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daveo

After some splitboard hardboot info/advice

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Sooo I'm thinking of getting a splitboard. So I can split it in half and skin up mountains and snowboard down them and then boast to people about how cool I am, which of course, would be absolutely astonishingly impressively ... lame.

The thing I think I can probably manage to find is the board, so I guess my questions start at something like:

  1. To use hardboots, what sort of bindings do I need to make this work (style, brand, model?)?
  2. The hardboots I have are UPZ RC10, I'm in the process of softening them up (giving them compliments and stuff...). Could I even ever use this acceptably? Do I need to convert the sole perhaps? I found this http://upzboots.com/shop/upz-toeheel-set-freeski-touring/, do I need something like this?

ANY info, help or anything would be more than overly appreciated.

Edited by daveo

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Thanks for that, I'll look into it!

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Boots: Lightweight AT boots with proper flex and an excellent touring (skinning/walking/scrambling) ability are really beneficial (very important). Phantom is working on a spring system for the Atomic Backlands and Backland Ultimate. That will probably be the best option for boots once the spring is released, hopefully soon. You can find a thread on the Backlands on Splitboard.com

Bindings: Phantom is the best design and the best execution (John Keffler is an actual rocket engineer). Another option is the Spark Dyno, There are also a couple of other smaller companies which are similar to the Spark Dyno (bails on a plate that use the puck system).

Boards: I have traditionally been a quiver guy and I do, in fact, have two splitboards. The one that gets used the most is the one that can handle the widest range of conditions and different terrain types. You will regularly encounter a variety of conditions and types of terrain in a single tour. Most splitboards are heavier than resort boards which, considering you spend much of your day taking the board uphill, makes little sense. A lightweight board is a huge advantage for both going up and for riding down. I have been on the Amplid Milligram for 3 seasons now (this season makes 4) and love it! My deep days board is the Amplid Millisurf. Both boards are as light as they come. There is a Milligram thread on Splitboard.com or my review on the Splitboard.com home page is here. Amplid is Peter Bauer's board company and, full disclosure, I am fortunate to be an Amplid ambassador.

Safety: Be careful! Take your Avy classes and pay attention to the snow. Don't go on a line if you don't know enough to assess its stability. Don't be overconfident. I have several hundred days in the backcountry and even being cautious, sometimes you learn important lessons by surviving your mistakes you didn't know enough to know were mistakes ahead of time.

 

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Buell is right about the Phantom Bindings.  This is the top of the line, highest performing splitboard hardboot setup.  

The real key to the performance on the skin track is in the tech toe.  Phantom makes their own, but you can also use Dynafit or another brand.  But only AT boots are tech toe compatible...  Your RC10s are way too heavy for the backcountry anyway, but you wouldn't need the UPZ touring pieces, those are for ski bindings.

People cut and drill the shit out of those boots to make them soft enough for powder snowboarding.  Here's a photo of my setup...  Yes, I took a hole saw and a hot knife to $800 ski boots to make them perform more like snowboarding softboots...

(I'm still waiting for someone to make me a splitboard boot which is as light as the AT boots and has the tech toe, but a sole length like the UPZ,  fin-tec heel compatible, and fits and rides like quality softies...) 

20181212_212206.jpg

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@Buell @crackaddict Thanks a lot for your input both of you. Super interesting.

I think due to the cost, this is probably something I'll invest in bit by bit over time.

I'm always overly cautious, this is what has stopped me from actually going into the backcountry in the past.

 

To start with a board, I'm thinking of getting the SG Grand Traverse 170 .. Any thoughts?

https://www.shop-sgsnowboards.com/product/grand-traverse/

 

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27.2 waist? duckfoot board

I do like that the camber is centered rather than all behind the front binders like most other splits out there, if there's any camber at all:smashfrea

Edited by b0ardski

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5 minutes ago, b0ardski said:

27.2 waist? duckfoot board

I do like that the camber is centered rather than all behind the front binders like most other splits out there, if there's any camber at all:smashfrea

Yeah realised that. Watched a video of Sigi riding it in a pair of Northwaves and got excited.

Decided to put this on the backburner. Too expensive to invest. Think I'll get one of @BlueB's OES AM Pro Models instead!

