Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am Posts: 2387 Location: California
Do you know that a lot of splitters use soft boots. No need to by $400 boots if you don't want to. I'd say 3 out 4 splitters that know use soft boots. Not to say that some or all won't convert to something else in the future.
This past season was my first on a split and here's my thinking. After buying all the avy gear, split, skins, etc I didn't want to buy new boots as well. I'm going to use my soft boots until they break or wear out and then decide. Hopefully by then they'll be something like this on the market.
Some people swear by hardboots though-AT, plastic mounteering boots, I've even hear of teleboots.
Oh yeah, I don't know shit about the Garmont G-Rides.
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm Posts: 1620 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Oh yeah! What happened to those custom boots? For a while there it seemed like everyone on the forum was ready to buy a pair if we could get someone to do it. I bet a large number of people here would do it if we could just find someone... so that would make it worth that person's time and effort. I sure as hell would buy a pair... I'm tired of having to get a new pair almost every season, which lately seems to be about how long they last with decent backcountry use.
Post subject: So nobody here rides with AT boots???
Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:08 pm
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:58 pm Posts: 6 Location: San Diego
I was hoping that people have ridden different types of AT boots and could give me some input. I'm pretty sure I don't want soft boots. I'm looking at Voile's MTN plate binding with an AT boot. The question is though...how does it feel to ride an AT boot and which ones are best??
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 1:43 pm Posts: 439 Location: Western Washington
find a boot with three buckles, and a softer flex cuff. Even those will require a learning curve before you get comfortable. I think that 4 buckle you are looking at will be too stiff. A short tele boot may be the ticket, and you can grind the duckbill down for a shorter sole length. Zach ought to post up here, after using his A/t boots in Alaska. He also will tell you that to use A/T or Tele boots you will need to cant your bindings for leg comfort. Factory built splits do not at present have any way available to do this, most build cant shims themselves.
_________________ Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them (Frederick Douglass)
Using At boots will more than likely require an adjustment in style... there are exceptions; when folks have shorter legs, they can sometimes go with a super-soft AT boot like the Scarpa F1, and not notice a huge difference in feel, compared to snowboard, soft boots. For most of us, though, it creates a stiffness in the ankle collar and cuff that requires adjustment.
If you ride with your bindings totally flat (no cant and lift) and/or in a stance below 35 degrees or so, you may run into problems with your knees... plus it won't be any fun, in my experience. I did this with some Scarpa Lasers and a pair of SnoPro bindings a few years ago, and I blew my left meniscus (sp?). I also felt like Frankenstein's Monster.... way stiff, no surfy feeling, nothing felt right.
Last year, Fin at Bomber talked me into giving hardboots another try (I had been searching for a reliable, light system for high altitudes.) He set me up with some bindings for my solid boards and taught me how to set the angles and the cant and lift. Then, he gave me a few tips on technique (I also lucked out and got to ride the lifts with Pete Santanello, the third day I tried the system.) I had to totally readjust my technique and style, but I absolutely love it. In the process of learning, I realized that the nerves in my ankles are so shot from riding BMX, that I was really not able to control a board in soft-boots the way that I wanted to.
For my solid boards, I use the Bomber, TD2 plate bindings with some titanium modifications and custom, post-production weight removal. On my splitboards, I use Bomber's splitboard binding with titanium peices. I also had a friend (mtnrider) machine some canting shims in his prototyping shop... they are made of a hard plastic, and they fit under the Voile slider pucks. I bought some different length screws to compensate for the additional material. Jon Dahl may be able to dig up an example of where someone made a set of shims out of cutting board material.
I ride exclusively in Garmont, Mega Rides. They have the most forward lean of any AT boot on the market, and all of he Garmont boots are easily modified to add a little more... as soon as I have time to do the mod., I'll be posting it on www.earnyourturns.com. Garmont boots are also designed with a slightly softer ankle than most other AT boots. Depending on what year-model of G-rides you buy, you may need to order a different set of tongues. I've found that the 2006 models have a tongue that is waaaaayyyy too stiff for snowboarding.
As for bindings, the Voile Mtn plates make a lot of folks happy, but I found them too soft. It really depends on what you're looking for. The Bomber, splitboard bindings are definitely designed for maximum power... you should be into the hard-boot thing.
if you are commited to the soft-boot style, and you already have a set-up, i would reccomend sticking with the same on your splitboard for a little while. A lot of people are using mountaineering boots with strap bindings successfully. My buddy Jef uses La Sportiva, Nuptses with some Flow bindings that he swiss-cheesed for weight savings, and he swears by the set-up. He's a dedicated soft-boot guy... rides in a duck stance.
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 7:45 am Posts: 42 Location: Routt County, CO
Check out the Dynafit TLT 4 pro. Its by far the best AT/snowboarding boot I've used. I've got a pair of F1's for skiing, but they are too stiff laterally for snowboarding, IMO. The flex I get from the TLT is very similiar to a salamon malamute. Start by looking at the boots that skiers find too soft for aggresive downhill skiing. The F1, although light and designed as a touring boot, is actually stiff and high enough to drive a decent size ski.
For comparison, in the dynafit I can lock into my plates with no canting and almost touch my knees together. In the F1, I cannot even get my knees within 4" apart. The boot is just cut too high and too stiff. For decending on a board, you will most likely want to ride with the boot set in walk mode. Leaving the F1 in walk mode means you have a 4" lever on the back of the boot that is very painful to sit/fall on.