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First day on plate bindings and HBs


Bullwings
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First off, i just gotta say thanks to the BOL community. wouldn't have known where to start as far as getting an alpine setup without this place.

Anyway, first day impressions: awesome :biggthump:biggthump.

Went through the tech articles and they provide mostly everything I needed to know for a great first day on plates, from basic technique and drill exercises (which i know i need to work on) to binding setup and info. I made sure to grease the heads on all my TD2 screws, and nothing came loose. i checked periodically, and everything was great. I did come out of my bindings once, toe bail popped open (that was scary -- good thing it was my front foot with the leash). i moved the heel bail one notch tighter and that fixed everything.

i used an ATV 161, TD2s, and Sazukas today. compared to my softboot carving on the same board, it was no comparison. i could carve harder and deeper constantly engaging the downhill edge.

there was a lot of falling trying out new stuff today, but i got a nice feel for things. loading the front of the board at initiation really helped out for me, and arching my back upward away from the snow on toe edge actually got me closer to the snow (awesome and weird feeling at the same time). the legs took quite a beating too. i'm not used to the amount of g's you can generate, although it feels great -- better than any jibbing that i've tried before. there was a decent amount of falling when i didn't properly load my edges (expecting g-forces and getting none = me angling and leaning into a carve that isn't there = me on my face/ass).

experimenting was cut short to around 3 hours or so. only one lift and one run open with boxes and rails set up here an there. carving back up the slope was kind of scary too with the number of people, so i only did that a few times. trying to really get the feel for the HBs with the crowds is tough. that, and i overheard some teenie jibber in the lift line saying to his friend that i cut him off. :rolleyes::rolleyes: i read the carver's almanac, and that run was mine (albiet for a short length) -- it's his responsibility being up slope (i scouted both above and below). whatever, no point in trying to reason it out with him. i'd just come out dumber trying to do so. either way it was a great first day for the season since i finally got to try the HBs.

this is one converted believer in hardboots. it's really something you have to try out before you can believe it (although i was pretty convinced beforehand with all the videos i'd seen of HBers). now, i need to wait for more runs to open with less crowds. alright, i just had to share that. i'm done ranting.

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Thanks for the cool first-day report. It really brings my first hard-boot day back to me - probably the most fun day I've ever had on a snowboard as I kept carving turns harder and better than I'd ever done before, but falling a helluva lot because my timing and coordination wasn't consistent yet.

Cheers!

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Sweet! Sometime in the next few weeks (assuming I can get a ride) I'll be hardbooting for the first time. Did you start with trying to do The Norm, or just applied some of the tips to your softboot carving technique?

Try Everything you've read,(Especially the BOL section and the Carver's Almanac) you'll have to concentrate a bit when you start... but once you settle in it'll become second nature.:D Try to relax, and don't beat yourself up if you don't pick it up right away. once you start you won't stop, and once you get it right (AND it won't take long!!!) You'll be hooked like the rest of us!! Just remember to give yourself some room to move.

In hindsight: When I started

I had to fiddle with my rear binding angle (I run 7Deg inward cant with heel lift) but something wasn't right... played with the angle and it just exploded my riding...... It's like I just stopped fighting the board or vice versa.

To me it's a different style of riding altogether..It's a different technique to softies...

I studied the The Carver's Almanac and put that into practice and every run I got better and better.

It's just a case of being aware of what you need to be doing with your legs, shoulders, arms etc whilst riding..

Trust me... it's not hard... if you can ride softies you can definetly carve.

Good luck and Happy Trenching!!!:biggthump

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Great news about your 1st day report. You are off to a great start :AR15firin

A few years ago, I started out on a carving board going straight down the hill, flat out straight...I thought that was carving :smashfrea Aside from a speed rush, it wasn't much fun. A couple of years later, I met a few actual carvers in Tahoe and then the learning began.

A few tips for crowds, wait for the run to clear, make symetrical turns while peeking uphill on your toeside turns (heelside too if you can). Scrub speed by staying in your carve across the fall line and riding slightly uphill. Wear a helmet and carve on...

--Hugh

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by the way, about bindings that just releases the boots during the run, how do i prevent this on td2's?

Make sure that they are adjusted correctly for the sole length of the boot. Note that if you adjust them indoors, they may be slightly loose outdoors as the plastic boot will shrink a little in cold weather.

Also check each time that you buckle in that the boot sole is free of snow and the heel bail is correctly seated.

