I'm setting up a splitboard with bindings for plastic boots.
Looking for feedback on the Intec heel retrofit/Bomber stepin binding combo versus the standard flip-up heel bail binding. Is it worth shelling out the extra $ for the stepin feature? Any drawbacks to this stepin binding system?
Lets say I end up going with the heel bail bindings, is it worth shelling out the extra $ for the Bomber bindings or will the similar Voile bindings work just fine? I weight 155 lbs and don't do jumps or anything arial if that matters.
1. What is your syle of riding?
The Voile mtn. plates are soft and flexy and designed by riders who were supplementing AT or mountaineering boots for soft boots and strap bindings... if this is the direction you're going, then you'll be happy with the Voile Mtn. Plates.
If you already ride in hard boots and plate bindings, you should go with the Bomber bindings... These bindings are rigid and built for carving, with a ton of direct feedback. They have a front throw and a step in option in their splitboard binding. I'm assuming that you already have boots with Intec heels?
2. Quick release.
For either of the front-throw bindings, you can create a 'y' shaped release cord that attached to the toe throws. Attach it to your waist with a little slack, and you have a quick release that you can pull to get away from your board in the case of an avalanche.
With the Intec heels, you can extend the release cord that they come with, through each pant leg and into your pockets. Much more elegant.
Thanks for the info in your reply. I'm currently riding soft boots with strapin bindings so I'm doing the whole switchover. I just purchased a pair of raichle sb432 plastic boots. They currently don't have Intec heels and I'm not sure if they are compatible with that system (any idea?)
I'm looking for a little bit better performance, comfort, warmth and feedback from the plastic boots than from my soft boots.
As for riding style, I enjoy wide open carving runs but I also like getting into the trees where quick turning is needed. I'm hoping the plastic boots will still be able to handle the quick decisions and turns needed for tree boarding. I don't do terrain parks and jumps so big hits are not a concern of mine. Will a really stiff binding meant for carving hinder the tight and sometimes slow turns associated with tree boarding?
I'm just getting to the point where backcountry boarding is feasible - a quickrelease system for avalance seems like it would be a wise investment. Thanks for the info - anything else you can pile on is appreciated!
Most of the Raichle boots that i know of can be retrofitted with the Intec heels.. but i could be wrong. i would reccomend contacting Fin at Bomber. www.bomberonline.com He could answer your question.
If you're going to use plastic snowboard boots, I would definitely go with the Bomber bindings. Those boots are designed to work with high angles (35 degrees or more), and most of their responsiveness comes out of the cuff. This will all push you in the direction of a forward stance and a carving style. You will want a rigid binding.
Tree runs in hard boots are just as easy and fun as with soft boots... if you have a good handle on how to use hard boots. In the past, I've tried to use AT boots (plastic, ski-mountaineering boots) as a substitute for soft boots, and I was dissapointed. It wasn't until i committed to running the correct angles and cant and lift (another conversation entirely) and learned how to initiate turns from my hips rather than my ankles that they became fun.
My number 1 suggestion would be to talk to Fin at Bomber. He is always willing to chat with potential customers, and he can probably set you up with something that you can demo inbounds, before you committ to hard boots as a backcountry set-up.
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 1:43 pm Posts: 439 Location: Western Washington
If you are doing any hiking in non-snow covered terrain, the Intec heels will suffer from the damage occured fron rocks/sand etc. 423's are Intec compatible, so no worries there. I'm using Fast system heels and recievers myself on Raichle SB123's because the pins are in the bindings and the holes in the heels. I do hike some in less than desirable places and found out that I had to polish up the pins after one outing, and I thought it wasn't that bad of a hike. Fast allows me to do a Mcgyver heel repair on the trail if needed. If you are just starting out with hardboots, I would recommend the Voile Mtn. Plate setup, light and has some flex. If you plan on any long approaches/hikes, you may wish to shed a pound or so using A/T boots. Flex isn't quite as right for boarding as SB alpine boots, but an extra pound on the foot x2 adds up. Thermo liners subtract about .75lb. per boot and are well worth it.
_________________ Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them (Frederick Douglass)