The Union Ultra takes a binding, The Contact Pro and gives it a little extra mustard. It’s lighter, has a more responsive high back and it’s a little bit more responsive.
Boots: Burton Fiend
Boards: Jones Mountain Twin
Flex: So the high back feels like the team high back but it might be a little bit stiffer and it feels a little more snappy.
Adjustability: The Union Forged Ultra has the same strengths and weaknesses as the Union Contact Pro when it comes to dialing out the binding to your boot. You can adjust the heel loop to fit your boot size which is pretty cool. There is no adjustabilty in the toe ramp but the adjustable Heel loop helps out with that. I had no issues with the Contact pro as a size 9 but others with larger boots have complained to me. You also cant adjust the angles of the ankle strap.
Comfort: Nice very comfortable feel on the binding.
Turn Initiation: Feels a little quicker than the Contact Pro and the forged carbon version of the team high back feels a little snappier. It still borders on the medium side of the response spectrum.
Buttering: Same amazing binding when it comes to buttering and the mini disc makes it a step above all other bindings in Unions line except for the Contact Pro which has the same one. It makes boards flex easier under foot.
Boot Support: There is a lot of freedom here with the small ankle strap. I actually much preferred the the more balanced ankle strap of the Contact Pro. With the Forged Ultra I felt my ankle too exposed and it felt a little vulnerable in uneven messy snow. I think I would of really loved this binding if it had a more supportive ankle strap. It’s easy enough to add another one though because almost all Union Parts are interchangeable. Love the toe strap though. It’s smaller, lighter and seems to have the same or better grip over the toe than the lower end toe straps.
Ratchet System: Nice and easy on and off.
Shock Absorption: So the shock absorption felt like the Contact Pro except lighter which is outstanding.
So all in all this is a pretty expensive binding and other than the ankle strap I really liked the ride. For this price though I’m more fine with the Contact Pro and don’t mind it’s extra weight.