Union Force 2023-2024 Snowboard Bindings Review

Tested and selected for our top 100 snowboard products of the year: the Union Force

  • Price: £290
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Flex: 7/10
  • Entry System: Classic

Why We Chose The Union Force: Perhaps the most tried and trusted snowboarding on the market just got an update – and it’s better than ever.

It’s hard to believe that the Union Force is celebrating its 20th anniversary. This no-nonsense, do-it-all binding is the model that forged the company’s name, and aside from one major update in 2013 they’ve not messed with it much down the years. In part, that’s because changing factory moulds is a seriously expensive business (an aspect of product design that’s generally obscured from consumers, who get presented with a new strap here or a fresh colorway there) but in the case of the bestselling Force, there was very little to improve upon. The announcement of a third generation design that promised to perfect the winning formula was big news, then. And damned if they haven’t just done it.

“It would be easier to put a list together of who this binding is NOT for”

Who Are The Union Force For?

It would be easier to put a list together of who this binding is NOT for (namely, people who don’t snowboard). The Force is the binding of the people, the VW Golf of binders, the one you buy when you just want the things to work, season after season. OK, there are lighter or stiffer options out there – speed entry systems, too – but this reliable and mid-flexing two-strap design will do the job for 90 percent of all-mountain riders.




The upgrades begin with Union’s Stage 9 Duraflex ST baseplate, made from bombproof nylon to bring durability and response with just enough lateral flex to allow you to tweak. The biggest change here comes underfoot, with an all-new EVA bushing sandwiched into the construction to provide even better dampening. An updated canted footbed takes care of any additional shocks and is made from a waterproof non-stick material that prevents ice and snow build-up.

It’s nice to see that they’ve stuck with an extruded aluminium heelcup, which always added to the original Force’s tough-as-nails appeal – you’ve got a better chance of cracking a crypto wallet as you do these bindings. Indeed, the whole chassis (baseplate and heelcup) is covered by Union’s lifetime warranty. Universal ‘Camber Disks’ are compatible with any board on the market, including Burton’s Channel system.

Overall, there’s a smarter, more technical look to the new design; grab a pair in white and for the full stormtrooper effect.

“Overall, there’s a smarter, more technical look to the new design; grab a pair in white and for the full stormtrooper effect”

Straps and Highback

With its grill of holes, there are echoes of the OG Force in the new Duraflex ST highback. Look closer though and this is an altogether more fine-tuned piece of tech. It features a four-layer construction to dial in the flex and response, with more of that non-stick EVA on the inside to eliminate snow clumping. From heel to toe the highback is plenty stiff enough for most riders, while torsionally it’s more forgiving and freestyle-friendly. The forward lean adjuster is minimalist, intuitive and tools-free.

The new Exoframe 6.0 ankle strap also takes a layered approach, combining comfy form-fitting material next to the boot with a tougher plastic frame to boost control. In a nice touch, the padding wraps all the way around the edge of the frame to ensure there are no nasty pressure points. Magnesium buckles shave a gram or two from the weight and offer a buttery smooth action that’s been perfected over two decades now.

The toe strap has been upgraded, too, for a better fit with any snowboard boot. It’s a lightweight, hole-punched design featuring matching magnesium buckles.

“The Force is such an iconic binding that redesigning it comes with no little risk”


The Force is such an iconic binding that redesigning it comes with no little risk. Union have wisely taken a Porsche 911 approach; from the outside, it’s still unmistakably got that Force DNA, but the new version benefits from the very latest tech. Whether the build quality will prove as supremely reliable as its predecessor only time will tell, but initial impressions are good. Riders of all abilities and styles – from soul surfers to podium chasers – will find everything they need and more in this eye-catching refresh.


  • Bold redesign brings this beloved binding bang up to date
  • Brilliantly versatile


  • Higher price tag than its predecessor


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