Hello and welcome to my NOW Drive Pro bindings review.
In this review, I will take a look at the Drive Pro as all-mountain-freeride snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Drive Pro a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain-freeride bindings.
Binding: NOW Drive Pro 2024
Flex Rating: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Flex Feel on Snow: Medium-Stiff (7.5/10)
Rating Score: 86.7/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain-Freeride Bindings
Out of the 20 men’s all-mountain-freeride bindings that I rated:
Overview of the Drive Pro’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Drive Pro’s specs and available sizes.
2x4 | 4x4 | Channel
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
Who is the Drive Pro Most Suited To?
The Drive Pro are best suited to those who want to really lay over their carves and need bindings that will support that, whether at higher or more moderate speed, but also want to ride more casual at times and need some forgiveness and good slow speed response for slower, shorter/sharper turns.
The Drive Pro has a knack at being good at both, which is tricky and not something that every binding achieves. So if turning/carving, whether at high or lower speeds is your priority and everything else is secondary, then these might be your new favorite bindings - particularly if you also value high-end shock absorption, which these have in spades!
If you like your bindings to have lots of board feel for ollies and butters, then they're not as suitable but for every other factor we tested, they performed well.
Not for beginners. Too stiff for that, but the way they're able to be hard charging but still with some forgiveness still makes them intermediate doable.
Best matched with boards in that 5.5/10 to 8.5/10 flex range and even better suited to boards around 6.5/10 to 7.5/10.
The Drive Pro in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Drive Pro are capable of.
Binding: NOW Drive Pro 2024, M
Date: April 13, 2023
Overcast with occasional very light flurries of snow and occasional sun breaking through at other times.
Temperature was -3°C (27°F) and -8°C (18°F) with wind, in the morning apparently, but didn't feel that cold. -2°C (28°F) and -5°C (23°F) with wind, in the afternoon.
24 hour snow: 0" (0cm)
48 hour snow: 5" (13cm)
7 day snow: 32" (81cm)
On groomer: Soft packed with hard underneath higher up. Got a little slushy lower down, later in the day.
Off groomer: Decent higher up but icy/ crunchy lower down (slush from yesterday froze overnight, I'm guessing).
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 560mm (22″)
Board tested with: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
Boots tested with: Adidas Response ADV, size US9.5
Footbed length: 24.6cm (9.7”)
Footbed Length Fully Extended: n/a
Baseplate Length (underside): 23.8cm (9.4")
Highback Height: 20cm (7.9”)
Weight: 860 grams (1lbs, 14oz)
* for one binding, including screws and disc. The average weight of a small sample size of around 80 bindings (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 & 2024 models) I have weighed is 920 grams (2lbs). So the Drive Pro was a little lighter than average on scales and felt normal on snow.
Control Bindings: Burton Malavita, M
In Hand: Surprisingly the highback had quite a bit of twist flex to it. More than the Jones Orion, Jones Meteorite and NOW Select Pro (all of which turned out to feel softer flexing overall on snow, but their highback twist flex felt stiffer). Vs my control bindings, the Burton Malavita, also had more twist flex than them, but that's pretty normal as they are actually pretty stiff on a twist.
In terms of pulling back on the highback though, the Drive Pro was the stiffest of all those mentioned above, except the Malavita, which it was the same as.
The Drive Pros ankle strap felt slightly stiffer than the Select Pro and Orion and about the same as the Meteorite. The toe strap felt softer than both the Orion and Meteorite and pretty similar to the Select Pros toe strap (maybe a hair stiffer).
On Snow: More importantly, on snow, the Drive Pro was easily the stiffest of all bindings mentioned. They didn't feel ultra stiff or anything and had some forgiveness but felt just that touch stiffer than what I'd usually feel as a 7, but not enough to get it to an 8.
Felt amazing on a carve. Made a real difference vs Malavita and all the other bindings we tested around the same time (the Select Pro and Orion were close, but not quite as good). They came in just under the kind of flex that would have made Terrain Wrecker feel twitchy - and they made that board feel like a better carver than it normally is.
