Interviewee: Lucien Vink, Sr. Product Manager & Designer
KEY PRODUCT FOCUS: What are the top three most important products of next year’s line, and why? Please tell us about them, and what makes them the highlights.
Our biggest introductions this season are the all-new Axis-Series bindings, with mens Fenix and Nexus models and women’s Mayon and Juno models. Built on an all-new baseplate and hiback these bindings bring a lot of asymmetrical features and upgraded performance into the sweet-spot of the price-range where we always had the Five and Minx models. Excitingly the new Fenix and Mayon models bring our Active Strap Technology and is now available at the lowest price yet!
Which new materials are you using in your bindings?
For most components, we rely on our true and tested materials, specifically engineered for the uniqueness of Flow bindings. The Carbon-infused Nylon material on the hiback of our NX2-CX model is a really fun one though, as it really complements the responsiveness of the Aluminum baseplate and transmits every bit of energy directly into your board.
Please tell us about the dominant colour themes in next year’s binding line?
The dominant colour is black, simply because it sells. Mostly subtle and tonal, or with some tasteful details in bright pops. But we have some cool highlights too, like the NX2 Magenta which brings a retro vibe and the Fuse Brown with a wood-effect graphics transfer to complement wood-veneer top sheets on boards, and the metallic ombre paint-fades on the women’s models like the Omni Coppertone.
Prices: Where is your brand going? Higher? Lower?
We have simplified the product line and pricing structure with more equal jumps between price-points, and clear feature/benefit upsells. Most importantly the introduction of the all-new Axis-Series models brings a big revamp in the sweet-spot of the price-range, and within this Axis-Series the new Fenix and Mayon models feature Active Strap Technology which makes our this technology (NASTY) available at the lowest price yet!
Any new ideas in buckles, straps, highbacks, bases (or baseless)?
The Axis-Series bindings (Fenix, Mayon, Nexus and Juno) all feature our new asymmetrical baseplate and asymmetrical new UniBack 1-piece hiback.
The entry point for the baseplate is a little wider compared to the NX2 and Fuse Series for easy access and exit, with a minimal footprint thanks to the slim waist and the design of the rockered corners, which allow the board to maintain a natural flex. Since bindings are mounted on a snowboard on an angle, we designed off-axis PowerBeams so that energy is channelled directly to the toe and heel edges of the snowboard. For an evenly balanced power distribution, we also offset the connection points of the PowerTriangle cables on the lateral and medial side of the baseplate to line up closer to the centre-axis of your snowboard.
The Nexus and Juno models feature EVA heel-pads for additional cushioning and comfort, while the Fenix and Mayon models offer full-length and 2.5º canted EVA BankBeds and heel base-pads for all-day comfort and support. The new Asym Uniback 1-piece hiback for the AXIS-Series features a supportive heelcup and spine for efficient power transfer, while the open and asymmetric design of the upper zone delivers more lateral flex and forgiveness, as well as perfect fit and support for your boots, especially in canted stances.
Going for an easy-in, easy-out solution next year? If so, are you licensing or developing it yourself?
Flow is basically the inventor and market-leader of the modern-day easy-in easy-out binding solution. Our SpeedEntry system has the perfect mix of convenience, comfort and performance to suit everybody’s needs, whether it’s a customer who is new to snowboarding, or a long-time rider who loves powder, park, groomers and/or everything in-between.
Anything new in production wise? New factories, new assembly methods?
All Flow bindings are made and assembled by the same team that we have been using for many many years. In addition, we employ our own QC personnel, who monitor the full production process, to ensure that we offer the best and most consistent product quality.
What are your top marketing stories for next season? This will help us to put some focus in the right place.
SpeedEntry: Flow bindings are convenient to use, easy-in easy-out, without sacrificing comfort or performance. In fact, because of the energy transmission of the steel PowerTriangle cable, and the energy transmission and comfort of our boot-hugging and pressure-relieving PowerStrap footstraps, even if you were to not use the reclining hiback feature, Flow bindings are arguably the most comfortable and performance oriented bindings on the market!
Set-it and Forget-it: Adjust your Flow bindings to your boot once, and then enjoy the simple easy-in and easy-out convenience of the reclining hiback.
Versatility: Flow bindings fit almost all boots on the market, are offered in 2 types of straps to suit your personal preference (a boot-hugging 1-piece Fusion PowerStrap or a toe-gripping cap-strap in our Hybrid PowerStrap), and feature full-sized Locking Slap Ratchets for the option to get in and out of your bindings through the easy-in easy-out reclining hiback or use the ratchets to get in&out through the side by opening the footstrap. The options are limitless!