Forums DIY and Mods do you miss the highback?
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  • #568702
    NorwayBrder
    45 Posts

    I have a quick question for those on the dark side.

    I am thining about buying a set of hardboots. For those using hardboots, i have seen some sweet mods from others on the forum about incorporating a highback in addition to a ankle strap to the mtn plates or bomber setup. is it over kill, is it only necessary when using PMB’s or would it be a nice addition?

    thanks.

    #595176
    lonerider
    68 Posts

    @NorwayBrder wrote:

    I have a quick question for those on the dark side.

    I am thining about buying a set of hardboots. For those using hardboots, i have seen some sweet mods from others on the forum about incorporating a highback in addition to a ankle strap to the mtn plates or bomber setup. is it over kill, is it only necessary when using PMB’s or would it be a nice addition?
    thanks.

    It is completely superfluous to add a highback with hardboots (PMB’s are a different story). A snowboard-specific hardboot with a plate-binding is stiffer and more responsive than any softboot binding combination. That being said, I still tend to prefer softboots and strap bindings (more forgiving, much lighter, easier to absorb chop) in general and especially riding in powder (the feel of a hardboot is very different).

    #595177
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    I’ve been riding PMBs with the binding mod you mention, known in some parts at ‘the BCD mod.’ I consider the mod useful for PMBs, but not hardboots. The idea with hardboots is that they are stiff enough that the highback isn’t needed. Also, I think you may have trouble getting a standard ankle strap around a hard boot and you might have trouble fitting a hardboot into the heelcup of a highback. I don’t know those last two things for sure, though.

    By the way, here are a few shots of the mod:


    I believe that this is the lightest existing strap & highback setup. I shaved 15.5 ounces per binding (close to 2 lbs off the whole board) in comparison to Mission bindings. They are 8 oz per binding lighter than C60s.

    I’ve had 12 days with this setup this year (it’s been meager in CA) and so far I’m digging it. It’s as surfy as you could ask for in powder, identical to a softboot setup. I’d like to spend some more time with them in spring conditions, but so far I’ve had no issues in firm snow either.

    Plus you have the joy of a real mountaineering boot on feet for your winter travel needs. Mine have stayed dry and warm on multi-day trips. They accept crampon bales and kicking steps with them is a real pleasure. So the setup works for me..

    I wish a snowboard boot company would put a real mountaineering sole on a modern snowboard boot. Then the choice would be a no-brainer.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #595178
    shasta
    143 Posts

    Lonerider wrote:

    “I still tend to prefer softboots and strap bindings (more forgiving, much lighter, easier to absorb chop) in general…”

    Not sure which strap binding/soft boot you ride but my current set up: mtn plates and Scarpa matrix are way lighter than any soft boot/strap binding set up I’ve seen or ridden. Weight wise the mtn plates beat straps hands down, the Scarpa’s are on par if not lighter than most if not all soft boots.

    Not that there aren’t plenty of other good reasons to choose one set up over the other.

    Andy

    #595179
    lonerider
    68 Posts

    @shasta wrote:

    Lonerider wrote:

    “I still tend to prefer softboots and strap bindings (more forgiving, much lighter, easier to absorb chop) in general…”

    Not sure which strap binding/soft boot you ride but my current set up: mtn plates and Scarpa matrix are way lighter than any soft boot/strap binding set up I’ve seen or ridden. Weight wise the mtn plates beat straps hands down, the Scarpa’s are on par if not lighter than most if not all soft boots.

    Not that there aren’t plenty of other good reasons to choose one set up over the other.

    Andy

    Hence why I careful modified my comments to “snowboard specific hardboot” the Scarpa is not a snowboard specific-hardboot like say the Deeluxe or Head boots (or old Burton boots). As I understand it the Scarpa is more of an AT boot. This has nothing to do with the inherent design of hardboots, just snowboard hardboot makers haven’t really chagned the design in over a decade (newer molds and materials would improve things).

    #595180
    split.therapy
    455 Posts

    That highback mod is pretty trick. I have tried a few different boot,binding combos and have settled on Scarpa’s old Laser. The softer top,plastic strap and no power strap w/ Mtn. Plate binding has been serving me well for 4 seasons. Leave in “walk” mode in pow and “ski” mode for hard pack,etc. AT boots are made for skinning and here in the “Hole” we have no shortage of side hilling and it seems to be the more efficent way to go. A couple of seasons ago Scarpa came out with a boot called the Avant that was made of a softer plastic that is popular with a few resort riders here. I run what is considered standered Teton angles,15&5. I know that the hard booters in Avants ride similar angles.

