The Salomon Defender Snowboard Binding is new for 2015 and it’s got a slight step up in terms of response and support from the Hologram. It makes for a good all mountain binding.
2015 Salomon Defender Review
Riders: James, Peter Jimbo, Stephen, Mike,
Boots: Burton Imperial, Burton Hail, Burton SLX, Nike Lunarendor, Salomon Synapse,
Boards: Jones Mountain Twin, and a few other boards.
Flex: It’s a different kind of flex than a traditional binding because the heel loop is primarily supported by a cable. That being said the heel loop is stiffer than the Hologram and it’s got a more supportive feel. The defender still flexes and moves way more than a traditional heel loop that usually doesn’t move at all but it’s just got a little more rigidity than the Hologram. The Defender’s high back is a little softer than the Hologram so it’s a little closer flex wise between the two bindings than you would think.
Adjustability: Same Salomon adjustability that has a shared forward lean and high back rotation. You can’t rotate the high back without adding some forward lean which sucks but with the flexy heel loop its not anywhere near as important as it is with a traditional heel loop.
Comfort: So these bindings are very comfortable except for the ankle strap. Well at first it’s not very comfortable but after about a week or so on the binding the ankle strap breaks in a bit and softens up to make for a pretty comfortable ride.
Turn Initiation: There is definitely more response than the Hologram and it’s a little less than the Quantum. It’s got more edge to edge power for boards that are medium to semi challenging than the Salomon Hologram.
Buttering: Now the Hologram has a slight advantage here but it’s still got butter leverage that’s very close to the Hologram and Defender. They are all varying shades of good. I’m not sure how but it works but it does.
Boot Support: You would think that your boot would feel unsupported and exposed but never once have any of us felt that with this flexy heel loop. Even though you have a lot of range of movement compared to a traditional heel loop you still feel very supported. It’s not locked in like a stiffer flux binding but it’s amazing how the binding allows both range of movement and support. Usually you can’t have one without the other.
Ratchet System: Same solid ratchet system as the Holograms. It’s not the best we came across but its not anything that every causes problems.
Shock Absorption: It’s not super cushy but it’s got enough to make a bad/flat landing ok as well as deal with chunder well. I’d like to see more of the heel cup removed to allow more eva foam or whatever is in there now so the sides of your booot arent touching that part. Still it’s on the better side of the shock absorption spectrum for sure and the mellow cant helps with body alignment for less fatigue/stress on your joints. Well for most it does.
So all in all we are all fans of the Defender and feel it fills the hole between the Quantum and the Hologram. it makes for a much more recommendable all mountain binding as most want a little more response in this category. We kept going back to the salomon booth to get this binding at the demos.