Binding Model: SLab
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: 205 lbs.
Location: Arapahoe Basin
Conditions: Overcast gray skies with high visibility, average temps, 4 inches of heavy wet snow on top of creamy groomers, chunder, ice, and slush on the lower mountain.
Binding Adjustability: I think the first thing we need to talk about is that this is a rear entry binding so you do need to dial in everything before you use it. That means adjusting the pop tabs on the toe and heel strap to get them more dialed once you enter the bindg, there’s 3 holes to adjust the cable to the highback to help with forward lean, there’s also a dial for tension on the back of the highback. You have 2 spots for toe strap placement to center as well.
Straps: If this was 2005 these straps would have been considered a high end technology, in 2021 not so much. While they did their job they are of that thinner leather, eva, and plastic that does have some pack out to them. The cut out on the toe strap worked well for fitting my boot shape but something more blunt and less pointy might have some issues.
Ratchets: While yes this does have ratchets it’s not exactly your standard style. These are smaller, more compact, and designed to just tweak the fit on the fly and not be used as a substitute for the rear entry highback. I had some sticking issues which if I’m being honest I’m actually glad for as that means these will not prematurely release.
Highbacks: Obviously with this having a folding highback this is a real important feature. It features a two piece construction of metal and plastic and when I was locked in this felt like any other softer flexing highback on the market. The cable does give it a bit more give unless you really crank the tension so take that into account.
Binding Flex: The overall flex of this binding is on the softer side as this is more of SP’s freestyle binding. It has a lot of lateral play that is reminiscent of the Salomon Shadow Fit due in part to the cable. The straps aren’t beefy or stiff either which adds into that flex. All in all I’d say this is soft and surfy.
Ride: The ride is consistent on these and you never feel like you’re not locked in due to the folding highback. There is a little power underfoot due to the metal frame and that gives you some power.
Rider in Mind: Laid back surfy slasher or jib guy.
Personal Thoughts: So I won’t lie I wanted to hate these but I just couldn’t. The functionality of the folding highback works, if anything these were even easier to dial in than a Flow and rode better than a K2 Cinch. While they do lack some refinement compared to either K2 or Flow they aren’t bad. I will say the lack of adjustability and the fact these seriously look like a binding from the early 2000’s is the only downside. Personally I would have liked to ride one that was a bit stiffer and more responsive but that’s me.
Comparable Bindings: Flow Fuse Hybrid, Salomon Hologram, Flux TT