List Price US $239
Union Contact Pro 2011-2022 Snowboard Binding Review
Riding Level Beginner - Expert
Quick Release No
Manufactured in China and Italy
Canted Footbed No
Burton Channel Compatible Yes
Mini disc Yes
Approx. Weight Feels Light

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Flex

Medium/Soft

Boot Support

Firm

Turn Initiation

Medium

Buttering

Very Easy

Binding Adjustability Great
Stance Adjustability Great
Comfort Great
Ratchet System Great
Shock Absorption Great

Union Contact Pro 2022 - 2011 Review by The Good Ride

Turn Ons/Swipe Right: Great adjustability and amazing flex underoot. Smooth satisfying turn as well. Great Mtn Freestyle to park binding.
Turn Offs/Swipe Left: Discs and screws aren’t easy to manage off the bindings.

Summary

The Union Contact Pro is one of our top recommendations for those that want a very easy buttering and easy turning freestyle oriented binding.

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.

Union Contact Pro Snowboard Binding Review- How it rides and who it is for

Union Contact Pro 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How This Review Happened:  We borrowed this for an extended demo and then returned it.

Days: 5+ for the 2022 model but 100+ for previous years
Riders:  James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-190lbs)
Boots: Burton Kendo and so many other boots over the years.
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gamechangers, Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Boards: Capita Mercury this session but sooo many other boards over the years.

Jacket: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Tusk Jacket, Volcom TDF Infuse 3L Gore-Tex Jacket
Pant: Burton AK Gore-Tex Pro 3L Hover Pant, Burton AK Gore-Tex 2L Swash Pant, Burton Gore-Tex Ballast Pant
Helmet: Smith Maze
Goggle: Smith 4D Mag
Gloves: Burton AK Guide Glove, Burton AK Clutch Mitt, Burton AK Clutch Glove, Burton AK Tech Leather Glove, Burton AK Tech Glove,

Similar (but not the same) Bindings: Union Flite Pro, Union Contact Pro/Union Superpro, Union Force

How These Were Tested

I rode these one day on the Capita Mercury and many other days on a few other boards this season. It hasn’t changed over the last couple of years and I used to own these. They have been on many different boards and been tested with many different boots.

Highback Flex

The Union Contact Pro has an easy twist and a little backward flex that is easy on the calves and matches up well with the base plates response.

Flex Underfoot

The Union Contact Pro has the best flex underfoot in Union’s line an is right there with the best in the industry. The Falcor and Strata are close but the more rubbery material on the bottom of the base plate makes those bindings more damp but a little less buttery. These are right there with the Burton Cartel and Malavita with their Re:Flex tech that is exceptional when it comes to allowing the board to flex naturally underfoot.

Turn Initiation/Response

The Union Contact Pro is a mellow binding but it does turn most boards you pair it up with much better than you would think. Even compared to many Burton bindings, like the Cartel, It feels a little more responsive. If you want more response go Falcor or Strata.

Shock Absorption

The Union Contact Pro has a pretty cush ride and the best slow speed shock absorption in the Union line. If you want something to make slow speed off landings in the park better this is the one.

Boot Support

I think this ankle strap does a great job for giving you support enough to handle off piste/uneven snow riding but still allows you to be you in the park. There is great freedom of movement here.

Ratchets

The Union Contact Pro has exceptional ratchets. I had these same ratchets on a pair of contact pro’s I used for almost 5 years. They always worked perfectly and never had a problem.

Adjustability

The Union Contact Pro isn’t the best in Union’s line when you compare them to the Union Atlas or Force but they are close and still better than most bindings out there in the industry. The adjustable heel loop does a really good job at helping you center your boot in the binding. Then you are centered on board and have the option to turn the mini-disc sideways and get the stance width you want. Not sure why they didn’t put in a tooless screw on the toe strap but did on the ankle strap though. The high back has excellent rotation so you can line it up with your heel side edge to get much smoother turn initiation. The forward lean is tooless too. So practically excellent overall boot to binding and binding to board adjustability.

