Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 10:05 pm Posts: 14 Location: Fairbanks
FWIW, I just switched from burton step-ins to a AT boot with plates. Overall, I think it is a better set-up. I think this for the following reasons;less moving parts; lighter, much lighter. Ability to kick steps or at least an increased scrambling ability. Easier to use crampons with. I have some that fit my softboots but found it was a great way to shred my ski pants, due to how wide the boots were. Comfort is a wash. Both are pretty comfortable, after custom footbeds. The AT boots I got have the thermo-fit lier which is as warm and comfy as "they" say. While in skin mode, the AT boots far outshine the soft set-up. Now here is where the rubber meets the road. I am not sure if it is because I am new to the hardboot or what but I am happier with soft boots while riding. The AT boots are just too much. I just tighten the buckles and leave the boots in "walk" for the ride down and find that they are still a bit stiff. Still plenty fun, just needs some getting used to I guess. I have always rode at about 30-28 so no need to get used to a steeper binding stance.
So, to sum up; I like hardboots, but would like to try a snowboard specific hardboot. Or an AT boot that is not as tall as the boots I have.
Oh yeah, they are Garmont G-rides.
How are Deelux or Riachle boots to walk/tour in?
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 11:31 am Posts: 218 Location: ak
Do tele boots even enter the equation? Anybody try some of the shorter, lighter ones? Like Garmont Excursions, ScarpaT3, T4?
Discomfort from the height of AT boots is what I'm worried about. Has anybody tried the dynafit tlt 4 pro or tlt race boots?
I'm still happy with my clickerHB eclipse&firebird most of the time, but they are not great for kicking steps or for ugly traverses on split and are weak at speed compared to my heavy Nitro Mirage flat clicker boots.
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:55 am Posts: 29 Location: SF Bay Area
I'm a complete splitboarding neophyte (just two tours), but I've been riding hardboots at resorts for 6 years.
Initially, I only rode hardboots when I was on groomers and carving boards. However, a nasty broken ankle (surgery + screws) made softies increasingly unbearable. I upgraded to the stiffest soft setup I could find (Salomon Malamutes + Catek Freerides) and cinched everything down brutally tight to try to generate the support my ankle needed to ride all day. I was pretty satisfied with the resort performance of the setup, but comfort was awful. I suffered through it because I didn't think I could get that surfy feel from a hardboot setup. The few times I tried riding powder and steeps on my hardboot rig were totally unfun. However, my hardboot setup was certainly suboptimal for steeps and powder (Coiler All Mountain 177 and Bomber TD2 Stepins, both way too stiff).
Early this season, I completely gave up on softies due to the unacceptable (for me) tradeoff between support for my bum ankle and severe foot pain. I set about relearning to ride powder and steeps in hardboots. However, I sought out the softest, most flexible, plates I could find (F2 Challenge), and mounted them on my trusty, well loved, Oxygen Shogun. Fortunately for me, Tahoe produced plenty of powder days this season on which for me to practice. I set my angles much lower than I usually setup my plates (45f/39r). I only took me a day or two to get readjusted and to get my riding back to a reasonable level of performance.
So, for me, the pros of hardboots come down to comfort and performance. It also is nice to have one pair of boots that work for all types of days (inbounds powder/groomers and splitboard days in the BC).
On the canting question, yes, the Deeluxe/Raichle models are cantable at the cuff hinge. Also, most plate bindings have some sort of canting adjustment available. However, when applied to SplitBoards, I think you'd want to cant your bindings under the pucks instead of at the binding level. That way you'd have the cant for downhill mode, but would be flat during skin mode. At Splitfest, Zach was sporting some slick custom under-the-pucks canting system. Perhaps he'll be kind enough to share details on his system.
Bottom Line: Hardboots feel and ride differently than softies. If you're willing to give it a few days and relearn some things, I think that hardboots can be just as "surfy" as softies. However, for me the decision was easy. It was either only ride inbounds on groomers days (and never ride powder!), or learn to enjoy hardboots in other conditions.
Just remember, the guy with the biggest smile at the end of the day wins!
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:57 pm Posts: 4958 Location: California
Opinions are great and in fact are waht gives the personality to this forum, however, ridiculous stereotypes of cultures and countries provide no benefit for the splitboard community in any way. i also welcome disagreement with the opinions. This is what provides for a healthy discussion. It is only when personal and cultural attacks take over the tone of the discussion that I feel the line has been crossed. Maybe the boot is a bit harsh; however, I feel that something should have been done to address this issue.
Thanks for taking the time to share these thoughts Arash!
They are very much in-line with the reasoning I used when addressing the issue.