Taking You Back To Simpler Days
Remember the days when you could run around endlessly?
Your hands in the air, your time limitless, and your imagination the perfect tool to make each second count. We were all young once (most of us like to believe that we still are) but at different points in our lives, those days leave and never come back.
It wasn’t until I encountered the Union Contact Pro snowboard bindings that all those memories came flooding back. Was it surfy feel that you get with these snowboard bindings or the comfort and fit of their ankle strap?
I still don’t quite know for sure.
But what I do know is that these Union bindings have got something that other bindings don’t. Freestyle isn’t just in the name, it’s what these bindings do, they set you free. Despite some minor inconveniences (the toe strap), I had fun.
That’s the only word you need to describe these bindings: Fun.
Union Contact Pro: At A Glance
Usually, I like to stray away from the idea of using charts and numbers to showcase the quality of snowboard bindings or any gear for that matter. The truth is that numbers won’t ever be able to fully explain why something is quality.
Nonetheless, the Union Contact Pro boot bindings have got great stats. Here’s a specs chart to show you what I mean:
I’m sure all the good things above have got your mind racing but hold on. Before you make any purchases, you’ve got to make sure that you have the right boot size picked out. Boot size chart below:
Now that we’ve got that all sorted, it’s time to ask ourselves if the Union Contact Pros are for you or not. Spoiler alert: Yes, these Union bindings go well with any rider.
Who Needs The Contact Pros?
I’ve broken down and gone over several bindings that were made for an aggressive riding style. Bindings that were designed for the elite or for those that aspire to be seen as such. But what about the other class of riders? Those that just want to have fun?
The Contact Pro is the freestyle binding for riders that just want to cruise through the snow. We’ve all got a playful soul deep within us and it’s good to let it out once and a while.
The best part is, that this freestyle binding doesn’t lock out the novices. Time and time again we have encountered bindings that are suited for experienced riders and experienced riders only.
Don’t get me wrong, an intermediate rider or any advanced rider can get a great ride out of these snowboard bindings but so can a beginner. The Union Contact Pro bindings are for riders of all levels, especially beginners.
These freestyle bindings are for anyone whose main goals are to let loose and have fun. Nothing more than that.
The Union Contact Pros Under The Scope
Now’s the time to unwrap the Contact Pros and show you what goes on under the hood of these freestyling necessities. Keep in mind, that what you read below is based on my own experiences and the conditions that I rode around in.
Still, I am confident in the overall quality of these bindings. I can’t shake off the feeling I had as I rode around in them. These are fun bindings and several parts of their design contributed to this.
There were some design choices that I found near inexcusable but the quality of the ride triumphed in the end. As it should be.
Union Contact Pro Snowboard Bindings 2022
The price of “Union Contact Pro Snowboard Bindings 2022” varies, so check the latest price at
A Soft Flex & Tepid Response
Most bindings can have their flex rating broken down into three parts. The high back, the base plate, and the straps (ankle strap, toe strap). The Union Contact is no different but what does set it aside is that the flex score for all three aforementioned parts sits at a medium-soft flex.
It’s a little difficult to gauge the feeling of the flex by just reading the stats. On paper, the Union Contact boot bindings have a medium flex score of five. But when riding them, they feel a bit softer.
I’d say that their “true” flex score is four. This is by no means a complaint. Personally, if I want a pair of freestyle bindings to stomp around with, a softer flex level is a must. Softer flexing bindings create a much more forgiving ride.
A forgiving ride is what beginners and freestylers of any skill level need. Low flex score bindings are more forgiving because they aren’t as responsive as stiffer bindings.
This lack of precision may sound like a negative but it isn’t. For example, beginning rider may jerk their body around as they try to maintain their balance. Stiffer bindings would send them tumbling toward the ground, they are too responsive.
But freestyle bindings, like the ones in this review, are slower and require more to react to the rider’s movements. The flex is fantastic for freestyling and newbies. They are not very responsive at all but this is by design and a benefit.
Comfort took center stage during the Union Contact Pro design process. You’d think that this would be the case with all bindings but you’d be surprised.
Most bindings today obsess over turning you into a professional. Minor things like comfort get sacrificed at the altar of speed and responsiveness. The Contact Pros buck this trend.
Highback rotation is possible. This makes pressing a breeze as your boot will no longer rub up against the highback itself. You can kiss painful chafing and soreness goodbye.
For those times when you need to rely on the highback, there is more than enough padding smushed into them to keep them comfortable. When it comes to their flex, they are soft and flexible.
They can be twisted and molded into place. They aren’t the great wall of China. Think more like a foam mattress. Even in colder temperatures, they don’t relent. The Duraflex material that they are made of makes sure that this is the case.
I’ve used bindings before that had stiffer highbacks. They do have their benefits, but the brutal bruising that my calves would sustain at the end of the day always made me question if there was a better way.
The Union Contact Pro is the better way. If you want to ride all day without having to walk with crutches the following morning then you need highbacks like these ones right here.
The base plates of the Union Contact Pro are a comfort and rider support buffet of design choices. Duraflex material, much like the one used in the highback’s construction, makes its return here. With it comes that same old consistency (even in frigid temperatures) that we’ve come to expect from them.
Both the feel and the flex of the base plate benefit from the Duraflex’s consistency. However, in my opinion, what makes these base plates so good is the full bottom bushing system, made from thermoformed EVA padding.
This soft EVA foam is what gives these bindings their great shock absorption and canted footbed. The canted footbed helps align your stance. Even though I don’t have that wide of a stance, the footbeds did help take the pressure off of my knees.
The longer I rode the more impressed I was left at the comfort and stability that the base plate presented me.
