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 Post subject: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:56 am 
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Hello everyone,
I've been splitboarding for the past 5 years and went through "Classic snowboard bindings" mounted on the voilé plates, hardboots (on the voilé plates), voilé lightrail and finally spark burners.
While the classic bindings + voilé plates were not great for touring and only worked ok in powder, the stuff was tough and didn't break.
The hardboots solution was much better for touring but not so great for riding (I used them on a ST, so it was directional and I used 20/40 degres angles which are ok with hard boots...)
The voilé light rail was a great improvment & as usual with voilé, the stuff looked tough, I used them last year and was pleased with them but I felt touring could be improved.
This year I went with the spark burners and I feel like the stuff is ready, it's a great binding system, it's light enough, strong enough, the straps are Burtons (not a piece of crap anymore) and they rock in touring and riding mode!
I usually change my hardware when I have a chance so I was looking for the karakoram or spark edison bindings for next year but, when I think about the voilé binding system, it's still in used today and has been on the market for a long time, surviving burton and other interfaces because it's dead simple, the wear parts are few, it's well designed to handle the ice...
I'm afraid the new interface will end up like the burtons, great in the shop, sucks in the ice... (because of so many moving parts).
About the edison, I feel like the took a shortcut: being able to use a 4x4 insert for a home made split... there is a reason the voilé system holes are further from the edge (yeah, I know, it's universal...)
Finally, the price becomes a real issue, I paid EUR 380 for the burners + LT pins and this is the maximum I'm willing to pay for bindings, EUR 600-700 is way too much and it's going down a slippery slope : next is the carbon splitboard, then carbon boots etc... In the end, it becomes like ski touring: gear is way too expensive, touring is great, riding sucks (skis are too lite and are crap...).

I'd like to get review of someone who has used both the spark burners + LT and the karakoram bindings - are they comparable? is the karakoram touring mode much more better than the spark?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:06 am 
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Just to make it more difficult.

http://splitboard.com/talk/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=12723


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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:31 am 
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Here's my experience so far viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12200

I'd wait and see what comes in the next year. I am still waiting for K to send me some replacement parts so that I can get more time on the Split30s, but while I wait I am very happy on my Burners. I went through almost the exact same progression of setups that you did, but with the final addition of the Karakorams. At this point I think I could have been happy just stopping with the Burners, but I will try to put more time in on the K's to see if they still wow me.

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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:58 am 
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Pretty happy with my burners, I will take a hard look at the Edison though before I think of changing over. I am concerned with icing, but, my sparks can ice up as well, and its happened a couple of times. Its not difficult to quickly find the problem though.

Any system can ice up under the right (wrong?) conditions. We will just have to wait and see and enjoy what you have now. Sure it looks quicker, but its still just bindings on a board :guinness:


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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:46 am 
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I disagree that Spark took a "shortcut" with the Edison interface? Besides the slick changover, Edison has a big advantage in its adjustability for stance, and its ability to work for factory splits, DIY splits, and 4x4 solids. Just the stance adjustability alone is a big improvement, especially over Karakoram, which has very limited stance adjustability. I had really hoped that "K" would address the lack of stance adjustment for next year, but so far it does not appear that they have. That said, the new "Prime" binding from them looks very promising.
The Edison allows for entirely independent adjustment of angle, and width/setback. And the options for width and setback are much more fine tuneable than either Voile or Karakoram. Voile allows for some fine tuning, if one is willing to change angles slightly, with Karakoram you are pretty much stuck with what the inserts allow-fine if they are exactly where you want them, but...
If you are only willing to spend $300 or so, this is all a moot point for you, as both Karakoram and Edison are going to be significantly more than that. In any case, considering that you are happy with the Burners (I assume you are using the LT pin as well), you should stick with what you have got. I would recommend letting the early adopters "test" the Edison stuff first, as well as the "K" Prime.

