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Bindings

Jones Mercury 2020-2021 Snowboard Bindings Review

  • Price: £315 / €350 / $350
  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Flex: 5-8/10
  • Entry System: Classic

Why we chose the Jones Mercury Snowboard Bindings: A binding that suits all-mountain chargers as much as sidecountry surfers

You only need to cast your mind back a couple of seasons to a time when Jeremy had his own signature snowboard bindings from NOW. While the patented SkateTech remains present on both the Mercury and Apollo models, the finer details of his own brand binders are unmistakenly that of the Jones school of thought. The Mercury is the most versatile, mid-flexing and all-mountain friendly of two, offering riders the choice of dialling up the freeride functionality or letting the surf-inspired tech do its thing.

If you’re already a fan of SkateTech, you can skip through to the next paragraph; for anyone who’s unfamiliar, it’s time to climb out from underneath that rock you’ve been sheltering under for the past ten seasons and embrace one of the biggest revolutions in snowboard binding history. The binding hanger is attached to a recycled carbon post, via a central kingpin. This allows for a subtle – albeit highly effective – leverage motion which transfers power directly out to the four contact bushing. The result is an immediate and efficient edge to edge response without coming at the expense of foot fatigue or vice-like buckling up when it’s time to drop in.

“The Mercury is the most versatile, mid-flexing and all-mountain friendly of two”

There’s a good amount of response to the hanger. It’s constructed with a 30% glass/nylon composite, but the key thing to note is how much less material is in contact with the snowboard as a result of the post and bushings. The result is increased natural flex of the board, improved feel and, ultimately, an enhancement in the overall performance of your setup.

As is the way with Jones, products in the line are never completely reinvented but, rather, continue to evolve and tweak from season to season. Starting with the Control Flex Highback. Here, you gain the double benefits of a stiffer spin to the highback which keep carving and edge changes super responsive, but with softer side edges for improved freestyle versatility. The asymmetric design offers a little more support on the lateral side, so you’ll be able to shift your to the back of the board on toeside turns to re-create that surf-inspired mobility.

Speaking of which, the interchangeable Freeride/Surf Mode still remains and enables the Mercury to perform its own shapeshifting between a hard and fast charger to something altogether looser and more playful. To switch from freeride to surf mode, simply swap out the contact bushings to the softer density option and swap the Flip-It ankle straps over onto the other binding et voila! The Mercury then becomes far more laterally mobile with a slightly softer and smoother edge to edge feel.

“Where things have changed more substantially for the 2021 season is in the new 3D Auxtech toe straps”

Rider’s who previously owned a pair of Mercury bindings will already be familiar with this tech. Where things have changed more substantially for the 2021 season is in the new 3D Auxtech toe straps. Adopting a far lower profile construction than last season, the spiderweb style construction stretches and conforms to grip any size and shape of toe box with no chance of it coming loose – something that wasn’t always guaranteed in previous iterations of the Mercury.

That’s all rounded up with an upgrade to new asymmetric alloy buckles, which Jones claim to be more durable, user friendly and faster to get in and out of. Not exactly a headline story, but it nicely sums up what makes the Mercury such a great option for so many riders – always improving, never complacent, and the kind of attention to detail that ironically takes all the attention away from itself and puts it back into the pure stoke of riding.

Tester Verdict 2020/21

Ed BlomfieldEditor-At-Large, Whitelines

As you’d expect from a product bearing the name of the most famous big mountain snowboarder in history, reliability and response are the watchwords here. The Mercury has excellent build quality, a very comfy heel strap and a super grippy toe strap, too. They held my feet nice and snugly and offered rapid response without being scarily stiff. They would suit all-mountain riders with a penchant for going fast and cranking out big turns.

Jeremy has been a convert to the SkateTech system for years, which should reassure any remaining sceptics. Perhaps it was the bushings, though, but I can’t say it was massively noticeable on the Mercury compared to the NOW Select Pro’s I tried earlier the same day. They just… worked. And when it comes to bindings, that is all the praise you need.

Tester’s Verdict 2019/20

Rob McCreathWhitelines

“The Jones Mercury sits somewhere around the level of the NOW Drive, making it a really versatile all-rounder to suit most styles and abilities of rider. They don’t scream freestyle the same way that a pair of Unions might, but there’s enough flex and mobility going on to definitely bring a little flair to your riding.

Where the bindings really come to life is on big, wide-open turns – piste or powder. No, you won’t be overly aware of any kind of “pivotting motion”, but you’ll very much appreciate the dampening from the contact bushings. Riding these bindings makes you feel like your feet are much closer to the edge of the board, and therefore able to generate the same response through the turn with less effort.

The FlipIt Straps are a stroke of genius and offer two different riding styles in one. For me, it’s all about the lower strap option for increased surfy flex and steeze. Other riders will prefer the stiffer strap position, but that’s exactly what makes the Mercury such a solid all-round option.

“Where the bindings really come to life is on big, wide-open turns – piste or powder”

I know which side of the fence I’m on when it comes to NOW bindings, so hopefully, the Jones editions will win over some more fans. Imagine how good these things will look on the Frontier!”

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