Binding Model: Nidecker Kaon X
Binding Size: Large
Stance and Angles: 21.5 Wide 15 Negative 12 Goofy
Boot Used: K2 Thraxis
Boot Size: 10
Board Used: Telos Mike Ranquet
Rider Weight: 200lbs
Location: Arapahoe Basin
Conditions: Overcast gray skies, moderate wind, 6 inches of fresh snow on top of copious amounts of older pow, dust on groomers, perfect corduroy, lumpy snow, chop, and chunder.
Binding Adjustability: Push pins on the toe straps to move them forward or backwards on the chassis, flip cams on the straps to lengthen or shorten them, forward lean adjustment, and 4 points of highback rotation if that’s your thing.
Straps: The straps utilize Aux Tech which removes excess material and allows them to contour around a boots shape better while retaining strength. While the material is a little more rigid it doesn’t feel cheap but more secure than anything else. I never noticed any pinch points and in fact these straps felt amazing when really cranked down. The toe strap has a large cut out which makes it viable to fit every boot shape under the sun.
Ratchets: So I want to mention that these bindings were fresh out the plastic and as such the ratchets stuck a little. As the day went on they seemed to break in more and were less prone to sticking. The opening to the mouth of the ratchets is a little narrower so sometimes they wouldn’t guide in perfectly and took a little more time to finesse. These climb well and do their job. The one finger quick release works well.
Highbacks: There is varied flex in the highback. Where the cutout is obviously it’s going to flex more then on the other side of that it gets a little stiffer. The stiffest section starts at the base goes up over the forward lean adjustment then comes back down to the base. You can feel that when you push into them. The FLAD does it’s job and works well. There is a very minimal amount of natural forward lean in to the point you don’t even notice it.
Binding Flex: The overall flex of this binding is on the stiffer side of all mountain freestyle underfoot with more lateral play in the highback and straps. You notice right away that underfoot it feels secure and stiff which gives it power, but laterally you can play around when you want to and not feel like you’re always driving into it.
Ride: The ride has a feel like a binding from 10 years ago. For those of you that like a larger dead spot under foot you’ll love these. The chassis takes up so much space that you just feel you’re driving it directly under foot or right on the outside/inside of the binding. The footbed is super plus and does a great job of absorbing chatter which really does help reduce foot and leg fatigue. The straps do their job and do it well you can feel how secure they are but how they let you flex where you need to and get power out of them where you want to.
Rider in Mind: All mountain freestyle rider that likes to charge.
Personal Thoughts: So there’s some weird things I’d like to point out with these bindings. One they come with an offset disk which is weird as not a lot of brands are doing that anymore. It really makes you think when you’re centering it. The second is that it’s a 2 piece construction between the chassis and heel cup. Yet it’s all injected plastic. You can’t adjust the heel cup as it’s a machined rivet but it looks like they wanted to make it adjustable. Then there’s the footpad which has to be one of the thicker ones I’ve encountered this year. It does a great job of dampening. The ratchets look almost like they’re from Rome and the straps definitely utilize the same design principles of their Auxtech strap. Is it a bad binding? No, it’s just different. Is it going to be for everyone? Once again no, but for those that want a binding that rides with a bigger dead spot underfoot it’s solid. Was I impressed with these? Yes.
Comparable Bindings: Burton Cartel, K2 Formula, Now Select Pro