Forums Boots Scarpa F1 and F3
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  • #573297
    buell
    534 Posts

    I have now had a chance to ride the Scarpa F1s and the F3s and wanted to put up my thoughts. The F1s are still available in 3 versions. The F3s have been discontinued and replaced with the Terminator X which looks extremely similar from photos.

    The F1 and F3 have a very similar shell and a toe bellow that allows for a more natural foot movement when walking and skinning. I tried on many pairs of AT boots in the shops and this design walks the best by far. The way that the boot sits on my bindings (I have had them in Voiles and F2s), it seems perfectly stable and I do not think unintentional release is a risk because of the bellow. Both boots are very lightweight and quite flexy. I have low volume feet and find that both boots fit me like a glove.

    Stock F1:

    The F1 has two buckles and the upper buckle is connect to the walk/ski mechanism. I have been on the F1s for a year and a half now. They are too stiff for me in ski mode and do not have a functional walk mode for snowboarding. To fix this, I removed the walk/ski mechanism and, since the original top buckle only works with it, I had to install a top buckle. This means the boots are always in walk mode. For powder riding this is generally alright but for steeper corn there is a loss of heelside control.

    To help with this I cut a couple of pieces of aluminum and T-nutted them to the back of the boot to act as a stop for the boot upper cuff to help my heelsides. It helps, but it does not give me as much forward lean as I would like. Any taller though and it would interfere with my skinning stride. I could make a taller one and take it off for skinning and install it for riding, but I do not want to add complexity to transitions. I have not been able to figure out an effective walk/ride modification for this boot.

    The stock tongue on the F1 is a little softer than the tongue on the F3. I expect to continue to use these on powder days and also continue thinking about a walk / ride design that works for skinning, heelsides, and does not add time to transitions.

    Modified F1:

    The F3 has 3 buckles and an independent walk/ski mechanism. Like the F1s, they are too stiff for me in ski mode and there are issues with heelsides in walk mode. On this boot, there is a metal bar with two hole in it and a pin that goes through the holes to lock in the forward lean in ski mode. I was able to drill out a slot from one of the holes to give me walk mode like forward flex and still maintain a heelside stop that maintains sufficient forward lean while in ski mode. I still have a fully functional walk mode which is great for skinning and walking. I also trimmed some extra shell from the medial side on the top of the upper cuff since it did not seem to actually do anything. As I mentioned, the F3 tongue is stiffer than the F1. I might switch them out if I want more flex on the F3s.

    F3

    After pic of the F3 mod to the walk / ski bar. I think this mod is possible on most AT boots. This is inside the boot but is easily accessible.

    #628272
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    Buell, thanks for posting the pic of the forward lean mod, this is the same mod I do to my AT boots to allow forward lean and forward flex-works great on most AT with this type of lean adjuster.

    #628273
    buell
    534 Posts

    I got to ride them for the first time today with the new mod to the walk / ski bar. Great improvement over riding in the original walk or ski mode.

    #628274
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    Thanks to everyone sharing advice and modifications. Scarpa F3’s arrived today, and I’m pretty excited to use them on snow.

    Initial observations…(keep in mind that I understood going into this that mods are likely)
    *I’m glad I wear a size 10, I really don’t want to have to modify my rear foot angle. (e.g. hardboots be loooong)

    *Some combination of cants, trimming the upper, and flexible binders (new Bombers, etc) are going to be a must. This is because [for me] the tip to tail stance is very unnatural and will cause the board to deform tip to tail when weighted, shortening its length and negating the camber. (don’t go there, my swallys have always had rockered noses 😉 )

    *It’s also obvious a forward lean mod is a must, these are not even close to where I like my heel-side leverage to be.

    Again, I’m not bitching, its just the way it is – mods are in order. I have no intention of abandoning soft boots, but I needed new boots and can’t afford both this season. I went with hard boots for long multiday trips and simpler setup.

    Hey, if it turns out its not for me then so be it, someone might grab a good deal. No harm in trying 🙂

    Great thread :thumpsup:

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

    #628275
    dishwasher-dave
    460 Posts

    Nice pics and write up Buell. Thanks for sharing those.

    (I don’t think the Terminator X is the replacement for the F3’s though. I think the TermX is a NTN tele boot. I’m not sure what the replacement is for the F3.)

    I’ve contemplated a similar mod on the F1’s, but I was hoping to make a magic cube forward lean adjuster like on the Bent Metal/Sparks.

    W/o any mods my F’s are awesome for skinning, climbing, and winter camping, but I need to experiment with some of these mods before they are ideal for the down.

