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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:31 pm
Posts: 167
Location: 802
UTAH wrote:
What the splitboard industry lacks right now is the perspective of the hardcore BC rider.

Couldn't agree more.

I'm kind of split between both sides. I like the stylings and seemingly laid back approach of the more "freestyle" side of splitting, but I also love climbing mountains and riding technical lines with shitty snow.


All I want is a damn soft boot that won't become a huge pain in the ass on multi-day trips, has a vibram sole, and can kick steps better than most snowboard boots, but looks and rides exactly like my Vans Andreas Wiig boots. :cry: It seems boots are where we really need to see some more innovation.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:32 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Denver, CO
Interesting post and I like UTAH's speech - the guy just comes out and says what he thinks. Also, the personal blog article in reference has since been taken down. Anyway, I've only been splitboarding for one year, but everyone I talk to with K's out in the UT or CO field really loves them. Solidly built, real tight in skin mode, rides like you're on "resort board" (although something about that phrase isn't right imo). I'm starting to like my splitboard more than my resort board.

I have the 2011 Spark R&D Burner's and I love them. I would have got K's, but took the slightly cheaper route. You can have issues with any type of gear - hiking boots, the precise shape of a splitboard, backpacking tents, etc. Often it's not the gear - it's you. One thing I like is tweaking my splitboard set-up over time: changing stance width, stance angles, default Voile puck position, boot tightness, even playing with where I place the toe binding strap. Something starts feeling loose...? Its probably me, not the gear. What this means is that we're constantly learning. Seems silly to "review" a board for one day in one location in one condition and write about it in magazine as if it's final authority on the gear. Even ten days. The more I ride my split, the better I get at it - my split is about 6 cm longer than my non-split and it took a day or two on the split to work on tighter turns and steeper terrain... and just being more confident on it from deep pow to corn.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:12 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:48 pm
Posts: 673
Location: Kodiak, AK
I have a like/dislike relationship with my K's. I rode them again today. After the first climb the heel plates had ice on them and I could not get the bindings locked down without using my pole tip to scrape the ice off. I guess they started out warm from the car and snow from the skin up had melted and then frozen on the aluminum. And then every other transition I had to bang on the toe half of the board base so that it would come into plane with the heel half and let locking pins slide into place. The other half of the time things popped together just like magic. When things line up with no fuss, the bindings are ace. The rest of the time I prefer my Sparks. If I only had the bad experiences, I'd chuck them. If I only had the good experiences, I'd be a rabid fanboy too. As it is, I'm trying to decide whether to keep them or not. I'll decide by summer...

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:48 am
Posts: 220
Location: Sydney
All magazines have an agenda. They accept money from certain manufacturers for advertising and can often fall well short of having unbiased opinions on conflicting products.
In my industry I get phone calls from magazines stating that they are doing a review on product x. I am a manufacturer of said product so they ask am I interested. If I say yes and cough up the $$$ I am in and will get a good review, if I don't pay up I either dont get included or get made to look worse than a competitor who obviously paid up.
Everything you read in a magazine in regard to product has been paid for, that heart warming look at how (insert product here) has progressed through the years is nothing more than a well oiled advert, most readers just dont realise it.
Magazines are media at the end of the day and all media is bias to some degree. Sport magazines in general fall well and truely in the heavily biased category.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 6:27 pm
Posts: 1451
Location: Denver
BobGnarly wrote:
All magazines have an agenda. They accept money from certain manufacturers for advertising and can often fall well short of having unbiased opinions on conflicting products.
In my industry I get phone calls from magazines stating that they are doing a review on product x. I am a manufacturer of said product so they ask am I interested. If I say yes and cough up the $$$ I am in and will get a good review, if I don't pay up I either dont get included or get made to look worse than a competitor who obviously paid up.
Everything you read in a magazine in regard to product has been paid for, that heart warming look at how (insert product here) has progressed through the years is nothing more than a well oiled advert, most readers just dont realise it.
Magazines are media at the end of the day and all media is bias to some degree. Sport magazines in general fall well and truely in the heavily biased category.


