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- June 5, 2012 at 6:52 pm #650430BGnightParticipant
I’m not bashing anyone. I’m just frustrated it’s taking so long for someone to get it right. I applaud Deeluxe for addressing the issue but give them poor marks for their execution on what a lot of riders are looking for. Sorry if you take that as bashing. I guess expressing opinions about inanimate objects that I have to pay $300 for is a touchy feely subject. There’s a good chance I may buy their new boot next year so I’m not criticizing them just to be a dick. I’m not a boot maker nor do I have the desire to be but if I did they’d kick ass. I want a good boot and don’t want to compromise after I shell out $300-$400.
Don’t get so butt hurt and defensive at someone talking about a piece of rubber and leather. If it bugs you that bad maybe you should turn off the internet. It’s just a boot. Not talking about abortion or gay marriage here.
How can a stiff sole affect your riding? Soft boots soles while flexible don’t move or flex in the bindings. They stay flat to the board. If there is a bit of difference in feel I still don’t think that’s where you should be sacrificing when you’re making a mountaineering specific model. If you want feel use a malamute, driverX, etc.. I think Nick might like his boots better with a stiffer sole and slightly more flexible ankles. Not saying the sole has to be completely rigid either.
You guys do realize DEELUXE makes these boots right? I think the name “Spark” is getting you Montana guys confused and defensive about me bashing something from the state you live in. They’re made in Austria, not Montana.June 6, 2012 at 2:04 am #650431nickstaynerParticipant
Hah, that last paragraph is a good one. Made me laugh since I was indeed confused about that distinction for a good while after initially hearing about the boot last year or whenever it was… “So it’s called the Spark, but it’s not made by Spark??…….” really threw this simple mind for a loop.
For the record, I didn’t feel “bashed” or anything and certainly think you have good points BGnight! All I’m saying is maybe the DEELUXE Spark boot isn’t as bad as you make it out to be for ice climbing (at least in the context of snowboarding). Still debating whether or not I’d want to take them along for the short ice pitches on the Grand. I will most definitely take them to Cody or Hyalite this fall and report back on how they climb water ice. I still think this discussion is a “it’s the user, not the tool” type of thing…
Hope everyone liked the little “french technique” graphic I ripped from Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills. Free plug for a book everyone on here should own (most of us probably do)June 6, 2012 at 8:23 pm #650432Scooby2Participant
One terminal problem for a good hard boot/soft boot fusion: From what I have gathered so far, a nice hard pebax lower with a soft upper on it, and maybe a built in highback will cost as much or more as a hard boot to make/sell and will soften and wear out as quick as a soft boot will. Best of both worlds on feel and climbing ability, worst of both worlds in terms of price and longevity. I think this might keep such a boot in the realm of the garage cobbler, not on the retail show display shelf.June 6, 2012 at 9:45 pm #650433christoph benellsParticipant
just for the record…they climb better than a normal soft snowboard boot. no doubt.
that is a step in the right direction.June 7, 2012 at 2:22 am #650434fustercluckParticipant
Brooks, you’ve certainly climbed more hard snow and ice than I have (you know I’m a sucker for pow) and I do respect your opinion, but your argument makes no sense to me. I just don’t see how a stiff sole can keep your calves from burning and make you more efficient. The leverage created when your ankle flexes forward is what works the calf so much. I know when I was climbing Shasta a few weeks ago, I was wishing I was wearing my old Northwave Rivals (I think that was the model) which had a plastic insert that could be attached to the tongue to stiffen the forward flex. I don’t know how much your boots soles flex, I know mine have a nylon shank, and they are not the stiffest boots Northwave makes, but I don’t think any well-built snowboard boot is going to have enough flex in the sole to make much difference.
If I were building a boot, I’d keep the sole but swap out the rubber for deep-lugged vibram, beef up the toes and have a rigid cap for kicking steps, and stiffen the tongue and forward flex while leaving most of the lateral flex.June 10, 2012 at 3:32 am #650435B-PParticipant
I ordered mine for next season after talking with a few friends who rode the first gen ones over the past season. They all said they were a pain in the ass to break in and one friend noted taking over 15 riding/hiking days to get them right. They all said improved climbing, great riding and love the durability of the soles. I need to replace my solomons and it was a new set of Malamutes or the Deeluxe XV.
