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Committing to hardbooting, advice please...


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I've learned a lot after lurking on this site for a few years. Now that I'm ready to jump into the hardbooting pool, I'd appreciate some specific advice with respect to my "gateway" board/binding/boot set up.

Some background first: I've been boarding for nearly 25 years, but have had little to no alpine experience, other than riding a Burton M8 from 90-96 (with Sorel Caribou boots, no less :freak3:). I don't do parks/jumps, etc, but simply love to carve. I'm no armpit dragger like some of the awesome pics/vids on this site, but I can come reasonably close.

I've been riding three-strap soft bindings since day one. I once rented a hard boot set up (Raichle boots with step in bindings) on an alpine board when visiting Switzerland ('99 or so) and loved it, but with most retail shops in the US no longer stocking alpine gear, I got lazy and just stuck with the soft boot/3 strap set up. After the M8, rode a Supermodel 174 until last year, when I felt it was getting too soft.

So late last season I picked up a Ride Yukon 172 Wide. I run no more than 45 degree angles, so I needed a wider board.While the Ride is no alpine/all mountain board in the Prior/Donek sense of the word, it's markedly stiff (about the same as my old M8, IIRC). It's also got a roughly 9 meter sidecut radius and a 135 edge length (I prefer shorter radius for the narrow trails in the Northeast where I ride). With my current 3-strap/soft boot set up, it's a blast to ride. But I'd like to push into the hardboot realm without having to pop for a new board for now.

For bindings, I have a pair of what I believe (based on the information in the bindings section of the Carver's Almanac) are Burton Performance bale bindings with the medium stiffness (blue) pads.

For boots, HSP's are on the way. They are probably more stiff than my recreational carving tendencies require, but I could not locate any other brands that carried 31.5's in my price range (and I believe the Deeluxes run a bit small?).

So, to my questions:

1) Will this set up (Yukon 172, Burton Performance, with HSP's) be suitable for a recreational carver? Anything I need to be concerned about (e.g. are the HSP's likely to overpower the board)? Any suggestions?

2) Can anyone confirm if the bindings (pics attached) are indeed Burton's Performance series? I bought them on eBay about 4 years ago, so am not sure. I read in the same section of the Carver's Alamanac that the Burton "Carrier" bindings are to be avoided due to breakage. Want to be sure these aren't Carriers.

pics of board and plate bindings below in case helpful.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post.



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Those are indeed Burton Performance bindings.

They are OK for lighter riders and occasional "bluebird day" carvers, but the adjustment tabs are only made of plastic and will not stand up to hard use.

I am 140lbs soaking wet, but charge hard, and have broken these bindings in the tie bails and adjustment tabs over the years.

Keep a close eye on them after every session....


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Board and boots sound fine. You may overpower the board, but give it a try.

I'd be very hesitant to use those bindings. :nono: OK for kids, not so much for us grown-ups.

If $$ is an issue, I'd try to find some good used bindings here on BOL. Bomber, Catek, F2, Snowpro would all be better choices than that (sort of in that order of preference IMO). Even Burton plates that are metal would be safer.

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that board is incredibly wide, get something narrower. around 27 cm or so. that said, with softboots yukons do rail alright, mine did anyway.

the bindings are probably fine to start with, I had the same bindings and did not break them but it's also a matter of time, plastic does not age well.

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25 year or 99 year on board does not lend to proficiency in the transfer...

You have spent money for Yukon, and have attachment to board. Take a step back and aim for proficiency and understanding with what you intend to accomplish with the hardboard.

There are many here who will help to offer free use of gear suitable to give you a better frame of reference with your goals...yes, because you should enjoy the feel of a true cut turn before you amass your dream of set up..does that make any sense?

Once you have Alpine board under foot, my next suggestion would be hockey stop on various pitch..control, and learning what has happened under foot and with still upperbody down fall line when edge engage. This is not easy and it is hard work to devote you time and energy to feel. but your body habits of 25 year sliding and slipping will be your big adversary for Alpining...

yes, because this unlearning and then learning of body position will be the best time you can hope to remember on a snowboard when all the dust settles! Have fun, and if you trust...you are on a great track with lots of suprise treat.

but save all the techo cant and gadget and gloss until you have a hint of what your body needs to do on Alpine board.

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Thanks for the input everyone. Sounds like the "gateway to hardbooting" setup I plan will be ok for the short term, but longer term I need to get more robust bindings (didn't anticipate that, but that's why I asked the experts:D ) and a proper AM board (this I knew, but can't drop the coin on this right now).

As for width, really depends on if I can develop a technique for anything more than the 45/35 I ride today. I ride a 31.5 Mondo boot, with 6 degree cant on the rear, so I'd need some extreme angles on a narrow board to avoid toe drag. Will see how it goes.

110/220...I totally get what you're saying. Appreciate the input. While I do carve pretty well, and can get decently low to the snow, I think to get to the next level I need to up the game on my equipment. I figured I'd start with the boots first, based on the info I gleaned from reading on this forum and the Carver's Almanac. If the boots feel right, next will be board and bindings. I only get the chance to board 10 times a year (busy job, lots of travel, 2 pre-teen kids), so likely this will have to wait until next season.

Thx again all.:biggthump

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are you sure you wear a 31.5?? are you a size 14 street shoe?

if you are 200lb or less those bindings will be ok on a softer board(such as you have) for a begginer, then you can move them to a powder board.

Dont forget the rear cant.

thanks DB. Good to have that insight too. Yes, I am a 14 street shoe, 6' 3", and weigh 190lbs. I had to buy the boots (online) without trying them on (no retailers here in NJ carry them), so am hopeful they will fit. I plan to take them to a local bootfitter to get them properly molded.

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I started riding hard boots on a stiff soft boot board as well, and while it eased the transition into alpine, getting on a real alpine board was a game changer. Do yourself a favor, and don't stay on the Yukon too long.

Just have your bootfitter double check to make sure your boots aren't too big.

With feet that big, you'll need a wider waist. Fortunately, both Donek and Coiler can make a custom sized board for you at no extra charge which will accommodate your foot size.

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Just have your bootfitter double check to make sure your boots aren't too big.

With feet that big, you'll need a wider waist. Fortunately, both Donek and Coiler can make a custom sized board for you at no extra charge which will accommodate your foot size.

Thanks, I once tried 31.0 Burton Reactors and they were too small. Hoping the HSP's will do the trick. I actually was thinking of a custom board if my hardbooting venture this season works decently. Mainly because I prefer a shorter radius + wider width than most alpine boards have. Thanks again.

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