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hard boot suggestions 2021


Chisolm W.
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I've been riding a carving board for 20 years.  I have an old Burton carving board, and old burton boots.  both about 20 years old, i don't know the models off hand.

I've been researching new boots, looks like the main options available are Deeluxe, and UPZ, both in various models.  I'm not a racer, but i want to be able to get as low to the snow as possible on turns.  that's what makes me smile at night.

my current boots are uncomfortable in places.  they fit well, but they pressure my ankles and shins in certain turns.  The Deeluxe 325 looks like a comfortable option, but i worry about it not being stiff enough for steep carving?  but i'm afraid the stiff racing boots will be too much for me, or is that my imagination? again, speed isn't my goal, it's sweeping, wide turns with arm on the snow.

 

any suggestions would be great! and thank you in advance...   

 

Also, any suggestions on new snowboards that would fit my style?  I'm also not sure what to seek there either.  I'm guessing the stiffer, the better?  I haven't bought any new equipment in 20 years, so it's time for me to splurge on expensive new stuff vs. used. :)

 

Thanks again,

-Chisolm

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If you have a good boot fitter then either company can work.  I have a very wide  forefoot and narrow heel yet contrary to common wisdom my Raichles (now Deeluxe) work for me. Punching out the shell and some modern heat moldable liners did the trick. 
 

For stiffness, my boots are softer than 325s but they work for me. Other people prefer stiffer. Personally I think the 325s would be fine for recreational carving. 
 

As far as boards go I wouldn’t say stiffer is necessarily better. Modern free carving boards are softer than a lot of the old boards but work better. There are several companies building custom carving boards for reasonable money.  If you had a chat with Bruce at Coiler or Sean at Donek either one could help you get the right board under your feet. People are saying good things about Thirst, too. 

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Welcome back!  You are in for a treat, boards have come a long way.  If you need a board right now, look to Donek or Prior.  Thirst is also popular in the Rockies but I don't know their availability.  For Donek, you probably want a metal Freecarve.  Prior, FLC or WCRM.  Either way, boards with Titanal (aluminum alloy) construction are smoother and easier to ride.  Coiler is awesome but there is a waiting list.  Unless you have small feet, avoid boards less than 20cm wide.

I thought Deeluxe was working for me until I tried UPZ.  Much better heel hold-down for me.  This is a fairly common experience, but ymmv.  upzboots.com.

Bomber bindings are nearly indestructible.  A good place to start with cant/lift disc setup is with toe lift in the front binding and heel lift in the back binding, and no cant.  If using Deeluxe boots I recommend 3 degree discs.  If UPZ, get one 6 degree disc and one 3 degree, and use the 6 for the toe lift.

F2 Race Titanium bindings are also popular.  They come with one lift kit, buy another.

If you are on a budget we have classifieds.  Good luck, let us know how it goes.

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1 hour ago, Chisolm W. said:

Also, which UPZ model are most people using my style using?

Currently the only boots you can buy from UPZ are the RC12, XC12, and RCR.  Either the RC12 or XC12 will do great.  You probably don't want the stiffer RCR, it's for racers.

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I like my .951 (mountain slope) boots, particularly 100 range for your weight, height and being non racer. It can be as stiff as 120 by using stiffer spring with stiffer tongue or as soft as RC8 with softer spring and tongue. Changing spring and tongue takes matter of minutes. The best in the business.
 

I also have intuition liner with custom footbed to custom fit to my feet and this is my 4th season wearing it. I have never been happier. 

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5 hours ago, Alexey said:

.951 with 120 stiffness have different plastic cuff & shell. not only change spring & tongues.
.951 with 130 stiffness (RD) have different plastic cuff & shell but tongues from 120 model (120 stiffness).

 

I am not saying 100 can replace or same as the 120 and obviously they have different plastic stiffness for 100/120/130 but I was just saying 100 can be “as close to” stiffer model for 145lbs person. I have both 100 and 120 tongue, green/blue/red/yellow spring that I played with on my 100. OP was worried that some boots maybe too stiff or too soft for certain situation, hence, being able to play around and testing it himself is the best way to get an idea. 