One thing is don’t get this if you have set back inserts on your board. The mini-disc is not compatible.

Conclusion

So if you mainly ride park the Union Contact Pro is one of the more recommendable bindings we have tried. If you lean more on the mountain freestyle side go Strata.

 
Union Contact Pro Past Reviews

The 2021 Union Contact Pro has the same (or a very similar) base plate and high back but it got the 2020 Strata’s ankle strap which changes up the ride a good bit. It has a lot more support around the ankle as well as a little added toe side response.

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.

How This Review Happened:  We borrowed this for an extended demo and then returned it.

Union Contact Pro 2021 Snowboard Binding Review – How it rides and who its for

Union Contact Pro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Days: 2 with the 2021 but hundreds with past years models.
Riders:  James (Size 9, 5’10” 180-190lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gamechangers
BoardsEndeavor Pioneer, Yes Greats

Similar (but not the same) Bindings: Union SuperproBurton Cartel, Burton Genesis, Burton Mission, Burton Malavita, Salomon Hologram, Salomon DistrictRome Crux

Weight: 1.8 lbs per binding with discs and screws. That’s pretty light for a binding.

Highback Flex

Medium/Soft and it has an easy flex that is great for those that have larger calves or those that just like a mellow feel from their highback.

Binding to Boot Adjustability

The Union Contact Pro 2021 has the same great adjustability compared to past models. It has all the usual forward lean and strap length adjusters and other than the toe strap it’s almost tooless. You can rotate the highbacks to make turning more symmetrical without having to use the heel loop. The heel loop slides in and out to match your boots length and it can handle a lot of different sizes and footprints in the 8-10 spectrum for a size medium. Other than bindings like the Force and Atlas it’s one of the better binders out there for getting your boot centered.

Stance Width Adjustability

Because you can easily center most boots in this binding without the use of the discs you can turn them sideways and slide them to get your perfect stance width. I have always been able to set up the right stance width. The only weakness mini-discs have for riders like us is they don’t work with set back inserts that some snowboards have.

Boot Support

The 2021 Union Contact Pro’s ankle strap is soo much better than it used to be. Having the 2020 Strata ankle strap makes for a much more supportive ride. This really helps in uneven terrain on and off piste as well as just gives you more confidence to do more on your board. The bigger ankle strap doesn’t have the freedom of movement that the older ones did but it’s pretty soft in most places and it isn’t totally locked in.

Ratchet System

Still super smooth but the 2021 Contact Pro, along with all of the 2021 Union line, has a softer thinner ladder. We liked the older/thicker ladders better but these work almost as well.

Turn Initiation/Response

The overall response of the 2021 Contact Pro is a little better but not to the point where it’s a massive difference. The bigger ankle strap just helps with a little more toe side response and evens out the edge to edge response more. It’s surprising though at how responsive this binding is for how mellow it feels. It has all mountain response in a freestyle package and that’s one of the things that really attracts us to this binding.

Flex Under Foot/Buttering

The soft EVA foam that surrounds almost all of the base plate really makes for easy buttering. It’s right there with Re:Flex bindings from Burton which we feel have the best flex underfoot of any traditional insert binding. It takes a few weeks of riding to completely break in so during that time you need to check your screws every other day to make sure they haven’t gone loose. This isn’t ideal but for us, the problem went away. If you are considering the Contact Pro or the Strata and want the easiest buttering then this is the binding to get.

Shock Absorption

Excellent slow speed shock absorption. The Strata does a better job at dampening the ride at higher speeds or when going bigger but the Union Contact Pro has pretty great all around shock absorption.

Conclusion

So overall, the change to the ankle strap made me want to ride these a lot more. In fact, for the 2021 season, I’ll be riding these instead of the Strata when I want a more mellow binding underfoot.

The Union Contact Pro is one of those bindings that often get recommended to riders that love the park or want a mellow smooth, buttery cushy binding. It isn’t without faults but it is often one of the top the bindings we recommend in this category.