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From the Carver's Almanac http://www.alpinecarving.com/binding_setup.html

Binding Cant/ lift

Technically, cant is the angle at which your foot rotates around the toe/heel axis. Lift can actually have two different meanings depending on the context - riser lift or built-in lift are terms for the overall height of the bindings above the board, whereas lift or heel/toe lift are terms for the angle between the toe/heel axis and the surface of the board. binding lift is ambiguous. For binding cant/lift, we are talking about heel/toe lift. The cant/lift of bindings is partly a personal preference. For GS carving, most carvers use a binding setup where the front foot is canted inward and lifted at the toe, and where the back foot is canted inward and lifted at the heel. The following advice applies to GS carving:

Generally, a more natural carving stance is achieved when bindings provide mostly canting at low binding angles, and mostly lift at high binding angles.

Generally, you will get a more comfortable stance, with less torsion applied to the board, if you have heel lift on the rear binding. The more you use upper-body rotation, the more heel lift you need.

A surf-style stance for alpine carving would use a high binding angle up front, with mostly toe lift, and a low binding angle in back, with less lift and more inward cant.

Select a binding cant/lift so that when you are in a carve, you will be in a stance that minimizes the strain on your legs: from this position, you should be able to shift your weight fore/aft easily. Your back knee should be able to comfortably tuck behind your front knee on a heel side carve, and at the same time apply some flex pressure to the board without any soreness from cuff pressure. Without inward cant/lift, you may be able to apply more flex to the board, but you will burn up your muscles trying to achieve the right stance position.

Cant/Lift can also prevent the board from twisting, a common source of heel side chatter. If you rotate your torso toward the nose of the board, and you have a bent-knee style of carving, your stance will naturally twist the board, causing the nose of the board to carve a tighter turn than the tail. As a result, the board may skid or chatter. Adding heel lift to the rear foot can solve this problem. Also make sure that the bias of each binding is centered: board twist is exacerbated if the front binding is closer to the toe side, and if the rear binding is closer to the heel side.

If you are bowlegged, you will want less inward canting - try either flat on both bindings, or maybe even some outward canting. Vice-versa if you are knock-kneed.

Cant and lift can be adjusted in several ways:

Some bindings, like the Burtons and the Bomber TD1, include fixed cant/lift wedges mounted under the bindings, with the wedges mounted so that their slope is in the direction of the long axis of the board. The bindings are mounted on top of the wedges, and angled, in which case:

If the bindings are mounted at 0º angles (perpendicular to the length of the board), the wedges provide only cant.

If the bindings are mounted at 90º angles (in line with the length of the board), the wedges provide only lift.

If the bindings are mounted between 0º and 90º, the wedges provide both cant and lift, and are therefore called cant/lift wedges. Notice that this setup follows the natural stance convention of having mostly lift for high angles and mostly cant for low angles. The formulas are as follows for a disk slope angle of a and a binding angle of b: Exact Approximate

Cant arctan(tan(a) × cos(b)) a × cos(b)

Lift arctan(tan(a) × sin(b)) a × sin(b)

Example: A 3º cant/lift wedge on the rear binding with a binding angle of 60º provides a cant of 3º× cos(60º) = 1.50º and a lift of 3º× sin(60º) = 2.60º.

Some bindings such as the TD2 have cant/lift wedges that can be mounted so that the slope of the cant disk can be set to any direction, not just the direction of the long axis of the board.

Catek bindings allow the cant, lift, and angle to be independently adjusted.

If you have no clue, start with zero cant/lift on the front binding (flat), and a combination of inward cant and heel lift on the back foot (3º cant/lift wedge on the TDs). Then if you need more, progress with this series of tweaks as follows:

Add toe lift up front

Add inward canting up front

Add heel lift and more inward canting on the rear

The higher-end Burton bindings like the Race Plates and the Physics previously came with a single cant/lift wedge .

Burton previously sold the Unicant, which is adjustable.

In addition to the standard setup that provides inward cant + toe lift on front and inward cant + heel lift on rear, there are two other common variations that may better accommodate the natural flexion of the legs, and also the flex of the board:

Toe lift and no cant on the front binding, and a typical combination of heel lift and inward cant on the rear binding.

Toe lift and no cant on the front binding, and heel lift and no cant on the rear binding.

Certain binding cant/lift settings can also assist the forward weight shift:

For the front binding, ride flat, or use outward canting.

