The NOW Drive is definitely a different ride compared to the NOW IPO. You have a taller high back and a bigger ankle strap. It isn’t huge compared to the industry standard but its bigger than the IPO and Select and it’s pretty versatile. It’s not for everyone but the right rider might really like these.
2015 NOW Drive
2015 NOW Drive with the softer stoppers under foot.
2015 NOW Drive Follow Up Review with the stiffer stoppers under foot.
2015 Updates– Same general ride but the Highback is a little taller giving it a little more leverage.
Riders: James, Jimbo Peter, Stephen, Lee, Eli, Mary
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton Hail, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju, Burton Ruler,
Boards: Rossignol One Magtek, Lib Tech TRS, Jones Mountain Twin, Jones Carbon Flagship, Jones Flagship, Yes Pick Your Line
Flex:The high back has a middle ground torsional flex and about the same pulling it straight back.
Adjustability: It’s pretty easy to adjust and dial out for your boot but there isn’t anything you can do for the high back rotation. It’s set to 10 degrees which is better than zero but I’d like to see them work out a way to rotate the high backs. The rest of the binding is tooless and fine.
Comfort:The NOW drive is a mixed bag when it comes to comfort. The ankle and toe strap are very comfortable. The high back molds around the heel well but some could have a problem with the narrow feel of the heel cup. The heel cup offers a pretty tight fit that was even snug with our reduced footprint boots. It’s made this tight to ride without the high back so it’s got to grip well but it can feel a little crampy. We’d love to see them bevel out the heel loop a little further. So what some people might like about this boot, even if you don’t no back, is it really squeezes around the ankle/heel area making your boots feel like they are really holding your heel down. This is kind of unique to what most bindings do. Sure the ankle strap grips around the front of your boot but we haven’t found another binding other than NOW that grabs on the back too.
Turn Initiation: When we first demo’d these bindings with the medium stoppers It kind of went 2 ways. Some felt that there was a delay transferring from edge to edge on groomers and others, including myself, felt like it was just smooth and middle ground when it came to response where you would think it would be very responsive with the king pin tech. However on the 2015 demo we got a little extra time away from the demo booths to spend a couple days of riding with all the different stoppers. This really changed my perspective and Jimbo’s as well. The stiffest stoppers on the bottom improved the response and I liked how it turned the board. There was much more snap edge to edge. Then every step softer makes the board turn a little slower. You can also flip the ankle strap to give you more freedom one way and more support the other which is fun. We stuck with the more responsive side in place to really test out how the different stoppers would do in the best case senario.
Buttering: There is some reduced contact with the board and the dead spot is limited but the binding doesn’t feel that free when it comes to buttering a board. The tight grip around the heel cup feels like it’s inhibiting the ability to butter the board or flex it in other ways length wise. It feels much better edge to edge. That being said the softest rubbery/urethane stoppers on each corner lift the binding up above the board and create some flex making it feel better. With the stiffer stoppers it’s not quite as easy/good.
Boot Support: Your boot is locked in thanks to the supportive heel cup and for those that like an increadibly supportive feel despite the smaller ankle strap might like this binding a lot. The toe strap isn’t bad but we have had bigger more supportive over the toe straps.
Ratchet System: Nice smooth easy ratchets and we had no issues.
Shock Absorption: The NOW Drive offers up a really cushy ride that can help any board absorb more shock. It’s got a thickly padded foot bed and the rubber/urethane stoppers between the base and the board. That makes for an incredibly damp and shock absorbent ride. These are a great compliment to any board that is going to see high speeds and uneven terrain. It makes any board you ride a better chunder buster.
So all in all the NOW Drive is very unique and well made binding. Some might absolutely love this and others might not. Peter, Stephen and Eli weren’t into this binding while Mary, Lee, Jimbo and myself felt this was a fun ride. My only personal gripe is how tight the heel cup is around my ankle. Other than that I really enjoy this binding.