Binding Model: Salomon Defender
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: Late season after a good dumping.
Binding Adjustability: The straps are on sliders held in place by interlocking teeth. Loosening the bolt release the teeth from each other and you slide the strap up or down the adjuster, then tighten the bolt back down. The highback forward lean and rotation are on the same bolt on the frame. Move the bolt forward for less forward lean, back for more.
Straps: The toe strap does lock well and generally conforms well over the boot, but if you crank a little too hard it will cause pressure in the pinky area. The ankle strap provides ample support forwards but allows the lateral flex the binding is designed around.
Ratchets: Smooth release and crank. No issues at all.
Highbacks: Very cupped and stiff. Designed to follow your boot as you move around, unhindered by the softer heelcup. It’s a supportive feel with a lot of drive and power straight back.
Binding Flex: These have the stiffer Shadow Fit heelcup. It’s still intended to be softer laterally and give a surfier and skatier feel. The support of the binding comes from the base frame. This is the on the stiffer side of the Shadow Fit series.
Ride: Firm under foot with a looser feel side to side. The softer heelcup allows for a lot of freedom in body positioning on top of board. Still very responsive front to back with plenty of drive and control over your edges.
Rider in Mind: All mountain rider looking for a surfier experience on top of the board.
Personal Thoughts: This is what I usually recommend to people who are curious about the soft heelcup feel but aren’t entirely sure how loose they really like. Another note is the stiffer heelcup frame fits a bit different than the softer one. Your boot doesn’t sit as deep in the frame so you get more boot over the toe of the frame than the heel.
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*Disclaimer this binding did not change for 2018 so we carried the 2017 review over.*