The 2020 Union Contact Pro is pretty much the same as the 2019 except it received a hand me down ankle strap from the Union Strata. This makes it more supportive than the old super thin ankle strap while still giving it a lot of freedom of movement.

Days:  Many over the years.
Riders:  James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs) and most of our crew.
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV,
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles
Boards: Gentemstick Mantaray 156Loaded AlgernonCapita MercuryLib Tech Terrain WreckerLib Tech TRSCapita Outerspace LivingCapita UltrafearNever Summer Proto Type TwoYes GreatsYes Jackpot, Never Summer FunslingerLib Tech Box Knife,

Highback Flex: Pretty mediumish when pulling it back but the Capita Contact Pro has a very easy twist characteristic of many union bindings.

Binding to Boot Adjustability: So you don’t have an adjustable gas pedal/toe ramp but you do have an adjustable heel loop so you can get most boots in the size range to center up pretty well in the binding which some bindings don’t allow you to do in all sizes. It’s missing tooless adjustments which is nice to have but you can rotate the high backs, forward lean and all those things you would expect from a good snowboard binding.  Also, the ankle strap/heel loop screws don’t come loose anymore and haven’t for the last few seasons since they updated the washers.

Stance Width Adjustability: Because of the Union Contact Pro’s mini-discs, the bindings can set up pretty close to any stance width you want.

Comfort: From the way the high back twists and resists biting into your calves to the footbed that fits most boots the Contact Pro is pretty comfy. No binding can be comfortable for every foot but this try’s pretty hard. The ankle strap is pretty comfortable if you don’t over crank it down. If you are someone who does you might feel the harder plastic bite into the boots. We say that you shouldn’t crank down any ankle strap too tight as it’s bad for your feet but some just can’t break the habit. If you are one of those there won’t be any binding that will work for you as each one will cause more pain over time to the point where you will have to get a new binding.

Boot Support: Sooooooo much more support than the past pencil-thin ankle strap that the 2019 and older Union Contact Pros had. There is still some freedom of movement but now riding in uneven terrain will be massively better than before. I like the current straps but if you don’t there are often other options here.

Turn Initiation/Response: Very smooth response that isn’t as sharp as the Atlas or Force but still more responsive than you would think for a binding like this. What is cool about the Union Contact Pro is it can match up well with a super-easy turning soft park ride or a medium-stiff all-mountain ride.

Buttering: The mini-disc is pretty much the only point of contact with the Union Contact Pro on the board. The rest is a pretty soft/cushy EVA foam so it helps the board flex naturally underfoot and it’s a great choice for those that like to butter. It does take all that EVA foam a little bit to break in and when they do the screws will stop coming loose but that is pretty annoying at first. For us, it’s not a deal-breaker as we find there is always something with any binding that’s annoying so it just comes down to what you can and can’t tolerate.

Ratchet System: Very smooth and reliable.

Shock Absorption: Lot’s of EVA foam from throughout the base plate that makes slow speed shock absorption excellent and it also works well going bigger. It also rides really damp at higher speeds but isn’t quite as damp as the Strata. I also like riding these in powder on easy turning boards like my Jones Mind Expander because the baseplates can absorb a good bit of shock. In the past, I would use the team ankle strap instead so it would have more support though. Now you can just use what it comes with.

So overall, the Union Contact Pro does a lot of great things so if this kind of binding appeals to you then we say give it a go.  I personally own 3 pairs of Superpro’s which are very much like the Contact Pro Scotty Steven’s model and use them any time I get on a mellow or park oriented ride.

The 2019 Union Contact Pro is a binding with lots of freedom of movement in the ankle, really good butter ability and super cushy shock absorption at a very reasonable price.

The 2019 Union Contact Pro is the same as 2018 except for these small changes:

  1. The price dropped and it took over for the now discontinued Contact as the mid to lower priced option in the line.  The Strata took over where the Contact Pro used to be.
  2. Union added a new washer to the ankle strap screws that keep them from coming loose. I’ve tested these on my Superpros and they work like they say they do.

