After ten years in the binding game, Union has become one of the industry’s biggest names. It sum up its ethos in one word – ‘Stronger’ – and its ultra-reliable products are now favoured by some of the sport’s true superstars including Travis Rice, Gigi Ruf and Torstein Horgmo. You’ll also see them keeping UK hero Sascha Hamm locked to his board as he negotiates some of the planet’s gnarliest faces as part of the Freeride World Tour.
Given that the binding is your main line of communication to the board that you ride, it’s not to be taken lightly that Union is the brand in which these heavy hitters put their trust. The name of this particular model refers to the binding’s minimal contact with the board, which is designed to increase feel and allow the natural flex of the deck to remain as unhindered as possible. The base of the binding is on the soft side, adding to the effect and working particularly well with rocker and hybrid camber boards.
The highbacks are asymmetrical, with added support when the weight is pushed towards the outside of the binding during presses and butters. While this all makes it ideal for mini-shred, it’s supportive enough to handle high speeds and big booters too. This binding – and the colourway seen here – is the choice of the perennially popular American snowboarder Scott Stevens, who’s invented more tricks than most of us will ever land. The fact that he’s just as happy pinging off powder kickers as he is getting creative on small features should give you an idea of what a do-anything binder the Contact really is. Another option, should you have a bigger budget and a desire for something a bit more high-end, is the Contact Pro.