Forums Bindings Spark R&D Tech toes and dyno dh Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total) Author Posts December 20, 2018 at 7:01 am #825656 generalyen 52 Posts So I finally got a chance to ride with the new hardboot setup and these are my initial thoughts. I’ve never used a tech binding before so lining up the boot with the tech toe is a little difficult at first but not too bad. The response while touring is out of this world, combined with the Backland boot I had amazing edge hold on traverses. The dyno dh is much more responsive than my soft boot with afterburners. So far I have to say that I have zero regrets going to a tech setup. I didn’t consider phantoms for a couple reasons, I wanted the ability to still use soft boots without having to change the interface every time, and the price of the spark equipment was much more attractive. January 23, 2019 at 3:46 pm #827021 Scooby2 611 Posts I am putting together a hard boot set up to try and one thing that is awesome is that Spark’s tech toes are pretty much half the price of its competitor, the Plum Peyke binding or regular single bindings. Thanks Will! Without having ever used them, I don’t know how much any tech binding needs to be locked in on ascent, but it strikes me that tech toes for splitting and not skiing should have lots of spring retention force in the climb mode so you don’t feel you always have to lock them on ascent in most conditions. This way, should you take a ride while breaking trail your knees don’t get shredded and you can swim. I reckon I’ll use them unlocked with a short breakaway leash. (I recognize we all ride with both feet anchored to a board and have chosen style over safety to a large degree already, still) At 19:46, yikes January 24, 2019 at 7:07 am #827048 VtVolk 29 Posts Having done a ton of touring on tech toes, I think you’ll find locking them out is pretty critical. Carefully skinning straight ahead with them unlocked is no problem, but as soon as you start to put lateral pressure on them (sidehilling, etc.) they pop right out. Short leashes will keep your ski from sliding too far away, but it would still be a huge PITA to have to keep clicking back in again and again. With both Dynafit and Spark toes, there are several “clicks” of lock out, so you could conceivably tour with them clicked just once if you’re concerned about snow stability vs. the three or four clicks of full lockout when you want to ensure that your skis stay on your feet. I almost always err on the side of maximum connection to my feet. On the topic of Spark toes, I picked up a set a few weeks ago and have used them only a handful of times. Overall, while I love the concept and the fact that they fit the standard hole pattern without an adapter plate, the level of fit and finish leaves something to be desired–especially when comparing them side to side with Dynafit toes. While I haven’t had any unintentional releases (touring locked), they just don’t feel as tight as my Dynafits. I’m sure they’ll be improved in future iterations. They do certainly hit a price point for people who don’t want to deal with adapter plates, inserts, or drilling, but for my hard earned money, I’d go with individual Dynafit toes from skimo.com (for the same price as the Sparks) and screw them to my board if I were just starting out. What we really need is a simple, bomber, non-releasable tech toe and not a modified releasable ski binding. No need for springs! Hopefully the market will be there to incentivize the brilliant engineers at Spark or Karakoram to figure something out. January 24, 2019 at 7:10 am #827049 VtVolk 29 Posts The Dyno DH is perhaps my favorite piece gear I’ve ever had the pleasure to use. January 24, 2019 at 8:25 am #827052 Scooby2 611 Posts Thanks VtVolk for chiming in. Yeah I was afraid of that, and the place I would want them to not be locked is usually those last few tough kick turns on a 38-45+ degree slope to top out where there is no ridge and you have to hang it out a bit sometimes. Have you seen these? I have a pair in the wings, not cheap but solid and simple, no springs. You just turn the handle to screw the inserts into your boot, so you are bending over. Then you fold over the handle so it doesn’t loosen. They would be ultralight without the adapter. https://skimo.co/maruelli-splitboard-parts The pierre gignoux carbon toe piece looks nice also but 500Euros for the set. And I have read they don’t go on quite so easily to other boots. https://pierregignoux.fr/en/produit/ultimate-3/ Anyway, I have to get out and try these hard boot things to see if I like them in the first place. January 24, 2019 at 1:16 pm #827066 VtVolk 29 Posts I’d seen the Ginoux toes but not the Maruellis. That’s an elegant design, and I’d be very curious to see how they work. I would certainly trade the weight and complexity of tech toes for having to bend over to tighten them. I made a bulky prototype of something similar five or so years ago. It worked fine for a while, but eventually the steel “pin” that screwed in and out wore through the threads tapped in the aluminum. I probably climbed 20K feet on it before it failed, so not very much. The locking lever on the Maruelli seems like it would solve that problem. https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/mjYkUIiuSnm7FnMk_nHZFw.BInoPWZXdL_DfyYq15biTO June 17, 2019 at 4:18 pm #835434 lernr 233 Posts I realize this is a bit old but thought it’s important enough to comment: my thinking is on a 45+ degree slope you should probably be booting up with the board on your back, no? June 19, 2019 at 10:01 am #835604 Scooby2 611 Posts Hey lernr, one access to perhaps my favorite line in the Wasatch requires about 500 vertical feet of low to mid 40 degrees where the ridgeline has twists and puts you into the face essentially. (If you hike right on the (rounded) ridge, a slide would put you into timber in a fatal way and/or over cliffs in an also fatal way.) If I like the stability on a given day I’ll skin track it right through 45 degree faces (small slides have a survivable runout). It is faster and easier and sometimes in Utah you just start drowning in steep pow when you boot pack it unless you lug 2lbs for Verts with you also. I know, Utah problems 🙂 If I feel more unknowns on the climb, I’ll suffer through a boot pack that keeps me closer to the high side where a fracture line would likely propagate. In deep snow ( I generally work when it isn’t), if I can skin it, I arrive faster and less tired for subsequent runs. Like lots of mountains, lots of our best terrain is moderate angle but then ramps up to steeps for the last bits. That is probably the place I would be most likely to take a ride in climb mode. It strikes me that the spring retention and design parameters for tech bindings should at some point be specifically designed for splitting, meaning for climbing only. I think it would be smart to take advantage of the release capability of the binding for splitters with a spring that was super strong, so you could actually skin sketchy parts of a tour while still having a chance for release in a slide. That’d be a big plus for touring with a tech system for me. June 25, 2019 at 4:53 pm #836067 lernr 233 Posts THanks for sharing, Scooby2 🙂 I hate taking the board off, but have found through my experience it’s probably better and safer than trying to push skinning up steeps. More power to those, who can! Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total) You must be logged in to reply to this topic.