Forums Splitboard Talk Forum Moving from Hardboots to Softboots
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  • #567235
    fortysix2
    112 Posts

    I am considering moving to a softboot setup in the backcountry, but I have some questions/concerns. I’ve looked in the reviews and done some researching here, but I’d like to get fresh perspectives since the forum has grown so much lately, and I’m too lazy to blow through 5 pages of results.

    My riding style is free-ride, powder, touring, mostly mid/low angle (say less than 40°, and usually under 35°). My first year was in softboots, then I moved to hardboots. Last year I experienced some mild discomfort in my ankle which prevented me from riding for a couple weeks. So, this year I decided to try softboots at some chair-served areas (Salomon F24s/Lamar binding). I LOVED IT! So, I’ve been going back and forth at the resorts, and have decided I’m considering switching my splitboard as well. I would probably keep the hardboot setup for springtime, icy days, and long walks on the beach.

    Questions/Concerns:
    a. I like the idea of having something that can release in an avy. Anyone done a mod or have any ideas for softboots? Voice activated systems? Clappers?
    b. Parts..parts..and parts. I’ve owned 2 pair of strap binding, and they both have had issues. Screws, straps, and nuts seem to losen and/or break. Is that normal, or did I just get cheapos?
    c. Anyone else made the switch from hardboots to softboots?

    #584717
    huFfer
    51 Posts

    Yes! Welcome back from the dark/dumb side. 😈 Don’t know about releases but the “clapper” sounds intriguing… as for the soft bindings I have had great luck with both the Ride Team binding and the Drake Podium II’s. They are both high end w/ carbon fiber high backs and all the bells and whistles but have not broken/ lost any parts and I am hard on my stuff. I do check them regularly. (IE every other time I ride) Down side is $, they’re not cheap at full pop… look for closeouts.

    I applaude your choice…

    #584718
    splittilps
    154 Posts

    I also have Ride Teams (the orange ones, so about 4 years old) on my split board but I’ve had a completely opposite experience with them compared to the other poster.

    It seemed like everything broke within 2 seasons. Buckles, straps, little plastic bits – not the highbacks though. I’ve known plenty of people who had the same problems with that season’s Ride bindings. At first this was quite disconcerting but there was a silver lining to the cloud. I’ve replaced just about everything with good old-fashioned stainless steel nuts, bolts, and washers and over time I eventually ended up with straps and buckles that haven’t broken. Now if anything does go wrong I can easily fix it with normal hardware store stock so I don’t need to carry a bunch of weird proprietary fasteners etc.

    I don’t use these bindings at the resorts anymore because the highbacks are so stiff that after a day of riding lifts my achilles tendon on my front ankle gets a big painful goose-egg on it that doesn’t go away for 2 or 3 days.

    I’ve been using a set of 03-04 Ride F-16s (I think that’s the model anyway) for resorts and I love them. Nothing has broken, the buckles are easier to use, and the highback is a little softer (not carbon fiber) so they’re much more comfy.

    I don’t know of any ways to rig a quick release for soft boots unless you’re using clickers.

    #584719
    bot6
    36 Posts

    If you want something easy to release, the only way to go is step-ins. In my opinion, the best way to go for splitboarding with these would be either clickers or the Nitro Rapidfire system.

    If you wish to use strap bindings, you should choose some with a narrow base, so that they are not in the way while skinning.

    Have fun with the softies!

    #584720
    butryon
    47 Posts

    46&2,
    i think you will really like the soft boots again. the f-24’s are a great boot thats pretty stiff. i did a lot of hardbooting about 10 years ago(burton PJ & hot logical boards, my youth wasted), but haven’t been back since. i drive in my boots to the hill, saves me time in the mornings, so hardboots aren’t a choice for me. i wish someone would develop a releasable binding, but it’s unheard of to me. as far as things falling apart on the bindings, pack extra stuff and use a binding that you know and trust. i am a nidecker fan but thats because i have a lot of them and they all use the same parts. i think they are relatively heavy, but i run the same stuff on my resort boards with out to many problems. i break a lot more stuff riding the resort than i do splitting, so it’s a good indicator on durability issues. have fun 🙂

    #584721
    fortysix2
    112 Posts

    Update:
    Rode Loveland Ski area last week with Oldman. He even tried softies! Changed my stance to more duck-like. We had a blast. I have been learning to ride switch the last few times out, and it brings back the feeling of learning something new…which is loads of fun…can’t wait to try surfing in May!

    I’m getting a new splitboard for x-mas (thanks to my wife 😀 ), so I’ll be mounting one of the boards with softies and keeping the hardboot setup on the other. This will give me the opportunity to do both – with an open mind.

    I do hope to see something with a releasable mechanism at some point, though. What if there was something that could release the binding from the board (i.e., strap binding still attached to boots)? Hmmph. 😥

    Thanks for info guys.

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