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Seeking advice on first alpine setup


Cthulhufish
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Hello,

I recently made the switch to hard boots for my splitboard (Backland Pros with Phantom Link Levers and M6 bindings), and I loved how that felt carving on groomers so much that by the end of the first run I was convinced that I wanted a full alpine setup. I've tried to do as much research as I could, but I'd like to get opinions from people more knowledgeable than myself.

I'm 115lbs/52kg, and I generally like my (soft) boots, boards, and bindings on the stiffer side. When I first rode my Driver X/X Base/Flagship setup, it felt like all the responsiveness I could ever want... but now I find myself wanting more. Currently, I'm thinking about getting UPZ RC12s, F2 Race Titaniums, and ordering a board from Donek (Freecarve or Metal FC?).

Boots: Going with Deeluxes and ordering everything from Donek is tempting, but I tend to have heel lift issues, and I've seen a lot of mention of poor heel hold in Deeluxes. The spring system in the UPZ boots sounds appealing as well. I plan to get custom insoles and a replacement liner. Does UPZ seem like the right call? How should I choose between the XC12 and RC12? My only point of reference for hard boots are the Backland Pros, which I find flexy enough to be comfortable in moguls, even with the stiffest link lever springs. I've also considered the Point.951s, but the extra cost seems hard to justify, and I'm worried that they might be too stiff.

For bindings, what are the trade-offs between the Race Titanium and Carve RS?

Overall, I'm looking for more of a carving setup than all-mountain (I'll still have my soft boot boards for that), but I don't want to get too beat up on choppy groomers. Does anyone have thoughts or suggestions? I don't mind sinking some money into a nice setup, but I'd like to avoid needing to do that twice.

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I see you are in CO. Try t get in touch with Rich at All Board Sports in Boulder. They have a selection of boards, but even more importantly, you can go and actually try on UPZ and some Deeluxe boots. 

You are light enough you can probably get away with the Carve, but I'm usually a fan of beefier bindings. The Race will last you forever, parts are available, and there really isn't a downside to them.  I think Sean sells both, and All Board Sports carries the Race.

I've missed the last couple of Sundays, but there is a regular group of riders that meet on Sundays. CO has a pretty wide distribution of harbooters if you want to ride with folks. Check the ride board and post up.

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Welcome!  Between the Deeluxe Track 700 and UPZ, I found the heel hold much better in the UPZs.  I don't know about the Track 325 or 225, but they are narrower overall.  The UPZ spring system is a big bonus.  Most Deeluxe riders buy an aftermarket spring system because the stock forward lean selector locks out the ankle joint, so all flex comes from deforming the shell.

Donek makes a great product, if you can spring for the Metal Freecarve it will be a smoother ride than the non-metal version, however this is less critical in the Rockies.

Custom footbeds are wonderful, I wouldn't ride without them.  Intuition liners are a common upgrade for UPZ owners, but the stock liners are worth a try.  Deeluxe come with Intuition liners.  I'm approaching 100 days on my stock Mountain Slope liners, they have been great but are almost out of gas.

As in the other thread, the F2 Race Titaniums are better.  Get an extra lift kit so you can have toe lift on the front foot and heel lift on the back foot.

Good luck, let us know how it goes!

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Thanks for all the responses.

I've settled on the UPZ RC12s and F2 Race Titaniums (and extra lift kit).

I don't like thinking about how much money I've spent on custom insoles, but they sure do prevent some pain and misery on the slopes...

Thanks for the tip about Intuition liners. I've heard great things about custom liners from skiers, but the bootfitter I asked doesn't think they can do them for snowboard hard boots.

As for the board, the Metal Freecarve does sound appealing. I take it damper boards are better at dealing with choppy afternoon groomers? For now I'll fill out Donek's order form and see where things go from there.

I'm excited to try it all out!

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You need to find another boot fitter. Clearly this one has no idea what hard boots for alpine riding are.                                                                                                                                                                      If you are stuck for a boot fitter and I'm going out on a limb here to suggest you might educate them  (he or her). They could research on this forum for tips to heat mould alpine boot liners. The basic are pretty clear and start with properly fitting the foot to a liner that properly fits the boot. They should at least be able to grasp that basic concept If not walk away or run !

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5 hours ago, Neil Gendzwill said:

I recommend you give Donek a call rather than just ordering from the website. Sean (the owner) can recommend the right board for you. 

One hundred times this! Sean is passionate* and has amazing customer service. There's a reason there are so many Donek boards in the carving community! 

* It's a quiet/subtle Engineer's passion. 😉

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Might not necessarily need a boot fitter?  I always had hold issues in softies but that disappeared when going to RC10s.  The stock liner might work for a bit, but I wound up with a literally bloody heel after every ride after 2 seasons.  Switched to Intuition Power Wraps, baked them using the bag of rice method and they have been awesome the last three years.  

 

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