 degree canting and this is one of the smoothest aluminium based bindings I’ve ridden.
Rider in Mind: All mountain light freeride.
Personal Thoughts: This was actually a go to binding for me for a season. It’s stiffness underfoot and slightly softer highback is a really solid blend of support and power without any restriction. If you’ve been curious about Flows, this is the model to try first. I rode it everywhere from park, to groomer cruising, to in bounds freeriding and it was always enough and never too much.
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*Disclaimer this binding did not change for 2018 so we carried the 2017 review over.*