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Hard boots Vs. Ski boots (by a hardcore ski booter)


BlueB
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My transition from ski boots, well, I kind of hated it... I know that my new

LeMans is the softest of new Deeluxe line, but they didn't have my number in

Suzukas or Indys. I can see liking the Lemans for less than perfect snow and woods, way easier to wiggle around. But even at hard cranked and locked they are way softer than my Nordicas = no edge hold on steep and "falling" forward and chatter. Funny enough they were great fun on flatter slopes, I felt that I could flex board more than on ski boots!?! Someone please explain this?

Then, my 6* TD cants are fine for ski boots, but wrong for hard boots - I

ended straightening rear lean to 5 and forward one to 4. And I didn't mold

them - what a mistake, my feet turned into pulp after 2 hours...

As for the ride technique, I could feel that a lot quieter upper body is required, maybe even more angulation required, too. With ski boots I was able to just drop into the turn, dig in and rail. Somehow I learned to compensate for unforgiving stiffness, but I gained on edge hold. Heel sides were pain sometimes. Now with these puppies, there's quite a bit of chatter, and heel feels better than toe side. Board felt torsionally unstable, too?

I know, I will dial into them and lean how to ride them. Stiffer board might actually feel better than floppy little Renntiger? I should try Generics next time.

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without modification, perfect fitting and cateks really help so you can fine tune to make up for the lack of flex

I've also broken many buckles off ski boots because I think most ski boots are not desinged to handle the forward pressure that we can put on them because any ski binding would of released with the forward forces we put on them in a normal turn

plus, they are ****ing long

after awhile you might like the flex but I never liked the older style of raichle boots, the indy and suzuka are alright but the le mans are too soft and have some issues that made them a not so great boot IMHO, still better than a ski boot though

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Never tried hardbooting without proper boots, but i do know if i was using my plugs i would have no chance surviving, i need almost full foward lean on my back boot
I don't have plug boots but I do own a pair of Technica Icon Race boots and I find them impossible to use on a board. My old Rossignol ski boots worked if I left the top two buckles loose but no way on the Icons.

Maybe I'm a bit of a wimp but I even find my Head Strato Pros a little stiff when leaning forward. My old Raichles (324?) were more flexible.

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Perhaps you shouldnt bother with snowboard boots if you like ski boots much better. I know i would never use ski boots because i get very uneasy with more stiffness, and i think most riders on this site appreciate the softness (in comparison) of snowboard hardboots. If you like stiff and dont like the snowboard boots, i cant think of any reason to convert

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I ride in ski boots, The dalbello Krypton pro with the gray (softer tounge).I weigh 165 and keep my rear cuff loser than when skiing. They work great for me. But I swap out to skies quit often when things get crowded.So it's a very easy change but I would not ride in them if they did not perform. I do like them better than my snowboard hardboots by far. I'm sure there are some hardboots that I would love out there but I just haven't felt the need to seek them out.

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Seems what I'm hearing here and in the tech advice about the negatives with ski boots are "too stiff," not to mention longer for toe drag problems. I got back into carving this season and couldn't find boots for less than $350 new, so I bought a pair of "soft" ski boots to get by with for now. By soft- they have two buckles on top and just laces below, all in a hard shell. Anyone have opinions on how I might get along with these- what my expectations should be?

Red

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At $495 for boots and already $450 on board and bindings, I'd have been holding out for several more years... or divorced. I didn't want anyone else's old boots either. A used board I can live with, but sweaty old boots? No way. I recognize that the carving market is small, competiton nil and the entry cost keeps a lot of wanna-bes out. I'll deal with less-than-perfect boots and some chafing this season so I can feel the speed and grip again.

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I know people are going to say something to the effect of "but, I like ski boots" or they were cheaper or whatever but there is a reason there are snowboard specific hard boots

would you hike the AT or the PCT in a pair of Air Jordans?

Sure you could but you could also ride a CR 250 on a oval track against your buddies on street bikes, it does not makes sense though.

my point being is that unless you really know what you're doing you and you have special needs a snowboard specific boot is the right tool for the job.

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I generally do not have much problems with stiffness of ski boots, kind of like it with my ski background (plus I switch back and forth often). The only conditions where I do not like them is steep tight trees - got really frustrated other day when I couldn't follow Dave* trough the woods and last powder stashes. That triggered the try out of LeMans, and I'm sure they are great AM boots. I'll make an effort to adjust to them, if not I'll look for a stiffer model.

As for my ski Nordicas, they are an older model (many older ski boots seemed to be good for plates, many even had RABs at the back, very similar to Indy / Stratos and had split in rear vertical surface between cuff and heel). My Nordicas even have little click-click-click adjuster for forward leen, and forward flex is controled by tightness of the 2nd top buckle. Aft flex control is a problem and heel sides are bitch to feather. I set the cuff buckles quite loose for bumps/chop/powder (yes I ride pow in these, too), and quite stiff for smooth hard pack/ice. They are short compared to most other ski boots of that Mondo point - I had to shorten the bindings just by 5mm to switch to LeMans. It is the slanted cut of toe/heel blocks that make hard boots look shorter, but if you are riding without overhang it doesn't really matter. Now, they are getting old, especially the liners so I should look into something to replace them. I have heard already of Kryptons being good alternative, I whish I could try them...

