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 Post subject: Spark R & D Split Specific Bindings
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 5:07 am
Posts: 616
Location: Montana
Will loaned me his generation 3 bindings for my 4 day trip in the Tetons. I used them under a variety of conditions & made ~ 17,000 vert. in those 4 days so they got a pretty decent test.

I'll be buying them when the final product is available. I only had a couple of small concerns & when I discussed these w/Will he was way ahead of me & had the solution completely engineered into the new generation.

They are solid while riding. There is a more connected interface feel while riding in them. While skinning - everything was solid, light, & handled the variety of conditions well especially w/the Willcrampons when things got firm & sidehilly.

Whats amazing is the amount of time Will is putting into getting the final product just right. I know he needs to get them available to get a return on his time/investment but he's just not going to put them into play until he knows all the bases are covered.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:19 am
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Location: Norway
go Will, go!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 8:17 pm
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Location: bc
yeeeeehah

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 Post subject: .
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:46 am 
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Any word on when these things are coming out?


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 Post subject: Spark bindings
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:17 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Whistler Canada
I just got a email from Will the bindings are on route If you want to get a pair I would suggest you call him as he is being over run with emails # is 406 580 9884 PS I have been riding his prototypes for a couple months you can't help but be shocked at how good they are


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:06 pm
Posts: 354
Location: PDX
originally i had planned on doing something much more clever with completing my Spark base plates into bindings, but i just went ahead and threw my Gnu carbon binding parts on there. They are basically the same as the Bent Metal carbon bindings with a few minor differences.

i am going to go ahead and claim that this newly created beast is the stiffest split binding known to man--so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Image

Image

Image

the cool thing with these is the "nuts" that go on to the bolts that hold everything on are these plastic things with an edge that locks onto the edge of the binding, so no nylock problems. also, the screws all have that serration under the head kind of like the burton hardware, so you aren't relying on locktite.

as for the review, i did a really mellow tour today on some low angle stuff...not too much of a test...um...they worked.... i will update when i am hucking cliffs onto boilerplate. yeah.

one thing that was kind of annoying though is i am so duck footed that it is hard to keep my skis parallel i resolved this on the old setup by putting a few degrees on my bindings relative to the slider plates, can't do that with the Sparks though. however, i am probably the only freak with that problem and i am sure my technique will compensate. the slider pin kicks ass though, waaaaaaay easier to get everything lined up and no lame ass clip to fumble with, pure genius.

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"take it easy, if its easy take it twice..."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:16 pm
Posts: 391
Location: Bozeman MT
Dang, Jack's got the carbon steeze. Good for you, I know you've said before that the ideal board for you flexes like a 2x12. You oughtta buy nomad's gen 1 mtn gun. I was wondering if you could help your duck steeze by swapping the flat head screws on the touring brackets for pan heads, and then rotating the touring plate. That or maybe you won't be such a duck after a season of tours! If you give that a shot let me know how it works out. I think the screws for the pucks have the same thread, but you might need a washer or two for the carpet test. I'm glad you're pumped on the pins!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 3:53 am 
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Posts: 388
Location: Chamonix, France
jack wrote:
i am going to go ahead and claim that this newly created beast is the stiffest split binding known to man--so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.


Hmm, dunno about that. CF has epoxy in it.

I once made a hookah and used epoxy to construct some of the parts. Somebody knocked it over and then put it upright (while it was drying) without telling me and some of the epoxy resin got on the inside of the head (when I took it apart it looked like it had dripped upwards). We smoked out of it and got very sick for like 2 days, and I think I am slightly stupider since that day O_O. When I redid that part it worked great though. It had one main chamber and 3 small ones, each with it's own pipe, so it was easier to share than a normal one. Much cheaper too (~$3 vs. $15).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:31 pm 
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Location: PDX
Will wrote:
Dang, Jack's got the carbon steeze. Good for you, I know you've said before that the ideal board for you flexes like a 2x12. You oughtta buy nomad's gen 1 mtn gun. I was wondering if you could help your duck steeze by swapping the flat head screws on the touring brackets for pan heads, and then rotating the touring plate. That or maybe you won't be such a duck after a season of tours! If you give that a shot let me know how it works out. I think the screws for the pucks have the same thread, but you might need a washer or two for the carpet test. I'm glad you're pumped on the pins!



good idea, but i think i will just work on my technique, really its not too big of a deal.

yeah i plan on picking up Nomad's gun next time i have a real job (this spring). the way i see it, surfboards dont flex, why should snowboards? :wink:

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"take it easy, if its easy take it twice..."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2005 4:15 pm
Posts: 372
Location: The land of MO (SLC)
My initial thoughts on my binders, copied from my recent TR with a few minor additions.

