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Walk Mode for Riding?


OldZag
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This is a legit question. Also, I read the "Quads Driving Me Nuts" thread. 

I am aging and the legs are just not the same anymore.  When I can stand up straight, there is much relief of the quads. If I got boots that allowed a "walk mode", could I ride in it? i.e., could I ride, without any forward cant, but pretty much straight up? 

Does walk mode lock? If so, I should be able to lean forward when needed, putting some pressure on the front edge it would seem. But if it does not lock and is flexible, how would I get pressure to the front edge? 

I am not hardcore rider (obviously), just an aging cruiser who likes to make nice turns. 

I have been thinking about AT-style boots, with walk mode. 

What say you?  Thanks. 

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You can do it (I do in really soft snow) and you get frontside pressure through the soles of your feet using some of the residual stiffness of the hinge and some muscularity in the lower leg. People say you can break the boots but I weigh 215 and haven't broken mine that way.

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I freeride in walk mode, Head/Dalbelo/Blax boots. There is more muscle burn when hard charging in walk mode. 

Something is telling me that your binding setup might not be ideal... 

 

I had AT boots that had too much forward lean even when in walk mode. I had to mod the front one to lock in more upright position. 

Edited by BlueB
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I had several bad crashes (very entertaining for viewers 🙂) with lots flips and rolls, even broke a shoulder like that LOL. One crash due to overloading the nose, others because of the hitting soft patches of snow (under what looked like hard packed groomed surface)  in very high speed turns ... My legs around ankles were hurting for several days after such crashes, but in "walk mode", I am sure,  ankles would be simply broken... I do not advice to ride in walk mode ever.

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Depends very much on the boot how rideable walk mode is. E.g. I ride my deeluxe always in walk mode, but they have decent stiffness in walk mode and a limit on forward flex.

You need support from the cuff to pressure your edge(unless at very high angles), so you need something with sufficient forward stiffness. 

It seems you want to ride upright rather than in walk mode, which is perfecrly possible. I rode in upright rear entry ski boots for a few years late 80's.

I suggest getting a spring system and adjust that to an upright position. That would still allow carving nice, even deep, turns with a very relaxed ride. The drawback is that you need good conditions. Bump absoprtion would suffer a lot. But cruising down nice wide groomers will be wonderful.

Edited by TimW
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Well now that you've been told not to and to do i suggest you do what works for you. Like most thing the right tool for the right job. Conditions often dictate the boots the board and the bindings. If you have invested the time to dial in your setup to the conditions you ride in it shouldn't take too much tweaking to get a comfortable boot position. If you race you usually want a very firm interface otherwise you need something that's  comfortable for a sustained period on the slopes. Look back and make sure your setup has the basics. Stance distance, toe and or heel lift, cant angle etc. Carpet carve and pinpoint the problems. If your joints are showing their age maybe a plate can help fight fatigue by smoothing out the bumps for you. I ride my Skwal with Scarpa AT boots my alpine boards with hard boots. Rear is always locked but depending on conditions i often have fronts in walk mode. Perhaps like you i'm not looking to defy death i'm looking to enjoy the ride. Knock kneed pidgeon toed ,bow legged short or tall all require  different settings. Nothing wrong with mixing up you boots if it works for you !

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I was riding at unlocked AT boots (Dynafit, Scarpa) for years. Sometimes only back foot sometimes both. It depended on condition. On 0 degree boots which are original Raichle with sole for ski binding I had Drupi spring system with soft springs. I just liked a some flex in boots. By the way I am Ladia but I am not able to lock to page as well as return any e mails. I still have Coiler for sale. So if you wrote me use my personal e mail Ladiat @gmail.com. Have a nice season everybody. I don’t expect be on slope this winter and who knows if ever.

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3 hours ago, lowrider said:

Well now that you've been told not to and to do i suggest you do what works for you. Like most thing the right tool for the right job. Conditions often dictate the boots the board and the bindings. If you have invested the time to dial in your setup to the conditions you ride in it shouldn't take too much tweaking to get a comfortable boot position. If you race you usually want a very firm interface otherwise you need something that's  comfortable for a sustained period on the slopes. Look back and make sure your setup has the basics. Stance distance, toe and or heel lift, cant angle etc. Carpet carve and pinpoint the problems. If your joints are showing their age maybe a plate can help fight fatigue by smoothing out the bumps for you. I ride my Skwal with Scarpa AT boots my alpine boards with hard boots. Rear is always locked but depending on conditions i often have fronts in walk mode. Perhaps like you i'm not looking to defy death i'm looking to enjoy the ride. Knock kneed pidgeon toed ,bow legged short or tall all require  different settings. Nothing wrong with mixing up you boots if it works for you !