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Chatter almost always isn't cause by the flex of the boot. It's cause by flawed technique.

Fair comment. I accept that my technique could have fallen appart with different interface. Although, it was getting better and better trough the day. Playing with the leen angles also helped.

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Many years ago I used ski boots for snowboarding because of financial problems. I thought that if I switch often between snowboard and ski I need only one pair of boots and the difference is not significant. Bad technique and some discomfort was the consequence.

Once I tried snowboard boots for two runs. Next day I sold my barely used ski boots and bought a new pair of snowboard boots. I will never ever board in ski boots no matter what. Better skiing or softbooting but hardbooting in unmodified ski boots... No, thanks.

Ski boots tend to have only moderate forward lean. You can flex them hard but still keep the legs straight. That is bad for rear leg. Even Indys allow more forward lean and flex than the softest ski boots.

BlueB,

If the animated gif in your profile reflects your current style I think your rear leg is too straight. It can be easily fixed with snowboard boots.

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I started on hard boarding boots (UPS) but found them too soft and switched to ski boots (Nordica GP Race or whatever the real stiffies were). Eventually I switched to snowboard boots - Rachlie 225s then Indies when the former wore out. Working from memory...

Ski boots are good and you can get any lean/ stiffness you line. People will tell you stuff about which direction they're supposed to flex in... that may be so but to me it was irrelevant: they all work. The main thing with the ski boots was that once we got onto decent bindings with a standard interface (this is pre-Intec days), you could not get a good solid connexion with a ski boot DIN sole. So you'd have this killer stiff race ski boot which would wiggle about in the binding. Not a lot, but just enough to be annoying.

So as soon as boadring hard boots got hard enough, which was probably around the same time we let the bagg-pants guys go their own way, I switched back to the Rachlies. They were softer, but they mated perfectly with the bindings, and then when Intec came along that interface got even more solid.

Differences... nothing you can't cope with. You may need to adjust your lifts or whatever to get balanced, but that's about it.

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If the animated gif in your profile reflects your current style I think your rear leg is too straight. It can be easily fixed with snowboard boots.

This GIF is from 3 years ago, one of my last runs on soft boots / twin-tip board. Kind of lazy to redo my avatar...

From the other hand, I sometimes do catch myself riding with too straight rear leg. Best fix is to concentrate on technique, but lean can be easily adjusted on many ski boots, including mine. Even if not, one could always put more heel lift, right?

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My transition from ski boots, well, I kind of hated it... I know that my new

LeMans is the softest of new Deeluxe line, but they didn't have my number in

Suzukas or Indys. I can see liking the Lemans for less than perfect snow and woods, way easier to wiggle around. But even at hard cranked and locked they are way softer than my Nordicas = no edge hold on steep and "falling" forward and chatter. Funny enough they were great fun on flatter slopes, I felt that I could flex board more than on ski boots!?! Someone please explain this?

I made this same transition a couple of years ago, and prior to that was a die hard ski boot raichle flexon user; have had a few pairs of snowboard boots, but always felt they were too soft.

Thing about ski boots is you can just lean against the cuff, and round you go onto the toe side. But with the snowboard specific boot, it is much softer, so when you do that, the boot flexes away, then the board doesn't go up on edge, and you think, these are junk I cannot turn anymoere.

But....stick at it, and think about riding more like softboots, where you kind of lock your calf muscles and that makes sure your board is rolling up onto the edge under your toes; heelside is much the same. And for me it was only probably 2 days, and I started to think; ok this isn't as precisely good in perfectly groomed snow as ski boots, but in everything else, it is just a lot less work. I also had prepared the boots but altering the RAB mechanism to stand a bit more upright; had indys with the race tongues; to emulate a ski boot - however now I would probably not mind riding a much softer boot than the indy.

Stick at it, try to get your lower calf muscles working to lock the ankle on toe sides (sorry I cannot explain it well, but someone else can) and you might start to enjoy it a bit more.

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Due to budget I have used Technica Icons the past 4 years. I had no problem but haven't had the budget to try any board boots. This year I scraped together what I could and bought those awesome flourescent boots you see in my icon :lol:. Ski boots worked fine for me, I had fun on them, and still had people on the lifts eyeing my trenches. After joining this board, I decided to try out snowboard boots mainly because all of the negative feedback about ski boots. This many people can't all be wrong.

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.. particularly with hard sb boots so expensive. I just warmed them up and coated them with black, then a second coat next day. I pulled all the buckles off first and covered the hardware. Now and then I'd get a scratch that exposed my "softer side" to the fashion patrol, but otherwise worked OK.

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