About two seasons ago I decided I would jump in and try hardboots for splitboarding for several reasons, of which, I will not go into. However, I didn't like what was currently out there for bindings and being a mechanical engineer, figured I'd give it a go at designing my own bindings. This would be a welcomed break from sitting at a computer all day designing spacecrafts.
After a few models and simple prototypes, I stuck my wallet and neck out there and built a working set for myself. I spent all of last season riding on these and have been really pleased with the results. The focus of my bindings was never to create something for others, but rather I wanted the very best binding I could build for myself. Like all designs, you have to give and take. I gave up adjustability, but gained what I felt was a solid, simple design. After getting a few small requests to make a set for others, I put my noodle to work trying to figure out how to bring back adjustability without increasing the part count or sacrificing ride height or any of the other things I like about what I had. After several more months and several more prototypes later, I believe I have something that the hardboot community will like. A binding designed by a hardboot rider, specifically for hardboot splitboarding.
- Boot sole is 5/8" off the deck with a 2.5 degree cant. - +30 to -30 degrees foot angle adjustment - can accommodated 0 to 5 degrees cant - each toe/ heel height/cant is independently adjustable - stance width adjustable in 0.5" increments - Fits wide range of boot shell sizes (Mondo 30 to 23 in TLT5) ***edited as this is the full range for the TLT5***) - Uses Burton Race 5mm bails - Most of the binding is removed and collapses flat for storage during hiking similar what people are currently using. - Interface clears snow/ice when putting binding on board - Works with both Voile and Karakoram board clips! - Made from lightweight aluminum alloy - Does not use the Voile puck system.
While I feel confident that what I have will stand up to the test of time, this first year will really just be a beta run and I'm not going to hide that from anyone or kid myself that this is the "best" design. However, for this first year, prices will reflect that risk and realistically, I only see running a small batch anyway since the community is pretty small.
I'm in the process of figuring out lots of details for doing a small "production" run and will keep you all posted as things develop. I'm targeting to have bindings ready by September 2012. In the mean time, I wanted to put some stoke out there, see what you think so far and let those of you who like to splitboard on hardboots know that hopefully you will be second fiddle no more.
Quick side note, with all sincerity, I'd like to say thank you to BCrider for creating this forum and all the hardwork, time and no doubt his own wallet on the line to make this site happen. Without splitboard.com, I think I'd still be stuck in Disneyland riding groomers . You rock and let me know how I can give back.
Here's a teaser. I know, I hate these kinds of pictures. Not much to see, really vague, sorry. But really, that's the point. A very simple low part count design. Not much to break. No loose pins or parts. More to come later.
However, I'm not exaggerating with the spec list in the first post. Those really are the specs, not just some kind of wish list. They started out as a wish list though
That looks sweet! I'm likely interested in getting in line
Any mention of weights compared to what is out there?
Weight of the current setup I rode all last year is pretty close to what people are using now (slider plate with Burton race plate bindings mounted).
Of course, I'm very keen on weight as part of the appeal of a hardboot setup is the lightweight aspect so I'm very focused on finding ways to bring down the weight. I'm leaning on the side of letting things be a little thicker then they need to be at first as I don't want to get stuck some where because my binding broke because I was trying to save a 1/2 oz.
I will post final weights once I get that nailed down. Stay tuned.
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm Posts: 394 Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
Curious, are the toe and heel blocks custom made and you are only using Burton bails or are they Burton toe and heel blocks?
I ride F2 toe and heel blocks direct mounted to the Voile plate (the holes line up perfectly) and was wondering if they might fit on your base plate?
I am really stoked on how solidly it appears to tie the two board halves together in ride mode. We loose so much responsiveness to the twisting board halves with the Voile plate and pucks. It is mostly fine in powder, but on firm snow, it makes a huge difference for edge control. I even added a third chinese hook between the bindings to help the issue.