The Salomon Chief is very similar to the Caliber but with just a little less tech and a little more weight. It’s a great choice for any aggressive all mountain snowboarder.
Days: 1 on the 2014 and a few on past models.
Riders: James, Peter, Jimbo
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju
Boards: Salomon Rancho, Salomon Burner, Salomon Special
Flex: Love the stiffish high back when I’m in the mood to ride a stiffer board. It doesn’t twist much and doesn’t have much give pulling back either. If you called it stiff I wouldn’t dissagree.
Adjustability: You can fit this binding around your boot pretty well but it’s not really the pillar of adjustability but the straps are really adjustable.
Comfort: Pretty comfortable ankle strap but I personally liked the Caliber’s ankle strap better.
Turn Initiation: Very quick and responsive edge to edge. Great for more challenging boards.
Buttering: Kind of the opposite when it comes to buttering and it’s a little bit dead underfoot compared to many bindings out there these days.
Boot Support: The ankle strap offers up pretty good support but I personally liked the old Caliber ankle strap better when it comes to support. Love the toe straps with Salomon’s bindings and they really fit around the toe.
Ratchet System: Decent ratchet system that isn’t bad or exceptional. It works.
Shock Absorption: The plastic EVA foam combo makes for a very damp ride but the shock absorption is just mid level.
So all in all it’s not a bad binding and a good fit for those that like a traditional mid 2000’s feel for more responsive boards.
The 2014 Salomon Chief is pretty much the same as the 2013. With the Caliber discontinued we would of hoped the Chief would of inherited the bigger asymmetrical contour fitting ankle strap but it didn’t happen.
For 2013, not much has changed with the Chief. We’d like to see a similar ankle strap for the 2013 Salomon Caliber but it’s still a good binding. The Chief is in a pretty competitive price group that competes with many excellent bindings out there but its aggressive riding style can work for many.
For 2012, the Chief has a cant in the foot bed which makes for an easier ride on your ankles, knees, and hips. It also puts more pressure on the outer part of boards that have rocker or some type of hybrid shape.
For 2011, there were some minor adjustments to the base plate to slightly improve performance, but the most noticeable change is that the straps have been changed. The ankle strap is softer and the toe strap is hollowed out in the center to fit better over the toe. This new tech isn’t a deal breaker over the 2010 model but the 2011 is definitely better.