Hello and welcome to my Flux XF bindings review.
In this review, I will take a look at the XFs as freeride snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the XFs a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other freeride bindings.
Bindings: Flux XF 2018
Price: $295 (USD recommended retail)
Other Uses: All-Mountain-Freeride
Flex Rating: Medium-Stiff (4/5)
Flex Feel: Medium-Stiff (8/10)
Rating Score: 90.9/100
Compared to other Freeride Bindings
Out of the 10 men’s freeride bindings that I rated:
- The average score was 85.5/100
- The highest score was 92.5/100
- The lowest score was 76.9/100
- The average price was $397
- The XFs ranked 3rd out of 10
Check out the table below for the available sizes for the XFs.
|Size||Fits Men’s US Boot Sizes||Euro Boot Sizes||UK Boot Sizes|
|Extra-Small||3.0 - 5.5||33.0 - 37.5||2.0 - 4.5|
|Small||5.0 - 7.5||36.5 - 40.0||4.0 - 6.5|
|Medium||7.0 - 9.5||39.0 - 43.0||6.0 - 8.5|
|Large||9.0 - 13.0||42.0 - 47.5||8.0 - 12.0|
Who are the XFs Most Suited to?
The XFs are perfect for anyone who’s looking for bindings that are responsive and comfortable but want something that still has a little bit of forgiveness – something that’s stiff but not ultra-stiff.
They’re also great for anyone who wants that response and a good bit of stiffness but still want to have good board feel. The XFs manage both of those things.
So they’re perfect for anyone who wants to charge the whole mountain and the backcountry hard – but also want to be able to take them through the park on occasion and/or generally slow it up and do some more freestyle type things on them when the mood takes them.
The XF in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the XFs are capable of.
Bindings: Flux XF 2018, Large
Date: April 16, 2017
Conditions: Sunshine! And plenty of it. Snow conditions were a great mix of hard spots and soft-pack on the groomers and plenty of powder to be found off groomer, making it the perfect conditions for demoing – a bit of everything. Quite cold in the morning but got quite warm in the afternoon (it was spring after all, but you’d never have known it with the amount of snow around and the cold morning!)
Bindings angles: +15/-15
The XFs are pretty stiff but have just that little bit forgiveness in them, to make them not super-stiff. I think the 4/5 that Flux give them on their flex scale (which converts to 8/10 in my head) is accurate.
Stiffer flex usually leads to greater responsiveness (but it’s not always the case or at least not always linear). It was certainly that case for the XFs. I try to ride all bindings I demo on my own board – and always after having ridden my own board with my usual bindings (which are the Flux DS from 2016).
The step up in responsiveness that I felt was huge with these bindings. They are even more responsive feeling than their flex suggests. I felt my edge-to-edge transitions were lightning fast compared to most bindings I’ve had on my board and they just gave an extra spring out of turns.
What surprised me the most about these bindings was the board feel. I expected, as is often the case with stiffer bindings, that the board feel could be somewhat lacking but they didn’t feel dead underfoot like some stiffer bindings do.
They’re actually great for taking through the park, which is what surprised me the most.
Initially when I picked up my board with these bindings the set up actually felt, to me, to be a little heavier than with my DSs. I don’t think this is actually the case as I think they weigh a similar amount but that’s what it felt like to me. But once I got on the board, the whole set up felt much lighter and springier overall.
As is typical with Flux bindings, there is heaps of adjustability with these bindings and it’s easy to do and mostly tool-less. O.k. I do own Flux bindings so I’m used to it – but I did get used to the way you adjust these bindings very quickly after buying my DSs.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
Check out more on the XF in the video below, including more about the adjustability. This video is for the 2017 model and I will update it once a 2018 version is released. The biggest difference is the straps which are honeycomb on the 2017 model and waffle straps on the 2018 model.
While Flux may typically have great adjustability, they also typically don’t have the most shock absorption – this is the only downside of these bindings. Literally the only downside.
I didn’t spend enough time on them to really be annoyed by that lack of shock absorption (and I’m used to it with my DSs) but I could feel on landings that there isn’t as much cushioning in there as there is with most other bindings I demo. But also, stiffer, more freeride oriented bindings do tend to have less cushioning generally.
There’s nothing unique or flash going on with the way you get in and out of these, but the ratchet system is super smooth, as it typically is with Flux, and that just makes it easy/fast to get in and out of.
The only thing that would make these bindings more comfortable would be a bit more cushioning in the base – but hey, this might take away some of that great board feel and response – so if you can live without that shock absorption, then you won’t miss it.
These bindings do fit super well – they have awesome toe and ankle straps that feel really nice and I’ve never felt any pressure points on any Flux bindings I’ve ridden – they have new ankle straps this year and I think they’re definitely an upgrade.
The ankle support is amazing on these bindings – you just feel completely locked-in.
They are one of the more supportive bindings that I’ve ridden. Part of this is the way the ankle straps sit (Flux’s UU fit – which is basically that the straps are mounted on the inside of the heel cup/base plate) and the other part is just that the ankle straps are super nice and conform really well across the ankle.
Changes from the 2017 Model
The main change that I noticed from the 2017 model is the new ankle straps. They XFs use Flux’s new “Waffle Strap”. At first when I looked at it, it looked just like a honeycomb strap – but on closer inspection you can see that the holes don’t go all the way through. I loved these new straps.
The other new things are:
- Footon – not exactly sure what this is but apparently it helps with board feel and snow buildup. Didn’t notice anything with snow build up – but these bindings do have great board feel – especially given their stiffness
- Beer Buckle – they have a new buckle on the straps – which also doubles as a bottle opener
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
|FACTOR||RATING (OUT OF 5)||CONTRIBUTION TO FINAL SCORE|
|TOTAL after normalizing||90.9/100|
These are nigh on perfect bindings for those looking for a mid-stiff binding that is super-responsive but also has really good board feel – so you can take it over the entire mountain and not feel like you just have to bomb hard on them all day.
The only have one obvious downside – and that’s the shock absorption (adding more in could compromise some of the board feel and/or response so maybe it’s just something to put up with?). Other than that, they’re definitely one of the better bindings that I’ve demoed and really reasonably priced for this category of binding.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the XFs, are ready to buy or want to research current prices and availability, check out the links below.
If you want to see how the XFs compare to other freeride bindings or want to check out other options, check out the next link.