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10 hours ago, b0ardski said:

27.2 waist? duckfoot board

 

What sort of angles are you planning on running?

I will say that I personally see no problem with a 27.2 waist, and actually think I may go for something in that range for my next split. One of my reasons probably doesn't apply to you guys, which is that I weigh 210 and thus have no trouble going edge to edge on a wide board and it helps me float in backcountry conditions. 

HOWEVER, the other reason is angles. I will say that on a split, rocking forward angles (which I still do) does have its limits, and I have to ride shallower angles, which can mean a wider board helps if in crusty conditions (powder = who care's about boot out). Because of the inserts for uphill touring, I become limited in terms of being able to keep a fairly narrow stance (which I am used to... 20.75 - 21 inches). With that setup for me, I have to drop my angles to about 27-12 or so. I'd really prefer in the range of 36-21. If I ever did a custom split I'd ask if they could offset the uphill inserts to allow for more space for forward angles...

In the photo you can see that I have to ride with my right riser up and my left toe piece up. Anybody else played with these more than me to find the right angles?

IMG_3738.JPG

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45/30. Going to put this project on the back burner though in favour of getting a hardboot all mountain freeride powder board.

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I ride +/- 45f/30r on all my boards and only go higher on skinny carve boards. never lower so 21-25 wide all get the same stance

I have far more comfort. power and finesse with this stance,( 20"or so width, 21+ max on big pow boards), than any other. honed over 35yrs of boarding and skiing. duckfoot actually causes pain in my back knee and hip, switch is backwards for me not sideways.

here's one from an older split theard;

 

35*f/25*r angles/stance 20" Is not as steep as I'd like but it's working well. I could get to 40+* with the voile canted pucks but a wider stance would be required using speed radical toes/sparks adapter.

16935532538_1a1c8f2cec_c.jpg

removed the lock lever off the speed toe and overhang on the heel riser to allow 20' stance with steeper angles

will have the lever and it's mount pin with me if needed for skinning.

I could go steeper if I went to 21+" but already have no tip to lean on with the 168cm rocker, not a fan of rocker but will save that argument for another time. 307 bsl/sz 27, 25cm waist

17121787302_b09524f7e3_c.jpg

 

toe hang on the back foot and to a lesser extent heel hang, is more than I'd like but with near 2" height off the deck it's not really an issue unless ECing on hardpack(haven't tried that...yet) Soft boot splitters all complain about stack height, I guess they need to have a hang ten feel to surf snow, doesn't bother me in the least other than the extra weight.

didn't notice it in spring slush

17123308355_8e12f30137_c.jpg

 

The Odin is a bit of a beast (ie durable) by reputation which is a good part of why I chose it, I'm 6',  215# +/-, half Norwegian and got it cheap NOS('12 model yr) from venture for $300. That said, It's heavy in this configuration at 14.5# and I'll be looking for lighter weight hardware for sure.

I may sell the dyna toes and sparks adapters and go with ranger NZ touring toes and will probably pick up the Dyno's like Fin has unless I find a deal on used Phantoms.($850+ for the whole system is out of my league even if they could go to 40*+)

The old sims plate is heavy and I'll cut them down to just the toe & heel bails to save weight. The old blax stepin toes on the back foot worked in the voile slider holes perfectly w/out mods and the burton stepin heel gives some spring loaded play to the otherwise stiff boot, with minor drilling of the slider plate.

I may match this on the front slider but like it to be a bit more solid than the back foot.

 

I haven't felt much need to mod the pegasus boots as I want them for skiing also, but may rig up a rearward lean stop for walk mode on the back foot while riding.

 

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PS; sold the heavy odin cause rocker sux, and I am considering a custom 168 or so, 24wide alpine core, decamber and reverse sidecut  only at the tips, extra or shifted inserts to allow 45/30 angles

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@b0ardski, Interesting info... I never thought about taking the toe pin off, but I find that I always have to double-click lock mine into walk mode or they fall off too easily. Still, an interesting idea. I'll be hoping to hear your report back on if you go custom and can offset the inserts! 

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@Moose,

Thing is,  those toe piece inserts need to be dead centre of mass on the split ski or you're gonna have trouble climbing...  You would have to add weight to tail if you want to move the inserts back.  (Not much, and you can just do the one heelside ski.)