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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:44 am 
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K'korams only stance issue is width in 1" increments where the inserts are set. So w/e your current stance width is you're gonna be within a 1/2 inch of it no matter what. I accepted this as I love the system and having recently tested the SL binding hard in bounds I came to the conclusion this is the most comfortable and best performing binding/SYSTEM I've ridden (I may replace ankle straps). I'm comparing this to new Burton Cartels, Ride SPI's, Sparks Blaze/Burner, and I guess older Drakes. I thought I liked my rughty SPI's DIY's (still love them though) better until I rode the SuperLights hard in moguls and groomers. So much spring with the carbon highback and the plates actually feel spring loaded too when initiating turns. It's like there's a 'coiled stiffness' when riding these for lack of better description. I cannot say how the Split30 rides. Just get SL's! Now I just need a carbon fiber solution and I'll be lighter than any set up including hardboots! :wink:

Just for fun barrows, I'd love to see the combined weight of a carbon solution, primes, with soft boots in comparable sizes to your board, plates, boots. Get the scales warmed up!!!


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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:28 pm 
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BGnight wrote:
K'korams only stance issue is width in 1" increments where the inserts are set. So w/e your current stance width is you're gonna be within a 1/2 inch of it no matter what. I accepted this as I love the system and having recently tested the SL binding hard in bounds I came to the conclusion this is the most comfortable and best performing binding/SYSTEM I've ridden (I may replace ankle straps). I'm comparing this to new Burton Cartels, Ride SPI's, Sparks Blaze/Burner, and I guess older Drakes. I thought I liked my rughty SPI's DIY's (still love them though) better until I rode the SuperLights hard in moguls and groomers. So much spring with the carbon highback and the plates actually feel spring loaded too when initiating turns. It's like there's a 'coiled stiffness' when riding these for lack of better description. I cannot say how the Split30 rides. Just get SL's! Now I just need a carbon fiber solution and I'll be lighter than any set up including hardboots! :wink:

Just for fun barrows, I'd love to see the combined weight of a carbon solution, primes, with soft boots in comparable sizes to your board, plates, boots. Get the scales warmed up!!!



Yes, exactly what I was referring to. there is no additional stance width/setback adjustment, one is limited to the position of the inserts. As mentioned, if the inserts are in the right palce for your stance great-them "K" system will work perfectly, or, if you make a DIY, you can also set your stance perfectly, also great. Not sure where you get the 1/2" figure though? If you need 4 cm of setback, and a 21.25" stance width you are gonig to be limited to 1" increments. Some folks are sensitive to stance, some may not be, but this is something to consider if one wants to go to the "K" system.
As mentioned before, there are lots of things I like about "Ks" approach, and the Prime binding looks like it will be really sweet, both on weight and on touring freedom (rearward rotation of the highback) and I hope that "K" will offer a more adjustable stance binding soon. With the TLT5s I am spoiled for touring performance, and leave everybody behind on the flats, as these boots have tons of rearward freedom.

On weight, yes, both Spark and "K" are catching up. But if we are to do comparisons, they would need to be apples to apples. For instance, not a carbon board to a standard board, or a 162 to 166, etc. Lots of people quote some pretty impressive weights for both the "K" stuff and the latest Sparks, but lets include everything. For example, "K" clips weigh more than Voile Chinese hooks (I weighed them here, and am currently testing a pair on my Venture). And the "K" baseplates weigh a lot more than a set of Voile Universal Pucks with ti hardware.
When all is said and done on weights, there is no question that both Spark and "K" have made some big strides in this department.
Although nothing beats the per foot touring weight of a Dynafit set up, with the bindings in the pack, do a steep switchback climb with a bunch of kickturns, and the energy saved is impressive.
Everyone knows Venture boards are not light. This is no knock on Venture, as the performance is solid, and the only way to make the board lighter without hurting the performance (a lighter core would hurt the performance) is to make a full carbon version-this would save around a pound, or a little more, dependent on size of course. I have encouraged Klem to experiment with carbon, but so far he has suggested that he does not believe it is a suitable material for snowboards. I have heard similar thoughts from materials engineers I have spoken with on the subject, but I am not sure I agree. I have seen quite a few skiers who are very happy with the performance and durability of their 100% carbon layup dps skis.
Jones makes some pretty cool shapes, unfortunately they have QC issues, and also do not make a board suitable for me, maybe they will in the future. I am glad that they are offering (as does Prior) a carbon option, but am not so impressed with the durability and QC problems they are still having. Perhaps their third season will see these problems getting ironed out. I hope so, as I would like to be able to consider JJ's product "Core Quality".

