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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:12 am 
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UPGRAYEDD_2505 wrote:
I used these boots this year and agree that the toe area is too squishy. If you crank your strap crampons too tightly you can crush your foot. Ouch.

I definitely have never had this experience and I definitely crank 'em tight. I have a hard time seeing how this could be possible?

UPGRAYEDD_2505 wrote:
I did a little bit of front pointing here and there and the boots seemed OK.

I've also done quite a bit of front pointing in them (more than I would have liked as a product of this season's conditions :? ) and they have done well. I think most of the time when splitboarders complain about their setup not frontpointing well, it's more due to a lack of ice climbing experience than the fault of the equipment?

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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:30 pm 
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All ice climbing boots have a stiff sole. Try vertical ice climbing in Spark boots. Unless you're Will Gadd, it's gonna suck balls.
Spark/Deeluxe tried but they missed the mark pretty hard imo. I wish La Sportiva would make the boot we're looking for. That would be sick!

Stiff/solid toebox for kicking steps and stiff/nonflexible sole for support. These 2 elements are key.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:30 pm 
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BGnight wrote:
All ice climbing boots have a stiff sole. Try vertical ice climbing in Spark boots. Unless you're Will Gadd, it's gonna suck balls.


Not trying to beat a dead horse here, but how often are you going to climb vertical ice in your snowboard boots for more than 10 or so meters at a time? It's not like we need these things to climb WI5 or anything.

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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:23 pm 
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You brought it up about the front pointing. It's the same concept for front pointing a frozen 50 degree slope for 1000 feet. The foot needs support and a solid toe to get a bite like a plastic boot. Spark doesn't have either.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:39 am 
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About the frontpointing: I'm only trying to say that my experience frontpointing short sections of steep slope and yes, small sections of super steep and vertical ice has NOT sucked. On the contrary, I found the boots to be quite solid. I was just responding to your "try vertical ice climbing...." suggestion.

At any rate... I feel like because it feels natural and secure, frontpointing is often reverted to as the default for many snowboarders who don't have much ice or mountaineering experience. Using this technique or some variation of it can really save your calves, and it works on pretty much anything you're going to ride down.
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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:48 am 
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I use a whole combo of techniques to save my calves climbing in snowboard boots. Front pointing is really the best, fastest and safest technique on steeper slopes. The other major reason a "soft" snowboard mountaineering boot needs a stiff sole and hard toe is to make it more safe and efficient climbing semi hard snow without crampons. Skiers and hardbooters get away with climbing lots of steep shit without having to deal with a crampon because their boots allow them safe purchase. Something along the lines of that La Sportiva boot would also do that. It's funny, that super old Koflach superpipe boot is the closest thing to what we're looking for and it's 20 years later and only that fitwell boot is anywhere near that. I had a buddy that rocked those boots in soft bindings back in '92. He shredded hard in those things. I'd much rather have a pair of those than Spark boots but they're hard to find. Bcd's combo highback/ankle strap with toe bail in those boots is an awesome idea.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:03 am 
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Since you're so into bashing everyone else's design ideas maybe you should create your own SB products that exclusively fit the parameters you want, sell them to the rest of us....so we can all bitch about how some aspect of your design sucks balls. I agree that too stiff of a sole would likely diminish ride feel probably make riding the things feel like clunky gaper boots. Small sacrifices for the overall good they provide.

There in your neck of the woods you deal with more ice/hard snow conditions than where Nick rides. Seems much better suited to his style & conditions than yours. Since you're such a genius on what they "should be" - create.

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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:52 am 
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I'm not bashing anyone. I'm just frustrated it's taking so long for someone to get it right. I applaud Deeluxe for addressing the issue but give them poor marks for their execution on what a lot of riders are looking for. Sorry if you take that as bashing. I guess expressing opinions about inanimate objects that I have to pay $300 for is a touchy feely subject. There's a good chance I may buy their new boot next year so I'm not criticizing them just to be a dick. I'm not a boot maker nor do I have the desire to be but if I did they'd kick ass. I want a good boot and don't want to compromise after I shell out $300-$400.