So in 2019, you get a little better binding at a much lower price.

Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews.  No one is perfect and we do make money from the “Where To Buy” links below, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.

Days: 2
RidersJames
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV, Burton AMB
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gamechangers
BoardsLib Tech TRS

Highback Flex: The Union Contact Pro has a medium-ish to medium soft flex.  It’s got a super easy twist but when you pull towards the heel the high back it’s a little firmer

Boot Adjustability: So these aren’t as great as the Force or Atlas because you don’t get the adjustable toe ramp but you can still dial out the heel loop to the boot length so it’s still very good. There is also that new washer that keeps the heel loop/ankle strap screws from coming loose so you don’t have to worry about checking to see if the heel loop is tight anymore.  Union listens to their buyers, reviewers like us and shops as well as their pros and that’s why you have this new washer. You can’t adjust the ankle strap angle without un centering your boot because it’s connected to the heel cup positioning but I’m ok with that as long as my boot is properly centered.

Stance Width Adjustability: The mini disc isn’t as good as the full-size discs but I’ve been always able to get the stance width I want on boards like Asymmetrical Twins that need to be centered for a good review or on boards that don’t care as much.

Comfort: These bindings are super comfortable and don’t cause any pressure points anywhere. The only issue, for some, is the small ankle strap can cause your boot to fold around the ankle differently than most and cause pressure points.

Boot Support: There isn’t much support here but you can buy the team straps if you want it to do a little better in uneven terrain that often can be tough on your ankle with so little support. If you want a lot of freedom of movement the Union Contact Pro shines for that more surf/skate feel.

Turn Initiation: If you play around with the Contact Pro in a shop you would think this would turn a board super slow but actually, it is pretty responsive and powers more than just the quick/easy turning freestyle oriented boards you would think it only would.

Buttering: The Union Contact Pro is one of the easier buttering bindings out there and it’s up near the top of the industry when it comes to this.

Ratchet System: Man, thinking about how the ratchets used to be and how they are now is pretty cool. They have evolved the last few years into some really reliable and smooth ratchets.

Shock Absorption: There is a lot of cushy, resilient EVA foam that works well to absorb shock without making the board stiffer underfoot.

So all in all the 2019 Union Contact Pro is a very recommendable binding at a very good price. If you want a little more support, more response and a little better dampening then the Strata is the call.

The 2016 Union Contact Pro is still a great binding but it’s not a binding we would want in our quiver unless we changed out the new thin ankle strap to the bigger/more supportive one in the past. If it wasn’t for the new ankle strap this would still be a highly recommendable favorite.

2015 Union Contact Pro and Below Review

 

The Union Contact Pro had some big upgrades in 2014 and remained pretty much the same for 2015 except it has a toolless toe strap.  The contact pro has amazing feel underfoot and it’s one of our favorite freestyle to all mountain freestyle bindings out there but it’s also not just a freestyle binding.  It’s got a lot of response for such a soft butter friendly binding as well.

One thing to mention is the 2015 Union Contact Pro has a shorter Ankle Strap Connector.  It should be fine with most boots but some have had problems with lining up the fit perfectly around your boot.  If you are one of those contact Union and they should be able to get you a longer 2014 Ankle strap connector.  Other than that the ride is pretty much the same and the 2014 review stands without change.

Days: 30+
RidersJames, Peter, Stephen, Jimbo, Mary, Ginger and many others.
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju, Burton AmbushBurton Ruler,
Boards: Jones Mountain Twin, Yes Greats, Rossignol One Magtek, Never Summer Proto, Lib Tech TRS and many others.

Upgrades for 2014 and 2015– There is more padding than in the past which great on the body. There is also a mini disc instead of a standard sized disc so there is even more of a reduced dead spot than the other bindings out there. So now you have a little disc which is the only true contact with the board and the rest has an EVA foam buffer.  This makes the flex underfoot exceptional.  There is an improved tip to tail response as well as edge to edge response.  It butters/presses better than before and makes for an all-around better ride.  It’s right there with the top end Burton Re:Flex tech but still offers its own unique feel.