Usually, after a couple of hours of intense riding, I start feeling the wear and tear. While there was plenty of that to go around, it was significantly less than on other days. Days in which I was using different bindings.
The final thing I’ll touch on is that while the responsiveness of these bindings is lacking, the aluminum heel cup on either binding helped minimize the drag. It wasn’t a game changer but welcomed nonetheless.
Adjusting The Union Contact Bindings
Adjustability. With the Union Contact Pro, I’ll say that the adjustability is split right down the middle. Let’s start off with the good before I jump into the painful bad.
The Good Side
As I stated before, the high backs can be rotated without the need for a tool. That’s a big plus one. The reason why some like to rotate their highbacks is to reduce calf bite. Both the severity and the likelihood of it happening.
Calf bite is less likely to occur because of the highback rotation and the padding included with each one. The lean of the highback can be adjusted, tool-less.
The heel cup mentioned in the previous section can also be adjusted. Once again without the need for a tool. Adjusting the heel cup lets you center the placement of your toe and heel. We use our big toe for directing our movements. As you can imagine, centering it is a big deal.
The placement of the toe strap can be adjusted and your stance width adjustability is limited but still possible.
But this is where the good times end. If you look at the score breakdown chart at the end of this review you’ll notice that the adjustability took a severe hit. This is because of two major reasons.
The position of the ankle strap can’t be adjusted and most importantly, if you want to adjust the length of the toe strap, you are going to need a tool. This was a massive letdown and annoying, to say the least.
What Are They Made Of?
Anything in this world is only as good as the sum of its parts. This leads us to one simple question. What were the materials used to make the Union Contact Pros?
I’ve already gone over the Duraflex material that was used for the construction of the highback and base plate. I’m not going to do it again. Instead, we should jump over to the straps (ankle strap and toe strap).
The toe strap was made with a thermoplastic material. This thermoplastic material has anti-slip qualities which secure the strap even when you are in the middle of your wildest sets (or if you are in the middle of your wildest tumbles).
The ankle strap is of a similar quality level. As for the buckles, aluminum ratchets make for an easy strap-in and strap-out experience. I’ll go into the performance of the straps themselves in the following section but let me give you a bit of a spoiler: secure and high-quality.
As I rode around, I didn’t feel as if the straps were slipping or shifting out of place. Even as I took on side hit after side hit. But I did find that the mini-disc at the bottom of the Union Contact Pro limited how I could adjust my stance.
With a grade 8.8 steel framework, I’d say that the materials used in the Contact Pro are top quality.
Mounting System Compatibility
I have heard that installing previous iterations of the Contact Pro can be troublesome, to say the least. Since I don’t have much experience with these previous versions I can’t attest to that.
But I will say that I had no such problems with this iteration (2022) of these shock absorption masters.
As for the mounting systems supported by these bindings, both the ubiquitous 2 x 4 and the excellent Channel mounting patterns are supported. The Burton’s Channel system is Burton’s finest innovation.
A mounting system that lets you unlock any kind of stance width that you can think of. Having the ability to take full advantage of this while also enjoying the other benefits of this freestyle mountain binding was amazing.
Fantastic Shock Absorption
This is the shining star of the Contact Pro. The Contact Pro do a few things well and then performs admirably across the rest but their shock absorption is top drawer. Even when stomping down hard onto a flat landing I was giddy with the results.
I really felt like I could fly into each landing, stomp, and touch with no worries at all. This is what made the Contact Pro so fun to ride around in. There were virtually no worries as I moved my way down the mountain.
I am used to bracing for the impact each and every time I go into the air. When I realized that I didn’t have to worry about that as much here, it almost felt as if something was missing. I mean all of this as a compliment of the highest order.
It didn’t matter what speed I was traveling at, fast or slow, the Contact Pro dampened it all.
Even crud couldn’t produce much chatter with the Contact Pro. This incredibly damp ride is a product of the thermoformed EVA padding that I mentioned before. The padding covers the entire base plate.
The best shock absorption that I have felt all year. I doubt that I’ll come across something as good as this. It wasn’t just about the dampening effect, it was the mindset that it put me in that really made these shine.
Union Contact Pro Snowboard Bindings 2022
The price of “Union Contact Pro Snowboard Bindings 2022” varies, so check the latest price at
The Straps and Support
I briefly mentioned the anti-slip qualities of both the ankle strap and the toe strap. Their thermoplastic makeup paying dividends. I spoke about the security that I felt as I rode around. Even as things grew more intense with each slash and turn.
I think a big part of the reason why these straps and their ratchet system performed so well is because of the man that helped make them. The ankle strap was designed by the legendary pro snowboarder Travis Rice himself.
While minimalist in design, the amount of ankle support received was no longer a shock when I found out that Travis Rice had designed them.
The straps were smooth to get in and out of. But the fact that I needed a tool to adjust the length of the toe strap really drove down the score for me. Performance great, adjustability? Very poor.
My Final Thoughts On The Union Contact Pros
The quality of the Union Contact Pro bindings rests on three pillars. They are extremely comfortable. Everything from the highbacks, to the base plate, and straps has been built to be comfortable and increase overall shock absorption.
Second, their accessibility. It doesn’t matter what your ability level is, you will be able to have a great time with them.
Many of the bindings that I’ve encountered and written about previously are only for intermediate-ability level riders and up. It was a nice change of pace to review snowboard bindings that didn’t scare away the new guys.
Finally, these are great bindings that were designed to give you the most fun possible. Riding (or better put, surfing) the whole mountain with these Union bindings felt super smooth.
In a world filled with snowboarding gear that’s optimized to push you to your limits, it was pretty cool to find some bindings that cared about their fun factor more than anything else.
I can’t recommend the Union Contact Pro snowboard bindings enough.