Straps and Highbacks
That molecular bushing has also been applied to the inside of the new 15 Ultra Duraflex ST highback (again, exclusive to the Ultra). The malleability of the material will facilitate any pressing and poking you get up to in the park, while also aiding edge changes.
The ankle strap on the Union Ultra is a hitherto-unseen combination of two existing designs: Union’s ubiquitous ‘exoframe’, which applies a smaller, thinner strap across the front of the ankle strap to provide extra response, and the mega-comfy ‘Forma’ option. For someone who wants to smash the jump line all day without having to soak their feet all evening, these are ideal. The toe strap, meanwhile, is as minimalist as they come, and shaped to stay put on any boot you put in it.
“The level of detail is catnip for gear nerds, but the Ultra’s real appeal is in how it feels to ride””
With its ideation-to-production process all housed under one roof (‘The Box’ facility in Italy), Union constantly looks for ways to refine what is already a seriously impressive line of binders. The Ultra signals a high-watermark for its freestyle range, with features that we expect to see rolled out elsewhere in the range before long.
The level of detail (including the published weight in grams) is catnip for gear nerds, but the Ultra’s real appeal is in how it feels to ride, be it in the park or elsewhere.
- Plenty of bleeding-edge tech on display, and none of it gimmicky
- Durability, thy name is Union
- There’s no forward lean adjustment system, if that’s something you look for
Joy Dutch – Whitelines
“These bindings felt really nice to ride a little looser in the straps, really pliable and mellow flex-wise and they encourage you to really try and manoeuvre the board under your feet. I like a softer binding, and these are nice and flexy in the highback for jibby riding and playful park riding. They felt quite damp underfoot, you can feel the footbed doing its job when you’re slapping into landings but they don’t feel squidgy like some other models.
The only gripe I had with these was that the heel cup seemed weirdly small? I have a UK4 / EU37 boot and was riding the size Small and I had to try and stomp my boot into it. It was so tight width-wise that I’m not sure if it was a faulty pair or something. I have always ridden small Union’s and I rode the same size in the Trilogy and it was absolutely fine. So, word of advice if you’re on the cusp of a size, I’d say go up rather than down.”
Riley Goodwin – Marketing Manager, Union Binding Company
“The all-new Ultra utilizes the latest in Union’s manufacturing capabilities and materials to redefine how a freestyle binding should ride and interact with your snowboard boots. Inspired by running shoes, Union’s new molecular bushing is the key ingredient to the Ultra’s super cushioned ride feel. In addition to the baseplate, we’re also using the molecular bushing in the Ultra’s highback to provide increased flexibility for freestyle riding. Tested and trusted by Union professionals Gigi Rüf, Scott Stevens and Jess Kimura.”