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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:28 pm
Posts: 453
Location: Cottonwood, UT
SG - may I ask why you went for a significantly larger AT boot than your Driver X's? Since you rock a 9.5 I would have thought you'd be in a 27.5 mondo. Cause I'm the same size as you and my resort ski boots are that size.

I'm curious to hear if most people are going larger in hardboots. I'm also trying to talk myself if taking the plunge with the Phantoms cause it sounds like people are able to ride their same stance with about the same level of comfort. I haven't read a bad thing about them. Thanks for all the reviews.


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:49 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1515
Location: Colorado
WhitePine wrote:
SG - may I ask why you went for a significantly larger AT boot than your Driver X's? Since you rock a 9.5 I would have thought you'd be in a 27.5 mondo. Cause I'm the same size as you and my resort ski boots are that size.

I'm curious to hear if most people are going larger in hardboots. I'm also trying to talk myself if taking the plunge with the Phantoms cause it sounds like people are able to ride their same stance with about the same level of comfort. I haven't read a bad thing about them. Thanks for all the reviews.



No. Do not size up hardboots: this will result in poor fit, movement of the foot (and/or liner) inside the boot, and resulting loss of ride precision and a lot of discomfort.
If you do not understand how to properly fit a boot, seek the advice of good bootfitter, but make sure they understand that you are using the boots for touring, as typically a touring boot fit will allow for some toe room vs an alpine ski boot setup for the lifts.

My feet are 10.5-11 in sneaker size, and I ride a 28 Dynafit TLT5/6. With my foorbeds (a properly supported foot will be lower in volume) and molded with a double toe cap, I get nice wiggle room up front for the toes, and a nice firm fit through the instep and in the heel pocket.

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Never Summer Prospector 167X, furberg 173 DIY, Dynafit TLT5/6 Mountain , Phantom Bindings, BD Glidelite Skins
Quiver Killer inserts

http://protectourwinters.org/
http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:53 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:28 pm
Posts: 453
Location: Cottonwood, UT
Barrows - I agree with you 100% that's why I was confused and asked the question about Summersgone's choice in boot sizes. I'd guess he'd get what too much slop and potentially blisters and stuff from the friction while skinning.


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:33 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:22 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Durango, CO
I'm not sure if I mistyped, but I went down in size actually.

I went from a 9.5 Driver X to a 27.0 TLT5, which converts to a 9.0 in US.

Edit: I found my mistype, and corrected.


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:28 pm
Posts: 453
Location: Cottonwood, UT
Ok that makes more sense.

With the canting and adjustments available through the phantoms, did you ever end up cutting material off the cuff? If not then this gives me hope that I could buy one pair of boots from a boot fitter and use them for skiing and splitting by just swapping out the metal forward lean block.


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:22 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Durango, CO
I have not modified the boots, other than the forward lean, which I think is necessary. At this point I probably won't do anything more to the boots. I'm pretty stoked on the entire setup and don't feel there is a huge need to modify more.


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:28 pm
Posts: 453
Location: Cottonwood, UT
How would you describe your foot? Low volume, high volume, narrow, wide?


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1515
Location: Colorado
WhitePine wrote:
How would you describe your foot? Low volume, high volume, narrow, wide?


WP: I think it might be better, if you want to discuss boots more in depth, to do so in the boot threads, as this way the info will be there for everyone to easily find, and we will not be de-railing this Phantom Binding thread any further. I, and others I am sure, will be happy to respond to detailed boot questions in those threads. (And sorry for my contribution to thread drift here as well guys!)

_________________
Never Summer Prospector 167X, furberg 173 DIY, Dynafit TLT5/6 Mountain , Phantom Bindings, BD Glidelite Skins
Quiver Killer inserts

http://protectourwinters.org/
http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:28 pm
Posts: 453
Location: Cottonwood, UT
Haha. I was wondering when I'd get called out for doing that. I admit I was a willfully broke the rules.

Sorry for it. From what I've read, it seems like the combination of bindings and boots have a lot more affect on the overall system with hard boots than soft boots.

Meaning the affect of soft boot/binding setup is less perceptible from boot to boot with the same binding. Especially after the break-in period is over.

So although this is a binding thread, the boot SG is using has a lot of influence on the positive review he gave. I probably should have just pm'd him.

Anyway. I'm liking all of the positive reviews of the Phantoms, and from what I gather, the LTL 5/6 are a lower volume boot which might work well for me since I've got skinny feet, calves and ankles. My bootfitter will ultimately decide that for me I suppose.

Does anyone know if the Phantoms are still available this late in the season? Or is work already underway for the next iteration?