I'm the opposite, back foot usually in walk mode unless hard carving with raichle/deelux; hundreds of days over the decades in serveral SB versions. Hyper-exdended my ankle once getting to agressive in the fall line off-piste, but no boot breakage, i'm 200#

With stiffer AT boots often ride with both unlocked

Edited by b0ardski
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Thanks all for your comments and especially thank you for the link to the long thread on this subject from years ago.  I think I will look for some AT boots I can demo and give it a try. 

One of the replies above made the distinction of riding "upright" more so than "walk".  Yes, upright is better term. Not looking for the motion of the walk mode, rather, looking for the upright stance. 

Thanks again for your experiences. 

 

 

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Another thought - If it's not the riding position which is driving you nuts but the inability to rest during a run because of too much forward lean, then there are worse things than riding with ski poles. After knee surgery some years ago I was really unhappy about getting up from sitting, with my bindings at 60/60. Just a really awkward move. So instead I rode with poles, holding them by the middle in my back (toeside) hand. Then I'd take a break by planting the poles and resting while standing.

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On 12/5/2020 at 2:35 PM, OldZag said:

One of the replies above made the distinction of riding "upright" more so than "walk".  Yes, upright is better term. Not looking for the motion of the walk mode, rather, looking for the upright stance.

Hi OldZag,

The benefit of riding "upright" (a.k.a. riding tall) is it allows you to stack your body weight on your skeletal structure (your bones), which can result in less muscle fatigue.  However, the taller you are the harder/further you can fall.   Riding in an athletic (more flexed) position provides better balance, more power plus superior pressure control and edge grip throughout the turn.  An athletic position is more physically demanding than riding upright, however it's generally safer and much more rewarding.

For boots, I suggest you look for ones with a good/adjustable range of motion provided by a spring system that has constant resistance – otherwise when carving hard you’ll probably be moving freely until you suddenly hit firm resistance (and/or distorting your boots), which can result in an injury and/or equipment failure.

P.S. I coach at Mt. Bachelor.

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No School Rider, 

Your explanation makes sense.  I guess I try to be in an athletic stance when carving, but am looking for some relief of my quads between turns, but standing more upright. 

Who do you coach?  How do I contact you?  My email is  emc83@gorge.net  Say hello if nothing else. 

Thanks for the comments. 

 

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Maybe my advice is a little out of tune, but a key factor in anyones riding is fatigue. If you are tired, your riding will suffer and you are much more likely to fall.

So I recommend anyone to ride in a stance that is relaxed for you. Yes more flexed is good to absorb bumps and for balance, but not if it is too streneous, then your legs will just collapse.

Just find out what works for you.

Edited by TimW
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Posted 44 minutes ago

It's sometimes amazing how some people can overcome restraints, while sometimes it's just not smart to have to fight the constraints in the first place.  Just like there are hundreds of different binding angles, it doesn't mean that one person's angles are right for another, and the same with boots, binding cants, and forward lean.

Riding styles are different, peoples physiologies are different.  If you can't stand comfortably it's best to experiment to find out what's best for your individual riding style and comfort.  I ride 2 completely different angles depending on which board I'm on.  It's sometimes just a very subtle difference that makes it a whole new world.

I have had to take a trip  to the Ortho-Doc just to make sure that it was incorrect binding angles that were the cause and not some old tendons.  It was the binding angles/leverage.  Ride for comfort till you can train your body to adjust to a new sport, and most importantly don't do any damage to yourself by trying something that doesn't suit you.

Try things and carry a #1 Phillips with you to change anything that doesn't feel right.

My riding style necessitated listening to my body, not what anyone else was doing.

PS.  Always look uphill.  Best of luck to you. 

 

 

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On 12/4/2020 at 8:10 AM, OldZag said:

If so, I should be able to lean forward when needed

I assume from that phrase that your technique is requiring you to lean forward (bend ankles). To be honest, I can only image one situation when it is really required - when you do transition perpendicular to a fall line at very slow speed. This helps you not to fall into the next turn. Is that correct assumption?

If assumption above is correct please consider following:

Actually any style of carving except maybe CMC style (Bomber variant) can be ridden using "upright" (or very close to "upright") boots settings. Even extreme carving style (which I actually think is more of a trick than riding style :-)) can be ridden in boots with no lean at all (but softer boots or springs would be beneficial of cause). You may simply increase speed of your carving which may mean more open turns, more angulation, put board higher on edge in apex of a turn.

Another problem with doing slow transitions is that you legs constantly under load - pressure from your weight is always there. Your legs do not rest. If you do faster carving, you do very little or no pressure at all during transition. So your legs working very hard only in apex of a turn, where they are extended. This is similar to cycling where your legs mostly work when you push pedals down, and "rest" when they go up. These short periods of "rest" improves blood/oxygen flow and keeps your muscle fresh for very long time.

P.S. Just because your ankles are fixed in "upright" position does not mean that you will not have any flexibility. You still have lots of joints which you can (and should) flex.