Weight: 3.6lbs

Flex: The high back has a similar flex as the 2013 Union Contact Pro.  It’s got one of the easiest flexes when you pull right back and bends back a bit at the top.  It’s a little more on the medium/soft side when you twist it but overall the whole high back is pretty soft

Adjustability: One thing to mention about all Union Bindings is they have really only one angle to have the ankle strap where most bindings have 2 or 3 places to put them.  Conversely, you can adjust the heel loop to go in and out so you can customize the fit to your boot better.  Unlike the Contact and all other Union bindings, it doesn’t have an adjustable toe ramp which is more of a problem for those that are in the smaller and larger end of the sizing spectrum.  For me, it’s no problem but I’ve heard others have issues. For 2015 Union added a tool free toe strap so that makes 2015 better than 2014.  You might be able to buy the new toolless screw from C3 if you have the 2014 Contact Pro.

Comfort: There is great comfort here with the Union Contact Pro. The ankle strap and toe strap fit well without too much pressure on most boots.

Heel-Toe Response: For such a soft binding you would think the response would be worse but it’s pretty responsive. It’s much smoother than the most of the higher end Union bindings which normally feel sharper.  There is a bit more response than the older models.

Tip-Tail Response: The 2014 Union Contact pro has amazing butter skills and it was right there with the top end Re:Flex bindings at Burton. The board flexes really well underfoot and it makes the board it’s attached to butter really well.  There is very little contact with the board and also the screws on the mini disc are much closer together.  It’s pretty much these small little discs that are touching the board and that is it.  It’s also Burton channel compatible and with the 2 screws so close together you can actually get a little more set back going than Burton EST or even Re:Flex bindings.

Boot Support: The semi-new ankle strap is now pretty much the standard for most of Unions bindings. It’s got a better support on the outside and a lot of freedom in the inside.

Ratchet System: The 2014 Union Contact Pro toe strap has improved as well over the previous models.  They reduced the pressure from 10lbs to 7lbs so it’s easier to unstrap. It’s still not the best toe strap out there but I have found it to be pretty complaint free after many days on this binding. It’s pretty easy on and off and keeps getting easier the more I ride them. Before I had trouble just grabbing the toe strap anywhere to get it off but now it just comes right off.

Shock Absorption:  This has a shit ton of EVA foam all over the binding and it’s very very shock absorbent.  It’s the kind of binding you would like to have under your feet if you land flat.

2014 Binding Comparison

 

 

The Union Contact Pro 2013-2011 is establishing itself as an excellent freestyle to all mountain binding. It’s one of the softer flexing bindings in Unions line but doesn’t think it’s not responsive. There were some nice changes to the 2014 model.

 

Days: 20+

Riders- James, Peter, Jimbo, Kyle

Boards: Jones Mountain TwinSalomon SabotageYes Greats

Boots: Burton SLXBurton ImperialNike Kaiju,

In 2012, it took some effort to flex the highback but 2013 doesn’t take much. You can also bend the top part of the high back directly back where this barely could be done last year. We’d say that last year would be a Medium Flex where this year is soft. Union removed almost every unnecessary part of the base plate to eliminate full contact with the board. This allows for a more natural flex underfoot and Union has been doing this for years.  It’s surprising to see that the high backs are not as noodley as the Union Flite.  They are still soft but far from Urethane. The 2013 Contact Pro is the same design as the 2012 but the high back is much softer. We like this change and feel it suits the more freestyle feel that most riders want when considering this binding.

For 2012, Union added a new larger asymmetrical ankle strap that makes this a much better freestyle binding than before. There is more support around the ankle and easier lateral movement.  The Toe Strap is new as well and well liked.  It fits over the toe better than the previous toe strap.

 

 
Union Contact Pro Images

We try to get as many images of the Union Contact Pro, but forgive us if they're not all there.

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