Hello and welcome to my Union Falcor review.
In this review I will take a look at the Falcor as all-mountain-freeride snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Falcor a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain-freeride bindings.
Bindings: Union Falcor
Price: $399 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Flex Feel: Medium-Stiff (7.5/10)
Rating Score: 89.9/100
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 Falcor’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Falcor’s specs and available sizes.
A little lighter than normal
2 x 4 | Channel
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
UK BOOT SIZE
Who are the Falcor Most Suited To?
The Falcor are best suited to anyone looking for a responsive binding for hard charging but a binding that doesn't make you charge hard all the time. Something that you can still ride a little more casually on. And something you can still experience good board feel with.
Matches best to boards in that 6/10 to 8/10 flex range, IMO.
Not for beginners - too stiff for that. High end intermediate and up, IMO.
The Falcor in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Falcor are capable of.
Binding: Union Falcor 2022, M
Date: February 24, 2021
Conditions: Sunny! As in not a single cloud. Perfect visibility.
-4°C (25°F) and -4°C (25°F) with wind chill (as in no wind!). Felt warmer than that because of the sun.
Snow was pretty good for the most part. On groomer some harder spots but mostly medium. Off groomer medium with some crunchy spots.
24 hour snow: 2cm (0.75")
7 day snow: 45cm (18")
On groomer: Hard but not icy.
Off groomer: Crunchy with some icy patches
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 555mm (22″)
Board tested with: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
Boots tested with: Adidas Tactical ADV, size US9.5
Baseplate Length: 25.5cm (10”)*
*measured on the top side of the footbed - 23cm (9") at base of baseplate.
Highback Height: 21cm (8.3”)*
* from bottom of heel cup to top of highback
Height from top of footbed to top of highback: 26.7cm (10.5")
Weight: 840g (1lb 13oz)
* for one binding, including screws and disc. The average weight of a small sample size of around 45 bindings (2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022 models) I weighed, was 890 grams. The lightest was 680 grams and the heaviest was 1,160grams. So the Falcor are a little lighter than average.
Previously with Union bindings I've had to sink a screw without a washer first, then sink the 3 other screws and then remove that first screw and add the washer back before re-sinking it. I didn't have that issue on the 2022 Falcor, so that was nice to just be able to sink it easily without first having to sink one washer-less.
Still need a screw for high-back lean. Not a big deal if you set it and forget it. But if you're someone who likes to adjust the highback position depending, then it's a bit of a pain.
They're a little stiffer than I remember them for sure. The highback and straps are noticeably stiffer than on the 2019 model I own. But the overall flex when riding is only subtly stiffer. I think that's likely because the baseplate isn't as stiff.
Union rate the baseplate 7/10, the highback 9/10 and the straps 8/10. All round it's a 7.5/10 for me, so I think that baseplate probably has the most influence on overall flex, when riding?
You can really rail carves with these bindings. Noticeably better on a big carve versus my control bindings. And all the changes to this binding hasn't affected it's ability when it comes to bombing and charging.
However, I did notice that they aren't as easy to maneuver with at slower speeds. They're not really bad in that area, but a little worse than they used to be. They still have a good balance between being able to bomb and still help you to ride your board slower as well, but don't sit in quite the sweet spot that they used to, IMO. Previously they didn't seem to have to compromise on either slow riding or hard charging.
They still have really good board feel and the changes don't seem to have affected that at all, by my feel. Great bindings for those who want something fairly stiff, but still want good board feel and still want to be able to butter.
They have a little more power for ollies than my control binings - which is saying something because my control bindings aren't bad in this area. So really good for helping to get that pop out of your board. Of course a binding is never going to transform a boards pop to a large extent, but the Falcor's allow you to eek out just a little more pop.
Heel Cup: Yes - which is great for getting your heel and toe overhang centered
Stance Width: With the mini-discs can't run the disc vertically - but there's no need to have that, with the adjustable heel cup (you'd typically only run vertically for boot centering). So with the disc running horizontally it gives you some stance width adjustability. However, being a mini-disc it's somewhat limited.
Highback Lean: Yes, but still not tool-less
Ankle Strap Position: No
Toe Strap Position: Yes
Ankle and toe strap length: Yes and tool-less
Gas pedal/toe ramp extension: No
Highback Rotation: Yes- and this is new for 2022 model. Previous models didn't have independent highback rotation. There are only 2 slots, but it's better than nothing, if you like to rotate your highbacks.
Compatible with: 2 x 4 | The Channel (not compatible with 4 x 4, which means doesn't work on "slam back inserts" "float packs" - anything that has an extra set of holes 4cm behind the main insert pack and not compatible with 4 x 4 insert packs, though those are very rare these days).
Let's Break this text up with a video
A good amount of padding in the footbed. And that padding is nice and "reboundy".
In practice when actually riding, this translates into some really shock absorption. For both bad landings and for absorbing chatter these bindings are up there.
Nice smooth ratchets. A little smoother than on my 2019 Falcors. Similar smoothness to my control bindings (Burton Malavita).
Overall very comfortable. Most importantly there was no pressure points or calf bite that I experienced.
Ankle Strap: Conforms nicely and zero pressure points.
Toe Strap: Ditto
Canted Footbed: Yes
Padded Footbed: Good spring/padding in the footbed.
Highback: Padding right at the top, but nowhere else, but all round didn't feel any calf bite or discomfort, and that's the main thing.
Ankle support is decent on these bindings. Ankle strap sits just a little lower than on my control bindings and some might prefer more support higher on their ankle, but all round I found it really good.
Changes for 2023 Model
As far as I can tell the 2023 model is the same as the 2022 model apart from some new colorways.
Changes for 2022 Model
- New Highback (Falcor Forged Hybrid 2.0): This is the biggest change. It's stiffer for starters. It's also thicker in the "Y" section of the highback. And where the "Y" connects to the rest of the rest of the highback looks to be a much more solid connection (particularly around where it connects with the Flad. The connection is quite minimal on previous models. I haven't had any issues with my 2019s but maybe some were - or maybe they just decided to make that area stronger.
- New ankle strap (Exoframe 5.0): Feels noticeably stiffer than previous ankle straps.
- New toe strap (TS 4.0+)
- Plus new ratchets, flad (forward lean adjuster) and non-stick EVA on the gas pedal. Flad is still not tool-less, unfortunately.
- Now has highback rotation. This wasn't a change published by Union - but you can now rotate the highback. There are only 2 slots, so there's not a lot of micro adjustability there, but you can adjust it a little, which you couldn't previously do.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
SLOW SPEED RESPONSE
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall the Falcor's are beasts - and they can help you really lean into your carves, but at the same time aren't bad for riding slow either. 2022 models a little worse for riding slow than previous models, but still not bad.
And if you value shock absorption and board feel but still want that stiffer flex, then chances are pretty good you'll like the Falcor.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to see how the Falcor compares to other men’s all-mountain-freeride bindings or want to check out some other options in that category, check out the next link.