Binding Model: Flow Fuse Fusion
Binding Size: Large
Stance and Angles: Goofy, 21in wide, 15/-3
Board Used: Niche Theme 157
Boot Used: DC Tucknee
Boot Size: 8
Rider Weight: 155lbs
Conditions: Now we’re into spring. Snow is still pretty good but it is definitely warm and the parking lots are dry. It is still cold enough overnight to make for some pretty firm early morning groomers, but it only takes about 20 minutes of sun to start softening up and by mid day everything is classic Colorado spring conditions.
Binding Adjustability: The highback/heelcup assembly connects to the frame on the aluminium wings at the back of the tray. There are bolts that run through them and the frame that you loosen to slide the wings forward or back to adjust for boot size. Highback forward lean is adjusted with a dial on the back of the highback lever. I’ve been riding Flows for a number of years now and while they can take more time to set up than regular bindings, but I find that if you adjust them in this order it usually takes minimal adjusting on the mountain: Leave all the straps loose, adjust the highback forward lean, ankle portion of the Fusion strap, toe portion of the strap.
Straps: Traditional Flow straps offer a different feel than your average two strap binding. It holds your boot back just as well as something with a toecap, but ultimately offer more strap to distribute pressure. They ride like they aren’t there. And understanding this will be very helpful in having a proper setup. If you tighten the fusion strap to feel like a traditional 2 strap it will be too tight and you won’t be able to slide in easily.
Ratchets: The ratchets are more meant to be used as an extra or as an adjustment and lock in place to keep them from drifting down. There if you need them, but the primary entry method is still intended to be the highback. They are a bit stiff on the release but do climb well. If you do end up using them as your primary entry you’ll likely wear out the locking piece. They will function like any other ratchet, but the push lock wears out with overuse.
Highbacks: The highback is your primary entry with Flows and part of that design is the cable. The lever on the back is easy enough to release when you drive your knee forward but has enough tension on it from the cable that when properly adjusted you won’t have any accidental releases. They saw an update for 2019 to a full one piece highback that loses weight and overall makes the whole highback seem to fit better.
Binding Flex: The nylon frame is the softer option on the high end line from Flow. It’s a freestyle inspired all mountain flex that will handle just about anything. The frame is fairly minimal underfoot and there is some flex side to side. The cable running through the highback helps skip a whole step in getting energy from the highback to the board, so the front to back response on them was great.
Ride: The footbeds are a more rubbery EVA that offers a lot of support and great blend of big hit shock absorption and micro vibration absorption. Being a stiffer EVA, the foam is harder to compress so the canting is more noticeable on these than some other bindings out there with softer footbeds.
Rider in Mind: All mountain freestyle rider, Flow’s catch all binding.
Personal Thoughts: This is the entry into the active strap tech and they’re a solid binding. There’s not much they can’t handle. For people looking into Flow and are not worried about losing their toe caps, this is the option I usually point them towards first. They are not what I would call stiff, but they are plenty responsive and supportive enough that I can and have put them on any board out there from jib noodles to light duty freeride boards.