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Bindings

NOW Pilot 2019-2020 Snowboard Bindings Review

  • Sizes: S, M, L
  • Flex: 7
  • Entry System: Classic
  • Price: €300
  • BUY ONLINE

The Pilot arguably sits as the most versatile binding in NOW’s line. It has all the characteristics and construction of a binding that’s ready to charge hard on the pistes and the backcountry, whilst remaining equipped with all the versatility and customisation to turn it into a freestyle flexing fun wagon.

If you don’t know how Skate Tech works, where’ve you been all this time? What started out as a brain fart and a Franken-binding ended up kick-starting a revolution in the industry and redefined how binding tech can enhance board performance.

“Instead of cranking straps as tight as possible and generating leverage on the highback to make turns, NOW rely on a central hanger where the binding can very subtly pivot between the edges and apply pressure directly down and out to the contact bushings”

Instead of cranking straps as tight as possible and generating leverage on the highback to make turns, NOW rely on a central hanger where the binding can very subtly pivot between the edges and apply pressure directly down and out to the contact bushings. The result is increased feel, power and efficiency, all bundled up in a responsive, surfy, ride.

The Flexhinge 2.0 highback delivers enough response for even the most demanding rider’s needs, and contours the back of your boot to deliver close contact meaning immediate response on the heelside edge. The hinge towards the top offers just a little more suppleness to make more creative riding, and funky body positions, more than doable; all without getting chucked back onto the toe edge.

The new super grippy, mouldable 3D Contour toe straps are the only change to the Pilots this year, but well worth a mention. Past issues with the straps coming loose are completely resolved with these ones, whether you wear them on top or over the ends of your boot. Lastly, the FlipIt heel straps allow you to interchange the straps between each binding to swap between a stiffer, responsive ride, or upturned for a lower fitting, looser feel.

Tester’s Verdict

Neil McNairMcNair Snowsports

“Finally, the toe straps stay on! Thank you NOW for introducing a new toe strap that expands and stretches over the ends of your boots. For me, this is a game-changer.

“Finally, the toe straps stay on!”

I love the feel of the skate tech and how your edge to edge transfer is seamless, but my toe straps were constantly slipping off on the old model. No more, no more. They are suckered on and not going anywhere. Double thumbs up.”

Tester’s Verdict

Stella PenttiWhitelines

“I rode the Pilots together with a powder board on a powder day, and even though these things might not be built for that specific purpose, they worked really well for it.

“They were very responsive and gave my turns a lot of power on the pistes”

Even if they rate a bit higher on the stiffness rate, I don’t remember finding these bindings to be awkwardly stiff for turning. They were very responsive and gave my turns a lot of power on the pistes.

You can really tell the difference when you’re riding a Skate-tech binding – they allow a bit more freedom to your movement in general… which makes you feel a bit more free.”

Tester’s Verdict 2018/19

Andrew Duthiewhitelines.com

“I test at least one pair of NOW bindings every year, in the hope that I’ll have a Road To Damascus moment and fall in line with the “these are so good I’d never go back to regular bindings” crowd. No such luck so far.

“On Endor-style tight tree runs, where the margin for error was non-existent, the response these offered saw me safely through each time”

Having said that, the Pilot bindings – like all NOW models I’ve had a go on – are comfortable, responsive and have great cushioning – so what’s the problem? Whether it’s all down to the Skate-Tech, or it’s got more to do with the materials used, these work really well.

I rode them pretty much exclusively in powder, so won’t speak to their ability in the park, but they felt very comfy and secure all day. The stiffness was great for higher speeds too; we did a fair bit of Endor-style tight tree runs, where the margin for error was almost non-existent, and the response these offered saw me safely through each time.

So while I’m not yet ready to be a ‘NOW or Never’ rider, I’d happily ride a pair of these all winter long.”

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