    #628276
    buell
    534 Posts

    @dishwasher-dave wrote:

    (I don’t think the Terminator X is the replacement for the F3’s though. I think the TermX is a NTN tele boot. I’m not sure what the replacement is for the F3.)

    I’ve contemplated a similar mod on the F1’s, but I was hoping to make a magic cube forward lean adjuster like on the Bent Metal/Sparks.

    I considered the magic cube lean adjuster. I went for bombproof though since I am afraid of any failures in a heelside stop when loaded up. Done right it could be a great solution for skinning range of motion and solid heelsides.

    When I spoke to Scarpa the other day they explained that the F3 was discontinued because it was so close to the TermX. The TermX is an NTN tele boot but I am pretty sure (not positive) that they can also be used as AT boots and by extension Splitboard hardboots. The F1 and F3 were not typical AT boots anyway with the bellowed toe.

    Here is a photo of the Terminator X boot (I assume you have seen it):

    #628277
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    @buell wrote:

    I was able to drill out a slot from one of the holes to give me walk mode like forward flex and still maintain a heelside stop that maintains sufficient forward lean while in ski mode. I still have a fully functional walk mode which is great for skinning and walking.
    After pic of the F3 mod to the walk / ski bar. I think this mod is possible on most AT boots. This is inside the boot but is easily accessible.

    Thanks again for sharing your insights Buell.
    In your opinion, if I wanted to get more forward lean in ride mode, would I need to actually drill a separate additional hole where you drilled out the existing hole, OR because of the rivets at the end of the bar, that stop further forward lean, would I be better off fabing up a new longer bar with an additional hole?

    Thanks!

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

    #628278
    buell
    534 Posts

    @Snurfer wrote:

    In your opinion, if I wanted to get more forward lean in ride mode, would I need to actually drill a separate additional hole where you drilled out the existing hole, OR because of the rivets at the end of the bar, that stop further forward lean, would I be better off fabing up a new longer bar with an additional hole?

    Thanks!

    I might also want more forward flex than the two rivots at the end of the bar will allow. My first thought was to grind them off, but the bar could possibly come completely out of its housing in walk mode.

    My current thought is to notch the square plate so that they pass a little further into it to provide additional forward lean. They should still be secure in walk mode. I think you would need to stop before the top of the bar could cross the top of the square plate and potentially get stuck while you are flexed forward.

    The longer bar idea should work if you have the tools to fabricate it. The bottom of the bar is held in place by the pin on the outside of the boot. Scarpa confirmed that you can punch out this pin and pull out the bar. I tried and did not get anywhere. It is really in there.

    #628279
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    (Buell) Yeah I see what you mean on all accounts.. Especially getting stuck in forward lean mode, that could be pretty awkward in a HB.
    I think I’ll fab up a longer bar, but put it aside for now and notch the housing for the rivets. Then if I fek it up, I can go to work on getting that pin out and try the longer bar.
    I’ll post back as the season approaches and my motivation to tackle this project ramps up. Thanks again for all the great info :headbang:

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

    #628280
    buell
    534 Posts

    Snurfer, I had the thought that you can likely get a longer bar from Scarpa. If you wear a medium size boot, I expect the larger sized boots will have a longer bar and they are likely compatible.

    After riding the F3s with my first round of mods and then carpet testing them against my modded F1s and some Burton Driver Xs, I decided that they were still too stiff and still needed more forward flex.

    With just moderate forward flex in walk mode the two stops (knobs) at the top of the walk/ski bar would bend the thin metal cover of the walk/ski mechanism and slip down inside of it. In other words, they did not work, so I ground them off because they were keeping me from getting enough forward flex.

    The top of the bar will now slide down into the mechanism but it does not seem to catch on anything until it goes quite a bit further than it will with normal use. When really pushed forward, without the knobs, the bottom of the boot cuff can pass over the top of the boot lower and get caught. Again, I don’t think this will be an issue during use since you have to go really far forward.

    With the two stops ground off, I then made the slot in the bar longer to give me more forward flex.

    With the slot in the bar (essentially a limited range walk mode), a boot’s stiffness is primarily determined by tongue stiffness, liner stiffness, and friction between the liner and the boot. To soften the forward flex, I took a grinder to the thicker parts of the tongue on the upper and lower sides of the ankle hinge to thin them. I have done this before and it can make a huge difference and is much simpler than finding a softer tongue that fits your boot. Just make sure not to take too much out.

