The 2023 Union Ultra Snowboard Binding Review
Binding Model: Union Ultra
Buy it here:
Christy Sports: https://bit.ly/3W7ZvE6
The House: https://bit.ly/3X37Bzf
The Snowboard Asylum: https://tinyurl.com/2fl872dk
Binding Size: Medium
Stance and Angles: 21.5 Wide 15 Negative 12 Goofy
Boot Used: K2 Thraxis
Boot Size: 10
Board Used: Ride Shadowban
Rider Weight: 200lbs
Location: Copper Mountain
Conditions: Overcast skies, cold temps, some dust on top of heavier snow, ice, crust, and perfect corduroy.
Binding Adjustability: The heel cup is adjustable and slides in and out. The highback has two spots to rotate it. The heel cup utilizes a two pin locking system that is easy to pop and slide it out or bring it in. On the toe strap it has a flip tab that you unscrew and there are two pin placements for it as well.
Straps: The straps are designed to be very minimal. With the heel strap you get a very flexible strap that contours around the instep of the boot. The material is wider on the outsides with an ample cut out so it will give flex in the instep. The way this is designed all padding comes from the boot but there’s a little stretch in the strap so you don’t feel it like a firm exoskeleton. The toe strap is super thin and minimal and very reminiscent of what Flux has done, except this is far more malleable lending itself to fit over various boot shapes better. While it is tiny it does it’s job to the point you don’t even realize you have it cranked down.
Ratchets: I’m a fan of uniformity on buckles and if one has a quick release tab, then the other should. This is the case with the toe ratchet. Right out of the box these climbed and released well and I never had any issues with them sticking or prematurely releasing.
Highbacks: The highback is slightly stiffer on the inside and more playful on the outside this lets you tweak a little easier. It does come with natural forward lean on it and the only time I actually felt it was on a deep heelside slash in heavy pow, that was the only time it felt a little restrictive.
Binding Flex: While this binding is softer it’s not as soft as the binding it replaced the Contact Pro. Sure you get a lot of lateral flex from that mini disk but the overall flex comes in just slightly below a middle of the road. This allows it to perform better than other bindings in this category.
Ride: Surprisingly I thought this binding wouldn’t be that damp, it was to a point. I did feel some chatter in more aggressively frozen death cookies and ruts, but overall I didn’t get any serious foot fatigue. The gasket on the bottom of this actually provides more cushioning than it looks like it will.
Rider in Mind: More freestyle focused all mountain rider.
Personal Thoughts: For a new binding this actually rode exceptionally well. There’s just one bit nitpick I can give it and that’s the cover on the bottom of the binding, they didn’t cut out the rectangles for the toe straps. This means if you break one and have to replace it you will end up cutting the base to do. While this is more than likely a cosmetic issue, you shouldn’t have to do this. Luckily I’m from the generation that used to Frankenstein bindings together so I’m not worried about it, but for the less handy inclined this will pose an issue. Overall this binding did what I needed it to do and was more responsive than I thought it would. You do lose a little lateral drive but you can more free flex, so think of it as being able to get more ankle movements when you’re setting up.
Rome Vice: https://bit.ly/3CF5WaT
Burton Malavita: https://bit.ly/3vVLQ8A
Bent Metal Axtion: https://bit.ly/3ZrIR58
Been waiting for this one. I’m debating between the Malavita and these as my next pair. Does one seem better than the other?
Would you recommend the Ultra, Rome Vice, or the Strata for an All-Mountain/Freestyle rider?
Take your pick.
Hmn…already own Arbor Hemlocks…considering that is this binding an upgrade or just another variety of softer binding?
The Hemlocks can drive a wide pow board and that is what I am curious about with this new binding. If its not enough of an upgrade or a good difference in feel then I would just stay with the Hemlocks.
Looking into Force bindings. Size 11 K2 Thraxis. Med or large?
Thanks for the vid. You mentioned these were a bit more responsive than you had anticipated. Any hesitation putting these on a stiffer AM board? I saw a board shop on social media recently giving away a Mega Merc / Ultra combo, and thought that seemed like a strange combo. Thoughts?
I’d ride it as a daily on my Shadowban.