Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Are you thinking about hardboots?
Viewing 20 posts - 21 through 40 (of 72 total)
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  • #614918
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    @sketchyT wrote:

    How do you think mountianeering boots would work with the sparks? Something like these:

    All depends on your riding style. I have good luck riding most conditions with Vasque ICE 9000,

    but have a difficult time trying to ride variable snow and trees with AKU Spider
    .

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

    #614919
    SpeedyManiac
    89 Posts

    I’m very keen to get a dynafit setup on a splitboard for long tours and big mountaineering objectives. I’ll always rock softboots for powder and most touring, but I do think for long tours and mountaineering hardboots and dynafits are the way to go. I wonder if it would be possible to make a stiff soft boot with a mountaineering sole that is dynafit toepiece compatible (maybe heel piece compatible too so you could ski on a splitboard too – I know this is what mountain guides do).

    #614920
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    Can someone that rocks hard boots chime in as to how easy it is to use French crampon technique? TIA

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

    #614921
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    On anything steep, the french technique involves rolling the ankle to get all 12 points in and I think that would be impossible with hard boots. I think that as the ankle gets more laterally stiff, the slope angle where you’d have to shift over to front pointing becomes flatter and flatter.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #614922
    quota
    34 Posts

    @mtnman wrote:

    I like that I can put them on at the house, drive to wherever I’m riding, and when I get done I can even rock ’em while tipping a beer during happy hour, without any discomfort. For me personally, if I wear hard boots I might as well ski and have the extra mobility.

    Your boots sound as comfortable and mobile as my Dynafit TLT boots!

    #614923
    kjkrow
    353 Posts

    @SanFrantastico wrote:

    On anything steep, the french technique involves rolling the ankle to get all 12 points in and I think that would be impossible with hard boots. I think that as the ankle gets more laterally stiff, the slope angle where you’d have to shift over to front pointing becomes flatter and flatter.

    I think Storn’s right on the money here. The nice thing I think about plastic boots is that front pointing requires less effort than flexible (or even semi-fleixble lasts like the Drivers). I find that I can French pretty well in Drivers w/ BD Contact Straps up to a certain point (not sure what angle that is), but when I reach that transition point, and move to front-pointing, another weakness of the system is exposed. With the wide boot of size 13 Drivers and the strap crampons, it is not the most solid ‘pon/boot interface as I’ve twisted out of crampons a few times. Because of this, the transition to front-pointing feels less secure to me, since I know that possiblity exists. I feel like that would go away with Dynafit boots and my BD Sabretooths.

    Storn, what’s been your experience with the frankenboot regarding this?

    #614924
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    @SanFrantastico wrote:

    On anything steep, the french technique involves rolling the ankle to get all 12 points in and I think that would be impossible with hard boots. I think that as the ankle gets more laterally stiff, the slope angle where you’d have to shift over to front pointing becomes flatter and flatter.

    Yeah that’s my impression. Was wondering if loosening the buckles improved the situation significantly? Guess for my personal climbing style they wouldn’t mesh well as I try to minimize my time spent front pointing.

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

    #614925
    kjkrow
    353 Posts

    Chris,

    Not sure what softboots you use on the split, but … how do they compare Frenching compared to your Vasque Ice 9000s?

    Edit: Malamutes, I’m in an idiot, since it’s in your sig. So, compare Malamute and the Ice 9000s 🙂

    #614926
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    @kjkrow wrote:

    compare Malamute and the Ice 9000s

    They are quite similar, with a slight edge to the 9000s. But front pointing they are completely different beasts. I’ve had similar experiences to yours where soft snowboard boots with crampons has been a liability on occasion when needing to front point. As such I very rarely even consider my Malamutes if even the slightest possibility of extended crampon use is anticipated.

    Curious as to the ‘whole package’ performance of hard boots. They could lighten my setup, but I don’t want to trade a weight savings for a performance deficiency.

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

    #614927
    mountainvoodoo
    80 Posts

    I can’t think of a single pro big-mountain rider that has since Damien Sanders, though I did see a few hard booters showing up to some big-mountain comps I did several years ago (and some of those dudes even rocked a pair of poles , but still killed it).

    Maybe not “pro” but I think Steven Koch would be a great example of a big mountain hardbooter. In fact, I bought his dynafit TLT’s on e-bay. Didn’t know they were his until the package arrived.

    I ride hard boots in the BC. I have been riding the TLT’s or Scarpas with the Mtn plate binding for the last three seasons. I really like the comfort of the plastic boot and liner, I like the edge control on traverses in skin mode, and I like the ability to kick steps when I have to and camping is a lot better without the freezing soft boots. But, I truly miss the surfy feel of the soft boots. Soulful edgy turns in soft boots are one of the greatest feelings in snowboarding and I feel like I have lost that with the hard boots.

