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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:17 pm 
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waltzingmatilda wrote:
While I absolutely respect Barrows opinion on this, I still feel the solution is in a hybrid soft/hard boot. I've been trying out the hard boot thing this winter and I think my perfect boot would be a TLT style bottom half, but cut away up top keeping only the back plastic to serve as a high back. Then the rest being a soft malmute like top with some extra stiffness/plastic on the side to find the medial flex where I can side hill well but flex them hard too. One toe buckle, one ankle, thats it.I know some folks find their modded hard boots near perfect, but I like mine loosey goosey and don't even buckle the top boot on the way down and want way more flex upwards beyond the ankle.

Probably wont happen, but who knows, splitboard products are popping up like wildfire


I understand the sentiment behind the above, but I disagree: not in the flex of the resulting boot though! I think the above approach would just be heavier, and would share many of the disadvantages of current soft boots which I would rather avoid. I think we really need to consider that soft boots really are made of plastic, most uppers are some sort of stitched together very soft plastic or urethane, polyurethane. They are typically not leather or even fabric. On the other hand, and injection molded plastic can be just about any stiffness you might desire, check out the the soft tongue on the TLT5/6, it is softer than most "soft boot" tongues, but it is injection molded plastic. There is no real need to use a "hybrid" construction to achieve any flex one might want, the technology is already there with an injection molded shell, and it would also be lighter and more durable than current soft boot tech is.

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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:40 am 
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Location: Colorado
barrows wrote:
This could be used to make a cuff which has a very stiff back portion (highback area) while having very soft side sections for lateral and medial flex. I believe a molded cuff could be made to achieve virtually any level of flex desired,



I am really liking hearing everyone’s opinion. I think I had waltzingmatilda's train of thought with a hard-shell, soft-shell hybrid idea, but i am listening to Borrows and see his point, that the shell can be made to flex anyway desired. Probably the better way to keep the weight as low as possible while still accomplishing the ride I desire.

I like Jason4's comments about using a liner with laces to the toe. I might look for a liner that’s like that in the future. I know i would still want a toe buckle. It's just personal preference, but i want the ability to crank on my toes when i want and relieve the pressure when i want.

I agree with summersgone.. Keffler should design us boots. I imagine he is so busy being a dad, full time job, the whole Phantom thing that he might as well add this to his to do list. Both Keffler and Barrows should design them for us! I'll put my money down on a pair as soon as their available guys

Dynafit could take their TLT mold and just redesign the high back to be wider, use softer plastic and we would be closer to what we need as splitters. It sounds like Barrows already spoke with Dynafit, but that was a few years ago. The necessity of a split specific boot is only going to grow. I am a wishful thinker, but i vision this happening sooner than later. Either way, I am happy with the performance of my current set up, but there is always room for improvement. I think if there was a split specific version of the TLTs, this type of system would become very popular in the future. The benefits of the Phantoms/ Dynafit toe's already make it all worth it.

If there are going to be more Dynafits than softy's at the SSF, i am going to paint mine black :doobie:

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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:11 am 
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Travis, thanks for starting the thread, it always great to daydream about this (I have been doing it for years, and years). And to hear the ideas.
While it would be a cool project for keffler and I to take on, realistically, we want an established boot company as they have developed the tech to make boots: starting from zero just would not result in the best product.
I have seen some of the details of how Dynafit goes about developing boots, it is insane how much high tech engineering and computer modeling is used, these Italian boot companies have been at this for decades, and know what they are doing. The dream for me would be for Scarpa or Dynafit to bring all their R & D to the party, and then consult with folks like Jim Zellers, Joey Vosburgh, and myself, who all have a lot of experience riding and modding a lot of hard boots.
If you want three buckle, consider staring with the Dynafit "One" lower shell as a model, and then develop a new cuff. Karkis rides these a bit, and has noted that the ankle buckle is in the perfect location to really provide great heel lock, and then there is the toe buckle which you are looking for.
The TLT5/6 lower shell cannot really accommodate a toe buckle, and I suspect that for a toe buckle to really work right, we would need a lower shell of Pebax rather than the stiffer (and lighter) Grilamid plastic used in the TLT5/6.
Back to reality: Dynafit suggested to me ~700,000 EU to develop a boot specifically for splitters/snowboarders. Lets say we can build something really good using an existing lower shell design (or perhaps just softening an existing design slightly by thinning out the sheel a bit in spots), so maybe we only need to develop a cuff from scratch. Maybe we get development costs down to 350,000 EU, yikes! If we could sell 5000 boots that would be 70 EU of development cost per pair, still a lot. This is the reason I try to promote hard boot riding on this site. We need a lot of riders to justify the cost of boot development. If we could bring along resort freeriders as well we would have a bigger potential market. It sure is nice when riding lifts to just clip in at the top and not have to fumble with straps. Heck, a boot like this would probably suit SBX riders really well also...
Anyone have any idea how many boots Fitwell is selling?