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


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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:52 pm 
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What's this setback issue you're talking about with K's?

The 1/2" figure is just ballpark. If I have a 21.5 inch stance normally and I'm limited to K's 1" increments, well I'm still gonna be within 1/2" on either side of that. I'm riding a 22" stance right now cuz it was either that or 21" on my Jones and I like about a 21.5-21-75" stance. I chose 22" cuz it feels better. I don't think anyone has an optimal stance that has to be within a quarter inch. A slightly wider or narrower stance just means you have to slightly adjust technique and I think having a slightly wider stance actually makes me ride with a bit more style without sacrificing anything significant in performance that I need on steeps. As far as having some micro tuned set back, I've always just eyeballed things. I can move my 22" stance forward or backward by an inch. That's more than enough leeway. Measuring setback in mm is silly. No one is that good of a rider that they can notice a mm or two difference up or down on a board.


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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:48 pm 
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BGnight wrote:
What's this setback issue you're talking about with K's?

The 1/2" figure is just ballpark. If I have a 21.5 inch stance normally and I'm limited to K's 1" increments, well I'm still gonna be within 1/2" on either side of that. I'm riding a 22" stance right now cuz it was either that or 21" on my Jones and I like about a 21.5-21-75" stance. I chose 22" cuz it feels better. I don't think anyone has an optimal stance that has to be within a quarter inch. A slightly wider or narrower stance just means you have to slightly adjust technique and I think having a slightly wider stance actually makes me ride with a bit more style without sacrificing anything significant in performance that I need on steeps. As far as having some micro tuned set back, I've always just eyeballed things. I can move my 22" stance forward or backward by an inch. That's more than enough leeway. Measuring setback in mm is silly. No one is that good of a rider that they can notice a mm or two difference up or down on a board.


While I agree with you on overall width I firmly disagree on the setback. Like you, I like about a 21.5-75" stance and "can" ride a 22" stance, but I am very picky about my setback and can most certainly feel a 1/4" shift up or down the board. I chose 1/4" as my example because that's the difference in the 4x4 hole pattern on my solid bindings disk plate. For me, right "around" 1" back works best, but it always varies slightly depending on the board itself and how it rides.

I got a heck of a lot closer to "ideal" with a voile setup than I ever could with the K setup. As you know I was very vocal about trying to figure out why I was having issues with the K setup on my ST. It took Tom explaining how the setback was measured on the ST and a lot of experimentation with width to find the "right" setback for me on that board. If I were able to set my preferred width and march it up and down the board incrementally, I wouldn't have had a 20-page thread trying to figure it out.

I have two new Jones solids this season (Flag and Hover) and I was able to just center my preferred stance on the stock setback and ride them. Worked pretty damn close out of the box and I made one 1/4" shift and I was done, set perfect for me in one day for both boards.

You currently cannot do that with the K system because a shift in stance equates with a corresponding shift in setback, thus as you say, you are constantly adjusting your technique slightly as well as how that different technique reacts to the different setback. I couldn't get setback to where I wanted at all with the K's, and would have to ride at 22.5" which I tried and didn't like at all. Thus I am on Burners this year. Something like the Edison might prove beneficial to someone like me, though I am happy with my Burners for now and set up where I like. I certainly will let others be the beta testers next season before coming to any conclusions.

I'm glad it works for you, but you're making a broad generalization in saying no one can tell the difference in setback, especially as much as 1" fore/aft. To me that is huge and is like riding a completely different board. I welcome a redesign in the ride mode interface on the K's they are a fantastic binding otherwise.

