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Flow NXT's good for soft carving?


EndUser
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I saw on one carving website that the Flow brand bindings are an OK choice for soft boot carving. Now these new 2007 NXTs are looking kinda interesting -- the NXT FR (for Free-ride), is supposed to be stiff and very adjustable (highback angle and twist). Also, the top buckes are new and I think you can exit from the front if your are in deep powder (a big issue with the previous models).

I try to find reviews of these but you get a lot of beginners using "step ins" and I think Flow's might have a bad rap because of the poor technique most beginners have. I'm oldschool and use a 3-strap binding -- I want a very stiff binding...

Any opinions on these new Flows?

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i havent seen these new bindings, i havent checked out this year's flows. but on every other model the only way to exit from the front is to completely unclip the part of the binding that covers your foot(4 clips per binding), and that would make for a super pain to re-adjust them and all in powder.

also, i dont believe you can rotate the highback-which is one of the biggest things i look for in soft bindings. if you rotated a flow highback it wouldnt keep you in the binding as it's made to.

perhaps the most important part of buying flows-try them on with your softboots in the store and stand in them for a while, 30-45 minutes. These are a binding where you need it to fit because they have limited adjustability, pretty much you can adjust the pressure on top of your foot with the 4 clips and you can adjust the tension on the highback. I work p/t in a shop and have worked in shops for the last 7 years or so. flows are a thing where people either love em or hate em, and i think it has to do with the fit.

If you want a good softboot binding to carve in i'd say look at ride(they're metal and nice and stiff).or Cateks, they have rediculous amounts of adjustability and are metaland great for carving, and why not support a company that supports hardbooting

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i havent seen these new bindings, i havent checked out this year's flows. but on every other model the only way to exit from the front is to completely unclip the part of the binding that covers your foot(4 clips per binding), and that would make for a super pain to re-adjust them and all in powder.

also, i dont believe you can rotate the highback-which is one of the biggest things i look for in soft bindings. if you rotated a flow highback it wouldnt keep you in the binding as it's made to.

As the original poster mentioned, you can rotate the on the Flow NXT
... modular highback design separates the highback into three different zones, using the ideal material for each area, delivering real performance and ultra-lightweight, a three step rotation adjustment allows for customized alignment to the heelside edge
Sounds like they think they have found a way to rotate the top of the highback, while keeping the rest of the highback straight. I couldn't find any comments about the new buckle system might let you quickly restrap from the front. But maybe we are just out of the loop in terms of Flow's innovations. The K2 Cinch has this feature though (not that I would automatically recommend it for carving).

I agree with Flows not fitting every boot type (and that being extremely important).

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...for about 3 years now and I love them. I have been riding almost 16 years so am certainly no newbie.

You asked for opinions on Flows so here goes. They are the most supportive soft binding I've ever ridden. No, I haven't been in Cateks although I'm sure they're a fine binding. They are, however, a strap binding. Flow's full length strap will make any soft boot more supportive. It adds much power to a toeside turn. The highback is supported by a 1/8" aircraft cable. There will be no flex to the rear on a heelside turn. I actually had to get rid of a pair of the Flow Carbons because they were too stiff. (Please, no comments on me being a wuss. It's just my preference)

Highback rotation- I know there are complaints about the lack of adjustment on Flow. Personally, I don't know what people are whining about. The highback can indeed be rotated. I've done it on all my Flows including the Carbon ones. It might not want to go....but you can do it. There are 3 holes on which to mount the highback. It can be moved to accomodate different boot sizes or used for rotation. Likewise there are toe ramps that can be pulled out for those folks with big dogs. Forward lean is adjusted from a knob on the highback. Strap tension can be adjusted and I find it really doesn't need to be touched again until spring when warmer weather might make some boots more flexible.

As for the highback....ah well, here is Flows biggest problem. To ride with any forward lean, there is a spot on the highback that just digs into your achilles tendon. Crushes it. Leave em loose enough to not hurt and there's a 3/4" gap at the top between your boot and the highback. My solution was to take a piece of high density foam and shape a wedge that fit to the shape of the highback. I then peeled back the plastic protector on the highback and glued the wedge in place between the highback and said plastic piece. Fits great. No more crushed achilles and it give me a bit of needed cushion on heelside turns. I'll try to post pics when I get home from work.

That's all well and good but I haven't mentioned the new NX-T. Looks great from what I've seen of it. Still a supportive binding. Maybe they have addressed the highback issue. It's hard to tell without strapping in- which I highly recommend. If it doesn't fit and you're not handy or willing to modify, then pain is sure to ensue. If it fits, it should make an excellent carving binding. There are 7 or so riders whom I ride with that all swear by them.

Sorry about the long-winded post but I've heard Flows get thrashed too many times and wanted to sound off. Not looking to start a war here. :biggthump

Good luck.

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having been on Burton C's for a few years, my biggest concern with them has been the huge heel loop on the baseplate, digging into the snow on heelside turns.

That was one thing I loved about the look of the Flows... you've only got a raised highback there, so you should get more edge angle before you boot out.

I'd like to try the carbon ones, but I'm not a big fan of the layback at the top of the highback, mentioned above. This shape, likely meant to aid entry, effectively gives you a shorter highback. As a lover of the Skyback, I'd have trouble with the lack of leverage and the pressure point.

It's a shame you had to retrofit the binding to make it comfortable for you. I too like alot of forward lean, so maybe they're not right for me, but I'm going to try them anyway.

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First, a caveat: I ride northwave boots, which, while moderately stiff and pretty comfortable, aren't as stiff as burton drivers, and likely aren't shaped to flow bindings like flow-branded boots.

Personally, I've found that flow's have absolutely zero lateral support. They're not bad bindings with angles up to 15 degrees or so, but anything past that and you either flex way too much through the gap in the side, or have to crank the achilles-crushing highback straight through your calf. My soft setup right now is a solomon mix-and-match bastard-child with spx6 straps and an spx5 winged highback. It's a huge improvement over the flows, especially at 20+degrees front and back.

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Thanks for the feedback. I presently ride Burton custom's (the green and grey ones with 3 straps). They're OK, but I've broken straps before on them and they will only have a limited service life left. I recently bought some Burton Driver X boots and they are nicely stiff; it took me a while to find such a stiff boot. Now it's time to replace the bindings. I wonder if the Driver's will fit the Flow's OK?

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Here's a shot of the modification to the Flow highback. And to address the issue of no lateral support, I guess I've never had a problem. I ride Atomic Waiver Boa's (their stiffest binding) with Raichle thermoflex liners at 24 degrees front, 12 back and have no problem at all. In fact, I don't see how they'd be any less supportive than a strap binding. Look at the photo and tell me where the boot is going laterally. Maybe you tried the wrong size binding?

post-429-141842220516_thumb.jpg

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My boot shifts the whole strap assembly side-to-side. My normal softboot bindings have an ankle strap placed significantly higher up, which resists lateral force before it's magnified by distance. It may be that with very stiff boots, there's no difference.

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EndUser-I rode in Burton Drivers (the original, not the Driver X) for three years but with the modifications. My brother is going on something like 5 now on his with no mods. He hasn't complained about the fit problems but then, he rides his gear a bit looser than I do. I still think the only way to know for sure is to bring the boots to the shop and try 'em out. You won't be the first to have done it.

But if you're buying online, you take your chances.

Let us know how it works out for you.

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