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 Post subject: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:10 pm
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Location: UT
So I've had a bit of an epiphany of late... I'm not looking to start a debate or try and convert anyone, I'm just curious if anyone else has experienced the same thing.

Anyways, most recently I've ridden either hardboots, or stiff soft boots. But over the last four tours I've only tightened the inner boot of my Burton Imperials and just pulled the zone laces into the lock channels, leaving the boot shell open and loose.
The intention was to tighten them before descending, but being kind of lazy, or cold I just never got around to it. I must say, despite getting about the same heel lift I normally get (e.g. icy exits) the riding has been way more fun, responsive and confidence inspiring. This all seems really counter intuitive. :scratch:

So has anyone else had this experience? What is going on here? Should I just go back to Sorels?

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Experts tell me I'm not a serious rider; riding boards that are too long with the incorrect boot and binding setup and I'm not having fun...


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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:37 pm 
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Location: Rainier Beach
Snurfer wrote:
Should I just go back to Sorels?


YES!!!!!

There was something about the way the binding straps just tore into your forefoot through those flexy rubber toeboxes. Sooooo painful on the lift, and yet as soon as I started riding under those yellow sodium lights, I forgot all about the pain. Ah, nostalgia... :lol:

Bring em back I say! These kids with their comfy boots with liners need to be taught how to endure some serious pain in the name of snowboarding.

And I pity the fool that ever took a run in these bad boys...

Image

If you were after even less support than the leather ones, these white nylon puppies were your go to back in 91.

Seriously tho, I also have started to at least tour with loose boots as it's more comfy. If I need a little more medial/lateral support for a traverse, I just tighten em up.

Speaking of old boots with no support, I used to love riding in K2 Lighters. No liner, super flexy, but I totally got used to them. I'd like to try them for splitting as they were, well, super light and comfy. They'd be useless on anything needing edges for touring, but for pow days would probably be awesome. Anyone have a pair laying around in a sz 10?


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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:16 am
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Location: Salida, Flagstaff
Snurfer wrote:
So has anyone else had this experience? What is going on here? Should I just go back to Sorels?


Yup, I'm convinced that riding Sorels and crappy or no bindings as a kid cast the die for me. I still feel most comfortable with maximum ankle mobility. I love the feeling of shredding pow in super soft freestyle boots barely laced above the ankle... And a nice wide surf stance... Low, quick, slashy and stable.

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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:15 pm
Posts: 294
Location: Washington
Taylor wrote:
Snurfer wrote:
So has anyone else had this experience? What is going on here? Should I just go back to Sorels?


Yup, I'm convinced that riding Sorels and crappy or no bindings as a kid cast the die for me. I still feel most comfortable with maximum ankle mobility. I love the feeling of shredding pow in super soft freestyle boots barely laced above the ankle... And a nice wide surf stance... Low, quick, slashy and stable.


^Yep exactly. Spent two seasons in sorels, still have the weird bumps on my feet to prove it. Heel lift? No problem. Just think of it like a tele turn. Stiff boots put a barrier between me and the board.


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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:52 am 
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Location: UT
Taylor wrote:
Yup, I'm convinced that riding Sorels and crappy or no bindings as a kid cast the die for me.
Ha ha, I know what you mean. During a recent Wasatch SpltiFest tour, the topic of stance angles and how they'd changed over the years came up. It occurred to me I'm still riding the stance from my Backhill and Perfomer :shock:

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Experts tell me I'm not a serious rider; riding boards that are too long with the incorrect boot and binding setup and I'm not having fun...


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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:24 pm 
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Posts: 355
Quote:
allow your foot and ankle to broaden options of control over the board even if it's not always crisp clean control. For me that's the "surfy" feel. That minute amount of wiggle room.


form 802 smuggler from of all places NH/Vermont http://splitboard.com/talk/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=13333&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

I agree, I don't intentionally unlace my boots but I usually don't remember to lace em up until I'm on the exit trail or experience some dust on crust that makes me really aware of it. I mean that would involve taking your gloves off and actually pulling your snow pants up to get at your boot laces. I'm guessing few sierra couloir riders or riders outside of the great snow zones folks measure their snow quality for the day by when and if they remembered to lace their boots up from a loose tour friendly setting.


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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:18 pm 
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Location: a mile high COLORADO
I ride burton ions and have found myself going down without making my boots more tight on numerous occasions. sometimes weather related, sometimes pure excitement gets ahold of me. But I noticed when I do crank them down it takes me a little bit of riding to get used to them and comfy where as when they are loose its just time to go. This is the one place where hard boots might have a tiny advantage, just click those fittings into place and vola! time to ride. It just one more step in the process and usually im being rushed.. HAHA these boots work in everything and I can still throw a method! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
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Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
I've been trying to run my boots looser too. For me its a circulation thing. All this time I've been cranking my boots so tight that at the bottom of every run, my feet are just screaming at me! I've lately been running the lowers super loose, with the top of the boots just moderately snug. I'm pretty sure it allows a lot more proprioceptive feedback... It can kind of be compared to the evolution of running shoes or climbing boots. For years things were so stiff and supportive, but now, all this research is coming out on the benefits of barefoot running. Anyway, its all about biomechanics!