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http://protectourwinters.org/
http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 8:46 am 
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I don't know how many boots Fitwell sells but I imagine their tooling costs are significantly lower than any hardboot and more easily changed.

The challenge with hardboots, especially for FEA work from the ski boot companies is understanding the direction that force is applied in snowboarding. I expect that they have put a lot of time into understanding the perfect ski turn and have a lot of field data both from development engineers as well as warranty returns to understand how skiers are loading their shells. They would be starting from scratch to develop FEA models for snowboarding and on top of that there is more variation in snowboarding with different stance angles. This is going to difficult to overcome, it's going to take a good ski boot engineer with some free time and an open mind that is willing to listen to snowboarders working in conjunction with a variety of snowboarders who are representative of the market that is targeted for this boot. I would start with splitboarders but maybe be ambitious enough to target all snowboarders. Barrows would be a good start for a technically inclined snowboarder but I think more would be needed as I don't think he is representative of everyone (sorry Barrows, no disrepect intended, I'm very knowledgable on my aspects of snowboarding but not representative of everyone either).

I'd be in TLT5/6s if they fit my foot and agree that they are probably pretty close. Really, my perfect hardboot right now would be a TLT6 on a BD Prime last. Maybe it's worth casting a foot form inside my Primes and then trying to remold a TLT lower shell to that form. That's a topic for another thread though...

Sorry for the wordy post, back to my meeting about developing written spec's for new vehicle functions.

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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:05 pm 
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Location: Austria
I´ve tried to contact Dynafit last year: they told me, what I understand, that they have to put all their man-power and marketing strategies on one line. They want to do one thing really good and not start doing puzzles.

In my opinion Deeluxe has to start thinking asap if the worldwide market for AT-Splitboardboots wouldn`t be bigger and sexier than the alpine hardboots market. In my opinion it is defenitely a big chance for them as they also have know-how and production units for producing.

Creating a boot based on the old Raichle 121 combined with the lean mechanism of the old Raichle 125 with only 2 buckles could be a good start???

Nevertheless I don`t spend too much time on material details and go riding instead with my TLT5.


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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:37 pm 
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Raichle SB 121 sucks compared to the TLT5/6, I have both. The SB 121 also weighs more than twice what the TLT5/6 weighs, it is not a good starting point for a contemporary plastic shell boot for splitboarding.
But your point about Deeluxe is a good one, they are a company which has some knowledge on this stuff, unfortunately, everything they have worked on is from the alpine side, super heavy boots which cannot tour at all.
Also, Dynafit has a patent on their touring mech, and it is the best around, really, really want that internal spoiler design for good touring and riding performance.

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Quiver Killer inserts

http://protectourwinters.org/
http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:09 pm 
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barrows wrote:
waltzingmatilda wrote:
While I absolutely respect Barrows opinion on this, I still feel the solution is in a hybrid soft/hard boot. I've been trying out the hard boot thing this winter and I think my perfect boot would be a TLT style bottom half, but cut away up top keeping only the back plastic to serve as a high back. Then the rest being a soft malmute like top with some extra stiffness/plastic on the side to find the medial flex where I can side hill well but flex them hard too. One toe buckle, one ankle, thats it.I know some folks find their modded hard boots near perfect, but I like mine loosey goosey and don't even buckle the top boot on the way down and want way more flex upwards beyond the ankle.

Probably wont happen, but who knows, splitboard products are popping up like wildfire


I understand the sentiment behind the above, but I disagree: not in the flex of the resulting boot though! I think the above approach would just be heavier, and would share many of the disadvantages of current soft boots which I would rather avoid. I think we really need to consider that soft boots really are made of plastic, most uppers are some sort of stitched together very soft plastic or urethane, polyurethane. They are typically not leather or even fabric. On the other hand, and injection molded plastic can be just about any stiffness you might desire, check out the the soft tongue on the TLT5/6, it is softer than most "soft boot" tongues, but it is injection molded plastic. There is no real need to use a "hybrid" construction to achieve any flex one might want, the technology is already there with an injection molded shell, and it would also be lighter and more durable than current soft boot tech is.


