Review: 2013 Flow NX2 GT Bindings

Written by JT on . Posted in Reviews

If you’ve followed my site for any length of time, you’ll know that I usually have some type of Flow binding in my quiver, and that I’ve ridden Flow for quite some time.  From the old skool to the NXT FSE’s I’ve had my boot in just about everything they’ve put out.  Flow has typically been known for their uni-strap, and drop down highback, making binding entry rather easy.  That’s been their “bread and butter” for many years.  This year Flow dropped a whole new design on the world with the introduction of N.A.S.T.Y technology, and toe caps on some bindings.   I picked up a pair of the NX2  GT bindings, and have spent quite a bit of time out on them riding.  There’s definitely some good, and then some bad with the new technology, so let’s jump right into this.

First and foremost, the bindings themselves look great.  Well built, aluminum baseplate, and heelcups, that just feel solid.  At first glance you wouldn’t think these bad boys were flow bindings, I mean they have a toe-cap on them afterall, but that ever so popular dropping highback reaffirms that these are indeed Flow bindings.  The New Active Strap Technology 0r N.A.S.T.Y is definitely a welcome addition to the Flow lineup.  Essentially the strap will raise up when the highback is dropped, allowing much easier, and quicker entry into the binding without having to really kick in as you may have had to do with some earlier bindings.  I can’t give Flow enough praise on how simple this design is.  I mean seriously they took it to the barebones with the engineering of this, but it works beautifully without moving parts.   Great job on this part for sure!

Flow NX2 GT

The next big thing you may notice is the introduction of a whole new strap system, including a toe-cap on some models, including the NX2 GT.  The “Hybrid” Powerstrap, as pictured below, combines the best of old Flow straps with the incorporation of the new toe-cap system.

Flow NX2 GT -Hybrid

 

And this is where some of my gripe really comes in.  First things first, the toe-cap itself just continually fell off the front of my boot.  I thought this was just a problem perhaps with my Vans Cirro, but confirmed with a friend who was riding new Flow’s as well, that their toe-cap was indeed falling off their boot as well.  With the ankle strap tightened down, this wasn’t a huge issue, but I generally ride my straps a little lose, and found that missing toe-cap presented a bit of an edge initiation issue.  The other issue is the rubber on the toe-cap had this habit of folding in on itself, when you’re trying to move the cap backup, or adjust things after riding. I found that to be annoying honestly. What I did to fix the issue was simple. I took off both toe-caps, and put them on swapped, and upside down, so the ratchets aligned again.  Flow actually recommends doing this if you want to ride the toe-cap a certain way.   This actually worked much better in terms of staying on my boot, and made things much nicer.

Flow NX2 GT- Flipped Toecap

The image above is my bindings with the swapped and flipped toe-cap. You had to swap the toe-caps to ensure the ratchets were on the proper side, so moving them from each bindings to the other made that possible.  The only other recommendation I’d have for Flow is to work on how the toe-cap rises with the rest of the strap, because it doesn’t come up nearly enough, so you may find yourself haggling with the toe-cap more often than you should.   So now that my initial gripe is over with the binding, let’s talk about some other features.  You’ll notice Flow really brought a lot of new things into the new bindings, including the introduction of the LSR ratchets, which FINALLY are full size real ratchets that work as ratchets should.  LSR stands for “locking strap ratchet,” meaning you really just have to ratchet them, and give em a quick pop to lock down the white lever ensuring the ratchets hold tight in place exactly where you want them.  I was so stoked to finally get real ratchets, and they work!

The other big addition is the Flow Bank Bed, which is their version of canted footbeds.  There is only a 2.5 size available on the NX2 GT at the moment, and I’m not sure if that will be something you can swap out later, but I found that the 2.5 Bank Bed worked really well, especially since I’ve been riding canted footbeds in Rome Targas for a while now.   I also talked to a friend who spent his first season on Flow with the NX2 SE, and he couldn’t say enough good things about the Bank Beds, and how they helped his knees out a bit.   Good stuff indeed.

