Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Splitboard Touring Just Got More Powerful With The Flex-Lock
Viewing 5 posts - 21 through 25 (of 25 total)
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  • #786066
    689 Posts

    Hey guys,

    I haven’t posted here in a long time, but I thought I’d pop in and say hello! My background is in biomechanics research and exercise physiology, and I was the one who typed up the FlexLock study. Tyler and I have known for a few years how powerful this technology / cord system really is at increasing medial edge force transfer, and in order to properly test it, we really wanted to put our own subjective experiences and bias aside, and look at actual numbers.

    What the actual data shows (and this study is fully repeatable) is that the FlexLock increases medial edge force transfer by a factor of 2X, or a full ~101%. The 4-buckle AT ski boot increased the same force load by ~103%. Now, as I mentioned in my discussion, this boot was buckled as tight as possible, with a powerstrap fully tight across the top of the cuff. No skier or hard booter that I know tours with their boots fully tight all the time. Its therefore reasonable to hypothesize that the FlexLock may in fact do a better job in the medial compartment under normal touring conditions than a standard loose hardboot in tour mode, particularly if the medial plastic has been removed / modified for splitboarding.

    The claim, “Tour like a hardbooter, ride like a soft booter”, came entirely from being out on the skin track and finding ourselves setting some of the most precarious icy sidehilling traverses any of us have ever done. Tyler, Bryce and myself all have experience touring in AT boots on skis, so we do know exactly how efficient the Dynafit system really is.

    The arguments around touring pivot points and gait efficiency were not part of this study. However, I do have an extensive background in gait biomechanics, and I will say (knowing that this statement is controversial on this website) that the Dynafit tour pivot not in fact the most efficient pivot point for the human gait cycle. Until I have extensive quantitative data to report on splitboard touring biomechanics that looks at oxygen consumption and fuel economy, I will leave the statement at that.

    All of this being said, there really is no debate between hardboots and softboots! They are simply 2 completely different styles of accessing the mountains on a splitboard, and its fabulous that we have these options. As snowboarders, despite the limitations of traversing in ride mode, its arguable that we actually have a lot more versatility in the mountains than our skier counterparts in many ways. We’re able to surf and finesse our way around smaller terrain features, and yet we can also get as “extreme mountaineery” as we want. I personally keep to my soft boot system most of the time, simply because I prefer the biomechanics of RIDING in softboots.

    Each to their own! The FlexLock is simply a tool to add to your kit that allows you to sidehill like a superhero in your softboots.

    12 Posts

    Ooooh, Russman spittin’ science and facts up in here! Just got my flex lock today. Can’t wait to try it.

    Now to wait for the hard booters to lash out defensively at your claims!


    875 Posts

    Whether or not the Dynafit touring pivot points are in the ideal anatomical orientation for maximum efficiency doesn’t mean shit to me. As someone rocking larger boots for big hooves, it’s definitely preferred vs. the soft boot binding location of Karakoram/Spark/Voile. Being much closer to the end of my boots makes kick turns easier as my toe box no longer bottoms out on the board surface. YMMV.

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg


    100 Posts

    On the pivot point:

    am I the only one who biases the pucks on the board towards the toe side and compensated with the heel cup further back? (Worked great on my DYI Split and pucks for solid board, causing slight issues on my K2 panoramic, considering Prowder pucks for that).

    That way the pivot point of the binding moves further forward and allows for greater articulation?


    Cascade Cruiser
    15 Posts

    As someone brand new to split setups, the flex-lock looks like a nice step forward based on the writeup. As for the touring pivot point for soft boots, I’m surprised there is not either DIY mods or binding provisions to adjust the pivot point forward in tour mode, or a little higher off the board, to minimize the toe interference. @Chewbacca sounds like you already do this?

    I’m actually switching from AT skiing back to snowboarding because I enjoy the ride on the snowboard so much more. A big part of that ride for me is the soft boot. Looking forward to seeing how the industry continues to evolve.

Viewing 5 posts - 21 through 25 (of 25 total)

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