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Guest Ixglakian

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Guest Ixglakian

I have been informed by my in-laws that the length of time I take to strap in and my moaning about my aching feet are grounds for the anullment of my marriage.

Therefore I am undertaking to improve my slope-side situation.

Since I primarily enjoy going fast and only occasionally 'doing the bumps' and not flopping about like a fish out of water in the park I have decided to move to hardboot carving.

I have been riding a Burton Craig Kelly 161 since '94 and can't make the softboot/binding thing not kill my feet in a day or two of riding.

I saw a Prior 4WD 159 yesterday and fell in love. However, from reading the posts here I have discovered that I need to learn alot about how to pick a board for myself and my riding preferences.

I ride mostly in Ontario and Quebec so I need something for hardpack and ice, but I do get out West occasionally so I want something that will serve me well in the powder.

I am only 5'8" (or is that 4'20"?) and will be 160 lbs by next season (according to the wife). I have narrow feet that are mondo 23 (Mom says it's not true what they say about small feet) My biggest problem with footwear is my high instep and arch which get crushed by the straps on my soft binding set-up, causing fatigue and a desire to ride the lift in the terrain park beside the kids with the funny cigarrettes.

SO, where do I start?

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boots that fit well!

geez, ever end up someplace before you realized you were going there?

ok, boots that fit well. this can be a majorly huge deal and solve the whole aching foot thing. after freezing my feet i broke down, bought shiny new boots with thermoflex liners, got custom footbeds and paid to have this entire contraption fitted to my feet. this was a steep investment given my tendency to do seasonal work, but it was worth every penny.

and honestly, it doesn't matter what you are riding if your feet hurt or there's slop in the fit.

and with what to ride.... you are going to get a million suggestions about this. you can readily pick up a used board rather cheaply in the classified section here. in my haphazard opinion, somthing in the mid 60's ish should be suitable to get started on.

i'm around 150 and have been having my butt kicked all over the place on a 173 renntiger (which i absolutely love). so, although it is the most stable board i have ever ridden (did i mention my love of this board), it is a bit too much board for me on steeper trails. i can't control it beyond blue squares while on edge for more than a few turns. i know, blah blah blah, practice, refinement, fitness....

but, this is merely a first step for you. so find a decent board that will take you to moderate blues and learn solid technique before landing your own long board. i still hold onto a burton alp that is actually much more suitable for my weight and up until last week would play on a grossly undersized slalom board for fun, on our steepest pitches. i'll admit that nothing compares to the freedom felt when flying downhill arcing out huge gs turns, but technique comes first

heck, it's the austrian way of ski race coaching (rumor has it). they drill into people proper technique, piece by piece, making absolutely certain that it is "perfect" on moderate pitches, before they cut lose and let their pupils chase them for a while, then run gates. they believe that no feedback is necessary at this point because the appropriate technique has ideally been perfected and the folks training are able to determine for themselves if they need to go faster.

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Have you seen our Welcome Center?

There's some info in there about buying a board and getting started, etc. But I'd say that Prior 159 is probably a great place to start.

As for your feet, you've come to the right place. The ultimate combination is a properly sized snowboarding hardboot with heat-moldable liners, and custom orthotic footbeds. After I got all that stuff, I realized I could put on my boots in the morning, buckle them on the first notch, ride all day with great performance and in near perfect comfort, and not touch my boots until the apres beers start flowing.

Sooo much better than crushing your feet in softboots.

Good luck!

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Welcome to our world! It gets better from here ......

Actually, we get this a lot with boot sales. Feet that are killing people in soft boots and they want to try hard boots for comfort reasons. Actually, I am one of those guys as well. I always had "issues" with my soft boots as far as foot pain. But a well fitting hard boot is heaven for me and I can wear it all day and night.

However, the model selection and fit is very important. I would start with the softer flexing models like the SB413, LeMan's, and Suzuka. And get the Moldable liner as it is a dream as far as comfort. Won't go to much into it hear (don't want to sound like an add) but call myself or Michelle at the number below and we can ussually do a great job of fitting you "over the phone".

And you will always get some great advice from the fellow forum members here.

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Guest Ixglakian

I have read through the welcome centre and know that I am ready to begin my carving apprenticeship. I was just concerned about all the talk of short boards being twitchy and too stiff for a smaller rider, perhaps the 4WD does not have those characteristics given its intended use?

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than a 159 but the 4WD is a hell of a board from what I have been hearing

Myself my board of choice for most days is a Coiler AM which is very similar to a 4WD

So yeah it sounds like you are looking in the right direction my board carves as well as most race decks out there but is much much more forgiving

with that small foot of yours would suggest a narrower board, that is something that many will not agree with but for me if a board is too wide its a challenge to turn for me that is beyond 21 CM wide

I wear a 28, some guys don't mind riding low angles in hardboots I however get uncomfortable below 50* and above 62*

but that is just me

as for boots sounds like you have a odd foot so a boot with a thermoflex liner will do it for you there are some great DIY articles around on how to mold the thermoflex liners

for you arch get some custom footbeds made, I promiss you it will be the best $100 that you will ever spend

What ever you do don't cut corners with your footwear, make sure your boots fit well I beleive its the most important part of the interface to have working properly

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I agree with Bob, you should probably look at something in a free carve style (Donek 167?) for their narrower waists. I'm a big strong guy with big (29) feet and found the conversion from 18cm waist race boards to all mountain types with their 21.5cm waists a little tough. For me it wasn't the edge to edge transitions, it was trying to hold the toe side edge off the snow when skidding to a stop.

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I know this isn't the classified section, but I got a pair of boots I'll sell you pretty cheap if you want them. $30 I got them from here a couple of years ago, but they were just a tad too small for me. They are 23.5 I'm in a pair similar to these that I got from EBay Germany last year and I love them. I have a flat arch, so I ride with orthotics and think my boots are the most comfortable boots ever. It's so enjoyable to get these on after I've been in ski boots for a couple of hours.


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Guest Randy S.

Definitely pay attention to the advice above from Fin and AlpineGirl. Good boots rule! I have a high instep but flat feet. Custom footbeds and moldable liners rule! As you'll read elsewhere, I'm no longer a fan of the Raichle boots, but YMMV. I'd worry about a board for your primary riding environment and powder will be secondary. I'm proof that you can ride a skinny board in powder if you need to - just shift the bindings as far rearward as possible and the nose should float.

I always chuckle when people tell me they ride soft boots because they are "more comfortable" than ski boots. Maybe for walking around the lodge, but not on the hill where it counts. My Head boots are super comfy as were my UPS's before them. I hate soft boots. I won't even wear them in powder.

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