Forums Boots Atomic Backlands with Phantom Link
Viewing 9 posts - 21 through 29 (of 29 total)
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    233 Posts


    Leaving (both, not just back) boot in tour mode was a terrible idea for me riding down from camp Muir once. It was not pow surfing, though – hard snow conditions. Felt like I can’t ride at all. This may work for some in pow if it’s wide open and you can take your time with your turns. I do have a snowskate that I ride using Vans sneakers and it’s great but I can only ride it so hard, definitely limited in many conditions. Having said this, I think many people actually keep the back foot in a steeper forward lean angle (soft boots – through highback lean) – surf turns drive from the back foot, so you want the support and steep angle there. This does depend on the board shape & design, of course – some shapes you just have to drive with the front foot. Others definitely ride better emphasizing the back foot.

    My Backlands are the carbon cuff Ultimates and while I like them a lot, right now I think the Link Levers are too soft with the green spring for the way I ride, as I mentioned above. Haven’t tried the non-carbon ones, so can’t comment on this. Interestingly, I like the back foot as is (no Link Lever) = stiffer but still soft enough to me. Wanted the Link lever for the front boot to play with the forward lean but it’s so soft, I think I may throw back the original lever and spend some time like this to see if it’s really too steep of a forward lean.

    About the cuff mod: I guess it depends. Was a game changer for me for the TLT5 – it helped reduce my heel lift resulting in much better control. I want to try on my Backlands, too. Hope to have it complete soon, will report back.

    Ping me when you decide to go up Rainier, I like to tour around there every once in a while and it’s cool to meet people

    270 Posts


    Ive been bouncing back and forth between my Atomics and TLT6s and while i like the softer lateral movement of the Backlands i’ve found that the forward flex is also a bit soft, even with the green springs, as some folks here have mentioned… @lernr … i realize that different versions of the boots won’t have this solution but i just put the soft tongues back in. They’re really soft (much softer than the old, long discontinued soft TLT tongues) and they dont affect the lateral flex at all, they just give a bit more resistance on the fwd flex, it’s pretty ideal for me.

    Also, i think i mentioned this but the liner you use is crucial to the performance of the boot…. actually i think thats why i put the soft tongue in now, the liner is packing in a bit, it used to provide more support but less now.

    never summer snowboards
    phantom splitboard bindings
    dynafit touring
    atomic boots

    4 Posts

    I just ordered a pair of the new Backland Carbons (I’d been trying to find a used pair or older models in Western Canada and was having no luck). I’m a little concerned that they might be too stiff laterally and that the new boa closure system eliminates the possibility of moving the lower strap as some of you have been doing.
    Does anyone have experience with these boots? Any thoughts? I’ll update once I have them in hand and decide weather to keep or return them. If I keep them, I’ll be ordering the link lever as well.

    443 Posts

    I have been on Backlands since they first came out and put a pair of Link levers on my original pair just after Christmas. They felt soft so I stuck the soft tongues back in the boots and they were perfect. I liked the progressive flex with the combo of link lever and tongue and was thrilled to be able to crank up my forward lean. I had also ordered a pair of the new Backland Experts which showed up while I was out on a trip in January. I moved the Link levers over from the original Backlands to the Experts and could barely snowboard in them. Without the tongue they are way too soft for me. I swapped the stock forward lean lever back on and the boots ride very well as is. Unfortunately they don’t have a tongue to fine tune the flex with but it looks like the tongue of the liner was meant to accept something.

    On a tangent… the new liner in the Expert is much better than the original liner and it’s a bit better yet in the new Pro. version.