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:09 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Colorado
I typically say that it's 50/50, boots to bindings as to what matters. If you have a really well designed binding but are using a stiff carving boot or even stiffer four buckle downhill boot, you'll think the whole thing is crap. Likewise, if you have a great plastic shell boot like a slightly modified (slotted lean plate) TLT5/6, but have a really crappy binding, you'll likely still think the whole thing is crap. Of course, this is just a generalization so people please, don't over analyze this statement.

Bottom line though, yes, for a good AT Split setup, you want to make sure you get a good boot/binding combination. That's way I had to design a completely new system from the deck up. And also why I used the TLT5 as the standard boot for the overall system. I really should branch out and try some other boots, but I've been so happy with the TLT5 and have so many projects going at once, I just haven't found the time to branch out.

As for Alpha bindings, sorry, but I'm just down to a few demo pairs and don't build bindings during the season. It takes an incredible amount of effort for me to make these bindings as I'm not lucky enough to have this as my full time job and do nearly everything myself. I spend my nights and weekends working on them and really, the only reason why they exist at all is because I have a full time job to pay the bills. To date, Phantom has never turned a profit. It doesn't help that right now I'm more focused on building the best damn binding I can and as long as the price of the bindings covers the cost to make them and other people like them, I'll keep doing it.

As for next season, I'm not afraid to change the design if it means significant improvements. I know people hate having "outdated" gear too, but I try to give those that buy bindings a discount if they want to upgrade the next season. However, at the moment, I don't see any major shift in the design, but rather taking all the great feedback I'm getting from people riding the Alphas now to make them even better. I will say that I've got some fun things in the works in the way of new gear, but still need some more testing and refinements before I release the details.

Big thanks to all those that did buy a pair of Alphas. Because of you, things keep getting better... :doobie:


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:41 pm
Posts: 49
figured I should chime in on my transition to hard boots as well. I toyed with the idea of switching since seeing the phantoms last season and then was pretty much sold after cupping a feel at the baker splitfest as the prototypes were there. Then summer hit and I was going to cheap out and stick with the karakoram setup that I had, which I had never had any problem with. I decided that I liked to tinker and had read about the weight that could be cut per foot and the efficiency that could be gained and I headed to the store to try on a pair of TLT6s. I figured if they were comfortable in the store I would give the change a go. They were comfortable so I snuck in an order for phantoms on the last day to pick my colors. I was blown away when the bindings showed up as the workmanship was obvious and impeccable, I couldnt wait to try them so I walked around my backyard, In suburban alberta, canada to get my fix and was very impressed. I took a couple days to ride them at the resort in various conditions as if I was going to have issues or have to learn to ride them then I would rather it where I can walk back to the car in 15 minutes and grab my solid board. The learning curve was essentially nothing, I hopped on and rode away like I always had, frankly it was harder to adjust to riding my hovercraft than it was hardboots. The only flaw I have found with hardboots is not something with the bindings but rather the board itself. The space between my touring bracket/risers and my rear binding is as small as it can go as the touring riser is already on top of my rear binding in ride mode. Due to the hardboots I would like to ride a slightly narrower stance as they do not have the lateral flex that I am used to although I am unable due to a board that has inserts fairly close together. It is a marginal difference and I have had no problems riding at the resort or in the backcountry on my phantoms but it is something I figured I would mention as others may run in to this in the future. This is something I know keffler is working on as both risers will face forward to accomodate this problem and I would be happy to purchase the new risers. Overall the system has blown me away and it took my first day of touring on them to realize how much more efficient I could be as I finished what was a long day for me, which would normally have knocked me on my ass, and still felt like I had a lot of fuel in the tank. And believe me that isn't because of the beer that I spent my summer drinking. Hope this helps some people out. Im stoked on the system and I can't see myself going back to softboots in the backcountry

lastly as per the boots, a bootfitter is your best friend I had my liners heat molded and moved my insoles into my dynafits and the bootfitter shaped the shell to accommodate the shape of my feet, the material is very malleable when put under boiling water and although my boots appear to have bunyans I didn't have any pressure spots on day one and that is something I couldn't even ever say about my softboots (32 TM twos and burton ions)


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2014 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 394
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
Finally found a couple of patches of snow in the eastern Sierra to try the new Phantoms!

I had ridden this year's prototypes last spring so I knew this year's bindings would ride well, but since it was spring, I never got to try them in icing conditions.

I am sure I bent John's ear last season more than anyone else about the amount of time it took to clear the ice off the board and binding plates to transition to ride mode.

John made a number of small, but significant, changes to the design to help with icing and they have made a huge improvement to the ease of transitioning to ride mode.

Thanks John!


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Alpha Initial Impressions
PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 394
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
Got some more days on the Phantoms. These things are riding so well. The added lateral flex over last seasons's bindings is a great help in tight situations. The rigidity on the longitudinal axis really helps keep the board halves together and allows excellent board control. Transitions are really quick and the new locking system is solid and easy to use.


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