Saturday, January 26, 2008


Flow to be renamed Flaw?

After moving to Switzerland, I decided it is time to replace the more than 10-year-old soft snowboard, bindings, and boots set with something new. Even though my brother and I never had any issues whatsoever, the stuff simply got old and worn out. Having spent the weekend before at the 2007 Vancouver PHP conference at Whistler Mountain, where I had an awesome board, I had quite an idea of what I wanted. So I asked friends for a good boarder shop and ended up in the Snowboard Garage. They really had a clue of what they were selling and happened to not only be a Flow dealer, but also have one last Ride Timeless board. Last but not least, I bought pretty damn good Salomon Malamute boots. So Caitlin and I went happily snowboarding. But after 2.5 days my brand new Flow NXT FS bindings got broken already.

Very disappointed, I looked up the designs of the current Flow bindings and found out that they are either cheap plastic crap or have the same design flaw. That is, the high-back consists of three parts. An outer plastic part that holds the closing device. A middle part that is made of aluminum and is connected to the base plate - but to save material is not made high enough. Actually it is just high enough to offer space for two holes through which two screws connect all three parts. Then the inner part is the actual high-back that supports the boot.

Now obviously on the first time I required some support from the bindings (by taking a free ride slope) the whole construction just broke. What happened was that the nut holding the screw just got torn apart. WOW, even I who only spent one semester in mechanical design know this basic rule: the nut must be stronger than the screw. Because one can replace a screw but not the nut. Actually, what the hell, this happened on the third day and I was still carefully driving so to adjust myself to the new equipment? And it is not cheap stuff at all!

O.k., back to the shop and discussing options. Well as said, I looked up the designs and it turns out only the Flow Team binding is able to give some support without having that design flaw. So I had to pay the difference which actually meant that I had to pay the same amount I spent for the other crap in the first place (hey, Flow, I have to work for money, you know?).

After one week, the new bindings finally arrived and we went again, just to notice the next design flaw: the metal strap that connects the high-back is not fully covered by plastic, so it scratches against the plastic strap that holds the boots on the top. WOW! So this binding will eventually last for a year. Idiots. So I just call you Flaw now - and of course no longer suggest your crap to anyone!

Unfortunately there is nothing that can replace a Flaw binding, so I guess I simply
stay with the crap. Why can't the bindings be as they used to be. Just have an awesome quality like the Ride board, the Salomon boots or the also brand new kjus jacket.

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