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Which affordable bindings? (Trying out skiing on a snowboard)


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Hi all! Just a fledgling looking for tips!

Background info: 

Aussie interested in giving hardboots a crack! Which seemingly means I've got extremely limited access to used equipment.

I've recently nabbed a near mint F2 six zero (can only find 1 example online from 94? It's 160 23cm waist 'all mountain' alpine?). It cost me a whole AUD40

I've also accidentally bought some Atomic Backland carbons, with the intention of gradually putting together a split setup. They only set me back AUD275!!

But I'm at a loss for bindings to successfully pair the two without decimating my back account with Phantoms and phantom 4x4 cleats. The Phantoms with cleats would set me back a whopping AUD1000... or there abouts. I'd like them eventually for split but not any time soon. 

 

The decision: 

I've found an eBay seller in Germany (Restposten-Eckenputzer) listing two styles of Fitschi bindings for around AUD200.... pictured below. 

- I'm guessing most on here would consider that ridiculous money for these bindings?

- Would they even serve the purpose I'm after? 

- Is there any way for me to make local contacts who may have better options for better money? 

 

 

 

Screenshot_20220905-184827_eBay.jpg

Screenshot_20220905-184805_eBay.jpg

Edited by FriendlyDropBear
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  • FriendlyDropBear changed the title to Which affordable bindings? (Trying out skiing on a snowboard)
2 hours ago, FriendlyDropBear said:

...I've also accidentally bought some Atomic Backland carbons, with the intention of gradually putting together a split setup. They only set me back AUD275!!

But I'm at a loss for bindings to successfully pair the two without decimating my back account with Phantoms and phantom 4x4 cleats. The Phantoms with cleats would set me back a whopping AUD1000... or there abouts. I'd like them eventually for split but not any time soon. 
...

I have Carbon Atomic Backlands. Search here for a thread on those. I found I did need the Phantom springs to make them work well for me, so there is that. Now, I'd use nothing else, they rip.

The problem with the Phantom split hardware is that the maximum angles are a bit on the mellow side. Again, search here for what they are, but from memory, about 30 degrees. I'm a 35/45 person these days, so I can't use Phantom hardware, full stop.

The standard bindings (which I do use) are the F2 Race Ti stuff (non-intec), which are (a) the mutt's nuts; and (b) about €150 a pair when I last looked, full retail current season. The Euro (and the pound) are taking a pounding at the moment, so you may find it worth looking there. https://www.blue-tomato.com/ is a place I've used a lot for that stuff. The design of those hasn't changed in 20 years (!) [just like soft boot bindings - ha ha]. They change the graphics and colours now and then. You can often find old stock in European websites if you look around.

 

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1 hour ago, philw said:

I have Carbon Atomic Backlands. Search here for a thread on those. I found I did need the Phantom springs to make them work well for me, so there is that. Now, I'd use nothing else, they rip.

Yeah I've heard great things, as well as the tip that they REQUIRE the Phantom link..... I'll likely try them at least once without 🤣

 

1 hour ago, philw said:

The standard bindings (which I do use) are the F2 Race Ti stuff (non-intec), which are (a) the mutt's nuts; and (b) about €150 a pair when I last looked, full retail current season.

I've not been able to find them for less than AUD400 😭

Which is why I was looking at the cheaper OEM style bindings as they're less than half the price of the most affordable F2!

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F2 Race Titanium bindings are a very popular binding, so if you find hard-booting isn't for you, the bindings tend to be very easy to sell.

There are also a couple Australian carvers here, perhaps you can get lucky and find someone with some gear you can demo, or at least some better purchasing advice.

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4 hours ago, SunSurfer said:

The one Aussie store I knew about that has stocked alpine snowboard gear in the past, First Tracks, is out of stock for hardboot bindings.

Sadly I had noted this myself 😖

 

2 hours ago, Neil Gendzwill said:

The Carve RS will work fine for what you want, no need for the Race Titanium. 

How would the Carve RS compare with the aforementioned entry level Fritschi bindings?
Unfortunately looks like YYZ only ships to North America.

Edited by FriendlyDropBear
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My Oz friends use some NYC based "re shipping" service to avoid US sales tax and to get gear out to Oz. Those could be used for something like this, if it helps.

Me, I tend to get my US buddies to drag stuff into another country where we go snowboarding, and I take the swag off them and then smuggle it back into Brexit land. I would guess that you may find the EU the best place to buy hard bindings. Of there is the entire Korean/ Japanese market. I'm sure all bindings work - it's not a complicated thing, and I'd have no qualms about riding those pictured. The 1st pair look like F2 knock-offs, so I'd start with those as maybe the spares match (not that I've ever needed spares!).

