Going against the Flow

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I have been happily using Flow bindings since I first bought my own snowboarding equipment in about 1997. I always used to recommend them to people on the basis that they were so easy to use and comfortable and that these advantages made it worth persevering with the odd reliability issue.

Lately though I have suspected that my bindings were limiting my performance and I began to wonder if I should try straps again.

I have just returned from a week in the Alps riding some new bindings (Ride Tomcats) which I picked up in the TSA sale and the old Flows are going on eBay.

I noticed two striking differences with straps.

1. Absolutely no heel lift. This had always been an issue with my Flows, as the way the strap pulls down on the instep, holding your foot against the base plate, is just never going to be as positive as having a strap over your ankle pulling your heel in to the highback. Its like the difference between wearing shoes and boots.

2. Weight. I had not appreciated how heavy my old Flows (FL39) had been, despite being made of carbon fibre. The new Tomcats have an aluminium base and minimal design making the board feel much lighter in the air and taking the effort out of ollies (easier to carry too).

The straps are a pain to put on though and I don’t buy any of that crap about strapping in being a ritual. its a P in the A but I’ll be doing it from now on.