Union Flight Pro Bindings & Union STR Bindings- Why Do They Kick Ass? | The Board Basement
UNION SNOWBOARD BINDINGS
Union make kick-ass bindings, fact. There are 2 in particular that blow many other bindings out of the water; The STR Snowboard Binding and The Flite Pro Snowboard Binding. These bomb-proof bindings are both packed full of features like Duraflex, Ultra Grip Toe Straps and Thermoformed EVA Bushings…..but more about that later.
Union make snowboarding bindings for men, women and kids and are the most progressive bindings on the market that support you through all levels of snowboarding, right from your very first shakey turns, to your Olympic Triple Corks!
First things first, how did this unique company come about? Union exploded onto the scene in 2005. It was started by 2 employees of Northwave/ Darke, Martino Fumagalli and George Kleckner. These guys felt like they needed to venture into something new and offer the people of the snowboard community a fresh and extra super duper durable binding. They really stripped things back, creating a more simplistic design of snowboard binding that really works. Union bindings are most well known for being extremely strong and forward thinking with their materials and technology. They are made to withstand anything that a snowboarder can throw at them, making progression on the mountain like a walk in the park. However, they do not scrimp on comfort, they are some of the most delightful bindings to have on your feet whilst boosting around the mountain.
Another massive selling point to Union is that they are an independent company run by actual snowboarders. All of their products are made in-house and not outsourced, meaning all of their technologies and designs are unique to them. Union is good at pioneering new materials that are long lasting and extra responsive. For example, Extruded Aluminium, Injected Magnesium and Machined Coring make the bindings hard-as-nails with cat-like reactions. The newest evolution of Forged Carbon (best material known to mankind!) makes Union bindings even lighter, but even stronger, if that's even possible!?!
Fun fact: this elite binding company had a zero warranty return rate in its first year.
Now to hone in on The Board Basement 2 favourite Union bindings……..
First up, the Union STR Snowboard Binding. These deliver everything you could possibly want from a high end binding. They have all the performance of the Union Atlas binding, but dont go wild on the price. The tech nitty gritty…...the have Canted Gas Pedals which transform the dynamic between the snowboarder and the snowboard ie: extra leverage and ollie power. If you have dodgy knees like many snowboarders, these are perfect as they alleviate knee pain by properly aligning your joints. The baseplate is stage 5 Duraflex. Union has sole rights to Duraflex which is a Nylon blended material specifically designed for cold temperatures, maintaining its strength and flex in any condition. There is a new highback for this season also made out of Duraflex (STR2), giving you the flexibility of tweaking tricks out, but yet the strength when you need it, and this will be consistent whatever the weather. Also new for this year is the Exoframe ankle strap. This has been re-designed and upgraded to an even lighter version with better comfort. The Ultra Grip toe strap is made out of Thermoplastic anti slip material making you feel secure when riding and has different position options. The ratchets are made out of Aluminium which is superior to your regular binding with the focus on speed in and out of the binding. On the highback, there is a mini FLAD (forward lean adjustment device) so you can customise your style of riding without a bulky device. Now the heel cup, this is made out of Extruded 3D Aluminium, this strengthens the entire chassis and the connection provides a seamless response. The whole product is rated grade 8.8; the strongest most reliable steel bindings on the market today. The disk type is Universal 4x4 and 4x2, meaning the binding will fit on any snowboard and there are lots of options to tailor your stance. The STR Union binding comes in 3 colourways for 2019/20; Dark Grey (S-M-L), Matte Green (M-L) and Bone (M-L). The best thing is you get a LIFETIME warranty for baseplate/heel cup and 1 year for all the other parts
I don’t like to swear but these go by the name of F#cking Light. And they say what they do on the tin, they are light and responsive and totally sick at cutting hot laps in the park. This model has been created from the original Flite Binding and using the chassis from the Contact binding. This is 5% contact area meaning the snowboard can naturally flex and ride like a dream; the best in the industry in fact. The baseplate on the Flight Pro is made out of Flite-Duraflex. Again Duraflex is blended Nylon specifically designed for cold temperatures and made for longevity. The highback is also made out of Duraflex (CP1) and is way more sturdy than your typical fiberglass injected Nylon. The heel cup itself is Extruded 3D Aluminium, which Union say “it’s like a roll-cage over a convertible race car, stiffening the entire chassis”, well, if it's good enough for a convertible it's good enough for me! The bushings are Thermoformed EVA which sustain their function season after season, unlike Rubber or Urethane ones that wear more easily. The ratchets on the bindings are made out of Aluminium, the ankle strap “classic” style and the toe strap is Ultra Grip made out of the Thermoplastic keeping your foot firmly held into the biding giving you top notch performance. The FLAD (Forward Lean Adjustment Device) is classic and same as the STR binding, its rated an 8.8 grade for hardwear. Again it has a universal disk type so its versatile to use on any board and more stance options. The Union Flite Pro binding comes in 4 different colourways; Black (S-M-L), Whire (S-M-L), Hyperblue (M-L) and Acid Green (M-L). Lifetime warranty included for baseplate/ heel cup and 1 year for all other parts, BOOM.
UNION SNOWBOARD BINDING SIZE GUIDE
Union bindings for men come in Small, Medium and Large. Small fits UK size 4-7 (mondo 23-26), Medium fits UK size 6-9 (mondo 25-28) and Large fits 9+ (mondo 28+).
Union bindings for women come in Small, Medium and Large. Small fits UK size 2-4 (mondo 21-23), Medium fits UK size 4-7 (mondo 23-26) and Large fits UK size 6-9 (mondo 25-28).
Union bindings for youth come in Extra Small, Small and Medium. Extra Small fits UK size 10k-2 (mondo 17.5-21), Small fits UK size 2-4 (mondo 21-23) and Medium fits UK size 4-7 (mondo 23-26).
This is a general guide, it's always a good idea to check your boots in the actual binding to check its a good match.
UNION SNOWBOARD TEAM
It goes without saying that Union have an awesome bunch of high caliber team riders representing their brand…..Joe Sexton, Jess Kimura, Danny Kass, Travis Rice and Gigi Ruff to name but a few. They are all very passionate about the brand they represent and they definitely create an image of what the brands about…….f#cking awesome!
WHY BUY UNION???
Union Bindings aren't trying to be the biggest company in the world, but they are trying to be the best. That's why we really rate them here at The Board Basement. They really have the best needs of the snowboarder at heart, trying to transform the dynamic between the rider and the snowboarder, giving the snowboarder the best experience on the mountain they can possibly have. Union also have the best delivery, sales and customer service to boot too.
So basically if you want some trustworthy bindings, from an awesome company that will make you amazing at snowboarding, Union STR or Union Flite Pro is the way to go.