    4 Posts

    Well, the Backland Carbons came in on Friday and I managed to get out for a few laps at a favorite yo-yo slope in Jasper National Park (Canadian Rockies). My initial assessment can be summed up like this: amazing.
    It was a “light duty” day of short laps and, while I did enjoy the experience of skinning up in harboots (not the mention the pleasure of smoking my buddies at every transition) I think the real benefits of harboot touring would shine through on a bigger day out. Still, this was my first day on a hardboot setup and my first time in ski boots since switching over the snowboarding about 25 years ago. I was surprised how good it felt!
    But what about the ride down? My first run was a little shaky as I got used to the lateral stiffness of the boot. I felt myself standing a little bit forward and thought for a second I might go over the nose. By the second run I was feeling pretty solid and on the third run I wasn’t even thinking about it, just riding. Admittedly, I was riding soft snow on forgiving terrain. It will be interesting to see how they handle in steeper/more consequential terrain and in tight trees. But I feel like I could very happily ride these boots without any modifications or adjustments.
    I’d still like to get my hands on some link levers, but at over $300 CDN (with shipping) it’s going to be a tough pill to swallow!
    Also, I was very happy to find that the shallow toe welt on these boots worked well with Spark R&D Dyno DH riding plates. Curious to see how a phantom binding would feel. There is definitely a lot of play/flex in the Spark binding!
    Finally, regarding the fit of the boots, I’m one of those lucky people that can wear most boots right out of the box without issues. I wear a size 10.5 K2 Aspect boot and got a pair of 28/28.5 Backlands Carbons. I had very minor pressure on the insteps, but that faded by the end of the day. I will probably heat mold the liners and shell (using the Atomic memory fit system) just to make the fit perfect, but it was already pretty darned good!

    4 Posts

    Atomic Backlands with Spark Dyno DH BindingsFirst run in Hardboots. Looking a little stiff!

    trying to add images. I don’t think it’s working.

    150 Posts

    ). My initial assessment can be summed up like this: amazing

    I, too, can pipe up with my recent conversion to fruitboots, in particular phantoms paired with atomic backlands. And I would have to agree with your assessment Doug, amazing. Game changer.

    I tried mine out riding inbounds for a day with the little lady just to see if there were any glitches and to see how the boots fit, hotspots etc. For me too it has been quite some years since I even wore ski boots. The whole setup seemed to ride really well, way better than I had hoped. I lacked a little fine edge control when really slow and missed a tiny bit of flex in the top of the boot, but overall they rode so well. And that was on typical tracked winter ski resort (whistler fwiw) terrain/snow i.e. a bit of loose snow on hard pack.

    Next day I got to try them out properly in the glacier country above Blackcomb. From what I’m used to (Aus/NZ/japan – might only see a few people over the whole day) it was like another ski resort out there! But I digress… The touring with these hardboots is amazing. It feels like you’re wearing slippers (in a good way). There’s so much less weight on your feet, the stride is way longer, grip felt more positive on sketchy skin track sections and just feels SO much more efficient overall.

    We booted a section up to husume (do I sound like a local yet? Hah) and normally the weight associated with board and bindings on your back is a significant additive, but not with hardboots and a carbon board! Not to mention should you need boot crampons. Yes, soft boots can take crampons semi autos etc but “you can’t dance on hard snow in soft boots!” Sorry don’t wanna get into a hard-soft pissing contest so I’ll stop the comparison. (Still love my soft boots).

    The first big ride we had (vista bowl) was pretty much champagne powder and I couldn’t even tell I was riding anything different.

    To get specific with the boots (the thread is all about that but I couldn’t contain my new found general hardboot enthusiasm!), someone commented here somewhere they found the liners were like banana skins. I agree with that, but they seem to be working for me right meow. Maybe as they pack out I will replace them? The ride down husume was pretty ordinary, very wind affected and tracked, but I had no problems riding the variable snow, well no more than with soft boots anyway! In fact I think on traverses and anywhere edge hold is critical the harder boots will Give you a better edge hold. I have to remember to put the boots in ride mode, took off once on firm snow in walk mode but quickly realised!

    I tried to get link levers but phantom were yes/no/yes/no/no with availability. Based on lounge room jibbing I had been slightly concerned with having too much forward lean with the stock boot levers, but they were fine. I will get the $$ springs when they become available but won’t end up riding them until Southern Hemisphere winter.

