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 Post subject: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:06 am
Posts: 69
Location: Norway
Hi all,

I stumbeled across this site and have found all the threads really useful. I've been boarding for years and flirted with splitboarding around 5 years ago for a season or two but reverted back to slogging with snowshoes and board on my back as splitting with soft boots and traverse on hard pack in technical areas was just not cutting it (i.e, slipping and you're in a crevasse or brgschrund). I can see that things have come along way since then though or I was just ignorant the whole time. It never crossed my mind to go over to hard boots but I see from this site that there are a lot of people doing it and I think it might be worth giving it a go (and I am getting too old and sick of lugging up to 20kg of gear on my back for hours on end).

I've read through all the posts on this site regarding AT boots and splitboarding and they have been really useful but I'm finding it really hard to decide which boot is the ideal boot for someone who comes from softboots and wants to compromise as little as possible when going to hard boots. I would say that that is the biggest dialemma for all who move over to splitboarding and why some even refuse and carry on killing themselves on snowshoes like me!! So I thought I would hit this great community up for a definitive list of the best boots for someone coming from soft boots who wants to compromise as little as possible when going over to hard boots. From what I've read, lateral flex seems to be the biggest factor in replicating softboots in terms of feel and stance and rider angle. I'm 100 kilos (not sure what that is in pounds? 240?) and I mostly board steeps in Chamonix. My level is on the semi pro side in snowboard mountaineering and I have big feet! Size 13! No sure if AT boots have a bigger footprint tha softboots but could be a factor. The boots that consistently get amention on thi forum are as follows:

Dynafit ZZero 3
Scarpa F3
Scarpa Spirit 3
Garmont megarides
Scarpa F1 (2 strap)
Dyanfit TLT4

Whic of these would be the closest to a move from softboots? I get the impression that the TLT4 is the best suited with good lateral flex. I also need something that is good to crampon and that still perform well on the skin despite it being soft. Also it looks like some of these boots are no longer being made or are called someting else. If you know what they are now called, that would make things a lot easier. I thinki only applies to the Dynafit though.

All feed back would be greatly apprecited.

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 Post subject: Re: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1538
Location: Colorado
I am on Dynafit Zzero 3s. Stock, they are rideable, mine are modded, and now they flex very close to one of the stiffer soft boots; mine are very comparable in flex to my Driver Xs.
The Zzero 3s are very light, and quite low in profile. Unlike a lot of AT boots, the sole of the Dynafits is very thin, so ones foot ends up closer to the board.
Check out the Zzero 3 threads for info on mods, I mod the forward lean lock to allow forward flex when the lean is locked in, and I cut away plastic from both the inner part of the boot in the ankle area, and from the cuff on the medial side. I do my mods to achieve an asymmetric flex, with softer flex to the medial side of the boot.

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 Post subject: Re: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:06 am
Posts: 69
Location: Norway
Thanks for the reply, Barrows! That all sounds really interesting. Is the Dynafit Zzero 3 the old TLT4? I cannot find that one on the sites I've been looking at (i.e., backcountry.com and dynafit.at).

Never ridden the Burton Driver but I assume it's similar in stiffnes to the Malamutes which I do ride.

People on the forum recommend using Voile plates too for more flex. Is it possibe to use those plates with te Dynafit Zzero 3. I've red that the front end of the Dynafit boots does't have much protrusion (?) to lock the plates on with.

It is sounding like it might just be the boot fo me though.

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 Post subject: Re: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:55 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1538
Location: Colorado
The Zzero 3 is a current model. I have this one:

http://www.dynafit.com/uk/4/672/61057-Zzero3_C_TF.html

I like having the two buckles over the ankle/foot, as I find precise foot hold is very important in getting good board control. Controlling the board from the foot is also more like the way soft boots work, rather than trying to control the board entirely with the ankle. I like the ankle shaft of the boot to flex pretty well (but I do not like keeping the upper buckle loose, as some here do, I do not like the sloppy feel of my ankle moving around within the boot shaft).

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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: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:38 pm
Posts: 258
Location: powder central, bc, canuckistan
i jus picked up sum ol scarpa lasers at the ski swap an cut the cuff into a highback only.... i like em a lot but on the ski out of connaught lately i bin completely terrified instead of generally terrified with my dynafits z3s which i still have the cuff buckle on... but thats still not totally outta control like with a soft set up on my feet.

tyler told me he rides his F3s with the cuff buckle completely undone which should be pretty comparable except the ability to buckle up for the ski outs.
he's probably smarter than me... i'm thinkin now about a scarpa 4 buckle... 2 buckles over the foot and scarpas have one over the ankle, then i'd cut the top buckle off to make the cuff into a highback. having 3 buckles left would give redundancy in case of breakage and i'd still get the terror rush skiin out the valleys.

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 Post subject: Re: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:50 am
Posts: 328
Location: hippy pow turns
I have the ZZero 4s. I got a pair of scarpa lazer tongues for them which soften them up quite a bit. so much so I was able to widen my stance and ditch the euro angles. one day on this set up so far and its a big improvment over the old tongues.

I like the tall cuffs, maybe because I lack calves? I rock the upper two buckles pretty loose. mostly i dont want to get rid of these boots because they fit so well. would love to see some pics of the plastic folks have cut out of their boots before i take the dremel to mine.

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 Post subject: Re: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:59 am
Posts: 549
Location: Stowe, VT
Same boat on looking for pics... I have some beat-up lasers I got at GearX for cheap, but I haven't gotten them to flex forward smoothly enough yet. They give good support backwards, but they seem to lock up when flexing forward at some point (foot buckle tight, instep buckle open, cuff buckle medium, no lean lock, no power strap). They also have an orange tongue. Is there a softer tongue that was available or came with them? No laces in the old beat-up liner. There do not appear to be any tabs or stops on the shell to grind off, just the shape of the tongue/cuff interfering with more forward lean.