    IMO future of splitboarding will most likely be split into two sectors, those that jib and freestyle the BC, and those that tour and commit to big mountain lines (not to say there aren’t many who slay both styles). That being said, I don’t see the future of the touring/big mountain crowd in a ski boot or a mountaineering boot. I think others are totally right by stating that we need to design the boot from the ground up. Perhaps a three buckle AT boot with not only a forward flex but medial flex as well, or as others are developing, a stiffer soft boot that kicks and grips. Whatever the creation it will be much better for the sport than the ski or climbing specific boots out there right now. Three years ago, i would have said there wasn’t a market for something like this. But with the explosion in the B.C. as of late, and the excellent work of BCR and this site. I think the market is ready for a backcountry specific boot.

    Will, what do you say?

    #614928
    treetop
    63 Posts

    @SpeedyManiac wrote:

    I wonder if it would be possible to make a stiff soft boot with a mountaineering sole that is dynafit toepiece compatible.

    If this can work, I think this is an ideal solution.

    I was close to picking up some hardboots for mountaineering type objectives, and for other times when the snow is icy, traverses long, the skiers grouchy etc. However, I ride a split because I LOVE the ride down, so I don’t mind the little bit of extra weight from my strap bindings. What I really want is better edging on traverses, better step kicking, faster changeovers, and a good sole for rock and ice. I think a well designed soft boot with dynafit interface could meet these needs, potentially provide a better range of movement for mountaineering needs than a plastic shelled ski touring boot, and have little compromise on the ride down. To answer UB’s question of what is keeping me from using hard boots, it is an expected compromise on the ride down compared to soft boots and strap bindings.

    MtnVoodoo, I also like your idea of adjustable torsional stiffness in a hardboot.

    #614929
    kjkrow
    353 Posts

    The other alternative I see working well is very similar to Storn’s frankenbook, but take any traditional softboot that’s well favored (Malamutes, Drivers) and mimic that, but with a stiff full shank, and add toe/heel welts for ‘pons. For those with big feet, I think any strap crampon will be tough to fit right and trust in dicey spots. I would much rather have the security of a step-in crampon and stiff sole.

    With this, I don’t think you would lose too much feel (if any) on the down from standard softbooks. It also seems like if a boot manufacturer were so inclined, it would not be too difficult to do a soft/hard hybrid. Start with a lower shell that is mostly plastic, so it would be nice for steps, edging, etc, but finish with a more traditional softboot upper, with the union somewhere around the top of the foot.

    To some extent thought, the problem of market and production will continue to haunt us. The majority of those in the market for a boot like this (at least at this point), probably frequent this site. We all know how BD looks upon splitting, and and I doubt any mainstream board company would see a boot like this as a worthwile venture. It’s been said before, but if we’re going to see something like this, it will have to come from within (i.e. like Spark R&D 🙂 ).

    #614930
    SpeedyManiac
    89 Posts

    @kjkrow wrote:

    The other alternative I see working well is very similar to Storn’s frankenbook, but take any traditional softboot that’s well favored (Malamutes, Drivers) and mimic that, but with a stiff full shank, and add toe/heel welts for ‘pons. For those with big feet, I think any strap crampon will be tough to fit right and trust in dicey spots. I would much rather have the security of a step-in crampon and stiff sole.

    With this, I don’t think you would lose too much feel (if any) on the down from standard softbooks. It also seems like if a boot manufacturer were so inclined, it would not be too difficult to do a soft/hard hybrid. Start with a lower shell that is mostly plastic, so it would be nice for steps, edging, etc, but finish with a more traditional softboot upper, with the union somewhere around the top of the foot.

    To some extent thought, the problem of market and production will continue to haunt us. The majority of those in the market for a boot like this (at least at this point), probably frequent this site. We all know how BD looks upon splitting, and and I doubt any mainstream board company would see a boot like this as a worthwile venture. It’s been said before, but if we’re going to see something like this, it will have to come from within (i.e. like Spark R&D 🙂 ).

    A hybrid boot would be perfect. Mountaineering sole, indented for crampon use, plastic heel and lower foot transitioning into a soft leather upper boot. Make the heel piece dynafit compatible too. Add a modified noboard pad on top for deep days, carry some lightweight sparks for when you need to be strapped in and voila, the perfect backcountry setup. You can ski (ugh), snowboard and noboard for downhill, then skin, hike, climb and use crampons on the up. You’d be unstoppable in the mountains!

    #614931
    v10rider
    52 Posts

    I actually have both setup but still have a hard time convincing myself to switch over to hard boot. There is no doubt that hard boot has the advantage for the skin up but like others have said, I still like the soft boot in ride mode.

    #614932
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    @kjkrow wrote:

    Storn, what’s been your experience with the frankenboot regarding this?

    Sadly I haven’t had much chance to test them on snow with crampons. I got the boots late last season and I haven’t seen hard snow yet this season. I expect to give them a thorough workout this spring, though.

