The binding base is made from an aluminum alloy combined with OC-Kush (a rubberized cover that’s designed to dampen vibration). The base, or “chassis,” of these bindings is very comfortable and very solid. I have broken stiff plastic bindings, but I would have a hard time breaking these I think.
The footbeds on the bindings are relatively thick and quite soft. Called BankBeds, they’re canted in at 2.5-degrees toward the inside of the foot to supposedly allow for a more natural stance. I honestly didn’t notice the 2.5-degrees angle of the BankBeds, but I did notice the softness and dampening qualities. I rode chop and ice at Craigieburn Valley, and I found I was able to cut through the conditions with ease. I was able to control speed without chattering out, and I attribute much of that to the dampening of the bindings.
I like to ride with a relatively wide stance for my height (~5’10’’ with a 23.5-inch stance). The base plate disk has a versatile arrangement that allows for multiple stance options and different mounting patterns. The disk has dimensions capable of pairing with Burton’s channel system as well as their triangular formation. These bindings will work with any board while still offering a wide range of mounting options.
Then there’s N.A.S.T.Y. (New Active Strap Technology), another upgrade to the Flow NX2-AT. The active strap allegedly makes it easier to get in and out of the bindings. When the ModBack is folded down, the unified strap lifts up higher by way of hinges, giving you more room to enter. Once the ModBack is clicked into place, the strap then tightens to its final position.
I found that, regardless of the N.A.S.T.Y., I still had to loosen the LSR buckles, specifically the toe strap, in order to enter the binding. (More on this under “Boot Compatibility” below.)
Once in the bindings, I would tighten the straps down much tighter than the pre-adjusted setting. I think the LSR buckles make the ratchet straps of the NX2-AT much more functional, but the added lift on the strap didn’t do much for me.
Busted Heel / Toe Strap
It’s not uncommon to bust a heel or toe strap while riding, but I found with these bindings that the hassle of riding out somewhere with broken pieces is reduced greatly. The unification of the straps maintains enough rigidity to let you ride out without a heel or toe connection.
Often I would leave the toe strap portion very loose to allow me to get my foot in quicker. I found that tightening the heel portion gave me enough support.
I should make a note regarding the reclining hiback—the heel piece of my K2 Thraxis didn’t conform with the binding.
Once I got my foot in the binding, I felt secure with a great connection between my boot and the binding. But I noticed that when I folded down the hiback to unstrap, the bottom piece of the binding would slice into the sole of the heel. The result? A damaged heel piece on my boot that makes it more difficult to use the rear-entry method.
I only noticed this with my right foot (or front foot), and it resulted in me having to loosen the LSR buckles enough to move my foot forward to clear the Modback before exiting the binding. I was not able to simply set the ratchets and enter / exit through the hiback rear entry. I always had to adjust something.
In the end, the binding’s other features outweighed this minor annoyance, but I would be curious to try a pair of Flow boots to see if that fixes the problem.
I used the medium bindings with size 9.0 US K2 Thraxis boots. I had to shorten the length of the strap and I still found myself ratcheting almost to the end of the ladder strap. I might have been better off with a small pair, but the length of the medium bindings seemed appropriate for my boots.
Weight / Snow build-up
While these bindings are a bit bulky, I never noticed the added weight. I also didn’t find snow caking or filling into spaces to be an issue. Even on warm days with sticky snow, I wasn’t annoyed by the snow build-up.
The Flow NX2-AT is a versatile, well-built binding. I found Flow’s system to be very convenient—I was always able to strap in while standing up, and often while on the go.
In my mind, the best upgrade these bindings got are the LSR buckles. That’s the piece that truly made these bindings versatile, even though the N.A.S.T.Y. didn’t add much, in my experience. Overall, these bindings are stiff and responsive, built for aggressive freeriding and stability at speed.