Binding Model: Salomon Highlander
Binding Size: Medium
Stance and Angles: 21.5 Wide 15 Negative 12 Goofy
Boot Used: K2 Thraxis
Boot Size: 10
Board Used: K2 Cool Bean
Rider Weight: 200lbs
Location: Arapahoe Basin
Conditions: Overcast skies, moderate winds at time, heavy snow to light snow falling, moderate to low visibility, powder pockets, tracked powder, firm crunchy groomers, soft groomers, and a whole mix of spring conditions.
Binding Adjustability: You have twist cams on the straps to lengthen or shorten them and screws on the chassis to adjust the forward lean and that’s pretty much it.
Straps: The straps are more of that harder plastic with zero padding make up which means you’re relying on the boot to give you any padding. While these contour great to your instep it does leave more to be desired in terms of padding. The toe strap is a little more flexible than the heel and does a good job of contouring to various boot shapes.
Ratchets: The ratchets are bigger and easier to work with when you have a glove on. They climb and release well and I never had any issues with them slipping or prematurely releasing. The one caveat I have is that the toe ratchet doesn’t have a release tab it’s all about the push down release compared to the heel ratchet that does have the tab. Minor inconvenience but figured I would mention it.
Highbacks: So the thing with the highback is that it sits inside the Shadowfit Heelcup and you adjust the forward lean based on where you put it on the grooved track on the chassis. This means you can move it more forward or backward to get it to give you more lean. With that softer heel cup I didn’t really notice if the highback was more rigid or not as Shadowfit provides a lot of lateral flex to it.
Binding Flex: While this is a stiffer binding it does have Shadowfit which gives it a lot of lateral play. Overall it didn’t feel that stiff or rigid it felt more like a middle of the road all mountain flex that had a lot of lateral give to it. The straps are a bit more rigid but it didn’t feel like it was over compensating for the play in the chassis.
Ride: The ride can best be summed up as powerful surfy. Meaning you get a lot of lateral play and can feel that movement in your boot but there’s still power toe to heel when you need it.
Rider in Mind: Surfy all mountain rider.
Personal Thoughts: The heel cup coupled with the heel strap pinched my ankle. It was very tight and just felt like it was creating a restrictive point. Which was weird seeing as there’s a ton of lateral play in this binding. It’s surfy where you would want it but that pinch point is felt abruptly. At the end of the day for being a high end binding it seems kind of meat and potatoes and should have more features, but maybe that’s me being a princess about it.
Comparable Bindings: Rome Katana, Union Strata, K2 Line AT