    Now I just want a bit more lateral flex. I am expecting the Bomber Sidewinders will take care of that. I spoke with Will at Spark. It looks like he will be stocking the Sidewinders and he even said that he should be able to make a slider plate for them. :clap:

    #628281
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    Buell, much thanks for the continued info… :headbang:

    The longer bar from Scarpa is definitely an option (I’m in a mondo 27.5). Then again, I may just grind off the two stops then make one more hole (essentially where you extended the top hole). I’m looking for forward lean of between 27-29° to match my soft binder setup.
    Stiffness wise I think I’ll be okay where the boots are (never ridden HB’s, so I may be eating crow), but the tongue mod is not out of the question either. BTW.. These boots are very comfortable.

    Good news on the side winder!
    I actually have a design for HB binder based on a fuse slider plate, it would allow the bails to be moved for different boot sizes, but would remain the same height off the board as the fuse. Unfortunately I’ve no access to machining equipment, so its just a pipe dream. :doobie:

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

    #628282
    barrows
    1490 Posts

    All good tips on mods here! One thing I like to do is give my boots a liberal spray of silicone the night before going out. the silicone cuts down on the plastic/plastic friction and helps the boots articulate nicely.
    One possible way to more easily increase forward lean: add a little lift to the binding heel piece, it does not take much, and it may only be necessary for the rear foot (I am assuming use of Dynafit toes for touring, right). This is easier than making a longer lean bar, and alot of these boots do not like to provide too much lean (the shells start binding somewhere else, often at the heel between the lower shell and cuff).
    Snurfer: be sure to contact Will at Spark about your binding ideas, I really think he should come out with the superlight option as you describe: Fuse style machined plate, with multiple points on the sides for bail attachment, no separate heel and toe blocks, so very light, and very low stack height-Right On!

    #628283
    Snurfer
    1448 Posts

    @barrows wrote:

    One possible way to more easily increase forward lean: add a little lift to the binding heel piece, it does not take much, and it may only be necessary for the rear foot (I am assuming use of Dynafit toes for touring, right). This is easier than making a longer lean bar, and alot of these boots do not like to provide too much lean (the shells start binding somewhere else, often at the heel between the lower shell and cuff).

    Good point, I will definitely try this before tweaking the hardware.

    Snurfer: be sure to contact Will at Spark about your binding ideas, I really think he should come out with the superlight option as you describe: Fuse style machined plate, with multiple points on the sides for bail attachment, no separate heel and toe blocks, so very light, and very low stack height-Right On!

    Done! I’ll let you know what he says.
    Thanks!

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

    #628284
    buell
    534 Posts

    @Snurfer wrote:

    Then again, I may just grind off the two stops then make one more hole (essentially where you extended the top hole). I’m looking for forward lean of between 27-29° to match my soft binder setup.
    Stiffness wise I think I’ll be okay where the boots are (never ridden HB’s, so I may be eating crow), but the tongue mod is not out of the question either. BTW.. These boots are very comfortable.

    If you have the boot locked in a hole, rather than a slot, on the walk / ski mechanism, then thinning the tongue (softening it) will have much less effect on the stiffness. When locked in a hole, the boot stiffness comes from boot deformation and not the tongue. When free to travel in a slot or in walk mode, the boot shell freely pivots at the upper cuff / lower section connection (it is the cant adjuster on a lot of boots but not on the F1s and F3s) and the tongue has much more influence.

    AT boots will be stiffer in colder riding temperatures than at room temperature (when we do so much carpet testing). Obviously, make small mods at a time since it is hard to go back. If you think you will be happy with the current stiffness, do not change it until you ride them.

    +1 on discussing the plate integrated bails with Will. Karakorum might be interested in the idea as well. The simplicity and weight of this idea is super appealing. The rigidity and vibration transfer could be issues that need to be resolved. More options please!

    Ready for more snow and I just stopped last week! 😥

    #628285
    buell
    534 Posts

    Magic Cubed F1s

    After pulling off the walk / ski system (always in walk mode) and installing a top buckle on my F1s I had found that they performed poorly on heelsides. This was because there was no stop to act as a highback.

    I t-nutted a little aluminum square to the back (pictured earlier in the thread) to act as a stop. It worked fairly well, but was not adjustable and limited my range of motion a bit while skinning but did not quite give me as much forward lean as I wanted.

    Dishwasher-dave had mentioned that he thought the Magic Cube from Bent Metal would work. I had considered something like the Magic Cube before I installed the fixed aluminum square but went with the square because it could sit on a ridge on the back of the F1 for extra support.

