Forums Boots Comprehensive guide to hard boot splitboarding?
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  • #579505
    503 Posts

    Does one exist? I’m very interested in trying them out. The high cost of boots and the mods required have kinda scared me away but my Malamutes are starting to destroy my feet. I’m looking for a solution that will make the skinning portion more comfortable.

    I know there have been a lot of mod threads on here for different boots but has anyone consolidated any of that information in a more concise guide?

    291 Posts

    About modding a TLT6, this first post is helpful: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=16393
    Similar threads exist for other boots.

    However I’m not aware of a comprehensive guide on bindings.

    498 Posts

    I will follow-up with a more detailed response.

    But for now I just want to point out the mods are not required. Search my post for Eliminator Tongue threads ($30 dollars) and Scarpa F1 thread. I ride my F1s stock with the Eliminator Tongue. Very comfortable! Just avoid the older Scarpa F1s (2007 and earlier) as the forward lean did not work.

    SB Hard Booters: Some else needs to come out and try the Eliminator Tongue, as this truly works and post confirmation here.

    My hard boot purchases (boots and bindings) are at a or below buying new pair of soft boot splitboard bindings and new soft boots would go for.

    How you is this possible, you may ask?

    I purchased boots on eBay or on close out (end of season). I just picked up a pair of F1 race boots (like new) for $120 dollars also a have scored (over the past couple years) several Burton Race Plate Bindings on ebay for around $120 dollars [look for the thread to modify Burton Race Plates onto Voile Track. Note this only works for certain size boots; as was unable to modify a pair to fit my wife’s 25 mondo Scarpa F1 boots (paid $180.00 for her boots (like new). I need to find a old pair of Spark binders and mod the Burton race plate unto the Spark slider track. I wish I could obtain a slider track without the drilled-holes, so could easily install Race Plates on a slider track (carbon would be nice). I think TreePilot did this mod.

    Paid $350 on Sierra Trading Post for another pair of Scarpa F1s.

    Also look to spend about $ 40.00 dollars on themo-molding the boot liners.

    Concerning modifying a TLT-5/6 boot, sure would like to see some make an after market for the forward lean slot cube thingy.

    About the only Hard Boot purchases that I have paid full price for were a pair of Bomber Sidewinder Splitboard Bindings at $300 dollars. Which I like a lot, but they are awful heavy!

    Also just upgraded to the Voile Canted pucks($55 dollars) (search for my Voile Canted pucks thread). Canted pucks really help with natural alignment for riding hard boots. Note I think Voile needs to offer a longer length screws for the new canted pucks, For me the supplied 12 mm screws do not work.

    Are Dynafit TLT 5/6 boots and the Phantom Splitboard Bindings the way to go. I am sure they are. I definitively would like to own a pair of Phantoms, but for now I am satisfied with what I have. FYI right now EBay some is selling a pair Phantom 1st Gens (size large).

    Also Scarpa has a special deal on Scarpa Defender (Scarpa F3) for $350.00 US


    Search on here for Scarpa F3 and pm the F3 owners. and ask what the like. Look for closeouts starting late February in local shops. Internet sales come spring.

    So I hope I have shown that HB set up is not expensive as one thinks, just an internet myth, propagated by leather loving soft-booters :duel: That hacking up a new pair of boots is a personal preference (and probably a good one), but not required to start right off with, especially if you try the Eliminator tongue.

    Like my mama said; “You got to shop around”

    498 Posts

    Try not to buckle down your new boots, just ride-em snug not tight.

    See thread Intentionally loosening boots?[url][/url]

    Intentionally loosening boots?

    675 Posts

    If you’re in the Wasatch, I bet you can make friends with a hard booter locally who would let you try out their set up for a run or two. Or there are probably shops where you can demo or rent gear, prior to purchasing your own.

    I will say that my nice hb setup (TLT5/Phantom) kicks ass over the shitty $100 setup I tried out to start with. Very pleased with that setup for spring and summer alpine climbing and riding. But I generally don’t buckle up the plastic until April. I still love my soft boots for midwinter pow. Just my :twocents:

    291 Posts

    In what way does an eliminator tongue help here?

    498 Posts

    Thread Drift Eliminator Tongue:

    I ride stock Scarpa F1’s and the only “mod” I have done is to add an “Eliminator Custom Tongue” shim which has solved some boot fitting issues for me and also has soften forward-lean for me. see

    The tongue is a memory foam insert placed behind the boot liner tongue. The tongue allows for me to obtain more forward lean and a progressive ride dampness on the front side turns (softens forward lean). The boot is not tighten down but ridden just snug almost loose for a surfy feel. Of course, I have the option to tighten down the boot as snow conditions, terrain for riding and split-ski touring dictate. I also gain a little later flex, because the top strap is just snugged just enough. Note I do not have heel lift either.

    498 Posts

    Another tip for new Hard Booters. Accept that your stance may change, both in angles and stance width. Now I know this is really a personal preference, and for some one’s stance need not change. What I am trying to say that riding a stiffer boot and binding (soft or hard setup) that IMO you want a natural stance that aligns with your skeleton properly. As you can’t get away with trying to force an unnatural stance position riding in hard boots.

    Just be willing to try different stances until you find your sweet-spot (stance).

    Then add to your comfort by trying cants under the bindings, toe and heel lift, as needed.

