Straps and Highbacks
The whole F1 vibe steps up a notch with the highback. It’s a single piece of carbon-infused nylon that doubles as the heel hoop, delivering hair-trigger response on the heel edge. Riders who like to get low down the fall line and need maximum support for burly backcountry lines will dig it. The asymmetrical shape fits your boot naturally, and this being Flow it reclines at the flick of a lever, enabling quick entry and exit from the rear. The system has been refined endlessly over the years and now includes Active Strap Tech to raise the straps automatically when the highback is reclined, granting you a little more space to shove your boot in.
Speaking of the straps, in keeping with the aggressive nature of this model, the NX2 Carbon deploys a stiff and lightweight Exo Frame Pro design with AuxTech cells which expand uniformly around the foot, eliminating the need for extra padding. There are two options to choose from here: the Fusion version is closer to the classic Flow design, a broad one-piece strap that’s easy to slip your boot under and which gives a more ‘top down’, locked in fit; or the Hybrid version, which looks and feels closer to a regular binding strap, with more lateral flex (read: tweakability) and a toe cap that pulls your boot back into the binding. The Hybrid will appeal to riders making the move to Flow for the first time, and although it can require a little extra effort on entry, we found its more relaxed fit brought some welcome freestyle balance to what is primarily a less-than-forgiving freeride binding.
Aluminium Slap Ratchets let you set the fit out of the box and then lock the strap in place for the same tension every lap. Of course, you can still make adjustments on the fly or even swerve the whole rear entry thing and use the NX2 Carbon like a regular binding – for instance if the slope is too steep to flip the highback down.
“Carbon makes everything cooler”
Flow’s new flagship takes a tried and trusted speed entry design and cranks up the response level to 11. It’s a recipe that’s sure to please advanced riders whose idea of a good time is clocking a ton of laps on steep faces, whether on or off-piste.
So, should you buy it? As a wise man once said, be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.
But trust me on the carbon.
- Top-end aggressive response
- Super lightweight