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Binding height, boot height, and leverage


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My K2 Clicker setup puts me (via my Clicker boots) very close to the surface of the snowboard when I ride.

My hardboot setup, along with Deeluxe X-Bone and step-in heels, puts me much higher on the board, away from the surface of the board.

Articles seem to indicate that a bit of "lift" (in this case, I mean total elevation and not toe or heel lift) offers the rider additional leverage. I'm having trouble seeing this.

In terms of pure physics, I'd imagine that there comes to a point of diminishing returns--that is--if I stand so much higher, and farther away from the surface of the board, I wouldn't be able to control the board properly and I would actually lose leverage.

The hardboot setup feels unnatural when I try to stand up and when I ride. I know it takes time to get use to, it just seems more "right" when I am closer to the board.

Clearly, I am new at this. Someone please educate me.



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I'm not an engineer and I don't have any insight into the leverage issue but your reaction to the difference in height is exactly the one I had when I first ventured from a soft set-up to hardplates.

On the soft setup I was standing right on the board and could feel the board flexing. Being close to the board felt secure and in touch with the balance. Then I tried hardplates and it felt like I was on stilts. I didn't like it at first. All I can say is eventually I got used to it.

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Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one. Thank you for your reply.

I realize that the elevated position is necessary for trench-digging, but are there any leverage/control-related side effect?

For casual riding or mixed-terrain riding, when one must negotiate steep/bump or is required to "skid" rather than carve, how does this elevated riding position affect things?

At this point, I simply feel less control. When I am closer to the board, it seems that I can go edge to edge faster. Does it just take time to get used to it and it will feel better later? Does standing taller offer some advantage (other than carving toe/heel clearance) that I am not aware of?

Does the X-Bone step in sit higher than the other bindings offered by Bomber?

Thanks again,


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I am a true physician with a Masters degree.

I remember to have read from somewhere that

you can better transmit the weight and the power

to the edge when the boots are lifted from the top cover

of the board. I have put some thinking on this issue.

I think that the reasoning I remember makes

some sense. If your foot soles are close to the board

and you are on edge, the power from your legs is

directed through the board. And, you transmit the power

to the edge by ankle muscle tension. But if your foot soles

are high on the board, the power directs closer to

the edge of the board. Therefore, you need less tension

in your ankles.

I quess this is also the reason why the boards are

that narrow that your boots hardly fit on them.

I recon the best posture from the power transmission

perspective would be where all the power from legs

would be directed towards the edge of the board.

This would require a big lift of the binding.

I quess that the drawback of going high on board is that

the posture becomes more fragile as you state.

But the professionals tend to handle it.

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Here is my shot at it. It begins with the assumption that the force from your feet to the board is represented by a single downward vector from the center of your feet. When the board is flat there is no difference between your feet being directly on the board or being elevated off the board. However, as the angle of the board increases from 0 towards 90, what was a purely vertical displacement in the flat state takes on both a vertical and horizontal component. The horizontal component shifts the resulting downward vector toward the engaged edge, increasing the effective force on the edge. This is just my own thinking about it and not validated. It is similar to the relationship between center of gravity and center of buoyancy when analyzing stability in a boat.

I am a K2 clicker user myself and have only hardbooted once. It was on a narrow freecarve board and I felt the same awkwardness that I'm sure most people experience. However, I associated it with the higher binding angles rather than the increased binding height.

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Typically the awkwardness comes from instructing a new muscle/tendon set when beginning. You are just using things differently than before, and it takes a little time to get used to. Narrower boards feel a little more "tippy" at low speeds, also, and it adds to the feeling.

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Yep, the only thing my muscles knew was how to move a soft board with low angles. And that stuff just doesn't do the job on a hard set-up.

BUT, when I started to figure out what was going on, and nailed my first big carving turn at speed, and felt all my weight and more lined up on the edge, and that edge just holding solid like a rail, with no chance of sliding out, and no chance of anything but me getting shot out of the turn across the slope with nothing to do to keep from hitting the trees but to dive into another turn to save myself...Now THAT was LIVING!

So I have one more weekend at Sugarloaf this season in soft gear and then when I show up again next year I'll be in a hard setup ready for the speed and the g's.

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