    Overall, if you’re thinking of converting to the atomics from soft boots, DON’T DELAY. It’s absolutely worth it.

    Would like to post some photos, but……..

    trying to add images. I don’t think it’s working.

    no-one but a rocket scientist can work out how to insert a f&*%ing photo On this forum.

    1 Posts

    Hi Everyone,

    So, I just ordered the link levers last night for the 4th build of 2019/2020 winter. I weight 185 lbs and have been in TLT6’s for 3 yeas now. The only mods I ever did was I filed the metal plate to allow for the furthest possible travel in forward lean (standing upright as much as possible) and I filed it most of the way down to increase forward flex.

    I thought the forward flex was more or less what I wanted without any tongues and buckled kind of moderately tight. My only thing I wished I could achieve was a less pronounced forward lean; I wished I could stand more upright in my boot. I feel my heel side turns are almost too responsive.

    As far as lateral and medial flex I never had an issue in TLT6’s, I think that’s because I’m 6’2″ and 185. So I’ve read through this thread and notice a few people having issues with the link lever and backland beind too soft for their liking on forward flex. I have not ordered which Backland Boot to ride with the link levers. Does anyone have experience riding both the carbon and non carbon options from Atomic for their backland boot series? I can’t decide if I would want the boot to be stiffer; i.e. order the Backland Carbon or Backland Ultimate. Or if I will like the “soft” feel of the Backland Pro. I love the process of sniffing out the future but as with anything if theirs someone who has gone before me I’d love to have some help figuring this out.

    If ya’ll have any feedback on carbon or not for a larger rider please share your thoughts.


    4 Posts

    So, I got a few more days in on the Backlands Carbons, and they’ve been interesting ones…

    The first couple of days were just a long skin in and out of a cabin with no real potential for riding (it was a Valentines getaway. What a romantic!). I was really happy with how the boots felt on the skin tack. A big improvement over the traditional softboot binding.

    The third day was a much better test of the boot. It was the opening day of a section of Jasper National Park that is closed for most of the winter to protect woodland caribou. The area had been hit pretty hard by strong winds for about a week and this gave me the opportunity to ride hard, wind-hammered snow (not something I usually look for, but it was a good test for the boots!). As I mentioned in another post, I was really happy with how the boots rode in powder with no mods whatsoever. On the hard snow, it was a bit of a different story. I was still able to ride somewhat aggressively with good control, but I it felt much less natural or familiar than it had on powder. At the end of that first run I was thinking it might be time to order some link levers.

    On the second run things got really interesting. We headed up into the higher alpine toward quite a bigger line in a large bowl feature. On the way up, I stopped to chat with my group and one of them (an Avi Control tech at the local ski hill) decided to head down because he was feeling sick. Two others went with him and three of us continued up. In the mean time, a couple of local crushers (a local legend in the mountaineering scene and an accomplished endurance athlete) passed us on the skin track. As we were nearing the peak, the mountaineer drooped in to his line and remote triggered an absolutely massive avalanche (details here: )

    No one was caught up in the avalanche, but we still spent the next hour travelling down through the debris doing a beacon search and inspecting the damage. It was quite a surreal experience to say the least!

    Anyway, about the boots: travelling through the chunky avalanche debris (which had instantly set up as hard a ice) highlighted the lack of flex and dampening in the boots. It was doable, but required quite a lot of concentration and never felt really comfortable. For this reason, I hit send on an order for some link levers. I’m still very happy with the boots and I’m sure that I’ll get more comfortable with them over time. But riding hardboots on crappy snow really highlights the difference in feeling from traditional softbots and is where the mods (or link levers) will be most helpful.

    I’m not sure if I placed my order in time to get the link levers from the next build (the website says they should ship in late February), but once I get them I’ll test them out and let you all know what I find.

    Stay safe out there!

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