    #595181
    NorwayBrder
    45 Posts

    split therapy, let me ask you this.
    Do you miss a toe strap on the laser?
    I am thinking about the dynafit two strap ski running boot
    http://www.dynafit.at/skirunning_boot.php?chid=28&lang=uk&sid=82bb33726284547e7dff1f6031df123f&m=4
    , but dont know if the boot holds the front of your foot down well enough.
    I know the 4 strap boots are overkill, but wonder if the two strap are too little, at least in the toe box.
    The laser was my first choice but they dont make a 32 mondo. hence the dynafit.

    My question about the highback setup is also that I could switch between boots, pmb, hiking, hardboot. really liked the concept of the mods i have been seeing, but think i knew the answer about its additional stiffness. 🙄
    As far as i can tell the soft boot will always be the staple, Im just getting tired of replacing tired boots every other year, plus the boot pack yo-yo, is just too scary. 😯

    #595182
    bcrider
    4150 Posts

    @SanFrantastico wrote:

    I wish a snowboard boot company would put a real mountaineering sole on a modern snowboard boot.

    For all that “real mountaineering” that we do here in cali huh? 😉 😛

    #595183
    bcrider
    4150 Posts

    @NorwayBrder wrote:

    plus the boot pack yo-yo, is just too scary. 😯

    If you’re having trouble with a bootpack (not sure how you would if it is in fact a bootpack with pre-kicked in steps) you might just want to throw a pair of strap crampons in your pack for these times. Then you have some extra grip and dont have to sacrafice softboot descent performance and feel while still being safe (no slips) on the ascent.

    #595184
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    @bcrider wrote:

    @SanFrantastico wrote:

    I wish a snowboard boot company would put a real mountaineering sole on a modern snowboard boot.

    For all that “real mountaineering” that we do here in cali huh? 😉 😛

    By real mountaineering sole, I mean a stiff sole with crampon bales and maybe a few hard corners to facilitate kicking steps. I don’t see how it would be anything but a benefit if the boot otherwise rides the same. I just don’t think soft, rounded boots are the best solution for ascending firm snow. Mountaineering or not, the bootpack up Glory Peak on Teton Pass is about as established as they come and there can be spots where the steps are shallow and worn and the snow is hard and steep and I was glad to be able to punch in a little deeper. Saving two pounds off my back was just a fringe benefit. 😀 But then you’re talking to a guy who cracked two vertabrae eating shit down a wet grassy slope!

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #595185
    NorwayBrder
    45 Posts

    Boot pack round here is one that you make yourself. the lines arent 14,000 foot peaks more like 4000 straight up, out of the sea. but the lines are steep, and dicey.
    It means lots of laps.
    When your telemark buddy ahead of you, kicking steps in powder and ice with a 400 meter drop below you, is wondering why you look like a ghost, you begin to wonder why. looking down at the soft soles on your feet you wonder hmmm, maybe there is something better.

    just looking for some purchase in the sketchee stuff. without having to play the crampon game, which takes more time.

    maybe whining, but i like to keep up with the fast boys. and wait for them at the bottom.

    #595186
    bcrider
    4150 Posts

    Using crampons isn’t a game…it’s about using the proper gear to keep you both safe and up with the rest of the pack. Also note that having better conditioning and fitness than your partners will help counter some of the slowness (more weight, longer transitions, using crampons when they might not need to, etc) that comes with choosing snowboarding over skiing (ascent-wise).

    #595187
    NorwayBrder
    45 Posts

    you mean two packs a day and a steady mcdonalds diet doesnt help? 🙄

    #595188
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    @bcrider wrote:

    Using crampons isn’t a game…it’s about using the proper gear to keep you both safe and up with the rest of the pack…

    No doubt – I love crampons & use them happily when the conditions warrant it.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #595189
    Romian
    28 Posts

    @SanFrantastico wrote:

    I’ve been riding PMBs with the binding mod you mention, known in some parts at ‘the BCD mod.’ .

    Maybe you´ve told about your boots before, but… are your liners PMB standard or use liners from a snowboard boot? They look taller.

    And… is your setup you stiff enough when traversing on hard snow (with split crampons, of course)?