For the rear binding, use more heel lift.

Binding cant/lift can also assist with riding in powder, by adding more toe lift on front to shift your weight back (shifting the back binding further back also helps out in powder).

Extra toe lift on the front foot (without additional canting) has the following affect:

It provides more leverage for your toe side turns.

It lets you pressure the front of the board quicker when entering a turn, but it may make it more difficult to throw your weight forward when entering a turn.

It may allow slightly lower binding angles.

Be aware that binding cants work in concert with the boot forward lean. If you tighten up your boots with a booster strap, it will have the effect of slightly decreasing the boot's forward lean, which will decrease the overall heel lift.

Before twiddling with binding cants, it is best to first set your boot cuff cants to accommodate the shape of your lower leg.

For slalom racing, a lot of people use no cant or lift, because the board is supposed to be a direct extension of your body with no added leverage to risk over-turning.

Racers often like bindings with the lowest built-in lift possible - it's easier to feel the snow and react quicker.

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I did come out of my bindings once, toe bail popped open (that was scary -- good thing it was my front foot with the leash). i moved the heel bail one notch tighter and that fixed everything.

Yeeowch! Actually, if you're riding fast, the front foot popping out is the one that can really @#@!$ you up. Glad to hear that you didn't have any injuries, 'cause that could have had a very unhappy ending.

If there's any other new riders out there, remember that the plastic in hard boots will shrink a little bit when it gets cold. If you set up your bindings in your nice warm living room, they'll probably be a little loose when you get up to the hill. Set 'em tighter at home to account for this, or wait until you're at the hill to make final adjustments.

Oh, and welcome to hard booting!

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Interesting - as a Euro hard boots were ll we had until Burton and co won the fashion wars, so it's interesting hearing about a transition.

I've never had a boot come out of a binding in 20 years of riding hard gear, so I'd tighten those suckers up much more. You really don't want that happening.

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Perhaps this is a silly question, but inward canting refers to canting towards your instep, right? I've got two of those unicant burton things and I was planning on on canting three degrees on front and back.

Yes that's right!! that's not a bad setup to start with...

from what I've seen and read most think a good way to start is ride flat on the front foot (that's flat against the board) and ride with heel lift and inward cant on the back...

It's a way to start... I was given that piece of advice and use it all the time now. Some people run toe lift with inward cant on the front together with the heel lift inward can on the back...

Everyone is different.. it's just a case of experimenting to see what you prefer...and more importantly what's confortable for you.

It will need tweaking for your personal tastes and how your body actually moves around (Biomechanics) but if your having a bad day of it starting out it may not be your level of skill it could be your set up....It was for mine...

All it takes is once tiny little adjustment and bang you're there...

Happy days!!:D :D :D :D

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Interesting - as a Euro hard boots were ll we had until Burton and co won the fashion wars, so it's interesting hearing about a transition.

I've never had a boot come out of a binding in 20 years of riding hard gear, so I'd tighten those suckers up much more. You really don't want that happening.

Funny you said that... waaaaay back in 1988 when I started all we had was hardshells too.... and burton Variplates or something.... must have been ski boots cos they weren't very comfortable at all.....Stiff like nothing else I had ever imagined... but the sport grew...

I think it's a case of proper setup... I've come an absolute cropper on one run at high speed and thought that was it, (Was about to vapourise two skiers) but the boots stayed in.... I think setting them up is a matter of feel... my toe levers are quite tight when they cam over.....

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from what I've seen and read most think a good way to start is ride flat on the front foot (that's flat against the board) and ride with heel lift and inward cant on the back...

I think a more natural "default" position is with toe lift on the front foot, heel lift on the back foot, and no cant for binding angles of about 55 degrees or higher. I would strongly recommend starting there and experimenting. I don't see much reason to cant the rear foot inward unless you are somewhat knock-kneed.

Further reading:

http://www.bomberonline.com/articles/canting.cfm

Hmm, I smell a poll coming on...

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Actually, you want your plate binding to be at the _correct_ tightness, not just ultratight. Overtightening (as I did...once) results in the toe clip not fully engaging, and it can easily get caught/flip off.

By overtightening, I mean having the length of the plates set as though your boot is shorter than it actually is.

But yeah, the first day of hardbooting is an awesome memory to have. The first hard carve that I got stuck in is my most vivid memory of that day (just season before last...).

