- Price: £239 / €269
- Sizes: S, M, L
- Flex: 6
- Entry System: Classic
Given that it’s designed by ‘The Colonel’ JF Pelchat, and is a tribute to the veritable army of pro riders he’s worked with over the years, calling this binding the NOW Brigade makes a lot of sense.
"The NOW Brigade is one of only two binders to feature the new Asym SIEVA ankle strap"
The NOW Brigade first appeared last year, aimed squarely at the freestyle market. It’s got a halfway-house flex that allows you to get creative, but if you’d rather hammer this at full pelt it’ll happily oblige.
That’s mostly down to the ‘Skate Tech’ chassis, which rocks from edge to edge as you ride. This makes the NOW Brigade better at handling choppy terrain at teeth-chattering speed, as a lot of the vibrations are soaked up by the bushings that sit over the heel and toe edge. There’s no need to hold back, as the system has a lifetime guarantee.
There’s a lot of asymmetry going on here too. As well as the highback that’s slightly higher on the inside of each calf for improved support, the NOW Brigade is one of only two binders (the other being the NOW Conda women’s binding to feature the new Asym SIEVA ankle strap. Made from a single construction of shock-absorbing EVA, it can be swapped with the one on the other foot to fine-tune the amount of support.
Freestyle fans looking for something a bit different should definitely check out the NOW Brigade.
“This is a reassuringly well-built binding with solid buckles and a wide, ergonomic heel strap featuring plenty of cushioning. Strapping in, it felt comfortable and secure, while the toe strap fit snugly over the end of my boot with no awkward gaps – exactly how I like it.
"One definite positive was a lack of noticeable pressure points or aches after a whole morning’s shredding"
The hinged ‘Skate-Tech’ design is definitely eye-catching, but the actual effects are subtle – don’t expect it to feel like riding around on a skateboard with loose trucks. Instead, the bushings generate more of a gently cushioned ride, smoothing out the worst of the bumps and offering edge-to-edge response that felt (to my senses) pretty similar to a regular binding; no additional lag, but not radically faster either.
One definite positive was a lack of noticeable pressure points or aches after a whole morning’s shredding – NOW claim that Skate-Tech induces less foot fatigue and (thanks to improved heel edge efficiency) enables them to deploy a shorter highback that’s less likely to start digging in. On this score they seem to be onto something."