P.S2. For reference I personally ride very stiff UPZ RCR boots with stiffest springs and stiffest tongues (I can not flex them at all). Front foot is in most upright position. Rear - second most "upright" position. I have F2 toe lift at front, and heel lift at rear.

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10 hours ago, OldZag said:

No School Rider,

Who do you coach?  How do I contact you?  My email is  emc83@gorge.net  Say hello if nothing else.

I used to be allowed to run my own program for alpine snowboarders and USASA competitors under my USASA certification, but Bachelor won't let me do that anymore.  So, now I'm one of their snowboard staff trainers and I also teach/coach privates for their Gravity (Ski & Ride) School.

You should be able to contact me (and other members) via the forum's message system.  However, I also have a contact page at http://www.donrichter.com and I just sent you an email to the address you posted above.

Today's season opener was great - mostly sunny and hero snow (perfect carving conditions).

Don Richter

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46 minutes ago, noschoolrider said:

I used to be allowed to run my own program for alpine snowboarders and USASA competitors under my USASA certification, but Bachelor won't let me do that anymore.  So, now I'm one of their snowboard staff trainers and I also teach/coach privates for their Gravity (Ski & Ride) School.

 

I am interested too! I really want to have some experienced coach to help me with my racing "like" technique :-), especially on SL boards, as I find it more difficult than GS. SL short turns requires more precision and strength.
Are you doing private lessons only, or group lessons too?

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1 hour ago, dgCarve said:

I am interested too! I really want to have some experienced coach to help me with my racing "like" technique :-), especially on SL boards, as I find it more difficult than GS. SL short turns requires more precision and strength.
Are you doing private lessons only, or group lessons too?

Hi dgCarve,

Is your name Nate?  I used to live in the Seattle area and ran the snowboard program at the Summit and Crystal Mountain.  Also raced city league at Summit West and Alpental on an all snowboard team (DiscoBoarders).

Anyway, Bachelor is not doing group lessons this season because of COVID19.  Instead, they are only doing private lessons and multi-week lessons.  This year you can add up to four more friends or family members to your private lesson for the price of one.  Privates are expensive but I might be able to help out with some half price tickets (lift tickets are not included with lessons and you would also need to make a parking lot reservation).  Here are some helpful links:
https://www.mtbachelor.com/plan-your-trip/lessons-rentals/lessons?page=246
https://www.mtbachelor.com/plan-your-trip/getting-here/parking-reservations

You can request me as your private instructor at no additional cost.  Private requests must be booked directly through the Private Lesson Coordinator via email at privatelessons@mtbachelor.com or by phone at 541-382-1709, extension 5919.  Private lesson requests should be arranged at least 48 hours in advance.  I usually work out of the Gravity School's West Village location on Saturday-Monday and on Wednesdays (I usually ride with my girlfriend on Thursdays and Fridays – she prefers hard boots).  I don't bring my race boards everyday so it's best to let me know in advance.

Don Richter

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On 12/7/2020 at 9:36 AM, OldZag said:

No School Rider, 

Your explanation makes sense.  I guess I try to be in an athletic stance when carving, but am looking for some relief of my quads between turns, but standing more upright. 

Who do you coach?  How do I contact you?  My email is  emc83@gorge.net  Say hello if nothing else. 

Thanks for the comments. 

 

you can try rotation technique which allows much higher stance

@b.free can say more since he excelled it

 

PS

I'm not flexible enough to make it work also my softboot instincts are dragging be back

Edited by rst
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howdy

haha... just pulled out my old raichle hardboots and the lever was down which is in walk mode.

don't know when the lever got pulled down cause I never check it. noticed it when I tried it on

and it flexes just as much as my back boot which has bts installed. I ride with only back foot

with bts and none on the front. like to ride my front foot straight up and have good flex on the

back. I had some good ripping last days and usually my top buckle is loose and the boot is really

soft...  maybe I try both with bts... my point is don't be gear head and focus more on riding and

technique. if your body is in good position the rest will follow...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Walk mode.

Main reason is that it gives much greater range of motion up-down and forth-back, which I think is essential for efficient technique, maneuverability and switching riding styles. Also, I do 60/60 setup, so most edge pressure is generated off steering with knees / pushing sideways, so with reasonable boots forth-back ankle stiffness, it doesn't feel compromised at all. Meanwhile, locking the boots results in constantly fighting against them when trying to move COG or load/unload the board.

Ride mode would probably be beneficial for more aggressive binding angles, like 45/45 or steeper. But then it's completely different body mechanics.

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I have been riding in walk mode on all my boots for like 17 years. Deelux I had BTS  and Blue/yellow springs. On my UPZ I ride with the lever down and no other mods. I have horrible flexibility and the increased range of motion being unlocked allows me to get into the proper body positions easier. Call it a crutch but I do what I need to to get the job done. If I was gifted with more body flex Im willing to believe locking my boots might be more beneficial but it works for me.  

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