QFT. Angrysnowboader blew up Snowboard Magazine's methods for their gear tests. All the mags do this. Dirty little industry secret. Reviews in the mags are anything but unbiased. I'm sure someone from the industry will get on this thread and claim it's not true. They are BOLD FACED LIERS.

http://www.angrysnowboarder.com/buying-into-the-buyers-guide/


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:33 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1522
Location: Colorado
I would say all reviews are going to be biased to some degree. Sure, I would rather trust in reviews from SB.com posters, at least the ones I know who get out a lot, know how to ride, and really put the gear to the test, but even these reviews tend to have some level of bias.
Karakoram fanboys often post up reviews which are only positive (well if you spent $800 you do have a bit invested, hence bias). I especially like the claims where the Karakoram system is thought to be the lightest out there. Anyone with a scale will find this not to be the case if they consider the total weight (including the touring brackets, board clips, and baseplates). I might post a review saying the Dynafit TLT5 boot is a revelation (well it is, but it still requires very careful modification, fitting, and set up to perform really well-these things are a downside for someone who might want to just ride something out of the box).
But the review in question really stepped over the line in outright claiming that the Karakoram bindings are unreliable, after what, 1 day on them! I have partners using the Ks, and once one learns their quirks, and sets them up properly, they appear to be totally reliable. They still may have occasional strap breakage (we carry spares, right...) just like every strap binding of my experience. One thing to understand, is that high performance gear is generally going to be more "tweaky" than gear of lower performance, and require a little more care in set up and maintenance, anyone who has experience with high end bikes knows all about this aspect of things, and I think it is the same with high performance boot/binding interfaces.
Make sure the scews are properly torqued and treated with the right vibration locker, spray bindings with silicone spray to reduce icing, make sure the inside edge sidewall of the board is waxed (most boards use ptex sidewalls these days, waxing this really helps reduce icing). Make sure you periodically inspect all metal parts and straps for cracks or other signs of wear which might lead to failure in the field. I think with proper set up and care, the Karakoram bindings are going to be as reliable as anything else out there.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 6:27 pm
Posts: 1451
Location: Denver
Maybe the Karakorum's straps are not that great. They were using the same vendor that Spark did last year. I think that everyone agrees that those straps were not very good. The ratchets sucked. Spark was since able to partner with Burton and the straps they are using now are very high quality from what I can tell. The K crew could still be working out their vendor issues.

Straps are nothing that a home brew mod can't fix anyway. Everything I've seen out of the people using the Karakorum system is that it is a solid, reliable connection. I'm sure it's only going to get better.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:29 am
Posts: 583
Location: Oregon
barrows wrote:
But the review in question really stepped over the line in outright claiming that the Karakoram bindings are unreliable, after what, 1 day on them! I have partners using the Ks, and once one learns their quirks, and sets them up properly, they appear to be totally reliable. They still may have occasional strap breakage (we carry spares, right...) just like every strap binding of my experience. One thing to understand, is that high performance gear is generally going to be more "tweaky" than gear of lower performance, and require a little more care in set up and maintenance, anyone who has experience with high end bikes knows all about this aspect of things, and I think it is the same with high performance boot/binding interfaces.
Make sure the scews are properly torqued and treated with the right vibration locker, spray bindings with silicone spray to reduce icing, make sure the inside edge sidewall of the board is waxed (most boards use ptex sidewalls these days, waxing this really helps reduce icing). Make sure you periodically inspect all metal parts and straps for cracks or other signs of wear which might lead to failure in the field. I think with proper set up and care, the Karakoram bindings are going to be as reliable as anything else out there.


Well said Barrows.

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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 8:05 am
Posts: 1510
Location: 395
bcrider wrote:
Splitboard.com still hasn't been sent a set of the Karakoram bindings to review (after numerous requests) so I can't speak to it firsthand


I doubt they need anyone else's insight besides what they've been getting. A good product is gonna sell itself regardless of a bad review. The truth about quality will always float to the surface. I'm sure if the pros they got on these are spreading the word of their quality then that's gonna offset some blogger's review and random interweb banter that only a small % of splitters will even see. If they're endorsed by the likes of a J Jones and R Backstrom then their word alone will spread like wildfire more than any internet forum or magazine review could influence the other way. The best riders are choosing them because they think they're the best. No one's getting paid by the Kloster's to ride 'em.

You can borrow mine if you really want to check 'em out that bad ;) I think they work pretty o.k. :mrgreen:

Dude, thank you whoever (barrows?) suggested waxing sidewalls! I never thought of that :)


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:15 pm
Posts: 296
Location: Washington
Spark fanboyz VS Karakoram fanbois:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=PiPpPPkNJG8


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 642
powslash wrote:



I don't know, that looks like more fun.

I like both companies, does that make me a turncoat?


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:15 pm
Posts: 296
Location: Washington
Equal opportunity fanboy. Dig that.


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 Post subject: Re: Backcountry/Outside Mag testers deem K bindings unreliable?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1522
Location: Colorado
I also support and encourage binding developments by both Spark R & D and Karakoram. Both approaches have their advantages at this point.
Now if one of them were to make a plate binding, which was 1 lb or less, and at the same height off of the board as their soft bindings, and offered good stance adjustability and precise boot centering...

_________________
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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