I don’t care if they do not have as stiff a sole as AT boots, or are not the best ice climbing boot ever. I snowboard, i’m not climbing ice to ride, that sounds like a shitty ride back down. I just want a durable, stiff boot that compliments splitting year round, Deelux may not have it perfect for everyone yet, but they do make a badass boot! :headbang:October 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm #650436JIn KazamaParticipant
I’ve used last year model the whole season. I’m usually on Salomon malamutes.
Don’t forget that the sole is pretty thick for snowboard boots, it can become problematic with your bindings/straps…
While it was a real pain to break them, those are the best snowboard boots I’ve ever had for walking – they feel like (real) mountain shoes with vibram sole
They’re also great for splitboarding (stiff laterally but not really stiff on flex).
I’ve used crampons (Petzl Vasak) a few times and while it was ok for what I was doing (no ice climbing here), I felt the Salomon malamutes (that are much stiffer!) were better at this, especially going straight up in an icy couloir.
Overall, I love them for the backcountry but I still use my malamutes at the resort.
A good point is that after a huge season, they seem to properly handle the abuse and look barely used – that was not the case with the malamutes or driver x that were to be replaced nearly each season if I used them in the backcountry…
This year I got a new pair of the XV model – the real improvement is the crampons Heel Welt – beside that the boot is pretty similar – if you don’t need the Heel Welt and can still get last year model for 1/2 price, go for it… This year model price went up and is nearly 400 EUR in Europe – it starts to be really expensive for a pair of snowboard boots…November 21, 2013 at 5:34 am #650437el_reidoParticipant
I’ve been using these the Spark XVs all summer and already a lot this fallwinter. I’ve got a question for the guys that are already using this boot: What crampons are you using? Recently my climbing partner and I went on a mixed icesnow climb, and being the first time I pulled out my crampons (BD sabretooths and cyborgs) I found neither of them fit into the heel welt of the Spark boot. I do intend on using them for vertical ice climbing as most of the climbing I do is a ski inski out approach.
I ended up using la sportiva spantiks for the 2 hour approach and ride down. They actually fit into my splitboard bindings very well and besides the ankle support it wasn’t a bad ride. I totally second the notion that La sportiva should make a backcountry snowboarding boot!November 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm #650438spankthepowParticipant
I’ve been using the Grivel G12s without any issues. Climbed vertical ice in them as well.
These boots are as good as it gets without switching to a hard boot setup.December 20, 2013 at 9:35 pm #650439MTParticipant
Does anyone have any comparison on the sizing of these or the Spark TF boots compared to say a Burton Ion or Nike Lunarendors… would like to get some boots specifically for splitting so I don’t destroy my regular in-bounds boots that much quicker… Unfortunately noone around me carries these that I’ve found.
Thanks!December 21, 2013 at 3:04 am #650440boppingshoeParticipant
They fit really weird. I have the Spark TF, so they should be comparable to the XV. I normally wear 8.5 (K2 or Burton), and ended up with size 9 (or 27) for the Spark. But I still didn’t like Deeluxe’s liners, so I swapped them out with my old liners from K2. Anyway, it’s a mess. If you ever be in Bozeman, you should try them on at World Board. But I know it’s a long drive from Missoula.December 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm #650441MTParticipant
Thanks for the heads up! WB is a mandatory stop everytime I roll through Bozeman. Good dudes in there for sure! Just need to figure out how to get a tour of Sparks facility now..January 6, 2014 at 6:29 pm #650442prior_riderParticipant
I wouldn’t buy these without trying them on first. I needed a larger size than I normally do. Also, the issue of fit with regards to your binding is significant. My size 12s only fit in my Spark Burners after some modifications. It is a very large boot, meaning that it takes up more space than any others you may use. Don’t expect to jump right onto your board w/o modifying your bindings. This is annoying if you like the option of using different boots with your split set up.
They are indeed a superior mountain boot however and crampons mount just fine.
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