Sounds right Barrows, If soft plastic would do the job and give me some looseness up top I'd be sold. I know I'm not the first who finds hardboots just that little too stiff or not flexible enough, but then again my experience is limited in the amount of boots I've put on. I also agree with Jason4's point that many of us ride differently with stances, styles, weighting, thus its not so cut and dry. I'm still on the fence and I feel things have come very far very fast thanks to the tinkerers out there, splitboots have got to be next.


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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:47 pm 
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Multiple flex tongue options could change the flex substantially for different preferences in addition to how tight one adjusts the cuff buckle. Current boots like the TLT5/6 use a cuff design which overlaps itself, making it stiffer, older AT boots, and snowboard specific hard boots, used cuffs which did not overlap in the front of the ankle. This non-overlap cuff design relies more on the tongue to control flex, both forward, laterally, and medially. A few options of tongue stiffness should allow for a variety of flexes to suit personal preference. The cuff could be molded using bi-injection technology, which uses different stiffnesses of plastic molded into a single piece: Stiff plastic can be molded into the highback area and spine, and softer plastic could make up the sides of the cuff. If you like a Malamute type of flex, that is easy to achieve in a full plastic shell, no need to make things heavier and less durable trying to co-join plastic and some kind of fabric.
One of the things I have always hated about soft boots is that they are not consistant in flex: they start out too stiff, then after a few days break in to a nice flex, that lasts for about ten days riding, and then they get softer, and softer, and then you have to replace them. A plastic shell boot stays consistant throughout its life.

And where did I get this (mistaken) reputation for liking super stiff boots? I cut my TLT5/6 cuffs down to get more flex, and I ride the softer flexing Phantom Pho bindings-I know lots of people running stiffer boots than I do, and many of them weigh less than me as well (I am at 175 these days). I sold my Driver X boots because they were too stiff!

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http://protectourwinters.org/
http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:39 pm 
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I don't think you like your boots too stiff, I think we *might* like our boots stiff in different directions.

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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:34 pm 
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I spent 14 hours in my boots yesterday and came up with a couple more items for my primo boot wishlist:
Breathability, maybe a goretex panel over a window?
Soft panels over major pressure points. I think this is where hardboots get their bad rep. I was starting to get bruising and blisters on the inside of the midfoot near the arch and can feel painful pressure on the outside of my heel while riding. I'm sure I can change my stance to alleviate some of the pressure on my heel but with softboots I don't have to do that, I have enough give in the liner and the shell to be able to put heavy pressure on the side of my heel. That much time in boots also ends up hurting my pinky toes and I think I'd rather have some give that's progressive at the pinkies instead of punching the toes to get more room but still a hard stop.

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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:48 pm 
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Jason4 wrote:
Breathability, maybe a goretex panel over a window?


That would be nice, if at all possible. My feet get so wet in my boots from sweating. Not sure it would be any different for me in soft boots. I assume there is no shortage of skiers using AT boots that also have wet feet after a good day.

Ideally, a correctly molded liner will resolve pressure point issues, though some feet are harder to deal with than others.


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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:23 pm 
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I have never owned any winter boot which was functionally "breathable". This includes all mountaineering boots, soft snowboard boots, and hard shell plastic boots. All the liners in these boots are insulated with closed cell foam, which by definition does not breathe.
Marketing hyperbole aside, breathability is not something which exists for a boot which will keep ones feet warm at temperatures well below freezing.
If boots are not comfortable enough (and I do not expect any winter boot to feel like a pair of slippers when considering a 14 hour day), then boot fitting needs to be addressed by a competent expert, including properly posting the foot by a custom footbed if necessary, then molding the liner, and then making any shell adjustments which might be necessary.

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http://protectourwinters.org/
http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Split specific AT snowboard boots- Wish list
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:47 pm 
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I'm mostly spoiled in the Cascades since the temps never really get that cold. It's very rare to get below 0F and not common to get below 10F. On the flip side I have lots of slushy days in the spring and those happen to be my longest days as well.

My mountaineering boots do much better at keeping my feet dry any I've had them out in the snow in low teens comfortably but they don't have much support.

I'm going to stick with my wish for a more breathable boot fully knowing that it won't be a reality.

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