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.
More Review to come……
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 tooless 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.
Riders: James, Peter, Stephen, Jimbo, Mary, Ginger and many others.
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju, Burton Ambush, Burton 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 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.
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 an tool free toe strap so that makes the 2015 better than the 2014. You might be able to buy the new tooless 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 with out 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 more sharp. 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 under foot 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 don’t think it’s not responsive. There were some nice changes to the 2014 model.
Riders- James, Peter, Jimbo, Kyle
Boards: Jones Mountain Twin, Salomon Sabotage, Yes Greats
Boots: Burton SLX, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju,
In 2012, it took some effort to flex the highback but the 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 noodley like 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.
A Quick Look at the 2013 Union Contact Pro
For 2012, Union added a new larger asymmetrical ankle strap that makes this a much better freestyle binding than before. There is more support 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.
A Quick Look at the 2012 Union Contact Pro