By now you may have heard the story of how Whistler legend JF Pelchat applied ideas from the world of skateboarding to binding design, creating the NOW brand. The NOW Drive binding is popular with some of freeriding’s biggest names, including Jeremy Jones. In fact, Jez has had a lot of input in this year’s version, to the point that he’s put his name to it.
As you might expect, it’s been built to handle high speeds, with a fairly stiff flex and a sturdy build. New for this year is the stitch-free hybrid ‘Flipit’ ankle strap, so called because you can swap the left and right one round to change the properties of the binding.
When the larger bit of material is on the top, you get more support, and when it’s on the bottom it’s better for freestyle. Given the tool-less system, changing it up on the fly is always an option.
Of course, the standout feature is the ‘Skate Tech’; inspired by skateboard trucks, you can gently rock these from edge to edge thanks to the pivot point in the middle and the rubber bushings on either side.
You can change the bushings to fine-tune the amount of dampening, so whether you’re a hell-for-leather charger or a clinical carver, as long as you’ve got the cash then you’ll find what you need with the Drive.
“Being a skateboarder, I like the thought of anything snowboard-related using skateboarding technology. Although I couldn't really feel the pivot of the binding when riding, I loved the flex and feeling of these.
I’m a fan of the medium flex which gives you enough support for all situations without being uncomfortable. The highbacks have a little more height than last year, giving you the support needed should you come across some freakish ice patches on your perfect powder run!
The fit is pretty snug around the ankle so does take a bit of getting used to, but the shape of the straps and the shock absorbers make for a really comfortable ride."
"Although I couldn't really feel the pivot of the binding when riding, I loved the flex and feeling of these"