Union Force Bindings Review
The Force is Union’s best selling binding and has been a tried and true staple in their line since their early years. We picked up a pair to test and after a few weeks here’s Carlos’ review of their best seller. Read on and see if it lives up to the hype.
Set up time:
I will be honest about the fact that I rode Drake bindings for 7 years. Moving back to Union felt very close to Drake and there is a mind shift you have to make. The binding is minimalist and the adjustments are simple when you know where to look. I strongly encourage you to watch the Union Binding Clinic
.It will give you all the knowledge you need to understand how the binding is built and why things are done a certain way. Setup took me a total of 2 hours before watching the video. After watching the video: 30 minutes. Forward lean is the easiest adjustment of any binding I have used.
Straps: Straps are very comfortable and I like the toestrap design. It allows for much more versatility than a traditional cap strap. The ankle strap feels comfortable and unobtrusive. Adjustments are easy as well.
Highback: Initially I did not feel the need to rotate the highbacks. I tried some heavy heelside carved turns and the bindings were very responsive. It was only when I started trying butters and nose presses that I felt a delay in response. I have since rotated the highbacks and I find they work better for my style of riding.
The lateral flex is very playful and I am able to load my nose and tail without feeling like the highback is restricting movement.
Ratchets: The ratchets are bomb proof and light. Whenever they stick its a sign that some adjustment needs to be made to align the ladder to the ratchet.
Response: In general the response of these bindings is excellent. The best feature this binding offers is feeling like you don’t have a binding on. It conforms very well to your boot so without any bite so all you have to worry about is your riding.
Recommended For: I would recommend these bindings to the rider that wants to have one bomb proof setup. It has the right amount of flex and power for my riding style. The absence of “micro adjustments” that other bindings offer allows you to set it up and move on with your life instead of spending countless hours on the tuning bench. I would not recommend this binding to the carver extraordinaire or the rider that likes stiff highbacks.
Issues: To adjust the toe strap ladder you have to move aside the EVA bushing under the baseplate and its not the easiest thing to get back in place. Both toe and ankle straps have stretched quite a bit and I have had to recenter them on my boot.
Conclusion: I am really glad to be supporting a company that has one focus in the industry; making a solid binding. They have built a reputation of durability and attention to detail and it shows. I am really enjoying these bindings and looking forward to continuing to explore their limits. It seems like the future of Union Binding Co. is as bright as my acid green bindings.
to Travis at Infinite Boardshop
in Waitsfield, VT for answering a lot of our questions about Union. Infinite stocks lots of Union. Hit them up!
Tester Specs: Carlos Romero
Stats: 5’11” 195lbs, boots 10 Stance 23.25” 15, -15.
I would describe my riding style as “play meets power”. I enjoy having fun all over the trails with buttery combo goodness and tech trickery but the reason I ride is for the elusive deep pow day. Blinding, deep pow turns through the woods with my crew is why I come back year after year. At 195lbs my boards need to have a medium flex so they can hold an edge and still bend when I need them to.
About our reviews. Equipment reviews are by nature subjective….meaning what might suit my riding style might be miserable for you, and vice versa. Weight plays a huge role in how equipment performs as well. So take these reviews for what they are, our take on the gear we’re trying out. Hopefully we can provide some good insights on how this stuff performs in the real world. Check out our tester specs to get a better idea of what is influencing our thoughts on the gear.