    Not totally satisfied with the non-adjustable aluminum piece I went for the Magic Cube mod in the end. Spark had them for $4 each so I bought a couple. I ground down some additional plastic on the back of the boot so they would spin and screwed them right into the T-nut that had been holding the aluminum square. It is not snow tested, but it seems like it works perfectly. It gets the back of the boot out of the way for skinning and locks in the forward lean for riding.

    The only question is strength. The Cube is held in place only by a t-nut and screw that passes through the back of the boot plastic. The plastic is pretty thick and I expect it should take the load on heelsides.

    This mod should work on other boots as well, but I would first try the mod I did to my F3s walk / ski bar when possible.

    #628286
    firstlight
    721 Posts

    Guys
    The HB option interested me soo much I got my hands on a pair of “Raichle Snowboarder” boots.
    At this stage I am not going to do any mods until I get them out there.

    The lean mech seems to work in the locked and unlocked position

    All I have done is put a set of Burton Driver liners in.

    I have tried to get some info on these boots but have had no luck online.
    They must be fairly old due to the funky fluoro Purple and green?
    What binding are you guys using?
    The voile one seems cheep?
    Any feedback would be good.
    I’ll post some more info when they get a few KM’s on them.

    Cheers

    Adam West

    www.firstlightsurfboards.com.au
    www.firstlightsnowboards.com.au
    www.splitfest.com.au
    www.snowsafety.com.au
    www.mrbc.com.au
    www.backcountryglobal.com
    www.alpinefirstaid.com.au

    #628287
    Pow-D-Rider
    48 Posts

    Buell

    Not totally satisfied with the non-adjustable aluminum piece I went for the Magic Cube mod in the end. Spark had them for $4 each so I bought a couple. I ground down some additional plastic on the back of the boot so they would spin and screwed them right into the T-nut that had been holding the aluminum square. It is not snow tested, but it seems like it works perfectly. It gets the back of the boot out of the way for skinning and locks in the forward lean for riding.

    The only question is strength. The Cube is held in place only by a t-nut and screw that passes through the back of the boot plastic. The plastic is pretty thick and I expect it should take the load on heelsides.

    What I really like is your simplicty of redesigning the F1 boot with the “Magic Parts”. I hope to here how this modification held-up after a season of use.

    BTW F1 AT Boots are on sale at http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/,2787K_Scarpa-F1-AT-Ski-Boots-For-Men-and-Women.html

    #628288
    buell
    534 Posts

    Hey firstlight, you will probably get more info from others if you start a new thread about your boots. This one is about Scarpa F1s and F3s.

    Buell

    #628289
    Pow-D-Rider
    48 Posts

    Stephen Koch (see http://www.stephenkoch.com) gave an excellent review of the Scarpa F1 in Backcountry.com:

    ‘F1 – Great Splitboard Boot!

    By: Stephen Koch
    April 7, 2010

    The F1’s are a great boot for splitboarding. I removed the tongue on the back boot to soften them up. The bellows makes for smooth and comfortable uphill riding and even offers a bit of flex on the way down, which is a benefit to me as a snowboarder. I use Dynafit toe pieces for the up and have been using both Voile Mountain Plates and Burton Race Plates for the riding. The board I am rocking is a Rome Split Proto that is super light and fun.

    I love the fact that I can DRIVE MY CAR safely in these boots! It is so nice to get to the trailhead and GO without having to change into boots. I am so stoked to find this boot and get back into hard boot splitboarding. I was over the challenges of splitting with a soft boot setup. Even though the Spark Fuse Soft Splitboard Binding is great it doesn’t help much with traversing firm sidehills.

    These boots are difficult to get in, to have my heel drop into the pocket, but I imagine this will get easier with time.

    I have a fairly wide foot and once I baked the liners I had the room needed for comfort and warmth around the bellows. The cord holding the rubber ball to open and close the tour/ski latch broke the first time I used it. I drilled out the cord and threaded a simple cord through that is holding nicely for the time being.

    I also used these boots hiking Glory Bowl on Teton Pass after doing a tour up West Mail Cabin on the West side of the pass. It is a pleasure to have a firm toe to use on the firm and snowy steps heading up to the top of Glory.

    Bottom line: I think you will be seeing many more snowboarders using hard boots for splitboarding and backcountry riding in general and the F1’s are the best I have found!

    For more in depth reviews check out my website – http://www.stephenkoch.com’ (HARD BOOTS VS. SOFT BOOTS FOR SNOWBOARD MOUNTAINEERING –)

    #628290
    buell
    534 Posts

    Nice find Pow-D!

    Sounds like he rides them in walk mode with no other modifications.

    The link at the bottom of your post, to his website, has an extra apostrophe and does not work. The top link works. It is good reading.

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