Hello and welcome to my Union Force bindings review.
In this review I will take a look at the Forces as all-mountain-freeride snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Forces a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how it compares with other all mountain bindings.
Bindings: Union Force
Price: $229 (USD recommended retail)
Style: All-Mountain Freeride
Other Uses: All-Mountain, Freestyle
Flex Feel: Medium-Stiff (on the softer side of medium-stiff) – 6.5/10
Rating Score: 79.8/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain-Freeride Bindings
Out of the 13 men’s all-mountain-freeride bindings that I rated:
- The average price was $283 (USD)
- The average score was 79.8/100
- The highest score was 94.7/100
- The lowest score was 56.4/100
- The Force ranked 8th out of 13
Check out the table below for the available size for the Forces.
|Size||Fits Men’s US Boot Sizes||Euro Boot Sizes||UK Boot Sizes|
|S||5.0 - 8.5||37.0 - 41.0||4.0 - 7.5|
|M||8.0 - 11.0||40.5 - 44.0||7.0 - 10.0|
|L||10.0 & up||43.0 & up||9.0 & up|
Note that for the 2016 and earlier models Union used different sizing – the following is how the new Union sizings match with previous year’s models (2017 sizing first and prior years second).
- S = S/M
- M = M/L
- L = L/XL
Who are the Forces Most Suited to?
Union’s Force bindings are great for anyone looking for a binding in that just above mid-flex range for riding the groomers or backcountry – whether you want to ride fairly aggressively or want to ride more casual or ride freestyle – or do all of the above (as all-mountain bindings should).
The ideal snowboarder for these bindings is someone looking for one set of bindings (rather than owning separate bindings for different purposes) and that want their bindings at an affordable price, but still have good response and not be too soft.
If you have more than one board, these bindings should match well with most boards – maybe except for the flexiest street/jib boards and the stiffest freeride boards. But they’ll work well with everything in between.
The Forces in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Force’s are capable of.
Bindings: Union Force 2017, M/L
Date: March 29 & March 31
Conditions: Groomed – hard packed. Some spots of icy snow and some slushy spots. And some softer pack spots too. Conditions were quite slow in general even though it was hard pack. The wet concrete-like slush on top was enough to slow it down a fair bit. (pretty much the same both days I rode these bindings)
Bindings angles: +18/+3
The Forces are medium but really bordering on medium-stiff.
Union have two separate flex ratings. One for the high back flex and one for the base plate flex. The Force ratings are:
Base Plate: 6/10
Which is pretty accurate, I would say – they feel like they’re not quite as stiff as 7 but more than a 6.
The high backs are designed to flex more in certain spots so that you can tweak them when you want to but their stiffer in the right spots to give you some great response.
They don’t have the mini-disc like the Contacts, Contact Pros, Falcors , Ultras or Ultra FCs (in the Union line) but they still butter really well considering that. Better than other Union bindings without the mini-disc in my experience. They flex well with the board with minimal dead spot. Not as well as the Union bindings with the mini disc though.
You can adjust most parts of the binding It’s pretty easy to adjust on the fly as the adjustments are virtually all tool-less.
Assuming you pick the right size bindings for your boots, you’ll be able to dial these in for a great fit.
The shock absorption is great on these bindings. It’s another thing that Union do really well. Pretty much all of their bindings have at least great if not excellent shock absorption.
It definitely makes a difference for comfort over time and you definitely notice it if your landing jumps, dropping off lips, ollying over rollers etc all day.
Like most Union bindings, the Forces have great ratchets and this makes them pretty smooth to get on and off quickly.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
Check out the video below for more on the Union Force bindings.
There’s no canted footbed – but they are otherwise tick all the boxes comfort-wise. That’s partly down to the awesome shock absorption and partly down to quality straps and adjustability.
The straps comfortably conform to your boots and the adjustability means that you can set them up just right so that you can avoid any potential pressure points.
These bindings are really quite responsive – one of the most responsive I’ve tried at this price point for sure.
They have a looser feel to them in terms of ankle support. A surfier feel. If you like that then great, but if you prefer more ankle support or a more locked in feeling then they may not work as well for you.
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||79.8/100|
The Forces remain one of the cheapest, good quality bindings out there. For this price, I can’t think of any binding off-hand that can match the Force for performance.
These bindings have been going for 13 years now and Union seems to have found the formula for a quality binding at a really great price.
They’ll do a great job for anyone looking for a binding that won’t break the bank but is still respsonsive and good quality – and for anyone looking for one pair of bindings for multiple boards.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to learn more about the Forces, or are ready to buy or want to research availability and prices, check out the links below.
If you want to check out some other all mountain binding options or compare the Forces to other all mountain bindings check out the next link.