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In the fast lane
The Scott Stevens Pro is largely based on the contact pro, which is super soft under foot with the huge bushing and mini disc. Its the perfect base tray for the skateboarder who loves softer vulcanized shoes for board feel and finesse. The biggest change on the Stevens pro vs the Contact Pro is the high back. Scott's high back is missing the forward lean adjuster, and the high back itself is set to 0 degrees forward lean. This is what most people look for when jibbing in the park all day. Sure you can remove the forward lean adjuster from a different high back, but this way it won't scratch up the paint and looks like a way cleaner setup without a missing piece.
The new topsheet is incredible and this board looks the part. It’s even lighter than it was before because of that new wooden topsheet and has a really cool texture. This diamond tail is like a surfboard to me, it floats so well you almost need to lean forward to keep your speed, and you just chill in a neutral stance without any back leg burn when you are ripping your favorite lines.
Soft, playful, comfortable, fun, tweaked grabs, super presses. This binding is awesome on softer flexing boards, or for someone looking for an ultra comfortable binding without spending $300. It’s not going to be for the person who does everything full speed and wants to charge, but for park riders, jibbers, and lower speed boarders this could be your favorite binding yet.
Time tested and proved, and now even lighter thanks to the new ankle strap. I’ve spent the most time on this ankle strap over the years when it first came out on the Strata and it’s my favorite. It’s super light and I find it to be very supportive and comfortable. This binding is for someone who wants the reliability of Union and the lifetime warranty, but maybe is getting their first setup or needs something affordable. It’s soft enough for new riders and also great in the park, but there is enough support in the highback for an advanced rider who is maybe in a pickle and needs something strong and inexpensive.
This binding is super light AND comfortable. Getting both lightweight and comfort has always been an issue but Union was able to figure it out on this binding. Since the highback isn’t 100% carbon, it does actually have some flex which keeps things feeling natural. I also notice that when compared to my Force, I don’t get any ice build up under the foot which is great when it’s nuking out and you are constantly stepping in and out packing more snow under your foot. This binding does have some flex side to side (as in nose to tail) which is nice for tweaking grabs, but is super responsive toe to heel making ripping turns or traversing chunder no big deal.
While this binding is a little softer and less refined than the Force, it can still ride just about anything, on any board, anywhere. The STR truly is a little brother to the Force and gets you a great do it all binding without costing an arm and a leg. Its equipped with the high end Atlas ankle and toe straps from a few years ago and still comes with a canted foot bed. For the price the STR is tough to beat.
This is my favorite version of the DOA. I’ve always loved the way the DOA rode and the diversity of the terrain it handles, but for my personal riding style it was a little soft. The Super DOA has just a little extra stiffness without changing the ride-ability and that has made this board perfect for me. The fact that it is way easier to whip around because of its lightness, has LOADS more pop, and is way faster than the regular DOA doesn’t hurt either….
The Strata is a blend of Party and Business. I’ve never ridden a binding that feels quite like this, the base is soft, you can feel the foam squish under your feet which is awesome for big or weird impacts. The highback though is a little on the stiffer side which makes this binding still turn well. If you have ridden the Contact pro it’s a similar style binding, but the Strata turns a lot better, absorbs more chatter, and is actually canted under foot making it more comfortable.
This has been my go-to binding for the last 6 years. Its responsive underfoot, and the highback is only mid flex allowing you to twist and turn in the park. It will ride through anything on the hill and can be mounted to any board and feel like it belongs. If you really weren’t sure what to get in a binding, i would just pick the Force and be done with it. I’m a big fan of the strap update as that is really the only area that I ever see wear on my Forces, after two seasons the foam starts to rip on the ankle strap. These new injected straps actually offer a more supportive locked in feel than the skinny older foam straps which for me is a welcoming upgrade.