Straps and Highbacks
The pockmarked ‘Progressive flex’ highback is fairly stiff at the bottom, giving you instant response when moving to your heel edge. However, it mellows out as you move up the binding, avoiding the ‘locked-in’ feel you sometimes get with uber-rigid carbon highbacks.
The ‘Comfort flex’ ankle straps, which (as the name suggests) feature a bit more padding than what you’d normally find on a Jones binding. They don’t go overboard though, so you still get plenty of response, and they’ve been specifically shaped to hug your boot without any unwanted stretching as you rack up the miles.
They’re asymmetrical in design, meaning you can swap them over to significantly change how they work. Ride with the more substantial part of the strap higher up the boot and you get more support, especially on the toe side. Swap ‘em over and that scaffolding is gone, freeing you up for increased ankle flex and surfier turns.
The toe straps serve their purpose, and feature less material this year with no compromise on boot hold.
“Skate-Tech sends energy straight to the edges rather than passing through the middle of the snowboard”
Prior, we’d have said that Jones’ small range of bindings was already doing a pretty good job of catering to all riding styles. The Jones Orion hasn’t changed that, but it has offered enough fresh designs and tech to make us sit up and take notice all the same.
The kind of rider it caters for is legion – and that’s even before you consider the customisation options offered by the straps and bushings. Meanwhile the performance is top drawer, so expect to see plenty of pairs on the mountain next season.
- Mellow freeriding is the future, and these bindings are the Delorean that’ll get you there
- It’s the most Jones has prioritised comfort in a binding
- These only come with the hard bushings, which seems an odd choice
Seth Lightcap – Nidecker Group
“The goal of the Orion was to make the perfect binding for the freestyle hungry freerider who’s style and terrain preferences defy definition. For line bombing and exploring the steeps, the Orion is built around our most advanced Hangar 3.0 that delivers instantaneous energy transfer to your edges. But matched with that precision turn performance is an overall flex that doesn’t feel out of place in the terrain park. This is a binding you can hand plant and straight line on! The secret to the Orion’s epic all-around performance is the new Progressive Flex High Back, plus two new strap designs. The high back has a stiff bottom half for supreme stability and a softer top half for maximum tweak-ability. The straps are both 3D molded so they are low profile and offer the perfect amount of strap tension without any pressure points. Who says you can’t have it all? The Orion is your new everyday, any board binding.”