Now Ipo Bindings Review
The Now-Snowboarding ipo binding has been one of the most anticipated pieces of 2013 gear since their unveiling at the SIA trade show in January. Designed by former pro snowboarder JF Pelchat, they utilize a kingpin and bushings to allow the binding to rock from toe to heel. The claim is that this increases edge pressure and smooths out transitions in between turns. It seems like every year there is some kind of “new breakthrough binding” released on the market. Since they are usually disastrous solutions to nonexistent problems we are normally quite skeptical of these types of things, but the ipo proved us wrong. We got a chance to do an extended test of the ipo’s in February and walked away very impressed. Read on to see how they worked out.
Set up time: The set up time on the ipo is pretty quick. The only thing that takes time is lining up the hardware correctly when you switch from highback to no-back mode. You do have to make sure bushings and hardware are lined up correctly when you set up the deck.
Straps: No complaints with either ankle or toe straps. Our pre-production model had issues with the straps popping off on the adjustment ladder side, but that has been adressed in production models.
Boot Fit: take notice here. The ipo is designed to hold the heel of your boot snugly. Correct sizing is important to make sure your ankle doesnt feel pinched. According to JF Pelchat himself grab mediums for Men’s 7-9.5 and Large for 10-13.
Rachets: drama free.
Highback: loved it. Its pre-rotated 5 degrees and fits relatively low to the boot. Highback was very comfortable and responsive for how minimal it is.
No-back: No trouble! I’ve never ridden with no-backs but I had no trouble on steep terrain and was even able to do carved turns. Unsurprisingly, I enjoyed the no-back a lot more in softer snow than on icier days. The heel cup design lets you switch from highback to no-back without moving strap location or mounting location on the board.
Response: The million dollar question. Response is great with no delay in edge transition. The rocking motion of the binding is subtle. To me it felt like an increase in pressure throughout turns rather than a major weight shift. They definitely dampen out chatter and felt like they were smoothing things out for me. I enjoyed the ride a lot.
Recommended For: all mountain freestyle rider or park riders, especially the “no-back curious.”
Issues: We had several normal quality issues with our pre-production demos, but have communicated a fair bit with JF Pelchat and have been assured that they have all been addressed in the production models.
Conclusion: The NOW ipo is legit. Its hard not to be skeptical with “innovative new bindings” but I was impressed with the design and functionality of the ipo. Corresponding with JF made it clear that a lot of thought and passion has gone into these bindings and it shows. In 5 days of riding the ipo in a wide variety of conditions I found them very enjoyable with no time needed to adjust to them. NOW has attracted a lot of buzz and is poised to make a solid impact on the binding market.
Thank You: to Travis at Infinite Boardroom in Waitsfield, VT for helping us out with demos. Big thanks to JF Pelchat for being so accessible to us and sending us a brand new pair to film with.