Expert Review: Jones Apollo Snowboard Bindings · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard bindings, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard bindings, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2022.
The Jones Apollo Snowboard Bindings are the stiffer freeride bindings designed for the advanced rider who likes to charge hard and ride fast. These bindings are top-of-the-line in performance and quality and loaded with high-end materials and industry-leading technology.
About the gear I own
- Model: 2022 Jones Apollo Snowboard Bindings
- Size: Medium
- Burton channel compatible: Yes
- Mini disc (reduces footprint of the binding on the board to enable more board feel): No
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 165lbs
- Experience: 23 years of snowboarding
- When I bought these: January 2022
- Days tested: 50
- Board: Jones Ultra Mountain Twin 159W
- Boot: Salomon Launch SJ Lace BOA Size 11
- Where I’ve used it: Breckenridge, Big Sky, Crystal, Kirkwood, Sugarbush
- Terrain: The steepest and most technical terrain, high alpine beacon required zones, park laps, low angle powder, deep snow, tree runs, and groomers. These bindings were on my board for everything I came across last season.
How it performs
What I was looking for
When I purchased the Apollo bindings, I was looking for a binding that would mainly be used as my competition binding, which ultimately led to being my daily driver. Therefore, I looked for a stiff, responsive, durable, and lightweight binding. In addition, I wanted a snug fit and a reliable binding that I know will perform as expected.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Jones Apollo binding for my freeride competitions due to its high responsiveness and lightweight construction. With the Hanger 3.0 SKATETECH technology, I was sold. I had purchased the Mercury bindings in a large and felt like they were too big around my size 11 boot. So I decided to go for the Apollo bindings in a medium, which was the right choice. My Salomon Launch SJ fits perfectly in the heel cup, although a little snug, but I would rather it be tight versus having some wiggle room.
What I love about them
- Binding adjustability to boots: The Apollo bindings are easily adjustable with a tool-free system that can be done on the hill or easily at home.
- Stance adjustability: I ran these bindings at 12, -9 and found that to be the perfect angle for my style. Switch capable but still forward charging.
- Shock absorption: Skatetech Hangers require bushings on the baseplate. This binding comes with a stiffer and softer bushing. The stiffer freeride bushing is more solid and does not absorb as much chatter as the softer surf bushing. I only ran the bindings with the stiffer bushing and think it’s the perfect amount of absorption for my riding style. I want to feel everything going on down there.
- Responsiveness: The Apollo bindings are one of the most responsive bindings I have got a chance to get on. The stiffer flex and Hanger 3.0 baseplate really seem to transfer energy directly from the boot to the snowboard without any delay.
- Carving: Going back into SKATETECH, the hanger system transfers kinetic energy from the boot directly to the snowboard’s edge, giving me the most edge control I’ve found in a long time.
- Straps: The Power Spine ankle strap is wider, which allows more area to grab the boot while the center spine increases response. The 3D Flex Fit 2.0 toe strap fits around my boot perfectly and is designed to do the same with all boots. At points, I get a little bit of pain on the ankle straps, especially if I’ve been strapped in all day. Besides that, they keep me locked in all day long.
- Buckles: The buckles on the Apollo bindings are made from aluminum used to build aircraft. I’ve had zero issues with my buckles in the first year. They seem durable, very smooth, and easy to use.
- Weight: I expected a heavier binding since the SKATETECH has some beefier parts, but the Apollo bindings are surprisingly lightweight. I noticed a difference comparing them to the Mercury bindings, maybe since I went down a size but lighter.
- Adjustability: Switching out the bushing and flipping the ankle straps to surf mode allows for a completely different flex with these bindings. Adjustability-wise on flex is massive. Not many bindings claim to have two different flex patterns.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Ease of turn initiation: These bindings will take some effort to turn. For more of a beginner or intermediate rider, I see them having trouble getting the Apollo bindings to respond right away. They really want to make the board get on its edges like the snowboard is designed to ride.
- Comfort: The foam footbed really gives the Apollo bindings a cushy feel. The straps allow for that locked-in feeling, which is ideal for hard-charging. That being said, these bindings are on the stiffer end, which will sacrifice some comfort.
- Buttering: With the right amount of pressure, I can butter and tweak my board in the air with these bindings. It almost seems to help to have the stiffer flex. I can press down with the binding and know it will cause my board to flex, but it takes some more pressure.
- Durability: I hesitated to give this a 4/5 star review and bumped it down to 3/5 stars for one main reason. I cracked one of my flax/carbon highbacks mid-season. I was disappointed but understood that carbon breaks under pressure. Rest assured, Jones sent out the correct highback free of charge. Either way, if I was in a pinch and needed these bindings to compete the next day and my highback snapped in half, I would be pretty disappointed.
- Other: When I get on these bindings, I want to start charging down the hill. I have a few other options for taking things slow or riding in the park. Not my top choice for the slower pace freestyle type days. I prefer a softer flexing binding when those days come.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite memory of these bindings is from holding them up on the podium at the Crested Butte 2* freeride competition last winter. Something about riding through a long season and ending up on my first podium that year will always stick with me. Obviously, the bindings got me down the run.
Value for the money vs. other options
Let’s be honest here. The Apollo bindings aren’t the cheapest option on the market. They also might be one of the most expensive, but one gets what they pay for here. High-end materials and industry-leading technology leave it with a high price point. One won’t get the same technology or stiffness at the price point compared to other bindings like the Falcor or Atlas Pro from Union.
Overall, I am extremely impressed with my Jones Apollo bindings. I have taken them all around the country and put them through some of the most variable terrain and conditions. I got these bindings for freeriding, which is what they do best.