Union Contact Pro Bindings
Gigi Rűf President!(Four more years! Four years!)
From foot to foot the Union Contact Pros are the best all-mountain binding one could buy! The Union Contact Pro bindings for 2014, based off of Union’s Contact binding, has an entirely new and redesigned workhorse for this season. Sure, we all know that Gigi likes to shred the backcountry, but in a conscious effort to make a 100% all mountain binding, Union and Gigi have collaborated on this binding to make sure that the Contact Pros both float pow and roll through the terrain park with ease.
It starts with one word: CONTACT! Union shrank the base plate on the Contact Pros for this season. This year’s Contact Pros now utilize a Universal Minidisk System which fits most all four hole and three holes snowboard setups. The smaller disk plates minimize dead spots, so only five percent of the binding is in direct contact with the board. This creates a smaller foot print, and a smaller footprint allows your board to flex more naturally.
The minidisk system works in tandem with the Multi Density Eva bushings to nearly eliminate flat spots. The multi density Eva not only cushions underfoot, but gives support. The bindings help a rider maintain solid control, but leave room for a little play. My friend, who’s riding last year’s Contact Pros, claims he doesn’t like the loose feel of the bindings in certain snow conditions, but riding the 2014 bindings, I haven’t noticed a lack of control or any play that would influence my turns negatively in any way.
Union Contact Pro Bindings Video
The overall feel of the binding is a softer binding, but I find the play to be refreshing and supportive when I need it. As far as control, the asymmetrical high backs really shine in this area.The asymmetrical high backs work well to flex laterally and stay nice and stiff vertically, allowing for maximum leverage over edges and maximum tweak-ability on pokes, grabs and shiftys! Asymmetrical high backs give maximum support. Turning the high backs to match the angle of stance is a thing of the past. The bindings mimic a rider’s calves for board control, comfort and feel. The overall function and form of the binding makes board control effortless and fun.
Union holds a lifetime warranty on Contact Pro baseplate (as all of their baseplates…), so don’t hesitate to put it through the ringer. The 3D Direct-Connect ankle straps are comfortable, and the magnesium buckles ratchet on and click off with ease. The open toe straps work well. The toe straps fit nicely on and around the toes. I strap mine around the toe, which really pulls the ankle into the high back/heel loops for a nice snug and secure fit.
The smallest, yet, most notable improvement in the Contact Pros for 2014 from a consumer’s standpoint are the extra holes poked into the toe straps for a more customizable fit. I wear a size 8 to 8.5 Nike boot and the straps fit really well with no pressure points and allow the bindings to easily ratchet on and pop off with ease. This binding is a snowboard instructor’s dream! One foot in regular, or one foot in goofy stance—I switch it up on the fly!
The positives outweigh the negatives in every category. I love most everything about the Contact Pros. From the base plates to the ankle/toe straps, this binding does it all and in brilliant fashion. I did have a few days where my right binding ratchet got stuck here or there, and slip, but it was just an adjustment I needed to make; no big deal. So if you love to shred the whole mountain, a versatile binding with some personality, and a custom power house of a baseplate, then the Union Contact Pros will meet—neigh—exceed your expectations.