I rode, and am still riding the NX2 GT’s with a NeverSummer Cobra X, and a Lib Skunk Ape HP.  The bindings feel great!  They’re responsive, and yet still stiff enough for a bigger guy like myself.  The straps are comfortable once you get everything dialed in.  I didn’t have any pressure points over foot, which is something I’ve loved about Flows in the past.  I did notice I do tend to ride the strap of the NX2 GTs a bit tighter than I would my older NXT FSE’s, but I think that’s due more to how the new Hybrid strap works.  Honestly, the bindings are great with just a few minor annoyances in the toe-cap area, but on a first year binding completely new from the ground up, I’d expect to have some issues somewhere.    I’m still riding my Vans Cirro size 12 boots, both the 2010 model, and the new 2013 model in this binding, and both fit beautifully.   The NX2 GT’s are pricey, but if you’re a Flow rider you’re probably used to those price tags anyways.   They ring in at $369.99 MSRP, and only come in the “Jet Black” color way.    I’d love to get my hands on a pair of the NX2 RS’s to see how the N.A.S.T.Y tech with the old skool Flow Unistrap works, and responds, so look out for that hopefully coming shortly.    All in all, I love the bindings even with their quirky nature.  They feel great, respond incredibly well to my riding, and are easy in and out bindings.   Hopefully Flow will work on that toe-cap/strap to get that ironed out which will make these pretty damn solid.

More information can be found at Flow’s website  : FLOW NX2 GT

**Disclaimer: I bought these with my own funds from 720 Boardshop **

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Comments (11)

  • Mauro

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    Dear JT,

    I have a question for you. I have been a flow user since my beginnings, this year I decided to upgrade my level from intermediate to advance on freeride, so I decided to have new gear.

    I got a pair of Flow Talon 11 and NX2-GT L, But I have found that the bindings are probably little tight touching the boot on the two pivot bolts at the heelcup base. Is this something that see on your bindings? Or probably I took one size smaller of what it should be?

    Thank you,

    Mauro

    Reply

    • JT

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      Mauro, I didnt’ experience that, but I also adjust the heelcup to move it as far back as I can to ensure my boots fit accordingly. Since I ride a 12/13 boot, I usually order the XL, but still have to adjust the heelcup on some models. Have you tried moving the heelcup back on yours?

      Reply

  • Ramz

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    The toe cap, has little catches on it that keep the cap from moving all the way off. Any tips for getting off without damaging anything?

    Reply

    • JT

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      Ramz, I’ve noticed that some of the toe cap straps have those little notches, and some don’t, which is interesting in and of itself. I just ended up shaving off one notch, to be able to move the toe cap around. Flow also recommends switching the toe-cap around if it works better for you that way, so I can’t imagine shaving the one notch off will void a warranty or anything.

      Reply

      • Ramz

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        Thx I wound up just turning it at slight angle and pulling it off. I can’t wait until I can get some serious riding in! I already feel like I made the right choice in going with the GT instead of the new AT. (These replaced some 2012 Flow NXT-AT’s.) I like the idea of the toe cap helping my foot to land in the same position everytime I kick in. I’ll probably keep messing with different settings(because I always have to tinker with such things) but I’ve already had moments where it felt like my boots, bindings and boards had melded into one!

        Reply

  • Ramz

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    Awesome and informative review, btw!

    Reply

  • Daniel Fischer

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    Hey thanks. Two questions.

    1) how tight should I make the flow bindings? I tried a little loose compared to traditional two strap bc the flow binding website said to but then if I forced my foot to move I could wiggle it to other positions of binding. That doesn’t seem good, right? Tighten until cant move foot at all?

    2) how do you know if you have to move heel cup?

    3) any way to know how much forward lean you have consistently to make it so for both bindings?

    Any other tips for first time flow user?