Don't get so butt hurt and defensive at someone talking about a piece of rubber and leather. If it bugs you that bad maybe you should turn off the internet. It's just a boot. Not talking about abortion or gay marriage here.

How can a stiff sole affect your riding? Soft boots soles while flexible don't move or flex in the bindings. They stay flat to the board. If there is a bit of difference in feel I still don't think that's where you should be sacrificing when you're making a mountaineering specific model. If you want feel use a malamute, driverX, etc.. I think Nick might like his boots better with a stiffer sole and slightly more flexible ankles. Not saying the sole has to be completely rigid either.

You guys do realize DEELUXE makes these boots right? I think the name "Spark" is getting you Montana guys confused and defensive about me bashing something from the state you live in. They're made in Austria, not Montana.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Hah, that last paragraph is a good one. Made me laugh since I was indeed confused about that distinction for a good while after initially hearing about the boot last year or whenever it was... "So it's called the Spark, but it's not made by Spark??......." really threw this simple mind for a loop.

For the record, I didn't feel "bashed" or anything and certainly think you have good points BGnight! All I'm saying is maybe the DEELUXE Spark boot isn't as bad as you make it out to be for ice climbing (at least in the context of snowboarding). Still debating whether or not I'd want to take them along for the short ice pitches on the Grand. I will most definitely take them to Cody or Hyalite this fall and report back on how they climb water ice. I still think this discussion is a "it's the user, not the tool" type of thing...

Hope everyone liked the little "french technique" graphic I ripped from Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills. Free plug for a book everyone on here should own (most of us probably do)

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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:23 pm 
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One terminal problem for a good hard boot/soft boot fusion: From what I have gathered so far, a nice hard pebax lower with a soft upper on it, and maybe a built in highback will cost as much or more as a hard boot to make/sell and will soften and wear out as quick as a soft boot will. Best of both worlds on feel and climbing ability, worst of both worlds in terms of price and longevity. I think this might keep such a boot in the realm of the garage cobbler, not on the retail show display shelf.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:45 pm 
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just for the record...they climb better than a normal soft snowboard boot. no doubt.

that is a step in the right direction.

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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:22 pm 
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Brooks, you've certainly climbed more hard snow and ice than I have (you know I'm a sucker for pow) and I do respect your opinion, but your argument makes no sense to me. I just don't see how a stiff sole can keep your calves from burning and make you more efficient. The leverage created when your ankle flexes forward is what works the calf so much. I know when I was climbing Shasta a few weeks ago, I was wishing I was wearing my old Northwave Rivals (I think that was the model) which had a plastic insert that could be attached to the tongue to stiffen the forward flex. I don't know how much your boots soles flex, I know mine have a nylon shank, and they are not the stiffest boots Northwave makes, but I don't think any well-built snowboard boot is going to have enough flex in the sole to make much difference.
If I were building a boot, I'd keep the sole but swap out the rubber for deep-lugged vibram, beef up the toes and have a rigid cap for kicking steps, and stiffen the tongue and forward flex while leaving most of the lateral flex.

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 Post subject: Re: 2012-2013 spark deeluxe xv boot.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Location: East of the Cascades, Wa
I ordered mine for next season after talking with a few friends who rode the first gen ones over the past season. They all said they were a pain in the ass to break in and one friend noted taking over 15 riding/hiking days to get them right. They all said improved climbing, great riding and love the durability of the soles. I need to replace my solomons and it was a new set of Malamutes or the Deeluxe XV.

I don't care if they do not have as stiff a sole as AT boots, or are not the best ice climbing boot ever. I snowboard, i'm not climbing ice to ride, that sounds like a shitty ride back down. I just want a durable, stiff boot that compliments splitting year round, Deelux may not have it perfect for everyone yet, but they do make a badass boot! :headbang:

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