Expert Review: Now Drive Snowboard Bindings · 2019
This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2016.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the bindings, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2016.
I have ridden the 2014 NOW Drive Snowboard Bindings for six years since I started riding them in 2016. They have been very solid and performed really well under the variety of different ways I stress them each year — great binding for the money.
About the gear
- Model: 2014 NOW Drive
- Size: Large
- Burton channel compatible: No
- Mini disc: No
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 195 lbs
- Experience: 30 years of snowboarding
- When I bought these: February 2016
- Days tested: 120 days
- Board: Jones Mountain Twin
- Boot: Flow Talon
- Where I’ve used it: Idaho backcountry, parks
- Terrain: Backcountry, cliffs, runs filled with untouched snow, groomers, jumps, rails, half-pipe, resort days with lots of fresh snow
How they perform
What I was looking for
When I was shopping for bindings the last time, I was looking for a comfortable and responsive binding. The NOW Drive bindings proved to be comfortable, responsive, and very reliable, having had minimal issues in six years.
Why I chose this gear
I had a pair of NOW IPOs prior to the Drives and really enjoyed those. Therefore, I was almost certain I wanted to pick a different type of NOW binding. The Drives were appealing to me as they were an offering from NOW that spoke to the things I needed out of a binding (comfort, responsiveness, and reliability).
What I love about them
- Binding adjustability in boots: The NOW Drive has a wide range of adjustability, making it simple to make major binding adjustments to fit boots in the respective size range. I completed minor adjustments in the large binding to fit my boot perfectly.
- Stance adjustability: With the radial plates, the NOW Drive is able to be set to any angle desired in relation to my feet.
- Comfort: The Drive is very comfortable, as it has generous padding underfoot.
- Shock absorption: Due to the healthy amount of padding underfoot as well as the risers that can be placed between the binding and the board, the bindings absorb shocks and big airs really well.
- Responsiveness: These bindings are very responsive, which is why I love them the most. The skate tech that NOW utilizes and the overall build of the binding make them incredibly responsive.
- Carving: The stability of the Drive makes carving feel like second nature. I feel connected and in total control of my board.
- Ease of turn initiation: Rolling from edge to edge is so easy with the Drives — the skate tech makes turn initiation very easy.
- Buttering: Buttering is definitely made easier using these bindings. I love to butter, and the binding has never failed me.
- Straps: The straps on the NOW Drive bindings are both comfortable and durable. Only after six years have I started to see real wear on the straps. The straps hold really well to the boot, and the extra padding keeps them comfortable.
- Durability: These bindings have great durability. I have really put them through the wringer over the past six years, and I’ll be using them again this season.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Buckles: Not so much the buckles, but the “ladders” that go into the buckles began to strip over time, which prevents the buckle from grabbing hold of the ladder. When this occurred, I used the bindings adjustability to relocate where the buckle grabbed the ladder. Once that was stripped out I replaced the ladder which is easy to do.
- Weight: The 2014 Drive bindings are a tad on the heavier side, which I suppose is a consequence of the tougher binding.
Favorite moment with this gear
I have had so many great memories with these bindings. My favorite ones are riding at Tamarack Resort on a pow day after a big storm. When the snow is deep, riding can get a bit more difficult sometimes. Having the Drives riding through deep snow was effortless because they are so responsive. The bindings really make the board just feel like an extension of my feet.
Value for the money vs. other options
For the money I would say that these bindings have been a really good investment. As stated earlier, this will be the seventh year I will be using them and have only had to replace one ladder — one replacement in six years. Other bindings in the same price range such as the Union Atlas or Rome Katana are good options. I'm just not sure one would get the same longevity. That’s why I’d recommend NOW over other brands.
The NOW Drive Snowboard Bindings are definitely the best bindings I’ve ever owned; they are reliable, durable, comfortable, and responsive. They are a more expensive binding but worth every penny when one considers how long they last and the performance year after year.