This was expected, but still nice to have. What wasn't expected was how good these felt at slower speeds. They felt just as good as the Malavita, despite being that much better on a carve. If turning is your biggest thing, then these bindings cover both high speed carves and slow speed short/sharp turns really well.
I'm not a big fan of the board feel from NOW/Jones bindings, so it was no surprise that these didn't feel as good for this factor as my control bindings. But they were equally as good as the Orion and Select Pro for this. The Meteorite actually had slightly better board feel than most NOW/Jones I've ridden, but still not as good as Malavita.
They feel like they have a bit of a dead spot laterally and medially.
Not as easy to ollie as with Malavita and I wasn't able to generate as much power on an ollie. Largely due to that dead spot laterally and medially, I would say.
Heel Cup: No
Stance Width: They don't have a minidisc, but there’s a fairly narrow space where the screws go, so not a massive amount of stance width adjustment. But it's OK.
Highback Lean: Yes - toolless.
Ankle Strap Position: A lot of NOW/Jones bindings you can flip the straps over and get either a more responsive, more supportive feel or a looser/surfier feel. I wasn't able to confirm if these do that or not.
Toe Strap Position: No
Ankle and toe strap length: Yes as is the case with every binding - toolless.
Gas pedal/toe ramp extension: No
Highback Rotation: No
Compatible with: 2x4 | 4x4 | Channel
Not a lot of adjustability, but they do come with two different bushings that you can swap out (medium and hard) to adjust the feel of them. I rode them with the hard bushings in.
As is the case with all NOW/Jones bindings, these things had great shock absorption. Just really freaking good for both shock and chatter absorption.
The padding was thinner than it is on some other NOW/Jones bindings, likely because these are more dialed for response, but that didn't seem to reduce their shock absorption at all, not that I could detect, anyway.
Felt really good getting in and out. Ratchets weren't the smoothest ever, but they were as smooth as you'd ever need them. They released easily when unstrapping on the move, approaching the chairlift.
And they have a cool hinge feature that allows both the ankle strap and toe strap top open right out, so they don't get in the way when you're strapping in. Makes it nice and easy. This isn't unique in the binding world, but the first time I've seen it (other than the other NOW/Jones bindings I tested around the same time) on both the ankle and toe straps. So that was cool. Did make a difference, getting those straps right out of the way.
Overall nice and comfortable. I'd say not quite as comfortable as my Malavitas, mostly because I had a mild pressure point on top of one of my feet.
Ankle Strap: The ankle strap feels really nice. I like that NOW are now doing honeycomb straps and not material ones. Conformed nicely to boot. Did have a mild pressure point on one foot, but it wasn't anything major and was probably just a little bit of an overcrank.
Toe Strap: Didn't notice toe strap when riding, which is a good thing. Conformed well to my boots.
Canted Footbed: No
Padded Footbed: Really good padding, as is typical from NOW - and overall just next level shock/chatter absorption, which should reduce fatigue over a long day of riding.
Highback: A little bit of padding on the lateral side of highback, but nowhere else. Main thing though, is that I didn't get any calf bite.
If the straps flip, which I didn't confirm, they were certainly in freeride mode, when I rode in them and the support was really decent. Not fully locked-in or super high up the ankle or anything, but really good support still (and I don't like too much of a locked-in feeling, so they were about right for me).
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
SLOW SPEED RESPONSE
TOTAL after normalizing
Now's Drive Pro give you extra carving performance that made my board feel like a significantly better carver than it usually does, but at the same time manages to perform really well for slow speed short/sharp turns as well. A tricky balance that they achieved really well in my time in them.
They aren't super good for board feel/ollies/butters, but other than that they don't have any major weaknesses apart from some limitations in adjustability.
And, like all NOW/Jones bindings we've tested, they have really high-end shock/chatter absorption.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to check out some other all-mountain-freeride type bindings or want to compare the Drive Pro to others, check out the next link.