***Sparks Review Part 1:

I have about 2 good days like this on my Sparks. Karma Surf was also on his Sparks on a tour we did the other day. So far I really like them and KS was talking really positive about them as well, it's nice to get back on softboots after a season and a half on hardboots. I really like the feel of the bindings being so much closer to the board and that surfy feeling that only softboots can give you. They tour well, and in general are a nice improvement over the standard slider track binder set up, the lighter weight of the Sparks compared to my other softboot binder set up is immediately evident. The quick adjust forward lean block is nice, mine were a little hard to turn at first but they are loosning up. I'll post up continuous feed back as I ride them more.

Are they going to replace my hardboots? Not for every tour. Different horses for different courses. For pow days when I know the skin track won't entail icy traverses and lots of short ski mode descents the Sparks are looking to be my go-to binder. My hardboot with Voile Mountain plate set up is similar in weight to the Sparks with my softboots as far as I can tell. In short, I still feel my hardboot set up tours better, but the Sparks descend better. It's a trade off that I'll make depending on what I'm touring any given day……….for now……..

Only complaints:

Highbacks bit my heel with my older boots (Northwave APX Kevin Jones, 3 seasons old). Spark supplied padding pretty much eliminates it. I would recommend putting a sheet of double sided adhesive on the supplied pads prior to cutting them out of whatever sheet of foam Spark uses. Then the buyer doesn't have to do it themselves. Not a big deal though.

The right binding binds up on the heel lifter block when I tour with the heel lifters down, I had to file some of the plastic on it so it clears (actually the binder filed it down for me mostly, I just touched it up with a file to make it pretty). In talking with Karma, who had the same minor issue as well, Will probably holds tighter tolerances than most board manufacturers. Maybe measure out several boards and re-tolerance that cut on the lower binder plate.

Had to loctite all of the nuts and bolts on the inside of each binder. Mainly both inner toe bolts that had been shorted came partially loose during the first tour. I'll probably put them on a nut and bolt diet at some point. I'm definitely going to go with a more flush mount nut and bolt set-up on the inside of both binders as I did find myself catching edges on the bolt heads during some kick turns and sloppy skin track sections. Karma is talking about riveting all his parts into place, and I'm curious to hear how that works. It would save weight for sure.

More to come.

UB

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:25 am 
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Location: Montana
With all nuts reversed so nylocks go onto screws 1st - all issues are resolved - absolutely no hardware problems -

These bindings KICK - ASS! If you're gonna split - you need em

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:56 pm
Posts: 467
Location: Meyers, CA
After about a week of riding the Spark binders, I think Chris's quote about them being the biggest innovation since the splitboard is right on.

The strong positives are their smaller size and noticeably reduced weight. In both ride and ski mode they felt tighter and more responsive than my old slider track setup.

One issue I had was setting them up. They were super tight on my pucks right off the bat. I readjusted the pucks, sanded some, readjusted, sanded and now they seem appropriately snug.

(As an aside, I've experienced some weird stuff with pucks and Voile slider tracks as well. One of my partners had the worst time sliding her Voile slider tracks on and off her pucks, but my Voile slider tracks slid on/off fine on the exact same pucks. Not sure why that would be.)

Following the Spark blog advice I sanded the part of the heel block that catches slightly and didn't notice it at all touring.

The Bent Metal straps are comfy and I have not noticed any heel issues. I loctited everything before leaving the house and haven't had any problems with loose hardware.

There are a couple of minor things I wouldn't mind losing off the BM binders.

I think the adjusters on the female part of the toe straps are redundant and just unnecessary weight and weakness (Jack's Gnu binders are good examples of "cleaner" straps that don't have these doodads). On my first tour I occasionally knocked open the toe strap adjuster with my other ski. Turning the adjuster a bit eliminated this issue, but since I don't need these adjusters, I'd rather not have them. You can see the toe adjuster in Will's pic.

Image

These bindings are lighter, better performing, and easier to use than what I rode before. I'm very impressed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:26 pm
Posts: 33
Got my Ignition base plates this week and set them up with older Ride EX straps and heel cups on a Prior 72. Took em up to the resort today to see what kind of an improvement they made. 5 inches of fresh over tracked powder with blue skies made a great test venue.

The best thing I can say about these bindings is they made my split feel like a solid board. Even on groomers the board felt much more solid underfoot. There is no slop, with lots of power transfer and board feedback. The tight interface between the base plates and board gave me the confidence to ride full throttle, which I've never felt on my split before. I will never go back to slider tracks.

My only complaint is I had to split for eight years without Ignitions.

Thanks Will, I'm Stoked!!!


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