Edited by yamifumi
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I just found out the Donek shop is 35 minutes from my house! (my location says Vail, but that's where I ride, I lived there in my 20's and bartended, and still have a place there, but I live in Denver) I'm going to set up a time to go meet Sean in person to set up a custom board design, and check out their shop, which will be super cool!  I'll take pictures and post them here, if he allows me.

 

After the boot advice, with my skinny heel, I think I'm going to go with the UPZ XC12.  They seem like a good balance of stiffness, flex, and comfort.  More suited to my free carving style, than a stiff racer style.  It's not 100% yet, but that's the way I am leaning.

 

The mountain slope seems a little too racer oriented, plus, I'm not a giant fan of the yellow color.

 

Oh, and looked for the model i currently have, it's a Burton Factory Prime 163, circa 1999.

 

My boots are Burton, but there isn't a model name on them.  has three buckles, a power strap, and the tongue isn't completely centered.  That's all I got on that description. Lol!

 

Today, I had four different 20-something yr old lift ops ask if my board was as fun as it looks, and i even had one say "sir, what is that?"  He didn't even call it a snowboard, cause he wasn't quite sure..! hahahaha!

Edited by Chisolm W.
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2 hours ago, Neil Gendzwill said:

One other downside of the Mountain Slope boots is that they don’t support stepin bindings. With Deeluxe or UPZ you have that option. I love my stepins. 

This is a big deal for those on short hills. In/out every few minutes is infinitely nicer with step-ins. It's nice to step in on the chair ramp and zip right into the run.

If I only rode actual mountains, I'd probably go with traditional toe clip style as it's a simpler system with fewer moving parts. 

Mountain Slope previously said they're working on a step-in system. 

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6 hours ago, Neil Gendzwill said:

One other downside of the Mountain Slope boots is that they don’t support stepin bindings. With Deeluxe or UPZ you have that option. I love my stepins. 

True, however I thought this was going to be a big deal for me but it turns out it's just not.  In UPZs I had to stop and buckle my 3 lower buckles at the top of each run anyway.  In Deeluxe, I'd have to buckle the ankle buckle.  I don't have to mess with buckles on my .951s, so doing just the one toe clip is actually saving me time, lol.  And it's not like step-ins are instant-in every time all the time.  They require confirmation.  And right around 32F/0C they can be a PITA with ice buildup.

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On 12/4/2020 at 8:19 AM, Alexey said:

.951 absolutely unsuitable as 1st hard boots. Very big lever by upper plastic and bindings snag points.
 

Sorry, what do you mean with your post? 


We have many beginners, junior athletes, and people coming back into the sport who are very happy with the boots. 

We also have snowboard schools using our boots. 

Edited by Puhutes
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On 12/4/2020 at 1:36 PM, Jack M said:

True, however I thought this was going to be a big deal for me but it turns out it's just not.  In UPZs I had to stop and buckle my 3 lower buckles at the top of each run anyway.  In Deeluxe, I'd have to buckle the ankle buckle.  I don't have to mess with buckles on my .951s, so doing just the one toe clip is actually saving me time, lol.  And it's not like step-ins are instant-in every time all the time.  They require confirmation.  And right around 32F/0C they can be a PITA with ice buildup.

I totally agree with this and I used to unbuckle my UPZ before getting on the lift but I never unbuckle my 951 and I even forget to unbuckle them when I am drinking beer at the Après. in addition, it is the most consistent flex in all temperature in the business. 
 

At first I was complaining about the cost as the cost may be higher than others but I have not had any issue with the boots and this is my 4th season. Extra parts are easy to obtain from them if needed and well worth the $$$. 

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One other point for non-step-ins... I once tried to downsize from 28 to 27 in Deeluxe, which are two different shell sizes.  It would have worked great and increased performance if not for the Intec cable causing intolerable pain in the sides of my heels.  Had to sell those boots and go back to 28s.

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7 minutes ago, Jack M said:

One other point for non-step-ins... I once tried to downsize from 28 to 27 in Deeluxe, which are two different shell sizes.  It would have worked great and increased performance if not for the Intec cable causing intolerable pain in the sides of my heels.  Had to sell those boots and go back to 28s.

Heel pain can be a problem with the conventional placement of the cables on the outside of the heel. Personal experience of swapping the heels so that the cable route is on the inside made my boots comfortable again.

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