    #595190
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    The boot itself has a higher cuff than most PMBs. Koflach produced these boots under the names Vario Superpipe and Kolfach Oxygen in an attempt to enter the snowboard boot market in the early ’90’s. I replaced the stock lace-up liner with an Intuition liner. They have 3 sizes and I chose the ‘Alpine’ style ski boot liner, which has the highest cuff. It actually comes up about as high as the stock liner.

    I was hoping that the liner would add some stiffness to the boot, which it did a little. But in terms of ankle flex, they are still more flexy than burly snowboard boots like the malamute and that may be a drawback depending on your point of view. But for that reason, I don’t think they will help you on a hard snow traverse like hard boots would. Lucky for me I haven’t been in that situation very much this year to test it out.

    But my theory is that a lot of the ‘surfy’ feel comes from having that lateral flex and that you always have to balance surfiness vs. edge hold on a traverse.

    I would say that they ride and skin similar to a soft snowboard boot. But they hike and climb much better and the binding I’m using is lighter in weight.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #595191
    ride_pow
    116 Posts

    just looking for some purchase in the sketchee stuff. without having to play the crampon game, which takes more time.

    My thoughts on this exactly.

    it’s about using the proper gear to keep you both safe and up with the rest of the pack

    So why is the rest of the pack safe and not putting on crampons? Granted there are times when they are going to be an absolute necessity, there just has to be a better way for the majority of the time.

    #595192
    SanFrantastico
    1514 Posts

    An update on my kooky boot/binding setup…

    It has been performing great for me all season in powder and also in more mixed snow using my Voile Freeride.

    I took it out this weekend on my new NS Titan in very challenging snow. Sometimes fast, more often wet and grabby, but always lumpy and somewhat runnelled. I really felt that the boot/binding setup was way too soft to control that board under these condtions. It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten it so spectacularly. I was loving this exact setup in consolidated powder a few weeks ago.

    I think I’ll get a better highbacks for sure, because these are pretty low. I’m going to also change the attachment point for the ankle strap to see if that buys me more stiffness when leaning toe side. But I may have to break down and beef up the tounge in these boots for added stiffness for this setup to work in these types of conditions.

    But I did do a few long traverses and they outperformed my soft boots on the traverse for sure.

    Putting the poo in swimming pool since 1968.

    #595193
    Shep
    525 Posts

    In addition to SF’s experience, I also had a crappy weekend on my PMB+MTN plate setup. Very similar conditions up at Okemo, VT. You’ld be going really fast, then a continuously increasing amount of drag for a while, then whaterver crap was tuck to the board would break free, and you could “sortof” cruise again. It sucked. 😕

    I’m thinking I may try adding ankle straps to the rear bales of the MTN plates. I’ll post photos when I try it. If that doesn’t work, I’ll start looking at light-weight highbacks, at which time I’ll basically have SF’s setup exactly, I think.

    Shep

    #595194
    WClumberjack
    21 Posts

    @SanFrantastico wrote:

    I’ve been riding PMBs with the binding mod you mention, known in some parts at ‘the BCD mod.’ I consider the mod useful for PMBs, but not hardboots. The idea with hardboots is that they are stiff enough that the highback isn’t needed. Also, I think you may have trouble getting a standard ankle strap around a hard boot and you might have trouble fitting a hardboot into the heelcup of a highback. I don’t know those last two things for sure, though.

    By the way, here are a few shots of the mod:


    I believe that this is the lightest existing strap & highback setup. I shaved 15.5 ounces per binding (close to 2 lbs off the whole board) in comparison to Mission bindings. They are 8 oz per binding lighter than C60s.

    I’ve had 12 days with this setup this year (it’s been meager in CA) and so far I’m digging it. It’s as surfy as you could ask for in powder, identical to a softboot setup. I’d like to spend some more time with them in spring conditions, but so far I’ve had no issues in firm snow either.

    Plus you have the joy of a real mountaineering boot on feet for your winter travel needs. Mine have stayed dry and warm on multi-day trips. They accept crampon bales and kicking steps with them is a real pleasure. So the setup works for me..

    I wish a snowboard boot company would put a real mountaineering sole on a modern snowboard boot. Then the choice would be a no-brainer.

    I have been thinking of going to a mountaineering boot and voile plates. i really like this mod it seems like a great way to go. so here is a stupid question, the voile hardboots plates will they work with a soft mountaineering boot or only pmb’s? i dont have any experience with the hard boot setups this is why im asking. is the problem the piece that goes over the toe? is it to stiff for a soft mountaineering boot and will put presure on the toe as well as not hold the boot well?

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