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10 hours ago, FriendlyDropBear said:

How would the Carve RS compare with the aforementioned entry level Fritschi bindings?

Unfortunately looks like YYZ only ships to North America.

Not familiar with Fritschi.  However I have a pair of the older version of that binding when they were marketed under the Raichle brand.  They have worked fine for me for many years although they have always been on more of my free ride boards and haven't been put under super high stress.

You should just contact YYZCanuck if you are interested.  Dave and Andrea can let you know if they will ship to Australia or not.

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14 hours ago, Neil Gendzwill said:

Not familiar with Fritschi.  However I have a pair of the older version of that binding when they were marketed under the Raichle brand.  They have worked fine for me for many years although they have always been on more of my free ride boards and haven't been put under super high stress.

Are you talking about the blue lever or purple lever bindings pictured? 
I seem to be able to find evidence of the purple levers being OEM equipped for a few brands like Nitro and Oxygen a good while back, but cannot find example of the blue levered ones anywhere? 🧐

The board they'll be going on is very much a 'freeride' or 'all-mountain' board as far as anyone on this forum would be concerned. 
It's an F2 from 94 that's got almost modern freeride proportions; 
- 160
- 23 cm waist 
- 27ish cm at the contact points
- Wide enough at the feet to rock my US9.5 soft boots at 45/30 (just barely)
- Significant setback (haven't measured but it's  evidently an off piste setback)

I figure that the softer "hardboot" setup of the Backland and an F2 Carve or equivalent binding could actually pair quite well?
Stiffer than a freeride softboot setup yet more supple through the trees than 'real' hardboot setup. 🤷‍♂️

Was just hoping to find someone who recognised the blue lever binding and offer stern advice against going that way.... or find another Aussie with some old gear they'd sell for a more palatable entry price. 

I've since found a few sellers internationally that would ship the F2 Carve RS internationally but that's still looking at around AUD350
An extra day's wages over the blue Fritschi 😅
 

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9 hours ago, FriendlyDropBear said:

Are you talking about the blue lever or purple lever bindings pictured?

I wasn't very clear.  My Raichle bindings are an older version of the current F2 Carve RS.  I have no direct experience with the Fritschi ones.  However the Fritschi will probably work just fine for your purposes.  Once you have put some time in on your cheaper setup, you might decide you love it and want to invest in more current gear, at which point I am sure you could sell whatever bindings you buy here and recoup some of your money.

If you go looking through the forums here you will find people advising against the Carve RS or other lightly built bindings.  Those people are skilled riders using stiff boards and stiff boots and putting immense force on everything.  That won't be you at first.  If you stick with it and become a hard-charging carve machine like those guys, you will definitely be wanting to invest in different gear than your cheap "try it out" setup.

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7 hours ago, Neil Gendzwill said:

 However the Fritschi will probably work just fine for your purposes...

...If you stick with it and become a hard-charging carve machine like those guys, you will definitely be wanting to invest in different gear than your cheap "try it out" setup.

This is where my head was at when starting this thread.
My main goal in asking the question was the vain hope just one person might have first hand experience of these blue levered Fritschi 'once again' bindings.
That or an elusive and mysterious other Australian might have some older but nicer bindings to sell at a price similar to the affordable Fritschi ones.

ATM I think i'll just get those blue levered ones, as I've found another listing elsewhere with a lot more photos and they look pretty well made. They definitely seem to be a step up from the other 'OEM' bindings.

Because let's be honest here... Getting onto an alpine board and bindings for USD170 total is pretty reasonable.... With the board cleaned up (was dusty and had rusty edges) and better photos (listing had just  blurry top and bottom photos) I might be able to sell the setup for a profit down the line anyway. 

While the boots are cross purpose for eventual splitting and only cost USD180.

Edited by FriendlyDropBear
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In an update.... The suspense was really starting to get to me and I caved, have ordered the blue lever Fritschi bindings.  

I'm thinking that combined with the Backlands and the more Freeride focused F2, I'll have a setup that falls somewhere betwee  the worlds of softboot freeride and hardboot freeride. 

Hopefully stiffer and more responsive than any softboot setup, while being approachable and comfortable in comparison to a full blown, rock solid, hardboot carving setup. 

I am anticipating a superior on piste performance to any softboot carving arrangement with a functional off piste freeride character, better able to cut through trees and pow than a narrower board with stiffer boots would be.

Wish me luck! I'll be sure to write up ride reports for all components as there isn't a whole lot on any of the three pieces 😅 (Though I expect I wont get much of an opportunity until next season depending on how slow shipping is) 

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