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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:30 am 
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Location: a mile high COLORADO
a lot has to do with the straps on your bindings as well. I ride karakoram but all of the straps they make are horrible. they are so soft and mushy it provides zero support and leaves all that up to the boot. I use old school RIDE ankle straps from the team binders. they have tons of support and let you rock the boot a little loose since the strap is so beefy.

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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:57 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:35 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Vancouver BC
Snurfer wrote:
the riding has been way more fun, responsive and confidence inspiring.

I thought I was crazy but hearing that other people are doing this is a little comforting. I guess the part that might make me a little crazy is that I'm intentionally loosening my hardboots. I've been riding with the Scarpa Rush this past season and I'm mostly only using the instep strap (cranked tight up and down). The buckle on the cuff I've been leaving somewhat loose depending on conditions, and I've been leaving the buckle on the toe really loose. I'm even considering taking it off completely.

Have many people tried this loosening idea on hardboots? I agree that it is totally counter intuitive, but at least with my freestyle-ish stance its been an intriguing way to experiment with flex. And at least I haven't had to drill or grind into my boots yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:55 pm 
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Location: New Castle, Colorado
Besty: I have been riding my boots much looser than in years past. As a Alpine Carver, I would tighten done my hardboots. Now I just ride my hard boots snug to loose depending on the conditions. Of course its easy to tight down boots for touring. I have also relax my binding stance angles, compared to carving angles. Relax angles allow me to run a snug fit with my AT Boots compared to the stiffness / tightness need for alpine carving (snowboarding).

In another post I wrote:

Quote:
I ride stock Scarpa F1's and the only "mod" I have done is to add an "Eliminator Custom Tongue" shim which has solved some boot fitting issues for me and also has soften forward-lean for me. see http://www.masterfitenterprises.com/eliminator.html

I'm assuming that you are talking about AT boots (aka hard boots). I too experience discomfort when I first got my AT boots. Even after I got the the liners thermo-molded and custom insoles. Turns out, I was over tightening my boots to accommodate my narrow foot. I know use a "Eliminator Custom Tongue" shim which takes up some of the volume in the boot. Hence I know longer over tighten my boots, in fact I ride with my boots snug to a loose fit, depending on the snow conditions (spring corn, hardpack to powder).

see; http://www.epicski.com/t/85814/eliminat ... lex-issues
So seek out a local master foot fitter, your feet will thank you! :thumpsup:

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Venture Storm R 163 (2010), Dynafit Binding/Sparks Adapter, Scarpa F1 Boots, Bomber Sidewinder Bindings * Prior 172 Fissile (2012) Dynafit Binding/Sparks Adapter


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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
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Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
I actually noticed this last season! I had an ankle ratchet brake on my front foot, and I could only get my strap as tight as I could push it down with my fingers. Instead of canning the day, I just rode with everything "loose" for the rest of the afternoon. I loosened up the boots, too.

What I found:

Far better circulation and my feet stopped hurting constantly

Way more range of motion, and a greater ability to get into a "tuck" for straightlining stuff. This part was SUPER interesting to me... Usually, when I feel like hauling ass, I crank everything as tight as possible. On this day, I just said screw it, and dropped into this chundered out bowl, and pointed the whole thing without turning. It was probably a 1000 foot vertical straightline, and I was going way faster than I'm usually comfortable, but what I found was that because I was able to get my knees and ankles super low, and get my body into kind of a ball, I was able to keep it together.

Since that day I'm really running everything looser, and working harder to "feel" terrain and work with it, as opposed to trying to manhandle it. Seems like an intuitive thing to do, but my natural tendency has always been to crank my boots and straps.

SNOWBOARDING IS SOOO GOD DAMN FUN!!! YEEEEHAAAH!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Intentionally loosening boots?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:14 am 
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Location: 395
I'm with everyone as long as I don't have heel lift. I always cranked everything way down and had my feet screeeeaming when I got to the bottom. I still tighten the liners on my fitwells at the top and usually just give a good pull on the main locking part of the outer laces to keep the heel down, but I really like things loose in the forefoot/toes and upper ankle when I'm riding. During days where I'm railing groomers at the resort, when my riding is really on, I've noticed that I actually use my toes to control the board when I'm going 40mph+. It sounds crazy but when my riding is at it's best I can feel the small muscles in my foot flexing individually giving me tons of feedback.


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