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New to Bomber & Alpine (long)


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Ok, aspiring boarder that loves to 'carve' or at least try my best. I don't know what it is, been that way since starting on sticks(Elan,SCX).It just seems like a waste NOT to use the whole trail, edge to edge, and even head back 'up' the hill. The deeper the rut the more satisfaction. Yea, I've seen you guys (usually @ Killington)skimming your whole body along the surface of the snow while 'carving' gorgeous arc's. I want in on the FUN. Still have my ski stuff, although haven't used in 3 years (since started boarding) so thought maybe I could use boots, if I wanted to go 'hardbooted'.Boots are Technica TNT Explosion 8's, pretty stiff, always liked them on the sticks, but understand the difference in flex needed between a board and ski. Existing boarding tools are: K2 Valhalla 159 (first new board/railed when I bought it, struggled fot a year before I found out problem/shop ground it 3 times to try to correct/ now no base left) HATE it, will NEVER buy another K2 product! Realizing the K2 was pretty well spent, just purchased a Never Summer Premier 161, so far I love this thing. I'm too fat and old to be wallowing around in the snow so I use Burton 'step-ins' and DON'T care what anybody says' I love them! Again, I like a stiff boot so right now I'm in the Burton Rulers, 3 years ago they were the stiffest boot Burton made and I love 'em. Bindings are Burton SI-X. Realizing 'SI' are getting scarce, just bought new Burton Drivers and SI-X as spares. Now that I have a 'spare' set of bindings, NEED to find a board to put them on. Was ALWAYS mesmerized by you guys carving, so guess I NEED one of those boards (like it's the board doing it !) I have been looking at sales on ebay and was wondering about the Burton Speed 168 (sorry for the "B" word / it doesn't seem well liked here) as a first board for me? I'm 5'11" 220lbs, and just want to carve, fast slow just keep turning. I've read most of the info here, and realize as in most things in life a lot is personal preferance, but looking for some input. Alpine / carving boards are a rare sight local hill (Blue Mtn.., Pa) and finding a knowledgeable person in a shop has been impossible so far! Therefore the only information I have is what I read here. Thinking of an inexpensive introduction to Alpine/carving boarding, using the SI-X bindings/'stiff' soft boots,"B" Speed 168, or a good used board. What do you think ?

Sorry for the long post / THANKS---------John

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Hate to say it, but the ski boots would be a better choice, even with crappy Burton race plates on that Speed. You just can not/will not get the carve with soft boots, don't care how "stiff" they are. You'd be better on a stiff freeride if you insist on using those soft boots, Supermodel maybe, that's the best carve combination. The Speed is too stiff for any kind of soft boot to work.

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I agree 100% with Chris - hard boots (could start with ski boots) and plates only on an aline board such as a Speed.

Regarding the recommendation of a Supermodel - I had the 168, and it was most definitely *not* a stiff board. I've flexed the 181's in a store, those were stiffer, but the 168 and even the 173's... wet noodles.

Not to say they won't carve... actually, my Supermodel was great for *very slow* carving.

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Guest Mark Jeangerard

If I can simply paste the url then this recent conversation may help.


Also, without having counted, I'd guess that no less than 20% of the riders I saw at SES last year were in ski boots.

And don't take that anti-Burton stuff to seriously. I own a Donek, a Prior, 2 FPs, a UP, and 2 Supermodels. The very next 2 boards I am going to buy are Donek's GS and FC. I have ridden Nidecker, F2, Oxygen, Volkl, more than a few Doneks, Ride, and others that I can't remember. In my opinion (Which is all that matters to me and why demoing is so important.) there are certain boards that belong in the carving hall of excellence and those that don't. At the very top of the heap are Donek, Prior, and Burton. (Never had the good fortune to try a Coiler.) The FP is one of the most smoking boards ever made. It is responsive, accurate, has tons of edge hold, and most importantly it is expressive. Or rather, allows me to be expressive. That is my 172 Burton Factory Prime on the left there. The fifth FP I've owned.

It is all very much a matter of personal taste.

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Soft boots + alpine board = Bzzzt, won't work.

Hard boots + freeride board = OK, will work.

Ski boots + freeride board = Hmm, maybe.

If I were you I'd buy some hard boots and bindings. Then mount them to whatever board you want. A fat freeride board will be fine - you could use angles of about 45 degrees or so. Keep the boots adjusted to be soft-flexing, and you'll have a gentle introduction to alpine riding.

You can then graduate to an alpine board whenever you feel ready.

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If you use those boots (Ultra stiff) you may find the movements very robotic.

I would tell you to take a hot knife to them to introduce flex...but I think teh buckles either stack on those halting flex suddenly- or there was some sort of ridge in there-

My suggestion is to hit a ski swap and buy a lightly used pair of womens intermediate boots. The heel cup will be tight giving good heel retention, the flex will be soft enough, and you can take a hot knife to a pair of $10 boots without worry.



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