We first came across NOW bindings back at SIA Denver a few years ago when they had just entered the snowboard binding market. We were pretty blown away by what we saw. A binding that actually moved back and forth while you were riding?? All kinds of thoughts and images flooded my head as to what it would be like riding with them. From the space age A-frame chassis (NOW calls it the Hanger) design to the Kingpin mechanism and the pivoting bottom ring to the inter-changeable rubber bushings- it was unlike any other binding that we’ve seen. It wasn’t until we got to demo them a couple of days later that it all started to make sense to us.
The NOW 2015 snowboard bindings do what they say. They get you on edge faster and easier than traditional bindings. Instead of being a binding that simply holds your feet to the board, NOW bindings work in conjunction with your hips, knees and ankles to shift your weight from edge to edge saving you energy and giving you more response and control over your board. NOW likens the basic principle to the mechanics of a skateboard truck. As you put pressure over the toe side edge the binding shifts forward with your weight so that you are not fighting the tendency of the board to resist going on edge. It works the same way for the heel side making the need for big, intrusive highbacks unnecessary. The rubbery, interchangeable bushings that are seated between board and the bindings’ four contact points soak up vibration and either add more response or more looseness depending on which durometer bushing you install. Here are some of the new and old features for the NOW 2015 snowboard bindings.
Buckles! Having new buckles on ALL their models is one of the best changes that NOW has made in my opinion. The new buckles have double-wound springs that feel really smooth and have no play. They also have a larger release trigger that would seem to help prevent ice and snow build-up. All NOW bindings (as always) have a full length EVA footbed that is super thick and comfortable and stifles even the worst crud and craw. Also, all NOW bindings have Flushcup technologymeaning that the highback or lowback sits inside the heel cup. This gives you better heel side response and you can remove the highback and get the same fit.
The IPO is NOW’s flagship model- the one that started it all. This year the straps (all 2015 models also) have tool-less screw adjustments instead of the ladder levers. This should eliminate any possibility of slippage. The toe straps on 2015 IPO’s now are fully wrapped in leather this year and the insides made of a grippy, rubber material that hold tight to your boot. The toe straps are also contoured so they wrap around the toe box on your boot for more support.
The IPO’s come with two sets of nylon/fiberglass bolt plates and mounting rings that save some weight over the original aluminum ones and can accommodate insert pack or slider channel configurations. The Flex Hinge highback is pre-rotated for more support and the hinged mid-section helps eliminate calf bite and chatter.
The Select binding is NOW’s most versatile binding. It comes with two sets of highbacks: the Freewing highback is asymmetrical and pre-rotated for a more ergonomic feel and it is stiffer than the Flex Hinge highback found on the IPO so it’s a bit more supportive when mobbing the hill. The Select also comes with the Highcup lowback that you can easily swap in for a surfy, skatey, loose feel. The Highcup gives you all the room you’ll ever need for maximum boned-out tweaks, presses, and huge, drawn-out powder turns.
The Select Hyperfuse straps are one of a kind. They are not stitched together and they don’t use a spine for support. They are basically made from a nylon weave on the inside with EVA foam layers that shape the outside. This makes them really light, low profile, comfortable, and they can’t fall apart on you. And like the IPOs the Selects have nylon/fiberglass bolt plates and mounting rings.
The Drive is NOW’s All-Mountain/Freeride binding that is stiffer with quicker response and for this year comes with the new Calfback highback. The Calfback highback is larger than the other NOW highbacks and is shaped to alleviate pressure on the back of your legs when you add extra forward lean. The raised gas pedal footbed is another new feature for the Drive this year. It offers quicker response on the toe side edge and extra dampening when rallying over variable terrain.
The Flipit Ankle Straps are another key feature on the Drive bindings. You can wear the straps with the bulk of the support going across the top of your foot for a looser, more freestyle feel. Or you can take them off, flip them over, reattach and wear them with the support higher up on your ankle for more response. The Drives come with the aluminum bolt plates and mounting rings that are impossible to break even when handling the heaviest lines in the backcountry. NOW also has an O-Drive (Overdrive) binding that is the carbon fiber version of the Drive. It has a much stiffer highback for added response.
All NOW bindings come with a Lifetime Warranty on the baseplate and hanger and a one year warranty on all other parts. The thing I like a lot about the NOW line is how simple it is. You don’t have to choose from a million models that all basically do the same thing. Instead NOW offers 3 models that are very different and cover a wide range of riding styles.
Tags: now snowboarding ipo bindings, now drive bindings, now select bindings, now select snowboard bindings, now 2015 snowboard bindings, 2015 now snowboard bindings, now snowboarding ri, now snowboarding