    My feeling is that these softboots will fall somewhere between hardboots and mountaineering boots as far as French technique is concerned, because the ankle flex is somewhere in the middle. The idea behind these frankenboots is that they’ll front point just like mountaineering boots. You should be able to drop your heels and rest your calves. That’s certainly the case when kicking steps and the difference is awesome. But that testing is still to come…

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #614933
    Jon Dahl
    384 Posts

    I still believe the TLT series starts out closest to the ideal. That said, however, when I get enough stones to start cutting into the shells I may be able to create some more fore/aft and lateral flex. As noted further up in this thread, some big name ‘boarders used to use cut up ski boots, and some big name carvers/racers still do. I plan on contacting one known rider about this subject, and apply it to the TLT’s…when I get the nerve to slice into a few hundred bucks worth of boots. :twocents:

    #614934
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    @kjkrow wrote:

    The other alternative I see working well is very similar to Storn’s frankenbook, but take any traditional softboot that’s well favored (Malamutes, Drivers) and mimic that, but with a stiff full shank, and add toe/heel welts for ‘pons. For those with big feet, I think any strap crampon will be tough to fit right and trust in dicey spots. I would much rather have the security of a step-in crampon and stiff sole.

    With this, I don’t think you would lose too much feel (if any) on the down from standard softbooks. It also seems like if a boot manufacturer were so inclined, it would not be too difficult to do a soft/hard hybrid. Start with a lower shell that is mostly plastic, so it would be nice for steps, edging, etc, but finish with a more traditional softboot upper, with the union somewhere around the top of the foot.

    One of my big hang-ups with current soft boots is there enormous footprint area (vs. a mountaineering or hardboot). This is one of the reasons that a solid crampon fit is difficult to attain. So starting with an existing lower boot may already be problematic. The other advantage to a smaller footprint area is that it makes edging on rock feel ‘truer’ to what one would expect in an approach shoe or mountaineering boot.

    I don’t think the boot has to have both toe and heel welts (I know that some prefer full step-in crampons), but it should definitely have heel welts to accommodate hybrid strap/heel bail style. As long as the fit is solid and tight this would be sufficient. I know many that ice climb with hybrid crampons, and at least in my experience they tend to encounter ‘fit’ issues/failures no more frequently than full step-in models.

    The full shank is a definite plus. While it can make long approaches feel even longer, it is definitely a blessing once things get technical.

    Too bad that Koflach is no longer in production, they would likely have been a good source for the lower portion of the boot you describe.

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

    #614935
    mountainvoodoo
    80 Posts

    Agree on the smaller footprint being a plus. The number one reason I switched to hard boots several years ago was to have increased traverse edge without having the binding and boot hanging over the edge of the board and being obstructed by slope angle or skin track depth.

    #614936
    UTAH
    830 Posts

    I don’t think a hybrid will be in the works anytime soon. Just a couple points since I know we have been debating this since before Chris’s sight. My experience with hardboots is different than those expressed on this sight my set up is ultra light. Light is right when the goal is long and strong. When the pow is good I want as much of it as possible and this means efficiency. Couple pics, first pics of myself shredding so I am pretty stoked. Photos by Tim Walton. and I am holding my poles becuase they suck and don’t close, plus I was trying to keep up with ironman.


    I don’t feel a difference in decent conditions.I am able to surf and jib just fine. I feel the most difference on hardpack with the response of my dynafit MLT’s. On hardpack I would rather be in a soft boot set-up maybe a little stiffer hardboot would change my mind, my MLT’s are lace up and literally decentigrating. Problem is most likely a tech line will require hardboots to get to. Props to splitrippen for 60 footers and 360 buttars in the BC. Soon he may be doing 360 buttars to 60 footers. Not my thing when I hiked as far as I did and the consequences for things going wrong are such. Slack country I am for sure in my soft boots and I would never think of shredding grooms with my HB set up or hitting park hits, thats not the point of having a HB set up and it does others a diservice to limit there options to different types of set-ups that may benefit there style of riding. I think it’s almost invetable that if youv’e been riding more than 10 years you grew up jibbing in resorts, some of us are exploring different options and our focus has evolved. By far worst part of HB is you might be mistaken as a two planker, however if you don’t give a shit it doesn’t really matter.

    #614937
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    @treetop wrote:

    @SpeedyManiac wrote:

    I wonder if it would be possible to make a stiff soft boot with a mountaineering sole that is dynafit toepiece compatible.

    If this can work, I think this is an ideal solution.

    I was close to picking up some hardboots for mountaineering type objectives, and for other times when the snow is icy, traverses long, the skiers grouchy etc. However, I ride a split because I LOVE the ride down, so I don’t mind the little bit of extra weight from my strap bindings. What I really want is better edging on traverses, better step kicking, faster changeovers, and a good sole for rock and ice. I think a well designed soft boot with dynafit interface could meet these needs, potentially provide a better range of movement for mountaineering needs than a plastic shelled ski touring boot, and have little compromise on the ride down. To answer UB’s question of what is keeping me from using hard boots, it is an expected compromise on the ride down compared to soft boots and strap bindings.

    MtnVoodoo, I also like your idea of adjustable torsional stiffness in a hardboot.

    The only problem with a Dynafit softboot is then you wind up carrying your softboot bindings…so no weight savings, but still achieves the desired increased performance.

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

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