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a little more on the update.

i'm riding angles of 50-45, which is pretty mild compared to a lot of what i've seen (60+) here. it works out on the ATV though since it's a wide board at 23.5cm. i have zero overhang. i went with jack's recommended setup of 3 degrees of toe and heel lift and zero cant. nothing hurts and i don't feel any pain going through basic motions, so i'm just gonna stick with that. i figure i'm so new at hardbooting that it doesn't matter what setup i use. it'll feel weird and funny no matter what. it's not like i'm going to know whats "right" to begin with. if it's not causing me pain and/or restricting my movements, then it's right for now as far as i'm concerned. once i get used to the feel of this setup and how things are working, then i'll start messing around with all the cant and lift settings. it'll be easier to tell if the adjustments i made are better or worse for me once i get a good feeling for my current setup. that's just my opinion on it as a noob trying plates for the first time.

as for the board i'm using, i think the ATV is great for hardboot learning, it's very forgiving. i was still able to skid when i needed to, which was really helpful with moving around the crowds and all the jibber stuff that was setup. granted, i haven't tried any other alpine boards, but looking at the donek FCI 171 that i have sitting in my room, i can only imagine how different things would be especially with the 18cm waist and way stiffer flex (hand flexing comparison vs. my atv). i probably won't see any action on that till around jan/feb i'm thinking.

the whole coming out of the bindings, very scary. i was going pretty fast in a heelside carve and reaching with my rear hand toward my front foot and getting a pretty deep and low carve when i popped out of it. i just ended up landing on my ass and sliding for a bit. the leash kept it from doing any crazy rotations like that one guy. i'm going to check out my bails and see if there's still some room to tighten them without over tightening.

as far as training drills and exercises are concerned, i say try them all out. i rode something similar to "the norm" on my softy setup for carving, but it definitely feels different on HBs. probably the two moves that gave me the best an earliest noticable results were the ones where i flex my knees to try to reach for my boot cuff with my forward hand while on a toeside carve and reach for my board/front foot with my rear hand while on my heelside. also, arching my back upward away from the snow on toeside really got me lower and deeper. at no point did i try reaching for the snow itself. i know that i'm not at that skill level yet where i should be trying ECs and stuff.

i'm probably one of the younger ones here at 23, but it shows that there's a little bit of a move toward hardbooting as people get tired of freestyling. i also just wanted to try something new.

oh, and i found a negative for hardbooting today after yesterday. i have a little bit of shin bang, but nothing major. one of my shins is a little bit sensitive to touch. i've had shin bang before with my softies, but not after 3-4 hours of riding. it's more like 4 full days of riding.

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the whole coming out of the bindings, very scary. i was going pretty fast in a heelside carve and reaching with my rear hand toward my front foot and getting a pretty deep and low carve when i popped out of it. i just ended up landing on my ass and sliding for a bit. the leash kept it from doing any crazy rotations like that one guy. i'm going to check out my bails and see if there's still some room to tighten them without over tightening.

TD2 Intec conversion Kit + Intec heels. You won't regret it!!

Plus when you goto SES you'll be able to use Fin's bindings as EVERYBODY there is using Intec.

Welcome again to BOL and Happy Carving! :biggthump

P.S. Booster Straps should help your Shin Bang.

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BW, it is great to hear about your new carving experience, I hope you grow to love it like I do. In regards to your shin bang, one thing that helps me is to have the boot buckled up tight against your shin. What you might be perceiving as shin bang might be friction burns from having the top of the boot loose, allowing your shin to move back and forth against the liner.

I hope we can meet up sometime at one of the local resorts, last year there was a whole bunch of us (6 of us) that met at Summit for a day of carving. GdboyTyler can show you some euro carving moves on his Donek. I'm the big guy on the far right, Ray from BOL along with his wife and Erwin (gdboytyler) is second from the left. The guy in the light blue jacket and red/black jacket just happened to be there that day.

summit2323.jpg

Good luck in your quest for the perfect carve, it will come soon enough.

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I think a more natural "default" position is with toe lift on the front foot, heel lift on the back foot, and no cant for binding angles of about 55 degrees or higher. I would strongly recommend starting there and experimenting. I don't see much reason to cant the rear foot inward unless you are somewhat knock-kneed.

If you just had heel lift or toe life, the unicants would just slope along the long axis of the board, right? Because you can rotate the discs between lift and slant, should I go the full 7 degrees? Halfway?

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