Under Review: Salomon Shadow Fit technology
The Salomon District (left) and Hologram bindings featuring Shadow Fit technology
For the last four years Salomon has offered bindings with what they called Relay technology. If you’re not familiar with it, the main thing to understand is that the heelcup was flexible, not rigid, like a traditional binding. For 2012/13, Salomon has taken this concept of a soft heelcup, improved it, and called it Shadow Fit. The heel cup is made of a pliable urethane with a kevlar band running though it – helping it adapt to the shape of your boot – allowing you to move laterally, without the definite stopping point that is created a by a traditional binding.
Salomon offers its new Shadow Fit technology on both the District and the Hologram bindings. The District is a softer, skate-style, rail-friendly version, while the Hologram is a stiffer, more all-mountain version. When it comes down to it, the Hologram and District ride similarly. The main difference I notice is that it is impossible to ride without any forward lean on the Hologram, something I personally don’t like.
Shadow Fit excels in powder and the trees, as it lets you steer the board more quickly with your feet, as opposed to your upper body. I also find it beneficial on more technical rail tricks that require counter-rotation of your torso and legs: bringing 270s back to fakie for instance. While carving on groomers, the bindings really let you get in the back seat, which is awesome if you’re the type who enjoys dragging your hand across the snow at high speeds. I know I am. On jumps it’s great because you can tweak the hell out of your grabs. However, when jumps get up into 50 foot plus range, Shadow Fit can be a hinderance. If you land in the back seat, good luck pulling it out and riding away. If you are the type who likes to ride the “big line” all day, Salomon should be offering a stiffened up model of their ShadowFit bindings, next season.
Shadow Fit really does give your snowboard a looser, more skate/surf feel, and if that’s what you’re after the Hologram or District may be the binding you’re looking for.