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What are people's thoughts on Boa systems? I went into a shop looking for boots the other day, and they guy said that they don't sell and don't recommend Boa stuff due to breakage? I'm not sure if that's because they didn't carry boa brands or not.
The few boots I've tried have been comfortable, but the cables do seem thin. If they break while you're in the backcountry, it wouldn't be a fun ride out.
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 11:57 pm Posts: 261 Location: Chamonix
Thats the thing,they are not easy to fix on the hill,i've seen 2 pairs break on my friends pair and trying to rig them up to ride out is pretty much impossible,trying to tie knots with that wire rope... They seem like good boots,i just don't trust them and no way would i wear a pair goin out into the backcountry
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:43 am Posts: 80 Location: SL,UT
My buddy wears them, and I've seen him break one on top of big line. We had to take apart his pole grip to use the strap around his boot cuff. Rode the line but it ended his day. Now he carries an extra - supposedly they're pretty easy to fix. Just going on a random sample while wandering REI the other day, the BOA boots seems significantly heavier that comparably priced lace boots too . I just don't see what's wrong with laces. In almost 20 years of riding, I can't remember ever breaking one.
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:31 pm Posts: 168 Location: 802
boa is convenient (it was great when i was an instructor and was constantly changing in and out of my boots), but i've noticed that it loosens up after a while and it's impossible to fine tune the fit. plus i've always been worried about the wires eventually breaking which would just a be a pain in the ass.
if prefer standard laces over any of those fast lacing systems, i've just never been impressed with any of them.
Been on Boa boots in the frontcountry and backcountry for the past 130 days or so without issue. Same for the wifey. I like that I can loosen them for park/freestyle sessioning and then immediately transition to a tighter fit to charge steep lines.
However, I kept saying that I'd order some spares to carry in the backcountry and never did. Just saw this thread and it reminded me. Have laces and knobs on order for quick repairs in the backcountry if needed.
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:51 am Posts: 72 Location: Mormon HQ.... AKA SLC
I'm riding DC's with dual BOA's, or the Focus system.... I will never go back to laces.... I rode Malamutes for the last 7 years.... The focus system is awesome and no need to take off gloves to adjust your laces.... I think breakage is gonna be on the individual user... People who take care of their stuff won't have problems (for the most part) and people who abuse it will.... There are always exceptions to the rules but I think they are are far and few.... I did about 90 days last year without one problem....
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:43 am Posts: 35 Location: Mt. Baker
i've been rocking vans with boa system for 3 seasons now. First season one of the holders that the cable slides through tore off of the boot, bad stitching... returned it, vans replaced it, gave me new boots, through WWS in bellingham, wa. Since then, no problems. After 3 seasons though, the boots are getting a bit soft/too worn in... no worries, that's to be expected i suppose. I do leave an extra cable inside my jacket or pants, just in case shtf.
Riding a pair of BOA focus boots myself. Man, it is soooo much better than laces or the quick lace systems. Main reason, you can freakin' loosen your boots for the skin, then quickly and easily tighten them when you are going down. Not so convenient with speed or regular laces.
I also got careless and broke a cable and frayed another. The frayed one worked all day when I noticed it. I did break one (due to the fact I had frayed it) on the top of a run. A Voile strap around the boot solved the problem and I rode out the day.
To replace the cables, it's ridiculously easy. Took maybe slightly longer than laces. Seriously, it's easy to do...
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:57 am Posts: 1111 Location: Santa Barbara, CA/Ashland, OR
I'm almost afraid to comment on this issue, since I've ridden Boa's (K2 T1) for almost 100 days in the BC and never had an issue. I also know that Storn is riding the same boot with his modded mountaineering sole and has for a couple years now and I'd be curious to see if he's had one break.
Honestly if you're not gonna use a boa because the metal cable might break, it's kind of hard to put too much faith in shoestrings
FTR though...my boots are a boa on the interior only, so if it ever broke, I'd just use the laces to cinch down the outer boot. Ducktape would probably work pretty good in a pinch too!
My Boas have a little tag saying how long the cable is so I do assume they're easily replaceable.
Also, OP, FTR I think you went to a shop without the marketing clout to carry the brand names that use boa and he was trying to bait and switch you to something they DO carry. I don't believe a shop would rule out the boa system because it breaks...that's just too fishy.
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I've been on them for 5 years now(Vans/Cirro) and I've encountered the good and the bad. The comfort and adjustability are great. I crank them down tight and stiff for riding and loosen them off for mellow skinning or on a chair. Every pair I've had has busted at some point....cables most often. I've even had to cut the cable twice to get out of the boot when the cable has locked. BOA is good with giving replacement cables.....not so easy in the backcountry.
So why do I keep wearing them? I haven't been able to find a soft boot which is as stiff. After breaking my last pair I went out and tried Burton Drivers and Salomon Malamutes but they are so much softer.
With my boots I count on getting about 50-80 days out of a pair
Depends on what you want, my relationship with them is love/hate
I've got 150+ days on my K2 T1 Boas, and I love them. I just reshoegooed them because I don't want to get new boots cuz I like them so much. They have a conventional shoestring lace-up on the outer shell, and a Boa on the inside, which compresses the inner liner. So, if the Boa cable was to break, it wouldn't be a problem, because you still have the old school laces on the outside, so you could still tighten it fine.
What I heart about the K2 T1 type of Boa set-up (boa inside, laces outside), is that I can easily change the amount of tightness in the set-up throughout the day with just the boa knob. I typically leave the boa knob untightened for the uphill where I like it a bit looser for good bloodflow, warmth, and comfort during skinning/booting, and then crank it tight for better responsiveness on the downhill. It's quick and easy to back it off or crank it up, to get the tightness dialed right in. The outer traditional shoelaces stay laced the same way all day. Super comfy, for my feet.
Downside: I have had the boa cable seize up while on my foot, and not loosen. This occurs when the cable wraps over itself in just the wrong way during tightening. This has happened twice in, I dunno, maybe 1000+ tightenings and loosenings of the boa knob. I carry the tiny allen wrench so that if that happens, I can unscrew the boa knob, which releases the cable and get my foot out. If you don't have that tool, then you gotta yank your foot out while the boa is still tight and that was a pain when I had to do that once.
I've been carrying a spare boa cable for a couple seasons now but haven't had to use it yet cuz it hasn't broken. I imagine the inner boa like on the K2 T1 is less likely to break cuz the cable is protected inside the boot.
One of my size 9 K2 T1's weighs in at 2 pounds 9 oz, which is heavy, which is another downside. What do those super lightweight boots (like the 32's) weigh anyway? Can someone throw theirs on a scale?
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:22 pm Posts: 38 Location: New Jersey
sporting the K2 thraxis with triple boas this year. On one hand, it's good for all that fine tuning with gloved hands. But on the other hand, if one of the boas break, I sill have 2 boas to rely on. I never thought of that benefit, till I read this thread.
funny thing is that my last pair of boots were Burton Ruler Step-Ins. Yes, I've been using the step-in system way past its life-cycle. Those boots were equipped with inner laces, outer laces, and a binding buckle. I guess I'm just a sucker for weird tech.