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Now IPO Binding Preview and On Snow Review | Product Focus

With so much hype surrounding JF Pelchat’s new binding project Now, as well as lots of positive feedback from some rather big names in snowboarding (Devun Walsh, Jeremy Jones and DCP), we were pretty keen to catch up with the brand at ISPO. The guys kindly took us through their brand new concept, which represents years of welding, testing and refining in JF’s British Columbia based garage.

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It’s taken us a while to get our heads around the concept but we think we’ve just about sussed it! The whole aim of the bindings is to improve the efficiency of energy transfer between bindings and board. The rigid baseplates of traditional bindings undergo a certain degree of deformation when forces are exerted on them during riding and subsequently, this energy is not converted into performance. The baseplates of Now bindings are drastically stripped down, to the extent that the only significant areas making contact with the board are the disc and four corners of the baseplate. A unique pivoting hinge system, which draws inspiration from the kingpin of skateboard trucks, allows the direct transfer of energy from the straps to the edges without any of the deformation found in regular baseplates. A bonus effect of this minimal design is increased board feel. Additionally, riser pads on the four corners of the bindings also help to absorb chatter to create a smooth ride and are supplied in soft, medium and hard densities allowing you to customise the degree of responsiveness/dampening. The heelcups have been widened and sit nice and flush with the highbacks so that if you want to give no-back riding a go, you can do so without having to re-center the bindings.

It really is an elegant design but is it really that good? The guys over at Onboard were lucky enough to take a pair of the IPO’s out for a spin and managed to document their first impressions riding this unique design. Check the video below.

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As expected the two key outcomes of the binding test appear to be a good degree of responsiveness and a smooth, chatter-free ride. With such a minimal baseplate, one does wonder whether the bindings will be strong enough to stand up to high impact landings on hardpack, although I guess that isn’t really the sort of snow condition that these babies were designed for…

We are really keen to give these a try and will post our own verdict when the opportunity to do so arises. Now bindings will be dropping into stores in autumn 2012.

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