Other solutions include:

1. Phantom Rocket Risers (adjustable mounting, and both the riser bars fold forward)

2. Wider stance 

3. Lower angles 

4. Different board (some boards have more space between the toe inserts and the front binding inserts)

Really though, your splitboard is not also your carving board.  With the boot sole length on your AT boots there's no way you're gonna carve hard with an "all-mountain" carving stance anyway (15/30).  So overhang.  Ride a stance that you can comfortably land toeside jump turns in tight trees or steep chutes.  -6/15 is a popular directional stance (for back country and boardercross I think).  3/21 or 6/24 if you need to face forward, but it's the duckfoot that makes the landings easy.  

Or is the snow so light in Summit County that you don't get moguls?  And all the riding is so far above treeline that you just carve sweeping arcs across open bowls with steep angles and big smiles?  Enjoy.

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55 minutes ago, crackaddict said:

but it's the duckfoot that makes the landings easy.

I'm probably an anomaly, but I've always found landing with a forward stance easiest. And landing in hardboots even easier than softboots.

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For me too, way more comfy to land with forward stance! It is actually the moguls and trees that would become difficult, if the angles were too steep. 

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I don't carve on the split... at all. Width is more of a float thing for me! I know I said that previously but since I guess it was interpreted that I am still trying to carve on a split I felt the need to mention it again. 

I love to ride moguls and trees, and I typically stick to 30-15 or 36-21 forward angles (on the solid boards also). Every time I have tried a duck stance or a zero back foot, things just feel weird and I struggle more edge to edge and landing jumps. I am just a forward stance rider! 

 

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So many great stances to choose from...  But not a lot of duck footers on this forum. 

Did I just out myself?  Well it's true I like some variety, and my back foot does tend to open up when it snows.  Don't judge me, but in a busy week I'll ride four different stances: -6/15 for splits and pow boards, 15/30 on wide softboot carvers, 30/45 for AM hardboot carvers (24ish waists), and 55/60 for my real narrow boards.

@moose: Looks like your toe pieces are bigger than mine too.  You might sneak most of an inch with a smaller toe like the new Phantom/Spark collaboration.  Because I know you want to move the whole stance back in that ultralight pow pow.  A cheaper option is a custom aluminium plate to mount under the one offending tech toe and bring it back an inch or two, or put a couple of t-nuts in your base like the DIY splitboarders used to and put your tech toe wherever you like.

@b0ardski: Who else is doing reverse sidecut at the tip and tail?  I''ve only seen the Thirsts and the Furbergs.  I think I like it a lot though.   Seems to really smooth things out and make the ride more forgiving and less hooky.

 

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4 minutes ago, b0ardski said:

been eyeballing the prowder

There is a Prowder thread on SB.com you might want to check out.

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42 minutes ago, crackaddict said:

So many great stances to choose from...  But not a lot of duck footers on this forum. 

Did I just out myself?  Well it's true I like some variety, and my back foot does tend to open up when it snows.  Don't judge me, but in a busy week I'll ride four different stances: -6/15 for splits and pow boards, 15/30 on wide softboot carvers, 30/45 for AM hardboot carvers (24ish waists), and 55/60 for my real narrow boards.

@moose: Looks like your toe pieces are bigger than mine too.  You might sneak most of an inch with a smaller toe like the new Phantom/Spark collaboration.  Because I know you want to move the whole stance back in that ultralight pow pow.  A cheaper option is a custom aluminium plate to mount under the one offending tech toe and bring it back an inch or two, or put a couple of t-nuts in your base like the DIY splitboarders used to and put your tech toe wherever you like.

@b0ardski: Who else is doing reverse sidecut at the tip and tail?  I''ve only seen the Thirsts and the Furbergs.  I think I like it a lot though.   Seems to really smooth things out and make the ride more forgiving and less hooky.

 

I also ride a number of stances between my splits, softboot carving and hardboot carving. All forward angles though.

Many boards have "reverse sidecut" to varying degrees. It is just an elongated transition at the nose and tail. More extreme versions move the wide point of the nose and tail toward the center of the board to elongate the nose and tail further.

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