    Reply

    • JT

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      Daniel,
      Definitely a good question. I generally set my Flows up so that the strap is tight enough to keep my boot in place, but not so tight I can’t get my boot in and out rather easily. There are times where my boot has moved ever so slightly, and I’ve just made micro adjustments to stop that, but kept from over tightening them, otherwise getting in and out of them can get tough. With regards to the heel cup, if you’re having a hard time getting the high-back up without the boot heel lifting, you may need to either adjust the strap a bit, or you may need to adjust the heel cup. On some models of Flow I adjust the heelcup, and on others I’ve found I don’t necessarily have to.

      With regards to forward lean, that’s completely a preference for you. If you like forward lean, play around with the settings, and see what works for you. As you increase your forward lean, you may need to adjust the strap tensions as well. I don’t use much forward lean on my bindings at the current moment.

      Generally speaking as far as tips go, Flows tend to take some getting used to. I spent a good amount of time dialing in my fit etc when I first started riding them. I can ride my straps a bit looser than some of the crew I ride with, and it doesn’t bother me at all at this point (I’ve ridden Flow’s for over five years now) so I’m rather used to the feelings. I have friends who prefer a tighter strap, so it’s all about finding what fit works with you, and getting in and out of the binding. Which model binding are you riding?

      Reply

  • Daniel Fischer

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    I picked up a pair of NX2 GT’s for $220. So decided to jump on them. I wanted to try a different binding system because my feet are really sensitive to cramping up.

    On the forward lean, how do you know how much forward lean there is though? Like on my Burton Cartel’s I had a number. F1, F2, F3. On the Flow’s it’s just a dial so I’m not sure if they’re exactly the same for both bindings. Not sure if that is an issue or not.

    When you say a bit looser than some of the crew you ride with, does that mean that your feet will move a bit if you force it? Can you wiggle the position or is it locked down to the point that’s not going to happen?

    How tight does it feel around your foot? Does it feel like it’s there? How noticeable?

    Thank you :)

    Oh another question. When you put your feet in through the back. Do you use the ratchet to make it tighter or is that more of a rarity on a pow/basis?

    Reply

    • JT

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      ahh, I see what you’re saying. I’ve never noticed any type of numbering on the Flows for forward lean, it’s always just adjusting that little dial on the highback. One thing to keep in mind, if you adjust your forward lean pretty aggressively, you may need to adjust the cable tension by moving the screws back a slot on the baseplate and such.

      On the NX2 GT’s I don’t get boot movement at all, as my boot is pretty snug in the binding. I ride the NX2-GT (Single strap, no toe-cap) a bit loser, since it’s a single strap. The NX2 GT’s since they have the toe cap, I’ve never really noticed any movement. At times though I will adjust the toe cap tighter after I’ve pulled the highback up.

      The GT’s definitely take some getting used to in terms of setting them up properly. What I suggest with them is to make sure the strap is evenly applied over your boots, by loosening the straps, putting your boot into the binding, and then pull up the highback but don’t lock it in place, just pull it up to pull the strap down. At that point you can make micro adjustments, and figure out what fit you might like the best. Hopefully that helps. With regards to the toecap I do notice it’s there, as I make sure that the toe cap has a snug fit. That toe cap had some slight adjustments made to it on the new model (13-14 season next year) to help make it easier to to kick into without having to make adjustments or mess with the cap at all. I still find from time to time that I have to reach down and adjust the toe cap after I’ve pulled the high back up. With regards to your last question, generally I don’t make any adjustments after I kick in, and I don’t ever adjust the heel strap, but from time to time on the toe cap I may.

      Reply

  • Tim

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    Hey thanks for the great review JT!

    I have also problems with my toe cap.
    The NX2-AT have a single strap without a toe cap.
    Is there any more difference between AT and GT?

    Which binding is better: NX2-AT or NX2-GT?

    Are you still happy with the switched toe caps?

    Thanks,
    Tim

    Reply

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