If I can flex them forward a little more like my Driver X's, I think I'll be very happy with them.

Appreciate your thoughts in advance,
Shep


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 Post subject: Re: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1538
Location: Colorado
Taft: Please do a search in boots here for detailed descriptions of mods by Karkis, and myself to the Dynafit Zzero 3s. Posting photos here is a little cumbersome, but of you e-mail me I might have time to send you a couple directly:

barrowswdeg@aol.com

The Zzero 4s use the same lower shell as the Zzero 3s, so the lower shell mods would work the same. One can really soften the boot up medially and laterally with some careful trimming.

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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: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 10:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:06 am
Posts: 69
Location: Norway
Hey Barrows,

Thanks for replying to my thread about boots. I've just been down the shopes and tried out a pair of Zzero 3s and I have to say I was really impressed. Very, very exciting. Looks like this is going to be the boot for me.

Obviously, I've only tried them on in the shop and hard to see what they are like strapped on a board but it didn't seem that they needed a lot of modding? What exactly did you do? I'll look for your posts on the forum.

And with regard plates, do they clip in okay or have you ever come out of them? There isn't a lot of purchase on them really on the toe? Do you think the Voile plates would be okay on them? I hear they have a lot of flex, so they sound quite good although I am 100k, so maybe I don't need them to be too soft?

And one other question on steeps: I was just thinking how it is to clip them on when you are in a steep couloir and have dug yourself a platform to put your board on. Normally I face down the mountain. Just wondering whether it is more tricky to click in on hard boots as you somehow have to reach down behind with a wall of snow.....? Any thoughts?

I

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 Post subject: Re: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:54 am
Posts: 21
Location: jackson wy
the f3's tour amazing if you put the dynafit toe pice on your board but they suck for steep climbing. both attributes are due to the toe bellows. the dynafit zzero 3 are a touch lighter and because they dont have the bellows i find them a bit better than the f3 for mountaineering. steep couliours and iceclimbing would suck in the f3's


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 Post subject: Re: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 399
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
nickf wrote:
the f3's tour amazing if you put the dynafit toe pice on your board but they suck for steep climbing. both attributes are due to the toe bellows. the dynafit zzero 3 are a touch lighter and because they dont have the bellows i find them a bit better than the f3 for mountaineering. steep couliours and iceclimbing would suck in the f3's


I am riding modified F1s and agree completely with nickf's thoughts on the bellowed Scarpa AT boots. The F1s also are amazing to walk in on the late spring approaches. I also think that firm snow skinning traverses are more difficult with the bellows than a non bellowed AT boot because the bellow twists off a bit from the lateral forces. I am really happy with them though overall, but for your size and steep climbing desires Sufferfest, I would eliminate the F1 and F3 from your list.

On my F1s, I removed the walk / ride mechanism (it is external on the F1s and connected to the upper buckle), installed a true upper buckle, and cut the tongue down a bit to soften the forward flex. This works for a lightweight (I am 145 pounds), but a heavier rider would crush the boots that are now always in walk mode.

I was riding the Voile plates until a couple of days ago. They did make me nervous, even at my light weight. I have had Bomber alpine bindings and find them very stiff so I did not want to go that route for the split board. I took a pair of F2 alpine carving binding, removed the toe and heel pieces and bolted those directly to the slider plate. Now I have a flexible, strong binding. I can also use the F2 cant and lifts!

I have never had to get in the plate bindings on a steep face, but basically, you will push your heel back into the rear bail, then reach down and clamp the front bail onto the front of your boot. Motion wise, it is not a lot different from straping into a softboot binding.

Buell


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 Post subject: Re: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:06 am
Posts: 69
Location: Norway
Hi Buell,

There were some really good tips in your post. Thanks very much. I've never seen the hard boot bindings before but it sounds like they would actually be easier to get into on steep terrain than to bend and rachet four times.

And using crampons with any hard boot is going to be better than with a soft boot as I have been doing until now, so another reason for going the hardboot way. If I can get the boots to feel like my softboots (at least nearly), then it sounds like it will be all I need.

Very, very excited indeed. Wouldn't it be nice to go light and fast. I thought I would never hear those words i the same sentence as snowboarding (at least without compromising ride)!!

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 Post subject: Re: Run Down for best AT boot for splitboarding
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 399
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
The advantages of the AT boot is the uphill. Most of us splitting in AT boots seem to modify the boots to get closer to the ride of a softboot. Many of us seem to be close.

It sounds like you are doing this, but try on as many boots as possible. Walk in them, see how they fit your feet. Put them in a binding mounted to a board and test how they flex. I could not find the Zzero3s to try on, but I did test about 6 other AT boots and the F1 was clearly the best boot for my needs.

Here are some photos of hardboot bindings. Yes, there is just one movement of the hand (or both hands) to lock in, but it does require more muscle than softboot ratchets. Keep your bail adjustments pretty snug to prevent unintentional release.

Crampons and hardboots go together extremely well with a very solid connection. The Scarpa F1s and F3s do not front point very well due to the bellow though (probably still better than softboots).

Dynafit toepieces with lightweight AT boots make for a very light skinning set up. You carry your bindings in your pack and not on your feet.

Here are the F2 toe and heel pieces mounted to the Voile slider plate. You can also see the Dynafit toe pieces at the top of the photo.
Image

Here is the Voile plate on the slider plate.
Image

Here is the F1 in the binding.
Image


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