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Clew Freedom 1.0 2023 - 2022 Review by The Good Ride
Turn Ons/Swipe Right: Good Response. Normal Binding Feel. Easy in & out. Quiver System.
Turn Offs/Swipe Left: Outdated Base Plate. No Adjustability.
The Clew Freedom 1.0 has an old school base plate and no adjustability but it’s pretty easy in/out with a normal binding feel.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
Clew Freedom 1.0 Snowboard Binding Review- How it rides and who it is for
How This Review Happened: Borrowed this for an extended demo. They didn’t want the bindings back so I sold them.
Conditions: Good spring snow that often felt like mid-winter snow and an early morning slackountry time with Drift Boards
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-190lbs)
Boots: Burton Kendo
Insoles: Footprint Insole Technology Gamechangers
Boards: Burton Territory Manager, Burton Deep Thinker, Nidecker Mellow and a few others.
Jacket: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Tusk Jacket,
Pant: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Hover Pant, Burton AK Gore-Tex 2L Swash Pant
Helmet: Smith Maze
Goggle: Smith 4D Mag
Gloves: Burton AK Clutch Mitt, Burton AK Clutch Glove, Burton AK Tech Leather Glove,
Similar (but not the same) Bindings: Burton Step On, Burton Genesis Step On, Nidecker Supermatic. Similar non-step on bindings: Union Atlas, Union Force, Salomon Highlander, Salomon Hologram, Nitro Team Pro, Nitro Team, Nitro Phantom Carver, Now Drive, Now Pilot.
How It Was Tested
I tested the Clew Freedom 1.0 on it’s own but also did same day tests where I compared them to other bindings like the Burton Step On, Nidecker Supermatic, Flow NX2-TM and then other regular strap in bindings like the Union Atlas and Burton Genesis Re:Flex.
The Clew Freedom 1.0 Bindings are 2.4lbs which is a little on the heavy side but not too heavy. Most binddings are around 2-2.2lbs so it isn’t bad at all. There are some really light bindings at 1.8lbs but these are still pretty far below the 2.8lbs Nidecker Supermatic.
The Clew Freedom 1.0s have a unique quiver feature. You can get several base plates similar to what you can do with some NOW bindings. You attach the base plates and can change boards super quick with the ankle/high back unit attached to your feet.
On and Off
You can get the Clew Freedom 1.0’s on and off pretty easy. I personally don’t like that the release is behind the high back compared to Burton Step On and Nidecker Supermatic’s with a lever in the front.
There is also 2 step in point ladder to click into so if there is snow on the base plate you can still step in.
I’m not usually a fan of high backs with a quick release on the back as it stiffens up the overall flex and feel but the Clew Freedom 1.0 pulls it off. They have a very easy twist on the sides that didn’t bite too much into my calves. I was surprised that I liked it even though there was no highback rotation.
There is no flex underfoot with the Clew Freedom 1.0s. They have a base plate that is all plastic and there is nothing happening to help the board flex underfoot. It feels like a base plate from the late 90’s-early 2000’s.
The response is pretty middle ground bordering on medium-fast with the Clew Freedom 1.0. It isn’t super responsive like the Burton Step On but pretty close to the Supermatics. The Clew did feel like it was a traditional strap binding and I liked that feel vs. the Step On and Supermatic.
There is almost no shock absorption with the Clew Freedom 1.0s. There is only a thin EVA pad on the top that stops before the heel cup. It is pretty far from most modern bindings these days.
The ankle straps of the Clew Freedom 1.0s have great support and so do the toe straps. It feels just like normal bindings.
The ratchets aren’t great but you don’t need to use em much. What I like about Clew is if you have to put your bindings on in steep terrain you can do it like you would with normal strap in bindings. With Supermatics and Burton Step On’s it isn’t easy in really steep terrain.
Like all step in bindings, the Clew Freedom 1.0’s are not very adjustable. The boot to binding adjustability is limited. You only have an adjustable gas pedal. The discs only have 3 holes mainly for sliding the binding from heel to toe. If you are in the middle of the suggested sizing range then you can center the binding in the boot and turn the discs sideways. Most won’t be able to.
The Clew Freedom 1.0 bindings have their weaknesses but they do offer up something different and unique to the step on bindings. I do like that easy step and go but I personally can’t live without adjustability and a good feel under foot. Many can though and the quiver option is unique to the step in/step on system. So is the traditional strap feel. So I could see how this could work for some riders.
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