This season has been a busy one for Flow Snowboards. Earlier I reviewed the NX2-GT with the new toe-cap design, and N.A.S.T.Y technology. I promised to review the NX2-RS with the traditional single strap we’ve all come to know from Flow, but with the added bonus of N.A.S.T.Y and other new tech this season. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on the NX2-RS bindings. I’ve ridden then on a couple different boards, and through various conditions, and feel like I can honestly post a thorough review of them at this point.
The NX2-RS are Flow’s stiffest bindings coming in at a 5 out of 5 on their scale.
Interestingly enough, if you look at the NX2 series, you’ll notice that they all share the same baseplate, ratchets, and lower high-back design, so the stiffness differences come through the addition of composite fibers to the upper support panel on the high-back, as well as the asymmetrical A-Fusion powerstrap. You’ll notice that the NX2-RS bindings also incorporate the same BankBeds with the 2.5 canting as the NX2-GT’s I reviewed earlier. Both bindings also share the same style LSR ratchets, rockered baseplate, and OCKush basepads. While the NX2 series of bindings do share some DNA, the succinct differences between them definitely play to their intended audiences. The NX2-RS does feel and ride stiffer than the NX2-GT, and the A-Fusion powerstrap brings back that traditional Flow feel. The image below details both bindings back to back to show the shared DNA.
The NX2-RS are only available in a single color way pictured below. I rode the XL size with a pair of Vans Cirro boots in size 12 on a Never Summer Cobra X, Lib Tech Skunk Ape HP, and while testing a prototype board. I was able to ride in all kinds of conditions from dusted crust to dumping powder days.
Having ridden the Nx2-GT previously, and not having the best experience with the toe-cap, I wanted to fall back to a more traditional Flow design that still incorporated some new elements. One of the biggest changes on this binding is the addition of the LSR Ratchets as was the same with the GT’s. I loved the new larger ratchet size, which make make adjustments a breeze. I noticed however on the NX2-RS’s that the little white locking ratchets would pop open during riding at times, which was somewhat annoying. Overall, the change is a good direction, however, Flow obviously has some work to do on design in places.
The A-Fusion Power Strap felt much like the strap you would find on the old NXT-FRX line of bindings, but with a thicker and better build to the strap overall. You still get that same “no pressure” feel with the A-Fusion strap, but it feels like it provides a bit more support and/or stiffness than the previous NXT-FRX Asym Power Strap. This definitely helps add to the overall stiffer feel of the bindings in my opinion. The beauty of this scenario over the GT’s was discovered pretty quickly when I didn’t have to fuss with a toe-cap that wouldn’t sit properly when kicking in. Setting up the NX2-RS’s was much quicker, and made riding much nicer, as simply kicking in, and out of them went smoothly everytime I rode them.
The BankBeds are a new addition this year, and honestly a nice one. Canting is pretty much the norm with bindings, and if you have bad knees, they appear to help the cause. That however is probably preference dependent, and may not be the case with everyone. I’ve always ridden a 2.5 cant when I could and found the Flow BankBeds pretty nice. Thick pads, with little OC Kush gel pads integrated to help with response, and cushy feeling. They seemed to help provide some dampening without making the board feel like a plank. Nice touch indeed.
One area I noticed a change, that I’m not so hip on yet, was the removal of the “latch” lock on the back of the highbacks. The new design simply relies on pressure to lock the handle in place. I didn’t really mind this much until I took a light, and I mean very light bail, and noticed that both highbacks on my NX2-RS’s fell open. I might expect this on a gnarly bail, but not on a light fall. They haven’t dropped open since, so I’m not sure if it was a fluke, but wasn’t something I enjoyed experiencing. I really do miss the locking “latch” of the previous Flow models.
The one thing I haven’t talked much about at this point is the N.A.S.T.Y. tech that has been touted by Flow this season. On the NX2-GT’s it’s incredibly noticeable, and it is indeed also included with the NX2-RS’s. Great addition, and honestly one of my favorite features. It makes getting in and out of the bindings even easier than it may have previously been. The one caveat I noticed though is that you have to learn to set the bindings up a tad looser with N.A.S.T.Y. due to the way the strap pulls back down. Otherwise you may have issues simply kicking in, or with pressure across your boot, due to the bindings being too tight. Just my experience with them. Overall, the best feature to happen to Flow this year. As I mentioned in the previous review of the NX2-GT, Flow’s design for N.A.S.T.Y. is simple and works like a champ. They use the highback/heelcup action to lower or raise the strap, negating the need for any special levers, gadgets or black magic. Purely simple, and works great.
To talk to a few other areas, the Highback on the NX2-RS is stiff. As you can see in the pictures they’ve included the composite fibers to stiffen up the top, providing maximum support and response. The binding is responsive, and one of my favorite bindings of the season so far. Easy to get in and out of, comfortable, and easy to adjust, it just made riding much nicer this season. There were a few quirks I didn’t care for, such as the highbacks dropping in a light fall, and I felt like the gel like cushions on the bottom of the baseplate are kind of weak in that I had snow pack in between them once.
Overall, the NX2-RS is one of my favorite bindings this season. Next season Flow has milled out the baseplates to make them lighter, which is a good thing. I’m definitely interested in getting some time on the next model to see how that milling plays into the ride etc. Good binding for the rider who likes a stiff, supportive, and response binding, that’s easy to get in and out of, even in powder. The price point can be a bit high, but you can find them on sale at this time of the year, reducing some of that out of pocket pain.
More info can be found over at Flow
*Disclaimer: I purchased these bindings from 720 Boardshop with my own funds*