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Board and Boot Recommendation?


AK in PA
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The Oldest Equipment thread got me thinking about new gear again. I've been riding since '90, took somewhat of a hiatus for a few years, but have been getting back into it again. My delaminating PJ and oversized, delapidated boots really need to be replaced. For the last year, I've poured over Bomber and the Carver's Almanac. If I were to spring for new equipment right now, I'd go with TD2 step in's without hesitation. I like their simple, yet bombproof design. (My old Burton raceplates give me enough fits when I have to remove them to retighten the cant plate.)

I don't have a clue what I should get in the way of boots, though. I've been riding in an oversized pair of Blax/Dalbello boots for years. My feet have almost pulled out of them in the middle of a carve more often than I care to remember, even though I have them jury-shimmed to death. I've had the buckles replaced more times than I can count. I just measured my foot @ 10.25" heel to big toe; times 2.54 cm/in that puts me at a hair over 26.0 mondo. (My current boot liners are marked 27.5-28.5.) I have wide feet and ALWAYS have a tough time finding footwear wide enough and/or with a boxy enough toe to fit me.

Boardwise, I've kind of had my heart set on 175-ish Donek or Coiler, but I'm open to suggestions. I'm 5' 6.5" and weigh around 180#. I only ride narrowish, eastern resorts. My PJ excels in tight turns at moderate speeds, but I have folded the nose up in softer snow, the edge slips out on ice, and it doesn't handle fast GS turns on steep runs as well as I'd like. So, I want something that can handle bigger GS turns better and can hold an edge on ice (so common here), and won't fold up when I'm fortunate enough to ride on something that resembles actual snow. I like the lively feel of my PJ, but would I be better served with something damp for ice?

And finally...Pricewise, if given a choice, would I be better served buying great new boots and a cheap used board off ebay (such as the Oxygen Protons I so often see on there), or would I be better to get cheap boots and a great board?

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Sounds like my old setup. Definitely time to upgrade and I guarantee you will see your riding improve to the next level. On bindings you can't go wrong. The bombers are a great set of bindings. As far as boots I would lean more to the Heads. They seem to fit a foot that's wide and has lots of volume to it, which it sounds like you definitely have. They're cheap here, but only for a couple more days. Also, out east the starting gate has them too and seemed willing to negotiate on price when I was in the market. My opinion is the whole set up is important, from performance, safety, and comfort stand points. Both coiler and donek are great boards. I don't think you could go wrong with either. From what I heard from pretty reliable source, the doneks are made by a free carver so it has that type of feel to it, where as the coiler's are made by a racer so they have that feel to it. Donek's have a pretty lively feel to them and will do great on the ice coast, but so would a coiler. You can sometimes find used one's here on bomber or free carve.com Congratulations and welcome back!

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I tired Deeluxe/Raichle and Head boots in store, and if you have wide feets, go for the Head. I have wide feet, and sometimes finds my Burton Furnace a little narrow (depends on the days). I heard the UPS/UPZ boots are wider also, but never tried them.

Once you're in good boots, the board is less important. Imagine riding a good board in bad boots.

Derf

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Get thermoflex liners. If you absolutely have to cut cost somewhere, I'd say it's better to have properly fitting boots than it is to have your dream board.

As for boards it's probably too late to get a Coiler for this season. Doneks are great, as are Prior, though I think Priors are more expensive. Other good board for getting back into the sport on narrow trails would be the F2 Silberpfeil 168 or 172, or the Volkl RennTiger 168 or 173. F2 and Volkl are sold here.

-Jack

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