    Note on binding tension… This difficult to describe in writing. but you want the toe bail lever to be tight enough so that the boot cannot rotate in the binding. Nor do you want it overly tight so that you can break the plastic toe-bail. Nor loose, not an option! So there is a sweet spot. This one reason why I do not recommend the Voile Mountain Plate. I never could get the tension right on the Voile Mountain Plate.


    I will say that my nice hb setup (TLT5/Phantom) kicks ass over the shitty $100 setup I tried out to start with

    Jefe, I agree with what your are saying. But I just want to point out the sticker shock need not apply for a new hard-booter. One can find over time the requisite hard boot items (on sale) and eventually upgrade to Hard Boot nirvana (TLT5/Phantom)!

    291 Posts


    94 Posts

    If you’re no hardbootin’ baller like Jefe, there are cheaper options.

    I’m riding Scarpa Matrixs with Intuition thermo liners that I scored on Ebay for under $200 shipped.

    Add some $55 Voile Mtn. Plates and you’re good to go.

    I haven’t modded my old Burton race plates as I like to think I’ll someday use them and my alpine board setup to achieve extremecarving bliss.

    I did tour a couple times with the full race plate attached to the slider track, but that’s a bit overkill.

    675 Posts

    I think the moral of this story ^^^^ is that Scarpas get you more ladies than Dynafits. :doobie:

    721 Posts

    My :twocents:

    Covers all aspects from boots, bindings, tour mode, crampons and pucks.

    The boards

    Garmot Masterlites

    Scarpa Spirit3

    FirstLight of course


    Dynafit toes with Spark or FLS custom plates adaptors

    FirstLight 5 deg cant slider plates

    Old Burton modified to fit Dynafit

    Crampon tab

    Hope this gives you some info.
    Not the most common setup, no TLT’s or Phantoms, but this stuff wasn’t around when I started out.
    I started out with Scarpa boots with voile plate bindings and loved the feel of the setup.

    I made sure I got tech inserts in the boot so as I could upgrade to Dynafit touring.
    I then went to Bomber plates, which were too heavy so went back to Voile plates.
    I then started to make my own gear, and moved to the Garmont boots.

    Any questions let me know


    Adam West

    564 Posts

    FWIW, I recently switched to and have about 10 days on F1s (the model where the walk mode is integrated into the top cuff buckle) and Race Titaniums mounted on Voile plates, all sitting on a Trapper Old Goat 166. 5’10”, 160lbs without gear.

    Took the powerstraps off and mucked about with the forward lean then went shredding. And that’s about it…

    Skin up with only the forefoot buckle tight (don’t dig heel slop), kick it into ski mode at the top, step in and rally down. Running the same angles, a little bit less forward lean on the front foot, a few degrees of cant on the bindings and a few more from the shred soles footbeds (running my Intuition liners & footbeds from my Malamutes). I can’t feel enough of a difference from surfing around in my Malamutes and Burners in ride mode to bitch about anything or do any permanent mods.

    Skinning up however is a world of change. Remember the switch from Voile plates & touring brackets to the Spark LT system? The change from Spark LT to Dynafits is even more significant. Zero slop in the boot/binding interface, lighter, smaller, more streamlined in the uptrack & no fucking snow building up between the boots and bindings!

    Maybe the trick is to buy shitty ski boots, snowboard more and overthink things less?

    That was Pontus

    503 Posts

    So I’m 6’3″ and have a 24 inch softboot stance. Pretty wide. Would it be absurd to think I’d maintain that width for a HB setup?

    1448 Posts

    This is not meant to be an anti-HB rant, just personal observations that might add to the discussion. Flame away if you must 8)
    It’s worth pointing out some distinct differences between soft boots and hardboots that are insurmountable regardless of brand, model or modification.

    Whatever setup you go with, give it at least a season, or two before you ditch your softboot setup. If for no other reason than to see if it fits your touring habits, and/or fits a niche you are willing to shell out $$ for a separate kit.

    I rode my setup for a season and a half and enjoyed it. Without a doubt I prefer the efficiency on the skin track with the tech toe pieces, but I could never get comfortable with the distinct differences in overall boot design, particularly on the ride down. It was only after I’d gone back to a good softboot setup that I realized an improvement in my ‘overall’ touring experience and why.


      Lack of preferred amount of forward lean, or any way to precisely control what little is available (F3)
      Stack height difference (heel vs toe) I’m used to minimalist shoes and snowboarding is the only time I ever wear boots – I don’t wear boots for any other activities.
      Boot/sole narrowness (not talking comfort, but ‘perceived’ stability)
      Toe control, lack of feel/pressure, etc. (choose a more technical term if you like, it just felt wrong)


    Shark Snowsurf Chuna
    Voile V-Tail 170 BC
    Voile One Ninety Five
    Spark R&D Arc

    151 Posts

    Wrong boot.

    460 Posts

    I think the basics are well covered in the TLT 6 Mod thread. What is described there should transfer pretty well to most HBs.

    WP: I’m 6′ and have been rocking my same 23″ ish stance as I try out HBs and it works fine. I do a little canting on the rear foot and some basic shell removal and that works well for me.

    My experience does not perfectly line up with what Snurfer describes. I also found the stock forward lean to little on F3s so I removed the forward lean bar, filled the hole and then drilled an ovular one out higher to achieve more forward lean and found this much better. Once I stopped using Voile Mt. Plates, I found the HBs to work much better as well. Dyna toes for touring represent a significant advance.

    Those Scarpa Defenders appear identical (perhaps they have slightly newer buckles) to the F3. I would consider that a decent HB option and especially so if price is important. The TLT6s are sweet but spendy.

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