To Flow Or Not to Flow

I’m not going to stoke the great flow debate – except to say, they work for some and don’t work for others. Horses for courses and all that.

Having huge US 15 feet, my setup is limited. Currently I have a 168 Ride Mountain board, coupled with US 15 Vans BFB boots and Flow Pro FR bindings. My main issue with this set up, is the weight. Flows are strong, but very heavy. The board is huge and thus very heavy. Weight causes fatigue and coupled with a wide board, equates to slower response.

Flows big plus point for me is comfort. I get stacks of support and no pressure points at all, unlike conventional strap bindings.

The other issue with Flows is boot compatibility, some work better than others. Take a look at the below picture.

The base of my boot should stay flat to the bindings at all times, but I’ve noticed that when on my toe edge, the heel of my boot is sliding upwards in the binding. This is obviously adding to lack of response.

I can’t hold Flow fully responsible for this, my boots are obviously bigger than what their bindings were designed to cater for. You can see from the image above, there are gaps between the side of my boots and the binding. This can result in the following.

That’s a lot of movement!! When in this position the boot / binding fit is perfect, there boot will not move any higher. However, as soon as I go back to my heel edge the boot will slide back down again.

possible solutions

I) place a spacer tab on the base of my binding – to raise my boot heel into the preferred higher position. This will prevent any unwanted movement, but will also upset my natural balance over the board.

ii) Add a hook to the underside of my boot, similar to a clicker set up. Would require major modifications to bindings and boots – risky to say the least!

iii) If you look at the first image, if I had a raised area on the back of the boot just below the edge the binding high back. It would prevent the boot from riding up. The problem here, is how do I secure the raised area? Glue would not be strong enough.

The option I decided on, is the simplest and appears to work. I simply stuck on some self adhesive pads to the high backs. Creating a better fit between my boots and bindings.

I will continue experimenting with pad placement this weekend in Okemo.

It’s worth noting I have tried using conventional straps. Last year in Jackson Hole I picked up a pair of these puppies.

The Burton P1 Carbons, looked great and I’d heard good things about them. Sadly the binding heel was too narrow and they caused major discomfort when riding. In order to get the same level of support as my Flows, I had to crank them really tight, which just added to the discomfort. My other issue with them was the length of the straps. Due to my huge boots, it was a struggle to get the straps in the ratchet’s.

If I can find some bigger strap bindings, with longer straps, I will definitely give them another shot, plus I’d couple them up with a narrower board and riser plates.

What’s the biggest binding out there? And can I get longer straps?


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