Just my :twocents:


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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Strange, I've never ever paid attention to set back in 19 years of riding. I just throw bindings on a board and move it if it doesn't look right or feel right. To say 1" fore or aft is not enough of an adjustment...well I just don't buy it. I doubt most really good riders pay attention to it themselves. No one is "omg I can't ride this board cuz I'm 5mm off perfect centering for optimal performance". This just isn't an issue for the majority of splitters out there imo.

I just slapped pucks on my Winterstick ST about where it looked right without any scientific thought or measuring and slayed all year on it with no reservations. Having some perfect setback is over rated. Good riders ride the same type of boards with all different set backs with the same results. Stance width is much more important and that's barely an issue for me on K's.


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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:14 pm 
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BGnight wrote:
Strange, I've never ever paid attention to set back in 19 years of riding. I just throw bindings on a board and move it if it doesn't look right or feel right. To say 1" fore or aft is not enough of an adjustment...well I just don't buy it. I doubt most really good riders pay attention to it themselves. No one is "omg I can't ride this board cuz I'm 5mm off perfect centering for optimal performance". This just isn't an issue for the majority of splitters out there imo.

I just slapped pucks on my Winterstick ST about where it looked right without any scientific thought or measuring and slayed all year on it with no reservations. Having some perfect setback is over rated. Good riders ride the same type of boards with all different set backs with the same results. Stance width is much more important and that's barely an issue for me on K's.


BG: While it is fine that setback and stance width may not be very important to you, it is very important to some riders. The lack of any fine tuning in stance width/setback with the Karakoram system is a weakness for many riders, and I hope that "K" will address this soon. Considering the high quality/expensive nature of the Karakoram system, it is a shame that it has this weakness.
I am considering setting up a soft boot board, and part of my reasoning for doing this is because of the innovation currently going on for soft boot splitboard bindings. I really like some aspects of the "K" system, but the lack of adjustability is very close to being a deal breaker for me.
The other option, would be for splitboard makers to double up the inserts, as are done for most 4x4 pattern solid boards these days. (or custom boards, or DIYs, all of which would allow for exactly the stance desired with Karakoram).

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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:00 am 
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BGnight wrote:
Strange, I've never ever paid attention to set back in 19 years of riding. I just throw bindings on a board and move it if it doesn't look right or feel right. To say 1" fore or aft is not enough of an adjustment...well I just don't buy it. I doubt most really good riders pay attention to it themselves. No one is "omg I can't ride this board cuz I'm 5mm off perfect centering for optimal performance". This just isn't an issue for the majority of splitters out there imo.

I just slapped pucks on my Winterstick ST about where it looked right without any scientific thought or measuring and slayed all year on it with no reservations. Having some perfect setback is over rated. Good riders ride the same type of boards with all different set backs with the same results. Stance width is much more important and that's barely an issue for me on K's.


Hmph, in my 24 years of riding I mostly used that method too. Then about 9 years ago (when I mostly stopped riding Burton's) I started measuring why I liked the bindings in certain positions than others as it related to specs and started narrowing why liked certain boards more than others. I used to change my setback to the conditions (further back for deep days) so I can definitely ride all different set backs with the same results, but rockered boards now have me setting up once and that's it.

I suppose it stemmed from wanting to maximize my enjoyment in riding since I've always lived fairly far from the mountains due to career. I'm not saying I "can't" ride in a suboptimal position, I can, it's just I choose not to sacrifice my enjoyment by equipment limitations. Life...and time off for me is too valuable not to be comfortable in my riding.


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 Post subject: Re: New binding system, should we wait?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:54 pm 
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BGnight wrote:
I doubt most really good riders pay attention to it themselves. No one is "omg I can't ride this board cuz I'm 5mm off perfect centering for optimal performance". This just isn't an issue for the majority of splitters out there imo.


if im not riding 23 and 1/2" at 20 degerees on the front and 0 on the back i aint happy.

i could tell with my eyes closed if the bindings are back or forward. i must have the center of sidecut in the right spot. 5mm's maybe not but 1/2 an inch omg

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