The Union Contact Pro binding is designed and ridden by GiGi Rüf and is a great snowboard binding for the lighter, powerful rider that does not want to compromise between flexibility and response. The Contact Pro looks amazing as well, and is one of my favorite bindings in the Union Binding Company line up.
Using the Contact as it’s starting point, GiGi has enhanced key areas of the binding to create the Contact Pro. A medium flex binding, the Contact Pro’s baseplate is the same minimal footprint as the Contact, but the Dupont Zytel ST nylon also has carbon fiber injected to increase stiffness and response without adding weight. The heel cup has been milled out as well to reduce weight with out compromising integrity. At $220, the Contact Pro maintains Union’s lifetime warranty on the heel cup and baseplate.
The highback is probably my favorite parts of the Contact Pro. GiGi designed this to not only look rad, but also to have the softer flex at the top and stiffer flex at the bottom, just where he likes it. This allows for endless possibilities of tweakage when grabbing stalefish, while keeping the landing gear solid.
The straps are also upgraded on the Contact Pro to make the ultimate high performance free style fit that GiGi wants. The multi position toe strap lets you strap your boot in where it fits best. The ankle strap features the upgraded multi-layer foam and air bubble combo and is tapered for a better fit. Union calls it True Fit technology. I call it snug as a thug in a rug. No matter what you call it, the magnesium buckles will keep you locked in and on point in the park, powder or street.
Although the Contact Pro has me sold just on how good it looks, the upgrades from the Contact are definitely worth the extra $40. Union and GiGi have worked together to create a lightweight, all terrain dragon slayer of a binding that will incinerate just about anything you put before it. While the price and features may be a bit much for the absolute beginner, this binding is an excellent choice for the seasoned veteran, especially the powerful riders that hover around the welterweight class.
Which color do you like? Let us know in the comments and send us your own review and thoughts on the Union Contact Pro binding.
Back to School! Back to school! Grab a new backpack and get back to school! Or if you are done with school, grab a new bag anyway. With all the styles and colors available from Dakine, it is a garunteed “Easy A” to find the right backpack. And don’t forget that all Dakine backpacks come with a limited lifetime warranty, so they are sure to last through that PhD in economics, or powder turns (whichever your major).
If you are a student, one of the best choices is the Dakine Campus backpack. Dakine offers the Campus in large (LG) and small (SM). The LG has 33L or 2000 cubic inches of room inside of it and plenty of pockets and compartments for your electronics, notebooks, party-fliers and lunch. The padded sleeve fits most 15” laptops and the insulated cooler pocket will keep everything else dry while the Red Bulls stay cold. There is even a fleeced lined pocket for cheap sunglasses. With a $55 price tag, there will still be some money left over to buy books.
The Campus SM has all the same features as the Campus LG, just in a smaller package. With 25L or 1500 cubic inches of space, this backpack has plenty of room for the younger or smaller student. The padded laptop sleeve will fit most 14″ laptops. For $50, the Campus SM is another great choice for back to school.
Both of these bags fit very comfortably and have adjustable straps and a chest clip. The straps are padded, as well as the outside back panel. The construction is very solid, with smooth YKK zippers and double stitched seams at critical areas. Dakine also offers several colorways in most their bags. The Campus is a comfortable, roomy bag that is a great choice for students.
Dakine backpacks come with a lifetime warranty.
The Dakine Duel backpack gets its name from having battled its way up the line up through various feats of strength and challenges. And because it features two separate large compartments. One is for a laptop or tablet, and the other is for whatever else needed to carry around. The laptop compartment is padded and zips from the bottom right side to the top left, not a full zip but enough to allow quick access to the laptop. It is like having two bags in one. Many backpacks come with a padded lap top sleeve, but few of them have a padded laptop compartment.
With 26 liters or 1600 cubic inches of volume, the Duel has plenty of room for books and binders as well. There are also skate carry straps, an organizer pocket and an insulated cooler pocket. It fits comfortably with padded, adjustable straps and the mesh side pockets keep water bottles accessible on the go. The fleeced lined sunglasses pocket is there as well.
For the student or person that wants a back pack that will allow quick access for a laptop and organization of accessories and books, the Duel is a good choice. The Duel is available for $70 and all Dakine backpacks come with a life time warranty.
Holy cow is this shoe light! Pick up the box and it is hard to tell if there is anything in it. Once on, the Vans LXVI Graph is barely noticeable in regards to weight, but very cush and flexible. There is definitely no break in period for these shoes.
Why is the LXVI Graph so light? With the Vans LXVI Shoe lineup, Vans has moved beyond the traditional heavy vulcanized sole and utilized foam that is specially formulated for grip and durability. Yes, foam. Not your dad’s shaving cream kind of foam, but a solid, light EVA material that has a significant durability to weight ratio. Vans is calling this their lightest shoe ever. Just pick up the box and see for yourself.
But the foam doesn’t just allow the Graph to be light, it also has excellent flexibility and cushioning. Just think about the foam bed toppers that are available now, and how comfortable they are. Now imagine that for your feet. The Graph has what Vans calls “Ultracush Lite” as well, which pretty much says it all. The insole is also made from EVA foam and helps provide a super comfortable fit.
Look at the Graph a little closer and notice that there is something missing. This shoe has no seams. Vans calls it “Rapidweld” but I call it “Radicalweld!” This feature allows the different panels of the shoe to be bonded together by pressure and heat, instead of stitching the shoe together. This also saves on weight, and is stronger and more durable than traditional stitching.
Another noticeable feature of the Graph is mesh side panels. The mesh keeps the shoe breathable and light. This is a key feature for a dark pair shoes on hot summer days and the impromptu break dancing session at the club.
A few customer reviews said the Graph was awesome for long boarding as well. Its flexibility and fit allow the Graph to have really good board feel; board feel is important to get the skateboard or longboard to respond to the directions of your feet. The lack of weight also helps the wearer shred all day with less fatigue.
A great shoe for walking down the street, skating up the block or chilling at the club, the new LXVI Graph from Vans is definitely worth more than its weight. Just pick up the box already.
Need a backpack that will carry a laptop, school books and a skateboard? Then check out the Explorer by Dakine. Dakine Backpacks are always sturdy and long lasting, and the Explorer is no exception. This backpack is reasonably priced at $60. It is comfortable, sturdy and convenient for any student heading back to school.
The Dakine Explorer backpack features a padded laptop sleeve, skate carry straps, separate MP3 and sunglasses pockets, an organizer pocket and mesh side pockets. Padded adjustable straps and a padded back side help make this backpack fit comfortably. The Explorer has 26 liters or 1600 cubic inches of volume and is made of sturdy 600d polyester. Extra stitching in the critical areas and a lifetime warranty ensure that this bag will be around for a while. The mesh side pockets allow for easy access to a water bottle or phone.
The Explorer is a great value backpack that has all the features needed by the student and skater. First aid kt not included, but will definitely fit in this bag.