So this is not going to be the trip report y'all are used to seeing. No vids, pics or other stoke, I'm afraid.
I did manage to break my new split out for the first time, and wanted to put some observations down, so here goes!
Splitting is a lot harder than I anticipated! I definitely get what people have said about practicing your changeovers and transitions. I was up at Sugarloaf this weekend, and Sunday brought the all too familiar wind-hold, but there was lots of fresh snow, so it seemed like a great time to try out the split at the resort. It was fun, and I learned a lot, and was humbled plenty!
First up, I tried out a bunch of new gear:
First was a few laps on TLT5's, bomber sidewinders and an SL split. The TLT5's are stock, without any mods so far. Lots of shin pain and had to abort the trial because of discomfort. I could tell that there was pretty awesome board-feel with that combo and the board was very responsive. The SL seemed very nice and was damper than I expected. I am so far very impressed with this board, which pleased me having never ridden a Never Summer RC before. Take home was I need to work on breaking in the TLT5's and may need to pursue some mods, but holding off for now.
Having developed enough pain to go back to car at lunch, I switched the hardboot setup out for some old Burton Ions and Spark Burners. Much more comfortable on the legs, but this setup didn't feel responsive at all after the prior setup. The boot and binder combo felt very soft, squishy and generally unsatisfactory. The bright side was that it wasn't painful at least!
Having gotten a couple runs in on both setups, I decided to try hitting some of the mountain where the lifts were closed. I made it over to the area I was targeting, and set about trying to switch to skin mode. This included chasing down a ski carried away by 15-20 mph winds, then trying to set up the skins. I had trimmed the skins the night before, and they rip so much easier in the living room than in 12 degree temps. I really didn't think I was going to be able to separate them, but I managed to after I quit laughing at how poorly this was going! Although the skins were able to be separated, they were covered with a nice thin coating of blown snow, so adhesion was not so great.
So, I'm finally in split mode, starting to skin up the trail. Woohoo! I've passed from being a splitboard owner to a splitboarder! I start up, all is good. Then the slope starts increasing, and the skins start to slip. So I figure I'll try going at a lower angle across the trail. I couldn't get any purchase and had some difficulty with not feeling like the edges of the skis were stable (Ion/Burner combo). I had reached the conclusion that I really had no clue how to skin and I and I really wasn't likely to learn too much more today, so I packed it all up and headed back to the lodge.
Other new equipment tried included the Mammut Nirvana Pro 35 pack--Very well designed and I'm very, very impressed so far.
So, anyone have any resources or sites to look at for skinning pointers and technique?
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 11:42 am Posts: 2392 Location: California
Never ever let your skins get snow on them. That means you never set them down. They go from your board to your pack and back again. If it's a sunny day I'll hang them from my poles to dry out but other than that, pack to board and back again.
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:28 am Posts: 106 Location: Portland, OR
Glad you still managed to have fun.
I bought my first split at Darkside Snowboards on the road to Killington. Took my first tour up an old logging road to a hangglide launch spot in Central NY. Definitely some learning moments. I often would, and sometimes still do, put my bindings on backwards in board mode. Funny, this past new years weekend I put my bindings on backwards in tour mode in the dark. The whiskey and beer involved in pulling a keg sled may have had something to do with it, too...
**If you get snow on your skins, put them in your jacket. My current softshell has big inner front pockets that hold my skins. A little bulky, but helps dry them out between laps if they need it.***
I also have a new pair of TLT5s----and I have made a few of Barrows et al's recommended boot mods with great success. I left the stiffening tongues in the box, cut off the booster strap, and filed the walk/tour mode insert until my forward flex felt nearly identical to my Vans Cirro soft boots. I progressively filed the opening and checked against the Cirros until I hit my sweet spot. I don't have the boots with me but I think I hand filed the opening until it was about 3/4 to 1-inch long. The forward lean mod made a huge difference in how the boot feels. I probably spent an hour making the forward lean mod for each boot--and it was a great investment of my time.
The TLT5's last was much too narrow for me out of the box---so I had them punched by the boot fitter where I bought the boots. I also ride with the upper buckle at its loosest setting. So far, I have had zero shin pain. Good luck with your mods!
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:31 am Posts: 268 Location: a vanagon somewhere in WA
The TLT5's last was much too narrow for me out of the box---so I had them punched by the boot fitter where I bought the boots. I also ride with the upper buckle at its loosest setting. So far, I have had zero shin pain.
i'll second this advice. i bought a pair of tlt5 boots at the end of last season and had to abort a climb up the inter glacier due to excruciating foot pain. i took them back to the shop where i bought them (proski in seattle, a great outfit) and explained how the wide part of my foot was getting crushed. they punched out the liners a bit, fitted some more supportive insoles to the boots (i had no idea but arch support actually narrows your foot a bit) and then used a stretching device to widen out the middle part of the boot.... i just did a 17.5 hour tour on friday and (aside from a battle with low grade frostbite) my feet felt great all day. it's definitely worth the time and money to have the boots worked on by a professional.
i'd also advise that you should leave the boots locked in ski mode if there is any downhill at all in the skintrack. it's impossible to lean back and control your skis during any extended gliding if the boot are in tour mode. i took a few diggers before i figured that one out.