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Hardboots & Freeride boards


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I have recently picked up a pair of Deeluxe Track 700Ts and F2 race bindings since I plan to get into alpine equipment next season. I have recently been testing the equipment on the skii hill without a proper alpine snowboard and have been riding at very low stance angles (~30 degrees forward) on a fairly stiff and wide freeride board (2018 K2 Turbo Dream). After putting an absurd amount of padding around my ankle/heel in the liner, plus a heel wedge, I finally have an extremely firm fit for my awkwardly shaped foot.

What I didn't expect is for hard boots to work so well on the aforementioned board. I decided to make the transition early due to literally destroying my softboots (the wire and ratchet lacing has pulled out of the fabric from carving on toe edge and ice), but hard boots feel like I can throw my entire body into putting the board on edge without my boot/binding giving out on me.

I am, however, concered for the lifespan of this snowboard if I continue doing this kind of aggressive riding with hardboots. Entering into a carve from high speeds causes the board to flex a bit more than what I am content with, but I'm able to ride switch and play around with the board a lot (it's pretty easy to 180 on flats).

I'm also interested if anyone on hardboot setups can reliably hit fairly large jumps -- I haven't done anything crazy yet since I just figured out my boot fitting situation, but I can't imagine a hard boot would be very comfortable to land in.

Any input would be great. I would also love to demo some alpine boards, but it doesn't seem to be popular around here (Vancouver, BC) -- although it appears user BlueB is fairly active in the area.

Edited by Jarcode
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Landings are good on hard boots. I survived one particular misjudged jump at Whistler because I had hard boots and a super long board  (Tanker)... 

Get some F2 Carve or Proflex bindings, or even Burton Race Plates for your freeride boards. Keep the F2 Race for a future carving board. 

I hear your pain with ankle padding. I have the same problem... 

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F2 race bindings and track 700 boot are on the stiff side, more for race carving than jumping.

About jumps on hardboots, on youtube look for:  hard attack french snowboard.

Old but still great, one of my all times favorite carving video.  Wait after the dogs...

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Thanks for the feedback. I'll probably keep riding on this board for the remainder of the season with hardboots and I'll see what I can pull off in the park when I'm not bombing runs.

As for the F2 race bindings, is there a good reason not to use it on a freeride board other than stiffness -- will I break it or something? I'm pretty content with my boot/binding situation (in fact, I just want a stiffer board!)

Anything on the possibility of demoing a race board around Vancouver?

Edited by Jarcode
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No, use them if you like them. Just the other bindings I suggested have more lateral flex, so better for freeride/freestyle. 

Apparently, someone local is selling a huge stash of older alpine boards, on Facebook, really cheap. Maybe have a look? 

Other then that, you can borrow a board from me, but I might not be back on the hill until April. 

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3 minutes ago, BlueB said:

No, use them if you like them. Just the other bindings I suggested have more lateral flex, so better for freeride/freestyle. 

Apparently, someone local is selling a huge stash of older alpine boards, on Facebook, really cheap. Maybe have a look? 

Other then that, you can borrow a board from me, but I might not be back on the hill until April. 

Is it possible for you to PM me some contact information for this person selling boards on Facebook? I haven't used that site in ages.

What mountain do you usually go to? I would also be interested in trying out one of your boards.

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4 minutes ago, BlueB said:

I don't have it... Few local instructors found it and bought few. You'll have to search for it... 

I ride at Cypress. 

I can head up to Cypress during April on a weekend. I've been riding Grouse all season since I have a pass there, and have been meaning to try riding other mountains anyway. Message me about meeting up if you ever feel nice enough to let me try one of your boards!

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Not sure how big you are or how hard you are on equipment, but I pulled the inserts out of a stock freeride board when I started experimenting with it last year. It took about 10 days of riding on it for it to go. Until I did that, everything was great on it (landings from jumps/drops included). 

If you are hard on equipment, I'd suggest a freeride board with hardboot inserts (Donek Incline would be a good one to check out). My experience with Donek freerides and hardboots has been fantastic, and I'd expect all other hardboot oriented companies to be similar. Otherwise, just ride your usual board and expect that the board may wear out a bit faster. 

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I am either lazy or simply don't like switching boots, but in either case, I ride my Rachie boots with BTS (blue, blue) on my powder board as well. (LibTech Dark Knife) I have never had issues and even run duck 15/15 to ride switch. The only harm I ever see is my reputation with my friends as hardboots duck tends to make them facepalm and look away...

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13 hours ago, TVR said:

I ride my Rachie boots with BTS (blue, blue) on my powder board as well.

Almost Ditto as TVR here -  On my Pow board - Moss PQ60 I ride (a softer set of hard boots) Deluxe 325's + BTS  Blue,Blue with Bomber TD3 Sidewinder Step In bindings at 55/50 (don't start!) with 3/3 cant disks 

I have a stiffer set of boots, Deluxe Track 700 for my All Mtn. work board - Swoard Dual II 168 and for my hard charging carving boards, Swoard Gen 4 175M and Coiler EC SS 177 ...............all on TD3 SW SI's with BTS Red/Blue with 3/6 cant disks. 

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howdy Jarcode

when you amass a quiver it will be hard to wear out A board... riding many boards will improve your skills...

carve on your softboots try hardboots, it's the same motion... understand your edge and sidecut and it's

all body motion... and I was to never again give advice to anyone here on bomber... lucky you...

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On 3/11/2018 at 4:38 PM, moose said:

Not sure how big you are or how hard you are on equipment [...]

I am fairly tall (6'3"), light (~175 lbs), young (20) and can ride quite recklessly as a result.

As I mentioned in the initial post, I have damaged softboots and I also routinely strip plastic off of the straps for softboot bindings due to them slipping under pressure, or clamping them down too tight. I switched to hardboots primarily because I can't tolerate softboots anymore, and I'm really enjoying the switch.

On another note, I got extremely lucky and ran into someone on the same chair as me who was willing to sell his 184cm Coiler board. I'm going to be trying it out next weekend so I can really make a direct comparison.

Thanks for all the input.

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