You are invited to “rethink your ride” with NOW, the brainchild of one of Whistler’s hairiest hellraisers, JF Pelchat. Influenced by skateboard trucks, he developed a binding that pivots through the middle in order to better transfer the weight to the edges of the snowboard. The baseplate (which comes with a lifetime guarantee) rocks gently from heel to toe as you turn, as rubber bushings transfer the energy down to the deck.
The guys behind NOW argue that a traditional binding loses a lot of that energy in the baseplate itself, and that the measures you might take to compensate this (such as cranking the bindings down or using a stiffer highback) will all take their toll on your feet over time. So does it work? You’d only have to ask NOW’s legion of devotees, a list that includes some of the gnarliest freeriders on the planet. The NOW IPO was the first binding in the range, and is still going strong. This year it’s rocking a slightly softer disc plate made with 50% fibreglass, as well as a ‘Flex Hinge’ highback that better fits the natural shape of a rider’s lower leg. There are lots of other clever bits and bobs on show, but really it’s the unique ‘Skate Tech’ that will determine whether you’ll get on with these or not. There’s no excuse not to give it a go though; the IPO is a truly unisex binding with a comprehensive range of sizes, making it the weapon of choice for Devun Walsh and Helen Schettini alike. Plus this year it has dropped in price by a full 25 quid – not too shabby.