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Recommendation needed soft carving

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Hello fellow carver,

a question has been on my mind for some time.  I plan to re-equip myself in softboot carving next year.

 However, I haven't been able to determine the right boot/binding combo for my needs.... Even after reading the posts here...(some are a bit dated) the question of the board is settled, however.  I wear 12/13 (29.5 mondo).

 Should I have stiff boots/stiff bindings or softer bindings...??  For 200 lbs.  There is also the issue of the plate risers.. but that will be easy to sort out.  

So what are your suggestions?  Or your favorite combo?


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As first, but surely not last, to reply with preferences for your soft-boot carving considerations, my quest for best boots (two years ago) ended with RIDE Trident boots; definitely worth checking out in your quest:


..with Flow NX2 Bindings.

Ultimately, I'm not a soft-booter for any riding. I have different flex versions of Deluxe and UPZ Boots to go with various stiffer/forgiving plate bindings.

A $$$ journey of sorts ; )


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23 hours ago, Québec man said:

stiff boots/stiff bindings


you have the board covered, but at least a medium to stiff board too. 9 or 10m radius based on weight, but a good start for most. is it possible to use soft or medium equipment? absolutely. depends on the style and efforts you're looking to put towards each carve. the more rigid the equipment, the more restrictive it can be to do "boned out" kind of maneuvers. it's not the equipment that makes the carve; it's the rider. equipment helps though. just like, no bad weather, just bad clothing. etc...

k2 thraxis boot with intuition SBC liners and a booster strap. wouldn't mind something stiffer, but then i'm pretty much into a walk mode upz so there ya go. i've ridden them for almost two seasons because they didn't wear out. most boots will lose flex/support or start to lose flex around 8-10 rides. then there's reality. if your sponsored/supported, ride softies 8-10 times a year or have the money to buy boots every dozen days then by all means, the support/performance and results in your riding will be reflective of that. the deeluxe edge pro boot is probably next for me. considered trying an F2 boot, but too much hassle to go through to get some in the states without knowing anything about them. bindings: a material that can break away unless the rider is willing to sacrifice the body. stiff/supportive highback and ankle strap. i always preferred higher the better on the ankle strap, but a down and locked heel is what you're looking for too. be mindful of the buckles on ankle straps. don't be hesitant of the base being a little flexible. it doesn't need to be stiff as f. flex is a good thing. love my odrives, but switched to j apollo. it's kind of obvious, but read past the marketing of products and read reviews if available. dialed in carving specific equipment can get expensive as we all know too well! every season can seem like you're starting a new sport. good luck.

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On 12/13/2022 at 7:30 AM, Québec man said:

but that will be easy to sort out.  

Sadly, none of this may be easy to sort out with those big treads of yours. There's some nuance to the boot/binding/riser interface that gets trickier with bigger feet. Flow/Nidecker make a nice binding but the XL size has greatly increased width (yes, strange, I know) over the L, creating a large amount of movement between boot (the few I've tried) and binding. Going with an L renders the easy in/out design useless. Now O-drives and Ride El Hefes (now A-10s) are nice options, but don't mate well with Bomber Power Plates because they exceed the footprint of the plate itself. Other risers may be different. The point is that you may need to try a few combos that you didn't expect.

+1 on @dhamann's Thraxis recommendation.

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Maybe try your existing hardboots and step-in bindings?   I have a few Coiler BXFR's equipped with F2 step-ins, set close to +20F/+2R and wearing size 27 UPZ.  1st board was wide enough for soft boots @ 26.25 waist and subsequent builds (after giving up soft-boots) have narrower waists from 24.0 to 24.3.  Can jump on narrower boards if conditions are right and use the same boots.

Are you looking for 165 BXFR for softboots?  Built for me around 210 lbs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have size 12 feet. I adhere to three principles with boots and bindings: stiff, compact (to minimize bootout), and adjustable. One can always dial back the stiffness of a stiff boot (by riding the upper a bit looser) but one cannot dial up the stiffness of a soft-flexing boot.

Boots: I like Nidecker Talon. To my knowledge they are the stiffest softboot available, very compact (less bootouut with Mondo 30s), and the upper and lower portions of the boot can be tightened independently of one another which is nice for fine tuning the flex. Nidecker discontinued Talon this year, but you can probably find a pair still online. Nidecker tells me that this year's Index boot replaces the Talon but it's marketed as a backcountry boot and has needless backcountry complexity like a zippered cuff. I'm skeptical.

Bindings: There are many options. I have historically gone with Ride aluminum bindings. They are stiff, highly adjustable, have compact heel loops (less bootout with Mondo 30s) and rotating high backs, are bomber, and are a good value. This year I'm trying the Nitro Phantom Carver. I like them thus far for all the same reasons that I like the Ride aluminum bindings with the addition of heel rise and canted footbeds.


Edited by TWM
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  • 3 weeks later...

Some board with a 10m+ radius, and wide enough. Stiff bindings. Stiff boots.

Get the stiffest boots you can, that fit and won't torture you. Even if it is a floppy piece of shit.

The softer your setup, the more "vanilla" your technique has to be (as close to textbook race as you can achieve), to get around some of the limitations.

I vote stiffest bindings you can, and whatever fits your feet the best + stiffest you can get, for boots.

I have over 60 days this season; about 30(?) are on softboots. They are all really fun.

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